maccallr writes: The Occupy Movement is getting everyone talking about how to fix the world's economic (and social, environmental...) problems. It is even trialling new forms of "open" democracy. Trouble is, it's easy to criticise the physical occupiers for being unrepresentative of the general population — and much of their debating time is spent on practical rather than policy issues. Well-meaning but naive occupiers could be susceptible to exploitation by the political establishment and vested interests. In the UK, virtual occupiers are using Google Moderator to propose and debate policy in the comfort of their homes (where, presumably, it is easier to find out stuff you didn't know). Could something like this be done on a massive scale (national or global) to reach consensus on what needs to be done? How do you maximise participation by "normal folk" on complex issues? What level of participation could be considered quorate? How do you deal with block votes? What can we learn from e-petitions and Iceland's crowd-sourced constitution? Is the "Occupy" branding appropriate? What other pitfalls are there? Or are existing models of democracy and dictatorship fit for purpose?
"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all
other causes combined."
-- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_