#178 Democracy 2.0: Flux – Daithi Gleeson

What would an upgrade to our current democracy actually look like? And how would democracy 2.0 actually work?

That’s exactly what I discussed with Daithi Gleeson, member of the Flux Party – political party and movement that is drawing on technology to put forward an upgrade to our democratic system.

In this discussion, Daithi gives us a history of our democracy through today with key suggestions of how we can upgrade to make it work for us better in the present day.

Daithi and I about went into the current state of our individual and collective capability to be effective citizens in Democracy 2.0

Daithi is superbly articulate which makes this a very accessible conversation. It is also fascinating because all too often political discussions focus on the differences between parties and policies rather than on the actual nature of the underlying system and its ability to serve us the citizens and meet the complexity of the current day.

Read Full Transcript

Bryn Edwards 

What would an upgrade to our current democracy actually look like? And how would version 2.0 actually work? That’s exactly what I got into today with Daithi Gleeson who is a member of the flux party. And this is not just a political party. This is more of a political movement, a movement towards upgrading our current democracy and how it works.

 

This is a fascinating conversation. Because all too often when somebody complains about the fact that democracy doesn’t work, everybody reduces the conversation back to what would you rather have communism or dictatorship?

 

This is a really interesting conversation where we held space for what could an upgrade actually look like? It’s fascinating to see how the Flux Party is actually making that happen, and putting that proposition forwards.

 

So enjoy Daithi.

 

Hello, and welcome back to WA Real. I’m your host, Bryn Edwards. Today I have the great pleasure of talking with Daithi Gleason, Daithi welcome to the show.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Thank you.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Now die, you are a member of the flux and their political party.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yes, it is a political party, among other things.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes. And that’s what we’re gonna dive into. And people become more self explanatory in a minute why I asked that. But one of the things I really want to dive into today is exploring a bit more about flux. And it’s and the questions it raises about democracy. So at the top level, can you tell me what flux is about?

 

 

shorting?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

flux is primarily at the core, a political movement,

 

Bryn Edwards 

right?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

That is built around philosophy around how we do democracy and how we do decision making on a societal, societal level. So at the very core of that, we have our philosophy, which we have called issue based direct democracy.

 

 

Yes. And irrelevant to that. Yeah. And around

 

Daithi Gleeson 

that core philosophy, we now have a foundation. Yep, the flux foundation. And from the flux foundation is where we start with building out political parties and doing the work that we’re trying to do, which is, you know, one of our catchphrases for the last few years was to upgrade democracy.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes. So I guess the first question that springs to mind for me is, if you’re talking about upgrading democracy, what are some of the challenges, issues problems that are that are occurring, currently, which is caused you and others to think about where we can go?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Now that is that that could be the the opening for a 12 hour lecture series that will keep

 

 

it succinct them?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

So to keep it succinct on five points? Yes. So the idea that when we talk about we use the word democracy, yeah, it means different things to different people. Yeah. And that’s one of the first challenges that we have. But something that a lot of people can agree on, is this form of representative democracy, that we’ve come to know where we elect people to be our representatives, and we send them off to Parliament to make decisions that represent our best interests? Yes. representative democracy. Yep. Now, that system came about, after a couple of little while after the printing press, in terms of, you know, the innovation that resulted from a particular technology we’ve been as a as humans, and as societies, we’ve been organising ourselves in various ways, for thousands of years. And the Greeks were the ones who, I suppose trials, the first versions of what we now call modern democracy, you know, a long time before we got around to developing Parliament’s and more formal structures, which we currently associate with the concept of democracy. But just sticking with the, the more the more recent version of democracy, this representative model, it was born at a time when Parliament’s were a couple of days horse right away from where people lived. So it made sense for people to go, okay, we need to send someone one of us off to Parliament to represent our best interests will only choose one person and we’ll make sure that they are the best qualified, best educated, somebody who can relate to all of our experiences and someone that we can trust in knowing that when they go off to Parliament, they will make decisions that we know will, will do right by your skin

 

 

in the representers.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah. And in concept. Great, great idea. And that’s where that’s where the innovation was. That’s where the technology allowed it. To be at that time,

 

Bryn Edwards 

the technology been horses,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

the technology being horses, your printing press, yeah, where you were life was, but predominantly, what we’re talking about when we talk about politics and democracy is really about how do we organise information to make decisions on a mass level? Yeah, it really is about the organisation of information. Because if you make decisions with bad information, yes, you are, by default, making bad decisions. Yes. So unless you have the information set up in a way, when you are going to make your decision, the whole exercise is futile. Yeah. So you do that with the best with whatever the best technology you have at the time, whether it’s an mail system that can send letters to people, or whether it’s delivered sending people on horseback to go represent you, you do the best you can do to ensure that the right information is in the right place with the right people when the decision needs to be met.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And just so we’re clear the decisions by and large, are, where our resources deployed.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

That’s an example of of a decision from a societal level. Exactly. It is that the key question is, we all look around at each other and go, what what are we doing here? Yes, well, and the first thing we need to figure out is like, what are we doing? And then we figure out, Okay, how are we going to do this? Yes. And the conversation about like, you know, why are we here? And like the court, like, that’s something that tends to happen more at a kind of deeper cultural, psychological level among philosophical, yeah. But the looking around, what are we doing? And how are we going to do it? That’s really what we’re talking about when it comes to political decision making right at a societal level. So at that time, sending people on horseback to Parliament to make decisions. That’s fine, fast forward. Fast forward a couple hundred years, a lot has happened in that time. And one of the things that happened in that time, is that people have come to realise that we now have certain bottlenecks, and we have certain places in these information flows, where it all comes down to a single point of influence. Yes. And given the scale, and I suppose the importance of some of these decisions and the consequences of these decisions. People are incentivized to influence the environment to whatever way they can to bring about a decision that suits them. Yeah. And this, you know, this is something that we all do, like this is just, it’s an inevitability if, if there is something that would bring about a better set of circumstances for me, I’m going to use my influence to try and bring about that better circumstances. Yes, self interest, like it is. It’s undeniable, yeah, undeniably common among all humans. And to a large extent, we have harnessed self interest. And when I say harness there, because it’s self hint, its self interest is left on checked and then harnessed, it can pull people in all sorts of directions. So we need to put some constraints around our self interest and ensure that we, you know, that we use it to propel our polar selves forward, but not to drag us off into strange places. So we have self interest and people starting to realise, well, if if we’re organising our decision making systems in a way where ultimately it has become it is dependent on these these people in and Parliament’s a really good place for me to exert my influence would be to try and influence how these people make decisions in Parliament. Yes. And what we’ve seen over time, one of the big complaints among people who are dissatisfied with democracy, is that they feel that the relationship between the decision maker in Parliament and them as the person who is being represented, they feel that that relationship has become distorted so much. And we can see examples of this distortion in the role that political like donations for example, yes, play in shaping how decisions are made in Parliament, where, you know, the catchphrase of democracy is, you know, all votes are equal. Yes, all water equal when it comes to elections, and when it comes to choosing people who will go represent you in Parliament. But after that, there’s a whole other game that’s played in terms of what will influence what these people in Parliament is, how will they do things? What will What do they think is more important? What do they prioritise? What do they perceive as being the right thing to do? And the disconnect, then, that is, over time, create like if that feedback loop and I’ll talk about feedback loops in a while If that feedback loop is distorted, are broken somewhat over present or not present exactly over time, you will find that the relationship between the representative and the people who are supposed to be representatives, codes diverged even further and further. And that’s what that’s, I won’t say that’s what we’re seeing everywhere. But that is definitely a very common experience for people where they feel that political decision makers are out of touch with what they the citizens want. And that the mechanism for ensuring appropriate feedback between those decisions, and the consequences of the decisions is not working properly.

