[EM] Being unfair at the very first step: issues for Jobst Heitzig

Diana Galletly dag1000 at eng.cam.ac.uk
Sun Nov 28 09:39:34 PST 2004

On Mon, 29 Nov 2004, Craig Carey wrote:

> These are the facts:
> (1) you referred persons at Cambridge, to an article of Mr Shulze
>   that wrongly claimed that his method got a pass under the test of
>    monotonicity instead of fail.
> (2) These people at Cambridge university might soak up the incorrect
>   idea. I guess not, but it did that you could return and trash and
>   retract your previous view.
> Should people at Cambridge be misled (e.g. Ross Anderson) ?.

Alright, I previously (gallantly) declined to state what were the four
errors you made in your first two paragraphs.  However, since you
persist in this erroneous belief that cam.misc is a Cambridge University
newsgroup, I shall inform you that it is not.  Cambridge University
newsgroups are not accessible (much) beyond the boundaries of the University;
but in any case they are ucam.*, not cam.*.  cam.* is for the wider population
of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire.

Ross Anderson does not, as far as I am aware, read cam.misc; he is also
perfectly capable of making his own mind up as to what he considers sensible
(and indeed he has, to the best of my knowledge).

> Also I say that Mr Schulze should discard all tests and method
> checking ideals/rules that are not multiwinner.

Why?  Different methods can be used for different purposes -- does one
seek a consensus opinion (voting on a proposal), does one wish to represent
a wide spectrum of views (many places in an election), does one wish for
popular leadership (chairman of a committee)?  Why should all situations
be counted the same?  So long as the voting papers are the same, and the
voters can comprehend what it is they have to do to express their feelings
meaningfully, what does it matter if different voting systems are used in
different circumstances?  The acid test is what one is attempting to

> >> Also, suppose that the ballot papers are all these papers:
> >>
> >>     a0 * (A)  +
> >>     ab * (AB) +
> >>     ac * (AC) +
> >>     and other papers.
> >>
> >> Then increasing the "ab" Real number will tend to cause B to lose
> >> since appearing with a positive weight in the Heitzig-ian "A over B"
> >> total.
> >
> >And as far as I can see it's total rubbish, because increasing *any*
> >of a0, ab, ac etc. is going to cause an increase in the "A over B" total.
> >
> Which will tend to harm candidate B and hence the entire method could
> not possibly get through a fairness checkup. We have finished here, and
> Mr G-A's method is failed. Perhaps you can produce an argument that
> is more persuasive than repeating my true claim.

Why is this unfair?  Those who vote solely for A prefer A to B.  Those who
vote for A and B only (in that order) prefer A to B.  Those who vote for
A and C only prefer both of them to B.  This is, one assumes, the voters'
prerogative -- that they might be able to express their own preferences as
they wish!

You may have a point -- but if you do, I cannot discern it.  Perhaps you would
like to elucidate?

> What is your secret ?;. Writing to me through a mailing list whilst
> ignoring the whole topic of getting inevitably failed during the
> design step ?.

I have no secrets, at least where voting methods are concerned.  I
write to you because I sense that underneath all the invective and
tortured sentences you might perhaps have some insight that it would
be worth taking on board; unfortunately you totally fail to present it
in a fashion that is understandable by others.

You seem so concerned by your belief that others do not do research
(whereas you presumably do?); unfortunately one of the realities in
getting funding to do research (at least, here in the UK) is that one
be able to present one's results in a form that is easily comprehensible
by others and thus will contribute to the general public understanding.
You would fail this hurdle; and I find that a shame.

> You tell us what makes you believe that getting a pass under the rule
> results from making no attempt to achieve that.

I'll spend a bit of time attempting to infer what you might have meant
with your recent flurry of posts before attempting to answer that (or
indeed the other questions around the issue).  I'm starting to wonder
what definition of monotonicity you might be using.

> >I will concede that Condorcet fails participation, which I consider to
> >be almost as serious as failing monotonicity, in that statements of the
> >form "any later choices you make cannot harm earlier ones" should not
> >be made, and voters tend to like such assurances.
> I don't know where participation is defined. But the best plan is to
> fully ignore the idea.

Which idea?  Participation criterion?  Condorcet methods?  Giving the
voters any form of assurance?

> It would have to be rejected anyway since it is not a multiwinner.

See above.  I don't buy into this "one size fits all" state.  I'm
quite happy with STV for multi-winner cases, by the way.  It's the
single-winner case that concerns me particularly; and perhaps that's
because it's very much an edge case that really does have the possibility
of exposing the worst flaws of a method.  It also concerns me because I
seriously believe it can cause "wrong" results.

> You produced that theory in an earlier e-mail. You can add details to your
> irrelevant topic of me being irrelevant, in your next e-mail, if you
> feel like it.

It's not really irrelevant; if you want people to take your posts seriously
you might care not to insult them for things which bear no relation to any
subject under discussion.

> Ms Galletly didn't agree that a retraction was needed.

Dr Galletly would be happier if Mr/Dr/Professor/Rev/Lord/Duke/Sir Craig
Carey referred to her (if he has to refer to her at all) using her correct

> I find this really intersting: Ms Galletly is ploying through with the
> cutting edge being personal beliefs or opinions. If conflicting
> personal beliefs are held then it could be even more interesting to
> get to see the balance of pressures without the curve-free logic that
> perfectly pervades out topic here.

Actually, all I'm saying is that if you have any hope of people taking your
views seriously, you have to have a reputation of credibility.  This is
reality; this is academia as it is in the 21st century.  If you don't like
that, that's your choice; but if people don't respond to you, you might want
to consider the possibility that they no longer read your posts because
a) you've insulted them in the past; or b) they think you're a crackpot.

Just a thought, and I don't hold anything against you personally!


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