26 March, 2007

How Tranai instant recall system would affect education level.

I may need to explain how the instant recall system works on Tranai (it is described in this book). Basically, every government official must wear a special collar (which can't be removed while the person holds an office), and there are special booths all around the planet. The collars contain a few grams of explosive and a radio detonator and in the booths there are buttons with officials' names. If a citizen is dissatisfied with the official's work, he can come to a booth and press the corresponding button, and, once a certain threshold is met...

Of course, the real system doesn't have to so brutal. Instead of the explosive decapitation, just recalling the official should be enough. There is, however, an obvious problem with such a system: it doesn't allow unpopular decisions to be made. Really, it isn't possible to satisfy absolutely everyone, so every political decision is necessarily a compromise of sorts -- and that is probably the major reason people hate politicians: every decision that is beneficial to one group is not so beneficial to another, and virtually everyone ends up in one of latter groups. Politician just have to try to satisfy everyone, which gives them an appearance of lying hypocrites (or you have to be a hypocrite to become a politician, doesn't really matter what is the cause and what is the effect here.)

This necessity of "balance" makes uneducated populace more attractive to governments: people who don't think critically can be cheated easily, so governments may want to decrease the quality of public education. Which creates a vicious positive feedback: the generation raised with worse education produces even worse rulers (of all levels, from city district officials to presidents/prime ministers), who, in turn, worsen the public education system even further.

Now, the instant recall system could start the cycle in the opposite direction: more educated people will more likely accept unpopular, but necessary decisions, so the government would be more interested in increasing the education level of the population. And more educated people will produce smarter rulers, who will improve the education even further.

Of course, this will work best if people live and occupy an office long enough so that their efforts in the area of educating new citizens could be statistically evident while they're still in office.

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