What's your thought on the current state of PPAU internal democracy? Should we experiment with a new voting system?

Dear Pirates,

thank you for your interest and the introduction of the Policy Incubator, which we think is a well done prototype for top-down policy-making with an improved participatory government-style.

If you like, we want to show you, how the Policy Incubator incubates within the field of Extended Liquid Democracy (ELD). Therefore, we first want to specify in more detail what I) characterizes top-down and bottom-up tools in the ELD-Eisberg model.
In a second step, we want to II) intensify (y)our understanding of the Eisberg model and then III) integrate the Policy Incubator as well as the Schulze preferential method within the ELD-Eisberg model and show you, what is missing for a Real Liquid Feedback.
If you like, we can afterwards discuss ELD and the Policy Incubator within an example as @Guy proposed. Perhaps you have some other ideas for important practical questions (or scenarios) to be discussed?

I) First, please let us make our ELD-inherent distinction of collective top-down and bottom-up processes more clearly (see figure 1: The ELD-Eisberg model):


A (single) top-down process on the community-level is characterized by a closed question including 1 to 2 proposals (e.g. “Do you want/prefer proposal A (or B)?”), coupled with nominal (non-metric) black-or-white scales (i.e. Yes/No; Yes or No; A or B).

A (multiple) bottom-up process on the community-level is characterized by (multiple) open questions concerning the most important problem to be solved (e.g. 1. “Which is the most important problem at the moment?”, 2. “What are the things that need to be changed concerning the most important problem?”, 3. “What are our goals to solve this problem?”, 4. “How can we solve this problem at best fit/match with our values and goals?”), mostly associated with an open gathering of more than 2 proposals or perspectives answering multiple open questions (which is integrated in the ELD-method or module called “Konsens-Café”). In bottom-up processes, open questions are further coupled with quality-specific, metric scales that measure the extent of every issue-quality P in question (e.g. P-rating scale from 0 = problem/solution has no importance; no fit or match with values and goals until 10 = highest importance; best fit or match with values and goals). Also possible are metric scales in terms of semantic differentials (e.g. a P’3-scale from -3 = very un-important until +3 = very important), which also includes the categorical information of majority votes as every negative answer reflects a ‘No’ - no agreement’, and a positive answer reflects a 'Yes" - agreement.

According to our ELD-Eisberg-Model a multiple bottom-up approach follows a certain minimal scheme that incorporates a universal concept of problem solving or a fully defined intention, respectively (and to be comparable, self-similar and interoperable, a (multiple) top-down approach should also include these stages). In our paper “What is Real Liquid Feedback”, we describe these requirements of a fully defined intention in terms of 4 parts of a proposal or stages of self-coherent decision-making:
1. Priority of problem(s),
2. Current state, background and causes of an important problem,
3. Desired state and goals/criteria of best solution for an important problem,
4. Solutions to solve the problem or actions to reach the desired state according to common values and goals.
Psychological research has shown, that on the individual level, one is at risk of performance deficits, alienation, external determination, helplessness, apathy and depression, if the defining issues of an intention are not transparently and fully developed or “degenerated” (e.g. Kuhl & Helle, 1986; Kuhl, 1994).

In case of top-down majority votes, a position paper or proposal should therefore also reflect 1. Priority of the problem, 2. Background and causes of the problem, 3. most important criteria for a good solution, and 4. a solution, finally to be chosen by a sufficient amount of supporters. In contrast, with multiple bottom-up voting, the result is a ranking of concrete priority of problems, background/causes, and goals, as well as a ranking of suitability of solutions concerning their gradual fit/match with common goals. A leader, group or community can also act self-coherently with a well chosen top-down position or policy but it will not be possible to validly measure, sensibly differentiate and prove precise quantities of priorities and fit/match with people’s needs, common goals and expectations, i.e. to precisely measure the people’s will and representativeness of politics, without the implementation of mass-deliberating bottom-up methods.

II) Let us further intensify our understanding of the ELD-Eisberg model. Philosophically, we have three forms of self-consciousness and stages of our emerging will represented by the “Eisberg”, and realized by our ELD-capable brains:

  1. Above the water, we have the emerging/materializing Eisberg, reflecting a categorical (self as) object perception, as well as a more or less conscious decision realized by (self- to externally) controlled action. Philosophically spoken, above the water means “I am doing or ruling - so I am”.
  2. The water-surface mediates the emergence/materialization of the Eisberg, and reflects the moment of self-realization or emerging self-consciousness and a cognitive precondition for self-controlled action, which is an action plan or ranking of more or less valued/prefered issues, i.e. of problems, goals and solutions. The water-surface (with larger doubts representing larger waves) thereby may represents Descartes’ ‘res cognitas’: “I am thinking - so I am”.
  3. Under water, we have the more or less unseen potential of the Eisberg or the self and the will, reflecting a rather fuzzy pool of interests, wishes, needs, and more or less adequate goals and coping solutions that remain in a sub-conscious till unconscious motive-structure of un-/wishful alternatives. What’s happening under water is a more or less detailed matching, rating, comparison, and ranking of all sensations, needs/goals and solutions with associated positive or negative feelings as results. The Eisberg under water therefore may represent Damasio’s “I am feeling - so I am”.

