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A Manifesto for the Impending Second American Revolution

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Author 19818
Message Carmen Yarrusso

Currently, sponsors and supporters of unreasonable legislation typically offer shallow, specious justifications and then simply evade inquiry. Mainstream media do little to challenge these specious justifications and when they do, our "representatives" simply spout more specious nonsense until the clock runs out.

A Wikiarguments system would prevent this evasion because it would require our "representatives" to not only justify their positions initially, but more importantly, to defend them from ongoing inquiry using clear, rational, written arguments. Unlike the ephemeral TV interviews, debates, and the public statements of our "representatives" -- their best arguments would always be right there on the Internet subject to scrutiny and inquiry by the American people.

The sheer idiocy of our current political system is easily illustrated. Unlike Congress, our Supreme Court gives us their best rational arguments -- pro and con -- to justify their votes, with both sides posted on the Internet for our scrutiny and comparison. Imagine if Supreme Court Justices weren't required to justify and defend their conclusions with clear, written, rational arguments. Suppose they could just vote and evade inquiry. Would we not see the assault on truth and sheer idiocy of such a system?

Imagine if scientists weren't required to justify and defend their positions with clear, written, rational arguments. Suppose they could just present their conclusions and evade inquiry. Would we not see the assault on truth and sheer idiocy of such a system?

So why don't we see the assault on truth and sheer idiocy of a political system that allows our "representatives" to evade giving us their best rational arguments for their positions (both sides posted on the Internet for our scrutiny and comparison). Is the integrity of our Congressional conclusions somehow less important to our lives than the integrity of our Supreme Court conclusions or our scientists' conclusions?

Is it not sheer idiocy to hold our Supreme Court and scientists to a high standard of truth, completely abandon that standard of truth for our "representatives," and then expect anything other than the immense wake of human suffering - clearly caused by our corrupt government -- here and throughout the world?

America is ripe for revolution.

Aspects of a Wikiarguments system

Wikiarguments is an Internet-based (wiki) system that would force congressional accountability and make government deception much more difficult. It would provide a secure mechanism for anonymous submissions to expose government deception, but, more importantly, it would also provide a simple system of forced accountability where our "representatives" could no longer evade giving us clear, rational justifications for their positions (instead of the evasive, specious claptrap they typically give us now).

We'd be able to visit an Internet site and view clear, rational arguments for all Congressional bills -pro and con--side by side for easy comparison. We wouldn't need mainstream media pundits to interpret government policies for us; we'd be getting both sides right from the horse's mouth. Evasions and flawed reasoning by either side would quickly become apparent. A search capability would allow us to find the current best arguments--pro and con--for any bill in Congress.

When a bill is introduced, those "representatives" initiating the bill would be required to post a clear, rational (wiki) argument explaining the merits of the bill. Those opposing the bill would then be required to post their corresponding clear, rational (wiki) argument explaining why the bill is unreasonable and shouldn't pass.

What makes a Wikiarguments system such a powerful weapon against government evasion and deception is this: the individual arguments are dynamic. As you will see, dynamic arguments prevent lots of mischief and tend to punish liars while rewarding truth-tellers. The individual wikiarguments would be managed much like Wikipedia entries except there would be multiple entries per subject (pro and con arguments) instead of the one entry per subject in Wikipedia.

Thus all members of Congress would be able to edit--update and improve--the wikiarguments they favor. Both sides of an issue would be free to update their respective wikiargument as new facts emerge, to correct mistakes, or to highlight flaws in the opposing wikiargument. In this manner, wikiarguments for both sides--pro and con--would evolve as collaborative efforts, which would converge toward a best (consensus) argument for each side of any given issue (bill).

A Wikiarguments system would differ significantly from a forum-type venue--where people argue back and forth--because the emphasis is on an evolving, converging, end product: the current best argument(s) for each side of an issue. The emphasis would be on building a clear, concise, rational argument for a given position, which would then compete with its corresponding--opposing--argument openly on the Internet.

The American people would watch as wikiarguments for each side evolve and do battle on the Internet. Our "representatives" would not be able to fool us with deceptions because any evasions, flaws, speciousness, or other deceptions would be promptly emphasized in the corresponding opposing wikiarguments, which would be posted on the Internet for the entire world to see.

But unreasonable bills are often supported by both political parties because both are typically bribed by the same big money. How would a Wikiarguments system force our "representatives" to post honest arguments against such unreasonable bills? By providing two additional--pro and con--"shadow" wikiarguments for each issue that could be edited anonymously by anyone on earth, like Wikipedia entries.

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Carmen Yarrusso, a software engineer for 35 years, designed and modified computer operating systems (including Internet software). He has a BS in physics and studied game theory and formal logic during his years with the math department at (more...)
 
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