[EM] Completed comments on Abd's posting
nkklrp at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 23 22:51:08 PDT 2005
This message was accidentally posted about a half hour ago, before it was
completed. This is the completed message:
Ok, Abd ul isn't the correct abbreviation of that name. It was always
represented to me as a complete given-name, and so I had no reason to
The full given-name is too long for convenience.
I will abbreviate the name "A.U.R."
Essentially, he takes it all personally.
Oh, excuse me for taking it personally when A.U.R. says that what I said was
whiny, when I was only telling James how the poll could be done better, and
suggesting that we differently order the alternatives in the poll. If it had
been about something that someone else had said, then of course I shouldn't
take it personally.
And, at the same time, he's
quite free with his hostile criticism of others.
...when they say ridiculous things, especially about something that I've
It is a guaranteed formula
for trouble. Do unto others as you intensely dislike that they do unto
Want to know a formula for continued misconduct? Don't say anything about
So, Mr. Ossipoff was talking about election methods in his usual manner:
FBC isn't complicated:
It's been recently claimed here that FBC is too complicated for voters to
understand, or to understand the value of. That's absurd.
Which is, of course, provocative. So far, though, he has only called the
*claim* absurd. Though it is not an absurd claim. Someone familiar with
election methods is not in a position, particularly, to judge what will be
too complicated or not. A newcomer, for example, might have a better idea.
However, this claim was not mine.
"You have no need to vote someone over your favorite, and there is no
possible benefit from doing so."
...is not complicated. A.U.R. forgot to tell us which part of that he
No one uses the full precise wording of a criterion when talking to the
public. But it's available for anyone who wants the precision.
[material deleted which consisted of apparently reasonable but overstated
argument probably aimed at a straw man.]
[material deleted which consisted of the kind of reasonable argument that
should *not* be a problem.]
Those statements made by A.U.R. without any substantiation don't mean
anything. They only express A.U.R.'s unsupported opinion.
Reform isn't whiny:
I'd agree, though when I saw this I wondered what in the world Mr. Ossipoff
was talking about. And then:
So, A.U.R. wondered, and then he found out, as he tells below:
Abd ul said that it was whiny of me to suggest that it would be better if
James ordered the alternatives in his poll so as to list first the ones that
are favorite to someone, alternatives claimed by someone to be the best for
one or more kinds of electorate.
Now, my first reaction was quite simple. "Huh? I didn't say that!"
No one said that A.U.R. said that all reform proposals are whiny. But he did
say that a particular reform proposal was whiny. That proposal was nothing
other than a suggestion for how things could be done better, a calmly and
politely expressed reform suggestion. Of course it was also a suggestion
that we re-order or reduce the alternatives in the current poll, something
that I wanted to mention to James before doing on my own. Regardless of
whether the rule for wikis is that anyone can do anything to it, I felt that
it would be more polite and consisderate to mention the suggested
modifications to James. Not only is reform not whiny, but consideration
isn't whinly either.
Though A.U.R. hadn't said that all reform proposals are whiny, I said that
they are not, to correct his claim that my reform suggestion was whiny. For
mine to be whiny, there would have had to be some specific quality of it
that made it whiny when reform proposals in general are not whiny.
The best that A.U.R. could do was to say that my suggestion was unnecessary,
because I could have inconsiderately changed James' ballot without
consulting him. So A.U.R. claims that politely and considerately sugsgesting
a modification, instead of making the modification without mentioning it to
James first must be whiny, because I could have modified the ballot myself
without first mentiioning it.
it might surprise Mr. Ossipoff for him to learn that I generally presume
that there is some truth behind what people write. So I searched my mail
records. And I found what I had actually said. Mr. Ossipoff was not quoting
me. I did not say that Mr. Ossipoff was whiny. Rather, I said something
that he took personally. As they say, if the shoe fits, wear it.
A.U.R. hadn't said that I was whiny. I didn't say that A.U.R. said that I
was whiny. I said, correctly, that A.U.R. had said that something that I had
said was whiny.
And now A.U.R. is getting all whiny because I corrected that statement of
his. Dishonestly whiny even to the point of trying to back out of it by
denying that he said it.
case, it is possible that the shoe didn't fit, but he wore it anyway.
Not quite sure what that means. In what sense did I "wear" what A.U.R. said,
when I stated that what he said about my statement was incorrect?
A.U.R. is making a stupid, juvenile, whiny issue about an incorrect
statement that he's too dishonest to own-up to.
