An Elegantly Simple Way to Revolutionize Government


Carmen Yarrusso 
RINF Alternative News

What started as a somewhat complex mathematical analysis of the game of politics using game theory (the mathematical study of strategic decision making) has evolved years later into an extraordinarily simple idea that would revolutionize government at all levels.

Deception is the lifeblood of our political system. A system claiming to work for the best interests of the people, while in fact largely working for corporate special interests, must necessarily be riddled with elaborate lies and deception. Our political system, with great help from mainstream media, is designed to foster mass deception rather than expose it. But a simple rule change to our game of politics would instantly and reliably expose deception. This would destroy the status quo and revolutionize government.

Rather than trying to establish a level playing field for the game of politics, we could heavily stack the deck with a simple rule change that rewards informed truth seekers while severely punishing liars (and the ill-informed). We could establish a simple rule change that effectively forces intellectual honesty passively, without any required action by the players of the game. Too good to be true? Read on.

A Modest Proposal That Would Revolutionize Government

A government website (or other website) would be modified to allow the public to search using the ID of any bill (e.g. HB 492) and find (side by side for easy comparison and scrutiny) a pro and a con argument for that bill. Supporters would collaborate to write the pro argument and detractors would collaborate to write the con argument.

However, there might be a blank space for one or both arguments since providing them would be strictly voluntary. Our representatives (on either side of an issue) would be free to provide a single sentence as an argument, multiple pages, or nothing at all. But what makes these arguments special and gives them the power to reward informed truth seekers and severely punish liars (and the ill-informed) is this: They’d be dynamic; they’d be evolving works in progress – like Wikipedia articles.

Game theory predicts the arguments would quickly stabilize with fewer and fewer changes (like Wikipedia articles) – they wouldn’t go on and on in a tit-for-tat fashion.

Adding to their power to reward informed truth seekers and severely punish liars (and the ill-informed), pro and con arguments would be developed/modified out in the open (on the Internet for all to scrutinize). Both sides would watch the other side’s argument evolve and use this information to strategically develop/modify their (opposing) argument. At any given time, the public would see the current best pro argument and the current best con argument.

The Game Theory Behind Why This Would Revolutionize Government

To understand how this simple rule change would work effectively, you need to look at politics as the strategic game of deception that it is. You need to envision yourself as a player viewing the game alternately from the standpoint of an informed truth seeker and then from the standpoint of a liar (or the ill-informed). You will soon see this simple change makes the game of politics very easy for informed truth seekers and very difficult for liars and the ill-informed (just the opposite of our current system).

Our current political system rewards liars and punishes truth seekers by using a complex web of mechanisms that ultimately make it easy (with great help from mainstream media) to deceive the masses and hard to get the truth out to the masses. Once the masses are fooled, our politicians are free to rob us blind, to start illegal wars for profit, to rape the environment, to break laws with impunity, or to commit any number of atrocities to serve their corporate masters.

Our current political system makes it easy for liars to evade defending their positions with even a semblance of a sound argument. They’re free to spout specious, often emotional, arguments that are typically only superficially challenged by mainstream media. There’s little pressure on the liars to respond to cogent arguments against their positions. So their deceit remains largely hidden from the masses. But why would merely providing empty space for pro and con arguments radically change things?

If You Build It, They Will Come

Once the space for pro and con arguments is established (on the Internet for the world to see), there’d be great incentive for both truth seekers and even liars to put at least a figment of an argument in this space. Why?

Unless the bill is trivial or uncontroversial, leaving your argument space blank reeks of intellectual dishonesty and allows your opponents to skewer you in their opposing argument space. If you’re an informed truth seeker, you’d be eager to give the public a clear, cogent argument justifying your position. But if you’re a liar, you’d like to evade as much as possible. But if you do, your empty argument space tells the world you’re a crook. You’d be foolish not to offer the public something. But being a liar (or ill-informed), the best you can offer is a clever specious argument, which leaves you wide open for attack by your opponents. As a liar, you’re between a rock and a hard place.

Your clever specious argument might have easily fooled the masses, but it won’t fool your opponents (and friends of your opponents). As an informed truth seeker, you’d be able to easily recognize exactly where the (liar/ill-informed) argument is being deceptive or inadequate (if you can’t, get help from your friends). Using this information, you’d then modify your (opposing) argument to emphasize this deceit or ignorance for the public (who are always watching the two arguments evolve).

