[EM] MJ SFR (preliminary). Score vs Approval, based on considerations discussed.

Michael Ossipoff email9648742 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 16:49:33 PDT 2012

>> Ok. I've heard the claim that MJ is ER-Bucklin. Maybe it's true.
> Here is where you go off track:
> I don't think this has ever been claimed, and certainly not by myself.

Fine. They aren't equivalent. Issue resolved, and subject closed.

>> But what would their equivalence (if valid)
> There is no equivalence.
>>  mean, in practical terms?
> Your question is meaningless, because they are not equivalent.

Ok then, since they aren't equivalent, then what would their
similarity, or their tendency to, in many cases, choose the same
candidate, mean, in practical terms.

>> There aren't many people advocating ER-Bucklin.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

No, I'm not using argumentum ad populum. But, you evidently were
trying to use it, when you tried to defend MJ by saying that, in many
cases, it chooses like ER-Bucklin. If someone wants to claim (but
maybe you weren't) that MJ is good because it emulates ER-Bucklin then
I claim that that claim would need at least one person (you) who
thinks that ER-Bucklin is good. Argumentum ad se? :-)  Of course you'd
have to then tell _why_ you think ER-Bucklin is good enough to make MJ
good, when MJ chooses like ER-Bucklin.

But it doesn't matter whether you defending MJ by implying that MJ is
good because it sometimes emulates ER-Bucklin and lots of people like
ER-Bucklin--or whether you're instead defending MJ by implying that MJ
is good because it sometimes emulates ER-Bucklin and ER-Bucklin is

If it's the latter, then it wouldn't be unfair for me to ask who
thinks that ER-Bucklin is good enough to make MJ good-by-association.
Not even you?

One would hope that, if you wanted to imply that MJ is good because it
sometimes chooses like ER-Bucklin, then you'd have some more
_objective_ way of telling why you think that ER-Bucklin is good, and
wouldn't rely on invoking argumentum ad populum.

What's that you say? You weren't trying to imply that MJ is good, when
saying that it sometimes chooses like ER-Bucklin? Fine. Then it isn't
entirely clear for what purpose you stated that MJ, in many cases,
chooses like ER-Bucklin.  ...Or why you devoted so much space to
demonstrating some sort of similarity or relation that the two methods

If MJ can be shown to be somehow similar to or related to ER-Bucklin,
then....so what?

>> So the equivalence, if valid, isn't a powerful argument for MJ.
> It isn't valid.  Your statement is a
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacies#Straw_man

No, I wasn't using the straw-man technique. I genuinely assumed that
you were wanting to establish similarity, relation, or
often-same-results, to show that MJ has merit-by-association.

As I said, if you weren't doing that, then it's unclear why you told
us that MJ in many cases chooses like ER-Bucklin, and devoted so much
space to demonstrate some sort of similarity or relation between MJ
and ER-Bucklin.

If you weren't trying to do that, then that's fine.

>>>  so you understand the terms,
>> I assure you that it isn't hard to make terms understandable. All
>> that's necessary is to define them clearly.
> Apparently I have not been clear enough.


But that's ok. As I said, you've confirmed what I'd said about MJ's
tiebreaking bylaws.

>> You seem to contradict yourself, saying at one point that MJ is
>> ER-Bucklin,
> I believe you will find that you are contradicting yourself.  I never
> stated that.

Fine. MJ and ER-Bucklin aren't equivalent.

>> Voting methods can frequently agree on the same winner.  That doesn't
> mean the methods are identical.  Instead, it should increase
> confidence in the strength of the result.

Not quite sure what you mean by that. Saying that MJ frequently agrees
with ER-Bucklin doesn't increase confidence in the "strength" (?) of
MJ's result unless you've established why, and in what sense, we
should have confidence in the strength of ER-Bucklin's result.

ER-Bucklin is an unlimited-rankings generalization of MCA. I've said
that that unlimited rankings generalization isn't justified. In fact,
I suspect that the version of "ER-Bucklin" that you were saying that
MJ is similar to, is related to, or often agrees with, wasn't even the
same ER-Bucklin defined at electowiki (the one with the delay added,
in order to gain MMC compliance).

Not that it matters.

>> You've supplied additional confirmation for the conclusion that MJ's
>> (and CMJ's) tiebreaking bylaws are elaborate, complicated, and
>> wordy.
> My goal, which I *thought* I had stated clearly, was to help you avoid
> misinterpretations by being explicit.

Good. That's a good goal. Brevity doesn't help any, when it's ambiguous.

And no, I'm not asking you to keep on explaining MJ's tiebreaking
bylaws more and more explicitly and unambiguously till I understand
them. That's ok. As I said, it's already been shown that they can't be
stated briefly and unambiguously. That's good enough. You don't have
to do more than that.

> I wasn't attempting to make a
> persuasive argument about the merits of Majority Judgment.

Ok. Acknowledged.

It's a good thing that you weren't trying to achieve that.

> As you should be well aware, being unambiguous and explicit can lead
> to elaborate constructions.
> On a playing field of good will and common understanding, it is
> possible to use much simpler and more persuasive language.  I don't
> think we have come to that place yet.

