Liquid Democracy, Adhocracy and political decision making

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Do you want to look behind the curtains of a 21st century democracy? You might be looking for a `policy drafting tool for distributed groups´ and use it in your art project, your corporate company, your NGO, your government institution or political party . Friedrich Lindenberg is a co-developer for software that assists to succeed in theses tasks called adhocracy or liquid democracy. They strive to bring the manyfold experiences made in online discussion, online collaboration and online decision making into a software that can be used by citizens and parliamentarians together. As his answers show, the interlace between personal, social, legal, privacy-related and technical aspects are part of his everyday work. In an possible reaction to the flailing democratic spirit in Europe, his customers and partners in experiment have been of high profile: the German Parliament in Berlin or the German Pirate Party. The interview is conducted by Tobias Nöbauer and Volker Eckl of Transforming Freedom at the Transmediale 2011 in Berlin.  


  • Date of recording: Sun, 2011-02-06
  • Language(s) spoken:

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00:08 TN: Hello everyone, I am Tobias Nöbauer for, I am sitting here with my college Volker Eckŀ and we have the great pleasure to have the opportunity to talk to Friedrich Lindenberg. You are a member of the association Liquid Democracy, you are a developer and you and co-developing Adhocracy. One of the products, well, one of the projects of your association - we will talk about that in a second. And let’s start by finding out, what actually does the concept “Liquid Democracy” mean as a general idea. What problem is it actually a response to?

00:47 FL: Ok, in a very very generic sense it’s trying to think about how to coproduce policy and how to create that in a way that you can essentially be voted on after it has been created and written in this system. And therefore create a mechanism for having online democracies, that are creating really binding and well thought out crafts of political opinions, of political statements, even maybe of laws.

01:24 TN: So, you already mentioned a tool, you developed one specific piece of software, which is called Adhocracy? 

FL: Exactly.

01:29 TN: And what do I see when I enter the Adhocracy software? 

FL: So, if you access adhocracy, what you’ll see is essentially a list of proposals that people have made, a list of ideas. And on the other hand you’ll see a list of norms, which is an ugly term for the idea that there is some kind of code. A code that the organizations using Adhocracy agreed, that they will comply to. So the idea is, essentially, this code could be laws, it could be a position of my group, it could be the program of the party that I am engaged in. And the idea is: How do I change that? How do I make this into something that’s better? How do I improve it?

02:07 TN: So a code is what you are starting from, it is the law, but it is not just the code of contact that is in place within the adhocracy environment - do I get you right? - it is rather what you are working on, what you are trying to…

02:20 FL: Exactly. We have essentially the ideas to transform some of the tools I have developed in software-development over to the idea of policy-development. So you have a codebase, that you are working on, that you are committing to, that you are trying to transform into something that is better, that is “bug free” - if you want to continue in programmers peach. And this process, of course, has to be of a different nature of what you use for programming. 02:46 So it has to be democratic, it has to have legitimacy, not only correctness as you do for engineering software, so we are trying to take some of the factors and translate them into something that is applicable to political processes and they will enable them being produced by large online, dispersed kind of groups.

03:08 TN: How do you develop legitimacy in this context?

FL: Well, so the question…in order to answer that. You have to look at how participation in online-systems works. What you observe there, is that you have got this small group of really active people, who are doing most of the work, and you have got the long tail of people who are involved, but not really contributing that much. So the question is: Do you want to a) stop this, and make everyone contributing the same amount, which what I think will boil down to the least common denominator kind of participation. Or do you want to promote it, or do you want to promote it and at the same time put it on a some kind of democratic control? And Liquid Democracy has the idea of using the third option. Saying: “Yes, we want to have this people really engaged in a particular issue.” The ones that are affected, the ones who are experts on it, the ones that maybe just have the time to contribute to it. And we want them to the bottom of the work, and then we want the rest of the group to just legitimize them. And what we use for that is a mechanism called “delegation”. So unlike direct-democracy, we do have some kind of representation, but unlike representative democracy, that representation is very short-term, very short-lived. It’s pure idea, pure political kind of goal and it is assigned it can be revoked at any time, it can be overwritten at any time. It is essentially liquid in its kind of formation.

 04:39 TN: So, those who are able to invest more time, energy and expertise into some problems, solution attempt, are being given credibility-points or legitimacy-points by the long tail, the rest of the users?

