# [EM] SARA voting: easier-to-describe MAS

Michael Ossipoff email9648742 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 26 11:47:18 PDT 2016

```On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 10:28 AM, Toby Pereira <tdp201b at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Also, a given amount of money is worth more in utility to a poor person
> than a rich person, so Michael's analogy of taking a dollar from a homeless
> person and giving it to a billionaire doesn't work. I know he gave a
> previous example where the billionaire gets a yacht or something and it
> does get more debatable at that point.
>

Yes, I added that chance for that reason.

>
> But I don't think the maximum minimum utility is necessarily even the best
> principle to use anyway. There are good arguments for maximising average
> utility.
>

I haven't heard one. The argument below doesn't successfully show that.

> If I am given 100 dollars, then there is an amount of money that I would
> gamble that for on a coin flip, or where I'd call them equivalent. Let's
> say I decide that I'd gamble it for anything more than 300 dollars. That's
> the same as me saying that for me the difference in utility between 0 and
> 100 dollars is the same as the difference between 100 and 300 dollars. It
> is also equivalent to saying that if there are two people with the same
> utility ratings as me, it's as good to give one of them 300 dollars as it
> is to give each of them 100 dollars.
>

It results in the same total utility. To say that that means its just as
good, circularly assumes what you seek to show.

You haven't shown that giving one person \$300 and giving the other person
nothing is as good as giving \$100 to each. ...you've shown only that the
total utility is the same.

You can't justify taking a dollar away from a homeless man who badly needs
it, and giving another yacht to a billionaire.

>
>
> I have the same intuitions about rich/poor people, but you need a
> logically consistent framework as well as intuitions.
>

I don't deny that logic can't apply to some ethical/moral questions. But
logic has nothing to do with the basis of ethical and moral choices.

The basis of ethics & morality is intuitive & subjective, not logical.

Michael Ossipoff

(I have no way to delete the text below)

>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Jameson Quinn <jameson.quinn at gmail.com>
> *To:* Michael Ossipoff <email9648742 at gmail.com>
> *Cc:* "election-methods at electorama.com" <election-methods at electorama.com>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, 26 October 2016, 13:31
> *Subject:* Re: [EM] SARA voting: easier-to-describe MAS
>
> Michael, you're arguing that certain kinds of utility or disutility are
> more important than others. As a human being with my own judgment and
> morals, I'd agree with you. But it's not just impossible, but actively
> counterproductive, to try to build that kind of judgment and morals into a
> voting system. If a voting system weights certain kinds of ballots more,
> sophisticated voters will strategically cast that kind of ballots, and
> unsophisticated voters will be ignored.
>
> VSE (aka BR) is, in fact, the right target to aim at. It does not include
> any judgment or morals, but, by an argument similar to the Condorcet Jury
> Theorem, in the long run it's got the best chance of agreeing with a system
> with did. To take your specific example: there are a lot more homeless
> people than billionaires, so in general a democratic election system will
> (correctly) weight the preferences of homeless people above those of
> billionaires. (And if the billionaires can successfully trick all the
> homeless people into thinking they prefer a candidate who will actually
> serve the billionaires, there's nothing the voting system per se can do
>
> 2016-10-25 18:41 GMT-04:00 Michael Ossipoff <email9648742 at gmail.com>:
>
> Jameson--
>
> You said that SARA does particularly well by VSE.
>
> But VSE is: (winner's SU)/(average SU among candidates)
>
> ...where SU is social utility.
>
> ...which is some constant minus BR.
>
> But I've just told why BR is no good as a measure of the rightness or
> goodness of an outcome.
>
> Take a dollar from a homeless man and give it to a billionaire? That's a
> negative change, because changes in greater disutilities are more important
>
> Michael Ossipoff.
>
>
>
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