The e-Publica Project
“Behavior is motivation that has been filtered through opportunity”
- Clay Shirky
“You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
- R. Buckminster Fuller
Creating the framework for an independant heterarchical government, to exist exclusively within the digital arena, may be applied to the re-imagination of interpersonal political operations, how those operations are determined, and how they are maintained.
In contrast to current physically rooted, traditionally offline, border-based democratic governmental configurations working on assumptions of stable territories and physical control, which becomes both impractical and operationally self-undermining, such a framework will facilitate interdependent systems thinking, legitimate co-creation of analog reality, and a more genuine system of collective self-governance.
Part 1: Defining the new approach
A government is the system by which a state or community is governed. (Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press. November 2010.)
- Government is not a person, or place, but instead is a system
A heterarchy is a system of organization replete with overlap, multiplicity, mixed ascendancy, and/or divergent-but-coexistent patterns of relation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterarchy)
A heterarchy may be parallel to a hierarchy, subsumed to a hierarchy, or it may contain hierarchies; the two kinds of structure are not mutually exclusive. In fact, each level in a hierarchical system is composed of a potentially heterarchical group which contains its constituent elements.
The concept of heterarchy was first employed in a modern context by Warren McCulloch in 1945. As Carole L. Crumley has summarised, “[h]e examined alternative cognitive structure(s), the collective organization of which he termed heterarchy. He demonstrated that the human brain, while reasonably orderly was not organized hierarchically. This understanding revolutionized the neural study of the brain and solved major problems in the fields of artificial intelligence and computer design.” (McCulloch (1945), “A heterarchy of values determined by the topology of nervous nets”, pp. 89-93. Crumley (1995), “Heterarchy and the analysis of complex societies”, p. 3.)
Heterarchy + Government = Hetacracy
Hetacracy: A system of governance weighted by overlap, multiplicity, mixed ascendancy, and/or divergent, but coexistent, patterns of relation as the mechanisms for crowdsourcing emergent policies to sustain a given populace.
Part 2: Formalizing the new approach: Focused Track
- Name: The ePublica Project
- Respublica (latin): Republic, state, commonwealth, community, political affairs, administration
- Electronic Media + Respublica = ePublica
Through crowdsourcing efforts to create a completely new governmental framework, and entirely within the context of cyberspace, we are given the opportunity to assess and develop every aspect of governance without any of the limitations of geography, concurrence, populace, and scaling.- Description: The ePublica Project is the attempt to address the shortcomings inherent to all traditionally established and maintained governmental entities by circumventing them altogether.
Taking into consideration the ReConCon to emerge from 04/26/13, I found common sentiments between a number of them. Combining those sentiments with another I discussed with friend, and professional futurist Garry Golden, on the creation of an independent online national/governmental body, I found synergy in doing so to move my idea into the prototyping phase.
- Also, inspiration on the technology side includes:
Linux, Wikipedia, Twitter, Ushahidi, Folding@Home, BitCoin
- Digital platform based governance development system
- Voluntary indoctrination into system/voluntary citizenship
- Rules and requirements to be crowdsourced
- System development maintained as open-source
- Giving “gov-developers” free rein over what projects to work on, what direction to take their efforts in, etc.
- While still maintaining complete public oversight from other users/citizens
- Videogame based/leveling up elements within system
- Allow users to obtain status/develop citizenry+governing skills/contribute precise efforts to emergent societal problems
- Short term:
- ePublica-esque thinking integrated into traditional nation-state governmental operations/government leaders
- Ending “refugee” phenomena
- Anyone with system access can sustain individual sovereignty regardless of location/living situation
- Long term:
- Universal inclusion/enfranchisement/liberty
- Elimination of nation-states/borders
- Geographical/societal/cultural liberation
- General awesomeness
- Internet access based
Timeline after implementation:
- Underestimation/Dismissal: 2013-2015
- Rapid Adoption/Experimentation/Evolution/Controversy/Potential Conflict: 2015-2023
- Overestimation of potential: 2023-2030
- Plateau of change: 2030+
Part 3: Prototyping the new approach