Please notice: The ELD-Eisberg-Model aims to include all possible forms of self-consciousness and connects it with all possible discussion and voting methods by means of their inherent type of question (open vs. closed), scale-level (i.e. metric = bottom-up; ordinal = surface; nominal = top-down); and complexity (i.e. from single till multiple questions, alternatives and P-scales, different argument-levels and process iterations) to measure agreement, common welfare or well-being and to transparently depict the (emerging free) will.

III) So far and to our knowledge, circa 90% of existing open source voting and discussion tools, including the Policy-Incubator, only realize a rough depiction of a reduced little part of the self and the will with a more or less distorting, alienating and enslaving top-down design which is related to the top of the Eisberg above the water. In case of more complex problems, for example, there always is the risk of a false dilemma.
With the Schulze preferential method, in comparison, we have a method that is related to the surface of the water, as it measures the individual and collective ranking that results from pairwise, but intransparent comparisons of issues or candidates (under water).
Thereby, the result of voting via Policy Incubator and Schulze preferential method does not include any information about the absolute/concrete level of priority, suitability or precision of each issue, as it is possible only via bottom-up methods from the underwater-sphere. With Policy Incubator and Schulze preferential method, we only know that one issue is more preferred than the other(s), but we don’t know the concrete levels of and differences in priority, suitability, or precision, and why. The more we miss data from “underwater”, the more we are at risk of alienation, since we can not recognize and consequently correct the errors or corruption of thinking and action according to our implicit values, needs and goals.

The Policy-Incubator, related to the upper Eisberg-level called “Republikstandard”, thereby seems to be in a process of developing a top-down voting standard that increasingly incorporates the elements of a fully developed intention, which is a very wishful structure for structured collective problem-solving, more transparency and controlled action and to experimentally integrate and compare multiple top-down and bottom-up voting methods.
Thus, we appreciate and like to support a further development of the Policy-Incubator that may complete the cognitive elements of a fully developed intention (plus add-ons). We thereby recommend to think about additional scales at ordinal scale-level (besides Yes, and Yes or No), e.g. of an ordinal traffic lights-P-Scale that measures suitability, depicts conscientious decisions and implements an informative majority voting, including the circumstances and requirements under which people would find it a suitable solution, which helps to transparently optimize proposals.

However, compared to the possibilities of self-regulated and self-controlled policy-processes associated with open-questions and quality-specific bottom-up methods from the “underwater”-sphere of the ELD-Eisberg model (e.g. Schrotta, 2011; FixMyRepublic, for further examples see footnotes), there are still some problems of alienation and actionism that grassroots-communities are at risk of when using tools like the Policy-Incubator, or the Schulze preferential method.
For example, if a tool misses the open gathering of problems and their metric priority-ranking, all further discussions and policies might not meet the needs of the people the policy is made for, probably leaving a majority in passivity, and keeping politics and activists at risk of irrelevant actionism or corruption by foreign interests, not solving the causes of most relevant problems of the people or the grassrouts-base.
Another risk of alienation lies in the missing of a fully defined intention, or transparent problem and solution spaces, for example, when it comes to the missing common goal criteria the most suitable solution should be rated and found with; and the less informative value that lies in Yes- or No- and Schulze preferential votes concerning a solutions’ match with common values and goals. Thereby, some conscientious decisions contributing to the overall-result may be mixed up with another majority of voters that desided based on criteria that are foreign to their own or common needs, goals and criteria for a good solution, e.g. because they were smashed up in fights against each other, or manipulated, and were not explicitly asked to think about, simulate and (pi-) rate the concrete goal-fit of solutions.
Additionally, it does not systematically support intrinsic motivation and self-determined learning of common values, goals and the materialization of goal-coherent solutions, because the method-design misses an explicitly and participatory, open goal-setting and a Real Liquid Feedback about quality of (political) performance according to the common values, needs and goals. Therefore, most of the issues and risks we speak of and criticise in our article “Old LQFB is not Liquid Feedback” are also relevant for the Policy-Incubator.

But, if the Policy-Incubator increasingly and explicitly integrates the elements of a fully defined intention (plus add-ons*) into its structure of proposals, and maybe integrates a new traffic lights-P-Scale for conscientious reasoning, as well as multiple P-voting, e.g. for every element of a fully developed intention represented by multiple questions, it would become a better standard for participatory decision-making at the edge to (multiple) bottom-up voting that we could probably upgrade in the direction of a Real Liquid Feedback, and a fully developed Extended Liquid Democracy.


* As add-ons for fully defined intentions we recommend a standardized metric measurement and comparison of ratings of the current state (Ist) with ratings of a desired state (Soll), and of proposal(s) to change something (Was tun?). Besides ratings and discussion of Ist, Soll, Was tun, we recommend to additionally discuss chances, risks and barriers of doing nothing (passive solution reflecting the current state) and of the action proclaimed in a proposal (change solution). With bottom-up methods, a high resistance against the passive solution implicates a high motivation or urgency to change something; and a change proposal that has a higher resistance or lower suitability than the passive solution would indicate an unreasonable step backwards (e.g. Schrotta, 2011).

