[EM] Quitting list after a few final replies. Reply to Martin.

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 1 18:16:42 PDT 2001

The reason why I mention that I'm quitting the list is so that
my final replies won't be regarded as part of an ongoing nuisance.
For one thing, I'm replying to messages that were posted weeks or
even months ago, and so my replies might be regarded as off-topic
now, since they're on topics that haven't been discussed for some time.

Also, none of the people who post daily or almost daily are interested
in the criteria or standards that I discuss. So the makeup of the
current group of frequent posters is such that anything I post is
irrelevant to that group and their discussions. Still, I of course
deserve the opportunity to reply to anything about me or my criteria,
and there are a few messages that I intend to reply to.

Again, I mentioned that I'm sending these replies and then leaving
the list so that my replies will be more likely to be read than they
would be if they were regarded as an ongoing off-topic nuisance.

Forrest made a good comment about nitpicking. One form of nitpicking
is the devising of unproposable methods in an attempt to find fault
with criteria. Martin attempts that technique in the message that
I'm replying to here:

Martin wrote:


>With wv methods, a group consisting of a majority of all the voters
>can ensure that a lesser-evil (B) won't win, without applying any
>strategy whatsoever, without doing other than sincerely ranking
>all the candidates, provided that they prefer the sincere CW to B,
>and that falsification doesn't occur on a scale sufficient to change
>the election outcome.

"and that falsification doesn't occur on a scale sufficient to change
the election outcome"

I'm not convinced this is a useful change...

I reply:

It isn't a change. I'm not changing the criteria. I merely point out
that if falsification doesn't occur on a scale sufficient to change
the outcome, it's the same as if it didn't occur at all.

Martin continues:

in fact, it seems like a
tautology, unless I misunderstand it.

I reply:

Sure, as I said, if falsification occurs on a scale insufficient to
change the outcome, then it's the same as if it didn't occur. But
it's still useful to mention it that way sometimes, because
some falsification might happen in public elections, but it's
very unlikely that it will happen on a scale sufficient to change the

Martin continues:

It seems that it would be true if
even a single falsified vote causes SFC to fail, and it would be true if
no matter how many falsified votes there are, SFC won't fail.

I reply:

True, but irrelevant. Look, Martin, this isn't complicated.
What I'm saying is that, provided that SFC's other modest
premise requirements are met, only falisification can make candidate
B win.

You say that's meaningless. I don't agree. I claim that SFC & GSFC
say something useful & important about complying methods.

Martin continues:

Example of former: the method which discovers the sincere CW from an
oracle, and elects the sincere CW provided that nobody falsifies, and
otherwise elects the devil as a punishment.

I reply:

When Martin needs oracles who can detect one falsification and act
on it, then that should suggest that Martin is desperately reaching
in his attempt to criticize the SFC.

With any actual proposable method, in a public election, it takes
lots of people falsifying before falsifiction can change the outcome.
In a committee it takes a significant percentage of the voters, but
of course one voter can be a significant percentage of the voters in
a small committee.

Look how far Martin bends over backwards in search of a method
with which to criticize SFC. Compare that to Blake's Condorcet Criterion
definition, which Blake says can't be applied to the common and
popular methods Plurality & Approval.

In the film _How I Won the War_, a squad of desert troops are standing
for insepection, and the one of them is in a polkadot clown suit,
and painted all over with colored paint. The officer walks by him,
and then tells the next soldier "You don't have your collar stays!
You're out of uniform!"

Martin's bizarre and desperate attempts to criticize our criteria
by devising unproposable methods, while Blake's criteria can't
be applied even to Approval and Plurality, two quite popular methods--
That's similar to that film scene.

Martin continues:

Example of latter: the method which ignores the votes as voted, and just
elects the sincere CW.

I reply:

Fine. I have no objection to that method, but I'm not quite sure how
your method would determine the sincere CW. Your oracle again?
In real life of course it isn't really feasible to ignore the votes.

Martin needs to heed Forest's suggestion abaut nitpicking. Especially
since Martin's nits are imaginary.

Mike Ossipoff

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