Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Decision-Making in Facebook Groups

The only weapon against the 1% is democracy.  To save our planet, we must develop a form of democracy that is much more democratic than the democracy we have. 

Current affairs have taught us that the rich, and the politicians, are often corrupted by their power, and obscenely selfish.  We have learned that representative democracy is corruptible, and therefore will be corrupted.   We now know that our important decisions are being made to serve these powerful people, instead of serving us and our planet.

To survive, we must build a new democracy that is a flat democracy.  It must be so democratic that no one person will have more power than any other person.  

I offer these Rules of Order as an example of such a flat democratic system.

Proposal for Rules of Order for Facebook Groups

For democratic Public Facebook groups that follow these Rules, there will be four levels of participation:

1.  Observers.  Observers cannot participate in the group beyond observing.  They can see the members and the members' participation.  They cannot post, comment, reply, react, or vote.  This is explained below in Dissonant Participants.

2.  Participants.  This the initial state of all new group members.  Participants may post, comment, reply, and react in the group.

3.  Voters.  Any Participant is a Voter if the Participant has posted, commented, replied, and/or reacted in the group at least once a week for the last 4 weeks; and has registered by paying $.01 via a verified Paypal account.  The Paypal account information is so that we can be sure that each Voter has only one identity and one vote.  Leaders are also Voters, as described next.

4. Leaders.  Any Voter who has posted or commented at least twice a week for the last 8 weeks.


Only Leaders can initiate polls.

Only Voters can vote.

All Participants can comment, reply, and react to a poll question.

Voters can change their votes as discussion and vote statistics develop. The ability to change one's votes is crucial to enabling the coalescence of group opinion.

Voter Participation Quota

These rules depend on the Voters Participation Quota or VPQ.

Voter participation is defined as commenting, replying, reacting, voting and/or re-voting on the poll question in the poll question's post.  The VPQ is defined as the number of Voters participating, (not the number of participating actions), divided by the total number of Voters at the time of the calculation.  Comments, replies, and reactions from Participants who are not Voters, although welcome, do not count toward the VPQ.

In the rules below, we use two types of VPQ:

  • Accumulated VPQ, which is the number of Voters who have participated since the poll's inception, divided by the total number of Voters at the time when the VPQ is calculated. 
  • Restricted VPQ, which is restricted to a certain time period.  If the VPQ must be 20% over the past week, the VPQ is calculated by the number of Voters who have participated in the last week divided by the number of Voters at the time of the calculation.

Voters who have lost their Voter status at the time of the VPQ calculation, for any reason, will not be counted in the VPQ.  If they have voted in the poll, their vote will disappear from the system.  Their comments, replies, and reactions will remain. 

Public/Private Polls

Only polls designed for choosing a person or persons can be Private, but may not be, depending on the author's choice.  In Private polls, the votes themselves are not visible to anyone, except each Voter can see and change their own vote.  Visible, however, is whether or not each Voter has voted.  The poll statistics for a Private poll become public once 10% of the current Voters have voted; the votes themselves are never Public.

All polls designed for anything other than chosing a person or persons are Public, i.e. Votes, votes, and statistics are visible to everyone.

Pinned Polls

Pinning posts is a social network process of forcing a particular post to remain at the top of the feed for the group.  Many posts can be pinned at the same time.

Polls that have a accumulated a VPQ of 10% become "pinned" for the first time.  

The unpinning and repinning rules are different for each poll type and is explained below.

Standing Out Of The Poll

All polls will have a stand-out-of-the-poll (SOOP) option. Voters who vote SOOP are agreeing to agree with whatever decision is decided by the other Voters.  Until the voting is closed, explained below, the SOOP Voters, as well as all Voters, can change their vote. The Voters who contribute SOOP votes count toward the Voters' participation quota, as do regular Voters who vote their opinion.

A poll can be taken for curiosity, just to know ourselves better; and polls can be created to make a decision.


To make a decision for the group:

1.  The poll, at its inception, must announce itself as a decision-making poll.

2.  The poll must be reach the required accumulated 10% VPQ and therefore be pinned.

*  Yes/No/SOOP polls:

    - Agreement and decision made:

        If, after being pinned for 2 or more weeks, and 30% of the current Voters have voted, agreement is reached if 2/3 of the votes, not including the SOOP votes, are Yes votes or 2/3 of the votes, not including the SOOP votes, are No votes.  The decision is announced, and the Yes/No/SOOP poll is unpinned.

    - No agreement and no decision made:

        If, after being pinned for 2 weeks, neither Yes nor No votes reach 2/3 of the votes, not including the SOOP votes, and the VPQ during the last week is less than 10%, the poll is unpinned.  No decision is taken.  The poll statistics and lack of decision is announced.

*  Multiple Choice Polls:

    Multiple choice polls must:

       1. include a none-of-the-above (NOTA) option as well as a SOOP option.

       2. allow a Voter to add new options to the poll.  All previous Voters will be notified of new options as they are added.

       3. Voters will rank the choices, using 1 for the first choice, 2 for the second choice, etc.

       4. after 2 weeks of being pinned, the poll question is "set", meaning that adding new options is not allowed.

   - Agreement and Decision Made

        If, after at least 2 weeks of being set, and at least 30% of the current Voters voted in the poll, a decision is made according to "Ranked Choice Voting", .  The vote statistics and decision is announced and the multiple choice poll is unpinned.

   - No Agreement and No Decision Made

        If, after at least 2 weeks of being set, if fewer than 30% of the Voters have voted, and the VPQ during the last week is less than 10%, the poll is unpinned.  The lack of decision and the vote statistics are announced.  No decision is taken.

Curiosity Polls

After being pinned for 2 weeks, a curiosity poll, i.e. a poll that was not initially announced as a decision-making poll, becomes unpinned if the VPQ during the last week is less than 10%.  The results of the poll are announced.


A poll will be re-pinned if the VPQ reaches 10% in the last week.

Dissonant Participants

A Participant will be placed in Observer status, thereby causing that Participant to lose the right to participate by:

1.  A Yes/No/SOOP poll is created by any Leader to move a Participant into Observation status. 

2.  Polls for placing a Participant into Observation status follow the same rules as any decision-making Yes/No/SOOP poll, except that there must be 75% agreement for the decision.

The first time a Participant is moved to Observation status, the Observation status lasts for one month.

The second time a Participant is moved to Observation status, the Observation status lasts forever.

Enforcing These Rules

These Rules are to be implemented and enforced by open-source software.  The software itself is to be presented in a text file in the Files section of the Facebook group.

Changing These Rules of Order

Proposed changes to the Rules of Order must follow the same rules as any decision-making Yes/No/SOOP poll, except that there must be 51% agreement for the decision to change a point in these rules.

It is the responsibility of the group's administrator(s) to make the required changes to the Rules, and to cause corresponding changes to be made to the underlying software.

These rules of order will be ratified using these Rules of Order.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilyn Davis, Ph.D.

(Image copyright: Getty Images.  All rights reserved)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Irrefutable Logic Showing That If You Fear Global Warming, You Must Not Support Clinton

Yes, Trump doesn't believe in global warming, but that will change. And not believing in global warming at this time is not nearly as destructive to our future as a President who answers to the fossil fuel business.

If we end up with the Donald, he will feel the real burn of global warming soon, and hopefully not too late to try to fix it. 

In contrast, all of Clinton's power is bought by corporations, her hands are tied, and she is powerless to fix global warming. 

Global warming frightens almost everyone, other than Trump.  But, has this widely-held fear pushed corporations to take stock of what they are doing? Of course not. They are corporations, not able and, by law, not allowed to consider the planet and life. They are not human, not animal, just paper-and-ink constructs that have taken control of our governments. 

As the world gets hotter and hotter, if corporations are still at the helm, our planet is cooked. 

If a voter feels the threat of global warming is real, that person must not support Clinton. Clinton, because she is corporate-controlled, is a death sentence for the planet.  She is the greater evil.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Your Vote Is Sacred

Democracy lives in our hearts, similar to love.

Democracy holds a sense of rightness.  It is the way to be happiest as a community.
The power in democracy can best be understood with the well-studied conclusion: the more democratic the society, the less violent, and the more cooperative.  Less violence shows up in aversion to war, in fewer violent crimes, and in reduced domestic violence.

Quality of life is so much better without violence.  This is what healthy people want. By healthy, I mean, most particularly, those who long for security and beauty for our planet, forever.  Who could want otherwise?

These innate human understandings, love and democracy, are within us because they come from God, or from our DNA-given survival instinct, if those words work better for you.

Love has a sacred and evolutionarily important reason to be within us.  Love is God's communication with each of us to show us what we want as individuals.  Our evolution is dictated by love to whatever degree our unprotected sexual activity is dictated by love.

Like love, democracy has a sacred and evolutionarily important reason to be within us.

Democracy is a contract with God and with your community so that you can act together to find the way to a lovely future. The process itself brings ideas and right decisions, when the participants are truthful.

The most important result of democracy, of a vote, is *not* whom should be president.  The more sacred purpose of a vote is to express your true self and to discover the common identity that we are together -- so we can know and understand and love our community, and grow together.  For this reason alone, it is critical that we each vote the truth of our conscience. Realize that our conscience comes from God, and that the conscience is God's way to show us how to behave, and in particular, how to vote.

There is another reason, more immediate, why it is critically important to vote according to your conscience.

Election cycle after election cycle we have been pressed to vote the lesser of two evils.  As we continually do the repugnant duty of voting for an evil, we reward the political parties for giving us evil choices, and, encouraged by the reward, the parties give us choices that are more and more evil.

Please help to end this downward spiral.

Vote according to your conscience.  Keep your covenant with God.  Whatever else happens, this evil or that evil, do not help it.  Keep your conscience clean.  Vote your truth.