• Very nice meeting you. Fang has yet to arrive?

  • Yes. He got delayed somehow, I guess.

  • In the end, you and I can meet, and then he can join. [laughs]

  • That’s right. This is the co-working space?

  • I’m sure she’ll love it. This looks pretty. Well-decorated.

  • Oh, will she. [laughs] It’s very hipster. It’s not a normal co-working space. It’s for artists and so forth. It’s cute.

  • It is cute. I’ll just grab some coffee. This is our administration building. As you can see, it’s also kind of hipster.

  • You get business origami. You get any number of Post-it Notes.

  • It’s shaped very much like a co-working space, but not a artsy one. We have another office that’s the more artsy one.

  • Let’s get started because I have maybe an hour or so.

  • First, thank you for making the time.

  • No. Thank you for making the time.

  • We can talk about a million subjects, but I’m most interested in QV.

  • I’ve read the paper. I’ve talked with quite a few people interested in implementing the idea, from the social financing side, as well as from the public donation side, as well as from the extracting promise out of mayors promising to not do something within their term side and so on.

  • Just for the sake of benefit of the readers and viewers of this recorded video, would you like to outline some of the main ideas and topics that you are personally now working on or focused? Then we can...

  • Around quadratic voting, the thing that we are most interested in is first of all, the idea of having a democratic system that allows minorities to protect themselves rather than to have bureaucrats or judges or something like that be in charge of protecting minorities...

  • By giving every citizen an equal budget of what we call voice credits that they can allocate to support or oppose issues and candidates that they most strongly favor or oppose, but not allowing people to just be extremists and dominate an issue.

  • It would become increasingly expensive to have more influence on an issue the more influence that you have. That’s the quadratic nature.

  • This can be applied to voting situations. It can be applied by politicians to poll to figure out positions that might form a legitimate basis for legitimate public decision-making. It can also be used for funding.

  • If you want to fund local public goods, Vitalik Buterin and I worked on a variant of this idea where rather than it just being a way of voting, you would actually have public matching funds that could be given to different local projects or even, say, to media.

  • Individuals could make contributions. The amount that would be received by, say, the charitable cause or the candidate or whatever would be the sum of the square...Come. No, I’m just checking that she’s not here. Sorry.

  • Would be the sum of the square root, all squared. What that would mean is that smaller contributions would receive more matching funds from the public. Causes that had received contributions from more people would also receive more matching funds.

  • It’s a way of overcoming the usual free-rider problem, where when you have public projects, people don’t want to individually contribute to them because they would only do it if other people would go along with them. I’ve been working on all of those.

  • We’ve been thinking about applications for everything from funding news media, because it’s not usually well-funded, just through really private means. On the other hand, you don’t really want the government funding it because it could control the media and undermine democracy. Everything from that to making decisions in local councils.

  • At the same time, we’ve also been working on these identity solutions that would be necessary to support a system like that. It requires a notion of different voters. If you don’t want that to all be done by some central government authority approving people to participate, we’ve been working on identity solutions as well.

  • That’s great. Thank you for the summary. Who came up with the moniker "liberal radicalism," if I may ask?

  • Me and Zoë Hitzig.

  • [laughs] Thank you.

  • Say I’m a person interested in participating in crowdfunding you just mentioned. I’m a regular funding person on Patreon. Now Kickstarter has introduced the new Drip. I’m sure that you’re aware of many other such platforms.

  • Of course, Kickstarter is a B Corp, supposedly. They drive their social purpose and so on, but nowadays we’re also seeing, because of technologies out there now, quite a few what we call platform cooperatives. With any other name, people are basically putting up their own crowdfunding, distributing schemes up on open collectives and other open co-op movements.

  • Are you aware of any of these adopting QV? From a end user perspective, I think that’s probably what makes the most sense to have the first experience in.

  • There’s a donation platform on Ethereum called WeTrust that actually put $100,000 or 500 ETH behind matching funds for liberal radicalism, for donations to charity. There’s also a lot of different mostly Ethereum-based platforms that have been using quadratic voting for various governance things.

