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TechnologyWe are a team of researchers investigating software development practices, in particular Test-driven development. AuA!

Oct 18th 2016 by SEResearch • 28 Questions • 78 Points

Hi, we are candidates of the Icelandic Pirate party and we have an election coming up on the 29th of October. These are exciting times in Icelandic politics because we are dealing with a post recession economy and the aftermath of the Panama papers leak where the Prime minister had to resign due to his connection with offshore accounts.

The Icelandic Pirate party got 5% in the last congressional election and are currently polling as the largest party at just over 20%. The amazing thing about that is not only that the Pirate party is the largest political party (by a slim margin) but also that the Independence party which has historically been the largest party by far is only polling at around 20%. The political landscape in Iceland has rarely been as exciting and the possibility for change is real.

We have MPs Birgitta Jónsdóttir and Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir and candidate Smári McCarthy here to answer your questions.

Proof: https://twitter.com/PiratePartyIS/status/789495086170140673

UPDATE: Thanks for all the questions so far! We're signing out for the evening, but we'll monitor the thread tomorrow at least and respond to any new questions. There are a few questions that haven't been responded to yet ─ don't worry, we'll get to them! Thanks again, and more fun soon! - Smári, Ásta and Birgitta.

Q:

Is your team a group of students or industry professionals?

A:

Many say that you score so high in the polls because of young people say that they will vote you because it seems "cool" and then the majority of young voters won't show up for the election day. Any thoughts about that?


Q:

Hello /u/ReDucTor

We are a team of researchers in universities (Professors, Post-doc, and PhD student). Thanks for asking, we should have clarified that better

A:

Ásta: Maybe. But we actually have good support in all age groups according to polls. Just that we are polling with around 40% support in the youngest age group, 18-29 years old. And it is true that it's a generation that's unlikely to go and vote. And I think that's concerning that young people are not showing up on election day.


Q:

So no people with any practical experience. Why should anyone listen to you? University programmers are a joke to people outside of academia.

A:

Hi fellow pirates!

My name is Martin van Vuuren from the netherlands Candidate House of Representatives for Pirate Party Netherlands electoral list number 34.

How is it going over there? Are you all excited for being the biggest pirate party to date? I am excited to see how it unfolds that this party knows how to change the future for the best. I will be following the election through social media but i do wish you all the best since we are one big party worldwide.

Sincerely,

Martin van Vuuren


Q:

Most of us has practical experience.

The references, and most of the studies I am discussing in this thread are carried out in industrial settings.

A:

Ásta: Hi Martin! Ancilla will be here on Friday I think! It'll be hell of a party ;) Everything is going very well - unbelievably. Much work, talking to all the people, and handing out too many brochures. I think some of the Swedish volunteers will try to stream the election night party so you can watch it unfold live!


Q:

For people in high school, what classes do you recommend for that field? Math classes & programming related classes is what I've always thought.

A:

What do you think can be done about the rent market in Iceland?

There's also the problem of what to me looks like an economy built on sand. Two main sources of revenue: Tourism and fishing.

Both of them seem unsustainable to me. Fish populations can't be taken for granted, especially with climate change and some populations collapsing in the Atlantic and Pacific.

Even if tourism contributes to an abstract kind of economic 'growth' and profit, i'm not sure if it benefits the average icelander.

As a matter of fact i'm worried that the rent market is catering to rich tourists. Do you think society has to run on money?


Q:

Hello /u/ajaxburger
Knowing even the basic of programming language (e.g., Java, python) can take you a long way. It's a terrific head start if you want to get into CS for university.

A:

Ásta: The Rental market in Iceland sucks. That's just how it is. We need a more formalized rental market, more long term rental agreements and we should try to make it affordable to rent. I am renting myself and you have to be an MP now days to afford rent! The rent is just absurd.

I agree with you on the industries, fish and tourism. And your question - do you think society has to run on money? No. Not necessarily. But we have to figure out how to measure worth somehow. Economics need to get away from religious beliefs of growth and profit and actually do some real math, not just fancy formulas to confuse politicians. The topic you're raising is the core problem of the future - and that's what we are trying to figure out. Hence, universal basic income ideas etc.


