Posted by: Gwyneth Llewelyn | June 7, 2010

The Pitfalls of Collaborative Democracy

For almost three years, a group of citizens have been pushing very hard for a new model of organising the decision processes in the CDS. They argue that the current model is too bureaucratic (they might be right!). They are unhappy about representative democracy, even the type we have, where anybody can submit bills and discuss them publicly in order to get them approved. Some, like Kaseido Quandry, even go further and consider our model of democracy hopelessly outdated and obsolete.

Back in 2006, when Rudy Ruml (Prof. Rudy Rummel iRL) did some seminars to discuss democracy in the CDS, we had some opportunities to talk to someone who actually has a background in political sciences. And he was also for a “lighter” model of government; he favoured a “tribal” style of government, without limiting who could participate in a “town council”. A “clan leader” would preside the audiences — which would be informal — and decisions would be taken by a majority vote, which would also decide who would become the next clan leader.

Since SL is a digital community, we’d immediately get chats which could be transcribed, so the whole community would be able to participate in the discussions and debates. But the final decision would be taken by the clan leader and their ad-hoc assembly.

The Simplicity Party used to defend a similar model. I guess they drew some encouragement from the words of Prof. Rummel. In any case, in my mind — and of some citizens at least — this “simple model” of the tribal council with a clan leader was, for a long time, what I thought that some people preferred.

I just got it all wrong.

Read More…

Posted by: Gwyneth Llewelyn | June 3, 2010

Democracy or Community?

Voting in the CDS, May 2010

How important is the CDS’ history? Some of it has been published on the Second Life Wikia, and a serious effort has been made by Claude Desmoulins and Delia Lake to start gathering as much historical material about the CDS as possible under the auspices of the CDS Historical Society. But does it really matter so much?

If in the real world we tend to forget how things change, it’s impossible to do so in Second life, where change is perceptible all the time. Some might thus argue that embracing change is the only honest attitude to have, and this means discarding old ideas (and people!) and start afresh with what we’ve got here and now, not with what we had in the remote past. I totally agree with the first part of that statement: refusing or rejecting change is childish, since it’s impossible to prevent change. All we can do is adapt to it.

Nevertheless, even in spite of change, there are some guidelines for human societies that have been remained “constant” (in the sense that the principles remain, even if their interpretation is socially conditioned). A typical example is “do not kill”, which is pretty consistent across all human societies, as well as “do not steal”. At least, do not kill or steal from members of your inner circle — family, friends, neighbours, and so forth. Societies change all the time and so do relationships, but those “rules” remain. Technology, external conditions, financial crisis, all these might provoke profound changes — but still we stick to not killing others or not stealing others.

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Posted by: Gwyneth Llewelyn | May 29, 2010

The Thin Line

Gwyn Reporter

This term, the CSDF has put on its manifesto one item that surprisingly never was really needed: the open discussion about freedom of expression in the CDS, and the need for independent (e.g. not Government-sponsored or -controlled) media.

You might recall that our Constitution automatically guarantees freedom of expression through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 19). What this mostly means is that we don’t need “special” laws to guarantee that right; we automatically have it. Freedom of expression doesn’t automatically mean that one has the “right” to be heard or to make their opinions heard, and that others are “forced” to listen to what you say; it just means rather the reverse: nobody can prevent you from emitting opinions.

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Posted by: Arria Perreault | May 28, 2010

Assessment of the 12th term

The people in charge during the 12th term were deeply critized. Was this term so bad? To answer this question, we just have to look what has happened during this term.

Citizen evolution

Evolution of the number of citizen

July 2009:
pre-merger CDS citizens: 71
new CDS citizens from AA: 60

Sources:

http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2688&p=14303#p14303
http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2865

Land sales

Yellow Map at the beginning of the term

Yellow Map at the beginning of the term

Yellow Map at the end of the term

Yellow Map at the end of the term

Communication

Twitter

Twitter

Facebook

Facebook

Portal

Summary:

  • more citizens
  • land almost sold out
  • more communication channels

Do we have to listen to rumors and “urban” legends?

Posted by: Arria Perreault | May 23, 2010

Election of the 13th Representative Assembly

Publication of the results

The Scientific Council has released the results of the election  of the 13th Representative Assembly in the Therms of Nova Colonia. The members of the New Assembly are:

  • Arria Perrault
  • Cindy Eksol
  • Gwynneth Llewelyn
  • Kaseido Quandry
  • Lilith Ivory
  • Muhammedyussif Wikinger
  • Patroklus Murakami
  • Pip Torok
  • Rose Springvale
  • Solomon Mosely
  • Stuichicanne Darkstone
  • Timo Gufler
  • Tor Karlsvalt

The participation rate is low: 42,7%.

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