  • Everything from regulating the process of electing people to do block-making within a permissioned system that is used for doing import-export regulatory compliance to commercial real estate developments that are tokenizing real estate and that are governing some of the choices about how to invest the community resources using this mechanism.

  • There’s a wide range of different projects like that.

  • Starting this month, if you go to spring.wetrust.io, you can actually have the first experience of QV.

  • Exactly. You found it.

  • Yes. There’s the usual suspects such the MIRI and the SENS Research.

  • Yes. Hold on one second.

  • Is Fang here? Hi, Fang.

  • Hi, how are you doing?

  • No worries. Audrey’s on the line, so we should just jump in because she is being recorded. [laughs]

  • Here, you can come in and you close the door. You have to actually do this in order to get it to stay closed.

  • Now it’s me and Fang here together.

  • Hi, hello. No problem.

  • ...before I leave, so sorry.

  • It’s just fine. Take your time. Grab something. This is a very artsy, hipster place that we’re shown here.

  • (laughter)

  • It is a very hipster co-working space, isn’t it? [laughs]

  • I was just looking at this. Fang, just for context, I’m looking through this crowdfunding website that is currently applying Glen’s idea of what we called QV or quadratic voting. Can you see my screen?

  • This is basically a matching donations scheme, now through Giving Tuesday. For this month, they’re matching based on the liberal radicalism idea, which Glen just explained kindly for our viewers.

  • In short, it basically says if you have a lot of money or if you can mobilize a lot of people to donate a small amount of money each, it’s going to be roughly the same by taking the square roots of each donation and matching them accordingly.

  • There’s the usual suspects -- MIRI, SENS, the Ubuntu Foundation -- joining this crowdfunding experiment. There’s also African Advocacy Network, as well Surgeons of Hope, the more traditional charities, and, of course, some people in between like Code for America, which I’m not surprised at all as being listed here.

  • I was just about to ask, Glen, how do you think about the synergy between the different projects here?

  • One of the underlying assumption in the QV idea is that the projects themselves compete somewhat for resources, so that the, I wouldn’t say winner-takes-all, but the most well-known charities, or most well-known causes, or most well-known participatory budget items or whatever, dominates the resource in a network effect, increasing-returns fashion.

  • QV is designed to mitigate that. Taking this very concrete example of quite a few people funding the Lupus Foundation, and at the moment, not much at all at the African Advocacy Network, how does it help?

  • One property that QV absolutely does have is that, in this particular formula, the more people that are contributing to something, the more the effect of a marginal dollar you contribute on that particular one.

  • On the other hand, unlike purely majoritarian schemes, it’s not like that’s predetermined. It’s not like, "Oh, you have to just vote for one thing."

  • Instead, the notion is, you could give a little bit of funding to some things, more funding to others, etc. The notion is that it should allow for an optimal balance between you not wanting things to bee too de-fragmented because people feel they can free-ride on the things that already have momentum.

  • On the other hand, things being too concentrated because the democratic process just leads to whatever the majority prefers to win.

  • Does it require a overview effect of the current budget situation, or do you think that it can also work in an uncoordinated fashion where people just make individual choices?

  • I think you do need to have probably some view of what the current funding levels are, and you actually saw that on that site. They make it pretty transparent what the current funding levels are. That’s helpful for the users.

  • It requires a period of time, and just like participatory budgeting, actually, but instead of .voting, you have .statgrow or shrink, based on how many dots that you spent on a particular item.

  • Have you actually visualized this, because when I see the Spring WeTrust, I don’t see any visualization of the shrinking dots, if you know what I mean.

  • I haven’t come up with a really compelling visualization of it, but in some of the articles online, I believe there’s one where they show this cool diagram which shows, I don’t know if you saw this one, but they show little blocks stacked on top of each other by their height, and then their width...

  • That’s very, very cute.

