Deciding How To Decide: A Reflection on the State of CommunityRule


Designer Deacon Rodda offers insightful reflections on in particular and the design of governance systems more generally.


As a followup on our recent post on CommunityRule development, here is a blowout 2-hour deep dive into the state of the project and ideas for how to move it forward. Deacon Rodda runs the consultancy SQGLZ, which we have hired with SCRF funding to advance CommunityRule. Enjoy!


Thank you for adding this to our conversation. Just to kick things off… What does Deacon mean when he’s talking about groups of people tending to resent complex decision-makers? Is this something like resenting a school board for coming to a compromise, or does he mean that people resent self-appointed leaders within small groups?

There really does seem to be incredible promise in something that can reveal the ‘tyranny of structurelessness’ but I guess I have trouble visualizing how you could surface all of the hidden influences. Don’t people usually want those things hidden?

Also – and here’s my lazy journalist question – is there anything you’d like us to be asking you about this project?

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I don’t recall the moment you’re talking about, but I wonder if it connects to his persistent theme of the trade-offs between complexity and simplicity—that complexity can be powerful but it can also turn away less well-trained participants. Based on these reflections, I am thinking that the right direction for CR is a bias for simplicity.

And I think you’re right that a ToS can arise regardless of any visualization or explicit rule-set. But I also think explicit rules reduce the amount of latitude that ToS can have.

No, I’m not fishing for questions—just sharing an interesting milestone!

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oh I was the one fishing for questions! Thanks again for sharing, it’s fascinating reading about how this is taking shape.