A Radiant allows members of an organisation to take part in the process of decision making on goals and policies in a transparent way. Although the tendency of the system fosters a democratic way of decision making, this is not absolutely necessary. The decision-making results in a current plan or policy. Instead of a plan, the goal of a Radiant could be to establish and maintain some “body of knowledge” or a (system of) laws. The organization can range from a firm to a scientific congress to a political party or the citizens of a town or country.
In essence contributions to the decision making process are rewarded. In the more experimental phases of the system the rewards are in points, rights, esteem. In the more serious applications these rewards will be material as well.
On the other hand any participation involves some kind of expense of means. Again, in the more experimental phases this could be points. In later applications there will be some membership fee or tax.
Participants in the Radiant can and will have different statuses and roles. In a democratically organized Radiant these statuses and roles will be the result of the valuation of each participant and/or their contributions by other members. These valuations can be weighed for the role and status the participants have themselves.
The whole process of decision-making in the Radiant can be likened to an (artificial) brain. The participants are the nodes that should be stimulated by the costing mechanism to “fire” and so enforce a path to get good ideas higher up (in the general “consciousness” of the community) and kill bad ideas. The costing mechanism should be evaluated with that in mind.
The formulated policy or plan should be implemented. The means for implementation can be a part of the Radiant but more often than not this will not be the case or the relationship in system terms will be rather loose.
The policy definition is the main part of the Radiant and for now will be the main topic of the other pages in this Wiki. It is the analyses/description of subject matter and the formulation of goals, rules and methods. This process will take the form of some kind of threaded discussion, coupled to a representation of the current plan in some form. Probably some kind of outlined/hierarchical document with (two-way) references to the current propositions in the board.
An essential difference with most systems now in operation is the valuation and hierarchy of the participants and their propositions. The result should be a set of qualified goals and rules. This part is the central part of the Radiant.
The second one is the application of these goals, rules and methods in actual decisions. These decisions can be automatic (direct instructions following from the application of rules and goals on the situation at hand), can be the result of (qualified) voting or, in the more autocratic variants, could be a decision taken by one functionary. It’s possible to use market- or auction decision making. These markets are constrained by the rules and goals set in the basic process. This might even be the preferred way. There is no need for these execution units to be an integral part of the Radiant and often this will not be the case. Conceptually it’s better to envisage both parts together, as they will by definition have the same set of members.
This second part of the process can involve the (re)distribution of some kind of income or personal resource of the participant. These resources are not necessarily in the same category as the resources used in the first phase.
As for now, we will concentrate on the Policy-part and leave the implementation to more traditional systems and methods.
Setting up a Radiant
It should be possible to set up a Radiant to facilitate an existing set of rules, goals, methods and mechanisms for decision making. The hierarchy of the participants would be copied into this system too. Ideally this should be seen as a starting point for “Radiation” of the process: The initial rules, goals and methods are subjected to change by the participants. As a result the initial roles and rights of the participants will be redistributed.
A system of Radiants
Radiants can be aggregated or partitioned according to needs. This involves a qualified decision that some basic Radiants contributes to the goals of the encompassing Radiant. The consequences are that some rules, goals and systems within the basic Radiant cannot be changed any more without a new qualified decision in the encompassing Radiant. The basic Radiants act as the executive means for the goals and rules of the encompassing Radiant. On an analytic level: The once external societal circumstances of the basic Radiants have become systematic and subject to change from within. The members of the basic Radiant will become a member of the encompassing Radiant.
The following concepts will be discussed further on special pages.
The assets one can gain or the costs one can make in contributing, voting or any other way of participating in the radiant are covered in the concept costing. As stated above it is one of the most important aspects of the system, distinguishing it from other kinds of collaborative internet systems. The motives and importance are discussed separately in why costing is important
In principal the one’s that approve additions or alterations to plans should be aware of possible conflicts with other parts of the plan. In principal these should be resolved in the discussion phases preceding the approval. It would be very helpful if there was some automated way of bringing to light possible conflicts between a proposal and the current plan. Once approved any contradictions should be seen as inevitable flaws which should be “lived with”, to be resolved in a next alteration. Of course things could turn out really bad. In that case something like a rollback should happen. Of course this would cost some status to the one’s that voted for the plan (not to the author(s) though (unless they are the voters as well).
