:: :: :: ::
You have a lot of guts (colon marks, get it?) to step out of the echo chambers,
and onto the Field of Ideas.
All 4.0 sides of the Ideologically Balanced Table™ get an equal say.
There’s no changing that. Them's the rules.
However, you can try and convince others with vetted Facts, better Questions, considered Responses, fresh Ideas; weighing the Upsides, the Downsides, and Intuitions. When it comes time to vote the Survey you get to Approve or Disapprove any and all Solutions.
Let’s give the exhausted public, selfless elected officials, and brave candidates some nonpartisan cover in the form of the Idea Leaderboard of Solutions—that are both vastly popular and really, really smart.
:: :: :: ::
The Ideologically Balanced Table™ gives us all a nonpartisan leg to stand on.
Let's review which of the four-sides you usually prefer. Another way to look at it is just like human DNA, this is our body politic DNA expressed in ACGT. Most people default to one of the four-sides when they have not yet taken the necessary time to understand a public policy well enough to attempt to solve it properly. In-other-words, what's your knee-jerk reaction?
Simply put, this is how we relate to our society/government with regard to our time and our money.
A for Abundance: Your friends would say you sound more like "We don't invest enough" instead of "Our debt is too high." You would like us as a society to take more risks with our budget. (r) for risk.
C for Commerce: Your friends would say you sound more like, "Don't tell me what to do" instead of "There should be a law." You usually prefer private sector solutions over public sector solutions. (f) for freedom.
G for Governance: Your friends would say you sound more like, "There should be a law" instead of "Don't tell me what to do." You usually prefer public sector solutions over private sector solutions. (l) for laws.
T for Thrift: Your friends would say you sound more like "Our debt is too high" instead of "We don't invest enough." You are concerned about scarcity of resources in-and-around budgeting. (s) safety.
No side is right or wrong. There has to be balanced in any society worth living in. To review the base pairs of where you usually sit are: AC/rf :: AG/rl :: TC/sf :: TG/sl. The labels are intentionally bland and not tinged with hot button words.
All 4.0 sides of the Ideologically Balanced Table™ get an equal say.
We are one body politic. Let's just find out what we can agree on—first.
:: :: :: ::
This is the opposite of politics as we know it.
Politics 1.0 is violence.
Politics 2.0 is the false dichotomy of a right-and-wrong way. Life's more complicated than that.
Politics 3.0 is the ECHO, Echo, echo chambers, the triad of special interest groups' deafening thunder, lightening-rod biased media, and the earthquakes of (un)social media, all causing gaping RIFTS* in our society with Rumor Innuendo, Fake news, Trash talk, and Sabotage. The nonstop noise about what we can't agree on.
Politics 4.0 is a treaure hunt to find out what most of the 4.0 sides of the table can agree on—FIRST, instead of never-ever getting there. Let's call it what it is...leadership.
It’s how we play the game that will get us a fan-tastic Idea Leaderboard of Solutions. This exists nowhere else on the planet. Why’s that?
:: :: :: ::
THE FOUR RULES
The Top of the Table, the Top of our Minds, what no one else does, why we're here is to...
FIND OUT WHAT WE CAN AGREE ON !!!!
There are primarily Four Rules, the sharp corners of the Table so to speak, so don’t get cut from the team, they are…
1. Be nice. Treat everyone with respect. Sentences that begin with "I" are much more powerful than "You..."
2. No RIFTS :: Rumors, Innuendo, Fake news, Trash Talk, or Spin: And Gossip makes it GRIFTS—none of that either. Keep your Input about interesting policies and procedures, NOT quoting or berating or praising or even mentioning individuals or parties. Giving credit to another person's Ideas is allowed and encouraged.
3. "Yes, and..." No “attaboys” or “attagirls” or "TY" or "OMG" etc. without also adding something new and interesting, like in Improv. Let voting it up or down the stream suffice if you have nothing to add. BTW, making a serious point after something good-naturedly humorous amplifies its affect.
4. Don't repeat yourself in a single thread, it's rude and makes the game hard to read/play. That goes for each and every thread. We want to hear from the introverts, too.