FL: That’s it. You might have someone who’s got a lot of time but who really isn’t as much of an expert as he or she believes, and on the other hand you might have someone who can’t contribute quite a bit, but is not as much heard, but maybe does express some opinion that is widely held within the group. So, the idea is quantifying how much support each of these, I don’t know, intense speakers has, and giving them a number. 

05:27 VE You said “quantification” - what have been the biggest problems in the development so far that you can say, where are the failures?

FL: I think there is kind of a stretch in the system, where you have on the one side a system for experts, people who really want to transform the code, or maybe the legal [?] sides are relevant to this particular problem they are trying to solve, and why the comma shouldn’t be there, and why it should be there. And on the other hand of the scope you have the people who are coming by for 5 or 10 minutes, who have very tight budget of time they want to invest in this and you really want to support both. You want to have people who can invest hours and days and give them the right tool to do their job, and on the other hand you don’t want to exclude the bulk of people who are coming in for a short time. So you need to have the possibilities for interaction for both groups. And that is kind of the problem behind all of this.

06:29 TN: I understand there are a view instances up and running already out there. Who is using Adhocracy?

FL: So, Adhocracy, we have to mention it is not the only liquid-democracy-system out there, but Adhocracy is currently being used for example by some parts of the Young Green organization, it’s being used apparently by the socialist party of Germany “Die Linke”.

TN: “Apparently” - that means you are not sure about it?

FL: I am kind of not sure about the status it has there. The latest information I have is, that they want to use it as a way to create proposals for the party, I don’t know, the party meeting.

TN: The main assembly…

FL: The main assembly. And all the things that are going to be introduced to the Adhocracy-instance are going to be also introduced to the party assembly. So in that way it has been adopted by them. And I think that’s a very interesting experiment, because they are a party that is, without being…I am trying to express my opinion, in dire need of a new program. [laughs] So essentially they have a lot of work to do and I think it’s really interesting and courageous to engage in this kind of online process, where everyone can participate. And then there is….sorry…

TN: That’s one old school political party - no offence intended - but a traditional form of political opinion finding and opinion representation.  07:57 Have other players in the field, established players in the field, already caught the idea and does it work as an add-on? Does Adhocracy work as an add-on? Or would you say: “In order to work for a traditional party, the party has to change?”

FL: I definitely think the party has to change, but that’s not something that is brought about by Adhocracy, that’s brought about by networked public sphere. And we are trying to - if you will - trying to provide an easy way out of this. We are trying to provide a way where a party can stay a party and have a program. And that’s not something that I believe is given in any scenario we can imagine. So in a way we are trying to maintain some basic-democratic principles.  08:43 But, I mean there are also other places where this is being used outside of parties. So there is an association that tried to use it for writing a strategy-paper, trying to figure out how they’re going to proceed. And there’s one other case which is not jet quite dead but it’s having some problems which is the German parliament. 

09:05 What are the problems? The German parliament has problems? [laughs]

FL: The German parliament, as any parliament, has got some problems, of course. No, the idea is essentially: they have got this commission on the internet and in that commission they wanted to do two things: one is drafting the policy of Germany for the next 10 years and in a non-partisan way. And the other way is experiment with new methods of parliamentary kind of work. And for the letter, they - some month ago - decided they wanted to use Adhocracy and we have been sending them the draft and now they have decided they want to cancel the project, which everyone is free to speculate why they want to do that.

TN: Please feel free enough to do so. Why would they?

FL: So, the best rumor, I mean the official reason is essentially it was too expensive, which I simply don’t buy in for a free software tool. The other reason is that it could establish a precedent that people could come to expect, that not only the internet-commission of the parliament allows people to voice their opinions, but also other commissions, other parts of parliaments would be expected to open up to the public. And that’s a process I don’t accuse them of not wanting to do, but I kind of guess they want to think twice about it before doing it.

TN: Parliament doesn’t want to obsolete itself.
FL: I don’t know how big the risk of it becoming redundant in kind of short term is. I don’t think there is any. But of course, the question is: Is this going to screw up the balance between representative democracy and direct democracy that we have in Germany, and that is something that most professional politicians are very sensible about. 

10:49 TN: What are the established use cases and your personal experience telling you about the mode of interaction, the kind of code co-presence, you know, adhocracy as a medium – what does it feel like to be inside? 

