Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Entmoot Effect

The Entmoot Effect says that individuals who vote produce a collective decision which is better than the best enlightened despot's. This works with jellybeans, too. Put a bunch of jellybeans in a big jar and ask a hundred people to guess how many beans are in the jar. The average guess is better than the best guess, usually, when the beans are poured out and counted.

This bizarre result is real — and it explains why societies which have a deliberative tradition tend to linger on the Earth, whether you call it a Parliament, a Congress, a Senate, a Chamber, a Court, a Committee, or (my favorite) an Allthing.

The rule is simple and democratic. As the Spirit Moves, fools and kings have a communal voice wiser than kings and simpler than fools.

So, if you're a citizen old enough, VOTE in today's elections.


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