Hopefully we can quickly answer some of your questions here.
As the Internet gets older it creates new markets. The market of opinions is just opening and soon it will be filled. Dividing up the market and muddying up the messages people are trying to convey. Leading to frustrations and possibly violence.
Why we are different
- Inclusiveness: There has never been a system conceived let alone implemented, that had any expectation of 100% involvement. Because of our broad stance in categories, and expression, every human being has a reason to participate.
- Next up this is simple simple simple: Simple to assemble and run. nothing needs to be invented, Strictly a data storage facility. Simple to use, all intuitive, no prior knowledge needed. "Only one rule, no opinions on private individuals". And finally this is a simple system, despite its outward appearance. Because it is so drastically different than anything that's been tried before, people instantly conclude it is complicated, when in actual fact it is not. It is basically like this, you go to one App, you express yourself, trending happens, you learn from that, you express more opinions, consensus is eventually achieved. We are giving people easy access to express themselves , no borders or barriers. From every individual to the world. Simple.
- And finally our ability to execute: We only need a small portion of society to start, there is no need to ask permission from anyone. and all technology needed is available.
- And some people have asked about financials: Supporters do not need to donate. But we will start with a crowd-sourcing campaign, and soliciting funds from foundations. Long term there will be excess funds available due to the value of opinions.
There is a rising demand by the people of the world to be heard, which is directly related to the rise of the Internet generation. In a similar fashion, the printing press (in a very dirty process) eventually led to the advancement of some parts of the world toward representative democracy. An intervention at this time may allow for a smoother transition into better governance. If this opportunity is not taken soon, Facebook will be forced by public pressure to allow a dislike button, and or Twitter will find a way to make tweeting recognized as a form of petitioning.
The free-market will fill in the gaps leaving no room for a co-operative system, the people will lose their opportunity to own their opinions. And because the capitalist system will divide the market, no clear or accurate message will be heard from the people. Social pressures will continue to build possibly leading to a bloody mess.
Why We're Different
According to Wikipedia, there are three main barriers to direct democracy described as the "trilemma".
- Participation: Every human has a strong opinion on something. and we want all of it. One simple easy app for everyone.
We are the first to offer a system where it is reasonable to believe, that everyone may eventually participate. All previous systems have focused on politically minded individuals.
- Deliberation: In most cases there will be an ongoing flow of opinions with no deadlines. This allows for a feedback loop, any individual can now observe the evolving of opinions coming from the world, and information from all other forms of media. over time their opinions will evolve as well. This is a form of communication that, as of yet, has not existed in the online world. Because we have never had accurate numbers to work with.
- Equality: As defined in Wikipedia: "All members of the population on whose behalf decisions are taken have an equal chance of having their views taken into account". We are building a system that should involve everyone. And it is allowing for 100% full expression. Obviously there are many places in the world where this type of thing will not be welcomed. Those are the places that will benefit the most. This will create a big shift towards equalizing the people of the world. It is time to upgrade, we must keep up to the challenging world, we need answers by consensus, and those answers need to be drawn from the biggest pool we can create.
Tentative Long-Term Planning of the Future
Because of the fact that opinions exist involving the past, the present, and the future. For the first time in history every individual will have the ability to participate in the direction that their communities, their countries, and their world, takes on their way into that future. Weather that involves energy consumption, climate control, or going to Mars.
A better understanding of the world and people around us. In good times, and more importantly, while in conflict. every individual will have an opportunity to hear the world, speak back, and find a compromise. Individuals and communities will mature over time..
How it works
This app is really quite intuitive and you don't need a set of instructions, however, here is a quick rundown of how the app works.
- Categories-- any conceivable combination of characters in the form of a statement or question can be a category. This includes statements or questions that were made in other categories. The only possible exception to this will be personal comments involving private individuals.
- Statements-- can be any combination of characters, and may contain a link. with the only possible exception of personal comments involving private individuals.
- Voting-- One dividable vote per category, per person. This one vote may be broken down into varying percentages on multiple statements.(disclaimer•• our demonstration video does not portray the voting in exactly this way).