We're a team, be nice. RIFTS and GRIFTS are just ways to stop us from finding out what we can agree on. Please paticipate when you have something to add. Extroverts usually win—even when they're wrong—we want to level the playing field for introverts by saying stuff only once in a thread.
Follow the rules, in a baseball game, the right and left fielders don't start tossing a football around during the 4th inning. There’s plenty of that going on in Politics 2.0 and 3.0. More about that in a minute.
:: :: :: ::
QUICK START GUIDE (Team v Puzzle)
Let’s Solve this Puzzle !!
PLEASE NOTE :: Ideas are Survey Items that lead to a change in public policy. Meaning, trashing a old law or passing a new one, in the three scoops of Intent of the Solution, Singular Solutions, and the rare Complex Compound Solution that is greater than the sum of its parts. Post EVERYTHING else in Facts or Questions in the Balcony. Ideas will be meticulously edited at least 3x following strict editorial standards to repeatedly detemine their ideologically balanced score and ranking.
When in doubt post in Questions and Facts.
The only reason we’re here is to find out what we can agree on, or the degree of which we can agree.
While there are four sides to the Ideologically Balanced Table™ there are also Four Legs: Measurable Facts, then Questions with a “Yes, and” attitude, Ideas broken down into three types Intent, Singles, and Packages with an attitude of calmly sorting Upsides, Downsides, and Intuitions, and finally the Survey, where the Idea Leaderboard gives us all a nonpartisan leg to stand on.
Keep Facts cut and dried. Can it be measured? How much? How long? How many? That kinda stuff. Use links to original sources, sniff out biases, were studies triple-blind? Dispute facts—politely. Please don’t debate emotions and ideologies and values here, the best place for that is when Responding to Ideas with the tags of Upside, Downside, and Intuition. A bad Fact can be an honest mistake, that’s one thing. Remember Hanlon’s Law, “Never ascribe to malice what can be attributed to inattention." A pattern of posting fake Facts is an entirely different matter.
Keep Questions open-ended, non-leading, and on Topic. Responses to Questions should be respectful and with a “Yes, and…” attitude. The Questions part of the process is like improv in actor training, let’s just see where things go, first before letting the critics and skeptics have their say.
Keep Ideas clearly stated. Intent first. Then break everything into its smallest Singular parts. Finally Packages or Compound Solutions last. Responses here can be Upside (Yes, and), Downside (No, but), and Intuition (Hey, if…). Emotions, values, stories, logic, intuition, feelings are all fine here just tag them accordingly for easy reading.
The Survey :: We’ll probably open up the survey between weeks 6 and 10, on any particular Topic. Then you may start taking the survey at anytime. You may change your vote at anytime up until the final buzzer.
The Idea Leaderboard begins to show scores when enough responses in each of the four sides of the Ideologically Balanced Table™ to yield a nonpartisan score.
:: :: :: ::
IDEA Editorial Guidelines
Don't rant !! !!
What makes for great Idea?
1. You have to have a hypothesis or inkling that it is Idea Leaderboard worthy meaning you think it would get a majority of each of the four sides of the Table to support it. That would be national polling from a credible source. Or it could be you have tested the arguments that would convince each of the four sides, and they appear to be working.
2. If you do not have the hypothesis of Leaderboard worthiness, and your messaging isn't working on all Sides, then the best you can hope for is the your Idea won't score well but will be good grist for the journalistic mill to demonstrate why the other Ideas that solve that public policy puzzle are so much better and why. Because it is just for comparison your Idea might not make the cut for the Survey or Article.
3. If your Idea isn't going to be a high scorer for that puzzle, it might be a high scorer for another Topic. Pick your battles.
4. Keep working on your messaging. You might find the magical arguments that would work on all four sides. Test in small groups please don't filibster the larger group's time. If possible team up on a Table of Four to pre-test your Ideas.
Try to tell the whole story in the Headline. Like a movie title. The shorter the better, usually.
270 Character CRUNCH
The CRUNCH needs to tell the whole story. Many may not read past the Headline and Crunch. Make it count. Remember to not just preach your side of the Table's argument. It's actually better to summarize the side(s) that are not likely to support your solution and their winning arguments. Think outside the Politics 3.0 echo chamber.
100 Word Logline
Try using the BRIEF method (from Joseph McCormack's book)
One or two sentences on...