Q:

Is TDD an effective method for guaranteeing code coverage and effective testing methods? It seems to me that most tests written for TDD are for confirmation of your expectations rather than truly testing the long tail of unexpected results

A:

Can you explain how and why the rental market sucks i.e. what are the causes?


Q:

Hello /u/Penson122

In general TDD focuses on the so called happy path testing. The reason is that TDD is not a testing technique, but a design one (or at least mostly).

There are some studies focusing on overcoming this, but adding and additional step to TDD to take into account the sad path

A:

Ásta: Well, partly because of the price increase of estates in the past three years following the government plan called the Correction, where people who had debt during the crisis got some correction of their debts. Also, because of index linked loans, which make the prices spin upwards. Also, because of the tourist industry, but there's lots of demand for apartments down town, but not many have been built in recently. Also, the króna, and the cost of building new apartments, etc. Many different factors playing together, and Iceland just becoming more and more expensive.


Q:

Hi there, as someone working in Software testing for the last 4,5 years in 3 different teams but with the same testing methods and structure I always wondered if there are some methods that work better in specific team sizes. For example, currently I am workin in a project with ~60 developers and 18 terster and I can't imagine using test-driven development in that size. What is your view on this?

A:

I feel a little concerned that, in all this discussion, nobody's mentioning the original anti-intellectual-property stance that was sort of the core of the Pirate philosophy.

I've often heard that many of the awkward parts of intellectual property law are locked in via treaty. In the US, for example, we can't go back to "registration required" copyright, or a 14-year term, for example, without breaking treaties.

How can you handle that issue in a nation like Iceland, that can't just say "we're the biggest/richest/strongest, screw your treaty?"

Also, if you're Icelandic and Pirates, did anyone suggest branding as Vikings? My apologies for the horrible stereotype joke.


Q:

Hello /u/Quiet_Reader, Agile software development approaches usually do not scale, since their focus is on communication (code and test being the primary means), and the more people are there the more difficult is communicate with each other.

There is evidence that Scrum, for one, although being one of the most used agile framework, is really really really hard to scale

A:

Ásta: On the Viking, that came up. On the IP law, it's complicated. We are working with Julia Reda Member of European Parliament on the IP issue. But the problem is that we are bound by treaties and respecting those treaties is actually necessary to be part of stuff like, the UN and stuff. No country is an island in a globalized world, not even Iceland which is really an Island. The problem is that IP law is so twisted and that's the reason why we were formed in the first place, to fix it. But as many other IP specialists (Lawrence Lessig) we are moving towards tackling corruption and digital rights, because this is all intertwined. Copyright reform was just the starting point, but from there we have grown and it's awesome!


Q:

Agile software development approaches usually do not scale

Now, I'm not the world's biggest agile cheerleader, but this seems like a very bold claim for a researcher to make. It's certainly a much broader statement than the one made in your citation that's says "Scrum is hard to scale" (which I'm very willing to believe, given my experiences with Scrum).

their focus is on communication (code and test being the primary means), and the more people are there the more difficult is communicate with each other.

Can you clarify what you mean by this? In my experience, it only becomes more important to focus on your communication channels as an organization grows. The larger an organization gets, the more easy it becomes for the left hand not to know what the right hand is doing.

A:

What is your position on climate change?


Q:

Ok, let me rephrase that:
There is no strong evidence pointing to the fact that agile techniques scale well, Scrum being the most predominant example.

I believe we are saying the same thing. The problem is coordination among the different figures/teams. There have been attempt at mitigating this (see Scrum-of-scrums), but with poor results.

A:

Smári: We'd like to stop it from happening. A stable climate is even more important than a stable economy! In short, we'd like to fulfil our obligations under the Paris convention and then go even further than that. According to loftslag.is, an Icelandic website about climate change, the Pirate Party has the best environmental policy of all parties at the moment.


