Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Political Systems & Ideas, Part IV

This is my last post on the impact of ideas on our political systems. Or, maybe I will think of something else to add?

Anyway, I promised to describe the decision-making process. I also want to describe an alternative model that may be sold to politicians, though only with considerable difficulty. You may want to stop reading here if math scares you :-)

So, how do we make political decisions? You know about parliaments, Congressional committees, lobbyists and such. But I intend to answer the question at a philosophical level. This priobably makes a lot of sense to you: Emotion, money, ideology, and numbers of supporters determine which political decisions get made. The same factors also determine the probablity of a given outcome. The formula probably looks like this:

(Emotion + Money + Ideology) X Numbers = Policy

Maybe my use of addition and multiplication is not quite accurate, but I think the model is fairly close to reality. (Interested in how to measure those variables? Ask me!)

Here is a pseudo-mathematical way of depicting an alternative strategy for making political decisions:

Facts + logic + value consistency + cost/benefit ratio + money + supporters = policy

The cost/benefit ratio would look like this:

net gain for society = (quantitative benefit + qualitative benefit)/costs

(Again, you will have to ask me if you want to know how these things can be measured.)


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