Kuhl, J. & Helle, P. (1986). Motivational and volitional determinants of depression: The degenerated-intention hypothesis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95(3), 247-251.
Kuhl, J. (1994). A theory of action vs. state orientation. In: J. Kuhl & J. Beckmann (Eds.), Volition and personality: Action vs. state orientation, Göttingen: Hogrefe, 9-46.
Schrotta (2011): Wie wir klüger entscheiden: einfach - schnell - konfliktlösend, Styria Print.


Thanks everyone, I’m really excited that this discussion is taking off!

I’d just like to add that I’m happy to answer questions or clarify anything about Jano’s research and writing, including in the linked-to articles that I translated.

As I’m sure I’ve said before, I consider the developing of participatory grass-roots democracy our Party’s pivotal role, setting us apart from other parties and adding value to the political landscape with the potential of revolutionising the way politics is run in a way that is too often oceans apart from the public interest. Also, participatory democracy is one of our core tenets bringing us together as a party. Needless to say, it’s one of the main reasons I joined PPAU and why I’m still here.

:heart: Laura


An interesting thought could be to think about participatory democracy as something that isn’t just pushed by the PPAU as a policy towards the government. But perhaps a possible future campaign is the concept of laterally promoting participatory democracy across other parties as well (even if its not adopted exactly as how PPAU does it, as long as the spirit is kept that could still be a win). This would be via encouraging internal reforms in other parties.

Hope it becomes a topic for the next National Congress 2018 (along with working with policy incubator etc…)


Hi Jana, Laura and all,

Thanks for sending your proposal for collaboration and the integration of the ELD-Eisberg-Model (Real Liquid Feedback) and Policy Incubator. If it’s ok with you I’d like to invite one of our key collaborators, Dr Nicholas Gruen, professor of economics, to join this discussion. Nicholas is in the Designing Open Democracy group and has been working on and proposing new models of democracy for a number years. His proposals include a ‘Citizen’s Jury’, and increasing quality deliberation in policymaking. I think he may have the knowledge and skills to understand your proposal in some depth, and possibly provide valuable feedback and suggestions.

I’m wondering if you could also provide answers to a few questions to clarify how ELD-Eisberg-Model would work, and how it might be integrated with Policy Incubator.

You mentioned that Policy Incubator is a ‘prototype for top-down policy-making’, but the intention is for it to be a bottom up, deliberative policymaking system. See the attached (very basic) flow diagram.

Could you clarify how it is top down? From what I understand Policy Incubator has a relatively unstructured, open format for policymaking (so far), and the ELD-Eisberg-Model provides a far more structured policymaking format. Is that right? Actually, I’m doing an online course on policy development at UC Berkeley to learn how to implement a more structured approach to policymaking, so your ELD-Eisberg-Model sounds exactly what we were looking for, Could you provide any further comments?

I appreciate that the Policy Incubator voting functions provide only black/white options. Actually, voting for policies gives a YES option only while referendums allow YES/NO options. I see how the ELD-Eisberg-Model provides far more voting alternatives, like options on marketing research surveys. Your model could offer great potential for internal party policymaking procedures, which could possibly be licensed to other political parties to create a new political system in which people’s needs are more effectively met, similar to how companies adjust their strategies in response to market research questionnaires to better satisfy customer needs (this is just a thought, not a proposed business model).

On another point, I’ve been discussing with Nicholas Gruen how we could increase the effectiveness of Policy Incubator policy deliberation by implementing a new comments rating system, so that issues posted, comments posted on issues, policies and policy comments would be rated by community members. In this way the posts (and contributors) with the most merit would be rated and highlighted. Such a rating system could be a 1-5 scale, or grey scale as I think you’ve already proposed for policy votes.

Could a system like this for comment votes make the system more deliberative and meritocratic, and integrate with the ELD-Eisberg-Model?

Here’s a quote from an article by Nicholas, and the link below:

“One of the issues of the day is how one might be able to use the internet to scale such things. It’s not an easy question. As I’ve argued, in some ways the internet makes things worse, as it speeds the pace of deliberation and people refine their clickbaiting capabilities. But the Melbourne based website YourView tries to scale democratic deliberation by hosting discussions with the back end of the website helping to work out who is contributing to the conversation in the way that others find most constructive. Thus it rewards what it calls “epistemic virtues” by giving those that exhibit them higher credibility scores. It’s more complicated than this, but it will do for discussion to say that those with high credibility are those who make comments on issues which are rated most highly by those who disagree with them.”

‘YourView’ has been shut down but Nicholas has offered to talk to the founder/s about the possibility of us using some of the code.

Also, further to mofosyne’s suggestion, which userbase (target market) would the proposed platform be designed for? Would it be for internal Pirate Party use, other political parties, the general public (domestic and/or international), to create a whole new political and government system, or a combination? Which of these alternatives would produce the largest impact?