B for Background of the Topic
R for the most Relevant Facts
I for Information, what else the reader needs to know
E for Ending as in the preferred outcome
F for Followup, what needs to be watched or next steps
If you need to write an Essay for an Idea when the CRUNCH and a 100 word logline aren't enough here's a suggested format.
Use hyperlinks for sources.
Essay (up to 800 words total)
8 primary points maybe 8 paragraphs. But try not to repeat the CRUNCH OR LOGLINE. Make it additive.
Bold out the most important line in each paragraph. Be kind to the reader !!
The anagram is P O L I 4 I C S
[P] Precisely what's missing from the Purpose in the CRUNCH and Logline. Don't repeat yourself. If there's nothing left to be said skip it. Use hyperlinks for sources.
[O] Outcome that is desired if it has not already been covered in CRUNCH and logline. (Be specific, maybe be measurable). Use hyperlinks for sources.
[L] Length of time it will take (Explain why the timelines of the problem and solution match). Use hyperlinks for sources.
[I] Information, what are you basing this on? (Filter out the RIFTS; Rumor, Innuendo, Fake news, Trash talk, Sabotage). Use hyperlinks for sources.
* COMB for the 4 Dissents: The anangram for the questions is COMB: What else might the Core problem be? What's the Opposite sides' main non-money Objection? Where are we going to find the Money? Does a Better solution already exist? Use hyperlinks for sources. Another way to look at this might be the 4 Fears. What Fears are keeping people from supportuing this?
[I] Intuitions, Unintended Consequences, Unknowns (To include moral and ethical arguments). Use hyperlinks for sources.
[C] Conclusions, drive the points home (Sell it !!). Use hyperlinks for sources.
[S] Specific open items that need addressing. Use hyperlinks for sources.
Make every reader feel welcome. Probably write for a high school graduate level.
This format isn't cast in stone, but resist just being an advocate for your side of the table. Speak to the other sides—in their language—not yours.
Educating > Forecasting > Advocating
Educating :: Here's some context to put things into perspective. We create teachable moment Surveys for readers that don't have a balanced source of public policy leadership news. Using the L in our POLI4ICS editorial anagram, the Length of Time we are operating in is probbly about a two to four year window, an election cycle or two. As the world changes we will likely revisit important Games' Topics to refresh or rewrite them.
Forecasting :: If we do our jobs correctly we should get reasonably reproducible results from competing teams re-running the Games or just having readers take the Survey as you the Players did. In other words, about the same Idea Scores and the same Leaderboard rankings.
Advocating :: This is alittle bit trickier. We have to acknowledge our biases. Most of you are college interns, and while on all four sides of the Ideological Table, the age demographics are totally biased. We have to keep that bias in mind and not let it upset the two prior more important principles. We educate, forecast, and then advocate as long as we don't "preach" a demographic bias.
:: :: :: ::
Politics and the English Language...
from George Orwell's Essay...
"i. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
ii. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
iii. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
iv. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
v. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
vi. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous."
Sounds good to me.
:: :: :: ::
Gamers have put hours of deliberative practice of their digital skills, who better to search for the treasure that will shape their generation? What we can agree on? Instead of never-ever getting there because of the evil forces of RIFTS.
A video game can take a few minutes or hours. Changing the world will take a few weeks or months. You got public policy game? You ready for Politics 4.0?
Four score and 7 seconds ago... did you just begin your quest? To help define your generation.
What we can agree on?
Each week there will be primary instructions to start from, probably delivered by email and/or updates here above the mini Ideologically Balanced Tables™
:: :: :: :: (or if you prefer the sports analogy the guts line, “hold the line! Find out what we can agree on—first! Ma’am, yes, Ma’am. !!!! ”)
I guess you’ve figured out that our two motifs are sports & hospitality which is WAY better than a passive-aggressive civil war.
Here’s a generic guide for the timeline...