 

Bryn Edwards 

It’s interesting that because a real a real pro democracy person might say, well, then you just vote them out and vote somebody else. That doesn’t necessarily influence your systemic problem that you were talking about. of, there’s this whole other game that is played when it comes to the decision making, that we vote the decision makers to go and do. And the other thing I find that we don’t tend to do is, particularly when we come back around to election period is reconcile, this is what you said, That’s why you got into office? What did you do during the time? And how does that stack up with what you said to start?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

The problem that you’re alluding to there is, is that I always use the term and sentence when trying to explain behaviour someone wants before said, you’ll show me the show me the incentives, and I’ll explain the behaviours. And what we have in our current political system is politicians and political parties who are incentivized to win elections? Correct. That’s, that’s the game. It’s Yeah, win elections. And once you win the election, then you’re in Parliament, then you can figure it, you can play the other game,

 

Bryn Edwards 

play the game for five years,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

however long. And when that term ends, you go back to playing the game of getting electors. So the way that you get electors is by telling people what they want to hear. Yes, because there is a finite state, like there is a set day when everybody is going to turn up at the polls or a session, you know, set of weeks, a period of time where people would turn up at the polls and make their decision. And all you have to do is in the lead up to that, and that

 

Bryn Edwards 

six to nine to 12 months before. Yeah,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

you you tell people what it is they want to hear by, you know, by advertising campaigns, making promises going out doing their, you know, their local engagement work, listening to people’s concerns, and going Yes, I agree with you. You’ll vote for me, I’ll help you out. And people like, yes, that’s what I want. I want somebody who understands me, yeah, she understands me, I want somebody just like this person who will listen to me. And then we’ll go and do something about it. Yes. But once the election is over, it’s, as I said, it’s a whole other game now. And what we have when people so I could make any kind of promise, yeah, anybody in the world and say, once I get into parliament, I will do this, I will ensure everybody gets it a goldfish. Yeah, for example. Now, I can say that, but when I get into parliament, there will be a whole other set of constraints and people with different ideas about No, we shouldn’t be giving people goldfish, we should be giving them pet rabbits instead. And there’s no way that nobody’s getting goldfish on my watch. I will go out of my way to ensure that that doesn’t happen. Yeah. So all of a sudden, the best intentions of the person who was going to go and deliver a promise runs into the reality of the constraints of the political system. Now, I point this out, because there is this trope that all politicians are bad and all politicians break promises, complete rubbish. Yes, the vast, vast, vast majority of people who were involved in politics are for good reasons they want to make they want to make the world a better place. Yeah. And they have ideas about how they think they can do that. But then what happens is those ideas and that desire to make the world a better place runs into conflict with a system that is not necessarily designed to bring about the best outcomes all the time.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes. Yes, that makes sense

 

Daithi Gleeson 

now, so as an example, as to one example of how we can bring about suboptimal outcomes. Yeah, let’s say we have a parliament, where we’re going to elect 100 people into parliament, and we’re going to say this parliament will operate on a majority. So for laws to pass We need at least 51 people to agree to whatever it is we’re going to do, your answer won’t get passed. Now, most people will, one of the questions that I love to think about all the time is, what is something I want is something that somebody could say, our state that would get unanimous agreement among people, like that everybody would agree on. And that, you know, I bring it back to very simple things like the sky is blue. Yes. And even to say something like the sky is blue, there will always be people who will go, actually, it’s, it’s, it’s something else, like it’s either a more refined version of backlight. Blue is not an accurate description.

 

 

Some days, it’s white when it’s cloudy.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah. And there’s some people who will just take the position, if you if you believe the sky is blue, I’m gonna say it’s green, the sky is green. And I, I hold that position, because I just have the belief that Everything you say is wrong or incorrect because of the the basis of your ideology of your thinking or where you’re coming from. I don’t like the way you think, therefore, anything you say, I will, I will go against us. So getting the majority in parliament can be quite difficult. And they say that one of the ways that you get a majority in parliament, and one of the things that’s involved in politics, is this idea of compromise. No, compromise is one of those words that we generally have a positive association with it means Okay, we’re both going to let go of something in order to work towards a bigger mutual goal. Yes. And you talked about creating Win Win situations. But sometimes compromise actually creates suboptimal outcomes. Yes. And so a very simple example that I give to people is if we were trying to decide what to have for dinner, and we’ll say we’ll say now there’s only 10 people smaller. And one group of the 10 people, three people say we want to have pot, we want to have pasta and tomato sauce. And three people say we want to have raw vegetables. And three other people say we want to have ice cream. And there’s one other person who says, I want to have a salad. Right now, everybody might be satisfied with having a salad. But there’s only one person out of that only 10% of the people have said that they want to have a salad. Hmm. The majority, the working majority is split between pasta, ice cream and and raw vegetables. Yeah. And so what happens is the ice cream people and the raw vegetable people say, we both like we definitely don’t want pasta for dinner. Yeah. Okay, what we’ll do is we’ll come to a compromise. We’re going to have raw vegetables and ice cream. Yeah. And that means that we both get a little bit of what we want. Yes. And we’re definitely not getting the thing that we don’t want. Yes, but they end up eating broccoli flavoured ice cream. Yeah. Which is what nobody wanted originally. Yes. And it’s just one of these examples of we’re trying to get a working majority inside a party parliamentary system,

 

Bryn Edwards 

there’s not much go forwards is that there’s more trying to

 

Daithi Gleeson 

prevent it? Yes. Look, we hear the expression, you know, they are the least worst option. Yes. And that’s often what people are trying to do. They’re trying to engineer things so that you, we just want to ensure that we don’t end up with the worst option. And so we’ll compromise and do things to ensure that we reach some sort of some sort of position where we’re both, you know, reasonably happy or satisfied that it’s not the worst outcome. And hopefully next time, we’ll be able to make more progress. But, you know, now that’s a very simplified example, to describe the sort of deadlock and suboptimal outcomes that can come about from from party political systems in Parliament. It’s not to say that it’s always like that, yeah. But the nature of political parties and why they were created and what they stand for what they represent, is, it’s often around protecting a certain set of ideas, and a certain set of ideologies or beliefs from from attack.

 

 

Yes. And at all costs.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yes. Whereas one of our fundamental kind of one of our core beliefs or one of the core ideas that we believe is really important, is the idea that that ideas should be tested, and that you shouldn’t be going into, into making decisions to ensure that you get your way we should be optimising for how do we create the best outcomes? And so sometimes going back to the dinner example, if we couldn’t find it, If we couldn’t get a working majority, sometimes the best outcome would be for people to go. You know what? We’re going to give this the ice cream crew, we’re going to go Josh, no ice cream tonight. We’ll just side with the vegetables, people are the pastor people and ensure that everybody gets to eat something that’s, that’s palatable, and nutritious and nutritious. But often there’s this thing, there’s this notion, this feeling that you have to hang, you can’t let go too much. Because otherwise, what do you stand for? And while it’s good to stand for things, like, you know, everybody should have core values underpinning the way that they think. But you should always be open to opt in to up, I will say updating the value values change slowly over time. But any of the thinking that’s overlaid on top of values, you should absolutely be going into every situation trying to go, how do I make my thinking better? Yes. How do we actually work towards improved outcomes, as opposed to me working towards meet me and us trying to win? Yeah, and so much of what is happening in politics now is about one side winning, and one side losing, as opposed to was thinking, what what do we need to do actually deliver to me out yet to make incremental progress over time that we can build upon and actually make real step change over time?

 

Bryn Edwards 

And I think, what you’ve explained that will be the source of many people’s disappointment, and angst, and anxiety about what we see on the TV from our politicians, when we think they’re making this decision, and it just does not reflect me in my life, and what have you.

