Appendix C

 “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change. With the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”
Thomas Jefferson

We the people of the United States need a completely new Constitution, improved by magnitudes beyond the political and social ideals of the original and  fully commensurate with and dynamic enough to vitally inform the structure of our modern society.

The undertaking and  successful achievement of such a profound work, however, is generally seen as a deeply perplexing problem rather than an exalted challenge. There are reasonable fears on the part of all of losing what has already been gained as rights, liberties, representation and recognition in the process.  A major question is who should be entrusted to impartially undertake the work and how it should be carried out. Some fear that opening up the process to the entire citizenry would be too unwieldy or the ordinary citizen would not be sufficiently competent in some pertinent areas and the end product would be inferior as a result. Any such undertaking will be resisted by those who have found ways to take advantage of or subvert the current Constitution and the laws made under its aegis for their personal, political, or economic advantage.

Our electronic age, however,  has afforded near instantaneous real time communication across the nation and across the planet. A major feature of that creation of a global village is the potential for nationwide, in depth, information distribution, education, and electronic input through secure voting on issues by the entire population in real time.  The computerization of the voting process has already begun and electronic voting machines are being installed and the process implemented. The recognition of the potential power to be gained politically by control and manipulation of these first devices to subvert the democratic process by fraudulent means and the production and control of the machines and their programming by private companies has already caused serious concern and alarm.  
But the potential for true democratic operation and benefit of the electronic modality is tremendous and obvious to most if only it will be made secure, impartial and the integrity of the system guaranteed.

Taken separately, these two developments can certainly appear as challenging “problems”.  I propose, however, that, taken together as two sides of the same coin, these two seemingly separate problems can transform into positive reciprocal resolutions and a single grand solution.  The two parts of the project ---- the development of the secure input/voting/feedback electronic system and the development of a second Constitution mandating its use ---- would be entrusted to all the citizens through an open source programming modality.  The project in total might be called New Glory.
Taken together, developed and perfected concurrently on an interactive basis using an open source modality,  a new Constitution fully reflecting and embodying the refined democratic principles and ideals of our time and the robust democratic mechanism for implementing those principles and ideals can be complementarily created. The voting system might be called Votin.

It would seem, at first, that the national input and voting system should be designed, developed, put in place, tested and perfected and then employed in the national collaborative democratic development of the new Constitution.  However, the final nature of the input and voting system will be mandated, eventually, by the as yet determined new Constitution and should embody the principles and ideals and advantages of it. So it will be necessary to implement the electronic hardware system with maximum flexibility for modification and to use the open source mode to program it also. This will allow for a  feedback loop of  dynamic reciprocal modification between the development of the new Constitution and the input and voting system. Such a process of simultaneous development through feedback and reciprocal modification involving the democratic participation and collaboration of potentially every citizen, beyond science fiction to the Founding Fathers, is clearly achievable through the modern electronic modality. True democracy is intrinsically open. The essential key to the project’s success  is the “open source” mode, a major capability afforded by the electronic revolution.

Open source computer programming is computer “source code” or, simply, “code”, instructions written on a collaborative basis with all code known and available to critique, enhancement and refinement,  by individuals and groups, informal or formal, often widely dispersed  groups of indefinite size.

Several well know examples of highly successful projects employing the open source approach both for actual “coding” and data accumulation and handling,  are: the creation of the powerful Linux operating system; the 85,000 volunteer Mars Global Surveyor mapping effort;  The Human Genome project involving hundreds of scientists working together to sequence DNA.

The open source mode, used in the conceptualization, development and creation of a maximally, robustly secure, self policing voting/input/feedback system, concomitantly with
a second Constitution which mandates is use is a quintessentially democratic process. The open source mode will be employed in every phase from the submission of this proposal to the finalization of a second Constitution and the continuation of the electronic voting process thereafter. 

Operating systems such as Linux for the computers required are already deployed.  The input and voting system will be developed as an open source application system. Alarm systems will be built into the devices and programs to guard against fraudulent manipulation and destructive acts although the open source process tends to minimize such hacking. An integral sub mode of the program should be dedicated to constructive “hacking” of the system in the form of demonstration of vulnerability of procedure or security during development or at any time afterward. It should allow for demonstration of vulnerability  without damage or corruption or causing cessation of the system for open source evaluation and correction. Destructive intrusion, hacking, causing damage, corruption, cessation or destruction of the program or system may well be considered high treason.  Conversely,  by ruthlessly competing,  monitoring each other, attempting to break every security measure propounded or implemented until a point is reached, literally, where no one can succeed in breaking the system,
the hackers and crackers and programming geniuses become the true patriots of our time.  Conceivably, an adolescent could contribute a key bit of programming that would solve the security challenge and become a Founding Daughter or Son.  The Founding Fathers would be proud.  

A second major capability afforded by advanced computer technology is the ability to process and communicate at a level of complexity beyond that of ordinary human capability.  This powerful feature provides the potential to address and accommodate the will and desires of each individual citizen whereas, previously, only huge constituencies of citizens represented by a single official could be managed. This capability will afford the means to process the input suggestion, request, or statement of position which will constitute the new form of “vote” of each citizen,on a 24/7/365day basis, evaluate the input, incorporate proportional urgency, integrate all input from all regions, etc and feedback critical news, data, responses ideally in real time. It will take us beyond antiquated representative government.