FL: It really depends on the people using it. So I am looking at this - we had, for example, this association of people “Mehr Demokratie”, direct democracy in Germany, and they have I think a bit of an older user group or member group. For them it was a form, it was the idea of having a bulletin-board where you can vote on things. Whereas for people who are more familiar with the web, it is a wiki-system, so it is a bit of a hybrid between these two. It has commons and everything but these are editable by any user. So if you make an argument, I can improve it. And for software developer it’s a version control system. It’s lots of things, lots of people, and I think the question is really: Can we enable each of these groups to use it in a way that they feel they need to use it? Also can we…I mean…democracy or any kind of participative decision-making, it’s not: you go there, there’s a solution, you pick it up, you use it for whatever you want to use it for. It’s something that is highly customized. We have millions and millions of derivatives off. And can we allow people to compose their own mode of decision-making, the level of participation they’re comfortable with, as an organization they consider to be useful, but still enable more participation in that group or try to drive them towards a line of this contributor.

12:41 TN: So the tool itself is liquid in a way. What is fixed? What is the code that is fixed? You say, of course, you have to adapt. No decision-making-groups are equal and you have to adapt the system. What stays constant though? Does there anything stay constant? 

13:01 FL: We are trying to move towards more modular thing. So right know it has some big modules. One of them is “delegated voting”, one of them is these kind of code things that you would want to change. And others have to do with authorization and who is actually legitimate to be a voter and who is not. And all of these things can be turned on or off. But I also think that we should have more modules in this, so for example, for one group it might make sense to have a very fast mode of decision-making whereas for others the minimum kind of debate they want to have is half a year, or maybe even a year of consultation. And lots of other fronts including voting mechanisms which is of course a topic you can devote much time to, and also on how people can cooperate, what kind of mode of cooperation should obviously be able to edit my proposals, to edit my comment, to edit my opinion. Or is that kind of thing that is owned by me? That for example is something that is transfigurable and should be even more so.

14:11 TN: So, you as an association, or you personally as an actor in the field, how would you describe yourself? Are you primarily a developer, or rather a consultant, or an interaction-designer or something like that? How do you work with a group that says it wants to use the software?

14:31 FL: I don’t know. I mean, I am basically a prototyper of weird things. So whatever I feel, I am not sure whether it will work, I’ll try to implement it and then we’ll see if it comes out living or dead. Or somewhere in between, which is most of the time the case. And in that mode I think I am kind of unused to being in the situation where these organizations are coming to us and saying: “Hey we want to do this process. Can you support us in doing that?” But I think on the other hand that is kind of the valuable thing we can deliver, and we should deliver. So, for example, we have had this very unusual customer just a while back - customer is kind of a weird word to use for some charitable group, or even for a democracy if you want to take it as such - but for example the city of Munich who just wanted to have a process where they would allow people to propose policies and projects and actions of the city, in order to get to the idea of open government. And so essentially we created a very stripped down version of Adhocracy for them to use. Also a very customized one, one that does adhere to some criteria that are for public administration to be able to use something like this. But on the other hand I think there are many other groups I think we should support. So just now I was talking to a person who’s working for a group of artists and they were really interested in using this, they want to have the association managed entirely being a liquid democracy and they have some weird, weird things they have to do, like: “it can’t have certain colors because apparently that irritates some” and that kind of stuff, which is really interesting. 

16:20 TN: I see. How does the product…Let’s open up the horizon a little bit. I understand that liquid democracy does indeed liquefy some of the core genes of our implementations of democracy as we know them, for example the fixed voting cycle, like a very strong rhythmic that you can’t get out of, the principle that one vote is one vote, on every topic, and in this case you can organize this mode of delegation.

FN: You can fight about it whether it is true or not. But essentially it is being somehow modified, yes.

17:00 TN: There is another huge dynamics currently ongoing that transforms the public sphere - this is a suggestive question, I do admit - and that’s the technical implemented social network Facebook, the largest meeting place for people and communication space in the cyber world. Have you ever thought of connecting to the social networks in any way? Is that relevant to your concept?