The answer to these questions will help to determine other factors, including ownership and management structure, investment alternatives, product development and revenue models (if any).

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

All the best,


Dear Guy and all,

thank you for your answer, feedback and interesting questions. Of course, we would appreciate it, if Dr. Nicholas Gruen would join our discussion!

ok. We can give you some more information concerning the ELD-Eisberg model and the related methods, and how to integrate and extend the Policy Incubator (concept) within the field of Extended Liquid Democracy (see figure 1 above capturing the ELD-Eisberg model).

First, we like to make some more distinctions concerning the method categories above and under water:

  • On the one hand, the ELD-Eisberg model reflects the final (materialized) realization of the Eisberg above the water, i.e. the final resolution, which in line with the “Republikstandard” is found by a Yes/No - majority vote. If the final resolution is made by a legally binding referendum, it is called direct democracy. If the final resolution is made by groups of representatives or a parliament, it is called representative democracy.

  • On the other hand, there are bottom-up methods, the underwater sphere including the water surface, which are associated with the emergence of the will and preferences, and an open participatory decision-making before the final resolution. With the concept of Extended Liquid Democracy, we primarily focus on the processes and results, which should naturally occur before the stage of final resolution above the water.

In contrast to the legally fixed final resolution format realized by Yes/No majority-voting, the format of the decision-making process before the final resolution is, besides proposals for certain quorums, less legally fixed. So we think, besides the Yes-quorums described in Guy’s flow chart of the policy-making process, there is still a good space for theory and experimenting with open questions, decisions with more than 2 solutions/proposals, rating of different argument levels and additionally using ordinal and metric scales as quality indicators in the phase of decision-making before the final resolution.

Yes, that’s right. While Policy Incubator incorporates a rather unstructured minimal standard, the ELD-Eisberg model is a more structured theoretical and complex scientific approach.

In your flow chart of the concept of policy-making with the Policy Incubator, you describe a process where one issue of citizens’ interests are brought up to another political class-level (the policy-maker) where the proposal is written and optimized until it is finally decided by referendum. As your concept integrates participatory and direct democratic elements of resolution, it can be included within ELD as a rather unstructured, participatory tool under the top-down (resolution-like) procedures related to the top of the Eisberg above the water. Top-down methods with single solutions and nominal scales, even for more complex problems, thereby have the lowest level of freedom and information in expressing the result of more complex considerations and comparisons of alternatives compared to bottom-up methods.

The following basic assumptions of the ELD-Eisberg model underline this:

  • A method is categorized as top-down when it includes closed questions concerning up to 2 issues that are answered by a nominal scale of either Yes or No.

  • A method is categorized as bottom-up when it includes open questions, an open gathering of a diversity of more than 2 problems and/or solutions and feedback is given with traffic light (ordinal) or more sensitive, metric scales (e.g. like a thermometer) for every alternative.

Comparing the definitions of bottom up and top-down processes in political sociology versus natural sciences of self-organization and the will, we think to recognize a difference or bias that may be caused by a rather ideologically framed political sociology of governance. Political sociology of governance often seems to frame bottom-up and top-down processes by class stereotypes according to a more or less undoubted power hierarchy. Thereby, the formation of the will is (ideologically pseudo-) explained by personified power hierarchies of authorities (e.g. citizens, politicians, leaders and final God) - instead of a structural ELD-theory of the will and rational criteria for conscientious decision-making and public welfare.

In Psychology, bottom-up processes (on the individual level) are associated with the stimulus-driven parts of perception and action, and with the emergence of automatized habits and conditioned behaviour that instrumentally reduce or change an unwanted state. There are a lot of autonomous and less conscious processes and needs that may be relevant for self-regulation and an organisms’ homoeostasis. In contrast, top-down processes (on the individual level) are associated with the cognitive parts of perception, self-controlled action and volitional efficiency, that for example enable the identification of objects, self-discrimination, attentional control, e.g. the ignoring of irrelevant ideas and options, and behavioural persistence in executing a certain plan to reach an important goal or a desired state.

In self-organizing groups of equal members, bottom-up is related to the open, decentral and pluralistic pattern formation of a group’s will by a free, equal and sensitive prioritization of inner-democratic needs or an upcoming group consensus about most fitting solution(s). In contrast, top-down (at the group level) is related to a monistic resolution, centralized government and execution of any will by enslaving individual degrees of freedom and dominating a group’s discussion, planning and action progress in favour of anyone’s goals.

Yes, we hope so.

Yes, the ELD-theory and the Eisberg model make several structural assumptions for an upgraded self-organized collective intelligence (e.g. via FixMyRepublic). These are for example:

  • the distinctions of bottom-up versus top-down processes and decision methods,
  • of psychological mind sets for self-coherent goal setting versus the execution of one’s will,
  • of an information and discussion phase that can be iterated, in terms of “quiet revolutions”, to transparently optimize proposals before the final resolution;
  • a problem solving and proposal-structure for a fully defined intention and the TOTE-unity, possibly with multiple votings on varying argument levels,
  • and universal rational choice criteria that may increase efficiency, coherence with common goals and representativeness through performance-contingent (real-time) liquid feedback.

