Thinking About Technocracy

Where to from here?

Archive for the ‘Open Mike’ Category

Open source technocracy software?

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I’m curious if there are any technocratic software tools out there in the open source world such as means of implementing energy accounting or other similar processes on a wide scale?

Written by ryanlanham

January 17, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Getting your predictions voted on

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This from the following post…from another link…so I include it whole and urge you to click on the posting by selecting the next line (Make a Prediction):

Make A Prediction

Nostradamical lets users, after a quick and easy registration, very easily create a prediction on just about anything and lets people vote on it. It could be another opportunity for English Language Learners to write something for an authentic audience.

Users can easily import images from the web to liven-up their predictions, as well. I only took a quick look around the site, but I didn’t see anything that would be inappropriate for classroom use.

Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

Written by ryanlanham

January 15, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Open Mike


with one comment

My wife and I invented a term, kwon, or maybe we borrowed it from somewhere we cannot recall.  To kwon is to act in such a way as to explore every last option before accepting any cost, pain or responsibility for actions.  She and I have long held that ours is an Age of Kwon.  You see it again and again as people try to find options for doing something that cost nothing and offend no one.  It doesn’t work to kwon.

Kwoning is the opposite of planning.  Oh, centralized planning has taken quite a rapping from the libertarian world.  We can’t know what people want and…blah blah.  Markets work better…blah blah. 

I’ve seen places that plan and places that don’t.  Planning is universally better so long as it is not done with a heavy hand.  Collaboration is everything.  That’s why I wrote earlier about social charettes. 

Technocracy will require that we stop kwoning.  Is kwoning now so ingrained we cannot stop?  What can cause large numbers of people to act without coercion?

Written by ryanlanham

January 14, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Open Mike

Funny cartoon: Non Sequitur by Wiley on the Birth of Ideology

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Here’s one I liked that was run in the local Cayman paper:  The Birth of Ideology

Written by ryanlanham

January 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Public wants the rich to be punished?

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Interesting link from the Observer provided by P2P Foundation’s Michel Bauwens’ embedded links today.  It appears people want to tax the rich in a punitive manor because of the current pains caused.

A technocrat would of course be against such means because they tend to have destructive consequences.  However, technocracy is likely to aim for greater income equality, and taxes are probably the right vehicle in some cases (e.g. windfall profits.)  The theme in today’s New York Times OpEd follows a similar vein as that of the Observer.

We are seeing a sort of 1930s populist backlash against the wealthy now that will do more harm than good.  Something has to be done about excessive incomes and resource utilization, but the something done ought not to be done in anger.  It’s got to be collaborative.  Admittedly there is a slash and burn libertarian set who will be against any sort of social tariffs or protection of the commons.  Those people will have to be battled through the usual editorial channels and, more generally, ignored while policies are implemented they will never appreciate.   It ultimately becomes a matter of education and normative policies.  They’ll claim brainwashing and the typical Ayn Randian sorts of complaints.  At some juncture they win if they block action.

My own view is that you collaborate to achieve consensus moves and find where it is impossible to compromise.  If they battle there, then they simply have to be overruled by scientific facts (e.g. on climate change.)  That overruling is a major change between technocracy and pure democracy.  Democracy allows for well-understood mistakes to be made;  technocracy should not do so.

Written by ryanlanham

January 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Open Mike

Open Mike — Topics to discuss

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While I know a few people are reading already and a few more have stopped by, I’ll take the premature opportunity to open up a chain for general discussion on Technocracy.  Here’s a few topics I intend to explore relatively soon:

1. What countries are the closest to feasible implementation of a technocracy — in one sense Singapore is probably closest.  In another sense, the Netherlands or Sweden might lead.  Ireland or New Zealand could get a certain set of votes.

2. Where are the demarcation points between democracy and plural technocracy?  

3. Is techocracy necessarily utopian? 

4. How do you implement technocracy?  What would be the first steps? 

5. Who has a technocratic concept of constitution?

6. Do smaller states have an easier time implementing technocratic structures?

7. Is Obama a technocrat?  Many say he leans that way.

8. What various flavors of technocracy might exist?

9. What is the relationship of technocracy to markets?

10. How does technocracy evolve?

11. What frightens people about technocracy?

12. Technocracy and religion


Written by ryanlanham

January 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Open Mike