  • Anything with the same height will show the same total amount is counted, but then the volume of them shows how much actually comes from the contributions relative to how much comes from the matching.

  • The matching is the right-hand side, and the block’s width is how much comes form the private contributions, so I thought that was a smart visualization of it.

  • That’s a great visualization. Just think that you have any number of square votes, really. [laughs] You can buy areas, but the areas is going to count toward their height. I think that’s a beautiful thing.

  • Actually, that applies to circles, also, right?

  • It doesn’t have to be squares.

  • Another thing you can apply it to is a funnel. Imagine you have a triangle, and you pour your liquid into the triangle. How high it gets determines how much value that it gets. Do you see what I mean?

  • Yes, of course. It ties very well with the idea of the experiment actually that’s going on because it’s a spring. You can spring that goes into a funnel and it’s all very water, common spaced liquid solutions.

  • That’s great. I wish people watching this video will volunteer some visualizations because we have real data now. The Spring WeTrust is on the chain, right? It’s on Ethereum.

  • It is. It’s on the Ethereum chain.

  • Anyone can take the public chain data and do cool amazing visualizations.

  • All right. Fang, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to our viewers? [laughs] We can chat more freely I’m sure afterwards, but it’s just I have maybe only 40 minutes after this, so we can maybe switch from topic to topic.

  • Sure. [laughs] My name is Fang, and I’m a Service Design/Consultant at PDIS. One of Audrey’s agenda is open government, so I help facilitate the mechanism which is called Participation Officers Network.

  • It’s a network of 70 civil servants across 34 ministries. We hope to use that mechanism to cut across the governmental silos and help people to work towards different issues more openly and creatively, not just within the circle but also onto the wider stakeholders.

  • It sounds a little bit like what at Microsoft they call the office of the chief technology officer. It’s one office that’s allowed to cut across everything and facilitates collaboration.

  • That’s radical horizontalism for you. [laughs]

  • Fang helped build this network of people, and each ministry can have a team of people.

  • At the moment, we’re still using old school approval voting to pick, every month, which topic or priority to work on, and because they come from e-petition, you can also think of it as a kind of approval voting. At any time, anyone can decide to countersign a petition to raise their priority about which that we’d take an interest in looking at.

  • At the moment in Taiwan, there’s 23 million people. E-petition network online is being used by 5 million people, so one-quarter of the population, which is not too bad. People just countersign each other.

  • We have some machine recommendation algorithm, like Netflix or Amazon, that recommends similar interested petitions. It’s also of course for budgeting visualization, regulation pre-announcement, participatory budgeting on a city level, so it’s an all-in-one participation platform.

  • The way it works is that whenever there’s anything that receives 5,000 signatures over a two months period gets a VU from all the all participation officers. They can explain and defend whether it needs a cross-ministerial collaboration. We do a approval voting anonymously on it and then we select two cases every month to collaborate on.

  • Each and every one that reach the 5,000 people threshold automatically gets a binding power to basically be interviewed, be in talk with by the stakeholders, and publish the full transcript of the conversation, and get a point-by-point response within two months from the respective ministry.

  • That’s one of the more successful direct democracy-ish experiments that we do. It’s been working pretty well, because people, essentially, when they’re petitioning, have unlimited number of votes. They are somewhat authenticated through SMS. It’s difficult to get 5,000 SMS numbers, as you know.

  • That’s the system that we’re currently working on. Just as you were talking about this crowdfunding idea, I was just wondering how QV or a similar design can help. It seems like when It’s just agenda setting or priority setting, and it’s not allocation of resources, it’s kind of OK to use approval voting, no?

  • I think approval voting is better than some systems, but I would prefer a QV-based system. What I’d like people to be able to express is the same thing they, in other cases, express through a protest. When you get out and protest, it’s a more costly action than just signing a petition, but it shows that something’s very important to you.

  • Not everyone likes to protest. Not everyone likes to be out in public, so I’d like a more private way for people to do that.