The ELD-theory further suggests several algorithms for the initiation and utilization of bottom-up and top-down methods and processes, e.g. to avoid people unconsciously being forced into false dilemmas and inhibited in their freedom of expression and choice concerning their intuitive and rational processes and results of matching, rating, comparing and ranking of concrete needs, goals and actions (under water).

Moreover, there is an ELD-inherent categorization of methods resulting in different modules that can be worked with on different (sub-)argument levels. At the moment, we differentiate 5 ELD-modules including the Republikstandard module A and the Real Liquid Feedback modules B to E:

  • Module A (usal majority voting) = characterized by single or multiple closed questions with up to 2 options, nominal rating (e.g. Yes, YES/No) and discussion of pro and/or contra

  • Module B (informative majority voting) = characterized by closed or open questions with up to 3 options, ordinal rating (e.g. a traffic-light scale measuring the solutions fit with common goals) and discussion of reasons for fit (green), non-fit (red), and anticipated conditions of fit (yellow).

  • Module C (quick selectional consensus) = characterized by open questions with more than 2 or 3 options, metric ratings of priority, suitability/fit or precision, and discussion of reasons

  • Module D (medium to intensive selectional consensus) = characterized by open questions with more than 2 or 3 options, multiple metric ratings of priority, suitability/fit and precision and iteration of discussion process to optimize proposals.

  • Module E (quick to intensive Consensus Cafés) = characterized by multiple open questions, e.g. for solving complex sub-/problems with single to multiple ordinal to metric quality scales and iterations of discussion phases to decentrally and equally create and optimize a common codex, manifest or management.

We further like to discuss some use cases and results of these ELD-modules

within a fictional scenario:

It comes up in an independent grassroots community that a team member wears a weapon. Some team members want to discuss its relevance and acceptance.

Which possibilities does the community have to discuss this topic and self-organize with the help of an ELD-compatible platform?

Self-organization, a posteriori (after the incident) with:

  • Module A: a majority voting concerning the question whether it should be allowed to wear a weapon with a pro/contra discussion with yes or no as options.

  • Module B: an informative majority voting (of experts, a jury, community-members) concerning the question whether and under which circumstances the wearing of a weapon is acceptable by law or fits with the codex of the group by means of a traffic-lights-scale plus comments including conditions of fit. If there is a majority for no-fit and “fits under conditions” further proceed with module C…

  • Module C: Evaluating the degree of violence of the deviant behaviour with a necessary 80% agreement in ratings of independent, blinded raters (e.g. experts, a jury, community members). The level of violence which is reached by an 80% consensus is associated with a specific a priori fixed sanction level in a treatment list that is build before the incidence (Module D).

Self-organization, a priori (before the incident) with:

  • Module C: A regular discussion and priority ranking via metric priority ratings of (most) important problems and goals in the community to be discussed or solved.

  • Module C: A discussion about how to improve safety in the community according to common values and goals, especially when it is given a high priority by the community members.

  • Module D: Building and optimizing a list of automatized tailored treatment dependent on the 80% agreement of experts and community members concerning a specific treatment or sanction that should be given for a certain degree of violence or deviant behaviour.

  • Module D: Optimizing a specific part of the codex by including specific circumstances, under which it is allowed to wear weapons according to common values, i.e. an additional iteration of a former consensus process with metric quality ratings of fit and precision.

  • Module E: Building and optimizing a codex, manifest or management of violent or deviant behaviour.

Please note that with bottom-up methods, there is an increasing freedom of expression and decision, and complexity with additional valuable information concerning the people’s will, differences between options and conditions of agreement, by ensuring equality and justice and by serving the potential of various forms of autonomous, decentralized self-organization.

The Extended Liquid Democracy includes empirical methods similar to those used in market research, as it incorporates qualitative and quantitative self-report methods but based on scientific theories of self-organization, motivation and self-determined action. The ELD includes a rational choice model of self-coherent decision and action as well as a scientific humanistic approach to measure the will and common welfare. See figure 2 capturing the logo of Extended Liquid Democracy which is also a model for the functioning of the soul, the self and science:


The definition of Extended Liquid Democracy (ELD) thereby is as follows:

"In a real democracy people freely, equally and cooperatively strive to avoid pain (P-) and to sustain or multiply happiness (P+)."

Yes, the effectiveness may be especially increased with quality-specific metric ELD-subscales and quality indicators, since it becomes possible to sort or filter arguments in order to their priority, suitability, precision or correctness and to self-regulate and learn more efficiently through performance-contingent liquid feedback. If it is possible to mark and associate single text parts with a high or low quality and the different overall quality-ratings of the text, it becomes possible to create a heat-map of a text that further explains the result of the overall (info) quality measures of arguments or news etc. We also have thought about such a prototype and an associated quality-index for news and proposals and to rate quality of information presented in discussions.

