EM agenda?

Mike Ossipoff dfb at bbs.cruzio.com
Tue Jul 2 23:38:50 PDT 1996

I agree that it seems about time to report to ER the results of
our voting on sw methods. And I agree that a closed election, with
a deadline, is better than a no-deadline, always-open vote. That's
because it's nice to have completed a project and say "This is our
result". It's not as if there hasn't been sufficient discussion. There,
it seems to me, is no reason not to report the final results of this
vote now.

Of course if someone later devises a method that they feel is
good enough to beat the previous winner, or if the composition
of the SW Committee changes considerably, then there'd be  nothing
stopping people from holding a new, updating, election.

So, as Steve suggested, let's give it a few more days and then
send the vote report in. Steve, how about 12:01 a.m. Saturday?
That's, of course, a minute after the midnight that occurs Friday
night. The reason I like to say 12:01 is because, though 
the meanings of a.m & p.m. have been standardized so that midnight
is a.m., it's especially clear that 12:01 at night is a.m.

That would be the voting deadline, so that a vote would have to
be dated at no later than that time. We could then wait till
Monday before posting the report, so that anything posted Friday
night would have had time to post. (of course in the event that
a Friday evening vote took longer than that to post, the result
would have to be revised when the vote finally posted).


Here's my suggestion for the voting report to ER:

"We've discussed sw methods, their advantages, disadvantages,
and the standards & criteria that they meet, and now we've
taken a vote on sw methods, ranking them in order of their
desirability as a recommendation to ER, for a method to propose
to the public.

EM, of course is a smaller list than ER, and only a few members
of the list are actively involved in advocating a method or
arguing the merits of the methods. The purpose of the SW Committee
was to make the conclusions of that small group available to the
larger ER list.

Though about 9 people have taken part in the discussion, only
two have voted. If anyone questions the validity of a vote in
which only 2 people vote, let me point out that the idea here
is to get the conclusions of those who want to give them, however
many or few that is. 

Both rankings voted Condorcet's method ahead of all the
other methods. The 2 rankings differed only in which version
of Condorcet's method they ranked over the other..."

[The people who cast those 2 votes would be named, & their
rankings would be included in the report]

[Then would follow a definition of the Condorcet choice rule,
as proposed in this list, and a definition of Smith//Condorcet,
with wording that clarifies the difference between plain Condorcet
& Smith//Condorcet. Steve & I would add brief statements for why
we favored one version over the other. It's just the old 
simplicity vs merit issue. None would deny that Smith//Condorcet
is the better of the 2 versions. Statements about why Condorcet
was ranked over the other methods could of course be added here
too, but it seems better to save that for the narrative report(s)
that would be sent to ER after the vote report.]

I've used the term "narrative report", instead of "FAQ", because
a FAQ sounds awfully general in its coverage. The members of ER
were clear about not wanting discussion about comparison of
methods. I propose that there be a narrative report from each
person who wants to write one, a statement of standardsd
&/or criteria by which that person judges methods, and a statement
of how the methods do by those standards &/or criteria, leading
to that individual's recommendation.

In addition to these individual reports, there could also be
a "consensus report", a statement that wouldn't be objected to
by any member of the SW Committee (which includes those who
have declared that they joined SWC, and anyone in EM who is
discussing SW methods). I don't know what such a consensus
report could say, but it seems reasonable to include one, if
one can be written & not oppposed by anyone.

Individuals who sent to ER their own reports would also have
reason to add, afterward, a more general discussion, to cover
the rival methods that have been or will be proposed, and to
answer criteria & arguments that could be used, and which weren't
mentioned in that person's concise report.

So a person might want to write a concise report, briefly stating
criteria &/or standards, and what methods meet those standards,
and the resulting recommendation(s). And then afterwards a person
might want to write a more general-coverage discussion, covering
other methods, arguments & criteria, for the purpose of answering
future objections & arguments in advance--so these answers will
be available to ER members.

(My www article is close to what my general-coverage discussion
will be).


So those are my suggestions about how to carry out the SWC agenda.




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