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De-biasing Democracy

De-biasing Democracy

Chapter:
(p.138) Chapter Nine De-biasing Democracy
Source:
Accelerating Democracy
Author(s):
John O. McGinnis
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151021.003.0010

This chapter discusses how democracy can adopt reforms, including those based on new information technology, to combat bias more effectively. These include reinforcing majority rule and representation, earmarks, term limits, and education reform. It argues that society has now accumulated knowledge about more subtle yet pervasive biases—from biased assimilation, to knowledge falsification, to status quo bias. We should use this developing social knowledge to create better mechanisms of constraint against bias and thereby make new information about substantive policy more effective for democratic updating. An age of technological acceleration can less afford bias than previous ages, because its speed of social change may make mistakes less easily correctable.

Keywords:   bias, democracy, majority rule, representation, earmarks, term limits, education reform, social knowledge

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