Monday, September 3, 2012

Infrastructure of a Sophocratic Nation

In 2009 the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America a D overall in infrastructure. This is the average of 15 different categories, only one of which achieved the high score of a C+.  They estimated that we would need $2.2 trillion over 5 years to get America back to an acceptable GPA. Imagine if Americans infrastructure budget was to be designed by engineers, eliminating the politics and the pork barrel* spending projects of legislators.

Why Are We in this Mess?

Currently America's infrastructure is receiving just a little better than a failing grade. With lawyers and businessmen running the show there does not look like there will be any significant improvements in the future. Why would there be? The current political system relies on interest groups to make a persuasive enough argument to these elected lawyers and businessmen to make them want to write legislation to put a band-aid on the problem.

The majority of elected congressional officals in America are not qualified to make these decisions. The 112th congress only had "1 physicist, 1 chemist, 6 engineers, and 1 microbiologist (all in the House);" (as taken from Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile.) A ratio of 9 to 535 people qualified to make important decisions on infrastructure to the total number of people making decisions, give poor chances for success. Neil deGrasse Tyson a famous astrophysicist has been quoted saying:

"I was 12 and I said, "I wonder what profession all these Senators and Congressmen were." Law, law, law, law, businessman, law, law. And I said, "There's no scientists? Where are the engineers? Where's the rest of life represented?""

Would using these men and women help make better and more efficient decisions for a nations infrastructure? How do we create an environment for these scientists, and engineers to become a part of this decision making process? How do we use the expertise of these scientifically minded individuals to improve a nation's backbone?

The Solution

By using the minds of scientists and engineers we could form a more efficient nation. Engineers and scientist do not have any reason to squander money away from important projects like a nations water, transportation, and energy needs. They would look for the most economical and efficient ways to improve all of the systems that a country needs to grow.

A room full of brilliant and scientific minds would look at America's poor report card, and look for ways to economically improve its marks. Money would be budgeted to projects that would use it efficiently, and that would be most beneficial. Engineers would know the areas of improvement, and would not rely on interest groups to point out large and obvious problems.

Engineers and scientist could also shine a different light on political debates. Decisions on weather a oil pipe line would negatively affect the ecosystem would be made in confidence and not ignorance. Proper legislation regarding the environmental impact of automobiles could be set into place. New forms of power generation, agriculture, space exploration, internet infrastructure, and water treatment would not be debated on not out of fear, incompetence, or greed, but because they are serious and viable options.


Sophocracy is the smartest option for a growing nation. It allows for all decisions to be made on an objective platform (see Government Focused on Results). Sophocracy has been predicted by Plato as the government of the future.

As an American myself, I am most knowledgeable on American politics and problems. However, Sophocracy should be a global movement, and can improve the lives of all sovereign states with a well educated population.

As always I am open for debate on the subject. If you have any questions, comments, or cries of anguish please leave it in the comments below.

If you go to you can see the exact figures and data that they provide

*Pork barrel is the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district. (wikipedia)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Government Focused on Results

Currently most political systems in the world focus on debate, and guiding philosophies to make legislative decisions. Most governments are split into two or more political ideologies fighting over what bills they should pass into law. This is unscientific and not focused on results as much as being right.

The Sophocratic Method, is focused on results. This method of building and analyzing legislation is based on the scientific method.  The scientific method is the guide by which all scientific discoveries have come about for at least the last thousand years. It focuses on building a hypothesis, and experimenting to find empirical and mesurable data to accept or reject the hypothesis. The Sophocratic Method makes the legislative process objective, and allows for old ideas to be replaced by newer and more effective ones. The Sophocratic Method is:

1. Determine the problem to be solved, and set goals to reach.
2. Propose a method to solve this problem.
3. Design the legislation that you think will meet the goals of your problem. Set a date to check if the goals have been met.
4. Pass the legislation.
5. On the set date accept, reject, or amend the legislation, based on if it met the requirement of the projected goals.

With the current system of debate there is no set way of measuring and analyzing the results of a specific piece of legislation. This is blindly following a philosophy which has never been specifically tested. This system is not interested in finding more efficient or productive legislation.

The Sophocratic Method looks for specific results right from the beginning.  Before legislation is passed certain measurable data points are set as a goal. The effectiveness of the legislation is checked at the end of the legislations goal date. At this point it is accepted, rejected, or amended. This allows for a recordable and verifiable results.

Lets assume that a government determined that high school dropout rate was at 50%. Lets compare how a Sophocratic government would handle this, next to the current system.

Under the current system you may have one party would say that you should do nothing and let society handle this growing number of drop outs. Another party may suggest lowering low performing teachers salaries. And a third party may suggest nationalizing all of the high schools, and replacing all of the teachers with an online study program. All based on the political ideology of the party. Now all of these politicians are lawyers and businessmen and have not had any experience in the education field. In the end they come out with some compromised piece of legislation which does nothing to fix the dropout rates, but they all get to go back to there constituents and say they passed something that should help.

In a Sophocratic system you would have professionals working in the "House of Educational Representatives." All of which has a degree in education, educational psychology, or sociology. They have had experience with this situation and knew about the problem before some interest group brought it to their attention. They determine that they would be happy with a 30% drop out rate in the next 5 years, and work to design a piece of legislation to reach that goal. After it has passed they monitor the results of the new law. When 5 years is up they look at the results and determine either that it met the goal, it failed and needed to be replaced, or could improve and is amended.

Government should be focused on results. The scientific method has been providing results for thousands of years. The most effective and efficient method of governing is with the Sophocratic Method.

Please comment, discussion is open. This idea is still in its infancy, and needs to be talked through many times.

Intro Into Sophocracy

I present to the world, Sophocracy. From the Greek sophos, meaning wise, and krátos, meaning power. Literally meaning governed by the wise. Sophocracy aims to provide for the needs of the governed by passing legislation and making revisions objectively based on the results of the legislation.

Sophocracy in its purist form breaks the government into 5 decision making bodies. These are the most basic of governmental problems: Health, Education, Infrastructure/Science & Technology, Economics/Business, and Foreign Affairs/Social Law. Only people qualified to make decisions in one of these legislative bodies can, either elected or appointed.

All laws would be presented and evaluated using the Sophocratic Method. The Sophocratic Method follows the Scientific Method.

1. Determine the problem to be solved, and set goals to reach.
2. Propose a method to solve this problem.
3. Design the legislation that you think will meet the goals of your problem. Set a date to check if the goals have been met.
4. Pass the legislation.
5. On the set date accept, reject, or amend the legislation, based on if it met the requirement of the projected goals.

Sophocracy is in its infancy now. It is still developing, and has room for improvement and debate. Leave a comment below, if you have anything to say.