 

 

Hmm.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So I ask you the question, what are the issues from which the flux party was born out of? Yeah, that’s okay. So that’s it, isn’t it? Yeah,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

the core thing really is, why aren’t we applying the sort of thinking from the scientific method where we form a hypothesis? Yeah, I just taking a step back. This enlightenment thinking, you know, babuino, calling fallibilism and the scientific method is really

 

Bryn Edwards 

about enlightenment. 19 7700s.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah, it’s about form hypothesis, you know, gather evidence, and, you know, so the hypothesis being, I think that if I, if I drop this lid, or if I let go of this lid, it will fall straight down, because gravity will act on us. And so you do a test. And if it passes the test, you go, okay, that theory holds up. Yeah. If, however, I let go others and the lid stayed in the air, we’d go okay. My hypothesis is not correct. I need to modify something about this and updated to make it more accurate. And that’s that sort of thinking has stood us really well, to make progress in so many aspects of society. Yes. But when it comes to political decision making, what we sometimes tend to do is Okay, everybody, the red team have decided that we are going east. prosperity and success is that way, yes. Okay, let’s go. And we all start marching off to the east, it’s quite

 

Bryn Edwards 

ethnocentric.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

And then after a certain amount of time, we realise, oh, we’re not as prosperous isn’t as successful as we thought we wanted. The blue guy said we should have gone West. And so everyone turns around, and starts marching back in the other direction, and making very little progress over time as opposed to going, we figured out based on where the mountains are heading in this direction, for a certain period of time, is our best is our best guess at this point in time. Yeah. And we should be looking to make incremental changes to Yeah, updating our hypothesis along the way, as opposed to just taking everything, throwing it out, starting again, going in the other direction, based on an election cycle. Yes. So core to our philosophy is the idea as well of testing ideas, you’re trying to make incremental changes that make things better, like making small improvements over time. And if you do that consistently enough, you will make lots of significant big improvements. Yes.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So is that so how does this now translate into flux? The party flux, yes, the new is new way of doing democracy.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

So our because our our philosophy is about trying to enhance the let’s call it the the optimization algorithms of how we We make decisions it requires, it requires a feedback mechanism. So that if you’re going astray, you need some way to figure out that you’re going astray. Right now, the way that we do that currently is once every three to four years, we ask everybody in the population, are we going the right direction? Yeah. And people say, yes, no, yes, no. And we end up in the situation that I kind of just described there. We are of the opinion that we would get much better outcomes. If we were to refine that feedback mechanism, and get more feedback along the way, in terms of all of the all of the legislation that is crafted and deployed during a parliamentary term that we should be getting feedback on each one of those, and where does the feedback come from? Ultimately, it has to come from the citizens for whom the parliament is creators, and the representatives and the representatives out there to look after the interests of the people of the of the country. Yeah, and by having a more dynamic and refined feedback loop there, we can, we can make smaller incremental improvements to to legislation, and not be so dependent on just trying to pick which which general big direction are we going to try and go and move in the next few years. So the way that we want to do that is by giving people the ability to interact with the legislation that comes before parliament, right. So as an example, there are let’s take any, let’s take the government of the day and Australia, the Liberal Party, they have a large amount of support across a range of their policies. But there are policies that exist inside there inside their group of policies that people don’t agree with. But we, I described the current system, sometimes as a set menu, you have to choose from the set menu, menu a or menu B, and that determines what starter main course and dessert you get. Whereas we’re proposing a more ala carte menu. Remember, you get to choose I like instead of picking a team, that you actually pick the issues that matter to you, and you support the issues or you oppose the issues. Hmm. So imagine this rather than imagine at election time, if you were going into an election, and rather than picking names, or a party, on the ballot paper that you were saying, you were been asked, How do you feel about taxes? How do you feel about environmental policy? Right? How What do you think about about the health care system? And looking at issues looking at policy and legislation on an issues basis? would work? The question that I always like to ask people is would you actually end up voting for the same party or people that you end up voting for? Or woods, going through it on an issue by issue basis, actually create a little bit more nuance that would divorce you from someone over here? And maybe have you more aligned with someone who you didn’t expect to be aligned with? Yes. And tools, like there’s a tool called Vokes compass that is rolled out by the ABC and other groups around election time, where people are asked a range of questions around various policies, and then they’re told, actually, you would be most aligned with this particular candidate, or this particular party. And a lot of times it takes people by surprise. Yeah. Because they have inherited their preference of who they think they support as always voted for. Yeah, that that thing of myself, like we are a labour family, or we are a little family, we’ve always voted labour, we’ve always voted liberal. And I always encourage people to think, think about the issues. Yes. And ask yourself, does this party that you’re voting for, do they actually represent your position on these issues? And when you start getting into the nuance, and this is where people end up making that kind of compromise where they go, Well, look, I like, I like six of six of the things that the blue guys are talking about. I’m not too keen on number, 789 and 10. But one and two are really important to me. So look, I’ll stick with

 

Bryn Edwards 

that stick with these, even if three, four and five come with it.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah, as opposed whereas our philosophy is about, you know, ignore, ignore the party affiliation, ignore the colours, it’s about, it’s about the issues, because ultimately, it’s the issues that that shape the policy, and the policy that will shape the legislation and the legislation that creates the outcomes that impact people’s lives. And then the impact on people’s lives is felt. And, and then they update if they if they feel that they have made an incorrect decision, people can update. So one of the criticisms when we start talking about our idea people say something like This, or with that idea, everybody would just vote to get rid of taxes. Now, I don’t think that that’s true, I think that the majority of people are actually, you know, clued in enough to know that if they were to vote to get rid of taxes, that the cumulative net effect of that would be detrimental to the vast majority of people. But even if for some reason, enough people port, we’re Yeah, let’s vote to get rid of taxes, knock it off. Yeah. Over time, things would happen, they will notice, or why are the roads gone so bad? Like, why? Why are the Why is there no roof on the schools? Why? Why is the hospital only open for two hours a day or choose at the door? And then do you still feel the same way about how you voted on taxes? And people who got Actually, I’m going to update that. And that’s the feedback mechanism that I talked about that, yeah, if if people make decisions, where they’re connected to the outcome of us, and if their respective outcome

 

 

is felt,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

yep. And when that outcome is experienced by them, if they made a bad decision, people will change their mind. Whereas what we have at the moment is people make a decision to choose a team to represent them. And then the team goes to Parliament and makes decisions on these people’s behalf. And the people feel the consequences. But when it comes to changing their mind, or trying to update things, at that point in time, when it comes to election time, they’ll either have been, you know, get all this information that will just kind of make them forget about the bad decision that they once made, or things will be the policy and the parties will be crafted in such a way to minimise any ability to actually change that it’s there. It’s the breakdown between the decision makers and the people who bear the consequences of the decisions.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes. So listen to a couple of questions now. So who if I was to go to the booth and vote on issues? Who sets the list of issues?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

In Are you talking about it in a hypothetical situation or under the model that we’re talking about under the module you’re

 

Bryn Edwards 

talking about? So who would set the issues? Yeah. And then the next thing is I work it through in my head is, so you’d select, you know, let’s arbitrarily say it’s 40 issues, we boil it down to eight, for the next period of time that we’re going to work on the resume. This is roughly how it may work. And then some want some body is going to need to put at least version 1.0 of the policy to react to the issue.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

I think before I get into answering this, I’ll take a step back and explain like the fundamentals of issue based direct democracy. Yeah. And how it works. And the answers to that question will come about Yes, in that explanation. So we’ve established that issue based direct democracy is about an issue. It’s issue based. Yes. So it’s about choose it. It’s about looking at issues. The direct democracy, part of it is direct democracy where people have a direct say, on the issues. Now, it direct democracy is a model that is used in a number of places around the world. But the most famous example is Switzerland, where all the legislation that is that is passed in Switzerland, has to be essentially ratified by the people directly, and they vote on things from the camptown local level, all the way through the federal level. And their politicians are, to a large extent, your administrative bureaucrats you do the to do the work of drafting the legislation and making sure it work, but the people ratify or shoot down the various policies now that that works in Switzerland, where they have a long history of, of direct democracy. And it is it is ingrained in their national psyche that people have to do this. But a lot of other people don’t want to be actively involved in every decision.

 

 

That was another question I was gonna come back to.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

So this is where the concept of liquid democracy comes into it. And we also use, like the fullest expression of issue based direct democracy incorporates liquid democracy, which is where you can delegate if you if you’re too busy, to be up to date on all of the issues. You can delegate to somebody. And by that you could delegate to your to your friend who is super informed on things or you could potentially delegate to A, you know, a local representative or, you know, an expert in a particular area.