Q:

In the F# circles there is a decent amount of buzz around TDD as an acronym for Type-Driven Development instead of Test-Driven Development, utilizing the more expressive type system in order to make representing invalid state impossible instead of trying to write tests for them.

Are there any research, old or current, into actual applications of this and the result?

Also, on the topic of Test-Driven Development, are there any interesting research on the effects of tools/frameworks such as QuickCheck or FsCheck that force you to write property-based tests instead of the more "normal" type of tests?

A:

Hi there! As a citizen of Iceland in my twenties I have a few questions for you. I'd like to start by stating that I like most of what you are doing and what you have stood for so far. I will be voting for you in the coming election, unless something huge happens to sway my opinion.

Now. You guys have a huge following with the young people in Iceland. I'm wondering what you are thinking about doing for us. Life for students has, I think, never been harder than it is right now. The student loan situation is horrible and the Renting Market is in the gutter.

Do you guys have any plans to fix this? What are your thoughts on the renters market and what can be done to make things easier? Is the only option for students in Iceland to flee the country, just to be able to study what they want?

I would love a bit of insight :)


Q:

Hello /u/wastaz

Not familiar with Type-Driven Development, but is sounds fascinating. However, keep in mind that Test-DD is not much about testing, but about design.

There is plenty of research of dynamically vs. static type but I am not aware of any kind of research about Type-DD. I gonna look at it definitively.

Being TDD more about design than testing, I am afraid that there is not much done in this direction. However, some studies tried to "augment" TDD by adding a phase that focuses on "traditional" idea of testing (and random testing might be a good option as well).

Thank for your input. Really appreciate it.

A:

Ásta: Hi Snojo and thanks for your questions! I agree with you that life for the young has become worse, or at least, it hasn't gotten any better compare to other generations. I was a poor student very recently so I am familiar with the situation. It is necessary to fix some of the problems that we know of in the student loan system, and make part of it into a grant. Also - monthly payments of student loans would make students so much more aware on how much they're spending. AND that income roof that's put on students is absurdly low, it's so easy to just raise that. And just fix the whole attitude in this LÍN institution. I could go on and on and on on that.

We need more rental apartments, and we need the airbnb apartments that are basically just run as a hotel, we need those apartments back on the long term renting market. It's probably around 1000-2000 apartments that are on the airbnb market and noone keeps a home there. Also, we need relax a bit on the building regulations. Not everyone needs to have a car, thus, having a car cellar in every new building should not be a requirement.

Currently, in my opinion, the best bet is to leave Iceland. The only reason I'm in Iceland is because of this amazing opportunity that the Pirate Party has created. We have a chance of fixing so many things that are wrong and make Iceland into the country we want it to be, that I believe we can turn it into. There is hope - the grass is not always greener on the other side - but I seriously feel you and have been there myself!


Q:

Why should software "engineering" be considered a legitimate engineering discipline?

Most of our current development methodologies seem to be based on intuition, heuristics ,and best practices.

A:

What are your points of universal basic income and what would be needed to make it fair ?


Q:

Hello /u/AstralObsidia

That's a 1M$ question :)
How I see it, is that other "engineering" disciplines are backed-up by strong sciences (think of the relationship between construction engineering and physics, or chemistry). For software engineering to be a real engineering discipline we not only need proven theories from technical fields, but also from social fields (or at least that how I see it). The scarcity of such accepted theories leaves gut feelings, and "expert" opinions to proliferate.

A:

Smári: We see basic income as an interesting prospect to look towards long term, and have proposed a government working group to investigate which options there are for implementation and adoption. Short term, it's difficult to implement, simply because it costs so much, but there are some possibilities for moving in that direction alongside simplifications to the welfare system that would guarantee more people better coverage and fewer people falling between the cracks.


Q:

thank you for your response.

A:

Do you have any tips for people interested in furthering pirate politics in other countries where the local PP isn't doing so well?


Q:

You are very welcome!

A:

Ásta: Engage with new parties, engage with your Pirate Party, try to make them more successful and realize that politics is a lot of work. And it's very much about communication. Communication is difficult but essential in building new sustainable parties or organizations. There are other ways to engage with digital rights issues, European Digital Rights, https://edri.org/, Access Now https://www.accessnow.org/, Electronic frontier foundation, eff.org or other digital and human rights organizations that are protecting your digital rights on daily basis both in the US and in the EU.