Participants of the Radiant are all members of the organization using the Radiant. In some (may be most) cases not all members have to become participants: Being a participant can be voluntary or obligatory. The costs could be paid by the participant or the organization. In some extreme form there could be a public radiant where all the citizens could participate.
Within most Radiants participants should be anonymous, only known by their aliases and nicknames. Of course when becoming a participant the identity should be checked and registered. In principal this knowledge should only be used for administrative purposes. To remove even the advantage of a catchy name like “second speaker” it may be advisable to only offer some common first names, beginning with te same letter as the real name, followed by a number like “Rose341”
One of the major distinguishing features of a Radiant is the participants difference in status and the way this is achieved. In the ideal case this is determined by the valuation of participants statements, but it should be at least partly tied to them.
Having a high status in one field does not automatically mean that one has the same status in other fields, but this could differ per Radiant.
For another part the status of a participant can be coupled to other roles, especially in the executional part.
When designing the status mechanisms it should be kept in mind that there is an intention to have status coupled to the (re)distribution of income.
The consequence of difference in status is the existence of different levels. The number of levels determined by the size of the community (in relation to the subject). In general, on each level the proportion of level x and level x+1 participants should be about between 30:1 and 300:1.
Status: the issue
On one hand we want important propositions to take a central place and to be easy to find. As a result we want the ones who participate in those contributions to have a greater ‘say’ in what’s happening. On the other hand we don’t want this elite (-contributions) to become unassailable.
The latter cannot be achieved by giving free rights of communication to every participant as the contributions and participants “high up” would get clogged. So contributions have to be published in stages. For people with level 1 rights (0 means expulsion) one has the right to contribute to the concept1 sphere. There may be an abstract on the concept2 sphere. The concept1 sphere is public in principal but is unattractive because of its size and a certain lack of order. There are two mechanisms to propagate a contribution to a higher level.
Communication between levels
One has the right to communicate (i.e. submit contributions directly to) to one or two +1 level participants in the hierarchy. These have a certain obligation to give a serious reaction, though this can be as short as RTFM, they can authorize direct publication on their concept2 sphere, probably with some comment. Finally they can pass it on to the next higher level if they think it’s appropriate. And so on.
Income and costs for participants.
A more systematic and exact description is started in Costing Mechanics.
An important element is taxing for the use of the Radiant and rewarding making an addition to it. The way rewarding and taxing is done can be decided within the Radiant. For more democratic Radiants, of course this is the preferred way. It will have to be well parameterized in order to accommodate changes in costing.
Taxing will primarily be a monthly fee for each participant. On top of that their could be periodic or incidental payments for the use of special parts of the implementation, for instance some market or scheduling system.
The basic fee will be used:
- Membership fee (general costs, periodic rewards)
- Posting of propositions and statements
- Voting on propositions
The fee does not have to be paid by the participant directly but could be paid by the organization using the Radiant.
There are many ways for assigning rewards. Some problems:
- Identifying the share of individual participants in a cooperative prop..
- Assessing the (total) value of an accepted prop.. Possible mechanisms: voting, ranking (in time), pageviews, measuring of use of methods.
- Periodic rewarding should diminish in time. It is not acceptable that someone has an income for the rest of his life (and maybe his heirs thereafter) from an idea, however important.
For now, I will call the rewards unit a Ray. Taking into account the necessary ability to split a reward between several recipients and the distinction between recurrent rewards and direct rewards, the effective unit will be 1000 Ray, or kR. The total amount of all Rays must be balanced. The total amount available will be set by the system or qualified decision. Accounts in Ray can never be below zero.
Besides Rays, there are Rating Points (RP). The total amount of all RP does not have to be balanced, and RP-accounts can be below zero.
Participants, Authors and Propositions have a Ray account as well as an RP account. Items in threads only have an RP-account.
In some future the Ray should be convertible to real money. A monthly contribution, made by the participant or the organisation on the participants behalf should buy the Rays from the system. Participants could cash their Rays. It is against the intentions of the radiant system to buy extra Rays for influencing the outcome of discussions.
An example of what a cost/reward system will look like:
Every active participant gets a monthly 6 kR. The account does not degenerate, but the participating itself costs 1kR per month, to be paid to the system, thus the participants account will increase with 5 kR every month. Participants who aren’t active for a month don’t get their 6 kR and lose one. If the account is zero, the membership will be terminated.
