We ask you to review & welcome you to comment on this advisory/
initial proposal (full text @ link), spelling out our serious concerns
with the "Internet GA" model and our recommended alternative, a more
democratic/consensus based approach that easily extends the current
physical GA facilitation model.
PLANETARY ADVISORY 001: THE SUPERASSEMBLY: A MODEST COUNTER-PROPOSAL
TO THE "INTERNET GA"
0. PLANETARY WHAT?
I. SITUATION SUMMARY
This advisory concerns several proposals made to the Occupy* movement,
suggesting processes & mechanisms for conducting online "General
Assemblies" of sorts. The proposals we have reviewed mostly indicate
use of Web tools in various ways to allow Internet users to submit -
and usually vote on, with a familiar majority/supermajority mechanism
- proposals in the GA format.
While we are very intensely interested in helping link distributed GAs
for coordinated action: and we see that introducing Internet
accessible supporters into the direct democratic / Occupy* decision-
making process is an attractive goal: we are concerned that
approaching this as an online forum, rather than a method of linking
existing forums and processes, is tactically foolhardy and threatening
to the direct democratic core of the movement. thus we wish to submit
an alternative for the GAs' consideration that extends, rather than
replacing, the consensus model & processes.
Instead of opening wider participatory space, we fear the pure online
participation / [super]majority voting method to be fundamentally
incompatible with establishing a CONSENSUS of the mutually committed
in the established GA process: as well as an operational model highly
susceptible to attack, untrustworthy / noise-filled, and difficult to
implement at the scale it intrinsically requires.
We propose a sort of 'hybrid' alternative to this as GA
supercoordination method: the SUPERASSEMBLY concept. We believe that
by combining the localized, physical presence of the GAs with online
tools & a tiny supercoordination team/process, this model can offer
similar mass coordination benefits, but keep the current GA process,
integrity of consensus & human accountability, better security, and
possibly provide radical cost and bandwidth savings.
While this proposal does not solve the problem of building mass online
mobilization, we think it is critical to attack these in parallel as
separate problems. Attempting to solve both with the same stroke
changes too many fundamental assumptions that have made the GAs so
powerful and successful, and in a way places not just the operations
but _the consensus_ needed for ground mobilization at risk of online
((continued @ http://plntry.net/adv/adv_001.htm )