The Democratic Quality Vector and
the New Social Agreement


The digital information age has brought many benefits, but the unintended consequences that have resulted from it that threaten

to bury our gains. One of those problems is today, our lives are governed by information more than ever before, and the decisions we make using that information can affect us deeply. The quality of that information is essential in making clear decisions. One illustration of that principle is in a simpler time, the speed of information travel was slow, and our entire lives were matched to that speed accordingly. We would wait weeks to receive a letter overseas from a loved one, and parsing that information wasn’t very challenging. We now generate more recorded data in two years than in all of the rest of history. That is so much data that we struggle understanding what to do with it all. We really do need AI just to start to make sense of the growing heaps of information. On top of that digital facsimile is becoming so powerful that we can replicate any kind of information with high fidelity, whether image, text, audio or video. This has profound implications on the veracity of information.

As social media has well demonstrated, it is becoming easier every day to manufacture false information and mislead people into engaging in very harmful behavior that could damage all of society. The digital age, with poor information quality, can amplify once manageable decision-making problems into a crisis. Subsequently, the problem of bad data quality is becoming one of the major issues of our times. If information is what we need to make a decision, and good quality information is necessary to make a good decision, then one of the unintended consequences of mass consumption of psychoactive compounds may have been a collective, decades-long societal brain fog.

Since its inception, democracy has provided challenges for philosophers, politicians, and citizens alike. Although resolving these challenges requires intensive resources and large amounts of time, the effort is well worth the struggle. This is because only democratic governments offer the possibility of direct citizen participation. However, The failures of modern democracies are often linked directly to flaws in that participation such as contemporary voting systems, voter apathy, demographic challenges (distances and diversity) and now, vote tampering through information distortion. A potential solution to these difficulties is to create voting systems that promotes the engagement of citizens in their own governance. This system, Proxy voting, encourages participation, decreases voter apathy, and integrates marginalized voices into debates. When successfully implemented, liquid democratic platforms employ flexible communication systems to transmit information between representatives and their constituents.

Without the ability to adequately analyze and shape decision- making processes, we will fall prey to dominant and untrustworthy narratives. Some have systems to prevent this, like autonomous organizations (businesses and governments alike) which control not only their decisions but their process for making decisions as well. However, while decisions that address quantifiable data are repeatable, decisions that rely on qualitative or intuitive-type data are, in a sense, less decidable and require more nuance, therefore requiring another system of control to prevent these situations.

Research into intuitive knowledge mechanisms such as interoception is one example of how we are slowly lifting the veil that has obscured intuition’s mechanics, showing that our ability to sense the signals inside our body can scientifically explain how we arrive at correct intuitive decisions. “Factual information” might not be as trustworthy as we think because science is obsoleting information at an ever-increasing rate. This is also because our drug culture may have distorted our decision-making processes, producing knowledge that itself may be suspect, such as normative ethical knowledge that may have been acceptable in a drug induced state. Then perhaps a stronger reliance on a mixture of both intuitive, system 1 and analytic system 2 knowledge decision-making may improve the quality of our decisions.

So, a way to increase system resiliency is to make room for fast, intuitive system 1 decision making. Although analytics and metrics provide hard data, they may perform better when balanced with human intuition and judgment.

One method of ensuring a flexible group structure that can navigate such changes is to install heterarchical relations between group members, a flat structure instead of a hierarchical one. Integrating strong leadership into our governance while maintaining individual political freedom can be done with an enhanced transferable voting structure. Subsequently, we can balance some of the best parts of a dictatorship with the best parts of democracy. To do that requires a shift in management approaches that democratically empowers everyone in the organization. Transferrable voting that incorporates a democratizing framework and balances qualitative and quantitative

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