  • If every citizen had a budget of credits, and they could say, "This issue is incredibly important to me," maybe, only you would need 300 of things like that. You would need 10,000, or 15,000, if people just say, "Well, I’m interested, but I don’t really care."

  • At the moment, for example, at any given moment, the Join platform may have 100 petitions going on. Truth is that maybe, after two months, only five of them will get the 5,000 people threshold. That’s the reality we’re now facing.

  • What you’re proposing, essentially, is that if you can get any number, like 500 people, feeling that this is really important -- for some definition of really important -- so much so that they’re willing to forsake their capability of petitioning for that particular model, any particular issue, any other issue.

  • They dedicate their petition resource, so to speak, on this issue, then it only takes a square root of our current threshold to basically pin it into our "Must Respond" board. The number is going to be very low. It’s going to be 70 per people, basically.

  • Yeah, and conversely, like you said, you have these recommendation things. There might be some people who just are having fun, and on the website, they click on one, and then they follow the recommendation. They click the other, and they don’t even think anything about it, right?

  • Those things you might want to require 10,000 or 15,000 such signatures in order to respond, because they’re not really driven by passion, they’re driven -- depth of importance -- they’re just driven by entertainment. You know what I mean? You want to have some way of measuring that. The idea is that quadratic voting could help you do that.

  • From an interface or experience design perspective, because we have a professional experienced designer here, how would that even work? Medium says if you are just passing by, you just click on claps, and it’s one each.

  • If you feel really strongly, you can keep holding that clap button, and it will grow in number. Would you recommend some interface like that, or do you have something else in mind?

  • I quite enjoy that Medium interface. I think it’s pretty good. I think it would be better to have some sort of a token, if you can build the infrastructure that necessary for that. Obviously, that requires a more persistent identity than just an SMS code. That’s the disadvantage of it.

  • I think if you can do that, then people don’t have to spend so much time holding down the clap, you can just reveal it through how they spend the scarce resource.

  • It would be like a slider or something. Yes? Fang was saying something.

  • You just raised a very important point. How can we distinguish if the vote is really valuable? Am I passionate about that, or am I just doing this for entertaining? The question is, how can we tell? What are criteria that we can set up to evaluate that?

  • I can show you what it looks like for Quadratic Voting. It might help you see it. I can give you a nice user interface. Let me see whether it’s running.

  • Let’s do the screen share thing.

  • I just need to get my browser, I’m using Brave. Here we go.

  • Hmm, let me find the right addresses. It’s going to take me a little while to get the website up, because I need to find it. Can you grab my phone from there?

  • I don’t have the address saved on right here. Sorry. The advantage of Brave is that it doesn’t remember everything that you’ve ever done, but the disadvantage of Brave is that it doesn’t remember everything that you’ve ever done.

  • It’s OK. It’s more human. It proves that we’re not all exocortexes.

  • OK, there we go, and now I’m in a screen share.

  • Well, yes. Ah, that screen.

  • You have 100 credits left, and here are various referenda, which you could vote in favor of or against. An immediate tax cut for wealthy individuals and corporations.-- let’s say we’re opposed to that. We put one credit on that.

  • Background requirements for all gun purchases. Let’s say we’re in favor of that, but we’re actually strongly in favor, so we want to put more than one vote on t. You see, my votes are going down faster and faster, as I put more and more votes on it? You see what I mean? Whereas if I just put one vote on that it just goes very quickly.

  • This measures how much you care about it, by making it increasingly expensive to have more votes, so that you go buy votes just up to the point where you care enough. Then that will be proportional of the number of votes that you’ve already bought.

  • Sure, in regards to those...

  • You can touch the screen.

  • Who are those people who set up the statements?

  • In this case, this was a poll that we did for a political candidate in the United States, but in general, it doesn’t have to be that. It could be actually citizens proposing these things. Then once they cross the 5,000-vote threshold, they could be allowed.

  • Fang, do you have any thoughts about how applicable, or where, it could be applicable in our process? I’m very eager to prototype it.