Correct again. When defining something that you're already quite
familiar with, it's easy to not realize that your definition might not
mean anything to someone who is new to the method that you're

And if (but I can't believe that anyone would) you try to offer MJ to
the public, you're going to have to do a _lot_ better in the area of
unambiguousness, when you state the tiebreaking bylaws.

>> MJ and CMJ are so elaborately, wordily, defined that few people
>> would be willing to listen to their definitions.
> I think we can conclude only that you yourself are unwilling to listen
> to their definitions.

No, actually, we can't. I read your and Jameson's (basically
identical) definition wordings.

It isn't that I'm unwilling to listen. I did listen. It's just that
I'm not demanding or requesting a more unambiguous definition. So
don't bother writing one just for me. (But you'll certainly need one
if you ever think that MJ could be a serious public proposal).

As I said, it's sufficient that you and Jameson have done an excellent
job of demonstrating that MJ's tiebreaking bylaws can't be stated
briefly and unambiguously.

>> Which is it? Is MJ the same as (equivalent to) ER-Bucklin, or is it
>> something different from ER-Bucklin that will, in many cases (but
>> not always), choose the same answer?
> The latter.  The former is clearly nonsensical, as you have asserted
> repeatedly.

Ok, fine.

>> But, in any case, what does it matter, since few advocate Bucklin
>> anyway?
> A:  There is a reasonable interpretation.

Of what?? No, you needn't answer that.

> B:  You choose to ignore it, again using argumentum ad populum.

No, I didn't use argumentum ad populum. It seemed to me that you were.
I was answering what I heard as argumentum ad populum, and I
questioned who the populus consisted of.

Maybe you weren't. That's fine.

> C:  Even your argumentum ad populum is incorrect.

I didn't say (and certainly didn't mean to imply) that MJ is bad
because it chooses like ER-Bucklin, there is no populus who adore
ER-Bucklin. If you thought that I meant that, then I'm glad that we've
cleared up that misunderstanding.

But you should know that I didn't say or imply that MJ chooses like
ER-Bucklin. Only you said that.

> The problem with the term "Bucklin" is that it has been applied to
> several different methods over a century.  ER-Bucklin has relaxed
> conditions that avoid some of the problems of other formulations.

Yeah, I said "Bucklin", just for brevity, with the understanding that
we know that we're talking about ER-Bucklin.

> Balinski and Laracki have sought to make a mathematically rigorous
> argument to support a particular form of median ratings.

Support away :-)

> They appear
> to be winning a much larger audience

MJ has some popularity, which is why I included it in the minguo poll
on voting systems.

> , in part because of large scale
> studies that support their conclusions.

Do you know what "handwaving" is?

Vague reference to some "studies" means nothing. If you want to say
specifically what their studies looked at, and what they found, that
would be different.

>> If you want to compare the merits of MJ to that of Score, then
>> compare what MJ does to what Score does. Compare the strategy
>> situation in MJ to that in Score. That's what the previous
>> discussion has been about.
> I was not discussing the merits of Majority Judgment.  I merely
> intended to clarify the algorithm for you.  I seem to have failed.


But there is no need to keep trying.

But don't feel bad. You succeeded in demonstrating that MJ's
tiebreaking bylaws can't be defined briefly and unambiguously.

> Please continue your discussions re merits with the other MJ
> advocates.

Ok. I might post one more brief message with a few comments on that topic.

> [... Here Ossipoff elides the entirety of section 2 from his first
> method in this thread that my next quote refers to ...]
>>> My only comment about this is that, since your quoting style is
>>> non-standard,
>> In the posting to which you were replying, I quoted in the standard
>> style, using ">" and ">>" for previous text.
> I think you will find that in the message I replied to, there were no
> quotations at all.

That's ok. When I _do_ quote text, I use ">" and ">>" where available.
>>> I really wish you'd provide a glossary of abbreviations somewhere
>>> in your message, either inline, using standard first-reference
>>> style, or at the end of your message.
>>> For example, which Chris are you referring to (Benham?)
>> Good guess! Is there another "Chris" who has been a regular poster
>> here, at any time during my current duration of membership at EM?
> Apparently I have waded into a deep discussion that can be apprehended
> only by those with deep familiarity with the forum and its
> participants.

Don't be so hard on yourself. I merely meant that it's quite obvious
which "Chris" was being referred to. You guessed it right. So, no

> And those complaining about the lack of connection to those earlier
> discussions should be met with contemptuous disdain.

Were you complaining about your lack of connection to earlier
discussions in which Chris posted?
...Or about a lack of connection between my statements and some
unspecified earlier discussion? If the latter, I didn't know that you
were. If the former, it's no big deal--don't worry about it.

> Thank you for making your terms explicit, though by deleting the text
> they were referring to, your explanations lack context.

I assumed that you'd remember that you'd asked what ICT is. Therefore
it didn't seem necessary to quote the previous discussion in its
entirety. So I just defined Symmetrical ICT (the ICT that I prefer).

> It would have sufficed, in the original message, to add URLs instead
> of restating the definitions completely.

Easier to write the definition than find a link to it. No biggie,
right? You asked what ICT is, and then I told you what it is.

Mike Ossipoff

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