First Quarter –or- Appetizers –or- Facts
Week 1 :: Nominate Topics, Vote on Topic, Pick a Topic
Week 2 :: Start sharing Resources, gathering Facts, asking Questions
Week 3 :: Challenge Facts, and ask more and better Questions
Second Quarter –or- Tossed Salad –or- Questions
Week 4 :: The Questions and Responses (Yes, and…) start sounding even better
Week 5 :: Ideas open up, post them by Intent (Values), Singular, and Packages
Week 6 :: Responses to Ideas tagged by Upside, Downside and Intuition
Third Quarter –or- Carefully Simmered Soup –or- Ideas
Week 7 :: What have we missed? What’s not correct?
Week 8 :: Start combining Ideas that are too similar
Week 9 :: Finish editing Ideas for clarity
Fourth Quarter –or- the Main Entrée –or- Survey
Week 10 :: All the above plus the Survey opens!
Week 11 :: Continue Facts, Questions, Ideas, Responses, and Survey taking
Week 12 :: Last chance for late entries to the Survey (ahah and OMG moments)
Week 13 :: Finish the Survey, Final Buzzer, and publish the…
Optional: Top-Four Runoff of the best 4.0 Solutions; Intents, Single Ideas, and Packaged Ideas
Wrap up –or- Dessert –or- Idea Leaderboard ( :: sweet !!!! )
:: :: :: ::
What if trolls are ruining the Game?
My guess is that behaviors like repeating yourself ad nauseum, YELLING, belittling, name calling, gaslighting, being overly procedural, not following any of the “rules”, using celebrities' or elected officials' or candidates' opinions as Facts, gossiping, falling down rabbit holes, false logic (E.g. Slippery slope), bating, debating emotional issues, grandstanding, won’t be tolerated by the Team.
I think we’ll figure it out as we go.
For repeat offenses my first inclination is to send a kind, good natured, yet earnest private email request to not use that kind of tactic in the future. If that has to escalate to; time in a penalty box or being ejected from the game—so be it.
If you want to call someone out for, say, getting to deep in the weeds, don’t just respond “Rabbit hole” respond with something like, “Geez, there’s a ton of detail here, I’d like to suggest we stick to point A for this thread to be kind to the other Players? I just started a new thread for B." This gets the thread back on track.
Look, we’re all just trying to suspend Politics 3.0’s digital noise long enough to find the signal, what a vast supermajority and a majority of each side can support, before resuming the ever-so exciting and bruising hyperpartisan prizefight.
At the end of the Game, every Player gets to vote for or against any and all Ideas. No one can make you do otherwise with just their Facts, Questions, Responses, and Ideas—unless they were really, really good. ;o)) Isn’t that the point? Hey, convince me otherwise, I'm open minded.
What behaviors are expected of Players?
Be good natured, a little humility goes a long way, make it interesting, have some fun but be additive. This is Politics 4.0 not a fight to the death.
Don’t cherry pick your Facts to make your Idea look good. Address Facts that counter your Idea in a logical and fair fashion, too. Ask open-ended Questions most of the time. A closed-ended Question (yes/no) is usually a way to trap someone into a branch of an argument that benefits the asker—that’s very Politics 2.0 (the two-choice, false dichotomy).
However, closed-end Questions are useful to test if a rabbit hole may have been fallen down, "Are we off topic?" Try and think in open-ended Questions, you’ll be surprised where it might lead. A great Question can be the entrance ramp to a fantastic Solution. When Responding, edit a few times first before hitting send. Maybe even take a break, first. You almost can't ask, "Why" too much.
I’ve heard, to ask yourself these Questions before hitting send, “Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does it need to be said right now? Don’t pile on with non-sentence responses or what I like to call grunts, slaps (in the face or back), and jabs. It will just take too long for other people to read. That’s a Politics 3.0 tactic to get you to tune out, and go quietly back into your echo chamber.
If you Respond to something with an affirmation that’s totally cool, just have it be with an addition, a “Yes, and…” response is way cool. Einstein calls this Combinatory Play. Save the “No, buts…” for the Idea section tagged “Downside.”
Why all this emphasis on “Yes, and…” and “No, but…”?
“Yes, and…” turns on Divergent thought, “No, but” turns on Convergent thought. Convergent thought turns off Divergent thought. It’s almost impossible to do both at once.
We know a lot more about the brain and the mind than we did even ten years ago. Some neuroscientists think there are three distinct kinds of thinking. Convergent, Divergent, and Sorting. Divergent thought, or creative thought, the wandering “hiker” thinking is the kind that yields innovation, and is probably what is lacking most today in public policy leadership. See the book Mindshift by Barbara Oakley, Ph.D for more on this subject.
