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nonviolent AP variant

At yesterday's physical cypherpunks meeting in Palo Alto, Steve Schear and
I were talking about the practical/legal/moral aspects of the
"assassination politics" scheme; during the course of that conversation,
we discussed the possibility that a similar scheme might usefully be
employed in a non-violent context, assuming the existence of a working
(=legitimate) legal or political system.

In a nutshell (this is my later gloss on things we discussed, so confusion
should be blamed on me), the system might be organized as follows:

One or more organizers announce their intention to create a prize pool
concerning a certain question - for example, "The circumstances under
which Bill Clinton's presidency ends." The organizers would then collect
contributions towards a prize pool to be awarded to the person with the
most accurate guess, as well as guesses about the subject matter of the
general question. Depending on the gambling/contest laws of the local
jurisdiction, the organizers might or might not choose to require a
contribution towards the pool in order to register a guess/prediction.

Further, the organizers would likely choose to reject any guesses which
required or implied the breaking of laws (or the wrongful initiation of
force), as they'd prefer not to be investigated/prosecuted in the event
that a guesser did something illegal/wrong in hopes of collecting the

The contest would then proceed - guesses would likely be held
confidentially, time-stamped, to minimize piling on (especially where
entry is free). Third parties with information or the ability to
legitimately modify the outcome of the contest - for example, former
mistresses or business partners who might come forward with otherwise
withheld evidence of wrongdoing - would have a strong motivation to
provide as detailed a guess as possible, including their particular
information, and then to make that information available to the
legal/political system so that it would be acted upon.

If the prize pool grew large enough, the subject of the question might
choose to force the resolution, winning the prize for themselves - e.g.,
if $10M is enough to tempt Clinton from office, he can predict his own
resignation (e.g., "Clinton will resign on Oct 31, 1998, wearing a blue
suit and a yellow striped tie; the last sentence of his speech will be
'Darlin', let's git the truck packed, I'm outta here!'")  

This modification of the "AP" process has several advantages - it's
probably legal, it's nonviolent, and it's likely to encourage (rather than
undermine) cooperative/consensual governance, instead of rule by
fear/force. It seems to be the result of a combination of the "idea
futures" system and the reward process for Eric Rudolph as interpreted by
Bo Gritz - e.g., get the figure high enough, and the target will turn
himself in and use the reward to fund his own defense. 

It definitely needs a better name than "assassination politics". 

Greg Broiles
[email protected]