[EM] Saddam Declares Victory!

Russ Paielli 6049awj02 at sneakemail.com
Wed May 11 19:26:02 PDT 2005

Well, if Saddam Hussein could declare victory after the 1991 Gulf War, I 
suppose Mike can declare victory here.

Let me recap what has transpired on this thread of discussion. I promise 
I won't use any profanity and I won't call Mike any names.

Mike posted a message in reply to James in which he stated, as he has 
many times, that a proper definition of the Condorcet criterion should 
be based on preferences rather than actual votes. I then replied, 
without any personal insults, to the contrary:


Mike then replied to me with another of his typical personally insulting 
posts, including this little gem:

"I told James that replying to him is like being a highschool teacher in
highschool for problem students. But replying to Russ isn't like that.
Replying to Russ is more like trying to talk with a babbling, drooling
person whose meaning can't even be determined."

I then found what is perhaps the original definition of the Condorcet 
criterion by Kenneth Arrow, who won a Nobel Prize for his work. Arrow's 
definition of the CC was, "that a candidate who receives a majority as 
against each other candidate should be elected." It said nothing about 
preferences, so it clearly agreed with my position and disagreed with 
Mike's (arrogantly and rudely asserted) position.

Rather than gracefully admit his error, Mike now has the audacity to 
lump Arrow in with all the sloppy "academics" whose attention he has 
been unable get all these years. But at least he is apparently no longer 
trying to change the definition of the CC by fiat, so perhaps grudging 
progress is being made with Mike. I noticed that he is now referring to 
his version of CC as "preference CC" or "pCC." That's progress, I suppose.

I have some more comments below, because I'm not going to let Mike get 
away with his multitude of distortions that follow. Of course, I won't 
have time to reply to all of Mike's distortions and lies, because I have 
a regular job.

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp-at-hotmail.com |EMlist| wrote:
> Before I start, let me say that I resent some people's implication that 
> there's no significant difference between me and Russ, as regards 
> behavioral level, off-topicness, and negative worth.

Oh, you resent it, do you Mike? Amazing!

> Yes, I've sometimes rubbed people's nose in it, but only as a last 
> resort. I try to make a "measured response", starting out very polite, 
> and then, after a certain amount of arrogant, ill-mannered repetition, I 
> mildly rebuke the person. Have you heard about those alarm-clocks that 
> get louder gradually when you don't wake up?


> I do that because, as Russ says, EM is apparently "The Wild West".  
> (Russ then proves it by postsing messages consisting of nothing but 
> personal attack, and always getting away with it). In the Old West, you 
> had to take the law into your own hands. If you want the guideliness 
> enforced, you enforce them yourself. That's what I try to do when I 
> start rubbing someone's nose in it. It's done with a positive intention, 
> a good purpose.  Don't interpret it negatively.

Oh, no, of course not. How could anyone have a "negative" interpretation 
of being called an idiot, an imbecile, or stupid? We understand you only 
mean well, Mike.

> Now, back on topic:
> Summary--Unstated CC assumptions:
> Russ says that the academic voting system authors intend something that 
> they don't say--that they aren't saying what they intend. Russ says that 
> as if he thinks that it contradicts something that I've said. Actually 
> it's something that I've been saying for years, and have said a few 
> times since Russ has been on the list: Most voting system academics do a 
> very poor job of saying what they mean. That isn't a new discovery of 
> yours, Russ.

In other words, Mike doesn't consider Kenneth Arrow to be in his league.

> But Russ has appointed himself to speak for those who don't say what 
> they mean, by reading into what they say things that the rest of us 
> don't find. Presumably by using ESP to determine what an author means 
> when he defines a votes-only CC.
> I'll get to that in a minute, but, first, contrary to what Russ seems to 
> think, not all academic authors write definitions votes-only. Some have 

I never said anything about "all academic authors." How the hell could I 
possibly know what "all academic authors" write?

> defined CC in terms of preference, but without stipulating how 
> preference constrains voting, resulting in unmeetable criteria. My 
> preference criteria differ from those in having that stipulation. So, 
> before anyone says there's no precedent for preference criteria, I 
> remind them that there are such criteria, poorly and sloppily defined 
> though they are. So preference criteria aren't really a new and 
> heretical thing. It's just that mine don't share the ridiculous fault of 
> previous ones.

A red herring. I never said that "preference-based" criteria are 
"heretical" or anything like it. They are what they are.

> My point in starting that paragraph was that Russ mis-spoke when he told 
> us that the academics only write votes-only CC.

I never said that. It's another of Mike's lies or convenient "mistakes," 
but who's counting?

> Now, about the ESP. If someone writes a votes-only CC, having an 
> unstated intention that will keep nonrank methods from passing, here are 
> two completely different possibilities:

> 1. He intends, but doesn't state, that the criterion doesn't apply to 
> nonrank methods.
> 2. He intends, but doesn't state, that nonrank methods fail the 
> criterion by fiat.
> This is where Russ's ESP comes in, because he thereby has determined 
> that it's always #2.
> But is it? One way we can judge that is by counting the voCC definitions 
> that explicitlylsay which their intention is.
> Well, Russ recently posted Blake's voCC (votes-only CC) definition. Why, 
> I don't know, because it doesn't support his claim. Blake said 
> "Application: Rank-Balloting".

