Direction of this list

Steve Eppley seppley at
Tue Apr 23 01:21:14 PDT 1996

Rob Lanphier wrote:
>I know everyone is in love with the idea of voting for things.  The
>problem is that if we get too bureaucratic, we are in danger of using
>all of our energy on administrivia.  I would love to see us come up
>with *something* for our efforts in terms of an educational document.
>If someone can write up a first draft of the election-methods-list FAQ,
>we could vote whether or not to approve the draft.  Then people can
>propose amendments, and we could vote to include those.  The point is
>to write-then-vote, as opposed to the vote-then-write methods that have
>been proposed.  I would rather we not get to the voting part than not
>get to the writing part.  Since our charter is to come up with
>educational docs, voting should be secondary (even though this is about

I think the issue is whether we will benefit by discussion of one
standard at a time.  If so, then we need a way to pick which one to
discuss next.  At the moment, we have two people here saying let's
do the following:

    We each approve standards according to our desire to discuss them next. 
    We discuss the methods' satisfaction of a few (3?) most-approved
      standards, one standard at a time in order of most-approved.
  Until "Done" (majority rule? near-consensus?)

This process intersperses voting and writing.  Each approval vote is
simple and has short-term consequences: setting the near-term
discussion agenda.

We're trying to venture into territory which is new and difficult: 
group-writing of a lengthy document.  I think we're going to have to 
experiment.  It's not obvious to me how much and what kinds of 
structure will help or impede us, nor if what works well for us will 
also work well for other small online groups engaged in similar tasks.

- -

I think most of us are aware of the pitfalls of the amendment
process: the agenda order (the order of the votes on amendments) can
affect the results: Condorcet's Paradox.  I hope that if such votes
are needed, we'll adopt a process which lets us vote on the
amendments effectively simultaneously (e.g., by ranking all the
proposed complete documents). 

- -

Rob, what do you think should be in the first EM faq?  Just a 
dictionary of terms?  Should it include recommendations or 

Do you want us to focus on recommending single-winner method(s)?


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