- Priorities-- using percentages, categories can be prioritized. For example an individual for a period of time may decide to make one category have 100% priority over everything else. But once that crisis has passed he may decide to divide up his priorities with varying percentages to each. Any categories without a priority percentage will fall into the category of low priority. (Disclaimer•• our demonstration video does not portray the priorities in exactly this way).
- Longevity-- all categories and statements are permanent whether they retain any votes or not. All votes from an account that is inactive for one year will be void.
The System in Use
Start with the category
As soon as you enter a letter or word the search engine begins to list trending categories in an effort to assist you. Once you have entered a category, and assuming that category previously existed, the search engine will show you what statements have been voted to the top, if it did not exist and you continue, you will be creating a new category. Now assuming this is an existing category, you have the option of either scrolling down from the highest voted statement, down to the lowest statement and choosing from them, or...
Enter statement of your own
Now based on that statement the search engines will be able to look for other statements in the category that seem to be similar to yours, and then present those options to you. You may now scroll further and further away from your original statement using the search engine to show you more and more options. After you have settled on the statement you wish to vote on, or a series of statements within this category which you would like to split your vote up with, you will want to assign it a percentage of your priority rating. Similar to social networks like "Reddit", voting will cause categories and statements to "trend". Trending will also be manipulated by the priority shifting that individuals do on the votes they have already made.
Yes or no questions will no longer exist , Rather, one will have the option of putting a portion of their vote on another response. For example, if the mayor of your city speaks on the news asking people whether the city should put fluoride in the drinking water the question will become the subject in our opinion app. You can answer the question with a yes or no, and retain the option of adding a statement, or vote another person statement up.
Obviously nobody will have the time to vote on everything. Generally people will vote for what they care about, but those boundaries will be fluctuating continuously due to societal pressures, whether that be from family, work, the world, or what is happening at the moment,(trending) .Everyone will be trying to make their vote have as much impact as possible. If you make an unpopular statement in a category and give it 100% of your vote it will not have very much impact, and a statement in an unpopular category will have very little impact as well. Although there is always the possibility that in the future that category or statement may become very relevant.
This need to make your vote count will help in creating consensus. Everyone cannot get exactly what they want, so we must try to find middle ground and in this way we may satisfy as many people as possible.
At this moment there is a great deal of information that you have already put forward through your use of search engines, Facebook, Twitter and many others. That information is now a commodity owned by corporations. In today's world you have value beyond your labor. Your habits, opinions and knowledge have value. With the "Your Upinion" app, users will be able to retain ownership of their opinion which will in-turn be used to generate wealth, some of which will be used to run the organization. The excess will be dealt with by consensus through the system. (Perhaps people would like to put it towards some form of basic income).
News organizations generate income by supplying information, a large portion of which is gathered through social networks and polling companies. Eventually the "Your Upinion" app will deliver the most accurate data conceivable. But even in the beginning when the app only has 500,000 to 1,000,000 users out of the entire world, a news agency that is looking for an opinion on any given subject can: (A) get a couple of individual opinions off of Twitter and Facebook, or (B) he can get the agreed-upon opinion of perhaps A few thousand or more individuals, along with the strength of their agreement, other closely related opinions and a whole slew of other demographic information. The same reasoning applies for every other corporation and organization that wishes to profit off of the people. All information gathered will be free and open to the public, except for where identity security is concerned. Eventually any person or group of people identified as "earning a profit" from the information gathered by us will be charged a justifiable fee ,and payment will be enforced by public pressure. Governments should remain exempt, because any additional costs to governments will simply be passed on as taxes to the taxpayers, this would not benefit the people and should be avoided. For start up costs, see crowd-sourcing campaign.
During the kick starter phase participants will work with Visa to make our one or 2 dollar request. We will not require any credit information or banking information. Our only concern will be keeping your exact location and identification secure. Which makes us primarily a target for government sponsored hacking. There's no doubt that this will be our biggest challenge. For this reason we should offer rewards to the overall general hacking community.
It will be our goal to include every living human being, including prison inmates the mentally ill and children. "Every human being has an opinion on something". And so at the same time, if you are a doctor or a police officer or a politician, we need that demographic information as well. In all these situations your location and identification will be kept anonymous. But in extreme cases we will also need to offer the ability for people to block all their demographics to maintain complete anonymity.
Possible Future Outcomes
In the beginning politicians will be reluctant to acknowledge our existence, but over time we will gain traction, and they will have to pay attention to keep the popular vote. It will not take long before some of them learn how to use the system to their advantage. And that is fine as long as it's to the public's advantage as well. Eventually some of the governments safeguard systems, such as the Senate, may become obsolete. At some point in the distant future, the role of a politician will resemble the role of a referee.
It will be in the best interest for all if this organization can remain unbiased in all regards. It shall be our goal to obtain opinions from all sides of every conflict, regardless of whether they are a murderer or a saint. Try to imagine what it might have been like to have a free flow of opinions from all sides and all individuals who were involved in the Crimean crisis, regardless of what governments were saying or doing. Twitter and Facebook don't allow for the type of communication that leads to conflict resolution, that's not what they're designed to do. Conflict resolution is precisely what this app is designed for.
Overcoming Voter Apathy
Representative democracy is, in the best case scenario, keeping individuals one step removed from the decision-making process. And in most governments that distance is significantly compounded by bureaucracy which makes it very difficult to stay engaged. (The ancient Greeks never had this problem). Although the "Your Upinion" app will not be directly tied to any government, public pressure can be swift and strong, and users may see results in their efforts in some categories within hours. This will provide a very satisfying feedback loop. Every individual has a strong opinion that they wish to express at sometime in someplace and in some category somewhere in the world. This may involve sports teams, fashion, Automobiles, television, banking, and every other possible category you can think of. Therefore, everyone has a strong reason to be involved in the system. This level of involvement in decision-making is unprecedented and will lead to better outcomes. This in turn creates another satisfying feedback loop. It's like turning a polling company upside down. Standard polling companies are an annoying nuisance asking you to participate at their convenience, on subjects you may not consider priorities, and when you are unprepared. Or they require you to find their website, search their system for a category, and still at this point in either scenario, you can only answer yes or no to a question they have provided. With the "your upinion" app you lock in your opinion at your convenience on any subject. The beauty is in its simplicity.
Children will also be encouraged to participate fostering empowerment in the development of their communities.
All of society has a lot of maturing to do. There are probably very few people that believe plugging straight into direct democracy would be a good idea at this time.
This is a good reason for having a separate entity from both governments and corporations. It allows us to apply pressure to politicians and CEO's, but we are not able to force their hand. This safety net works both ways, governments and corporations will have no influence on our organization. eventually we will reach critical mass [approximately 80% of any given population] and we will come vary close to full control.
Life is complicated, there are very few problems that are simply solved with a yes or no answer (hence the whole reason for the system). Interpretation of information is different for every individual, just as it has always been. The difference is now everyone will have access to the same accurate information. Either way, from our point of view, we are strictly a data storage facility, and generally not involved with interpretation of information.
We are a data storage facility, therefore as long as a language can be typed out in to characters, and search engines can work with those characters, we should be good to go.
We will sell one membership for one or 2 dollar, our goal will be $500,000 and 500,000 members. Our pledge will be to have a system running within less than a year.
In order to achieve this goal it will be important to build some momentum.
Therefore, we will start this endeavor when we have accumulated a list of a few thousand eager individuals ready to buy in on the first day of the campaign.
Then at this point we will produce a more accurate demonstration video for the campaign.
This will be a user owned and operated organization. All positions within the organization will have to be open and justifiable to the users. All transactions will be available to users. All controversial top positions will be filled in with the democratic process provided within this organization. Any and or all rules,or information, or direction, provided by the organization identified as "your upinion" is and always will be subject to change, using the democratic process provided within the organization.