Taipei Discussion of Making Group Decisions

Participants: Jeff, Mary, Clark aka Superman, Maggie, Willie, Fanny, Lynn, Angela

I will pick team d. actually, when I read the teams, I think team a, if the leader makes a wrong decision, it’s bad for everybody. I don’t think team b is good, because I don’t think that the world can be really fair. I think that whoever makes the decision, the more people make the decision, people might accept the decision, so I will stand for team d

I want to choose team d, and I can’t agree with lynn more. I think in this society, we should negotiate something with others. So I think team d is the suitable idea for group decisions.

I think I’m team b. because some decision, if everyone vote, maybe there are too many. If there are a lot of people, millions of them, its hard to ask all of them for simple things. You don't need everyone. So maybe it’s better to have rules, and they ask a leader to form a consensus, and then they have different leaders they vote for. Whoever got the most votes, they will be the one selected , the majority rules.

I also choose team b. if there are some fair rules made, it’s okay. If there’s some unfair rules, then I don’t want team b. we can make everyone satisfied, and we can’t have everyone participate the decision, it will take a lot of time and money.

It’s a time-consuming thing to do.

But we can make the rules, and maybe we can choose one leader to make everyone accept the result.

I choose team b and d, it depends on what kind of issue we concern, and the size of the groups. So for private issues, for when a group people to decide traveling or something else, it’s better to make decision follow the opinion of team b. for the public policies and some strategies in companies, I think it is very hard to make a formal consensus. First one is the definition of the whole people, and the second one is, it is hard to make a solution that satisfies all the people. Because people tend to take their own side. So for public policies and companies, the person who take responsibility make the final decision. Part of important people in this group can make the rule of decision making. So I choose both b and d.

Since we’re talking about formal consensus, I don’t want to talk about team a. it needs lots of discussion, go through some kind of process. So I think team b is better. We’re trying to reach a consensus, in the end we have a solution, but when we coming up this kind of solution, if you follow fair rules, the decision is more strong.

I don’t know which team I will be on, but I just think that if there’s only one person that’s responsible for making decisions, then they might overlook something. also, for team b, there’s no way for everything to be really fair. Sometimes the rule is unfair, or people don’t obey the rules. So I think, everyone has the right to make the proposal, but for the decision making process, like representative democracy, there’s specific people for making the decision. But anyone can propose something. it’s not possible to make a decision which everyone will be satisfied with, and usually people will have their own point of view. So even though there’d be something that would be important to only one person. The pint is not making everyone satisfied, but finding out what’s the best available decision.

So most of you are for representative democracy.

You’re not against it?

We’re not truly in one, though. There’s always these lobby groups, special interest groups who get things done. I think we’re more of an autocracy, but that’s not a good way. It’s hard to find something that’s a good way. I also think a formal consensus is very hard to reach. After all, every person is selfish. We only think from our point of view. Will we think of our next generation. We always think of short-term decision, what saves time, save money. I think I’m always the person who’s skeptical.

Are you against or for representative democracy? I think it’s more efficient. They do the research…

Do they really?

Well, their assistants are. So they just read the materials that their assistants give them. so that’s why they ask dumb questions. But at least there are some people that can do research for them. I think in reality, we just don’t have enough information. But I think the size of the group matters for the

But if everyone who was interested in the process was there, then like 90 percent of your information is there. And if even part of the people come to the process with extra information, then your research is there.

In order to get Taipei people in the process, you’d have to make some sort of rule, that would get people to come in, like 50 percent.

But if people knew that what they decided on would be implemented, that it would be a binding decision, they’d definitely show, and defiantly try to get something done.

What if we made some sort of system where people can vote on what they think is important for the gvt to work on. And the gvt would then make an announcement as to what people were interested in implementing.

That’s an interesting idea, because it’s amore direct link to the gvt, and you wouldn’t have to belong to a political party to get your views heard.

But I think voting for gvt policy issue, not everyone are, they have to have some basic knowledge about it, maybe some people would never know, or never pay attention to it. Or maybe they belong to different social classes, maybe they feel alienated, like they couldn’t vote.

Well, what is our school system for? We need to use it to educate people as to how our society works.

We also have to do something about our legislators. 4 years, make your dreams come true. There’s something wrong with this system.

I agree with Jeff. In our company, in our society, ,everyone has their own interests. For example, what if Angela was the chairman of this company, but doesn’t make good decision, because she only cares about the stock price. So that’s why mentioned the person who takes responsibility is very important. In our society, some people represent citizens, but they don’t take responsibility. So they vote the decision, not for the whole society, but for the certain people. I think that’s the main problem. Because people who make the decision.

If CEO’s were forced to live downstream of their factories, then the world would be a lot less polluted.

Another think, I attended a conference on the issue of how to make a company runs with less risk. And somebody said, all of us, have responsibility of a company. Even though we are not their employee, we are not their managers, but today if we invest this company, we should use our power to put in more money, or draw back money to do the best decision. So I think maybe nowadays, only I can use is our voting power to push our gvt.

See, I don’t think voting is effective. Because once the guy is in, we have no control over them. That’s why I like Clark’s idea better, where we influence what the gvt does directly, provide them direct input on where to go.

What if we used a prediction market to do what Clark’s proposing? What if people could submit ideas and gamble real money, with the gvt bound to implement the decision with the most bets.

So if you can get a group of people to communicate, then they can make a good decision.

But when ever you make a decision, there’s a price. Decision = cost. When you buy something you have to pay money.

I think maybe, if everyone in a group have a consensus to gain the formal consensus, it’s very important. Then everyone will make an effort to improve the communication system. Then the formal consensus may make the dream come true. That’s right, everything is a trade off. There is still need somebody to be an arbitrator. To negotiate each other. Maybe you said this is more expensive, but I will ask others how to solve the problem, how to reduce the cost. But it need a very good, well performed communication system.

Decision comes with price tag.

But I think what’s kind of decision, or what kind of group .. I think that sometimes situations have to respond very quickly.

Well, like the pirates and the captains.

So, right, the person who makes the decision takes the responsibility. So the group makes the long-term decision. But how do you make the leaders of the department follow?

If they could be removed from power by the collective at the next group meeting, then they’ll be motivated to make the best decisions for the group.

But it depends on the culture of the company.

In the business world, people make suggestions, but the boss make the final decision.

But does the boss always make the right decision? I’ve been in four companies now where the boss has made really bad decisions, even though all the employees were like NOoooooo!

It’s his company, so he can ruin it, it’s his money!

But what about the employees livelihood, and their personal investment and their blood and sweat.



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