Scripting News: Idea for a new democracy.

This idea isn’t for today’s United States, but if we were to ever try to boot up a new democracy, I’d suggest thinking about only offering the vote to citizens who had served on a jury that reached a verdict.

Then at least we’d get voters who understand how the government works. And maybe we’d actually get a government that tackles the real problems.

For example, we need a decision on climate change, and we needed to start implementing it 20 years ago, long before the effects could be felt by voters.

Even now, when the entire NYC metropolitan area was shut down by Sandy, things are returning to normal, and we are deciding to postpone change for another year, until next year’s miracle happens. Sandy, imho, is as ominous as the attacks of 9/11 were.

Many things changed between 1776 and today. Instantaenous mass communication. Science appears to have conquered the elements. There’s a sense that no matter what you see and hear and feel, that things can’t really change that much.

But things have changed hugely in the last couple of hundred years. And we, for the most, feel these changes were positive. But that’s changing now too. We’ve run out of frontier. We’ve run out of space. And we’re more efficient at creating and sustaining human life. But that may be about to change (probably is) — and we can’t react until — when? Not clear.

If jurors were making the decisions, we’d suck it in, figure it out and do what needed to be done. That’s what jury duty teaches you to do.


About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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