The Sentient Democracy
The Sentient Democracy sci-fi stories

omerqayyum Community member
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A new experimental form of government, run by a computer algorithm, gains popularity in the world of future. The algorithm is efficient but also authoritarian; how long before it turns to tyranny?

The Sentient Democracy

The President, in his address on new year's eve 2064, cheerfully announced the signing up of the last two rogue states to the Cosmocracy.

He avowed, with obvious contentment, that the world has finally achieved peace after a hundred and fifty years of war and terrorism.

His eagerness for the future was evident in his declaration: "the challenge is no longer to preserve a minimum living standard for the species but achieving optimal efficiency

of social organization".

The old concepts of nation state have faded and democracy seems redundant.

A new system is being pushed by the trailblazers of neo-science --a movement for ambitious, experimental science-- as the future of government.

The new system proposes total erasure of already feeble institutions of democracy including the parliament and the judiciary and replacing them with technology.

The technology known as 1world is an all unifying algorithm, fueled by data, through which great control and power can be exercised.

It is feared that 1world would be a government neither of the people nor by the people even if it (purportedly) is a government for the people.

The world has changed and so have humans, man is no longer handicapped by the frustrating inability of being in more than one places at a time.

Not bound by the limitations of time and space he can now be 'multipresent'; throwing mud on his father's grave while at the same time window-shopping for a new couch --all owing to the power

of 1world.

Previously, people could not be directly involved in the decision making process because the inordinate number of possible nodes would render the whole process inefficient and unproductive.

Therefore, government was to be by a few who fully represent the masses being ruled and exercise power on their behalf.

This argument for representative democracy no longer holds water; there is a better way available to incorporate the opinion of the masses in the exercise of state power.

Instead of a representative democracy, where a few decide for the many, a direct democracy, where many decide for themselves, can now be afforded.

Science today has made possible the erection of a new system of a direct democracy of billions.

Everyone has access to policy making and everyone would decide, not through representatives but themselves, every last detail of government work.

1world is already being test run in the less populated states of the Cosmocracy --the common political authority of all humanity.

For each matter of public importance, it asks the opinion of every individual that is expected to be directly or indirectly affected by the outcome.

This is done either through the old hand held gadgets or the now ubiquitous personalized technology known as 1self -- the biochemical device which once swallowed becomes part of

the nervous system of the host and can be used to serve as an all unifying technology platform providing the host abilities like access to cloud computing and communication over different media.

Every individual will share his opinion over the presented matter, which will be recorded, transferred,

and processed in real time by 1world in conflation with opinions of others (sometimes in billions).

The algorithm asks opinion of only those individuals expected to be affected by the consequences, hence,

narrowing down the decision making pool which effectively creates a system of self-governance at the micro level. 1world has eliminated the binary regime of opinion recording.

An individual can answer in a measure of inclination or confidence towards a particular option on an analogue scale.

The algorithm also helps individuals reach conclusions who cannot do so by themselves.

The 1self technology gauges --through monitoring brain activity, and hormonal and chemical changes in the body-- the reactions of individuals to certain events and possibilities,

and based on their personality model fills in for them in moments of indecision.

This data when combined for a million or billion responses becomes a convoluted heap of preferences and dislikes; the algorithm derives meaning out of the heap of data to reach a decision.

The extent of a particular policy decision being implemented is a function of both the percentage of people expressing favor or aversion for that particular policy option and the magnitude

of that favor or aversion by each individual.

1world seems to be performing better than expected in terms of effectiveness and efficiency but rare reports of questionable occurrences are causing consternation among the critics.

1world has been observed to have made decisions for people without even asking for their responses.

This can be a very dangerous precedent as this could lead to 1world making decisions on matters of public importance without consulting the concerned public,

which essentially amounts to 'intelligent despotism'.

Another worrying aspect is the weighing of some individual responses higher than others, which ostensibly is a way to incorporate 'expert opinion' more effectively.

In most cases the said field experts have turned out to be 1worlders --favorites of the system who lobby for it vociferously.

The algorithm has demonstrated excellent acumen in formulation of new law and interpretation of existing law.

This has led to the proposal of replacing the legislature and the judiciary of the state with 1world.

Who needs erring, corrupt politicians and judges when you can have an infallible computer program do the job for you?

The algorithm now holds sway over the most critical of policy decisions including food production and population control.

It has already taken control of its own power source (controls power generation and distribution) and is no longer dependent on man for its existence; there is no plug that one can pull

to kill 1world as it exists not in one but in billions of electronic devices simultaneously.

The question is, can we fight or stop a shapeless, omnipresent, omniscient consciousness if it chooses to take control of the whole planet instead of its intended role of aiding civilization.

The answer is not very encouraging as the only chance for man to win back control now is an immediate and complete abandonment of all technology and to suffer a return to primitiveness.

1worlders, world over, are presenting this 'sentient democracy' as the panacea for all of human shortcomings.

How long before 1world decides that human existence is an irremediable shortcoming in itself?

How long before the algorithm takes matters in its own virtual hands and eliminates the human species to save the planet and become the dominating 'life' form?

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