The approach to developing tools for Citizen Intelligence can be shortened down to funding, bidding, and developing “Plan A”. Assume a fully functional 21st century republic where the people are ultimately in charge and they have the information tools necessary to make that formal status a political reality. What would those tools look like? Discovering both what tools are needed and in what order should they be created is the job of Citizen Intelligence. Discovering what is needed can be efficiently found simply by listening to the cries of anger and anguish that pepper political journals of every ideological stripe. Simply put, conservatives, liberals, and independents are all unhappy with how government works these days and a large part of the time, the complaint could be fixed either partially or fully by creating a specialized IT tool to fix it.
Take the scandal of the day, “BridgeGate”. Were it possible to match construction caused traffic jams with construction projects, the first day Christie operatives closed down lanes on a major artery going into Ft. Lee to punish the mayor, somebody would get mad enough to query what was the project, who was responsible, and find out that there was no project and nobody was responsible. That discrepancy would have led to a quick resolution, making this sort of political revenge impractical and quickly render it an artifact of the past in the history of political dirty tricks.
Under-employed IT freelancers with relevant experience and IT body shop sales teams would be happy to put up proposals to do the work which would feed into an indiegogo/kickstarter style campaign. When the campaign is funded, the work is done on a fixed fee basis by the winning bidder (contributors vote on proposals based on how much they donate, nonrespondants’ votes get exercised by Citizen Intelligence as a proxy) and at the end an IT tool is managed by Citizen Intelligence with initial maintenance fees paid by a portion of the funds raised and ad income, sponsorship, and donations funding the tool going forward. If the maintenance/deployment money runs out, the tool gets taken down and a campaign is put up in its place to raise money to put it back up for another period of time (year, quarter, or month, the minimum period is not settled at present).
People will vote with their dollars and Citizen Intelligence will make guesses and fund basic building blocks needed for many projects such as a comprehensive list of governments, a national infrastructure inventory, and a national code of laws and regulations.
Whatever people care about will set in motion tools to ensure that the scandal or problem will not recur and while partisans may build the tool, the tool itself will report on the behavior of all relevant political actors and will serve as an honest brake on bad behavior in the political class. The self-image of all political ideological partisans will guarantee that all sides feel that such behavior will benefit their own side. Somebody will be wrong but to admit that you’re backing the dirty side of american politics will be difficult to admit. Cognitive dissonance is likely to keep this funding model broad based.
This is a practical method of funding Plan A, a functional, 21st century, information fueled, political infrastructure that lets the people keep the political class under control and doing the people’s business. Now all that’s left is funding the system construction and actually building it.