An anonymous reader writes: When the internet spread out to mainstream population, it did not take long for politicians and activists to start using it as a way to communicate to their constituents, to organize supporters, and more recently even to solicit input. Then as collaborative technologies began to develop, some people started to wonder what exactly we needed the politicians for. After all, complex projects like Wikipedia and SlashDot are driven in large part by the user-base, not a small group of overlords. So why can't every governance system be open to input from everyone? Over the past couple of years, this movement has been crystalizing in the Metagovernment project, and now they have brought together numerous software projects (most in late Alpha) which are actively building governance systems meant to operate with little or no input from elected leaders. It should be pointed out that none of these systems are majority-rule or referenda systems: they are much more complex collaborative decision-making systems, deliberately designed to avoid the pitfalls of traditional direct democracy. The group has also compiled a much longer list of related projects. So, what is the future of the idea of "open sourcing" human governance: doomed, possible, or inevitable?
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