Episode 2 – Building a Better Democracy… with Computer Science!


Matthew Gray is a computer science researcher and history buff passionate about sortition, a method of allocating public offices by lot rather than by election. In this episode we explore the potential benefits of sortition, and Matthew explains the computer science that could make it work securely and efficiently at the national level.

Matthew’s writings on sortition

Matthew’s website

Join the conversation about sortition: https://equalitybylot.com/

Wikipedia entry on sortition
Aristotle’s Politics
David Graeber – The Democracy Project
Wendy Brown – Undoing the Demos

Further Reading:
Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast episode on sortition
Of By For (an organization working to implement sortition in the U.S.)
Random sample voting (an interesting method of randomly selecting voters)
Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy (using random sampling and democratic deliberation to improve opinion polling)

Solarpunk Now! is written, hosted, and produced by Luka Dowell. The solarpunk theme is by Red Keener.

Follow the show on Twitter at @solarpunkcast!

2 Comments on "Episode 2 – Building a Better Democracy… with Computer Science!"

  1. This was amazing! Everything I needed from information on an alternative system. You pointed out the problem, you gave an alternative, but you also were realistic in how it would work in reality and what the possible downsides are and how to deal with it!
    Most of the time when I hear stuff about how bad the current systems are, they dont elaborate on how to put an alterative system into action and how to deal with any downsides. You hit it head on. Im sure im going to enjoy the rest of your podcasts.

    I’d like to hear about other systems that could be implemented as well though.


    1. Thank you for your comment, Larissa! I definitely want to use this approach to discuss other systems in the future. My goal is to showcase a variety of promising ideas!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *