Ep. 71: The Future of Democracy (And also a tale of two Rocks)
You know how politics today is just terrible? You know how we have really stupid and nefarious people that "represent" us in government? Cheer up! Because in the future, democracy might actually get more democratic.
For convenience, this podcast is also available in 3 parts.
Part one is about some really stupid things happening in politics: Don Trump, Jr. thinks that by releasing clear evidence of collusion, he now has "nothing to hide." How neat is that. Some people want Rock "The Dwayne" Johnson to run for President. Unfortunately for them, it was Kid Rock who heard the call. Renowned lyricist of "Bawitdaba" fame, announced that he is running for public office in the US Senate. Also, two tech bros that are concerned that the Democrats are moving too far to the left want to begin funding a "Green Tea Party," which while full of anti-oxidants, is all the same disgusting. It's like they want to be the Koch brothers, except for centrist, tepid, capitalism. All of these things may not be what we want or need, but they are all things that we deserve.
In Part 2, we talk about two policies that would profoundly change political representation in the United States. First up is proportional representation, which basically means that you have a national election to determine the legislative branch and the representatives would be determined by what percentage of the vote parties accrued. So the Green Tea party got 20% of the vote, so now they have 20% of the seats in the legislative body. This would be neat because alternative parties could emerge to represent "non-traditional" view points, like Zoltan Istvan's Transhumanist Party or Comrade Bernard's Democratic People's Party of the United States, no matter how small their constituencies are. We also discuss "Sortition" which is a democratic model as old as democracy itself. It refers to the Athenian practice of picking citizens at random to represent the public--similar to how juries are selected in the United States today. Sounds crazy, until you remember that Kid Rock will probably be a Senator because God wants to punish us for our pride and arrogance.
Part 3 is about the crazy listicle in Gizmodo about 12 future forms of government, like hive minds, President Skynet, and post-apocalyptic. Pretty much all of them are dystopian, which always entertains us.
Our reading list this week:
Stories about Rocks and people as dumb as rocks:
WIRED article about an AI President: