GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A - C
Aristocracy: An authoritarian form of government in which the sovereign consists of a group of “aristocrats” whose claim to the position of sovereign is based upon wealth, birthright, military rank or other arbitrary factor.
Authoritarian Government: The category of government characterized by two unequal political classes: (1) the “superior,” or “elite,” ruling class that constitutes the sovereign of the government and (2) the ruled or subject class that comprises the majority of people. Authoritarian governments are not legitimate because they control but do not represent the subject class. There are three forms of authoritarian government: aristocracy, ideocracy and theocracy.
Bill: A draft of a proposed new law of government presented for approval to a legislative body.
Brainstorming: “Mental modeling,” Ideation; the preliminary step in the creation of a model for a device or process.
Citizen: An individual who is recognized by a government as a political member of that government. In a democracy, the highest unit of political power is citizenship, and each citizen is equal to every other citizen in terms of his or her possession of political and other human rights.
Control System: The means by which a variable output is made to conform to a prescribed input. There are two types of control system: feedback and feed-forward.
Creative Science (Engineering): The scientific disciplines that combine knowledge, tools, and the problem-solving method to solve problems through the creation and optimization of useful products and processes, i.e., tools, or technology.
D - G
Democracy: The category of government in which the citizenry (the politically equal citizens; the people as a whole) constitutes the sovereign. The sovereign controls the operations of government directly (rare) or through elected representatives. Democracy, thus defined, is the only legitimate form of government.
Dialectic: Logical argumentation; the investigation and evaluation of opinions and ideas through dialogue and debate.
Electoral Democracy: A government that meets the first requirement of democracy. See also Requirements of Democracy.
Empirical: Relating to the use of observation or experimentation rather than speculation.
Engineering: See Creative Science.
Engineering Discipline of Laws (Law-Design Engineering): The creative scientific enterprise that is concerned with the efficacious solution of societal problems through the creation and optimization of the laws of government.
Excellence in Governance (limited to democratic governments): The attainment of a rule of law that meets the highest standards of quality and reflects the ideals and noblest aspirations of the citizenry.
Fact: Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed.
Feedback Control System: a type of control system in which the system’s output directs the system’s operations.
Feed-Forward Control System: A simple type of control system in which the input to the system directs the system’s operations. A feed-forward control system does not measure or respond to its output.
Government: The institution that exercises authority over a society of people. Every government is controlled by and serves the interests of its sovereign. Governments are either authoritarian or democratic.
H - I
Human Rights: The freedoms of action and freedoms from harm that are inherently equal in every individual. Human rights are bounded by two conditions: (1) They are inalienable and (2) the exercise of human rights by one individual cannot interfere with the human rights of any other individual. Human rights include substantive, property, political and legal rights.
Hypothesis: An unproven speculation that is tentatively accepted to explain certain observations. Hypotheses are formulated so that their validity can be established by empirical means.
Ideal Law of Government: A law that has five characteristics: (1) It is simply stated and has a clear meaning; (2) It is completely successful in achieving its problem-solving objective; (3) It interacts synergistically with other laws; (4) It produces no detrimental side effects; and (5) It optimally serves the purpose of democracy.
Ideocracy: An authoritarian form of government in which the leaders of a secular belief system, or political ideology, constitute the sovereign.
Intellect: An individual’s ability to learn and reason.
Investigative Science: The scientific disciplines that employ knowledge, tools, and the scientific process to derive, record, organize and promulgate scientific knowledge.
Investigative Science of Laws: The scientific discipline that derives, records, organizes and promulgates scientific knowledge of the structure and mechanics of the laws of government.
K - O
Knowledge: The sum of the recorded facts that have been accumulated by humankind over the course of time.
Law of Government: An order of government prescribed and enforced under the authority of that government.
Letter of the Law: The entire written content of a law; the fixed arrangement of its words, symbols, and punctuation.
Liberal Democracy: A government that satisfies the first and second requirements of democracy. See also Requirements of Democracy.
Living Standards: The measured level of the economic status of the people within the jurisdiction of a government.
Mechanics: The relationship between cause and effect; the linkage between the input and the output of a given process or device.
Model: A systemized description, often in the form of a mathematical representation, of a natural or human-created or human-envisioned structure, process, or system.
Monarchy: An authoritarian form of government in which a “royal” family constitutes the sovereign.
Opinion: A belief or conclusion that has not been verified by empirical means.
P - Q
Performance Envelope for Laws: The internal and external boundaries of a law’s range of operations, such as its allowable limits of costs and side effects.
Political Ideology: A secular belief system that defines the uses of government authority; the dogma of a political party.
Problem-Solving Method: The knowledge-based systematic process by which problems are solved.
