These are notes towards a book that will probably never be written.

Note that i am not an expert in these matters so there will probably be lots of mistakes.

note: this is NOT about propaganda, or about persuading others to think a certain thing. Rather, is about designing systems to allow people to think about things together.


a common theme: security:

how can we simultaneously prevent:

a common theme: effective cognition: ameliorate emergent biases

a common theme: supporting consensus vs. iconoclasts

Part : Group dynamics

group polarization effect

silent majority

Part : Individual and community dynamics

willingness to punish wrongdoers

choice aversion

risk aversion

intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation

todo read resnick book

effects of anonymity on individauls

social evaporative cooling

Part : crowd dynamics

wisdom of crowds and markets information markets

madness of crowds

Part : party dynamics

executives tend to be biased towards action (as opposed to conservativity and procedure)

anyone with goals tends to be biased against procedure

parties tend to encourage voting towards the party line

parties tend to encourage attacking the opposing parties, even to the point of blocking action without a constructive solution

Part : Voting theory

popular (and unpopular) voting systems

cyclic preferences

perspectival systems

stuff from spatial theory notes e.g. agenda control thm, agenda control and cyclic prefs

liquid democracy

two-party domination

instability (e.g. how much must prefs change to get a 180 degree reversal in policy)


problems with large committees


todo include the stuff from my notes on that conference; notes are at CW i think, as well as on my website, i think: notes/groupDecisionMaking/od2003Notes.txt

true consensus voting

near consensus voting

supermajority voting

consensus voting encourages support of status quo

creation of losers (effect on community dynamics)

Part : collective negotiation dynamics

last minute

put off hard decisions

dont look weak to your base


compromise leads to potentially getting stuck in local minima of proposal space

the problem with transparency

the problem with putting the 'final' compromise to a vote of the members


Part : Representation

soviet circular flow of power

soviet hierarchical delegation


district representation vs at-large


regulatory capture and, natural bias; e.g. example of proposal for grad student quiet zone, vs sociable reps

lobbying vs mass media advertising

should reps push policies they dont personally agree with?

cautionary example of US electoral college


Part : Collective perception



web-of-trust for identity/provenance

reputation chain for credibility

public key encryption

symmetric encryption

broadcast media media dynamics; 'new's; timescale; positive feedback loops

private media's customer are advertisers entertainment

public media is on the side of the organization

intimidation of media

libel, slander, defamation

whistleblower protections

anonymous whistleblower mechanisms

impossibility of internal compliance audits in the face of large whistleblower incentives

conspiracy (information-altering) theories

Part : Collective attention

voting proportional rep. voting perspectival echo chamber collaborative filtering

peer reviewed journals


congressional bill throughput

linearization and robert's rules

Part : Collective knowledge representation

books wikis centralized db distributed db (semweb) version control WWW videos gossip (blogs, twitter, etc) individual beliefs


controlled vocabulary

mapping corresponding ontologies; mismatched ontologies

specialization of knowledge; fragmentation of research communities, jargon

Part : Collective reasoning

irrational transitive democratic belief theorem

peer reviewed journals

protections of tenure system

certification of wikipedia versions

rating agencies political pressure after-the-fact potential legal liability for minority opinions due to discovery

Part : Collective decision-making

constitutional amendments

eternal safeguards

constitutional vs common law safeguards


revolutions dangerous situation when revolution can occur multiple times and people can be killed

legislative immunity

military coups, military support of revolutions


trials judge jury computation is not free

collective dynamics increase in size

  putting off tough decisions
  unrepresentative decisions
  freedom of speech vs campaign finance
  stable attractors towards status-quo reinforcing institutions
  fragility from 'gene transfer' unlike eukaryotic evolution
  time to negotiate

deliberative polling


include this stuff frmo organizationalDecisionMakingSystems



procedural decision-making roberts rules chair, appeal from decision of chair, us congress leadership agendasetting voting vs. 'rough consensus'

political parties, political party dominance, political party dynamics