[EM] D2MAC can be much more efficient than Range Voting (corrected)

Warren Smith wds at math.temple.edu
Thu Mar 8 14:11:03 PST 2007

> > > Recall that in D2MAC you specify a favourite and as many "also
> > approved"
> > > options as you want. Then two ballots are drawn and the winner is the
> > > most approved option amoung those that are approved on both ballots
> > > (if such an option exists), or else the favourite option of the first
> > > ballot.

Now, what does "most approved option" mean? Does it refer to the two 
ballots or to the entire election? I don't see where this was 
specified, nor did Warren state his objection explicitly. If he had written

"If A is the favorite on both drawn ballots, why would A not win?"

This would have exposed that he is thinking that the "most approved 
option" refers to the two ballots. I think it was intended to refer 
to the entire election. The other ballots are *not* moot.

Aha, that explains it.  The phrasing of the definition was
very poor since it can be parsed in several ways.
You have to try to define things in ways that can only be parsed in one
way.  It helps to use short sentences.  With long sentences you
start wondering which word pairs up with which antecedent.

But it was also my fault for just going with one possible interpretation.
One's mind tends to latch on to a parsing of a sentence.
Consider this (extremely bad) sentence:
"draw two ballots and pcik the candidate most approved among them."
What does that mean?  Well...  anybody writing a definition containing
such a sentence, deserves the consequences.

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