What's the problem?

If a photogenic face and a silver tongue doesn't make a good leader, then what does?

How do we find such leaders?

If you don't want to read or if you don't like to think, you should turn your computer off now and go back to watching TV.

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What is the problem?

All Institutions Of Centralized Governmental Systems Are Constrained By Robust Evolutionary Selective Pressures Which Favor Incompetence.

Jerry Wickey
Key West, FL
800 722 2280
August 30, 2010

Every year thousands of businesses go out of business. In the ever changing business environment sometimes more and sometimes fewer advantages are available. Businesses who fail, prove unable to effectively differentiate between advantageous practices and disadvantageous practices. Successful businesses select advantageous practices which persuade customer's voluntary patronage, furnishing financial support to the business. The provision of voluntary financial support acts as a mechanism of natural selection favoring only those institutions which successfully differentiate between advantageous and disadvantageous practices.

Removing this selective pressure from any institution, such as is the case for institutions coercing financial support from patrons by threat of incarceration for not paying "taxes," also removes the selective pressures which favor the survival of only those institutions possessing real world competence and does not induce the failure of institutions which do not possess real world competence. Real world competence is defined here as those practices which actually prove efficacious and which the majority of people find valuable.

Institutions which are not subject to such beneficial selective pressures, such as all institutions of government, accrue bad ideas and good ideas at their naturally occurring rate rather than at the rate induced by such beneficial selective pressures which strongly favor good ideas. Since there are many bad ideas for every good idea, the only protection a government agency has against adopting disadvantageous practices are the mental faculties of its leadership. As evidenced in the number of failed businesses each year, even the best business person often fails because the mental faculties of even well educated people prove nearly useless in predicting real world competence. For each advantageous practice adopted by any government institution, many disadvantageous practices are accrued.

Perhaps Thomas Paine already knew this when he said "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

The answer lies not in eliminating taxes, but in a novel means of electing leadership. Our current method of election selects leaders who are good showmen, not good leaders.

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If a photogenic face and a silver tongue doesn't make a good leader, then what does?

We Routinely Trust Important And Complex Decisions To People In Government And Other Critical Positions Of Authority Who Are Unable To Definitively Describe A Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich

The obvious assumptions most people overlook in the exceedingly simple of task of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich suggests a scary number of assumptions we overlook in complex matters. We are not trained to think.

The steps required to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be accurately, completely, unambiguously, and definitively described. What is a wonder and a crying shame! is that most people can not describe them!

Most educated people, our leaders included, can not even wrap their heads around the most basic of assumptions required to put two slices of bread together. I mean this far more literally than you likely imagine. For a demonstration, read on.

I suggest a solution.

Do you remember how to do longhand arithmetic? More importantly, do you make important life decisions using reason and logic or do you just feel your way around the problem, groping in the darkness? These two questions are related. Not that important life decisions require the use of logic, everyone knows that, but rather, that being definitively aware of ones own assumptions is the skill required to understand any task including longhand arithmetic and also the same skill which is required to make informed decisions about important and relevant matters. If one does not possess the skill to definitely describe long hand division, one can not possess the skill to make efficacious decisions.

If one is unable to unambiguously and definitively describe any medium complex process such as longhand division, one is also probably unaware of some of the most fundamental assumptions one uses to make decisions. Are those assumptions valid? How can one know, if one is not aware of them? Identifying ones assumptions is a learned skill, perfected by practice. If one has never exorcised this skill to any degree of rigor, one simply does not possess it to any significant degree in any capacity.

Political leaders, licensed professionals, and others in important life changing positions of authority are usually unable to definitively state their goals for any given task.

One can never accomplish anything, if one does not know exactly what he intends to accomplish. One can never get there, if one doesn't know to where one wants to go.

There is an easy solution to this: One year of intense computer programming study.

Professionals such as medical doctors, lawyers, and unlicensed professions such as politicians should be censured from practice until they can definitively disambiguate at least medium complex tasks. Most believe that they could easily describe exactly how to perform the medium complex process of longhand decimal division. But even the most educated among us are likely mistaken.

On the very first day of any "real" programming course, not html or java or graphic artist or other such hokum, mind you, but a real programming course, the instructor often introduces the course by asking the students to write down on a piece of paper "the exact steps one must take to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich." The student's products are usually along these lines:

1) spread peanut butter on one side of one slice of bread.
2) spread jelly on one side of another slice of bread.
3) put the two slices together.

A seemingly complete solution to a simple task, but to which the instructor inquires, "Where did the bread come from? Is bread always just sitting out available for pb+j sandwiches in your home?" The student usually answers "Well, no. I guess I just assumed that if I were going to make a pb+j, I would get the bread out first."