When I corrected his mis-statement that should have been the end of it, but
A.U.R. needed to try to deny it, and thereby makes an idiotic childish issue
It turns out that I did use the word "whiny." Here is what I wrote:
We are accustomed to complaining about things we don't like. Certainly
that's not always unreasonable, but when we can actually make the change
ourselves, it does become a little ... whiny? ... to complain about it.
No, it doesn't, if we're considerate enough to mention a proposed change to
someone else's poll, instead of just modifying it without telling or asking
If I had said something to or about A.U.R., then one might understand his
use of namecalling. But to butt into a discussion that doesn't involve him,
and carelessly slinging characterization is undesirable behavior on a
mailing list. Yes, A.U.R., you didn't say it about me, but only about
something that I had said. And then he makes it worse by whining because he
was called on it, and trying to whine his way out of it.
A.U.R. continues, quoting himself:
The state of nature is, in matters like this, disarray. Complaining about
the state of nature is like complaining about being born.
I'm sorry to say this, but that's idiocy. The order and number of the
alternatives in James' ballot is not immutabale like the laws of nature.
It's easily modifiable, and I was suggesting a modification for that poll,
and a different kind of ordering for subsequent polls.
I was not thinking of Mr. Ossipoff when I wrote this. Rather, someone had
suggested that the poll on the wiki would be better if ordered differently.
(From Mr. Ossipoff's comment above, I'd assume that it was, in fact, him.
Whether I noticed that it was him or not, the identity of the one making
the suggestion was not important to me. And I was not calling one making
such a suggestion, Ossipoff or not, "whiny." Rather, I was searching for a
word to describe the condition of a person who appears to be suggesting
that others do what he could do for himself.
Excuse me for saying it again, A.U.R., but you are an idiot. I carefully
explained that I wasn't asking James to do what I could do for myself.
Because it was James' poll, I chose the considerate course of first
mentioning the proposed ballot-modification to James, rather than modifying
it without asking or telling him.
Abd ul said that it was unnecessary for me to say that, because I could
have just moved my favorite alternative(s) to an earlier place in the list.
And, again, I did not say that. I said something *different*. I made a
general comment about wikis and how users can take responsibility for pages
on wikis. It's actually a pretty standard comment.
Actually no, that's incorrect. A.U.R. suggested that it was whiny to suggest
a different ballot-order, because anyone could modify it on their own. That
wasn't a general comment about wikis. It was a specific comment about that
particular suggested ballot-modification.
Note that Mr. Ossipoff has imagined that I said something
You said it, stupid. Check the archives.
1. Several people had already voted. Unless they're going to re-vote,
moving MMPOpt up in the ballot wouldn't have any effect on those people's
votes, unless I likewise modified their votes.
That might seem reasonable, but either the poll can be fixed or it cannot.
If it cannot, then what can we say about the utility of useless suggestions?
The ordering's effect on already-cast votes can't fixed, but it would still
be good to order the alternatives better, and probably to reduce their
number, for future votes in the poll. My comments were also intended as
suggestions for how to make ballots for future polls.
Neither of those purposes is "useless". What can we say about the utility of
A.U.R.'s useless waste of our time with this topic?
I have looked at the poll page, but I don't recall it in sufficient detail
to know for sure what the situation is. But if sequence is the only
problem, an editor could indeed change the sequence without changing
anyone's vote, by keeping the votes and categories together.
Oh thanks for explaining that. No doubt none of us here were aware that the
editor could change the text.
2. Saying that anyone can move their favorite up in the ballot is a
pretty silly solution, because say I felt that MMPOpt should be listed
first, but someone else felt that tCondorcet//Approval should be listed
This particular argument has already been addressed. If it matters to the
reader sufficiently that he or she is motivated to change it, then he or
she is free to change it.
As I'd already said, before A.U.R. repeated that, I wanted to mention the
change to James before changing it on my own. A.U.R. is one of those people
who keep repeating statements that have already been answered.
If someone else doesn't like it, that someone
else can change it back or to something new. If a tussle develops, a
That would be a stupid way to do it: To change it without discussion, and
have a tussle and a "revision-war". I preferred to suggest the changes
, there are ways to find consensus.
...like discussing it? Hello-o-o-o, that's what I was doing.
In this case, an obvious
solution would be to have more than one poll. You do it your way, I do it
mine, and voters can vote in either or both.
Wouldn't that be rather stupid? A proliferation of polls differing in
various details, where one poll would suffice?
Or neither. Or start their
You already said that.
Being able to move one's favorite to 1st place doesn't avoid the question
of how the alternatives should be ordered. That should be obvious, and must
be obvious to most everyone.
