[EM] [CES #4445] Re: Looking at Condorcet

Andy Jennings elections at jenningsstory.com
Sat Feb 4 12:15:32 PST 2012

On Sat, Feb 4, 2012 at 10:14 AM, robert bristow-johnson <
rbj at audioimagination.com> wrote:

> On 2/4/12 4:12 AM, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:
>> On 02/04/2012 06:47 AM, robert bristow-johnson wrote:
>>  On 2/3/12 11:06 PM, Jameson Quinn wrote:
>>>  No, he's saying that when the CW and the true, honest utility winner
>>>> differ, the latter is better. I agree, but it's not an argument worth
>>>> making, because most people who don't already agree will think it's a
>>>> stupid one.
>>> as do i. it's like saying that the Pope ain't sufficiently Catholic or
>>> something like that. or that someone is better at being Woody Allen than
>>> Woody Allen.
>>> but for the moment, would you (Jameson, Clay, whoever) tell me, in as
>>> clear (without unnecessary nor undefined jargon) and technical language
>>> as possible, what/who the "true, honest utility winner" is? how is this
>>> candidate defined, in terms the preference of the voters?
>> Utilitarianism is a form of ethics that proposes that the actions to be
>> taken are the ones that produces the greatest good for the greatest number.
> thank you.  i *did* know what Utilitarianism is and suspected that the
> term "utility" referred to that.  and i understand the different norms for
> combining the individual utility measures to get an aggregate measure of
> utility to the group.  the "taxicab norm" and the minmax (more like the
> maxmin) norm was brought up.  no one seemed to mention the Euclidian norm.
> i would say that the most fair combination is the mean magnitude (taxicab)
> because it weights every voter's franchise equally.  but what is left
> unanswered is how the measure of utility for each voter is defined.  we can
> say that, for each voter that voted for the eventual winner as their 1st
> choice (or most highly scored), their measure of utility is "1".  but what
> measure of utility do you assign to voters that did not get their 1st
> choice?  that is not well defined.  given Abd's example:
>  2: Pepperoni (0.61), Cheese (0.5), Mushroom (0.4)
>> 1: Cheese (0.8), Mushroom (0.7), Pepperoni (0)
> who says that for that 1 voter that the utility of Cheese is 0.8?  how is
> that function defined in the "proof" that Clay repeatedly refers to where
> "it's a mathematically proven fact that Score does a better job picking the
> Condorcet winner than does Condorcet"?  it's such a subjective thing and it
> can be defined in so many ways that i am dubious of any tight mathematical
> "proof" that is based on that.  it's not subject defining the boundaries.
>  if you get exactly what you want, the utility metric is 1.  if you get
> *nothing* of what you want, the utility is 0 (i.e. that pizza voter on the
> bottom may be a vegetarian and would not be eating pizza at all, if they
> got Pepperoni).  there's a whole range of quantity that goes in between
> that is not objectively defined.
> so, i have a few questions for everyone here:
>    1.  do we all agree that every voter's franchise is precisely equal?
>    2.  if each voter's franchise is equal, should we expect any voter
>        that has an opinion regarding the candidates/choices to
>        voluntarily dilute the weight or effectiveness of their vote,
>        even if their preference is weak?

I suppose you think this has an obvious answer of "no".  But why not let a
voter dilute the weight of their vote, if it's their choice?

Some friends and I were deciding where to go for lunch the other day.
 Three of us said, "I'd prefer pizza to burgers but I could go for either."
 One said, "I got food poisoning last time I ate at that pizza joint and I
don't think I can do it today."  So we went for burgers and we were all
good with it.

Obviously, the higher the stakes, the less likely it is that people will
voluntarily dilute their vote, but there are many votes, decisions, and
elections, that are not bitter or partisan and would benefit from people
voluntarily diluting their vote.  I can imagine some people even in a
Presidential election choosing to do it, which is fine with me as long as
it's their choice.

~ Andy
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