[Election-Methods] Simple two candidate election

Juho juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Dec 24 00:34:41 PST 2007

On Dec 24, 2007, at 1:16 , rob brown wrote:

> On Dec 23, 2007 2:00 PM, Juho <juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> Works with humans too. Three friends living in different places  
> might agree to meet at a place that has equal distance to all three  
> homes. Or they might select a place that minimizes the sum of the  
> distances (maybe they will share the travelling costs).
> What you are describing is very different from what happens with  
> eusocial animals.
> A situation where a small number of people can work things out, and  
> where reciprocity plays into it (i.e . "you got your way last  
> time", etc) is completely, totally different from the type of  
> situation where voting is needed, such as a large scale election  
> where most of the voters don't know one another.

I don't think be hives and human families are that different. Human  
families are smaller. Humans have "hives" of 50'000 individuals,  
called cities, and in such environment humans tend to become less co- 
operative and altruistic than bees, but that is only a difference in  
size. Bee hives have members that are not reproductive, which gives  
them more incentive to wok for the common interest. I didn't include  
the time component ("you got your way last time") in my examples.  
That component (proportionality in time) is obviously very weak among  
the bees.

Humans can also make "voting scale" decisions in bee/utility/rating  
style. For example http://www.imdb.com/ uses user ratings and they  
work ok. The key of course is to use such methods in areas that are  
not competitive. Polls are one type of (often) non-competitive  

I think the basic rules are the same but the scale and style are  

> What you describe isn't eusociality, which is the complete lack of  
> self interest found in animals that don't reproduce directly.  A  
> 100% rational, self-interested person may wish to allow someone  
> else to get their way when preference strengths differ, with the  
> expectation that it will be reciprocated when the preference  
> strengths are reversed.  But a large election has no mechanism for  
> reciprocity.

Ok, also reciprocity is a concept that bees probably don't use much  
(due to limited conceptual thinking capabilities).

The non-reproducing worker bees are probably not completely non- 
selfish. I'm sure they push the next worker bee aside when they want  
to perform some important task within the hive. We could also say  
that humans are non-selfish and their only task is to work for their  
genes and to pass them on to the next generations (pushing other  
human beings aside when doing so can be said to be just for the  
benefit of the genes). My examples are quite wide spread, but the  
idea is just to demonstrate that although bees have some special  
characteristics, that need not put them into some totally different  
behavioural category.

> I could imagine a voting system that might address this issue for  
> larger groups, but it isn't Range.

One could have elections that take into account e.g. proportionality  
in time (that could be called one kind of reciprocity) (favour a  
republican after a democrat, favour other pizzas after pepperoni).  
Range is useful in some cases too, e.g. in "poll like" elections.

> Parents could agree to watch a Disney movie with their child  
> although they might like a war movie more themselves.
> Parents and children are, from a Darwinian perspective pretty much  
> the  same as eusocial animals, motivation-wise.  The children's  
> interests are almost completely aligned with the interests of the  
> parents, since the children are the vector for the parents getting  
> their genes into future generations. In my view, all motivation can  
> be traced back to the attempt to get genes into future generations.

I wrote above "in favour of the genes", but I would say only that  
genes are one way to explain motivations and the way the world works,  
not necessarily the only correct one (maybe you didn't say so either).


> But in politics / competitive situations rules of course tend to be  
> different. And the election methods should be chosen accordingly.
> I'm with you there.
> ----
> Election-Methods mailing list - see http://electorama.com/em for  
> list info

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20071224/27f47ba1/attachment-0003.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list