Some Game Strategies for Developing Arguments

  • As a truth seeker, if your opponents’ argument points out legitimate weaknesses or errors in your argument, you simply correct the weaknesses or errors, which forces your (liar) opponents to remove those assertions from their argument – or look stupid – AND it makes your argument even stronger.
  • But as a liar, if your opponents’ argument points out legitimate weaknesses or errors in your argument, you can’t really correct them (because they’re legitimate). If you do an evasive “correction,” your evasion will be apparent to your opponents and they’ll hang you for your intellectual dishonesty. So all you can do is remove the weaknesses or errors, which will weaken the clever speciousness of your original argument. The deck is heavily stacked against you when you can’t evade.
  • Liars often lie by omission. Truth seekers would simply expose this in their argument space for the whole world to see.
  • Truth and error have fundamentally different natures. Thomas Paine said, “It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” If you’re an informed truth seeker, you need not fear any inquiry that challenges your argument – you welcome inquiry (even attacks) because it can only lead to your argument getting stronger.

But if you’re a liar (or ill-informed), you must shrink from inquiry because you’re in error and must do all you can to evade inquiry. But unfortunately for liars, the truth seekers (or their friends) will immediately recognize your evasion and hang you for it by updating their (opposing) argument to emphasize it for the public to see.

Let’s Start a Revolution in Government

Send a copy of this essay to all your government representatives (state and federal) and ask them if they favor this simple new rule change for the game of politics. If they reject the idea, they’re admitting they prefer stacking the deck in favor of liars rather than truth seekers.

Thoreau said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” The root of evil in the world is mass deception in politics. We can destroy this root with a simple rule change to the game.

Carmen Yarrusso is a software engineer for 35 years, and has designed and modified computer operating systems (including Internet software).

  • Stop Bush

    Good idea, but the problem is that the conmen in government would just drum up the same old propaganda arguments that essentially come down to “proof by intimidation”.

    “If we fail to act [by eradicating freedom], the terrorists will kill your children!”
    “If we don’t give trillions of dollars to the banks, we will all lose our jobs!”
    “Investigating what actually happened on 9/11 is a huge waste of taxpayer money and we’ll have to increase your taxes tenfold to pay for it!”
    “This is right because the [bought and paid for] guy with 10 PhDs said so! Don’t you think someone with that much experience in the field would know better?”

    Sadly, most sheeple don’t see through lies like that and will even vote against their best interest.

  • come-and-take-it

    The way the politicians will avoid this obviously simple trap is to not respond and to take the position that they don’t have the time. The way “we the people” can support this effort is to elect politicians in this election cycle that SUPPORT this approach to government. However, a large scale popular effort which is visible to the sheeple has to be undertaken. No room for avoidance can be allowed. A catchy slogan and lots of grass roots support may well make this take off. Let’s get crackin’!

  • JojO

    Pissing in the wind! It won’t work. What is needed is term limits for all Politicians–Max 2 x 5 years and for President max 1 x 5 years. And none of this after 1 1/2 terms in office multi millionair$.
    Having term limits brings in new blood and gets rid of loafers and or leaches on society.

    • Brisa

      The two parties put in their stooges….more frequently with this plan.

  • Tom

    This is a step in the right direction, but only a small part of what I’ve been advocating for years.

    The internet revolution has lowered the price of information to near-zero, yet our country still spends billions of dollars on campaigns of all kinds. Most of the advertising is specious at best, blatant lies at worst, and so scattered throughout all forms of media that that even people looking for political information can have a hard time finding it.

    What we need is what I call “the Craigslist of politics” which puts all political information — local, state, and federal — on one easily-searchable website with mechanisms to allow honing the information towards truth, as Carmen Yarrusso proposes. Done properly, this would not only revolutionize government, but be the business opportunity of the century, creating the next internet billionaire. One need only look at what we’re spending now to communicate political information (many billions) and the actual cost of communicating the same information on a Craigslist-style format. Any entrepreneur who can communicate the required information more cheaply but in a dynamic format that politicians can’t afford to ignore can take a handsome cut for the service and still do the nation a great favor.

  • m_astera

    Well done, thank you Carmen. If I may add an idea for a refinement? Something we don’t need is uninformed voters, at any level, so I would suggest a qualification for voting be that the voter must demonstrate that they have a sufficient knowledge of the legislation being decided or the candidates and offices being voted for. Rather than a poll tax, this would be a knowledge tax. Those without the desire or ability to be informed would disqualify themselves from voting through their own lack of action.