  • I think this is a very good idea. I think this also reflect to our conversation earlier last week. We talk about when you propose certain things, the stage before it is noticing.

  • When you want to propose something, it depends on you’re allocation of attention. Your allocation of attention, based on the information you receiving and also, the people you interact with. What if your echo chamber is limited? It prevent you from seeing the people’s view from other sides, even within the same topic.

  • I see this as a very dangerous move towards proposal. What I would like to talk a little bit more is a step before. Like, how can we make sure that we got...

  • ...a democratic discourse...

  • Sorry, it shut down. I don’t know what happened.

  • What I was going to say is the voting mechanism itself can help shape the incentives, people out to get information, under Quadratic Voting, having very extreme opinions is very expensive to do. Having more moderate opinions is cheaper.

  • Unlike in much standard voting, if you take somebody who you really disagree with, and you cause them to disagree a little bit less, even if you don’t completely change their mind, that still makes a difference in political outcomes.

  • That creates an incentive for people to talk to more diverse sets of people, rather than just the people who they could have a chance to get to truly agree with them. You see what I mean?

  • When you say that it’s expensive...

  • The cost of the votes goes up the more votes that you get, in terms of the units of the credits that I was just showing. I don’t think that the voting mechanism itself can solve all these problems. Of course, education is hugely important and so forth.

  • I do think that the voting mechanism can help create an environment where the incentives are aligned with that. It can actually be pretty powerful, because if you think about it, the founders of the American Republic, they didn’t want a two-party system.

  • They created a set of incentives that created a two-party system, in spite of themselves. Once you have plurality vote, one first-past-the-post, it creates a two-party system. I think that some of these incentives can filter back into the way that the politics is organized.

  • The process can be part of the noticing as well.

  • That’s also true. That’s a very good point, which is that actually, one thing that we found when we used this survey with people, is that because they have a constraint, and they have to make these trade-offs, we often get comments from people that they learned a lot about their own preferences.

  • They didn’t realize that they cared so much more about this thing than the other thing until they had to actually make the trade-off between them.

  • Just to follow up on that, very quickly, because when you talk about trade-offs, the interface you just showed has upvotes and downvotes that cancel each other out. The crowdfunding experiments this spring is entirely up-vote only.

  • It carries no notion of compensation. Are there tangible differences in those mathematics and also in psychology, when you design things in an upvote-downvote kind of way, versus an upvote-only way?

  • Absolutely. There’s complicated trade-offs between those. On the one hand, if you have downvotes, you have the possibility of censorship. That may not be desirable. I think that that’s a problem.

  • It also can be a little bit more complicated for people. Without downvotes, if you have things that are genuinely harmful, for example, a petition that might be hate speech, or directed, targeted against some group in the population -- it’s actually quite important that you allow downvotes on that as well, in order to try to limit the possibility of having potentially hateful perspectives.

  • It’s like signal blockers.

  • I think that makes a lot of sense.

  • In some politics, for example -- this doesn’t happen, I don’t think, in the Taiwanese system -- in the United States, there’s often something that happens where a politician that’s very not popular will do well, not because they’re popular, but just because people are afraid of the other alternative. If you could vote negatively on the other alternative, that issue wouldn’t show up.

  • I see. That’s a powerful argument right there. I’d like to show you the real interface of petitioning that we are talking about, because I think that will help massively. That’s something that Fang-Jui can carry on in the conversation afterwards.

  • This is machine translated, but very quickly, just to give you an idea, for example, there is someone who is Mary X, who we know the SMS number, but we don’t reveal it. They don’t have to be under a real name. They can be a pseudonym.

  • It’s quite like Ethereum voting in this sense. They can choose a nickname, basically, but that’s consistent over time as an identity. It’s not mapped into a real world identity, only that we know there’s an SMS number behind it.

  • Then they proposed to amend the provision of our public service leave rules. At the moment of petition, it was at least half a day for each vacation. They wanted to change into by hour, which by the way, takes effect this week. I took an hour off yesterday.

