Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Corruption, of course, is a well-known widespread problem. And it is getting worse. It certainly affects Afghanistan! where one expert said that part of the problem is focusing on particular individuals and not on the process.

Could participatory democracy be the answer? The ancient Greeks used randomly chosen large juries; five hundred people randomly chosen by lot the day of or day before are difficult to bribe. Decisions made by sortition jury, when chosen truly randomly, when the numbers int he jury higher are much less likely to be corrupt than those made by a single minister, judge or other government official.

In an age of portable cameras, it is possible to capture images and sound from officials. MyLifeBits, a project of Microsoft, puts a camera on individual and allows them to record what they doing. It is intended to augment one's memory. (Who did I speak to in Front of the Empire State Building a while back?) However, countries concerned with corruption can put these on government officials, and perhaps company officials as well to help prevent an Enron, and these can be reviewed by citizen juries, perhaps chosen from the unemployed. Afghanistan, for example, has fourty percent unemployment which many have blamed for the problem with violence and instability.

No comments:

Post a Comment