Ooh ooh hey I got a great idea for a new country

Or I guess I mean a new form of government. It’s a republic, kinda like we have now, except votes are different. I guess I really mean a new form of voting. See, our current system is pretty good, except that it doesn’t take into account how much people care. If I thoroughly research the issue and vote for candidate A, and some shmoe votes for candidate B because he likes his name better, great, we’ve just canceled each other out. Furthermore, it can be manipulated by richmen, because they just send out a huge advertising push or smear campaign or whatever in favor of their candidate.

Here’s the fix: When there’s an issue up for a vote, or a race between candidates for a position, it’s not decided by “whoever has the most votes wins”. Instead, it’s “whoever logs the most hours wins.”

Instead of polling places, we set up government-controlled voting rooms. There’s nothing in the rooms. You can’t do anything. You go in, you sit there for an hour, you come out, and your candidate gets one vote. You can do this as much as you want.

There are so many benefits to this! Who wins the election now? It’s the one who has the highest product of (number of supporters) * (how much they care). Only the people who care would vote, and everyone has the power to make a huge change if they really want to. Instead of going door-to-door for a candidate soliciting money to indirectly make a change, you can sit in a room and directly make a change.

- so many people would try to pay you to sit in a room for them. And so many people would accept those payments. We’d have to solve that.
- we’d still be disenfranchising the poor, a little bit. If you’re working three jobs to pay the bills, you can’t sit in a room. But then, if you’re working three jobs to pay the bills, you can’t donate to a campaign or hire lobbyists, so it’s not any worse than it is now.

Still, I think it’s a good idea. Maybe when I found Dantasseland, that’ll be the system of government. Who’s with me?


Pete -

I’m an unemployed 22-year-old right out of college.

You are a single mother/father of 2 with a high school degree.

I can probably spend all 24 hours in the room.

You can spend maybe 15 minutes, because you have to work 3 jobs.

Its a softball, but I think this is worse than our current system b/c of the problem above?

Dan -

That’s exactly what I called out in flaw #2.

But I mean, as is, if you got real passionate about politics, you could go door-to-dooring or fundraising, and the single mother/father couldn’t, right?

(another side effect of this would be disenfranchising “busy busy busy” high-powered businessmen or investment banking types. hmm…)

Pete -

I think I see part of your point…you’re saying that we’re merely deceiving ourselves into thinking our current system is ‘fair’ by saying every vote is equal, whereas in practice votes are bought and influenced by so many factors other than pure ‘I firmly believe this person would be the best for this position’?

Dan -

Yeah! The new system wouldn’t be perfect, but it wouldn’t be worse than our system, anyway.

(and obv scrap the electoral college blah blah)

Pete -


I think the solution is to revert back to 500 or less person groups…or whatever the latest psych figures say is the maximum number of people you can care about.

Dan -

Okay. And I’ll take all your computer chips, because your 500 person society can’t build them.

Seriously, though, I mostly agree with going smaller. I don’t know how small, but certainly something smaller than our world is now. Maybe small societies + trade, because then you can have one society that only builds computer chips?

Or maybe we should just not have computers. Nah, I don’t buy that.

This is a whole nother can of worms. But I’m mostly all for it!

Pete -

Community != society

I would say I would push for small communities (see: modern urban planning theory, sustainable development, etc) as a practical psudo-implementation of the small society idea.

Also, horray work? :-)

Dan -


At the same time, I like cities. This is weird.

I think I can reconcile the two by saying I like medium-sized cities. New York is too big. Seattle (or Pittsburgh) is good sized. And if you have a million people, instead of having 500k people in a city and 500k sprawling out into suburbs, exurbs, blah blah, we should just have two separate cities of 500k each.

Urban planning is so cool!

Pete -

Cha. But you can still be anonymous in a city. Which folks say leads to many problems.

Dan -

Really? But when was the last time we lived in towns small enough that nobody could be anonymous if they wanted?

Pete -

Just community building.
I don’t expect that we’re going to be able to actually go back to those small of communities, but we can try to develop them internal to the system.

Or live on communes.

Dan -

Yeah. Hey, want to start a commune?

I’m only like 96% joking.

Pete -


I’m seriously considering making it part of my life plan to make money now, travel for x amount of time to research, then basically get the land and the infrastructure for the commune. Once its there, I just know other people that are working ‘real jobs’ well be more able to check it out…

Adam -

I say we set up an anarco-sydicalist commune where we all take turns being a sort of executive officer for the week!

Pete -

Cheers! Adam, you first…

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