IOV, IN THEORY
How it will all work
Internet of Voters wants lo leverage technology. available today, and combine it with key principles which will make IOV a radical shift from the way contemporary governance is run. These essays are an introduction to the technologies, and how they can work together, coupled with some background theories on what justifies the system update, as proposed by IOV.
Technology is bounding forward, opening up endless opportunity for our lives to be enhanced, facilitated, and simplified, as computing and programming, advance. With this comes a new era of information sharing, and the capacity to communicate our preferences to anyone, or everyone. It is this quality of immense connectivity which can be harnessed to distribute democracy to all corners of the globe. Whilst this may seem a very lofty claim, there is little to prove that it is not achievable. To that end, this page will outline the component parts, and how they can interact, in order to bring IOV to life.
Dynamic Democracy - how a decentralised democracy improves upon our contemporary system.
Price to Play - live and dynamic votes, rather than dead votes
Blockchain - benefit of a blockchain based voting system
Trust in a Trustless Network - the new landscape of trust provided by peer to peer networks
Blockchain Lite - intro to efficient protocols for processing IOV votes
Permissionless - autonomy of the individual to act effectively in civic representation
Anonymity - moving away from groupthink in politics, for both the voter, and the political representative
Options - vote on moral principle, rather than be the patsy for morally bereft political decisions
Atomised Interests - spreading the governance among the governed
IOV Changes - everything changes, everything stays the same
Global Diplomacy - vote globally, participate locally
Mechanised Morality - outsource morality to the machine
IOV Visually - simple layout of civic administration
Decision Tree - a layout of issue/voter interface
Pro Testers - a view on the ineffectiveness of modern day protest movements
A conventional vote is alive for the seconds it takes to tick the box, then dies the moment you place your voting paper in the ballot box. It remains a dead entity, entombed in history with no effect upon the ‘democratic’ system whatsoever. There is a wall between your vote, and the effect it has upon the chosen representatives, and the decisions they will make, supposedly on your behalf. Once your vote is cast, your power as a voter stops, dead.
IOV creates a dynamic democracy, as the votes will remain alive, always, in realtime.
Consider your vote as a token. In the old system that vote(token) is singular, and static. With IOV, votes(tokens) will be used to continuously work within the system. This will reconstitute democracy as dynamic, rather than static. The voter will choose to place tokens with issues of their choosing, at the time of their choosing, and if they change their view, they can alter their token(s) within the system.
This also alters the format of centralised control within government. Where once a central leader was required to have authority across the entire portfolio of sectors applicable to their domain, IOV distributes the decisions among the sectors, leaving only administration of the portfolios to be managed. The various sectors perform their duties as a function of the mandate from the voters. This alleviates the need for hierarchical management structures, and provides a pathway to positive active planning, rather than being bogged down by bureaucracy and in-fighting. IOV will provide continuous, transparent, interaction, within civic administration, allowing the entire process to become more agile and alive, whilst minimising bureaucratic excess.
Price to Play
At the heart of IOV will be a voting system, enabled via tokenisation. ‘Tokenisation’ is the substitution of data, by a unique code. In the case of IOV, that data is the vote(s) of the user, and the unique code will be facilitated by a blockchain enabled token. Each voter, in line with the national sovereignty of the individual, will be issued with a balance of tokens, perhaps 1000, available to be used within the voting system. The tokens will remain permanently sovereign to the individual voter, and are effectively little more than the equivalent of a show of hands at a community meeting, i.e. ideas are tabled and discussed, votes counted, and decisions are made in alignment with those participating.
Digital tokens, borne out of Bitcoin technology, (within IOV will hold zero financial value) can be ‘spent’ to represent preferences within the civic administration system. Like Bitcoin, each single unit can be divisible down to the eighth decimal point, providing minute capability of the tokens themselves. That is to say, a single token could be broken down into 100 million sub-token units. In this way, tokens can be applied at differing levels of representation, with differing ‘spend’ quantities.
For example, in the same way social media forums have made a currency of ‘likes’, this same mechanism can be employed by the voter to demonstrate approval within IOV. Let’s say the voter is looking at suggestions for a proposed funding change to a local school, and views a meritorious comment by another voter, as to how funds could be better spent. The voter will ‘like’ the comment, spending perhaps 10 sub-tokens.
At the next level higher, the cost of making comments can be 100 sub-tokens, per comment. One level higher, the formulation of a proposal may cost 1000 sub-tokens. In the same manner, voters can spend 1000 sub-tokens to support a proposal, effectively relegating their spend to the proposer.