 

Bryn Edwards 

This is where you do have a local representative that plays a role, I suppose, yeah,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

protect Well, this is where like when I say a local representative, I really mean more of a person who represents groups of people or, you know, certain ideas. Yeah, so let’s say for example, if there was, if there was going to be a was a, the issue is taxes, are we going to keep taxes or get rid of them? Now, I’m gonna say that I’m somebody who is not informed on things. I don’t know what the right decision to make on this, but my friend Bryn is really up to date on all this stuff, issue based direct democracy, I could delegate my voting authority to you, yes. And on the condition that you make good decisions on my behalf. As soon as you start making bad decisions, I can revoke the delegation of authority, and either start making these decisions for myself or delegate to somebody else. So what this does is, it eliminates the burden, the cognitive burden associated with trying to stay up to date with things and it also defaults so much to the model that we currently have where we, you know, currently we delegate to politicians, really, yeah, we the same, gonna let you make that

 

Bryn Edwards 

decision of my ego get involved in this legislation and stuff and make the votes on my behalf.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yes, now, but in our system, we that delegation is more dynamic. And if the currently you get to delegate once every three to four years, we’re saying that you can delegate much more frequently than that. Yes. So there is the direct the issues aspect, the direct democracy aspect, the liquid democracy of delegation. And the other aspect in its fullest extent is, is a term that today’s in our, in our writings has been called vote swapping. But it was caused a little bit of a confusion and controversy. But it really is more about creating an economic incentive, an incentive market for people to participate only on the issues that they care most about. So our system, our philosophy, it doesn’t necessarily want you to be participating in every single decision that comes across the columns across the table. Would it asks you what do you care most about, like, if you could actually implement some changes? What would you like your voting capital to be assigned? Based on? Yeah, and what this does is, it will, it will let you know, certain issues are going to be more important to more people than others. Yes. And it will create a more competitive market for the controversial issues. And it will, but even more importantly, it will mean that these smaller issues that only affect maybe a couple of thousand people, but that would dramatically improve their lives, if implemented, and would have no detrimental effect on anybody else. It creates the space for these sorts of improvements to happen, right? Because people could go, I A great example that I that I have is I have a friend who wasn’t really interested in politics. And when it came time to, like in the previous state election, the labour, the Labour Party, were bringing forward policy around mixed martial arts fighting right in in Western Australia. And it was going to essentially create legislation that would allow mixed martial arts and UFC to happen, in part. And this, this really, this was the thing that was going to make my make life better. This was the issue that he cared about. And he’s like, all the rest of the stuff. He said, I’m happy for I’m happy with how everything else has gone along. But on this one issue, I want my I want my preference on this to be felt this is the only thing that I care about. Yes. And there was a lot of people who felt like that, and there was people who opposed us. But the the support for that was much greater than the opposition to it, the majority of people didn’t really care. But those are the sorts of small improvements where, you know, it only affects a tiny number of people on the on the positive side. And on the negative side. And we you know, we need to figure out, we need to figure out, you know, when do we want something like this to pass or not, if it is truly detrimental. The onus is on the people who feel the bad effects to convince other people, hey, you should care about this. The outcomes of this are really bad. There’s 10,000 people who are going to support it, we need 11,000 people because it’s bad. And then you have a you have an actual marketplace of ideas. You have people talking about the merits of the issue, saying you should support this because it’s good are bad. And you can look at this issue in isolation without having to compromise on or not necessarily compromise without having to worry about bundling in 25. Other issues Yeah, with this, you can look at this one in isolation. If it creates good outcomes, we can let it pass if it creates bad outcomes, we’ll vote against. Yep. Now, that’s kind of an overview of the philosophy. And a key thing that brings all of this together comes back to what I was talking about, at the very start the technology that’s available to us a philosophy like this, but this level of nuance and interaction would was just not possible 100 200 years ago, yeah, it’s only possible for us to entertain these sorts of ideas now, with the advent of your smartphone technology and communications technology. And one of the aspects that we’re working as well as the philosophy, we’re also working on developing technology, to Britain to give people the tools to participate in this sort of way of working. Yeah, because talking about the philosophy is nice, you know, it’s a intellectually stimulating, yes, exercise, but how does it work in practice, and the way that it works in practice, and this is the hypothesis that we are testing is that people now people have smartphone technology, the next smartphone penetration is increasing year on year on year. And that is a that’s a tool, like smartphones in and of themselves are neither good nor bad. There’s no morality associated with it, it’s how we choose to use them as a tool. And we believe that we have under utilise them as tools for participating in the political process. And we’re working on designing, you know, an experience for people via their smartphones. So that they can start to you know, initially become more aware of the issues become become more or not the issue become more aware of the the legislation that’s before parliament, become more aware of how they can participate, and express their support or opposition to issues. Yeah, and by bringing people into this into this ecosystem, as we call it by using these technological tools. We believe that over time, as more people start to participate, we will start to see certain things come to the fore, we’ll find the time to find out what’s more important for people, what’s less important, because we’re removing the friction of people expressing those preferences. Once upon a time, if you’ve got to, if you got to meet your local representative, you might get the chance to tell them one thing that you really cared about, yes. And no local representative has the target. Like in the example, at lower house level, there’s approximately, I think, somewhere in the region of 25,000 people 25,000 voters in each Lower House region, if it takes 10 minutes to explain the issue that’s important to you, that will be 250,000 minutes to explain to your representative. But one issue that’s important to you, we’re taking that process, and doing it in a way where we can aggregate all of that information, so that the elected representatives will then know, this is what the people who put me here actually care about, hmm, we have mass aggregators out on an individual issue, or on a bill by Bill issue by issue level, and allowed people to express you know, essentially their support or their opposition to it. And when we look at the big picture, and aggregate all of the information, we can find out, this is what they actually want. And my belief is that if we if we can get enough people to use these tools, that will, you will find that for the vast majority of things that the government are doing a fine job. They are you know, I’m not one of these people who like the government is wrong on everything. No, that’s absolute rubbish. The government is generally Correct, yeah. Otherwise, people would be out, you know, throwing, you know, throwing things throwing to models, and the animosity would be much greater governments generally get it right. But they’re not really that good at figuring out where they’re currently not getting it right. And we think that by using this philosophy, in conjunction with the technology and these tools, getting people to participate, expressing their individual preferences in this ecosystem, and then aggregating it out, we’ll start to reveal some places where Okay, this is where we can start to optimise. This is something that a lot of people care about, that will have very few detrimental effects on everybody else. Let’s optimise and fix this. Here’s another one. And it will, it will just help us identify, wash, what are the issues and the things that people want to address that don’t naturally fall inside they kind of the ideologically derived sets of policies that the major parties go to the election with?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah. So you’ve got a much more agile decision making process that has the feedback through the smartphone. So ideally, you know, I’d be seeing an app or secure app, where I would see the list of issues that are up for discussion. And then I could look in to that, and then I could place my vote against one of the options about that, or I can defer it or swap it or things like that. The concern I have is that these two but they all they stem from one place is that technology is exponentially grown decision making decisions are decisions have exponentially grown, the menu, the list of options on the menu is exponentially grow. Do you think that we, as everyday citizens, actually have the sense making capacity? Even if we got our heads around what you’re suggesting that we have the sense making capacity and facilities to actually make some pretty reasonable decisions? I mean, without wanting to reduce what you’re suggesting it, it’s making policies decision a little bit more free market. And where we see are the free markets, people will go to McDonald’s and eat shit all day until they have these. Yeah, sometimes until they die. And so one of the things particularly it’s been a thread in the podcast of recent is looking at people’s individual sense making capabilities. And I’ll be blunt, I think our current sense making capabilities are pretty immature. Compared to the complexity we now find ourselves in, and our collective sense making is just not even on the track. You know, we have a we have a pandemic, yeah, everyone seems to not want to get together. And, and part of it comes to, you know, people voting on what they want, rather than what they need. And we’ve used the word nuance several times. And no, I feel this. It’s like I asked recently about doing this podcast, and one of the responses was, it will ruin you. And why is that so because now I have I have the mental spaces of trained myself over and over again, to hold opposing thoughts. To understand nuance delve into the nuance, spend some time thinking about it, discussing it, cogitating over it, journaling, and then trying it out and seeing how it goes. But I’m a REAL ID minority, in that sense. So what sort of level of transition Do we need for the people on the other side of the smartphones in order to meet this? Amazing, I think it’s amazing what you’re proposing. My concern is, is that, you know, you and I, let’s be honest, we’re quite intelligent, middle class white dudes. But you put that out there and wants to stop everyone voted free McDonald’s every day.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Absolutely nothing. Yes. And that that is the beauty. what’s to stop everybody from us to stop everybody from going to McDonald’s right now?

