[EM] Warren needs to double check his work.

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at lavabit.com
Fri Jun 28 00:47:12 PDT 2013

On 06/25/2013 07:15 PM, David L Wetzell wrote:
> KM2:So you're saying that nothing short of actually trying the
> experiment in public elections will change your mind?
> Then I believe I am done here. I can't change your position, so all I
> can do is to argue to others that your position is flawed.
> dlw2: Yes, our diffs are epistemic.  The thought experiments commonly
> used here are not persuasive to me, since I'm trying to hold onto a
> realistic notion of voters that views voter-utilities or political
> spectrumes as at best useful heuristics.

Congratulations. You have just said that your anti-evidence armor is 
*so* strong that nothing I could ever produce today would change your 
mind. No argument, no proof, whether it be from the US or outside it, 
from national or international organizations, from theory or practice. 
No piece of it can change your mind, not a one.

That sounds awfully like faith to me. And I know that arguing with a man 
of faith is a losing proposition. If you ever wonder why people act 
"unprofessional" and don't respond to your assertions, perhaps it's 
because there's no compromise to be found. Eventually, even a fool tires 
of arguing with a wall.

But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. The way you make use of your 
general defenses is entirely consistent with your statement that nothing 
can convince you, because you seem to think that each defense is 
absolute and frees you from having to actually address an objection.

When you reply to any of my references to other nations by "American 
exceptionalism", you never say how much evidence would be necessary to 
put the claim of extremely specific American exceptionalism into doubt. 
You just use it as a general defense, a way of brushing away every 

When you come with assertions that anybody not agreeing with you in 
Burlington is either a useful fool or one of Them, you never bother 
backing this up with an actual money trail, nor do you reconcile it with 
reports that it was the IRV campaign who got the most out-of-town money, 
let alone account for the extreme specificity (violation of Occam's 
razor) required to claim that we, on a mailing list somewhere, are being 
manipulated by some Shadowy Others. You just use it as a general defense.

And when I object that you can't just claim this and that and this too, 
and then be free of any counter, you reach for your meta-armor: "Sunk 
cost immunity!". Like some diplomat holding up a wallet, you seem to 
think that it is absolute: that it can make any requests for evidence 
evaporate, no matter how particular the claim being tested is. You never 
specify when the sunk cost might be met, and you never say how 
tangential a claim has to be before it is no longer protected by sunk 
cost immunity. Apparently any claim (American exceptionalism, very 
specific economies of scale, conspiracy) will be protected as long as it 
can be somehow linked up with a pro-IRV position.

Why not just claim that US voters get an instinctual satisfaction in 
watching the IRV process run to completion, and so that no other method 
can provide what IRV provides? You'd be done with it once and for all. 
Then when someone else asks for evidence, just pull out your wallet 
again. Ridiculous? Yes, but that's because it doesn't match your 
intuition. The logic is the same: "anything pro-IRV is protected by sunk 
cost immunity".

Instead of specific counters, you use general defenses. I liked you 
better when you bothered to look into the facts and then said that 
perhaps Brazil isn't applicable to my point because it is a 
dominant-party system. But nowadays it doesn't appear you have the time 
for that. It doesn't appear you have time to check my data, either, or 
you'd find out that Olson's results about IRV and Condorcet error 
resistance aren't contingent on there being many candidates. But it's so 
easy to just use another general defense, another catch-all armor plate: 
in this case the "it doesn't matter when there are few candidates" 
response that has served you so well against advanced methods in the past.

But I should thank you for making clear what you had previously only 
shown in an indirect, sneaky manner: that there is nothing that can 
change your mind. Then I know there is no point in continuing the 
discussion, except perhaps as to show others just how much you stack the 

So enjoy your anti-evidence armor, and thanks for telling me what you 
otherwise only implied. Your persistent special pleading and refusal to 
follow the same rules and courtesy of discourse as everybody else just 
angers me. In so doing, you only drive me further from the IRV campaign. 
And so I am tempted to recommend you continue your "logic" and thus 
repel even more people. But nobody should have to face this sniping, 
this special pleading, this armored presumption of being invincible. So 
I am not going to recommend that.


All who'd feel like arguing with DLW, remember what he said about no 
current evidence being able to convince him. All third parties who come 
upon this, remember what (bit) role DLW has in order for you on the 
federal level.

That is all. Goodbye and good *plonk*.

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