That's right, Mike. CC applies only to ordinal voting systems. In other 
words, a voting system must be ordinal to pass CC. Oh wait, isn't that 
just another way of saying that ordinal voting is a *requirement* of CC? 
This isn't rocket science, folks.

> Now, "Application: Rank Balloting" isn't the same as "Requirement: 
> Rank-balloting". Russ, you won't understand that, so just take my word 

Yes it is.

> for it. If Blake had said that rank balloting was a requirement of his 
> voCC, that would mean that nonrank methods fail. But when Blake says 
> that rank balloting is the application of his voCC, that means that his 
> voCC doesn't apply to nonrank methods. This will be obvious to most of 
> you, but Russ can take my word for it.

This is really just semantic quibbling, of course, which Mike spends a 
lot of time on. Suppose I define a "Harvard graduate criterion." If you 
never went to Harvard, you "fail" the criterion, of course. Does that 
mean that you "failed" the curriculum at Harvard? No. It just means that 
you fail the criterion. What Mike is doing is analogous to making a big 
deal of the semantic difference between "failing" at Harvard and simply 
"failing" to have a degree from Harvard. But as usual he is all wound up 
on semantic details that have zero practical significance.

> So Russ's own criterion example that he posted, Blake's voCC, 
> contradicts Russ's claim. If the people who don't state their intention 
> share Blake's intention, then their intention is that voCC doesn't apply 
> to rank methods. Russ, that is _not_ the same as saying that nonrank 
> methods fail the criterion. I spell that out like that because you've 
> previously indicated that you don't understand that distinction.

No, I understand it completely, but it's what is known as "a distinction 
without a difference." Ever heard that expression?

> Do some authors intend, without stating it, that nonrank methods by fiat 
> fail their voCC? Probably some do. Many or most, in fact. But we can't 

Where does the word "fiat" come in? Mike is the one who tried to change 
the CC by fiat to something that its Nobel Prize winning originator 
never intended. No, it's not by "fiat," Mike, it's by *definition*.

> tell that from what they say. Unless we have ESP as Russ does. If we go 
> by what some voCC definers actually say, then we have Blake's 
> definition, whose stated intention is that his voCC doesn't apply to 
> nonrank methods.
> Anyway, as I said, probably many authors intend for nonrank methods to 
> fail their voCC. But the evidence that I showed indicates that there's 
> no reason to be so sure that all of them do.
> Apparently ESP can be fallible.
> Russ again thinks that he's contradicting me when he says that the usual 
> intent of CC is that nonrank methods fail it. And again, that's 
> something that I've been saying for a long time. I've said it long 
> before Russ joined EM, and I've said it since Russ joined EM. I said it 
> a few days ago when tellling James that I defined my preference CC (pCC) 
> as I do so that it will comply with what I consider to be the intent of CC.

As I wrote earlier, I'm making some progress with Mike. At least he now 
seems to realize that he cannot just change the CC by fiat. He can 
define his own version, of course, but he needs to give it a different name.

> So though I question  Russ's way of arguing  for his claim, by finding 
> what isn't there, it's a claim that I've been making all along.
> But, somewhere along the line, somehow, in Russ's mind, the intent that 
> nonrank methods fail CC became the intent that nonrank methods fail CC 
> for no reason other than by definition (whether stated or not).

For someone who derides "ESP" so often, you seem to have an 
extraordinary insight into my "Russ's mind."

> So, by Russ's reasoning then, my pCC violates Russ's supposed intention 
> for CC, because, instead of saying that nonrank methods fail by fiat, 

There we go again. No, Mike, not by "fiat," but by *definition."

> those nonrank methods fail _on their own_, because of being nonrank 
> methods. They do that without my mentioning nonrank methods or rank 
> methods.
> The kind of criteria that Russ advocates say "Nonrank methods fail 
> because I say so." Somehow that isn't as convincing as having a 

No, not because "I" say so, Mike, but because common sense says so.

> _uniform_ test for all methods, which methods pass or fail, on their 
> own, not because Russ says so. Rank methods fail because of their 
> resulting deficiencies, not just because Russ says rank methods fail.
> With a pairwise-count method, if everyone does nothing other than vote 
> all of their preferences, requiring no strategic decisions, the CW wins. 
> But with a method that doesn't let you vote all of your preferences,  it 
> isn't so easy. Not being able to vote all of your preferences, you have 
> know which ones to vote at the expense of the others. That's the problem 
> with Approval and Plurality, and that's exactly why Approval and 
> Plurality fail pCC. You can vote your preferences to the extent allowed 
> by the method, but that isn't enough to elect the CW, even if everyone 
> does that. That's the problem with Plurality and Approval, and that's 
> why they fail pCC.
> Russ said:
> If a particular method is not ordinal, it fails the Condorcet Criterion 
> by definition. It's a no-brainer.
> I reply:
> Have people noticed that very often the conclusions that someone like 
> Russ refers to as a no-brainer are actually particularly stupid 
> conclusions?

Haven't noticed that, Mike. What I've noticed is that Kenneth Arrow 
obviously didn't think that plurality passes his CC. It's a no-brainer.

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