User:Justin Bailey

From electowiki

Home needed for delegable proxy resources and activism

My goal

I am hoping to gather all the important data about delegable proxy into one place, where people can find:

  • An introduction to the system;
  • Background on the current system, including its relevant shortfalls;
  • Delegable proxy's history, including past proposals;
  • Current implementations of delegable proxy;
  • Strategies for enacting delegable proxy;
  • Legal and administrative issues concerning delegable proxy;
  • Answers to common objections;
  • Information on the major players in the field and their work;
  • Resources for getting involved.

Static and dynamic resources

I want to create both a static resource and a dynamic resource, which together would comprise an up-to-date and definitive work on delegable proxy.

Static resource

The static resource would probably take the form of a book, published online and possibly in print, analogous to Every Vote Counts, which was published by the National Popular Vote movement to gather the most pertinent information about their proposal into one comprehensive resource. New editions could be published periodically. The advantages of a static resource include that it can be more readily cited by page and edition, and if it's in print, you can carry it around, etc.

Another example might be how proponents of private roads compiled a bunch of essays by leading scholars, officials, etc. into the book Street Smart, which is a great resource for activists. Someone leaning toward the idea can read that book and not only become more convinced of the merits of the idea but also equip himself with facts and arguments to persuade others. In that sense, it is a good form of outreach.

Yet another example of such a compendium is Ayn Rand's Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal which is a series of essays covering a broad range of issues related to the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of capitalism. Given the scarcity of practical experience with delegable proxy, this book might resemble that in some ways. So that people don't get blindsided when they go into the world and get confronted with a lot of objections, a lot of times these collections will include an opposing essay; an example of this is how the Reader on Second Assembly and Parliamentary Proposals includes the essay An Idea Whose Time Has Not Come pointing out some potential difficulties with the other writers' proposal.

Static resource

The dynamic resource would probably include a wiki. My goal is to enable people with varied interests to come in and build their own little kingdoms while still staying abreast of others' activities in the field. For instance, I want to implement delegable proxy at GMU, so I could start a project dealing with that, while others could start separate projects on their own implementations and proposals. Announcements could be made at whatever local equivalent of the Village Pump or Signpost we implement, and we would feature certain projects on the Main Page. Certain parts of the wiki would attract participation from all the little sub-projects, such as the central list of external links to relevant projects. And of course there would be ongoing proposals for large-scale action (i.e. national or global) which users would invite one another to participate in.

The quandary

I've been trying to figure out the best way to do this. On the one hand, Abd and I were talking about setting something like this up at BeyondPolitics. Having a wiki with a very specific focus – delegable proxy – would allow us to bring all of the site's resources and bandwidth to bear in promoting delegable proxy. For instance, the Main Page would be devoted to delegable proxy, rather than being shared with other stuff. Someone hitting Recent Changes would see only delegable proxy-related stuff.

However, one of the downsides to starting a new wiki is you have to spend a lot of time playing with the technical aspects in trying to figure out what the heck you're doing. Wikipedia has a lot of bots and templates already set up to help with certain maintenance stuff; we might not have that. Also, it's not clear whether there would be enough participation to keep the site changing and vibrant. Wasteful duplication of labor could be an issue if people continue working on parallel lines outside the wiki; the site would need to be well-publicized to avert that. Also, unless we came up with some sort of linking between the WikiProjects (similar to how you can go to Wikipedia and use the m: prefix to go to Meta Wiki) going from one to the other would be less than seamless. As it is, separate accounts have to be maintained on each wiki and you can't trace the same person's contribution history across all the wikis in a unified way.

Is there a way to implement this concept within Electorama? I suppose we could set up out own WikiProject, and people desiring just to watch pages within that site could configure their Recent Changes and Watchlists accordingly. I think there is third party software that can be brought to bear on Recent Changes. Within that WikiProject, people could set up mini-WikiProjects. We would still have certain economies of scale associated with being part of the larger Electorama. We could have outside urls, such as, redirect to the WikiProject. Hmm, any ideas or thoughts on this?