FN: I think such networks for us are mostly useful as a way to connect and finding “eyeballs” If you have posted your idea to adhocracy you’d go to Facebook and post it there and invite people to contribute to it. It’s very useful as a mode of coordination, but I am not very sure about its… So I think, my social network and my political network, they are two distinct animals, not all the people I am friends with are necessarily people who have the same political opinion I have, and not all the people I share the political opinion with I am friends with. And I wouldn’t want to friend some, for example, German politicians, although I agree with the way they act - which is a small group. But, I think we have to have these different networks and probably my friends-network and my political network, and my professional network and then also my study-network, and the network of the people who also like to - I don’t know - do this and that. So these are distinct sort of networks, jet of course they need to interact with each other.

18:39 VE: In your personal opinion, has the time for open government already come? Or how far are we in the process of opening up government in the digital area? 

FN: I think the time has definitely come, and it’s kind of an urgent matter, because, I think, that really good technologies are transforming the way that politics is going to be done. And there is a real danger that the existing state is going to miss out on this, and that this will lead to it being incompatible with way that its citizens interact. And that is something that is neither desirable for the citizens and also not for the state which is going to have serious problems in that environment. I don’t know whether Liquid Democracy is necessarily a part of open government, I think it even goes one step beyond that. Which is also to say that, I think, that open government needs to a larg degree is a requirement for really being able to start thinking about Liquid Democracy. So in order to be able to have citizens really rigorously discuss certain policies or certain ideas they would have to have good knowledge of what is going on in the world, what is going on inside government, what is going on in political processes, and that is… I mean, transparency is the core issue of open government. And there is also some other levels of open government where you have the idea of participation, but that, I think, doesn’t really relate to Liquid Democracy that much. I think being able to participate is also the requirement, the willingness of states to engage with its citizens, and then you can start talking about this kind of corporative or even collective mode of drafting policies and of drafting things that actually come out of this.

20:37 VE: One of the most important technical innovations in the democratic process during the last years was e-voting and this for example is very much in the discussion of being more transparent or less transparent than the analog way of voting.

21:05 FL: I think it’s tones less transparent. I mean you have to mention the limits of what we are trying to do, and for me one of those limits is very clearly the idea of doing secret votes. I don’t want to sit here and say: “It can’t be done.” But I believe at this stage in 2011 it can’t be done in a way that is both sufficiently secure to feel comfortable with and still accessible to wide audiences of people who don’t know essentially how to… I don’t know RSA, DSA? Or whatever encrypts their hard disc even. So I don’t think that is the goal we should aspire to, I think e-voting is a bad idea, it tries to optimize some process, that is intentionally held to be the inoptimal, and that is very good in that way, because it creates the chain of evidence. What we are trying to do: all votes in adhocracy are public. That means it’s mostly – or it’s not at all suited to do election of people, it’s very much focused on voting on topics, on issues. And that also means…the idea is: you want that transparency, you want that in order to be able to debate on this basis “why do you vote against us?” – That’s not a bad question, that’s actually a very good question to ask someone, because it opens up an argument. Also in order to be able to do delegation: “Hey, look at this guy, he’s consistently voting the way I would vote! Maybe I just can lean back a bit and let him do some of the work and maybe come back later.” That is I think, a valid thing in a time where we have all lots of stuff to do. And the third way is: you just want to hope people contribute as well. So for those reasons, I think, it’s different things.

22:59 TN: How much meet space, meeting, would you consider further necessary, even after the adaptation, after, you know, after we are using Liquid Democracy in our organization? Is there anything you can’t quite replace and you can’t quite deal with, anything that has to happen in different media? How do you see interplay with…?

23:31 FL: I think first of all you have to ask: when does going online make sense?  So for example you are living in a community with 20000 people and you want to have more democracy, you are going to have a town hall meeting and you are not going to online and create a huge process, when everybody sees each other in the supermarket everyday anyway. So it’s a question of being adequate. I hope that we will go on having lots and lots of personal meetings, I think they are essential to really getting stuff turned out, whether that is a parliament or whether it’s a barcamp. I think maybe both can learn from each other, probably the parliament will [?] some valuable lessons from the barcamp. So seeing these modes get mixed up and seeing a good link between what’s happening offline and what is happening online, that I think would be really useful. 

24:28 TN: Well, let’s become a little concrete again, although we stay futuristic. What are the next steps, the concrete steps for your project, and what are the next levels to overcome? And what are you looking forward to in the next years to come? 

