Ideal (?) Gaussian Consensus

New Democracy donald at
Sun Apr 13 01:13:18 PDT 1997

Dear List members,

Mike Saari wrote:

>For a simple Gaussian distribution, clearly the "best" result is at the
>middle of the central peak, i.e. at the 50-percentile point. Surely we can
>all agree on this, right?

Donald writes: Wrong! Sorry Mike - but I do not agree. I do not accept this
habit that people have of placing candidates and people on a line - left to
right - and then saying that the central point is the consensus. That
candidate at the central point was placed there by whoever is constructing
the current example of a Gaussian curve. A curve by someone else will have
a different candidate at the central point - and who knows how that point
is calculated. Also that candidate at your central point may be a dork -
that is why he only received thirteen percent of the first count ballots -
why should I accept him as the candidate elect.

Mike wrote: > The most central point will definitely maximize
>the number of contented members and minimize the overall level of discontent
>- better than any solution to one side or another.

Donald writes: You can truthfully have a central point only if you deal
with some factor of the candidate that has a number - like say weight or
height or age or cholesterol count or alcohol content. Nothing else has a
number and therefore you cannot construct a Gaussian curve. No one has the
right to line up the candidates according to political theories and then
say that the central one should be elected. To put a number on a political
theory is subjective. The members of each theory can argue that they belong
at the 50-percentile point.

     Where the candidates lie on the line depends on defination - your
defination - you have defined their position. You have said that candidate
B should win by defination. Others will define some other candidate to win.


Donald Eric Davison of New Democracy at

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