[EM] Richard & the diagram

Anthony Simmons bbadonov at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 29 22:22:54 PDT 2001

>> Subject: [EM] Richard & the diagram

I think it should be pointed out that "distances from lines
drawn on a diagram" is not something different from the
concerns of the voter-on-the-street, but merely a more
precise picture of it.  Rather like the image, in an electron
microscope, of the flu virus, which is not separate from the
concern of a retching patient, merely more precisely drawn.

Often, mathematics can be a game or an art form, but that
does not in general detract from the concerns of others.
Logic design is very much a fun game, but without that game,
we would all be rolling up our messages and stuffing them
into pneumatic tubes.

For another example, there are such precise mathematical
criteria as FBC and WDSC.  Or the voting methods,
being, as most are, recursive functions, and therefore
mathematical objects in their own right.

>> Whatever. What you've written in that paragraph, and after that,
>> is something important to you. To each their own.

>> But when I talk to people about voting, they, believe it or not,
>> don't object to Plurality because distances from lines drawn on a
>> diagram aren't what they should be. No, what they say is that
>> people who prefer Nader should vote for Gore instead, because that's the
>> only way of making Bush lose.

>> You seem to regard this as some sort of mathematical game or art form
>> that should be above such mundane considerations as the concerns of
>> voters and the political and material consequences of the voting

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