Because it is so obvious, Mr. Ossipoff should reasonably assume that it is
also obvious to me
Sure, until you prove that it isn't obvious to you, by what you say.
and to everyone else. It is. It is a reasonable
question, and it can and perhaps should be discussed on its own. However,
if we discuss every possible question, we won't get to the answers.
We won't get the answer to any question unless we discuss it. Did I discuss
every possible question, or just a few?
But we won't get to any answers by this kind of blather diarhea that A.U.R.
is exhibiting here. Look at the length of his posting, most of which is to
defend or deny his statement about "whiny".
.It is not necessary to discuss everything.
But it's more polite and considerate to mention changes in someone else's
poll before modifying the poll without their knowledge. But maybe
"considerate and polite" is something that A.U.R. wouldn't know about.
If opposition to a change is expected, it may
reasonable to discuss it first
Oh thank you thank you!
, but it is not required.
But is it ok with A.U.R. if I discussed a change before making the change on
3. It's James' poll, and James' ballot. It's far from obvious that I have
a right to change James' ballot without bring the matter up with James. Hey,
guess what, that's what I was doing, when I suggested the improvements.
I suppose that to a wiki newbie it might not be obvious. It's also obvious
that Mr. Ossipoff has the right to bring it up with the original author.
Again, thank you thank you! But not only did I have the right to bring it up
before modifying it myself, because it was more polite, but A.U.R. makes an
ass of himself when he whines about the fact that I did so. Apparently not
content to make an ass of himself only once, he continues doing so.
However, complaining about what someone else has done
when the deed cannot be rectified would be ... whiny? Yes. Right word.
The deed can be rectified, stupid, by re-ordering the ballot. At the time
that I made the suggestion, of course I had no idea how much of a whiny big
issue A.U.R. would want to make it into.
Sure, the already-casts votes can't be "rectified", but my comments
suggestions were that we change the ballot-ordering for subsequent votes,
and that future polls have better ballot-ordering, and fewer alternatives to
5. It's a bit bizarre to encounter someone who thinks that it's whiny to
suggest a better way that something could be done.
Depends, doesn't it? Depends on whether the person is whining or not.
...but A.U.R.'s claim that what I said was "whiny" was based on the fact
that I'd suggested a change to the ballot. As I said, suggesting a way to do
something better is not whining or whiny.
Not even if I could have made the modifications myself, but instead chose to
first mention them to the person doing the poll. He'd said that the
suggestion, of itself, was whiny.
So his statement quoted above is another indication that A.U.R. doesn't know
what he's saying.
child is given something, and she says that there is something wrong with
it, usually this would be called "whining."
Maybe it's your culture. In our part of the world, Abdul, we don't believe
that we have to accept without comment every proposal or rule that is "given
to us". I used the terms ignorant and backward to describe you, and you give
me no reason to take that back. Ignorant and backward you are.
To a normal person, a suggestion for improvement wouldn't be called
"whining". If we didn't suggest improvements, maybe we, like you, would
still be sentencing rape victims to death by stoning, or forcing them to
marry their rapists, or performing amputations on alleged shoplifters,
making women cover their hair, and sometimes their faces, making women walk
behind their husband, denying women the right to leave their house alone,
etc. In short, Abdul, maybe we'd have as barbaric a legal system as you do,
if we were as inclined as you are to accept what we are "given" without
Not only would I not reside in a country like that, I wouldn't even visit
Returning to the ballot-modification:
If I'd suggested the modifications in an angry or insulting way, then Abdul
might be justified in criticizing the suggestion or calling it whining.
Saying A.U.R. is too much trouble. I'll just say Abdul.
Was Mr. Ossipoff whining?
Again, I was not writing about him; apparently, though, he took it to refer
Actually I took it to refer to what I'd said. I made that clear, but
apparently it wasn't obvious enough for Abdul.
Indeed, I wrote further, in my post:
(This is not intended to criticize any individual, but to point out
something that I think important in considering political organization. The
usual problem is the non-existence of a desirable organization, and
complaining about that is tantamount to complaining about the state of
nature. Not terribly functional, unless it leads to organizing action. Which
it usually doesn't.)
The same astounding idiocy as before, comparing a modifiable ballot-ordering
to immutable natural law.
Now, Mr. Ossipoff thinks that I stupidly criticized his suggestion
More than that, you stupidly keep re-assering your initial stupid statement,
while alternately, in the same message, denying that you made the statement
that I referred to.
he thinks was merely helpful and intended to, perhaps, improve future polls
Abdul catches on fast. Yes, I made my suggestion to improve future polls,
and, also, to fix the current poll, with respect to votes not yet cast at
It would appear that he considers the proper response to
suggestions to be thoughtful consideration, and certainly not rude
criticism. Yet he did not respond to my suggestion in this way.