Up one more level (10,000) will be equivalent to contemporary politics, whereby a voter chooses to relegate representation within a given portfolio, to a particular representative. At the next level, (100,000) confidence in the leadership of an individual who commands an entire portfolio can be voted upon, relegating all interest of the voting individual towards that portfolio, to the portfolio representative, hence removing themselves from any need to participate incrementally. And so on, up to national representative levels. Recall, each voter (in this model) will have the equivalent of 100 billion sub-tokens available, to place across any matters of interest to that voter, plenty enough to keep one busy :)
Votes will be time-weighted, in proportion with their value, i.e. small values will have a short term minimum time holding, whilst large amounts of votes will be long term weighted. This mechanism allows for agility at small values, and stability at large values. It is anticipated the value of ‘likes’ can roll back to the voter within a given period, one year perhaps, or if the voter is so inclined, they can rescind each vote manually. Al larger values, support of proposals and representatives must be proportionally anchored in time, so as to allow time to bring that proposal into fruition.
A series of blocks chained together. This is the original terminology used to describe what is today known as the blockchain. The ‘block’ can be considered as a store of data which is then made immutable, using a computational process known as ‘hashing’. The effect of hashing is to lock the information in place, perhaps in the same way one would consider fossilised remains lock the information about creatures of the past, into stone. Each additional layer, or block, first verifies the validity of the previous information, then makes adjustments before hashing the subsequent layer, locking in its’ new information. You may think of this as the sedimentary deposits of rock, whereby the deeper one digs, the further one goes back into history, to discover the older information, which is locked in place. Hashing provides this function of locking the information in place, making it immutable. The only way a blockchain can be altered is by updating it, the base layers will remain locked, making blockchain a one-way store of information.
This immutable function of blockchain makes information secure, and is why it’s seen as such a significant advance in computing technology. Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, employ this security function as the bedrock for their claim to providing the most sound money ever devised. This same bedrock security can be employed to provide trust in a decentralised process of democracy.
Trust in a Trust-less Network.
This is what bitcoin provides. Our contemporary financial system relies upon the integrity of banks, financiers, the legal framework around those entities, and the will of regulators to enforce the law. This is breaking down at every level. A bank provides security, as opposed to trust, by guaranteeing the funds they store on our behalf. If the security of my funds is breached, for example someone scams my credit card and does an online shopping spree, the bank will reimburse the loss. In this sense we trust the bank, as we have an amount of faith that our funds are safe. However, as seen in 2008, banks are not safe, especially in this era of endless money printing, and are prone to failure, at which point they rely upon government to prop them up. (using your taxpayer dollars) If the government reaches the point they cannot support the burden of all banks failing at once, your funds in the bank will be instantly deleted, as if those dollars only ever existed as computer code, which is effectively accurate. In that instant, trust in modern banking will be discovered as worthless. It will also be found out that the entire process of modern monetary theory has been a poorly run experiment, enabled by the base layer of money, all the way up through the banking industry, facilitated through profit based lobbying, and crony politics.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, provides a pathway away from the deception and corruption of our fiat monetary system. Bitcoin employs blockchain to provide security to allow every person on the planet to take part in a monetary system which has no central control, no concentrated power to distort or coerce its value, or manipulation of its’ supply through endless printing. Bitcoin lives in a trust-less network, where each participant in the network has skin in the game, but cannot alter or distort the value of the currency, it is purely a function of the marketplace, supply and demand. Trust is not required, as the bitcoin protocol cannot be altered, meaning it functions with autonomous integrity, rather than the misplaced trust of a third party security system, like the contemporary banking industry.
To that end, bitcoin exists in a trust-less network. No-one needs to place trust in the system, as it is secure, verifiable, autonomous, and functions independent of human input. It provides its service without the need to have faith in the veracity of third party systems. This is a machine, in the true sense of a mechanical process, and will continue to function for as long as computing energy is applied to it.
This trust-less-ness can be applied to our systems of governance, removing the unnecessary influence of self-concerned actors, or parties. No longer will there be a need to assume faith in a system which is ignorant of its constituents.
Bitcoin operates using a protocol known as ‘Proof of Work” (PoW). This PoW protocol requires large amounts of energy to function as a system. This is a deliberate and ingenious feature of bitcoin, whereby the energy input is integral to maintaining the integrity of the system. Other cryptocurrencies are developing new protocols. Other cryptocurrencies have developed alternate hash algorithms, like Cardano, with Proof Of Stake” (PoS), something which Ethereum recently changed over to. Solana’s “Proof Of History”(PoH), and “Proof of Replication”(PoRep) show great promise. These other protocols are leading the way with faster transaction speeds, smart contracts and low energy hash rates. At their core, they are vying for the title of most efficient and user friendly to the environment by using the least energy to verify their transactions on the network, whilst providing the most flexible user experience. These competing cryptos are the perfect fit to provide the programming bedrock for IOV.