 

 

Exactly. Not the foot putt.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Does everybody go to McDonald’s?

 

 

We have obesity problems.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

We have we have obesity problems, but not everybody goes to McDonald’s. Yeah,

 

Bryn Edwards 

we have mental health problems. We have suicide problems, you know, a large amount of mental health problems stem from gut health. So people are not even drawing links between things that are quite obvious. And if you’re putting out nuanced because there will need to be, you know, nuanced responses to issues. It’s people having the capacity to hold the neurons hold that the the tension of opposites and opposing ideas and and having their own moral philosophy and measuring against that. You know, we have influencing factors like, what Facebook feeds givers, we’ve sort of seen the impact of that on recent elections, even in the US. And we, you know, even the basic media has the capacity to influence and shape. And so I love what you’re saying. It’s just how do we translate? I mean, I think it’s one country or continent where it is, is an Asian country where in the four weeks leading up to an election, all social media, everything is just switched off. I just think that you know, and you’re forced to make your own proper decisions. It’s pretty radical. But you can see the higher order greatness of it. And I guess, yeah, we’ll probably do, you would hope. I guess, as I’m, as I’m talking this out, as part of what we do here is, you know, it’s a big leap of faith that we as a human species, at some point, we’ll get our decision making act together, if given such a reign of freewill, where we go fat, maybe eating McDonald’s all day, the equivalent of this decisions, like you say, with taxes, we kind of get to that wake up point, and things get a bit more real, and we go, we can’t do not paying taxes, because it just can’t drive to work. And I got robbed the other day and nobody around because there’s no police. And I went to the hospital and there was no hearse nurses. So you know, that’s gonna be an enormous transition. You know what I mean? I, I look at the reality of human nature, where it is today. And I you know, I love ideas that will provoke and make us more responsible. It’s how do we move from one place to another the transition aspect of it? To give much thought to that?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

I get this, I hardly think about anything else in my life. This this is what I think about all the time. I at the core, I think the people are more alike than they are than they are dissimilar.

 

Bryn Edwards 

around what things around

 

Daithi Gleeson 

around if we were taken on a very basic if we were to go across vast numbers of cultures, yes. And if we were to do a survey as to what people like, what do people want out of life? Yeah, to make themselves happy, they are content? Yes. The things that people will respond with? are very, very simple. And yes, I would agree. People want people want to be safe. Yep. They want, you know, they want they want a sense of connection, you know, they want to be in a community or in a family or be around people. They want those people to be safe and to be part of, of their world. They want inside the safety thing. There’s having food in your belly. Yay, a roof over your head. And people want purpose.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah. So you’re going through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah, pretty much. Yes. And that’s, that’s common across? I won’t say it’s, it’s not. It’s not a hard and fast. It’s a mass generalisation across people. But I make that point in that. I don’t believe that people set out with the intention of I’m going to make decisions to destroy my life, and the lives of everybody around me. Know exactly. Now. However, people do make decisions that destroy their lives, and destroy the lives of everybody around them. But that’s not to say that that is a rule that applies to everybody. Yes, I would say the rule that more generally applies is that people make decisions to improve their lives and the lives of people around. Where were they they were dashed. generalisation starts to run into difficulty is when people have different ideas about what making life better means.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes. Which is why I brought up Yeah, moral life philosophy. Yeah.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Now, but but, but it’s a really good place to start. Because you and I might have very different ideas about what making life better means. But the fact that we’re agreed that making life better is a worthwhile cause means like, that instantly gives us way more common ground. Yes. Whereas if you were to say, I just want to watch the world burn, and I don’t care about any anything else, I would go okay. We have a fundamental values difference here. Yes. So, so so there’s the at the core of there is there’s the values. And there’s something even below values. I was thinking about this recently. And I was going, what is the big question that’s often asked is like water doing here? What is the purpose of what we’re doing? What is the purpose of life? And you know, questions like that are great to think about deep into the nice, but they’re very hard to actually get out to get something that people will agree on and go, yes, that explains those. Now, we all know what the purpose of life is. But something that I think is a is a purpose that I could put to somebody. And I think they’d have a hard time saying that it’s not a worthwhile purpose. And that purpose is that we should be trying to build and create societies that give consciousness, the great the best chance of expanding, developing and flourishing for the longest time possible. Yes, given what we know about being human, and it’s a very subjective experience for everybody. I would say we would all agree all the people who have to make decisions would agree that it’s better for for consciousness to exist than for it not to exist. There are people who will disagree with that. But generally, it’s something that we could say there is actually a fairly good, fairly good basis upon which to work from there. Yeah. Okay. Pink, saying that our underlying purpose are agreed, you know, just for the sake of argument, something that we’re generally agreed on for now, is to create societies that give consciousness the greatest chance of flourishing and developing. What does that entail? Yes. And there’s a number of things then that, that start, this is where that this is where I think values then as the next level that comes down to that, because if we start asking ourselves, okay, for consciousness to flourish, what does that even mean? What does that even mean? It means, okay, allowing humans, animals, the ecosystem as we currently inhabit it as a starting point, let’s try and not destroy it. And let’s try and not make, you know, let’s, we don’t know what exists out outside of the planet Earth, for all we know, Planet Earth, and humans that humans and animals and all the species that exist on it, we are what’s going on in the universe? Yeah. And I think that it’s a fairly, a fairly fundamental thing to say, Hey, we should try and keep the lights on here, as long as possible until we figure out what we’re doing. Yes, because we’re still, we’re still in our infancy in terms of Yeah, a longer journey. So that’s the core, then we have values built on top of that, and we can have disagreements about values. But if we’re agreed that, hey, let’s not, let’s not turn the lights off on this planet, until we figure out what it is we’re doing, then we can have a conversation about values, because I can say, well, your values are good for you. But they actually impact these people in this way. And there’s these consequent consequences to it. And what we found over time, is that societies generally form around shared sets of values. And it’s a terrible, like, it’s one of these expressions that’s used a lot that I don’t like it, you know, this thing, if you don’t like it, go back where you came from. Right? Now, there’s two sides to that expression. One, that one is a negative side were picked for people, I reject. I don’t want to engage with any idea that’s different to mine. Therefore, I insist that you just get out of here.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah, I don’t want to engage where we are now with kancil culture and you don’t like it differently. And those sorts of things played out on social media.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah. Now, I don’t think that that’s, I think that’s fine. If you know, a couple of thousand years ago, when there is enough space in the world for everybody to go, Hey, you know, wash, I’m gonna leave you over in that corner forest. You don’t like I don’t like the way that you set up your, your structure. I’m going to go over here

 