Q:

I can't speak to many other engineering fields, but as a former professional electrical engineer, I can attest that intuition, heuristics, and best practices are very important parts of the discipline. For most circuits, it would be too costly to try to do a finite-element analysis and simulate all the electric and magnetic fields from first principles. And in fact, something like this wouldn't have even been remotely possible more than 30 years ago.

Usually in engineering, the idea is to

  • Know the physics behind models of very simple scenarios
  • Break a larger problem down into smaller, sub-modules with controlled interfaces
  • These sub-modules are still very complex if you take into account all the physics involved. To formulate a design anyway, use intuition and experience to model these complex scenarios in terms of simple scenarios which you've studied and understand from a theoretical perspective.

These simple models are inexact, but they are useful. And if you know what you're doing, they allow you to make an intractable design problem feasible.

As a result, I think it's inaccurate to draw this line between software engineering and other engineering disciplines. In the same way that engineering has its roots in physics, software engineering has its roots in mathematics.

A:

What are your personal positions on the Icelandic Krona? Should it be swapped in near-future for a steadier currency (e.g. USD or Euro), should it be pegged to another currency or should we continue to use it?


Q:

As long as the heuristics and good practices are based on scientific evidence, that's alright.
SE is a socio-technical field (mathematics and logic falling under the technical part). The human factor is very much present, with a sprinkle of management theories and economics. Think of Agile, it is a phenomena that covers all the subfields above (and possibly more). The fact that getting "good" theories (aka repeatable) from such subfield is difficult, as opposed to physics, makes creating SE theories complex in turn.

A:

Ásta: My personal opinion is that it's not a sustainable future currency as is, that is, we would have to have capital controls in order to keep the króna working as it has the past few years. The króna has always been the black sheep of iceland, yes it helped with recovering from the crisis but it is really expensive to keep. The Króna is the main reason why we have index linked loans with high interest rates and unforeseeable payments, and it's really expensive for the normla Icelander. I don't have much faith in Krónan, but I am willing to work with it since we are a strange country. I think pegging it would be an interesting option, or something similar.

Aesthetically I find the Icelandic króna kinda hillarious. It has fish on it. FISH. That's ridiculous, but quiet ironic as well. The fishing industry is the 'gold' of Iceland, the main export and money making machine. So that's something.


Q:

Thank you for AMA! Sorry but my questions are not about testing, and sorry the 'engrish'.

I am a leader of a team with 10 developers, our focus is software for business.

In my position, the biggest difficulties I perceive in our process are:

  • Prioritization - How to establish priorities between new features, support and refactoring?
  • Specification - What is the ideal level of detail?
  • Monitor progress - How to have a process that does not hinder the progress, that can provide estimates of time limits, without putting too much stress on the developer?

How do you deal with these issues?

A:

What does your party have to do with pirates?


Q:

Thank you for your question /u/desenv2

For Prioritization you mean techniques which can help establishing priority for features required by your own clients?

There is not much evidence that one level of specification is better than another. However, it might depend on the practices that your are already using. For example, if you are using TDD smaller (or finer-grained) specification would work better because they fit the process better.

Progress: do you mean single developers' productivity or the overall project progress? Most of the estimation approaches in software engineering use some some of proxy score, with respect to a similar system implemented in the past.

A:

Ásta: Long story short: Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Sweden there was a bureau, the Anti-Pirate Bureau that was supposed to make sure noone was copying on the World Wide Web and the Internet. Because of ironic seriousness, some people started the Pirate Bureau and from there, someone had the splendid idea to start the Pirate Party. So yes, we have something to do with Pirates, in a digital sense of the word. But since then we have evolved into being a pro-democracy, reformist movement that supports civil and digital rights in any form.


