What IS Sapiocracy?

For a PDF describing Sapiocracy in more detail, please click here.

Below is a brief (if perhaps outdated compared to the PDF above) explanation. When reading this, I’m sure you’ll have many questions and doubts. Everyone does when they first contemplate the idea. For a more detailed description, please see the PDF above.

What is Sapiocracy?

Sapiocracy is a new form of collaborative decision-making I devised in January, 2013. I’ve been passively developing it since. It can be used by any sufficiently sized group of people and for any purpose. I’ve been told there already exist (very few) similar systems directed at very narrow uses in different fields. These systems have already been well proven (both academically and empirically) to be the most powerful known tools ever created for these purposes – this is already accepted by academics in the relevant fields. I have been unable to find any evidence anyone has had this idea before myself when applied to human decision-making in general, or for governance. The other applications have been very narrow, seemingly without the realization that the structure could be applied to anything.

The reason you may not have heard of the few similar systems is because they’re closely held secrets. People who know about this kind of thing seem to be only using it to gain advantage over others (using it as a weapon.) Based on what I’ve been told by those I consider to be reliable sources, one is used for military intelligence. Another is being used as an unfair advantage in playing stock markets. It isn’t hard to figure out why they might want to remain hush-hush about it.

Sapiocracy is wise governance. This is the main application I am interested in, although I believe it can be adapted almost effortlessly to similar applications (ie: corporations, clubs, etc.) Like other forms of governance (monarchies, democracies, republics, dictatorships, etc.), Sapiocracy is just a way for groups of people to make decisions. The reason Sapiocracy has only now been invented is because the technology to make it practical and therefore possible is very new (handheld computers, wireless communications, homogenous networking – internet.)

The purpose of governance is to decide what the group should and should not do. Every existing form of governance has sets of rules that define them. Compared to all other known forms of governance, Sapiocracy closely matches human instinctive behavior. This is precisely why it will work. Unlike democracy, Sapiocracy fervently prevents the negative effects of corruption and stupidity – something all people see as universally bad. These advantages correct the reasons other governmental systems reliably fail over time. Sapiocracy also naturally maximizes individual freedoms within the confines of wise scientific deduction because individual freedoms are universally sought after by all.

Necessary Constructs

Democracy is a very appealing form of government because all individuals are promised one vote. Democracy quickly fails due to a widespread lack of wisdom and the less prevalent human instinct to deceive. This is well known. Sapiocracy is an adaptation of democracy using modern technology to make the process of mass participation practical. It can be thought of as crowd sourcing of all decisions. There is no way Sapiocracy could have been developed before the advent of inexpensive hand-held wirelessly interconnected computers.

With few detailed exceptions (please join the forum to debate), Sapiocracy can be thought of as pure democracy with the following changes and requirements:

1) Everyone can vote, although voting is voluntary. All voter interactions are done with handheld, desktop or kiosk computers. These can be phones, PDAs, tablets, PCs, etc. The entire system is optimized for convenience, but not at the expense of its core purpose.

2) The process of voting includes the process of making simple predictions about the outcomes of each proposition for both passage and non-passage outcomes. No one can vote without making the necessary predictions.

3) Because of (2), all information about each proposition must be prepared equitably such that voters are given unbiased, factual information and the available predictions are reasonable and scientifically testable.

4) At some point after each vote, tests are conducted to determine the actual outcome of the decision.

5) Because of (4), it is possible to determine (and indeed is determined) which voters predicted correctly and which voters did not. The reasons for the correct or incorrect predictions do not and should not matter.

6) Individual voting weight is based on the results of (5) over successive propositions. The more correct a voter is, the more power they will gain. The less correct a voter is, the more power they will lose. Yet, each individual has only him/herself to credit for their own voting weight.

This is Sapiocracy’s basic structure as far as the voters are concerned. Many questions or doubts may arise after reading this, but save those for more detailed debates.

One obvious change is that Sapiocracy isn’t a true democracy – each voter is not guaranteed one vote, per se. And they shouldn’t – this is a huge problem with democracies. Some people are better at specific things than others and they should be allowed to have more weight in each decision. Conversely, some people are worse at specific things and should have less weight. The trick is in how to determine these weights, which Sapiocracy does elegantly and automatically, leaving no rational argument against this rule.

