Direction of this list

Rob Lanphier robla at
Sun Apr 28 06:38:04 PDT 1996

On Tue, 23 Apr 1996, Steve Eppley wrote:
> Rob, what do you think should be in the first EM faq?  Just a 
> dictionary of terms?  Should it include recommendations or 
> commentary?

Version 1 of the EM FAQ can suck eggs.  It can be a horribly incomplete,
completely biased list of hacked together ramblings.  We just need
*something*.   Then, we can use this list to improve upon it.

Most of us have been discussing this stuff at least since the beginning of
the ER list last fall.  We need to turn our discussion into writing.

Voting does little good in this context, because people can vote with
their feet.  If they don't like our FAQ, they can form another group and
make a FAQ of their own.  In addition, what we think may have little
resemblance to what the "group" thinks 6 months from now, since it may be
composed of different people.  

I'm sorry to be a dictatorial poop here, but since no one is contributing
dues to this group, no one has anything of value vested in this group
except me, because I'm contributing disk space and a mailing list.  I'm
going to have to make some executive decisions until someone else buys an
account and hosts their own list or website or something.

We have to get started by having a FAQ, any FAQ.  It must be in text or
HTML, and must be reasonably easy to understand by the average reader, and
it must be freely redistributable.  Most newsgroups that I know of don't
try this futile effort of collaborative writing, but vote for a FAQ
maintainer and give them responsibility for writing and maintaining the
FAQ.  If they suck, then we call for another vote.  Usually, there is only
one person that even wants to do it, so it's never an issue of contention.

I really wish I had time to write this myself and just be done with it.  I
don't.  So, I'm going to propose that an article Mike wrote a while back
becomes the EM FAQ version 1.  See:

I will post this to the list shortly and place a link to it off of the
election-methods web page.

If that's settled we can move on to writing version 2.  Anyone want to
volunteer to be the FAQ maintainer?  Steve?  If no one else wants to that
can actually produce material, then I'll be the FAQ maintainer by default,
and I will tell you in all frankness that I will suck as a FAQ maintainer
because I don't have the time to do it right.  Changes will be slow to be
incorporated if they don't get lost in my flood of email.  But the FAQ
will be better than what we have had.

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

Rob Lanphier
robla at

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