24:43 FL: So, there is lots of stuff to do. That’s just lots and lots of features, you need to have to support more complex organizations. We are still trying to get parliament in Germany to adopt this. This is not over, maybe we will have to do it as a grassroots thing that is to invite politicians to participate instead of the parliament inviting the public to participate. Either way there is going to be a space where people will exchange opinions and try to work on things. And I think there are lots and lots of places where this could be a very immediate use. Direct democracy as it exists today, for example, if you have the mechanism of introducing a referendum, why not draft them in such a system? You could have universities run by this, where students need to self-organize, these are people who are sufficiently young to be able to really get the most out of this. Why not have organizations like companies also consider this as a way of open innovation, if you like. So open up the space for contributions from the employees. And of course political parties and I think that is the one we will experiment the most with concrete policies. 

26:07 TN: Well, a fascination approach, I have to say, towards transforming - well, what exactly? - is it opinion-making, or rather proposal-making, rather decision-taking?

FL: I think what you want to have is these interactions between decision-making, and then going back to the drawing board rewriting the thing a bit, coming up with something better. I think, I want to see law scums, I don’t know, it’s a term from software-development, where you have these periods of, let’s say, four weeks, where people write stuff, then they test if it works, then they write it again, then they test if it works…If you can have that for politics, I think we are going to come up with some results that are more based on empiric evidence of whether stuff works or not, and less on whether it fits into some particular party-profile or personal career path.

26:59 TN: A revolution a day keeps the democracy bug away! Thanks a lot Friedrich Lindenberg, fascinating topic, I hope to hear more about it in the near future. Thanks!

FL: Thanks!

27:32 VE: Wie oft wird der decision process gehackt?

FL: Bisher nicht, wir haben ihn nur in unserem Seitencode oben einen kleinen Header drinnen, da steht, wer es zuerst macht bekommt so ein T-Shirt von wegen „I hacked democracy“. Hat noch niemand richtig hinbekommen.

VE: Echt? …Die Frage wäre jetzt ein bisschen rausgefallen…

TN: Sorry, jetzt war ich gerade abgelenkt. Was haben wir schonwieder nicht aufgenommen? [laughs] 

FL: Also ich glaube, dass es gehackt wird, und dass es auf spannende Weisen gehackt wird, also das Ding hat eine API und die Idee einer programmierbaren Teilnahme ist etwas, was meines Erachtens völlig unerforscht ist, also, dass du jederzeit einfach reingehen kannst und sagen kannst, ok, ich nehm mir jetzt einen bot der durchgeht und die ganzen Themen durchsucht und mir eine Zusammenfassung schickt und per default das Ganze mit Wikipedia-Information anreichert und dann mir eine Beschussempfehlung auf den Tisch legt, oder so etwas.

28:26 VE: Wie viele aktive User hat denn… kann man das über die ganzen Projekte, wo Du es einsetzt, sagen?

FL: Das ist momentan leider noch relativ klein von der Userbasis her, wir haben so 1700 Leute, die da drauf sind und die sind verteilt auf ein paar Organisationen. Ich hoffe, dass wir das richtig hochskalieren werden jetzt für das Parlament.

28:46 VE: Und ihr wisst das aber, wer dieses Teil einsetzt, also so zu sagen, ihr seid direkt []. wenn du sagst, die Linke, die jungen Grünen, usw…

FL: Ich glaube es gibt so 2, 3 Installationen von denen wir nur so am Rande wissen, aber im Prinzip sind das zwei Modi: du kannst sie runterladen und auf deinem eigenen Rechner installieren, oder du kannst direkt auf unsere Seite gehen und sagen: „Hier - neue adhocracy“, und dann hast du eine. Und dass wird auch von vielen Leuten auch immer gemacht, und dann gehen die dann eine Woche drauf, und manche bleiben dann da, und auf einmal entdeckt man: „…Moment…“ so eine Instanz, da sitzen 30 Leute und diskutieren sich einen Ast das ist komischer Weise mit der Linken hier so in Deutschland. Also ich hab bis heute mit denen noch nicht geredet, ich glaube irgendwann hat einer von unserem Verein mal mit denen telefoniert, oder so, aber die haben jetzt beschlossen, ihr Parteiprogramm wird darin offen zur Diskussion gestellt, was ich klasse finde. Also so muss es doch eigentlich sein!  Jetzt bin ich mal gespannt, was da für ein Feedback kommt.