Your "suggestion", stupid, was a claim that it was whiny to suggest a better
way to order alternatives in a poll.
I"d previously said:
Abd ul said that it was whiny of me to suggest that it would be better if
James ordered the alternatives
This, on the face of it, is not a suggestion for the general improvement of
polls, but for something for James to do. "James, you should...."
Wrong. It was a suggestion for future polls, and for the improvement of the
existing poll. I didn't say that James himself should be the one to change
the ballot-placement of MMPOpt. At no time did I say that James, rather than
I, should make that change. I intend to move MMPOpt up to a position
directly below MMPO, but instead I"m replying to an idiot.
Mr. Ossipoff thinks that a poll could be better ordered, he *can* order it
How many times has Abdul repeated that? I've lost count. But the answer is
the same as it was the first time: I could have re-ordered the ballot
myself, but I wanted to consideratelly mention the modification first, to
the author of the poll.
I made that clear in the posting to whlich Abdul is replying. The fact that
it's necessary to explain it to Abdul again confirms my statement that Abdul
is an idiot.
, or he can create his own poll ordered according to his own lights,
or he can, indeed, discuss the question of order, for the general
enlightenment of all. But his own memory was that he was making a
suggestion to James.
I was making a suggestion to James because (amazing!) it was his poll. The
suggestion was not that James perform the work of moving MMPOpt in the
ballot. The suggestion was that ballots should be better-ordered. Both that
ballot, and ballots in future polls. But if I had only been suggesting
improvement in the current ballot, that wouldn't have been whiny. As I said,
I was making the suggestion to James out of considerateness, rather than
making the modifications without saying anything.
Abd ul's ignorant and backward reaction
to a suggestion for improvement probably explains why there are still
countries with legal systems so badly in need of reform.
Really? What exactly was my reaction? It was "If you think it is broken,
fix it!!" Not, "Complain until someone else fixes it!"
Stupid, I didn't say anything about who should "fix it" by moving MMPOpt up
in the ballot. I didn't say that James should have to perform that arduous
task himself. But I did suggest that ballots should be ordered differently,
and should be shorter.
But then, Abdul's ignorance and backwardness about suggestions for
improvement explains such questions as why there are still countries where a
wife is beheaded for refusing to accept her husband's authority.
No, the problem is
certain countries is that the vast majority of people sit around and
complain about the system, when they could fix it themselves. Come to
think, that's true here in the U.S.A.
Abdul is confused. If sufficiently many people wanted to "fix" the problems
here, there wouldn't be a probelm. Perhaps Abdul needs to be more concerned
about the other countries that I've referred to, and his attitude toward
improvement that explains the barbarity in those countries.
I'm beginning to think that if two or
three people who see the problem clearly started to work on it, it could be
fixed in fairly short order.
For many decades, maybe for centuries, thousands of people, maybe millions
of people, in this country have perceived the problem, but there's been
nothing that they could do about it. They try to reach other Americans, but
If anyone knows where these people are, I'd appreciate the information. I'd
like to help them if I can. Yes, I think I have an idea, but surely someone
else has done more work on it, someone else has a better idea. Of course,
if there is no better idea, then perhaps we need a few people to help *me*.
Direct Democracy with delegable proxy has been proposed for a long time. I
myself mentioned it on EM in 2002. James discussed it here later. It would
be very suprising if no one had proposed it before I or James did.
Countries, for instance, where the legal system calls for stoning to
death women whose only crime was to be a rape victim. Abd ul wouldn't object
(Mr. Ossipoff is demonstrating his ignorance, not only about Islamic law,
but also about me. Not that I think he cares, but if he were to google me
carefully enough, he'd find much more than "objection" to the situation
he's referring to. Which is not about Islamic law but about entrenched
ignorance and ... yes, stupidity. His comment is roughly the equivalent of
someone claiming that the U.S. legal system calls for the lynching of
blacks whose only crime was to have whistled at a white woman. And there
have been such lynchings -- though they were illegal
No, that girl in Nigeria recently was judicially sentenced to death by
stoning. That isn't like illegal lynchings. Yes, fortunately the sentence
wasn't carried out, was overturned.
-- whereas I'm not
aware of any examples *in recorded history* of what he claims is called for
actually being done, legally or otherwise.)
Does Abdul think that the other abuses that I've named in this posting and
the previous one haven't actually been carried out during modern times?
I intend to set a filter for Mr. Ossipoff, I'd rather not expose myself
routinely to the temptation to comment again on his writing
That's good news. An idiot considerate enough to quit commenting.
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