Bryn Edwards 

for the rest of my life you probably won’t make.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah, exactly. But now, now, the idea of telling people you have to go away, like that might work today. But tomorrow, you’re going to meet someone else who you disagree with. And you can’t just keep telling people, Hey, get out of Get out of my vicinity. Yeah. So we have to figure out a way to have a conversation about values, figuring out figuring out how how we can, you know, align somewhat and develop those values over time and this happens. And so while I was kind of giving out about this idea of your telling people to go back to where they came from is like a, you know, a bad idea. On the other side. There is an incentive that if you don’t like the way people around you think it creates the incentive for you to find to go, you know, to actually go outside of your circles to find other people who agree with what you think and encourage exploration. Yes, and which is a good thing. And so what happens over time, like, let’s say, cultures tend societies and nations and people tend to form around shared culture, and an ingrained in that is the value is some subsets of the values that are reasonably shared. And so as such, in Australia, we have a generally a generally good shared vision of what the good life means. Now, but if you were to go to Saudi Arabia, for example, a place that has a different set of cultural, different cultural underpinnings, and as a result of different values coming from that, you will have a disagreement as to what the good life represents. Yeah, but that’s, that’s not really a problem. Because, you know, Australia’s here, Saudi Arabia, for example, is there another country is there. Yeah, it only becomes an issue when, you know, when we’re working on a global level, and if there then becomes issues in relation to how these cultures clash, but bringing it back to, you know, to the world that we inhabit, generally, which is, you know, the 50 kilometres around us in the country that we might live in. I believe that there is an awful lot more that we have in common, then we have, then we have a difference, the where we do have differences. The challenge is how do we work our way through those differences? It’s okay for people to have different opinions, yes, for us to disagree. But we just have to figure out how do we manage this? Yes. And at the moment where we are still quite immature, and how we manage this, like the default position. Now, and this is where it’s important, because the default position or the one that we will fall back to if we don’t figure out how to manage our differences. What do we do? We resort to violence? Yes. And that’s another thing that I think we can generally agree on. That if we get to the point where we’re Yeah, we’re if we’re resorting to violence, yeah, to resolve our differences. We’re unlikely to make any real progress are the people who think they’re making progress? It’s only a matter of time before somebody does the violence thing better than you. Yeah. And lash back at you. Well, not like the back actually was wanting but doing it better than you and actually eliminating you from the from the equation. So resorting to violence as a strategy is not something that will work in the long term. So we have to figure out how do we start? How do we start doing the sense making as a collective? in a more? Yeah, in a more nuanced way, in a more advanced way? And while Yes, there may be teething problems are there may be a steep learning curve, or maybe too much information for people? I’m firmly of the belief that the incentives are there, the incentives are so strong for us to work hard on creating better shared outcomes, that if you create the tools, and if you give people the tools, we’ll figure out how to use them. Yes. And so while I acknowledge the concerns that people that people raise it at all, people can’t be trusted on this, that the other? I acknowledge those concerns, but I don’t I actually don’t agree with them, because I’ve had the great fortune of, you know, travelling to 40 plus countries around the world meeting people from all ranges of all different ranges of life. And I could probably count on one hand, the people who I would who I would go, they might be bad people. Yes, like bad. Yeah. Everyone else despise the the difference in culture, the difference in belief systems, I would say, fundamentally, if we were left, if we were left with a problem as to how to get along, we’d figure it out. Yeah, we would figure it out. And if as long as we agreed, what we don’t want to do is resort to violence, we will commit to working with each other to try and resolving our differences. You know, focusing on the common ground, of which there is way more because we are at the core, all humans, everything that we think we know, is just stuff that we have absorbed from our environments, a culture over time, either listening to you, I can’t help thinking that, you know, even if we take our broad brush, you know, the 8020 rule, there’s going to be 80% of stuff that most people fundamentally agree on.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And then 20 but even That recognition is not your hundred percent different to me. It’s only the 20%. Well, then that even even in and of itself, the impact of that is huge. Because the feedback comes back. Yeah, yeah. 80% people like this. Oh, brilliant, everybody’s like that. And that feedback loop of other people in, let’s just say Wi Fi, other people in Wi Fi, who I have not that a generally 80% in agreement with me. Well, that’s cool. So me is when I go out to the coffee shop, or bar or walk along the beach. And I know that the stranger I’m about to bump into and have a chat with is 80% in agreement with me. So there’s so much that we can talk about and share and build a friendship.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah. Now, this is where other factors come into play. I totally agree that if we were to walk out the front door here, that chances are the first 10 people that we would meet would all be really nice people who we would get along with, we would have differences of opinion on things, but we weren’t 20% yet, we would most likely say those people are good people that I would be able to sit down and have a conversation with a Nabi work given given the right resources, and time and tools that we be able to figure out how to live harmoniously together.

 

 

Yeah. Now,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

an issue that we have is and I, and we’re seeing it now play out in Australia and across the world, is the role of media in influencing what people perceive Yes, because we are, we are all human, we have evolved from, from where we’ve evolved, and not too long ago, we were, you know, we were I was in forests, foraging for food and evading animals and trying to stay alive and we are wired to, to pay a lot of attention to things that we think are dangerous. Now that the reality is in the in where we live here in Perth, Western Australia, that we live in probably one of the safest places in the world. Right. And for an awful lot of people who live in western developed in, let’s say, Western type countries, you are safe. Yeah, like you are safe from that kind of existential. You know, you’re not going to be attacked by no animal. But nonetheless, we still have the same brains that our ancestors had. And

 

Bryn Edwards 

this is kind of my sensemaking point, as well, that we still wired up threats scanning the environment. Yep, our complex. And, you know, the media plays on that, and puts forward fear based stuff, which just get a free pass into our heads.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah, now, but but but what we have to think about here is like, why does the like, why does the media do this, and it’s very simple profit motive, indeed, the the the business model has been get people’s attention onto something. And those eyeballs the time that people spend looking at this can be converted into, into space that we can sell to advertisers. Yes. Simple as that simple. And we have, we have accepted that model as a standard business practice. But now we’ve gotten to the point where, you know, the value like the the dollar values associated with advertising are so huge, that it creates perverse incentives for people to go well, I know that the amount of bad news in the world is actually really, really small. But if we want to hook people’s attention in this is what we have to show them, because they’re way more likely to pay attention to this than to that, yes. And our business model means that we have to get their attention. So therefore, we’re going to, we’re going to show this, too. Now. We have we, as a collective, have the right to kind of stand around and go hang in all the way, you know, the way like we have this media system or this kind of this, yeah, 10 dash, the purpose of which we want to use to keep us informed of things that are happening outside of our sphere of knowledge. As everybody knows, just how that system has kind of, you know, become a little bit. The incentives have become a little bit perverse. Yeah, here, and we’re actually not getting the outcomes that we want from us. Yeah, Hey, why don’t why don’t we have a conversation collectively about changing, changing the way that this model operates? Because when it comes down to what do who’s in charge, we are in charge the people who live here, yes, but we have, you know, over time, the power and influence of media networks to shape the narratives and the information that’s caused into society has given them a very, very strong basis upon which to work from and resists any of these sorts of changes. But we’re at that point now, like, people were pointing it out a few years ago, what was happening, but you can tell people what’s happening. But until it’s happened,

 

Bryn Edwards 

yes, they won’t acknowledge that it’s felt embodied.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

And now we’re at a point where people have truly felt the consequences of this, you know, with, you know, with Facebook, with Twitter, with social media, with news organisations in general, the way that they’ve optimised their content for your for clicks. Yes. And we’re at a point now where we can go, Hey, who is this working for? Yeah, and the people who will put up their hands will be the ones who own media, the media companies will go, Hey, this is working for us, we’re making lots and lots of money, and everyone else will go. It’s not working for us. I think we I think it’s time we change the laws in this regard.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And the interesting thing about what you’re proposing there is because how do we make, where’s the primary source we make sense of the world is from the information we consume, which is now generally on our phone, from news, social media, etc, etc. So that and the algorithm then starts giving us the sort of sense of, well, this is what my feed is telling me. So that’s what most people must be thinking, you know, you and the great example is over in the States, one person can open up their feed and see cops beating up black people, and then another person over the phone, and they see black people beaten up cops. And it’s like, you know, and both will think that they’re saying that, you know, what they’re seeing is seen by everybody. And it’s not so specific. So you, we almost get isolated and played off by the content that specifically sent to us. Whereas what you’re suggesting here is, is not just not just my opportunity to shape and influence legislation and the way that things are decided upon. But I also then get the feedback of just how many other people feel like me. And it’s interesting, what I found this year, in particular with all the changeability in the background of COVID. Everything that’s brought is that it’s interesting. Normally, people will say, Oh, yeah, the news or something like that. But if I open up the conversation, then invariably, people will drop out the same stuff. And so a lot of people are just looking for that gateway or that feedback to just feel a little bit more confident about owning their own view and philosophy on the world. And, but also wanting to see if it’s shared, as well, you know, what a maintenance. So that’s why often we keep a lot of our interior philosophy values to ourselves, because we don’t know whether it’s shared with everyone to be divided into this than the other. And some of the feedback from algorithms on social media might suggest that other people are doing it a different way. Like that, which is why we call it a dissonance. So the more we talk, the more I can say how this almost provides that benchmark feedback Well, on where other people that I think are like me, but actually, they are actually like me a lot more like me than I anticipated,

 

 

which reason I can

 

Bryn Edwards 

chill out in the world more, because there’s less threats because that dude down the road who might look scary because he wears blacks and got a lot of tattoos or an strange beard and all this sort of stuff. So see got the same views as me. And so I can comfortably go across the road and have a chat and engaging on things that are possibly more meaningful than just Did you see the footage last night

 

 

on that

 

Daithi Gleeson 

plane? To an extent I think this is one of the things as well is that all of these all of these views, I can will say you and I for example, I look at you and I will make judgments as to what I think it is that you pink, yeah, what it is you believe I’m probably wrong about all of that stuff. View views change over time, like and in terms of this feedback, and one of the things that we have to encourage people to do more is to be is to change their mind and to admit that they’re wrong.