29:46 GS: Darf ich noch kurz einhaken? Was war mit der Piratenpartei eigentlich? Die hat das ja wieder gecancelt, oder?

FL: Stimmt, das hätte ich eigentlich noch erwähnen müssen, das war ein bisschen doof von mir. Also die haben ein anderes System, Liquid Feedback heißt das.
VE: Wir geben das als Annotation dazu.

FL: Ja super. 30:02 Liquid Feedback ist halt wesentlich stärker auf den Entscheidungsteil wesentlich weniger auf den Diskussionsteil fokussiert. Was ich eine interessante Entscheidung finde, ich glaube, es hat beides seine Vorteile. Ich glaube man muss das beides ein bisschen miteinander verbinden. Und die Piraten haben das halt eingesetzt. Eine andere Sache, die ich da beobachten würde, ist, dass sie keinen Mechanismus haben, mit dem sie Konsistenz herstellen. Also wenn du eine konkrete Codebase hast, an der du arbeitest, dann kannst du irgendwann sagen: „Da gibt es einen Konflikt.“ Während, wenn du einfach nur Leuten sagst: „Ok, ihr könnt hier was einbringen, und dann stimmt ihr darüber ab“, dann gibt es eine gewisse Gefahr, dass Leute einfach über zehn Dinge abstimmen und davon bedeuten drei eigentlich das Gleiche und sie kommen sieben Mal auf unterschiedliche Antworten. Und das ist ein richtiges Problem, wenn du Leuten in großen Massen, wo nicht alle wissen, was alle anderen tun, die Möglichkeit geben willst, zusammen gemeinsame Regeln zu finden.

30:57 GS: Ok, ich hab aber auch irgendetwas mitbekommen - ich dachte, dass das das selbe System ist, aber ok - dass sie die dann zurückgezogen haben  wieder aus dieser Piraten-Affäre, so zu sagen, dass sie dann gesagt haben, so in die Richtung: „Ihr verwendet es nicht richtig, also nehmen wir den offiziellen Support zurück“ …oder so.

31:16 FL: Ah, nein, da gab es noch etwas anderes, und zwar: Es gab ewige Diskussionen bei der Piratenpartei über die Frage von Transparenz und Datenschutz. Also bin ich, dadurch, dass ich mich auf dieser Seite anmelde, und da teilnehme als normales Parteibasismitglied, bin ich dadurch auch gleich Parlamentarier in dem neuen Sinne, dass ich jetzt auf einmal meine Entscheidungen im öffentlichen Bewusstsein zu führen habe. Und darüber gab es extreme Diskussionen, die wir sonst auch noch nirgendwo so jetzt extrem gesehen haben. Also, ich muss auch ganz ehrlich sagen, dass ich mich da ganz klar auf die Seite von Transparenz schlagen muss, aber das hat halt dazu geführt, dass die Entwickler von dem System irgendwann keinen Bock mehr hatten und jetzt gesagt haben: „Geht Euch doch selber…“

31:59 TN: Die Entwickler bei Laune zu halten. Nicht nur bei Laune zu halten, sondern, so zu sagen, auch existenziell über Wasser zu halten.

32:06 Wenn Du halt Abend für Abend sitzt, und das Zeug codest, und am Ende sagen die Leute dann: “Du bist irgendwie ein Faschist und was willst du eigentlich?” Und das auch nicht einmal auf besonders hohem Niveau, leider Gottes. Die haben mir echt leid getan dafür. Also wir haben relativ früh… im Prinzip, der Verein ist eine Ausgründung der Piratenpartei. Wir haben relativ früh dann beschlossen: „Ok, diese Piratenpartei, die ist ein bisschen zu massiv gewachsen, und wir versuchen es mit ein paar anderen Pflastern“ Und deshalb haben wir die ein bisschen leid getan mit der ganzen Debatte.   

VE: …Godwins Law: Am Schluss sind alle Nazis. [laughs]

32:46 TN: Wie viel taucht eigentlich von dieser ganzen Internet-Foren-Diskussions-Kultur… - weil du grad dieses Gesetz erwähnst - Wie viel taucht da auf in den typischen Unterhaltungen in Liquid Democracy, kann man das sagen? Also ist es sehr Nerd-Kultur beeinflusst? 

