How many times have you received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org? The internet is disenfranchising us.
In an economy that functions equitably, relationships function bilaterally. We can use a marketplace to clear our offers (what we provide others with) and wants (what others provide us with). We can sell to many and buy from many, such that we can enter many bilateral relationships as seller/buyer and as buyer/seller. The internet is consolidating bilateral relationships, such that we end up working for one employer (if we have a job at all) and buying from a small number of mega-providers. The reason for this is not the rise of robots (as conventional wisdom has it), but the use of money as a means of exchange. Money acts as a one way filter for information flow, like emails from email@example.com. It privileges one side of a bilateral relationship over the other.
Exchange and voting are inextricably linked. In exchange, we consider what we and what others have and decide what we should keep, what we should sell and what we should buy. The “we” is an electorate continually updating its likes and dislikes as hunger is satiated, new desires form and new selling opportunities emerge.
In exchange, there are two perspectives on each subject being traded, one from that of the seller and the other from that of the buyer. The transfer of ownership of a subject changes the perspective of the seller from (me, mine, not you, not yours) to (not me, not mine, you yours) and the buyers perspective from (not me, not mine, you yours) to (me, mine, not you, not yours). By using pairs of four ordered polarities to keep track of (me or not me, mine or not mine, you or not you, yours or not yours), exchange of goods and services can be controlled as a network of coupled bilateral relationships. The information flow accompanying each step is bidirectional.
Voting works in the same way. Just as there are two perspectives on each subject being traded in exchange, so there are two perspectives on each candidate or option being evaluated in an election or referendum. Before I go to the car boot sale, I decide to keep the sat-nav, to sell the kitchen sink and to buy a dishwasher. Sometimes my decisions are weighted more on what I most like, and sometimes more on what I most dislike. In a vote, the electorate is not all the component parts of me, but the voters. A vote is seeking to act as a collective decision-making “me”.
The vote is coded just like in exchange: in six ordered rows of four ordered polarities, each representing one of the six faces of a cube consisting of two interpenetrating chiral tetrahedrons. Each voter looks at the list of options or candidates twice, once from the viewpoint of which the voter likes (supports, wants to buy) and once from the viewpoint of which the voter dislikes (rejects, offers to sell). In a conventional vote, each voter marks which option of candidate they like the most, or abstains. The voter cannot signal that he or she wants an option or candidate not on the list, nor can the voter signal separately which option or candidate she or he wants to see rejected. A vote is not bidirectional, because those providing the options control the agenda and thus direct the eventual decision. They are the ones that send the emails from firstname.lastname@example.org.