 

 

Yes,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

we have we recreate this terrible burden of shame around the making being wrong,

 

Bryn Edwards 

which is ridiculous. Must be right. You must know the thing. Always be correct. Don’t look stupid. Don’t look daft. I’ve talked about this a lot, and people’s addiction to knowing things in addition to being

 

Daithi Gleeson 

right. I, one of my, one of the things that I always set out to do is, I try to find out, I want to be proven wrong, I want to find out that I have been completely wrong on something, yes. Because that that is where the opportunity for a whole new world open up exists. If I go about my life, just seeking out people and information that reinforce the beliefs that I have, yes, it might give, that the belief structure that I have more solidity might make, it might make me believe that it’s more solid and permanent than it is. But everything is, you know, is impermanent, like, over the longest periods. And I want to find out in my lifetime, all the things that I’m wrong about, yes. And, you know, I’m not gonna say I’m unique in Africa, there’s loads of people like that, but culturally, and you see this, you see this player time and time again, that people are people are made fun of, for, for being wrong on things, and it starts it starts in school. Yep. You know, where people you got your bad for getting that wrong? As opposed to, you know, we should we say, okay, you have that view? Why did you watch was it was the journey that brought you to there, like, and this is where it comes back to teaching. we incentivize people having people having the answer that the people around them want to hear, as opposed to incentivizing people to think, to get the answer that is most appropriate for their environment.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Most This is sweeping generalisation. But a large amount of sales and marketing now is based on selling predictable outcomes, where the outcome is not as predictable. But the fact that I will turn up and say, in eight weeks, I can take you from here to here, if you come on my course, or do my thing, or this than the other, give you a predictable outcome. And you you know, in a world that’s not so predictable, that’s lovely. So I’ll buy that nice bit of comfort, safety and certainty. Similar to it. So

 

Daithi Gleeson 

yeah, it is because that that plays into, I’ll have the answer, I’ll have the right answers. But in my view, you don’t want the right answers as much as you want to be pointed in the right direction. And it’s the journey that you go on to get to them the right answer. But here’s the thing, every single right answer our every single fact that we currently have, will be superseded by a more accurate fact. Every fact that has ever existed in history has proven to be incorrect. Yes. And we would be foolish to think that the set of facts that we currently hold and give such reverence to, to think that they will stand the test of time for infinity is absolutely ridiculous. But if you were to look around at the way that we have discussions and talk about things, you would believe that you’d be led to believe that there is a sesh, of paying a set of artefacts called the facts. Yes. And things that sit inside this session are defined. They’re wholly objective and accessible as objective to PBS, which is another on the test of time. Yeah. And complete at all complete rubbish. The reality is everything that you think you know, is probably wrong. And the sooner that you accept that, the sooner you can open up to them, okay? What might be more accurate, and even then the more accurate realisation that you come to, is still probably wrong. It’s still not the objective truth. It might edge you closer to some understanding or realisation. But chances are, you’re wrong. And it’s and the challenges of life present a fluid and changeable. So therefore, what

 

Bryn Edwards 

did work last week, will not work this way. If certain key factors have moved during the course of time, and back to your point, and I there’s a guy that I listened to, from time to time, Daniel shmack, Tim Berger, who said once I love this, he said, If I think of the beliefs that I’ve held in the past, I look back at them. They’re like, you know, when you see it, see yourself when you’re 20 you look at your haircut, you just go what is what did I think I look like at that point, you look back at your haircut, and you can look back at some of the beliefs that you’ve held in the past and go, Crikey, I was like, fall into that. And then that moved on in this together. But you come to now and you take an audit If what you believe in at this given point, and then you go right, based on that, based on that knowledge now that there’s beliefs that I’ve held at different points in time that I thought were 100% correct, but turned out to be wrong, which are the beliefs that I’m holding right now that are likely to go to be proven wrong, the quickest? If you do the audit, it’s difficult to do.

 

 

It is it’s difficult

 

Bryn Edwards 

to do and it’s, uh, but then that then just by even thinking that and then having a crack at it, and then you get to this strangely omnipotent place where it’s like, well, no, all of mine are correct.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

And that’s the dangerous play. I agree. It’s hard to do. And it’s especially hard if you don’t try and test those ideas and yet, engage with with people who disagree with you. And, you know, this is where the whole back to the social media like the filter bubble, yeah, concept, and people just surrounding themselves with ideas, Nash that are aligned with their own in that’s, that’s unlikely to help you break out of any constraining paradigms of toss. And, and this is where this is where I see disagreement in society as a really healthy aspect. Yes, society. So going back to what you spoke earlier about around you know, all people might go to McDonald’s, yes. And so forth. I go, that’s fine. People will disagree on what it is, is the best life. That’s possible. But in time, like people who are eating McDonald’s every day will come to what they will come to a realisation. And then the other word,

 

Bryn Edwards 

they won’t and then they won’t be here.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Yeah. But it’s about it’s about responsibility, correct. And people can assume responsibility, or decide, I’m not going to assume responsibility. Yes. And I believe that I would rather I would rather have a society or a system that optimised for, for freedom and responsibility. Yes, then try to protect people from bad things. Because anomalous because no matter what it is, we think is bad. Again, we’re probably wrong. Yeah, yes, it is probably bad. And that will reduce life expectancy, or we’d be able to come to some agreement as to what that is. But I think that the having optimising for, as I said, for freedom, experimentation, people to try different things. And even if I don’t like it, and I disagree with it, I, for me, that’s much, I would much rather that than a system or a society that says, these things are absolutely not allowed. And we’re going to protect you from yourself. Because it’s only a matter of time that those those systems are washed. I described them as anti fragile, yes or no, that those systems are fragile. And a system that allows experimentation on people to make bad decisions and correct their bad decisions is anti fragile. Yes. And that term, you probably know, was coined by Nicholas Taleb, in his books, the in chertow series of books where he talks about, if you try to protect a system, from the bad things, it’s only a matter of time before something that you didn’t predict as being bad, destroys the whole system. Correct.

 

 

Instead, you should take to them

 

