We will deliver no mail before its time

Rob Lanphier robla at eskimo.com
Sat Nov 30 11:12:40 PST 1996

On Sat, 30 Nov 1996 donald at mich.com wrote:
> First let me say about Mike: "Me thinks he protests too much". I compose
> one line about preferences and Mike goes ballistic. Preferences must be a
> chink in Condorcet's armor.

Let me say this to both sides of this argument as the list moderator. 
Prolific writing does not win arguments.  I'm not threatening to kick
anyone off the list here, but I think you would both do yourselves a favor
by taking a step or two back, cool off, and then figure out ways of making
your arguments more concise.

> Second: Mike must realize that I am not a member of The House of Condorcet
> - I cannot be expected to ape the Condorcet party line. I did qualify the
> one line as being from Run-off. In Run-off we will use no preference before
> its time - this is not a joke - it is reality.

This is a faulty truism, if you ask me.  Out-quipping your opponent
doesn't count for squat, either.

> The pairwise people seem to be addicted to preferences. They must have them
> right away - they must have them all - and when they do get them they do
> weird things with them that abuse the candidates and in turn the people who
> voted for the candidates.
> Preferences are a sore spot with pairwise people. When it is claimed that
> they are doing something improper with the preferences that is the same as
> sticking them with a ice pick - Mike is squealing like a stuck pig.

Mike is trying to get you to actually justify your assertion.  Your
argument, when disassembled, seems to go like this:

Me                                Them
Bald assertion --------->
               <-------- Exasperated Explanation
Observe frustration ------->

Because "they" are frustrated, it must mean that "I" am winning.  Please
stop to consider that the other side might actually be trying to make a
valid point, and that they could be frustrated simply because appeals to
logic don't seem to make a dent.

> We run-off people go by a rule. You could call it The Abused Contender
> Rule. Which states that votes are not to be taken away from a candidate
> while that candidate is still a contender - the votes are not even to be
> taken away temporality. A candidate is no longer a contender when he
> becomes last in the vote tally - but if he is not last he is still a
> contender. When a candidate is no longer a contender he is dropped and his
> votes go to the next preference of the voters but not before - we use no
> preference until its time. Condorcet violates this rule.

Oh, my diagram forgot to include a line back to "bald assertion" to
complete the endless loop.

> My vision of future single seat elections contains no primary. Which would
> mean that there could be eight candidates running for governor of a state.
> Think of the abuse this is going to expose with the pairings. In most if
> not all the pairs the six candidates dropped will have together a majority
> of the votes. This majority bloc of votes will be taken away from
> contending candidates and given to two candidates that only have a small
> minority of the votes to start with - this will take place with most of the
> pairs - this is improper use of preferences - the voters deserve better.

Please come up with a specific set of preferences where this would be a
problem.  This example is *way* *too* *vague* to be useful.

> Again with his talk about dropping me from this list. This must be the
> fourth time (five - but who's counting). Mike's in rare form today.
>        "You'll miss me when I'm gone" (from a song)
>        "..you won't have me to kick around anymore" (famous farewell quote)
> I am going on record with the following statement:
> "In spite of Mike's rudness, he should NOT be dropped from this list" (He
> is our big frog in our small pond).

Yes, I would agree.  Mike, you may simply ignore Donald.  I think you've
done a fine job of making your point, and nothing seems to be getting
through to him.  Let it lie.  Donald is but one person in the sea of
people that don't seem to understand Condorcet.

Donald, I challenge you to come up with a compelling enough argument to
make yourself "dangerous" to the Condorcet crowd.  This would be a
well-laid out argument with specific examples of elections that could go
sour.  I will heartily encourage anyone else on this list to respond to
such a post.  Until that time, I'll probably advise people to ignore you,
though I won't kick you off. 

I don't have a stated policy for what it would take for me to kick someone
off of the list.  Generally speaking, if you stay roughly on topic, don't
do anything illegal, and don't harass anyone too badly, I'll let you be. I
do get touchy when certain folks talk about kicking others off of the
list, because I think that falls under the catagory of "harassment", and
it sends the debate into a downward spiral of personal attacks.

This policy could change, especially if it results in attracting nothing
but prolific drizzle from uninteresting people.  At that point, I would
need to choose between shutting the list down (since it would no longer
accomplish what I'd hoped it would), or kicking off a bunch of people with
nothing to contribute but copious verbage.

My apologies if I don't reply to responses.  I'm taking time out of work
to write this, and I still have lots of work to do as of late.  I'll be
happy to participate in a debate when my work load dies down a bit.


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