A scale from 1 to 5 would rather be an ordinal scale level (at the surface), but without any clue what is measured with it. Together with metric scales, e.g. numerical rating scales from 0 to 10 or semantic differentials at a metric scale level, we called it grey scales in terms of measurement of degrees of resistance between black and white. The most of our P-scales and response modes, i.e. for voting via traffic lights-P-scale and semantic P-differentials, however, are better reflected by different (shades of) colours.

We think it is a very good idea to enable ratings of arguments and sub-arguments to improve discussion and to facilitate the recognition and correction of fake news or false arguments, hate speech etc… Within the ELD, the evaluation of sub-arguments is a generally recommended add-on for all discussion modules or levels of the Eisberg. This means, it is not primarily more deliberative (i.e. more bottom-up and uncensored), but it is probably more precise and correct, and promoting a higher quality of information and discussion as a precondition for good decisions.

We think that the possible userbase of ELD-tools promoting value-oriented self-organization is much bigger than from the political context only, where one could say that a party’s or NGO’s aim in general is to give public services for a need-oriented development of policies and proposals to solve common problems of citizens in coherence with human rights…

Perhaps you have some additional suggestions and ideas?
We are looking forward to the further discussion, your comments and questions! :slight_smile:

Jana and Laura


Please note that the amount of “quiet revolutions” needed to optimize our three answers here before a “final resolution” (which could be next) increased with increasing size and complexity of the text. :wink:

The term “revolution” in physics is defined as the amount of revolutions needed to drill a hole into a board. From this background, we define “quiet revolutions” as the amount of mental revolutions, i.e. iterations of information and discussion phase, to solve a specific problem.


What’s up with you, Pirates?

You wanted to know what’s real liquid feedback. You wanted this thread to think out of the box of the fucking categorical accumulation error. But now, when you are informed, you keep quite and further praise politics without any quality measurement of people’s will?

What can be more important to change the system to meet the people’s needs and those of future generations?

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I like you to elaborate on the reason to not change. Is is because the current system is already responsive enough for you? Or is it a concern to the danger of testing a new system?

Or do you have some nuances between the two to elaborate upon?

Short answer is no.
Just look at the number of participating members.
Is participatory democracy not one of our core tenets?
In my experience we don’t use or even develop the tools to make group decision-making nuanced, scientifically grounded, systematic and effectively scaleable.

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The reason why we don’t actually have a democracy, but a “demon(s)cracy” can be substantiated by at least 3 cornerstones:

  1. Our current political system – in terms of black-and-white framed decision-making by quality-unspecific majority voting and false dilemmas – is primarily based on ideology and psychological mechanisms of mass manipulation, similar to psychological experiments of conformity and authoritarianism by Asch (1951) and Milgram (1961). Thereby, instead of measuring the voter’s (free) will, representatives’ performance and common welfare, what is measured is the success of mass manipulation.

  2. There is an inherent homunculus (pseudo-explanation) within the current theory and practice of direct and representative democracy, when it comes to explaining psychologically how conscientious and value-oriented decisions and free will are concretely formed in best practice without reverting back to a god, demon or homunculus. We have a pseudo-democracy because no scientifically based discussion systems exist to transparently structure and implement collective intentions, to measure the will of the people, and performance or level of qualification of delegates, nor to prove claims of politicians working in the interest of welfare and representativeness.

  3. There is insufficient separation of state and church. In spite of scientific progress, the staged vowing under God (e.g. by members of the government) still replaces the measuring of reason and common welfare (i.e. a systematic, transparent and quality-oriented reality check combined with real-time control and protection of basic rights). Thereby, mental corruption, deterioration of values, and alienation can not be sensitively recognized, and external or political top-down control are the rule rather than the exception.

While in a Demon(s)cracy it is measured how well mass manipulation has worked while reverting to God, in a real democracy appropriate discussion tools such as an Extended Liquid Feedback concretely measures what the voter wants, how well someone is suited for an office, to what extend a proposal is suited to solve a specific problem of importance (or met specific quality criteria) and how much a solution matches our core values and universal human rights (the actual “Black CORRUPTION Box” before the final resolution).

s.a. https://janonymous-and-the-rabbit-hole.net/2018/05/24/enough-of-demonscracy/

We think that the actual political ideology-framed standard of pseudo-democracies, with socially repressing minorities instead of majorities and black-or-white-thinking psychologically interferes with free and conscientious decision making. Therefore the actual standard is not suited to intelligently solve complex problems of mankind and to transparently depict free, pluralistic opinion formation as a product of collective self-awareness, self-organisation and conscientious reasoning (i.e. something like the Weltgeist).

@mofosyne, what do you have against more (collective) self-consciousness and reason as a precondition of not mass-smashing against the Eisberg? :wink:

I do not see a reason to stay behind scientific innovation to improve decision making and learning of politics in coherence with human rights and to use digitalisation for empowerment of the people in conscientious reasoning, media competence and collective problem solving, except perhaps from the view of ruling elites.

