Hey Jordan, thanks for the essay, it’s one of the fullest expressions of these ideas I’ve seen. I think these are very similar ideas to those that animate “Partido de la Red” (Net Party) in Argentina https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_Party. I’m almost sure they were an inspiration because the strategy you’re proposing is so similar to the one they’re famous for (I love how you describe it as an API layer :). The Net Party lost its first election in 2013 but it’ll try again in 2017. Meanwhile some of its founders (Santiago Siri, pia mancini) split to YC-backed Democracy.Earth where they’re trying to build the next-level democratic infrastructure with blockchain tech.
The European Pirate Parties have also done extensive testing of liquid democracy internally, particularly in Germany were they were using Liquid Feedback a few years ago (but that seems to be dead now), a German group created the Adhocracy software https://liqd.net/en/about/ and a current MEP, Julia Reda https://twitter.com/Senficon, has ample experience with it. I believe that most Europeans who have tried liquid democracy will agree that while interesting & novel it is far from a panacea and still has MAJOR technological & design issues to solve.
But I have extreme misgivings about even the theory of liquid democracy. I don’t think and have seen no evidence that making delegation transferrable in realtime makes a collective intelligence emerge. I think effective g0vernance is one of the most complex challenges a person and their team can tackle and we use majority voting to dismiss nonviolently & fast those who are causing harm. That’s it, that should be the point & promise of democracy. This classic essay by Karl Popper on Democracy inspires me: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2016/01/karl-popper-democracy
Liquid democracy wants to dissolve the personal agency of representatives, turning them into mindless proxies always subject to fickle popularity chains, expecting a magic collective intelligence to emerge and take the governance reins. I believe instead in passionate people and their teams being given the chance to try THEIR ideas & THEIR intelligence at the helm of government for a few years (until they are dismissed or not by a nonviolent majority vote).
So what’s the other more radical yet related path you’re envisioning? :)