An open source data base containing the record of every input, discussion, decision and implementation from the advancing  of this proposal onward, as a subordinate part of the process, will naturally evolve into a dedicated expert system. A powerful open system of this type, continually added to, will provide civil servants, scholars, experts, lawyers and judges and the individual citizen continual direct access to topics and data  encompassing historical, legal, scientific, cultural and national elements directly and through real time links to other data bases and libraries, national and international.

The logical extension of this expert system will be its evolution into an artificial intelligence system whose prime directive would be to serve the people in all things Constitutional. It might be called Consul. It will be the logical tool used to determine when a third and further evolved Constitutions will be necessary, and contribute to their creation with accumulated knowledge and indicators.

In essence, this is a  practical rather than abstract project, defined and delimited,  not impossibly complex,  not beyond the comprehension and participation of the ordinary citizen. It has a great deal of precedent and experience and history to draw on, of both good and bad usage, fortune and consequences and values. Opening the process of determining a new Constitution through input and voting by every citizen will allow all opinions, philosophies, belief systems to input their convictions about what the content of the new Constitution should address and how it should address it. Opening the determination of the nature and operation of the input voting system will assure confidence in the adequacy, security and facility or the system.  The opportunity for participation by each citizen will stimulate ---- indeed, provoke ----  a breath and depth of study, creativity, idealism and redefinition of patriotism that could well profoundly revivify this country.

Minimum initiating assumptions for maximum freedom at base of this proposal:

A democratic form of government is not only still the preferred kind but a far better kind beyond the representative form is now attainable,  maximally conducive to the direct, continuous involvement by  each individual citizen  and the addressing of  her or his needs harmonized with all others’. No other than a generically human, true democracy is allowed. Oligarchy, theocracy, racial supremacist, fascist, as only several examples, would not qualify.

The open source approach is key. It should be used fully from the very inception of the project. Critical electronic voting system components manufacturing should be nationalized as is the U. S. Mint 

Perhaps the only rules which  should be applied are:
1. Maximum individual freedoms should always be the goal but the exercise of any freedom or act  that would destroy the system itself which guarantees and protects those freedoms should not be allowed. This fundamental criterion would apply in all phases of the project, to any principle, rule, prohibition or mechanism suggested; to any law which would subsequently be enacted.
2.  Any exercise of a freedom or action by an individual or entity which prevents the exercise of any freedom by another individual or entity allowed under rule 1 should not be allowed or, depending on its nature, should be considered invasive crime.

3.  Invasive crime should not be allowed; non-invasive acts, even though not acceptable to others, between consenting adults or upon ones own person, should not be considered criminal, subject to rule 1 and 2.

Carried out successfully,  a new Constitution  by the full citizenry will restore and revitalize the sovereignty of the individual.  It will take us beyond the dangerously archaic Constitution written in and for a pre-mechanical, horse-power  society, when land-holding determined the right to vote, women could not, minors were excluded and slave-holding was permissible. The slow and cumbersome representative form of government by strangers was necessary when it took two weeks for the news to travel from New Orleans to Boston. Government by law is an unworkable cliché in our time when a senator, elected every six years, represents two million people whom he or she has never met and the vast number of whom do not even know his or her name.

The political democratic model should be, and now can be, through the electronic medium, based on the neurological system: twenty billion neurons each hooked to an electric network.  Electronic communication makes possible direct participatory democracy.  Every citizen has a voting card which she or he inserts in a voting device from palm to desktop computer, cell phone, interactive TV, perhaps devices not yet invented, and central computers register and harmonize the messages from every component part. Neuro-electric politics eliminates the outmoded parties, politicians, campaigns and campaign expenditures. The citizen votes like a neuron fires when it has a signal to communicate.  The voices of the citizenry continually inform  civil service technicians who carry out the will, not of the majority (a vicious and suicidal elevation of the mediocracy) but of each citizen. The central computer is open source programmed to make everyone as free and happy as possible. Everyone will be educated by the system itself to understand how the open neural network works and have access to it. Each person will be an “interest group” of one. The potential, promise,  challenge and new glory of techno-neurological democracy is simply this:  the power to accomplish it is here and society can no longer allow one person to feel abused, persecuted, ignored.

The restoration and enhancement of the sovereignty of the individual citizen and the evolved ideals and principles  of the second Constitution may well restore America to a position of respect and example to the rest of the world.

This concept paper is offered respectfully and freely to all as the initiation of an open discussion and evaluation process leading to the actual open source project.  The anticipation is that those who have the capabilities and interest, from the citizen with an idea to scholars, scientists,  politicians,  computer scientists, political scientists, historians, programmers, whomever,  will determine first, perhaps,  a focus point, perhaps,  a website, or some suitable media mode (Linus Torvalds would be a good person to consult on this and related matters) where the project could be initiated.  Undertaken and completed independently of the current Constitution and political mechanisms,  the system and proposed Constitution would have to explain itself to all citizens,  demonstrate itself as superior and obviously attractive and beneficial,  and then be accepted by the citizenry as the logical next step in our evolving social environment.  Mr. Jefferson would be pleased indeed.

This paper is copyrighted by Neil Freer, but it may be freely downloaded, by the author's permission granted here, translated, printed, copied, quoted, included in any relevant work,  distributed in any appropriate media providing only that it not be altered in any way in text or intent and the author is properly credited.