Re: virus: A new government, for the people, by the people.

Tim Rhodes (
Thu, 19 Jun 1997 10:14:46 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 19 Jun 1996, Eric Boyd wrote:

> It's simple, really. Give every person in the country a vote on every
> issue. I think the simplest way to implement this would be through the
> public library system. Everybody can go to their nearest library,
> research the issues and vote. Voila

The problem is with the second part, "research the issues". I don't see
it happening. Sheep will be sheep.

Here in my hometown, just this Tuesday, the public voted to spend $300
million to by a new football stadium for Paul Allen, 8th richest man in
the world. He paid $1 million lobbying for the measure to get it on the
ballot, $3.4 million to PAY THE STATE'S COSTS FOR THE ELECTION (that's
right, you can buy your own election now!), and $5 million (the most ever
in this state) for a PR blitz to make sure he won. (My favorite part of
the whole campain was the TV commercial with Paul Allen looking earnestly,
if geekily, into the camera saying, "I want to do something good for this
state, but I can't do it without you. Vote yes.") So that's a $9.4
million investment for a return of $300 million, no wonder he's a
multi-billionaire! But the public bought it all, hook, line and sinker
and most of them left the voting booth thinking it was their idea all

No, as long as Joe Public thinks "Coke or Pepsi" is a pressing moral
concern, I'd rather have corrupt politicians making the nitty-gritty
decisions rather than whomever can sway the public mind most effectively
(or "cost effectively", I should say). Call me an egalitarian, but it
just seems more honest that way, a bribed politician will at least get
PAID for his vote!

Although a Memetocracy (rule by the meme engineers) does have it's
appeal, to be sure.

-Prof. "Beware the tyranny of the masses" Tim