Again, an insightful thought from Jon Phillips.
He wants to find ways to improve USA’s government. His idea is to make a conference to put together people in the Open Source he knows have good opinions on the matter.
While I think that’s a good idea I believe putting together a bunch of Open Source people is to take too few people in consideration. Yes, the quality of the people might be great, but I still think other people’s opinions should be taken in consideration.
Actually, recently I have seen lengthy discussions about certain topics that makes me wonder: we as persons have too many drastically different opinions from one another, the idea that by elections we will have the kind of government we want is frankly silly. So how do we find what we think, or want, as a whole?
I think that’s the fundamental question. And I believe that we as an Open Source community can certainly build a system that allows us to maintain difficult discussions, and systematically arrive to conclusions that one by one define the wishes of a group of people.
Some of the things to keep in mind in my opinion are:
- We all have different backgrounds, so we all have different opinions and personal agendas.
- We all make mistakes.
- Every discussion must have limit in depth, otherwise we might end up discussing the very nature of goodness and badness.
- People are different, and some opinions have more weight than others in certain subjects.
- Each and every point must be discussed, and a consensus must be established.
Now, these are just a bunch of ideas, I certainly hope that somebody else has made a scientific study about how to arrive to useful conclusions from discussions.
I think technology now allows us to have much better communication, and probably with that help implement a good discussion system.