Purpose of Democracy: The purpose, or objective, of democracy is to secure the rights and liberty of the citizenry, the people, who constitute the sovereign of government. To accomplish its purpose, a democratic government is obligated to solve (solve, mitigate, or prevent), by means of laws, the societal problems that degrade or threaten to degrade the rights and liberty of the people. A government must meet all three requirements of democracy to satisfy the purpose of democracy. See also Requirements of Democracy.
Purpose of Government: To accomplish the objectives set forth by the sovereign of government.
Quality: The degree of excellence a given entity possesses.
Quality Assurance (QA) Standards: The criteria that are used to determine the efficacy (effectiveness, cost-efficiency, safety, etc.) of products and processes. QA standards are used to identify and eliminate flaws of design and operations.
Quality Design (QD) Standards: The criteria that guide the creation of new products or processes. QD standards emphasize excellence of design methodologies and outcomes.
Quality Improvement (QI) Standards: The quality design standards that apply to design improvements of existing products and processes.
Quality-of-Life Standards: The measured level of the physical and cultural environment of the people within the jurisdiction of a government.
Requirements of Democracy: The three criteria that governments must meet to satisfy the purpose of democracy: (1) Recognize the citizenry (the people as a whole) as the sovereign of government, (2) Secure the full complement of human rights of the people and (3) Efficaciously solve the societal problems that degrade or threaten to degrade the rights and liberty of the people.
Rhetoric: The art of effective expression and the persuasive use of language.
Rights and Liberty of the People: The parameters that define the rights and liberty of the people are human rights, living standards, and quality of life standards.
Rule of Engineering: Each new generation of engineering product is characterized by measurable improvement over the preceding generation. (“Change is always characterized by improvement”).
Rule of Law: Defined and consistent rule; limited government; the concept of governmental authority which holds that the body of written, duly enacted, and codified laws of government are superior to any other directive of government. The rule of law defines the limits of the scope of government.
Rule of Man: Arbitrary rule; tyranny; unlimited government; the concept of governmental authority which holds that the temporal orders of the leaders of government are superior to any other directive of government. In contrast with the constraints under the rule of law, the scope of government is unlimited under the rule of man, wherein the written laws of government may be arbitrarily enforced, overruled, or ignored by the leaders of government.
Science: The systematic and principled intellectual enterprise that employs knowledge, tools, and peer-reviewed empirical processes to (1) derive, record, organize and promulgate scientific knowledge (investigative science); and (2) solve problems efficaciously through the creation and optimization of useful products and processes (creative science, or engineering). The term science is also used as a synonym for investigative science.
Science of Laws: The systematic and principled intellectual enterprise that employs knowledge, tools, and peer-reviewed empirical processes to (1) derive, record, organize and promulgate scientific knowledge of the laws of government (the investigative science of laws); and (2) solve problems efficaciously through the creation and optimization of the laws of government (the creative science of laws; the engineering discipline of laws).
Scientific Knowledge: The recorded facts and theories that have undergone the scientific process and have been judged, by a scientific society of peers, to be accurate descriptions of reality. Scientific knowledge is not regarded as absolute truth. However, it is composed of the tentative and incomplete descriptions of the physical world that have been rigorously tested and judged to have the closest correspondence with reality. It is therefore the most accurate and reliable form of knowledge—the “gold standard” of knowledge.
Scientific Process (formerly “Scientific Method”): The principles and techniques necessary for the accumulation of scientific knowledge, including rules for concept formation, experimentation, observation, measurement, and the validation of hypotheses by a society of peers.
Software: The instructions that direct the operation of a device or process. Musical scores, food recipes, computer programs and laws of government are examples of software.
Sovereign: The group of people who hold authority over, and control a government.
Special Interest Group: A group of people who share a common belief, goal or circumstance. Special interest groups include corporations, religions, trade unions, schools, political parties, athletic organizations, etc.
Spirit of the Law: The purpose, or intent, of a law. The spirit of any given law is the hoped for change, or benefit, that the law will produce from a less desirable condition to a more desirable condition, as predicted by the designers of the law.
Statute: A law of government that has been enacted by the government’s legislative assembly.
T - Z
Theocracy: An authoritarian form of government in which the heads of a religious belief system constitute the sovereign.
Theory: A coherent explanation of a group of related natural phenomena. Theories are not directly observable in their entirety but are supported and refined by a preponderance of facts and ongoing scientific studies. Examples of theories are biological evolution and the big bang theory for the origin of the universe.
Traditional Method of Lawmaking: The lawmaking process of government in which (1) an idea for government action is transcribed into a written petition, or bill; (2) the provisions of the bill are discussed, debated, and possibly amended by a legislative assembly; and (3) the assembly enacts or rejects the final version of the bill as an enforceable law of government.
True Democracy: A government that meets all three requirements of democracy and thus fully satisfies the purpose of democracy. See also Requirements of Democracy.
Wisdom: Knowledge combined with prudent and just judgment in the use of that knowledge.