[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
> about that.)
> 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.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20161026/fc30b14a/attachment.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list