[EM] Usage: "Consensus", "Sincere"
kislanko at airmail.net
Fri Sep 9 19:46:06 PDT 2005
These are just some thoughts I had as I have been reading recent posts.
Apologies if they are of no value...
Regarding formal usage of "consensus", there is a significant mini-industry
in US commerce built around consulting on how to "facilitate" meetings and
the instructions facilitators give include a possibly useful notion of
"consensus." They are quite specific that consensus is NOT the same as
"majority vote". Rather, consensus is achieved when "almost all" of a group
considering an issue finds a resolution that each member "can live with." It
seems to me that in formal sense that means in EM terms "consensus" is more
about minimizing regret regarding an outcome than on maximizing "having our
way". (Someone else will have to formalize the notion, but I can give
On the use of the term "sincere", we had a discussion about that awhile
back. I still consider it an unfortunate term, because sincerity is normally
an attribute of voters, not methods. As a distinction between my ballot in a
strategy-immune method (which I think is what is meant) and my ballot in a
method that requires or permits strategies that make the outcome less "pure"
in some way it isn't very helpful, because I can vote differently and still
accomplish my "sincere" objective. The word "sincere", though, switches us
English-as-primary-language thinkers into "analyzing voter behaviour" mode
instead of "analyzing method" mode. So here I'd recommend when we're talking
about methods we use "true preferences" to indicate a ballot the voter would
use if no strategies were available. The opposite - a "false ballot" might
be needed in some methods to achive one's sincerely-desired result.
Sorry if that's more confusing than the previous discussions....
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