  • So, they succeeded?

  • Yes, right. It’s a successful petition. As you can see, there’s a timer that says two months. Within the timer, there has be 5,000 signatures, this check passed, and the response is done. There’s agency response in each and every step.

  • You can see the supporting argument of each person participating. Of course, nobody has the time to read through the 5,000 people’s commentaries. That used to be Fang-Jui’s largest headache, reading through those 5,000 people’s commentary.

  • Sometimes, people just copy and paste whatever, and mobilize them to countersign the petition. Sometimes, people just write a lot that has no relationship whatsoever with the petition.

  • Do you have some text analysis that can help you process that?

  • That’s right. Instead of text analysis, we just did crowdsourcing. This is the actual interface now that saves Fang-Jui a lot of time. Basically, we have two columns underneath every petition that people can post their supporting arguments on the left-hand column, and the not exactly counter, but other arguments, on the right-hand column.

  • What we are now doing is something that is out of the playbook out of Better Reykjavik. I don’t know whether you know the Icelandic experiment from the Better Party. The Better Reykjavik has the same design.

  • We took a page by not actually showing the bars in a proportional to their number of comments, because that only encourage spam, and nothing good happens. You can see there’s 46 supporting arguments and 11 counterarguments.

  • Then each one can receive any number of upvotes and downvotes. Of course, there’s a flag button for truly hate speech stuff. Otherwise, we just sort. We discovered very early on, of course, exactly as you mentioned.

  • Although it takes the troll away, because they cannot really reply to anything. There’s no reply button, so there’s no incentive to attack people. Still, people just casually use downvotes to censor the good arguments.

  • We changed the rule now, that we take the absolute number of either the upvotes or downvotes. This one, having more downvotes, actually, makes it show on the top.

  • (laughter)

  • That’s interesting. I think this is another area where something like quadratic voting could be interesting, because it could make it costly to just censor. On the other hand, it could allow you to flag borderline hate speech. You know what I mean? That you don’t have time to actually investigate and so forth.

  • I think that’s another potentially interesting thing. In principle, you could even unify the two systems together, and say that both the signatures of the petitions and the up and down votes for the arguments could be part of a unified system.

  • Like you can cost some credit to downvote something slightly.

  • Or you can cost some credit to add a supporting argument. It’s the credit pool everybody receive anew every month. Then it’s used basically just to sort the signals, not the substantial deliberation which will happen afterward, according to Fang’s road map.

  • Exactly. That’s why we call them voice credits, is we think voting is a voice argument, or a sort of voice. All these things are sorts of voice. We’d like to have a token that can represent a currency for that voice, rather than just a currency for buying things.

  • Why voice credits, instead of voice tokens, or whatever, because credits is more fungible, more square root dividable?

  • No, it’s just a different word for the same thing.

  • You don’t have an attachment to the name?

  • No. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it credits. I would just call it voice. You can just think of it about a unit. In fact, in the book, we used to denote the currency marker, rather than a dollar sign, we use a voice bubble.

  • Ah, OK, like literally a speech bubble?

  • Like this one, the speech balloon?

  • Yes, except it has it going to the right-hand side, so it looks a little bit like a Q. That’s quadratic, you know what I mean?

  • This is very cute. The g0v movement, which I’m a part of, used to have the first version of its logo shaped like this.

  • Yes, exactly. That’s exactly what ours looks like, too.

  • OK, wow. It’s an interesting independent invention. Of course, we eventually shifted to this logo, just because everybody types GQV when looking at this logo. [laughs]

  • Exactly, but for us, that’s good. GQV, government by quadratic voting. You should revise the original one, but for a different purpose.

  • That logo is currently unused. Happy to donate that to your purpose.

  • (laughter)

  • I think the V here, which is the shape of a vote, really actually carries the idea of quadratic voting also. It’s basically a stamp of approval on what your voice matters like. We can make the dot here proportional, exactly as you visualize.

