Toward a more Accurate Theory of Mind

It’s helpful to have a well-developed “Theory of Mind”. We should realize that people with different opinions have a whole world-view that justifies them. And we should get to know their world-views.

Angelos Sofocleous wrote an article:   The Need for an Expanded Theory of Mind in an Era of Increasing Polarisation.  In it, he recommends that we: “get outside our bubble and, possibly, visit the bubbles of others”.

But what does this mean? Should liberals get a group together and go to the next KKK lecture and understand their world? Should conservatives should go to a Robert Reich lecture? How much good would that really do? We should consider a systemic approach.

A systemic approach

Many on the left and in the center were shocked by the results of the US presidential election. Clearly, many of our “theory of mind” about voters was inaccurate.

What if our political system were designed to give us an accurate reading about what others want?

Currently, our political system is completely undesigned. It is random. It started from nothing, except some warnings not to form political parties. They quickly formed and it evolved from there.

Today, it is an antagonistic system in which people give their power to groups. The groups then fight for political dominance. They fight for control of society.

Media is mostly for-profit. And the best way to gain an audience is to incite people’s emotion and entertain them, not to expose them to opinions they disagree with. So most people live in “a bubble” of opinions they agree with. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

A designed political system

What if we actually DESIGNED a political system? Could it have a different purpose? Could it support us knowing what we ALL think?

In effect, this is what I’ve done, with the solution to rolled out (someday, if there’s support) on PeopleCount. My original intent was personal- to give up being resigned about politics. But in the end, I saw that resignation is an appropriate response to politics today, though an evil one. That is, accepting resignation is giving in to evil. And in my personal inquiry, I glimpsed a societal solution.

In developing it, I realized I had designed a new political system. The purpose of the system: for citizens to design and built their future together. The key to it is the word “together.”

It will require no changes in law, no changes to political parties, no changes to anything, except your participation for a few minutes weekly. It is based on ways of communicating that support accountability of politicians to citizens.
How does it relate to Theory of Mind? For politicians to be accountable to citizens. Part of it is ways for us all to know what we all think. Currently, do you know what percentage of people:
  • Want the mentally ill not to be allowed to have guns, and ensure everyone’s background is checked before buying a gun?
  • Want to curb Congressional corruption, such as the “revolving door”, and stopping members of Congress from receiving donations from industries their committees regulate?
  • Want increased border security?
  • Want single-payer health care?

Designing for a more accurate “theory of mind”

Part of PeopleCount’s design is to have everyone easily know what we all want. PeopleCount’s design is to have something much better than polling, and much more informative. (How well do polls inform us now?)

First, simply knowing that 35% of citizens want a border wall would cause many people to wonder why. Second, a less-publicized feature of the future site is to give you the reasons at your fingertips. Such articles aren’t too difficult to find, but PeopleCount will put them a single click away.

Note that there’s much more. Please read this 6-article series on how Accountability is Missing, and 2 articles on the Nuts and Bolts of the design. Also, see our Guide to the Blog.

Disclaimer: While PeopleCount is much more than an idea, progress is very slow due to the lack of support and funding. Please help.

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