Within ELD, there will be different or other mechanisms of an open, goal- and value-oriented collective problem-solving that teaches, and requires other and more sophistic soft skills and ideals than the actual used habits of persuasion and conformity associated with political carriers. I do not want to be successful in such a system, except in fixing the aforementioned bugs.

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This. I want this. Power to the people!

the layout of the forum threads can be confusing, but I think mofosyne’s request to elaborate was directed at tim (who withdrew his post) rather than at you, and might not reflect mofosyne’s personal stance. :wink:

That said, I also think that self-consciousness of the collective and Reason are necessary for us to be able to navigate & sail around the iceberg.

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They obviously don’t want a better world. They are not interested in philosophy of collective self-consciousness and Weltgeist, nor to validly measure their own priorities. We are damned to die without a chance for a real humane change.

As I said in the other thread:

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This is a complex academic topic. I’ve been turning over ideas in my head for ways to implement it, but parts of the model are above my head as well. Is there a way we could eg restructure the forum code of conduct using this model?

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Dear Miles,

thanks for your comment and question. What do you mean with “forum code of conduct”, exactly?

You are right, (self-)consciousness and democratic self-organization of a collective intelligence, associated with empirical methods from social sciences are a rather complex topic.

However, an ELD upgrade of internal party democracy can be implemented step by step at an elementary level (i.e. a certain scaling method) to modular level (i.e. a certain discussion method).

Dear Pirates,

I apologize for my negativism in my comment before and for the many complex issues and long texts I presented here. It might have also overloaded your time capacities.


Could you help us out by laying out some of the steps we can try?


Dear @miles_w and Pirates,

I am sorry for answering so late.

Thank you very much for your interest and this very nice open question. Of course, it is a pleasure for me to introduce you to possible first steps towards practising Extended Liquid Democracy (ELD).

To remind you, the Goals of Extended Liquid Democracy are:

  • to ensure an open, pluralistic and humane win-win scenario for discussion and selection of contents before the final resolution (instead of only and always the same monistic quality-unspecific majority voting constituting anti-pluralistic, polarizing win-lose scenarios without ensuring basic human rights, progress and representativeness)

  • to ensure a value-/goal- and client-oriented (i.e. quality-specific) discussion/rating and transparent selection of issues before the final resolution

  • a reduction of alienating (mass-)manipulation and top-down government

In the following, we therefore developed 3 introductory modules for Quick and Selective Consensus and quality-specific majority voting (Traffic-Lights Module) that refer to the discussion and selection phase before the final resolution.

In summary the 3 introductory ELD Modules consist of:

  • three discussion methods, each with an info/brainstorming and a discussion/rating phase, and a certain cut-off point (for selecting accurately fitting priority issues)

  • three primary criteria of quality measurement (Formal Precision, Relevance and Suitability/Fit)

  • three levels of measurement (please see the following footnotes)

With metric quality measurement (Selectional Consensus), for example, one can transparently determine the intensity of needs and the extent of differences in quality between proposed issues.

With ordinal quality measurement (Traffic Lights Module), one can (only) determine the rank of needs or suitability of proposed issues, i.e. more relevant, suitable, i.e. better or worse, but without knowing the absolute intensity and extent of differences.

With nominal quality measurement (Quick Consensus), one can (only) determine wether a proposed issue has a certain quality or not, but without knowing the absolute intensity, extent of differences and rank concerning the expected quality of issues in question.

The ELD Theory thereby proposes that the level of measurement and the scale’s range have to be adopted according to the amount of issues to be discussed and differentiated from each other, which will be fully enrolled within the advanced version of ELD. s.a.:

"Between the Yes and the No,
there is the [innerdemocratical] scope
of the Self [and the Weltgeist]"
J. Kuhl


"… the unity with it Self,
given by itself [the individuality],
is exactly the liquidity of differences…"
G.W.F. Hegel

Proposal for a start-up ELD architecture

As a minimal start-up architecture for beginners to practise und learn the principles of ELD, we suggest the following modules 1) to 3) with three different quality measures and measurement levels:

1) Quick Consensus ELD Module: For preliminary reduction of redundancy and optimization of comprehensibility, clarity, formal/logical accuracy, and comparability of collected proposals and arguments on different argument levels. Therefore, a closed (quality-oriented) question is asked that is related to Formal problems with 1 single, a pair or bunch of proposals and that can be answered by either “Yes” (1 = one or more problems) or “No” (0 = no problem = quick consensus), e.g. “Do you see any concrete problems or possibilities to reduce redundancy and improve comprehensibility, clarity, accuracy and comparability of proposals x and y?” “Do you have any formal objectives against a proposal?”. This step ensures that all proposals are Formally equivalent and therefore comparable to eachother before any other content-based quality rating is performed, if possible without being confounded by any misspellings, missunderstandings, formal differences in issues’ description, and relatedness to different levels of abstraction etc.;

