Monday, November 17, 2014


Hi! Happy Monday!

Two posts in one day just because I got stuck for a week. Ummm.

The point I'm making in this blog post is that the US Constitution was not written with scale of population in mind.

Specifically there are no phrases that state systems change as population grows. Consequently, changes that have been made as the population has grown have been complete failures. For example, fixing the number of representatives is a perfect case in point. No single person can represent ten million people. Yet today that's what we ask our representatives in the House to do. If you can't represent ten million then what do you do? Oh yeah, corruption, represent yourself because with ten million people you will have constituents for or against any proposal you make.

Here is a challenge for you to ponder in your own mind. What do you propose so as to scale out representation as the population grows? I believe the original constitution called for 1 representative for 10,000 people. Chop four zeroes off of 300,000,000 and you get 30,000.

One could recommend direct democracy to supplement representation. The best argument for ballot measures is that many states have been using ballot measures for years. This year many ballot measures such as minimum wage and legalizing pot go against the agendas of the Republicans they voted into office. Should we give ballot measures a national try?

No. Solving a problem of scale by introducing a new problem of scale even less scalable is not the answer. Representatives have hundreds of staff to research the scalable impact, do you? Ballot measures are inherently about voting what *you* know; your own interests. Ballot measures, direct democracy, at the scale of 300 million is every bit as arbitrary as corrupt politicians.

Scaling in computer science calls for systems of systems. To apply that to the House of Representatives then there should be a new cell, a new House, every 500 representatives. A new protocol is then invented to fairly distribute communication and capacity between the houses.

You might ask the question: what is the difference between a two houses of 500 members and one house of 1,000 members. The answer is everything. A 500 member house only is concerned about managing 500 members. Adding an additional house then means adding work to manage a protocol to work and communicate with other houses. President Washington intuited this when he built out a Presidential cabinet. The cabinet, in effect, scales out the President. Each cabinet member has a domain, like Secretary of Treasury. In that spirit then there would exist Houses with specific domains.

In computer science the notion of a manageable size is called a cluster. The Internet scales out because of clusters. You might think of the Internet as one system but it is not. The Internet is clusters with protocols layered in between clusters. One cannot take the Internet down with a single point of failure because the Internet is clustered.

The point of this blog is if you can't represent ten million then what do you do? The solution? Cluster. One computer science solution would be to cluster. Create clusters of Houses as well as vote for clusters of representative names on ballots during elections.

Enough for today. Clusters are not the only way to scale out, but we need to amend the US Constitution to scale out and clusters could be one alternative to consider. Most importantly, however, is the principle going forward that the US Constitution needs systems of systems to account for population growth.

Well come! and Well met! 

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