  • So this original logo has some uses. Yay for recycling. [laughs]

  • Another very interesting resonance that I wanted to mention is that many of these ideas in the book came from someone named William Vickrey. William Vickrey was a famous economist who won the Nobel Prize.

  • Most of his ideas were based on the work of another economist named Henry George. Henry George has a very deep relationship to Taiwan. I bet most people in Taiwan don’t know about it. George inspired the ideas of Sun Yat-sen almost as much as Karl Marx inspired the ideas of Lenin.

  • There are many elements of policy in Taiwan which actually come from the ideas of Henry George.

  • Yes, like the least-bad tax.

  • Exactly. The book is very connected to these ideas of Henry George. Taiwan, Scandinavia, and Singapore are the countries that have been most influenced by those ideas. There’s a natural affinity, I think.

  • I think, aside from single tax, which is less related, there’s also the idea of the citizen’s dividend? I think that’s also a George idea.

  • And the secret ballot.

  • And the secret ballot.

  • The secret ballot was introduced into the United States by Henry George.

  • Ah, OK, right. I think all of those are very relevant nowadays, because we’re essentially building a code-based normativity around the same ideas. That is, legal by design, instead of by interpretation.

  • In George’s time, it would have to have a lot of post-fact interpretations, negotiations, and whatever to make the system that he designed actually work as intended, instead of as people just randomly interpret it to be.

  • Nowadays, we get to code those algorithms into code. The communication effort, of course, is the most important. That we can find the intuitive interface that makes people get it, so that it becomes the social norm. Then we compile that into code so that...

  • That’s the most important thing, is that there’s a notion of social legitimacy around the ideas. That’s the reason why what we’re trying to do with this ideas is not just to go to government bureaucrats, but very much like the approach you’re taking, of trying to be open, trying to communicate with the public, and engage them.

  • We believe that ultimately, these ideas will be successful if and only if they are able to become part of people’s widespread notion of legitimacy. If they don’t do that, then they’re imposed by a state, and they’ll be rejected.

  • If they do, do that, then anything that the state does will have to follow that. Otherwise, people will be upset. That’s why, rather than taking the usual economist approach of, "We just talk to the central bank. We just talk to the IMF," instead, what we’re trying to do is actually build a social movement.

  • We have dozens of clubs all around the world that are forming around these ideas. We’re working with entrepreneurs to experiment with them. We’re talking to folks like you, who can try experimenting with them in participatory democracy.

  • We want things that are not just experiments, but experiments that ordinary people can feel, can get a sense for, and can come to incorporate into their notions of what’s fair.

  • Instead of fighting the system, fighting the existing reality, you’re building a new model that eventually makes the existing model obsolete... which is a Buckminster Fuller quote that Fang-Jui always uses in her slides.

  • That’s great. I am happy to donate to your cause, starting with a GQV domain. [laughs] We can see where it goes from that.

  • That sounds great. I hope you can also participate. We’re going to have a conference in Detroit in March. We’ll be in touch with you about that.

  • We’d love to have you participating in it, and to find any place where you can experiment and collaborate with us on experimenting with these things. I think that would be very exciting for all of us.

  • That’s awesome. March is parliamentary inquiry period, but I have a way of appearing through telepresence robots, double robotics, holograms, and the sort. I’m happy to virtually be there. There’s also a very quick prototyping system that we work with the g0v movement called vTaiwan.

  • Basically, every Wednesday, anyone can come up with an idea of saying, "Oh, how about let’s do an experiment this way?" Everybody just tags along. Literally, I think this week’s experiment is the social physics tags from Sandy, from Alex Pentland.

  • Oh, cool, from Sandy Pentland.

  • It also is a kind of voice credit, voice token, so to speak, because it only measures the volume of your voice. Although voice is not -- strictly speaking -- quadratic, but if you count the distance, it’s just the proximity.

  • How loud people are speaking, and how much attention they’re monopolizing, so to speak. We can distribute it more fairly in a physical space. Even if the physical space has its own attenuation parameters, we can change those parameters. It’s almost like speculative...