    What intellectually honest person would support letting their laws be passed and their representatives be chosen by the ignorant and uninformed?

    • tidmore

      Who administers the test?

      Elimination of secret ballots is the way to go. Hold folks accountable for their laziness and unwillingness to educate themselves.

  • Wow, that’s powerful! I like it. Having a hard time imagining how we would ever reach the critical mass required to implement this, but it’s a fabulous idea.

  • pasi arasola

    This is defiantly a great idea. I don’t see how some of the other proposals here would help anything. Restricting terms would hurt the truthful minority more then corporate interests. Which is easier to replace, a corporate whore, or an individual like Ron paul? And limiting people’s ability to vote? How exactly would that help people?

  • PJ London

    “If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for the selfish or local purposes.” Noah Webster

    “Corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded.” Noah Webster

    What is happening all over the world?

    “We are in power. Nobody will deny it. By virtue of that power we shall remain in power…We have no words to waste on you. When you reach out your vaunted strong hands for our palaces and purpled ease, we will show you what strength is. In roar of shell and shrapnel and in whine of machine-guns will our answer be couched. We will grind you revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces. The world is ours, we are its lords, and ours it shall remain. As for the host of labor, it has been in the dirt since history began, and I read history aright. And in the dirt it shall remain so long as I and mine and those that come after us have the power. There is the word. It is the king of words–Power. Not God, not Mammon, but Power. Pour it over your tongue till it tingles with it. Power.”
    – Mr. Wickson, The Iron Heel by Jack London (1908)

    Fancy web-sites will not achieve a damn thing.
    10 million people world wide marched against the Iraq war : Bush and Blair gave us a great “F*** you” and we all rolled over. You cannot appeal to their “Good nature”, they don’t have one.

    Chris Hani of ANC MK fame said “I don’t need people who are willing to die for freedom, I want people who are willing to kill for it.”

    To overcome force you need a greater force, simple physics.

    “Government is nothing more than the rationalization and exercise of violence. Everything done by government contains at least the implicit threat of lethal coercion”
    William N. Grigg

    “I will use the full power of the CIA and the U.S. military to steal the resources of any country who opposes the intrusion of Wall Street bankers, oil magnates and transnational corporations.”
    a 1992 internal government document entitled “Defense Planning Guidance,” authored by then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (CFR) and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz (CFR), which contemplated the use of military force against any nation the conspirators perceived to be hostile against their interests.

    “Know your enemy” is the first precept of warfare.

  • I have a better idea: A New Paradigm Of Government (ANPOG)


    NO payroll taxes

    NO real estate or property taxes

    NO taxation for any aspect of government, unless you agree to support it by voting for it yourself

    Being free to live your life as you see fit without laws, rules, or regulations dictating what you can, or can’t eat, drink, smoke, or otherwise, as long as you’re not harming another person’s life, liberty, or property

    NO undeclared wars, or foreign entanglements, massive military spending, or military draft

    NO jobs being shipped outside the country

    Interest free loans for students

    Interest free loans for your primary dwelling

    NO egregious regulations dictating what you can, or can’t grow and how much on your own property

    NO privately owned banks

    NO corporations, public or private

    The list is almost endless, when it comes to your personal freedom. Are you ready to help make it all happen?


    • tidmore

      Are you willing to loan your money to someone who may or may not repay you for free? I’m not, so who will provide these free loans?

  • tidmore

    Dumb idea. Who will decide who is allowed to collaborate? Who will control the web site to prevent ghosting where some people see one web page at a particular URL and others see something completely different?

    A better idea is to eliminate secret ballots and hold folks accountable for their poor decisions. If the Bush and BO voters got judgments handed to them requiring them to forevermore hand-over 80% of their income to compensate the victims of these presidents’ illegal aggression, then they would think harder and longer and do their homework and educate themselves prior to voting in the future. The argument that secret ballots eliminate coercion is easily destroyed by understanding that with vote-by-mail, a women can tell her guy that unless he votes for Hitlery Clinton that he will be “cut-off.” We require our elected representatives to vote publicly. Perhaps the real purpose of this is so that the lobbyists can determine if their bribe money (campaign contributions) was well spent.