Q:

As someone who works in industry, I'm glad this exists. I think it is mostly because our dev team believes in this design process but my company does not so we are forced to develop blind while other teams push changes which break their own code without tests. My question is this. What is your end goal, and how would you convince people to develop/adopt in this approach? Ultimately it is up to the CTO and other senior tech leaders but convincing them out of their ways can be difficult.

A:

Do you think you get negative light because of the name? Because it feels like the older generation see it like Illegal Download = Pirate Party


Q:

Hello /u/fallenreaper

A little disclaimer: we are not trying to sell TDD to every industry, and we do not have any interest in doing so.
Our research goal is to understand when and in which context TDD actually brings benefit, and when it could be unnecessary or detrimental.
Of course, such claims should be backed up by rigorous scientific evidence. Unfortunately, CTOs sometimes do not believe in evidence, and I think is our duty to educate them.

A:

Ásta: Well, words only have the meaning we give to them. It hasn't been a problem so far.


Q:

Indeed it is true. I think education is important. I look forward to reading more if your work

A:

Yeah, so if you pass a law, it's got to be called the Buccaneer Bill right?


Q:

Thanks, appreciate it :)

A:

Ásta: Lol. Yes.


Q:

What's your favorite beverage?

A:

does the pirateparty have any policy regarding taking harder action against parents that alienate their children from one parent ?


A:

Birgitta: We don't have a policy on this issue yet, it is however clearly not in the interest of the child if either parent or their families are alienated from them. We as parliamentarians have always supported all reforms in this regard. The current framework around these violations against the rights of children is too weak and needs to be amended asap.


Q:

What sort of experiments do you run for "Effects of Test Driven Development"? That sounds like there's a lot of things to possilby measure!

What limitations in what we are able to learn do you think are imposed by the fact that you can't really ask Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft to run an important multi-year project according to some experimental framework?

People are skeptical of SE research because some published papers pop up that seem to lack rigor and get circulated around news sites and social media.

From this podcast:

https://www.functionalgeekery.com/episode-55-andreas-stefik/

I found out about this paper:

https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/handle/123456789/47698

Which surveyed hundreds of PL research papers and found that only 22 had rigorous experimental methods.

Is it this rough in other subfields? Is the concern over-exaggerated? If not, is it getting better?

A:

Does CCP makers of Eve Online play any part in Icelandic politics?


Q:

What sort of experiments do you run for "Effects of Test Driven Development"? That sounds like there's a lot of things to possilby measure!

Indeed there are. We usually run randomized controlled trials (as in medicine), treat TDD as a new drug which we compare to a traditional development approach (i.e., a placebo).
We then compare the two in terms of bugs, user stories completed, etc.

What limitations in what we are able to learn do you think are imposed by the fact that you can't really ask Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft to run an important multi-year project according to some experimental framework?

Some companies like IBM and Microsoft have been doing experiments about TDD (there are other, less known, but those come up on top of my mind). The issue, in my experience, is convincing a company to "borrow" a bunch of developers, for example.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the results of a single study, even in a big company, are still limited to that company (for example because they tend to hire a specific type of developer, therefore biasing the sample). That's why we need replication of experiments in other companies/contexts. That's why making progress is so slow.

Is it this rough in other subfields?

I believe so, because SE is a relatively discipline and we are still learning from more mature sciences (not that they do not have their problems)

Is the concern over-exaggerated?

There is something to be concerned about, like low quality of publication. And we are aware that from someone is not involved in academia is difficult to recognize the signal from the noise. A quick-fix is to rely on studies published in venues with a high reputation.

If not, is it getting better?

Definitively! As SE researchers community, we are learning more and more from other sciences about methodological issues and how to overcome them.

A:

Smári: Nope. They are fairly busy running a galaxy, and have no time for our pithy local affairs. :-)


Q:

After skimming through one of the papers you linked on (https://peerj.com/preprints/1864.pdf) I've noticed the following things:

The participants in the study were 14 graduate students in Computer Science at the University of Basilicata and six professional software developers taking a specialization course at the same university. Both professionals and students were familiar with TLD (Test Last Development), a more traditional de- velopment technique where unit tests are written after a feature (or a set of related features) is implemented in a given software.