  • It’s very interesting what you say, because actually, one inspiration for us calling it voice credits is the physical voice. In ancient Sparta, the way that they used to do the vote, was to try to incorporate intensity of preference, they allowed people to shout in favor or shout against.

  • It’s a little bit like the clapping thing you were saying. Whichever side shouted louder in total, based on what you could hear, would win the vote.

  • It’s inverse square, right? [laughs]

  • Yeah, sort of, yeah. It has some similarities. Except, of course, it privileges people who happen to be able to shout loud.

  • Yes, [laughs] and also, I imagine, people who stand in a more strategic position.

  • Yes, that’s true as well.

  • One of the things that we did in virtual reality is attenuation design. Right now, with Skype, of course, everybody here, it’s just two of us. We hear each other equally. One of the experiments we did in virtual reality is to change the position by having people physically walk toward the position they take, and then change the attenuation factors.

  • Because it’s virtual reality, you see, you can normalize people’s input voice level to the same level. Then your position determines the sound dissipation. That’s one of the interesting experiments. I can go on and on.

  • What I mean is that it’s very easy to prototype new ideas, including QV, through the vTaiwan meet-ups. Even the national petition mechanism, if we can find there’s a beta version, there is a beta website, we can also test this dynamic out on the beta website, anyway.

  • We tried on the beta site for a year for the visualization of the budget of the entire national budget of more than 1,300, actually, governmental projects. Because the ministries in charge were afraid that if they let everybody literally see the relative budget allocation, how it’s being executed, and all the 1,300 cases, that they will be swamped with comments.

  • We only tried an initial pilot with 65 national priority projects before we let people see that actually, responding publicly has a lot better properties. For things like social housing, which everybody cares about how well we’re doing, and how exactly, which procurement and spendings went on, people won’t waste each other’s time.

  • They will actually ask quality questions. Once you respond to them fully and in public, everybody just found them through search engines. The respective authorities don’t have to pick up phones, each one not knowing 550 people have asked this particular question before.

  • It saves everybody over time, amortized, but in the beginning, we have to put it on the beta stage to show to the competent authorities in all the different 34 ministries that this is going to be a time saver and not a time-waster for them.

  • I think that’s a great...Yeah. I would like to do something like that with QV. If you guys have relevant developers, and you can do it on your own, that would be great. We’re happy to consult. Also, there’s now a whole movement.

  • We have hundreds of people who are organized around these ideas. Probably thousands, in the Ethereum community and different communities. We’d be happy to find people to collaborate with you, if you need support in trying to build a prototype.

  • Yay, like free energy. That’s great. [laughs]

  • Yes. Just let us know, and we’ll connect you to people who would be interested in being engaged.

  • The last thing I want to show is that this is the official participation platform, including municipalities, the corrective and auditing agency, and of course, the administration of Taiwan is in join.gov.tw.

  • If you change the O to a 0, as is customary with the g0v movement, you get into the shadow government, which is join.g0v.tw. Anyone can just leave their email address there, and join the Slack channel on the g0v movement.

  • At the moment, I think it’s 4,000 people or so. I’m happy to donate a GQV domain and see what you guys can come up with, and basically prototype the join.gov.tw system with a re-imagination of the QV system. We’ll see how far we can take from that.

  • Thanks. That sounds great. We’ll follow up, maybe by email, and find the best way to coordinate collaboration.

  • It’s time for me, so I will leave you more time. Thank you for this hour-long chat. I’ll just upload everything to YouTube to help spreading the cause.

  • I really appreciate it. Thanks so much. If anyone is watching, and is interested in being involved, we’re working on this in Taiwan. The movement’s called Radical Exchange, and you can find me @glenweyl on Twitter. We can be in contact.

  • Thank you so much. Enjoy your time in this wonderful, artsy, hipster co-working space.

  • [laughs] Take care, Audrey. Bye-bye.