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WikiArguments: a Simple, Efficient, and Effective Way to Completely Eliminate Deceit in Congress

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Carmen Yarrusso
Message Carmen Yarrusso

WikiArguments is an Internet-based (wiki) system developed in 2008 by software engineer, Carmen Yarrusso, that, if adopted by Congress, would force congressional accountability and make government deception virtually impossible. It provides a secure mechanism for anonymous public (wiki) arguments to expose government deception, but, more importantly, it also provides a simple system of forced accountability where members of Congress could no longer avoid giving us clear, rational justifications for their positions (instead of the evasive, specious claptrap they often give us now). This system is described in several published articles on the Internet.

If adopted by Congress, WikiArguments would efficiently expose any attempt at deceit by our members of Congress. If they could no longer deceive us, they would find it nearly impossible to enact special-interest legislation. Corporations would stop spending big money trying to influence Congress because Congress could no longer deliver the goods. The extremely lucrative lobbyist market of buying and selling political influence would crash because, if our representatives could no longer deceive us, political influence would be essentially worthless.

The philosophy behind WikiArguments; why it would revolutionize government.

Our current political system, with crucial help from mainstream media, allows and even promotes blatant deception and evasion by our government representatives. They're never forced to justify their positions with clear, rational arguments (written down so they can be scrutinized).

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 public statements by 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 (with 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 members of Congress, and then expect anything other than the immense wake of human suffering - clearly caused by our corrupt government - here and throughout the world?

General Aspects of a WikiArguments system.

The American people would 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 deception and evasion 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.

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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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