2) Selective Consensus ELD Module: For gathering, prioretizing and selecting the most important problem(s), interests/needs, content-based common goal criteria, core themes, tasks, solutions and lower level arguments. In contrast to a quick consensus procedure, selective consensus building starts with an open question and gathering of priority issues, partly including a passive solution (ps) reflecting the current status unchanged, or without the need to be changed, e.g. “There is no problem”, “Everything is fine”, “No (additional) common goal criteria” (brainstorming phase); whereby in the following discussion phase, each formally equivalent issue is rated on a seven- or eleven- point metric rating scale ranging from “strongly irrelevant” (-3 or -5 ~ high resistance) to “strongly relevant” (+3 or +5 ~ low resistance), in case of more than 2 or 3 issues to be rated. Additionally, reasons for higher or lower resistance as well as suggestions to improve Relevance are simultaniously gathered. Group mean scores of each priority issue are finally used to rank issues with highest priority on top; and to select a previously fixed number of most relevant issues, or all issues with Mean priority scores (Mp) above a certain cut-off point, e.g. Mp > 0, Mp > Mps, Mp >= 2 etc.;

3) ELD Traffic-Lights Module: For quality-specific majority voting based on ratings of 1 to max. 3 openly gathered or preselected solutions, including a passive solution (ps) that reflects the current status remaining unchanged, e.g. “Everything stays the same” . After ensuring comprehensibility and formal equivalence, each solution is rated on an ordinal traffic-lights scale according to their Suitability/Fit with the most relevant common goal criteria. Besides ratings for “No Fit” (-1 = red ~ resistance), “Conditional Fit” (0 = yellow ~ ambivalent) and “Good Fit” (+1 = green ~ no resistance), the ELD traffic-lights discussion process differentially captures (the most relevant) reasons and suggestions to further improve the solution’s fit, i.e. reasons for no Fit (= cons / disadvantages), concrete change suggestions to improve the solution’s Fit (= conditions for a better Fit), and reasons for a good solution’s Fit (= pros / advantages).

These are the basic, introductory modules, we would suggest.

Next steps for advanced ELD users

The next step for advanced users would be the context-sensitive combination and iteration of these 3 introductory ELD modules.

At the most advanced level of practising ELD, the discussion methods with primary quality measures (as described above) and additional secondary quality measures, as well as different scales’ range and levels of measurement (i.e. nominal, ordinal or metric) vary, depending on the stage of collective will forming and convergence, as well as the specific goal of a discussion and the amount of issues to be rated and differentiated from each other.

I hope, this helps you.



This is a remake of Hegel’s Weltgeist including Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see text below) in the context of an Extended Liquid Democracy

Extended Liquid Democracy
Awakens the threefold Weltgeist.

When we look at our evolution
This is the universe looking at itself.
If we measure worldwide Hierarchy of Needs,
This is the Weltgeist coming to Self-Awareness
With Reason as its final purpose.

One vote for some. Ten votes for some.

Dear @miles_w and @Solo_Recluse,

please imagine, you would participate in a concrete ELD discussion, which enfolds more than one hierarchy level of arguments and that consists of an iterative process to optimize proposals before final resolution.

You may recognize that there always is only one vote for one element on a specific level of the arguments’ hierarchy: An improvement or change of a proposed argument A leads to a new vote for a different element, i.e. argument A’ - while your past vote for other competitive arguments B, C, D (on the same hierarchy level) without further optimisation stays the same element or vote, as long as you don’t change it.

Furthermore, the usage of different quality criteria at comparable hierarchy levels does not mean that there have to be different, unstandardized amount of votes in such processes. In many cases of practising ELD, a group needs to work through different questions and parts of a standardized path to a problem’s solution (to reasure common welfare) that uses different quality measures at different questions, e.g.:

  1. What is the most important problem to be solved (problems rated by Relevance)
  2. What are the most important goal criteria characterising a sucessful solution of the most important problem? (goals rated by Relevance)
  3. Which solution is most suitable to solve the problem according to the most important goal criteria? (solutions rated by Suitability/Fit)

Before, however, the content of proposals for each question 1. to 3. can be rated by Relevance or Suitabily/Fit, you need to optimize comparability and formal/logical accurance which is no additional content-related voting of proposals but rather a context-sensitive marker of any problems concerning Formal Precision.

Of course, there may be cases in the course of collective will forming, where the same proposal gets more than one vote, but with different quality measures. For example, if there are more than 3 solutions before the final selection of 1 or 2 most relevant, fitting solutions via Traffic-Lights Module. Thereby, 1 or 2 proposals selected until the final resolution will be propably rated and selected by Relevance, rated and selected by Suitablity/Fit, and finally rated by quality-unspecific majority voting in the final resolution.

However, if there are one or more concrete needs to optimise a proposal which is indicated by a yellow rate in the Traffic-Lights Module, the selection of the most relevant needs for optimization, or the most relevant or suitably optimized proposal A1’ from a bunch of optimized proposals for A (i.e. A1’, A2’, A3’) etc. are associated with a lower arguments’ level, which is meant by multiple voting for differing arguments on different hierarchy levels.

Hope this helps.
Do you have any more questions?