The instructor retorts. "Isn't that what I asked you to do? Write down the steps one must take to make a pb+j? Is getting the bread out not one of those steps?" The student had made assumptions about which he was unaware. This was for the most simple of tasks.

Imagine the assumptions about which he is completely oblivious when making important life decisions. It doesn't get simpler than pb+j. Issues don't magically simplify when the complexity of the issue increases. Our leaders simply do not posses the skills needed to definitively state the assumptions they rely upon to make their decisions. As is demonstrated even more dramatically in the few paragraphs below.

Anyone who believes he or she is experienced in decision making should surely be able to produce a definitive description of preparing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If the reader finds the following some of the following statements unnecessary or has difficulty finding the reason for others, he or she is not well suited to deriving definitive decisions for simple matters let alone complex matters.

Someone with a year of computer programming education would answer thus: Declarations:

1) We assume the definition of words not otherwise defined herein
2) We assume the definition of a slice of bread
3) We assume the definition of peanut butter
4) We assume the definition of jelly
5) We assume the definition of a utensil used to spread any one onto any other comment: we would not use a utensil to spread bread onto jelly but the construct allows it.
6) We assume the definition of an area in which spreading can take place 7) We assume the availability or lack of any of these constructs can be determined

Link Library to functions defined elsewhere:
the function "exit" ceases all pb+j activity, defined elsewhere
the function "secure" secures an item to be operated upon by other functions, defined elsewhere
the function "spread" acts on bread and jelly or pb with a utensil, defined elsewhere
the function "select" favors one over another, defined elsewhere
the function "join" joins two slices of bread, defined elsewhere

if (bread is not available)
{exit (); comment: as this condition is not addressed by the task;}
if (peanut butter is not available)
{exit (); }
if (jelly is not available)
{exit (); }
if (a spreading utensil is not available)
{exit (); }
if (an area suitable to spreading is not available)
{exit (); }
if (all are available)
{secure (adequate supplies of each) ;}
select ( one slice of bread );
spread ( peanut butter, nascent bread );
note the nascent side;
select ( the next slice of bread );
spread ( jelly, nascent bread );
note the nascent side;
join ( nascent side of one slice of bread, nascent side of the next slice of bread );
comment: one pb+j is complete

Now think about this for a moment..... It is no wonder that someone with a computer programming education can accurately, completely, unambiguously and definitively describe making a pb+j.

What is a wonder and a crying shame! .... is that most people can not!

Most people are unable to wrap their heads around the most basic of assumptions required to put two slices of bread together. Do they think that nailing down ones assumptions gets easier with complex issues? Do they claim? "Computer programming is just hokum. So what if I can't describe how to make a pb+j. I know what I am doing when it comes to more complex stuff."

Why are we in Afghanistan? Is it oil? Is it teaching them democracy? Is it fighting terrorism? Is it a combination? When are we finished? When have we accomplished our goal? How do we know we have accomplished our goal? Can we go home, before we have accomplished our goal? Do we know exactly what our goal is?

A computer programmer could answer everyone of these questions definitively. Until our leadership can do the same, they should be censured from making decisions which effect all of us. Just in case you were wondering exactly how to do longhand decimal division, here it is:

'Didn't think it was this involved; did ya?' The following declaration of assumptions and method is the very same one taught to grade school children throughout the US. Perhaps, as adults, we would not have as much trouble, if taught definitive and unambiguous language to describe processes. Computer programmers found English far too ambiguous to describe even the most basic of processes. We had to invent our own definitive and unambiguous language.

Each word in red is an imperative verb followed by the object on which it acts.