Pairs worked on MusicPhone—an application written in Java which runs on GPS-enabled devices. MusicPhone gives the user recommendations for artists he/she may like, and finds upcoming concerts for such artists and bands. MusicPhone was primarily chosen for the availability of its source code and because it was used in previous empirical studies on TDD (e.g., (Fucci et al., 2015; Salman et al., 2015)). The total number of classes in the existing application was 30, while the non-commented lines of source code were 1,225. The number of methods and constructors was 157 and 22, respectively. The participants worked on a legacy system, i.e., an existing codebase that is not covered by tests (Feathers, 2004). We asked pairs to implement a new feature for MusicPhone.

Don't you think that:

  • small size of the studied group
  • the composition of that group (at my university graduate students are regularly considered to posses inferior real-life programming skills compared to employed undergrads, and in case of professionals there could be some bias when it comes to who takes specialization courses)
  • small size of the codebase (it is smaller than many of my undergrad semester projects)
  • the fact that the codebase was not developed using TDD from the start
  • relative unfamiliarity with the TDD process (as expressed on page 9) and lack of attention to implementation (discussion, page 10)

could suggest that what the authors have actually checked is that people unfamiliar with TDD, who work on a small project they don't feel responsibility for (inferred from lack of focus on internal quality) for a short amount of time don't do horribly well?

Of course by that I don't mean to say that what the authors learned is not valuable, but perhaps it doesn't necessarily generalize to groups of professionals who know they will have to work on and support the project they write for a long period of time (in some settings possibly about a decade or more)?

A:

Have you considered pirating Donald Trump's words and ideas? I hear they are the best words.


Q:

Disclaimer: we are among the authors of the paper

small size of the studied group

For this kind of more "qualitative" study the sample size is not a problem. We are looking for insights, not statistical inference.

the composition of that group (at my university graduate students are regularly considered to posses

inferior real-life programming skills compared to employed undergrads, and in case of professionals there could be some bias when it comes to who takes specialization courses)

Two things here: there are studies showing that professional and experience students perform the same when both are novice TDDers (e.g., this). Also, the claim is that TDD mostly helps less expert developers in figuring out the design choices (among other things). Expert developers might not need to figure such things out since they have been doing the same thing for 10 years.

small size of the codebase (it is smaller than many of my undergrad semester projects)

I agree that this might be a problem. Working on a non-real world code base might not fully manifest the thought process of the developers. On the other hand, if the problem is overwhelmingly complex the developers will focus on the complexity rather than on the process (which is what we care about).

the fact that the codebase was not developed using TDD from the start

That's part of the context we decide to investigate, a legacy codebase (i.e., untested).

relative unfamiliarity with the TDD process (as expressed on page 9) and lack of attention to implementation (discussion, page 10)

See my previous comment to point 2.

I understand that from the point of view of a practitioner such studies might look like toys, but science (in general) is about trade-offs: more complexity, less chance to observe what we really care about.

A:

Ásta: I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?


Q:

Will whaling still continue to be legal if you win ?

A:

Smári: To be honest, we don't have a policy on it either way. Personally, I'm definitely in favour of protecting ecosystems and the species in it. I'd happily get behind a whaling ban if the data suggested that it'd help the ecosystem, but I've seen data that suggests that the whale population might be threatening other populations in the sea... so I'm totally torn. Ultimately we need to do whatever is best for the environment. In the meantime, I do like a good minke steak, even if I wouldn't be too sad to not be able to have it again.


Q:

I'm really interested in Iceland, but I'm unfamiliar with your political landscape. For starters, why are you called the Pirate Party, and why do you think you are currently favored in the polls?

A:

Smári: In short, there are 12 parties running in the current elections, polling from virtually nothing to around 22%. We're called the Pirate Party in reference to a global movement of Pirate Parties that popped up over the last decade. Despite our name, we're taken fairly seriously in Iceland, in particular because of our very aggressive anti-corruption stance, our pro-transparency work, and our general push in the direction of a more information-driven society with strong civil liberties.


