Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ancient roman saying:

libri aut liberi

(books or children)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gmail play of words

I sent out a common email to my dissertation committee members titled 'Scheduling my comprehensive exam' asking them for times of availability in a particular week. They replied with their times of convenience and I found no time in common. Google had appropriately titled the emails 'Re: Scheduling my comprehensive exam'.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Can a democracy be made more efficient?

I was thinking of how a democracy might be made a more efficient system. While there are problems in constructing a fair voting system , what I was thinking was: irrespective of the approach (from the various approaches mentioned in link) used to elect the representatives, why not apply free market economics to voting systems. Meaning: Voters elect representatives at a local level (may be district level, or some other small unit of measure). Then, after some definite period (say annually), the nearest neighbour localities can choose to either continue with their current representative or pick one of the more efficient neighbouring representatives. In this way, some representatives, the ones which people deem more efficient, now control greater areas, and iterate over time until you have representatives/parties governing people in proportion to the extent to which people deem them efficient. (Someone I know was wondering what this would do to states as we know it? The answer is: States are a convenient fiction. The only thing this does is make those rigid boundary lines fluid.) I think this would substantially improve the powers of democracy. But perhaps there are bottlenecks in implementation? Any other problems you guys can think of?