Daithi Gleeson 

yeah. And the same, the same thing goes for this is a, an opinion, that might divide people around, you know, around child rearing, for example, where I say, this is somebody who doesn’t have children. So it’s very easy to say this, but I would much rather encourage children to go out into the world experiment, you know, take risks, learn about you. But obviously, a good parent would just let them take, you know, unconstrained risks where they risk their lives, but allow kids to you figure out what the boundaries are, you know, to fall hurt, get feedback from what it means to push yourself too far. Otherwise, if you create the society if you try to read Archer, and I just use this example, because I think it applies more generally correct, that if you try to protect children, from the things that might harm them, there is a point and there is a point in their lives, when you won’t be able to protect them anymore. Yeah, and they won’t know what to do. Yes. And the consequences have to cross the road. Yeah. And that’s, that’s a much more dangerous thing to try and optimise for, then, you know, allowing kids to run wild run wild, but you know, to Yeah, to go out there and experiment. And as I get that feedback from the world to test reality, lean into us, and find out, find out what, what holds up what’s too far, you know, what can I push further with, and so that’s where I’m I disagree with the idea about, you know, all we should we should ban McDonald’s, don’t get me wrong, like if we were to ban McDonald’s, for example. It wouldn’t be the end of the world we’d figure out but as a, just as a general working principle, the idea of banning things that people still believe they want your work, because we haven’t, they haven’t gotten the feedback from reality as to why that’s bad. They’ll seek out a similar bad thing. And the process will continue. We’d be much better off saying, eat McDonald’s. See how you feel? Yeah. Is this how you want to live your life? If yes, there you go, that you’re free to do that. But if you eat McDonald’s continuously, and you get to a point where your health isn’t where you want it to be, here’s access to information, where you can update, update what you believe about what a healthy diet is, and then it’s up to you to then go back out into your reality and test and find out what works. And again, it’s that feedback mechanism, that you have to allow the feedback mechanism to work. Because if you just ban McDonald’s, you’ve disrupted the feedback mechanism. Yeah, the same behaviours and incentives still exist. So I yeah, I say, less, let the systems be as, as open as possible, while maintaining, you know, the shared values that we have about what the good life represents, and ensuring that we don’t turn off the lights in the process. And we’ll figure it out. Yes, because one of the catchphrases I use all the time it comes from a book by a, a British theoretical physicist called David Deutsch. And some of my friends will make fun of me for referencing David Deutsch again, because it’s a he’s somebody I caught a lot, because I found his books to be very interesting. But he, he sums it up in this, he says, problems are inevitable. Correct. All problems can be solved. And solutions create new problems. And the cycle continues. And when I when I heard it’s also simply part I was like, Yes, of course, like, we, we spend so much of our trunk of our time, like we all acknowledge problems exist. Yes, everyone will agree in that all problems can be solved. This is one that people don’t often agree with. And where I ask them to consider is, if given enough time and resources, could that problem be solved? And the answer is always Yes, yes. If given enough time and resources, and if it’s made a priority, the problem can be solved. Yes. And then no matter what solution you create, if will, there will be more problems that come from it? And what I find really interesting about that is we get trapped in this idea of thinking that yes, the problems exist, okay, there are solutions. But we forget that the solutions that we create is not going to create the steady state of equilibrium piece for everybody. And the universe just kind of reaches this state of balance where nothing is out anymore. It just it brings us another step up on this journey. Yes. And so as such, like, knowing that and kind of believing something like that i i revel in the problems. And the fact that what did they do the work that we’re trying to do with flux. We see it as one of we’re not taking, we’re not trying to bite off a small little problem here, but we’re talking about is quite big, but we have a systemic problem. But we have an approach where we can do it in small, incremental steps. But that’s the beauty. All we’re doing is trying to solve problems. And as soon as we make progress on one problem, there’s going to be another one right there. Yeah. And the sooner that people become comfortable with the idea of there will always be problems, there will always be solutions, and there will always be problems. And we can relax into that and go Ah, okay, what problems Am I going to focus on today?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes, here we go fixing it. So looking forward to the election in March, where where is flux in relation to its offering at that point in time and yeah,

 

Daithi Gleeson 

we will be we will be participating in the NWA state election. And we will have, we’re working on working on things at the moment that we’ll be kind of making a little bit more solid and concrete for people. But a core part of our campaign will centre around the launch art like the first version of the app that we’re launching for people called Digi pod and will be available for free and the in the Apple and Android stores and it will be a an app that gives it will be the first step on this journey of giving people and tool to interface with the legislation that exists in Parliament and giving them the opportunity to express their support or opposition to that. And, you know, just getting comfortable with the idea of being an active, or at least, you know, at least a participant or somebody who has the potential to be a participant in this sort of ecosystem. So we will be running, we will be running a campaign, we will be quite active and vocal in that regard. And we’ll be trying to get as many people as possible to download the app, have a look at how it works. Think about it, is this is this something that they want to participate in I, I’m a firm believer that democracy only works when people participate. Yes. And the more actively, when I say active participation, again, it doesn’t necessarily mean being involved on every single bail and every single issue. But it means being there, turning up and currently turning up on Election Day is a great way to participate in democracy, we’re saying that there’s a we can open the door a little bit wider, you can participate more frequently, more dynamically more like with a greater a greater degree of focus on the things that matter to you. And we’re going to be trying to elevate the conversation around what are the issues that matter to to people. And we believe we believe that one of the sets of issues that really matters to people at this moment in time that isn’t been handled very well, related to climate issues. Yes. And so we will have a big aspect of our campaign that will be around, like drawing attention to how climate issues are being addressed or being looked at addressed, managed by BIOS, as a as a collector. So that will form a core part of what it is we’re going to be going to going to bring to the election. But also it will be there will be a big focus on getting people comfortable with the tool. Yeah, and the first version that’s available now in the App Store. It’s what we call an open beta. So it’s still a test version that we’ve just released. We’ve been testing it with their testers for the last few months, we’re now opening it up to people people more widely, it’s not the end product, it really is just kind of a showcase of this is the sort of functionality that you’ll be able to use, we will be, we’re going to be releasing the functionality in a staged approach to kind of, we want to reduce the barrier to entry as much as possible up front, make it really easy for anybody to just download, have a quick look of scroll, click through. And as the needs dictated, so hopefully, when we get someone elected into parliament, will then start will start turning on all of the other functionality that becomes more important in relation to how you authenticate users who are participating in it and so forth. Yeah.

 

 

Awesome.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Last question I asked all my guests, hypothetical one, I always enjoy listening to the answer is if you take if you could pose one question and pop it into the collective consciousness, so everybody can sat quietly and considered it for 10 minutes? What would that be?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

I would ask, I would like for everybody to think to think on this one question. How can I help? And I would leave the question at that. That’s why I would leave the quote, I would leave it attached, because different people would then frame it in their own way. And some people would go, they might go, how can I help myself? How can I make money? How can I help my family, my community and it would be open ended enough for everybody to find something that they could relate to? But I think that that’s the that is the question that I would that I would like people to consider because back to what I truly believe that people are fundamentally Gods like my, I’m very fortunate in that my life experiences reinforced that belief and I am not I’m not a naive Pollyanna to think that there is no bad people in the world. There are absolutely aren’t there are real and present dangers to to people’s well being across a variety of you know, in a variety of places and spaces. But generally people are good. And I do believe that people want to people want to express themselves and you There’s so much research that indicates that one of the greatest feelings that we can possibly have is helping other people and doing acts of charity. And, you know, and I firmly believe that to be true. And I think that if more people took the time to consider for themselves, like, how can I help? How can I contribute? that that would open up a door for so many other good things to, to come from it? And and it’s also a question that is, it’s not, it’s not boundaries? There’s no, there’s no right answer to which there is no, and there isn’t really a wrong answer in it, and it just it opens up doors for everybody to just think about, think about what it is they’re currently doing. Because I often think something I think about quite often is things like legacy and like, what what what do we leave behind? Like, and how will we be remembered? And like, I don’t really care so much about, you know, how I’ll be remembered, or how, because we’ll all be forgotten. Because we’ll all be forgotten. But I do like to think about, you know, why, while we’re here, what can we do? What can we do and even, even if it’s as simple as planting a tree, like going to it going to a store, getting seeds for a tree, and going somewhere and planting a tree, you have, without a doubt, make the world a better place. Yes, in doing something that simple. And it’s, and it’s even more simple than that. It’s when you see someone on the street. And if you just smile at a stranger, you have met, you have helped the world by doing dashlane. And so that’s why we’re here. How can I help?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Love it? I’ve really enjoyed today. conversation. It’s been fun. It’s been fun to dive in. I think I said before we started this, so easy at the moment to pick holes in things like capitalism and democracy, but then not engage in the answer. And then and sometimes even if you do pick holes in it, then it’s easy for others to just flake out with some in your communists or socialists or whatever, you know. And then to actually discuss of how can we upgrade? How can we move forward? What does the new framework look like to solve today’s problems, which inevitably, will become not solving the following problems, like you’ve said, but at least it will solve today’s problems. So it’s been great to get in a space and dive into that, which I super appreciate. If people want to find you. Where do they find you?

 

Daithi Gleeson 

They can find me on find me on Twitter, I guess. Yeah, yeah, I like Twitter. I can find yet. Okay, da e. Okay. Da iith I but i’d also I’d encourage people to check out our link where we are the flux so vote flux dot org. Yeah, is where is our main website. We’re also active on on Discord. If people want to get involved, you can put all of the information you’ll find on the vote flux website yet, and anything that’s relevant to me and the stuff that I’m interested in. If you go to my Twitter, you’ll find some web pages and the sort of stuff that I ran to those all the time

 

Bryn Edwards 

Thank you very much for your time.

 

Daithi Gleeson 

Thank you.

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