Q:

I would like an answer from each candida on what a perfect Utopia looks like in you're eyes and do you feel it will ever be possible for humans to get to that utopia ?

Also Cats vs Dogs ?

A:

Ásta:

I think a democratic society is a utopia in itself. And we're living it. It's just difficult, but not impossible.

I'm a dog person. Dogs all the way. DOGS. <3 <3 <3 <3


Q:

So, since you're a dog person, it obviously means you intend to force everyone in Iceland to have dogs, and outlaw cats, right?

That's what the personal opinions of politicians automatically translate to, right?

A:

Ásta: Yes. You're very much understanding me and the nature of the politics I practice. I love dogs, thus, everyone must have dogs. /sarcasm.


Q:

Will the pirate party be a non authoritarian form of government?

I'am a diligent endorser of the original endorsement of participant controlled governance. Wouldn't it be more simple to reduce power of state government and hand it to local government to be able to shorten the distance between voters and their representatives?

A:

Ásta: Well, the mission is to make a more non-authoritarian form of government, so, yes. In Iceland the distance between voters and local government on one hand and national government on the other hand isn't the same as you'd get in larger, more populous countries. But I generally agree with the notion of bringing the power back to the people.


Q:

Did you take a look at Pirate Parties in other countries and learn from their achievements/mistakes?

The German PP was quite popular some years ago but lost a lot in popularity due to internal conflicts and not having answers for any political questions outside the IT sector.

A:

Birgitta: Yes we did, we have worked quite a lot with, for example, the Pirate MEPs and Pirates from all over Europe. We have also worked with other political movements from around the world who have been inspiring the general public to participate in co-creating their societies. We like to learn from others, both mistakes and successes. Remixing good policies is critical at these times of quickening.


Q:

Will your party work to grant asylum to Edward Snowden?

A:

Ásta: The first bill we put forward in 2013 was on granting Snowden asylum: http://www.althingi.is/altext/142/s/0078.html But he technically needs to apply for it first though. So, it's up to him.


Q:

Birgitta. Every time a foreign media outlet interviews you, you are portrayed as potentially being the next PM of Iceland. Last time this happened was on Friday, when the Washington Post named you "possibly the country’s next leader". When you are asked by the Icelandic media if you want to be the next PM, you always say no. Why is that? Are the foreign reporters misunderstanding the situation? Have you ever tried to correct them?

A:

Birgitta: I tell them this is not what I am seeking and that we have horizontal structure. They want juicy headlines. Just like the Icelandic media play it out as if Katrin Jakobsdóttir will be the next PM, even if she has never said she wants it. You can have a look at my faq at my web page if you dont believe me :) http://birgitta.is/92-2/


Q:

Why are you doing this AMA in English? Aren't Icelandic speaking redditors your potential voters?

A:

Smári: Just for fun. The idea came up because we were getting a lot of attention from foreign media, and thought there might be more interest among people who don't speak Icelandic. Also, virtually everybody in Iceland speaks really good English.


Q:

What's your opinion of the British and Norwegian fishing industry near Iceland and do you plan on raiding it?

A:

Smári: We've won three cod wars against Britain. They had warships, we had awesome fishermen. Nuff' said. :-)


Q:

By everything that I have gathered (já ég er íslenskur kjósandi) your party seems to be hell bent over wealth and that people want to create wealth for them selfs. Why is that? Why have you stopped talking about personal freedom? I had hopes for you guys and then you went so many steps backwards.

A:

Smári: We still talk about personal freedom a lot. See grunnstefna ─ it is the core guiding light. Not sure what steps backwards you are referring to?


Q:

Hello, I'm looking forward to visiting Iceland right before your elections! I'm wondering what your voter turnout usually is? And any cool places to hang out this week? Good Luck on election day!

A:

Ásta: Check out Stofan, Vinyl, Skúli, Micro Bar, Port9 and Reykjavík Roasters. All good places.

The turnout is usually pretty good so we are crossing our fingers! The young people are the ones most likely to sit at home so GO OUT AND VOTE PEOPLE!

Thanks!