Convergent thought is when everyone jumps to conclusions, wants to solve the problem as quickly as possible, which sometimes is really good, and move on to something else, this is called “race car” thinking.
The last kind of thought is Sorting. I also like to think of it as Scanning, it’s looking at a lot of data, ideas, and stuff and trying to make sense of it. Sometimes unusual combinations of things can lead to big breakthroughs like a mashup of sports, public policy, and hospitality like the Politics 4.0 Idea Games™.
Let’s try and keep Questions and their Responses in the “Yes, and…” territory, and add in the “No, but…” for Responses to concrete Ideas. It will just make things way easier on the Team. Remember there is no “I” in Team. There is an “I” in Side of Table but that's what the Survey is for.
Every team needs a playbook. This is ours, so far.
What’s the Mission of the Politics 4.0 Idea Games?
To raise the level of public policy discourse.
What’s the Vision of the Politics 4.0 Idea Games?
To find out what most of us, an ideologically balanced group, can mostly agree on—like a team treasure hunt before resuming the hyperpartisan prizefight.
What’s are the Values of the Politics 4.0 Idea Games?
To be neutral to private and/or public sector solutions. We don't care if a law is passed or trashed.
What’s are the enemies of the Politics 4.0 Idea Games?
The false beliefs that every public policy discussion is intractable.
The drama that makes money but drives a wedge between citizens.
The incessant noise that drowns out the best solutions from being found.
What if I start and realize I picked the wrong side of the Table?
Won’t switching mess up the nonpartisan rating?
We start out with equal sides of the Table. After that some people may have to drop out because of life issues, some will realize they have different ideologies than they thought, but the software uses the weighted averages of the four sides of the Table, anyway. The point of the nonpartisan score is to predict what the general population will think of these solutions after a balanced team puts in 4000+ hours of concerted effort. If a few people switch sides it’s likely that, that would happen in the general population, too. The point of the Idea Leaderboard is to predict reflectivity with the whole population.
Can’t people lie about their sides of the Table to skew the Idea Leaderboard?
I guess someone might, but one person out of 160 wouldn’t even move the score 1% either way. A group might decide to sabotage the effort, but if the results look “weird” then the Idea Leaderboard would probably not hold up to scrutiny when another Team chooses the same Topic. That’s also why we plan to hold Playoffs when necessary for the most interesting and pressing puzzles.
The Playoffs will have WAY more Players and we’ll bring in noted subject matter experts to assure the Ideas are well studied. The Law of Large Numbers will make sure the Playoffs are highly reflective of what the general population would think after reading the same materials.
How much time should I put aside each week?
The recommended time is 2 hours a week: although, you might find the process fascinating and end up putting in more time. In the Alpha tests I read several books, searched the internet, and watched documentaries to school myself on the Topics. You might try 20 minutes on a few days and an hour one day, each week.
Why hasn’t anyone tried this before?
Don’t know. Seemed pretty obvious to me. I’ve been perfecting this for over five years.
Does it cost anything to be a Player?
Not at present. Maybe in future games. We hope not.
If I want to field a Team in the Idea Games League will that cost anything?
Don’t know, yet. Our Values are to be neutral towards private and/or pubic sector solutions. So how we pay the bills remains to be seen. National sponsors, local sponsors, user fees, Team owners fees, grants, subscriptions to the Idea Leaderboard, software license fees for whole towns/cities, TV rights, are all being considered. At present setting up the individual team software is a bit pricey ($200) but we’re working to bring that down. We might be able to do it all on a single platform but that will require a bunch more coding.
How will the Idea Games League support itself?
It’s possible that the Virtual Committees software could be licensed to towns, cities, and counties for citizen engagement. Team “owners” might be able to sell licenses to their local towns for a percentage of the license fee, and be able to keep all the consulting/facilitation fees for themselves. Those license fees might be large enough to support league play without fees. We’ll see. Or, maybe Foundations interested in politcs and public policy might fund us to rebuild the foundations of our public policy leadership. We'll see.
Are the rules subject to change?
Yup. Such is life.