To start a new thread with a Proposition, 2kR must be paid by the Author. This is added to the account of the proposition itself. Which in the end will be shared among those who had a role in the result. The article’s ranking point account will get 50% of the amount in RP, as well as the author’s. Further actions cost/reward as follows:
The posting of a reply costs 100R. Edits made to the first post as a result of this reply could mean that the author of the first post will have to contribute in these costs. The author of the reply must agree with the edit and if so, will be made co-author and participate in the earnings. The co-authorship percentage has to be agreed upon by author and poster. In case this agreement cannot be reached there should be mechanisms (arbitrage, voting) to set this. These posts will have a “sign” indicating the general position of the author vs the first post. This will include voting as can be seen in the table below.
After reading a first post, a participant can support or oppose it by donating 10 R, up to a maximum of 50 for supporting or rejecting. Supporting or opposing items in the thread will be possible along the same lines.
Table of actions and costs
SSS= Supporting Support-Statement RSS = Rejecting Support-Statement
SRS= Supporting Reject-Statement RRS = Rejecting Reject-Statement
|Actions>>> Accounts||Start Prop.||Add Sup-port-S||Add Re-ject-S||Support P-vote||Reject P-vote||SSS -vote||RSS -vote||SRS -vote||RRS -Vote|
Voting shows maximum costs, one can vote with 10,20,30,40,50 Ray.
The author of a proposition can consist of more participants, having a percent share in the author.
Reputation Points are distributed immediately to the individual participating authors. Rays (reward) stays in the account of the (complex) Author until after (dis-)qualification The author of a supportive or rejecting statement can only be one participant.
Further argument (support of support etc) is not yet accounted for. For now treated in relation to Proposition
At some time the proposition will be evaluated. First step: not enough support for further discussion > dumped, enough for continued discussion but not for qualification vote > on hold, ready for qualification, ready for qualification with overwhelming support. Second step: qualification. Results: Qualified, Not qualified but on hold, disqualified, dumped. These results will have effects on the accounts as can be seen in the table below. During the discussion changes can be made to the proposition. When this means incorporation of a supportstatement (SS), the effects are in the table below. For the rest of all voting: every voter/stater since the last change will get 75% of their costs refunded. The reputations (RP) stay as they were.
Table of results, actions and rewards
|Result||Prop. reject for qual. by vote / RP low||Prop. not qual., on hold||Prop. not qual., withdrawn||Prop. qual.||Prop. Changed||S-Stat. incorporated||S-stat. disqual.: moderation or RP below level||R-stat. disqual.: moderation or RP below level|
|Action on Accounts||P moved to Rejected Archive||No change||Everybody gets money back||P moved to Pol., Author gets reward: periodic and/or per use||P revised, major rev.: 75% refund, minor 25%||P revised, S-stat. non active,P-Author changes composition, 75/25 refund||SS removed from thread||RS removed from thread|
|Prop.||R+||Balance to R’s||Refund||Balance to S’s||Refund||+ From SS, then Refund||+ From SS|
|R-||Balance to R’s||Refund||Balance to S’s||Refund||+ From RS|
|Support Stat.||R||Balance to R’s||Balance to S’s||Balance to PR+||Balance to PR+|
|Reject Stat.||R||Balance to R’s||Balance to S’s||Balance to PR-|
|P-Author (S)||R||No Refund||+Share all acc|
|S-Author (S)||R||50% Refund||+Share all acc||From Refund||From Refund*|
|R-Author (R)||R||+Share all acc||Share rest||From Refund||From Refund|
|S-Voter (RRS,SSS)||R||50% Refund||+Share all acc||From Refund||From Refund|
|R-Voter (RSS,SRS)||R||+Share all acc||Share rest||From Refund||From Refund|
Voting is done by the moderators. When voting in favor they also set the reward and the definitive weight of the propostion in the plan. Weight and reward could be discussed as part of the proposal. The part(s) of the plan that is replaced by the accepted propostion will be moved to a special archive. The author(s) of these part(s) can decide to move and alter these parts into new propopositions.
Apart from this some kind of rewarding for participants with a special function, especially moderators will have to be implemented. The moderators for instance.
All or most of these rules must be set at the start of a Radiant. Most of them should be the subject of discussion and decision and thus change in that Radiant itself. Radiants can differ in this respect.
Every Prop. must have a defined relation to the current policy. Is it an addition ? A change ? What is its scope ? Replacement of just one item or the whole policy ? This relation can have consequences for the costing and the height of the final reward. This will be discussed elsewhere.