This is packaged as a "game," though it is not a game. You submit your name and your town. The body meets at regular intervals. Your name is read aloud. Members of the deliberating body may or may not ask for more information about you. Deliberation commences. It will likely be very short, as there are many names to hear.
Several rules circumscribe the operations of this body:
- The body most be composed of real people.
- These people must physically meet at a known location.
- The names must be read aloud by a foreman or forewoman, who is also a real person.
- The foreman or forewoman may be a member of the deliberating body.
- Aside from a printout of the names to hear, and from the necessarily electronic RENDERING of the findings, the process is not electronic or automatized in any way.
What does the body do with each name heard? It returns a written response. Depending on the respondents point of view, this response may appear whimsical, tautological, or even deadly serious. The respondent may do what he or she wishes with the written response. It may be taken seriously or not at all. After delivery of the response, the deliberative body's assigned task is completed.
The body may or may not keep records, though it is encouraged that they do. Any such records are NOT to be made public. They exist purely for the heightened administrative capabilities of the body itself. Often, one member of the body is assigned to take minutes of names heard and responses given.
There is nothing sinister or untoward about the deliberating body. The only thing that separates the operation of it from the operation of any other banal, benign, functional or dysfunctional organization is that it is conducted according to the rules already given. To wit, when a RESPONDENT submits his name, the name will be READ ALOUD by a living person, DELIBERATION will commence on that name by living members of the body, and a RESPONSE will be provided. All of the preceding is entirely free of automated reasoning, "batch processing," randomization algorithms or any other "algorithm" which can be undertaken by a computer's central processing unit.
More than one Deliberative Body may exist in the universe. A Respondent may submit his or her name to none, any, or all of them. It is discouraged to submit a name more than once to a given body. The body reserves the right to sort the list of names and remove duplicate names before printing the list for deliberation. Names or patterns of submission which seem to be in jest may be removed from the list before printing. A well-administered deliberative body will apply appropriate safeguards to ensure that little times is wasted with "crank" submissions.
A deliberative body may publish a statement which gives the submitter an idea of how long it may be before a response is delivered. For example, "The body meets twice monthly for a two hour session. Most respondents receive a reply within a month." It may be difficult to say more than this, as the caseload for each body may fluctuate wildely, particularly as advertisements describing the opening of a new deliberative body can reach large audiences via electronic networks. If a deliberative body ceases to function, it is not obliged to notify those who've submitted names, but it must publicly post that it has closed. An generally worded public mass apology to those who've submitted names but will not receive a response would be a minimum courtesy, and is expected.
WHATS IN IT FOR ME?
Very little. Only one small thing. As a submitter, you receive the courtesy of having your name read aloud, and a response formulated in a process free from automized processes. As written above, you can see the response as a judgment, a verdict, a "joke" or take no notice of it at all. Rest assured that the members of the deliberative body will treat your name and location with respect and seriousness. The deliberative process is serious. Nothing is to be published about the course of events during deliberation, but disagreement and occasional strife is to be expected in determining the response to a well-intentioned submitter. In this way, the submitter is accorded a measure of respect beyond what she may receive at the hands of other, possibly automated deliberative processes. This is merely conjecture, however. There is no guarantee that the submitter will not ultimately regret submitting her name to deliberation.
FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS
There is no facility for this sort of thing, as it would impose the strictest demands on record keeping. You could try, but a successful answer would require your question to get through, and for a member of the body to recall the last time you were considered. A deliberative body who choses to advertise this capability does so at it's peril. A careful thinking through the problem reveals many pitfalls, not least an encroaching automation that destroys the basic premise of a strong, organic deliberative body.