FL: Auf jeden Fall. Also du musst dir einfach ankucken, wer sind die Leute, die wirklich online Sachen basteln? Und da gibt es halt bisher nicht…Also, ich meine, es gibt unterschiedliche Gruppen, die das tun, aber die Leute, die immer noch am längsten dabei sind, sind irgendwie Nerds. Und die haben auch irgendwie die härtesten Diskussionen bereits gehabt, und die meiste Reibung gehabt, und so. Und in so fern sind das einfach die Leute, die oft schon ein bisschen was raus haben. Auch wenn du dir ankuckst, was für Softwares Nerds für Nerds bauen, das ist der Kram, der wirklich in der Lage ist, Onlinekollaboration zu ermöglichen. Ich würde Wiki so in die Randkategorie davon einordnen. Es gibt andere Sachen wie github oder bitbucket, oder so, so Online-code-sharing-Systeme, die das richtig geil machen. Und dann gibt es noch so etwas wie stackoverflow, ich weiß nicht, ob ihr das kennt, das ist halt für mich so ein bisschen der…yeah.

33:58 VE: Hängt das nicht auch sozial vielleicht damit zusammen, dass einfach nur wirklich die Nerds ihr Leben vor dem Computer verbringen, und dem entsprechend die soziale Kollaboration eben auch über solche Tools - also ich bin mir jetzt nicht sicher, ob das Tool von einem Mega-Nerd geschrieben wird… ok, das ist jetzt ein bisschen schwierig, weil… 34:23

FL: du kannst mich gerne als Nerd bezeichnen! [laugs]

VE: Nein, nein! Ich will mich ja selbst…eben an Grenzlinien…es ist eine dünne Linie zwischen Nerd und normalen Menschen. Ich denke einmal, dass das aus der Kultur rauskommt, aber nicht unbedingt deswegen heißt, dass nur diese Projekte erfolgreich sind, sondern einfach weil da ein Bedarf in genau dieser Kultur besteht, wird da schnell mal so graswurzel-mäßig eine Antwort darauf gebastelt, die dann auch gelichzeitig für die Normalbevölkerung…

34:56 FL: Also für die Normalbevölkerung weiß ich nicht einmal, aber ich meine, es gibt auch Nerds, die nichts mit Computern zu tun haben, und das sind eigentlich ein sehr attraktive Zielgruppe dafür. Also wenn du dir ankuckst, z.B. Leute, die sich mit der EU auseinandersetzten, sind für die gemeinhin Nerds. Nicht nur Juristen, sondern auch so die Gruppe, die da außen herumhängt, mittlerweile. Das sind unheimlich spannende Nerds, weil sie sehr hohes digitales Bewusstsein haben, also irgendwie wissen, wie digitale Technologie funktioniert. Ihr ganzes politisches System ist irgendwie im Prinzip eine super moderne Technokratie, und das sind Leute, die durchaus sehr sehr schnell verstehen, worum es bei so etwas geht. 

35:38 TN: Habt ihr Module oder Projekte, wo Multimediainhalte enthalten sind? Du (zu GS) hast ja einmal bei einem Projekt mitgemacht, dass - hilf mir schnell, wie heißt das? 

GS: Welches meinst du denn?

TN: Ein Video-Frage-Antwort-Spiel…

GS: Ah,

TN: wahltotal, danke! Sorry. Das war einfach: User können Videofragen posten - Politiker können Videoantworten posten. 

FL: So etwas geht uns bis jetzt total ab. 36:01 Ich hätte total gerne die Möglichkeit, einen Vorschlag eben nicht als Text, sondern als YouTube-Ding zu posten, ist auch eigentlich kein großer Aufwand, aber ich möchte das gerne, wenn es so läuft, dann richtig machen, dass man so richtig schön: „Ok, ich geh da jetzt hin, ich lad mein Video direkt da rein…“ 

TN: Also HTML5 und Audio- und Videotags sind dann erlaubt in allen Eingabefeldern grundsätzlich? 

FL: Jaja.

GS: Wohin geht man, wenn man sich dafür interessiert?

FL:, oder oder .cc oder so.

GS: Alles klar, danke! Dann drück ich jetzt auch auf Stop.



Shot by Georg Schütz for our friends from  

Blog by Friedrich Lindenberg (in German language)

Mapping of the themes discussed by the German Parliament in mid-2010