This employment of alternate blockchain protocols as a non financial entity, can provide all the security necessary for the validation of token movements, in realtime, for the voter.
All this assumes that a blockchain ledger can be interacted with, on a send and rescind, basis. The voter retains full ownership of their tokens, always. When they spend tokens into the system, they increase the value within that sector of the system, their support or input is credited to the civic ledger. When they wish to alter their preference, they retract their token, to be used in some other way.
‘Smart contracts’ will enable this ‘send and rescind’ mechanism. A smart contract executes the actions set up for that contract, when predetermined conditions have been met and verified. In IOV, the conditions will be providing verifiable support within the network, which can later be withdrawn, or be set with an expiry time-lock. Voters will demonstrate their preferences in the network, as contracts, which they edit, in alignment with their choices.
IOV can be offered as an alternative incumbent democratic systems. and may be engaged fully, once sufficient engagement with the platform is achieved. IOV is intended be self regulating, as a function of the constituency, who can make decisions and manage all facets of that which is currently administered by centralised democracies. IOV will distribute the decision making processes evenly to those whom wish to take part in the civic administration of issues which interest them, the individual, or group of individuals.
IOV is a derivation of decentralised principles embodied in Bitcoin. A peer to peer network, like a social network, empowered with a call to action and responsibility. The one major difference being, it will distribute centrally collected civic revenue. This component too, is anticipated as open and visible to all, whereby all revenue can be traced, from collection, through to expenditure.
IOV is intended to function anonymously on the user side. Contributions, such as votes, comments and proposals, will possibly be displayed with a QR code only, or similar, which perhaps can be recognisable by that voter through familiarity, but will not be identifiable externally.
This mechanism of anonymity is intended to limit personal attachment, minimise the effects of herd mentality, and to provide a forum whereby all ideas can be evaluated independently of social influence. Anonymity can minimise bickering and groupthink, by posting the issue only, independent of a person’s reputation, or social standing, or wealth, or the lack of.
It is assumed that voters will form groups in order to push their particular agendas, and can do so externally from the system, but this will be recognisable from within the platform.
Crony politics, driven by corporate greed, facilitated by nepotistic politicians, enabling a system which litigates in favour of monied interests, provide outcomes favourable to only a very narrow band of the global population. If policy was distributed among all individuals, a very different decision path will be embarked upon, moving toward humanistically based outcomes.
Being able to ask these questions from a moral point of view as if one was a nation, rather than an individual, reframes the question as if the individual has the power to choose. On an individual level, the answers are clear. At a diplomatic level, they become distorted by diplomatic and economic back-scratching.
Questions can be posed, and answered, individually, at local, nation state, and perhaps eventually, global, levels. For example, on a local level for the native people of the Diego Garcia islands, ‘do you want a military base here?’. Or at the nation level, ‘should government have the power to subjugate and oppress minorities or races within their borders?’ And globally, ’is the military industrial complex an appropriate tool to manipulate economic decisions of other nations?’
Within IOV, governmental portfolios become isolated entities, which in turn fracture down to sub-groupings within each portfolio, (i.e. a portfolio may be Transport, which can divide into Roading Developments, Vehicles, Bridges, Marine, Maintenance, Traffic Control Systems, next level down Traffic Control systems may parse out as Automations, Signage, Legal Requirements, Monitoring, Enforcement, etc) and are able to be approached at any level of interest, from the local, to the national. There is ample scope for involvement by any person(s), to attend to affairs which pique the interest of that person. Taken as a function of the entire range of government portfolios, their divisions, then the level of interaction which a voter may opt for, a veritably endless variety of contributive options are available. This division of voter participation, provides the individual an opportunity to be involved, whilst at the same time, prevents centralised control. A motivated voter will perhaps seek to spread themselves across wide-ranging areas, and all power to them. Their contribution is merely that, contribution, whilst their affect remains only a function of their individual positive influence. The total range of input possibilities are such that the atomised interests are likely to increase benefit of political participation, but unlikely to significantly increase the power of an individuals’ overall influence on the political system, above a ballot box vote. (i.e. the influence of an individuals’ vote within a ballot system, is nominally close to zero)
Contemporary governmental structures have the staff, the competency hierarchies, the distribution of tasks, and the systems of approvals, in place, all that needs to change is the mandate by which they operate. Switching from centralised mandates under the influence of monied interests, to decentralised mandates as a function of collaboration by the individual, will not change the structure or function, only the mandate.
People in power can stay in their positions, however they will become answerable to the citizenry, rather than corporate interests. Politicians can continue to serve in their roles, severing the need to campaign, point-score, and squabble, providing a clear path to serve the constituency with all the vigour and veracity which they can muster.
A pinnacle goal for IOV would be to facilitate collation of voter consideration, all the way up to matters of global import. International collaboration, as a function of input by individuals, is likely to deliver vastly different outcomes to that of our contemporary structure. Consider warfare. To promote wars, economic or kinetic, a nation will need to demonstrate very good reasons to be spending tax-payer dollars upon such risky ventures as war, when diplomatic solutions are achievable.
Diplomatic interactions between nations are subject to economic influence, in the same manner which a nations direction is subject to the influence of monied interests internally. In both circumstances, the preferences of the individual have no consideration whatsoever upon the negotiations between nations. Indeed, it can be argued that the individual has no knowledge attributable to the complexities of global diplomacy, however, given a seat at the table, they may make choose to steer decisions along pathways which are less to do with economic back-scratching, and more focused upon benefit to the nations’ subjects.
As conscious beings, we are all innately aware of social consequences, yet, the extensive political landscape acts in ways which contravene how we would act, as individuals. To coerce third world farmers into economic slavery is abhorrent from a moral standpoint, yet, the law has facilitated herbicide manufacturers to do exactly that. Allowing Big Pharma to actively entice medical practitioners to prescribe narcotics which are known to be highly addictive to unsuspecting patients, all in the service of profit, is genocidal, yet has been facilitated under US law for the past two decades. Invading a foreign country on the strength of a false “Intelligence” suspicion of manufacturing nuclear weapons, killing and maiming innocent people, destroying homes and infrastructure, then attempting to install a compliant government, all for the sake of initiating US banking services and securing oil reserves, is pernicious at best. The spirit of morality lies in all of us, whereas, the inscription of morality has been distorted, as a function of the powerbrokers whom make the laws. Stripping veto power back to the individual level, and distributing it across a platform which can facilitate moral decency at scale, is a primary objective for IOV.
National Revenue - total state revenue gathered from taxes and trade, then distributed as state expenditure.
Sectors - (portfolios) the various divisions across which the state provides funding.
Representatives - state workers whom enact policy, from the grunt work up to executive levels.
Agenda Arena - the interface, where people vote on state expenditure.
Policy - the existing state structure, which may be subject to change, but is effectively constant as a set of governing protocols.
Vote Portal - the engine room of IOV, where policy meets preference.
Proposals, Comments, Support - where everyone has their say.
Voters - the people.
Voter ID - various methods which can be employed as voter registration, with successful identity recognition allowing access to IOV and issue of vote tokens.
(not everyone will want to be identified across all mediums, however a complete ID profile would support validation with regard to contributions to IOV)
To participate in IOV, it is proposed the voter must demonstrate an amount of competence toward the area of interest in which they wish to vote. A series of questions, offered as a direction finder for the individual, can anticipate fundamental values applied to that area of interest, culminating in the selection of the voters choice.
As part of this, opposing arguments will be posted, by representatives or interested contributors, upon which the voter must follow a decision tree, in order to validate their choice. If voting for a single representative, their values must maintain sufficient alignment with that of the representative. If voting on issues, they must display sufficient cohesion with the issue, in order to support or oppose it.
If you want to play a part, roll your sleeves up and contribute, otherwise, sit down and stop whinging.
In the modern era, effective forms of protest, against policies generated by wealthy elites controlling governmental policy, are all but toothless. The sheer number of issues being pushed back upon, means there are so many splintered protest groups, that no one group has enough impetus or disruption, to be given a second thought by either the wealthy elites, or the government policy, and any subsequent militarised policing which they direct. The power structures are geared up to crush any leading protest movements with increased punitive measures, either in the form of state violence, or through legislation criminalising those who demonstrate discontent against the direction in which governmental policy is heading. The days of effective protest in the streets are over, there are simply too many problems to be addressed, so the likelihood of successful mobilisation to a common cause is increasingly unlikely.
We are moving into the digital era, and so too must our capacity to push back against exploitative governmental policies. IOV intends to offer policy decisions to the individual, radically altering the landscape of self-centred rent seeking behaviour, by wealth interests and their puppets. To that end, protesting is a peaceful process, carried out as a function of positive input to the network of civic administration. In effect, the protesting will be done online, individually and collectively, without having to overcome governmental nepotism, which facilitates policy of wealth interests, over the will of people. Protesting will become a thing of the past, liberated from the gatekeepers of state imposed violence.