[EM] utility - some agreement at last...

Rob Lanphier robla at robla.net
Thu Sep 1 17:57:09 PDT 2005

On Thu, 2005-09-01 at 17:08 -0400, Warren Smith wrote:
> >robla: The problem with placing paramount importance on "utility" in voting
> methods is not that it doesn't exist, it's that there's no systematic,
> fair way of measuring utility.
> --WDS:  EXACTLY!!!!  GOOD!!!

Warren, we don't agree.  I said there is NO systematic, fair way of
measuring utility.  I didn't say it's hard, I said it's impossible.
Ergo, for purposes of studying electoral systems, it might as well not

Using Bayesian regret on numeric utilities is begging the question.  By
stating utility as a numeric range, you're using Range-style metric.
It's not entirely surprising that Range Voting does well measured in its
own terms.

> However, Heitzig has repeatedly and clearly stated that it 
> "does not exist."
> I have repeatedly stated that it does exist, it is just hard to measure
> and hard to get people to tell it to you honestly.

Could you cite an example you're referring to?  I'd like to read this in
context, and I'm not finding a good reference.  A pointer to one of the
archives is sufficient.


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