int si=100;       // state the number of decimal places to calculate
char numa[si*2];  // numerator is placed in this memory
char numb[si*2];  // denominator is placed in this memory
char numr[si*2];  // the quotient will be placed in this memory
char scra[si*2];  // reserve more scratch pad areas
char scrb[si*2];
char scrc[si*2];  // int and char are verbs which tell the computerto
char scrd[si*2];  // reserve memory and refer to that memory by the name
intdec=si;        // which decimal place
intdig;           // what numeral in that decimal place
void divide(){
. for (a=0; a<si*2-1; a=a+1){scrd[a]=0;}
. while (isgreater() == 1 && dec>=0){
.   for (a=0; a<si*2-1; a=a+1){numb[a]=numb[a+1];}
.   numb[si*2-1]=0;
.   dec=dec-1;
. }
. while (isgreater() == 2 && dec<si*2){
. for (a=si*2-1; a>0; a=a-1){numb[a]=numb[a-1];}
. numb[0]=0;
. dec=dec+1;
. }
. while (dec<si*2) {
.   for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1)
.     {scra[a]=numa[a];scrb[a]=numb[a];numr[a]=numb[a];}
.   dig=0;
.   while (isgreater() != 2 && dig <10 ){
.   for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1){scrc[a]=numr[a];}
.   dig=dig+1;
.   for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1){numa[a]=scrb[a];}
.   add();
.   for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1){numa[a]=scra[a];numb[a]=numr[a];}
. }
. if (dig<10){
.   for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1){numa[a]=scra[a];numb[a]=scrc[a];}
.   subtract();
.   for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1){scra[a]=numr[a];}
.   for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1){numa[a]=scra[a];numb[a]=scrb[a];}
. }
. a=0;
. while (a< si*2 && scra[a]==0){a=a+1;}
. if (a>=si*2){dec=si*2+1;}
. while (isgreater() == 2 && dec<si*2){
.   for (a=si*2-1; a>0; a=a-1){numb[a]=numb[a-1];}
.   numb[0]=0;
.   dec=dec+1;
. }
. for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1){numr[a]=scrd[a];}
. if (si>20){
.   if (numr[si*2-4]>4){
.     for (a=0; a<si*2; a=a+1){numa[a]=numr[a];numb[a]=0;}
.     numb[si*2-5]=1;
.     add();
.   }
. }
. for (a=si*2-4; a<si*2; a=a+1){numr[a]=0;}

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How do we find such leaders?

Jerry Wickey
Key West, FL
305 896 6295
email: jerry@jerrywickey.com
August 30, 2010

A Proposed Novel Election Process:

1) Which provides a means of establishing candidates for each office which, instead of merely addressing inequities and questions of campaign funding and other challenges of candidate eligibility, instead transcends these issues such that these troublesome obstacles are simply no longer applicable. The proposed process simply steps around them, rendering such intractables moot from the very onset of the election.

2) Which provides a public means for any interested party, public, private, official or unofficial to verify the official election results by recounting and verifying the validity of each and every ballot, while simultaneously securely maintaining the anonymity of each voter. Providing a verifiable public record of all ballots in every election, national, state, and municipal for public inspection with the ability for each voter to verify his or her own ballot while also simultaneously maintaining incontrovertible secrecy of voter name and information for each ballot may seem impossible to those uninitiated in definitive disambiguation. A sample algorithm, in plain language, accomplishing just such and which can be verified by any qualified computer programmer shall be provided.

3) Which is sufficiently similar to the current process as to not introduce undue voter distress nor aversion.

4) Which reduces or eliminates tedious and error prone activities required of election board staff and employees, but which does not reduce the need for nor justify a reduction of the budget for election board and staff.

5) Which counts every last vote, both the voter's ballot and the political objective advanced by his or her ballot. The popular slogan, "every vote counts" is promulgated to counter the reality that under the current election process the political intent of some votes do not count. Sometimes, in some jurisdictions every ballot isn't even counted accurately. There are methods which accomplish this without the need for a drastic switch to a parliamentary system of government.

Some of these may seem impossible. This misconception arrises from inexperience with definitive disambiguation. The election process is founded upon a number of simple assumptions. One of which is "the moral justification for government is derived from the consent of the governed." There are more. If election is a resolvable task, then a logical statement of "solution" can be inferred from the enumeration of these fundamental assumptions; and these assumptions once enumerated, naturally imply a solution which satisfies all assumptions completely and definitively. Such a solution must always be valid, but can be counter intuitive or even bizarre. Other times such a solution can make perfect common sense. Which, unusual or common sensible, can not be known until the solution is complete.

The process by which the United States elects public officers can be restated as a resolvable task defined by the 1933 Church-Turing Thesis, a universally recognized mathematical thesis regarding the constraints by which all information systems are bound. This has far reaching implications regarding the definitive resolvability of any election process. It is commonly and incorrectly believed, even by educated people, that some of the many challenges to the election process, such as voter fraud, and selection of candidates can never be addressed entirely and completely. If the election process proves to be a resolvable task as described by Church-Turing, this misconception is in error. Even the most seemingly intractable challenge can be addressed with definitive dis-ambiguity by well developed methodologies currently in use by the scientific community, particularly that of the computer programming profession. Which methods are used everyday by the profession to reduce irrational and real life problems into sequences of definitive imperatives. i.e. "Do it in this way or in that way to avoid problems rather than wrestle with them, resulting in an effortless and desirable outcome."

There are less than four hundred thousand professional computer programmers in the entire United States. For this reason and due to the focus of their profession, it is very likely, that none or very few have examined the US election process for definitive resolvability. Many have been hired to address related matters such as vote tabulating algorithms and such, but the election process itself has likely never actually been assayed. I intend to do so. This is a considerable task. One which may takes weeks or even months. I am one of the very few computer programmers who are fortunate enough to work freelance and therefor have the flexibility to allot this amount of time. I see it as a patriotic duty.