After short contemplation, it should become obvious what will happen. Sapiocracy naturally filters out lies and deception because those schemes will be later be shown to be incorrect. In this way, Sapiocracy is self-cleaning based on the wisdom of the masses. This corrects the current problem of cronyism in politics.

Those with persistent misinterpretations of reality (ie: idiots) can no longer force the population to make unwise decisions through mob ignorance. As they demonstrate their personal level of wrongness, their votes quickly reduce their power. In this way, the major flaw of democracy is neutralized. The masses can no longer be bribed with Ponzi schemes and other too-good-to-be-true fairy tales.

There are many scenarios to discuss and I encourage you to join us in the forum, ask questions and be a part of developing this system.

Necessary Technology

Sapiocracy has a couple of technical requirements that need very careful attention. One requirement is that the computing systems that provide Sapiocracy’s functionality must be secure and virtually unattackable within short time frames. Another is data encryption, which is trivial to do to a level where no entity will ever gain an advantage against the system. Another issue is identification of the wise.

At first glance, most computer scientists will naively claim that achieving unattackability is impossible. I disagree. It is only necessary to make Sapiocracy so expensive to attack such that attempts have no hope of being worth it. It turns out this is not as difficult as run-of-the mill experts claim. Securing such a system is possible, but requires careful design.

Encryption, in my view, is obsolete for all data worth more than a certain amount. The reason is one time pads combined with incredibly cheap storage. This is all I’m going to say about this here. If you want to discuss this, please do so in the forum.

The last category is the identification of the wise. It must be made very difficult for any faction to obtain a list of those with high voting weights, lest they be able to use bribery to throw a vote. Of course, the wise should be … wise to this, but where there is a weakness, one must adequately prepare. Once again, please discuss this in the forum.

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After reading the above, you are probably very skeptical and have some questions you think you know the answers to. Don’t assume.

In the 2+ years I have been discussing this idea with all types of people, I have yet to be presented with a credible argument against Sapiocracy. Everyone I’ve presented this idea to has agreed that Sapiocracy is worth development. The more each person discusses it, the more convinced they become of Sapiocracy’s merit.

Please sign up for the forums and participate.

-sapioplex

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9 thoughts on “What IS Sapiocracy?

  • aubrey says:

    This idea is quite intriguing. The overall implications could work out for the best but how do you expect to get it started?

  • Sapiocracy appears to be a method, structure, device, or procedural understanding of how better to govern our selves with truly fare and realized successful out comes for all. It’s obvious that what we have presently and historically is abysmal, in the most politeness of terms.

    So go deeper to the very root of all the issues. Web site: da-peace.org. And read the book free on line, Not Two Is Peace, by Adi Da . Even the best of creative methods will not bring about the transcended change needed for lasting peace, fare local and world governance, and global sustainability. Please take a look, most truthful approach to our shared dilemma, indeed.

    For the highest good for all and All,
    JJL

    • sapioplex says:

      I’ve read just a few pages into the book and the flaw (at least to me) is obvious. The Global Cooperative Forum mentioned as the way to solve the world’s problems “…must be fleshed out by a ‘morally-enlightened’ leadership composed of individuals who carry no baggage of self-imagery or ‘tribal’ agenda and are thus capable of representing ‘everybody-all-at-once’.”

      The first assumption is that such a finite subset of humanity can be accurately identified and would be rationally appropriate for the task. I don’t think this will happen and I think the definition of what any of that means is incredibly vague – perhaps intentionally so. The second problem is that the plan doesn’t appear to rationally address the innate human behavior of deceit. Even if such a system could be set up and function properly at some point, over time, would it not become corrupted as the result of the same behavioral mechanisms as every other governmental system in the past? The idea appears to have no built-in way to force the results to be checked and fed back into the consciousness of humankind. It seems to be another panel of appointed leaders without clear checks and balances for deceit.

      Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to poo-poo anyone’s attempt to make the world a better place. However, this piece seems to me more like an exercise in spirituality than an exercise in the rational refinement of decisionmaking for groups of people.

      I’m not impressed by ‘spirituality’. I have a good understanding of modern system-1 and system-2 brain function. I suggest reading a book called “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. Understanding how the brain fails (often) is critical for refining decision systems.

      That being said…hey…knock yourself out. May the system that proves itself most efficient prevail.

  • BlackCat says:

    After reading about Sapiocracy I am intrigued by the concept. The idea is interesting yes, but I feel one must play the devils advocate to identify the weekness of such an idea. For example it only takes one powerful person to cheat any system and throw off the curve. I also feel the only way to build this concept in the real world would be to equalize wealth and power and this idea may be better suited and or accepted by a communism based society. In an ideal world where no one could cheat the system this concept of Sapiocracy sounds logical, nice and even desirable to many I am sure but we do not live in an ideal world. The best of computer systems are always being challenged, cracked, and broken into. If you build it someone at some point will find a way to hack it because there is power or wealth to be gained. The world is full of power hungry people who push the balances to favor themselves at what ever cost. These are but a few resins why I am not sure this computerized voting method will solve the problems of a governments ability to function properly and in the best interest of the majority.

    • sapioplex says:

      You are 100% correct that security is paramount for the computing system used to implement Sapiocracy. I disagree that it is impossible or that someone will always find a way to hack it. Even though computer security experts will tell you this, they’re missing a point: The way to prevent tampering is to make successful tampering so expensive (difficult) that it won’t happen in reality. This is actually quite possible and it may be a lot easier than you think. In any case, looking at what is said publicly about securing computers or systems today should probably be totally ignored – anyone talking about that is speaking within the confines of different problems. What the average person on the street thinks of as “as server” isn’t the same as what Sapiocracy would use to secure itself.

      I replied to this a bit earlier and my reply disappeared – not sure how that happened. In any case, the issue of security is complicated (but not insurmountable) if you want to get into details. I suggest making an account on the forum and bringing the issue up there.

      In regards to thinking it would work better if wealth was equalized or in a communistic society, I disagree. Sapiocracy dictates nothing about commerce or ‘should’ issues. Those issues would all be dealt with by the participants. There is also nothing that is ‘off the table’ for the participants.

      I do hope you make an account and ask about these things on the forum. It sounds like you have some good thoughts.

  • Dandro777 says:

    Hi, I wanted to propose this not because I’m sceptical, but just to test this particular case.

    Consider this (edge) case that might allows someone to be both powerful and making bad decisions:
    Each time I get to vote I predict the outcome well. This makes me gain voting weight.

    When I vote I will also do a corrupt, selfish vote that benefits just me.

    My bad decisions don’t stop me from being powerful. And although I should be wise according to the systems measurement, I’m corrupt.

    My conclusion, if I’m right:
    In the Sapiocracy system bad/corrupt decisions are not punished by loss of power, but only lack of wisdom is punished. As demonstrated, wisdom as measured by the system doesn’t guarantee good decisions. (note: what is considered a good decision?)

    Could this be a plausible case? Is this a real flaw or did I miss something?

    I’ve read the pdf entirely and I hope I understood what you have written. I’m positive about it. Just to let you know, I have also signed up for the forum.

    • sapioplex says:

      You are correct. It is technically possible for people to predict outcome in complete isolation of their own vote. However, self-interested people have different agendas and their ‘input’ (as it were) would tend to cancel each other’s self-interest out. Nearly all people are good (vote for the common interest) nearly all of the time. The remaining few would have to cooperate to gain any real power – all voting for the same things. Socio/psychopaths are notoriously bad at this kind of cooperation. I think the only real way to know for sure is to try it in practice and see if this actually causes a problem.

    • sapioplex says:

      Two additional things: One of the ideas possible to prevent this is to be able to mark certain outcomes as self-exclusionary. In other words, if you say something bad would happen as a result of X and you vote for X, then your vote isn’t counted as it would clearly be bad acting. Further, it would be relatively easy to have a longer-term filter that removes voting weight if a voter has very high accuracy in prediction but also votes against their own predictions in terms of ‘good’ vs. ‘bad.’ Thanks for the input – interesting stuff! 🙂

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