art with code

2010-05-16

Athenian Democracy

Listening to this Athenian Democracy lecture by Donald Kagan. The Wikipedia article is detailed too.

Ancient Athens of the time had 100,000 citizens, of whom maybe 30,000 were politically eligible (male citizens of 20+ years of age). They had political meetings every ten days to discuss and set policy about everything with majority votes. These political meetings had maybe 5,000 people present each time, but there were some votes that required 6,000 or more present to be binding.

Compare that to a modern representational democracy such as Finland. 6 million citizens, around 4.2 million eligible (citizens of 18+ years of age). They vote once every four years to choose which parties should get parliamentary seats. The parliament numbers 200 and meets four times a week to set policy about everything with majority votes.

If the Athenians had used a similar system (scaled by population), the number of members in their parliament would have been one.
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Built art installations, web sites, graphics libraries, web browsers, mobile apps, desktop apps, media player themes, many nutty prototypes, much bad code, much bad art.

Have freelanced for Verizon, Google, Mozilla, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Valve Software, TDK Electronics.

Ex-Chrome Developer Relations.