2008-07-22

Range Voting, and my grumpy self.

Ok I can see that Range Voting is supposedly a fairer voting method for single seat elections.. but it misses the whole point of elections. They aren't supposed to be fair... they are really only supposed to help placate our hormone driven non-rational monkey brains that we won a war against some other band of monkeys outside of our general 'sphere' without killing (m)any others. Take the fun out of 'stomping' out some other band of monkeys out of existance and you take the fun out of democracy.. and I expect people just don't vote anymore... there is no emotional feeling to keep the majority of the brain engaged.

Anyway, this post is brought to you by the current Fedora 10 naming election, where you can vote for the name of the Fedora 10 release (and by a large lack of sleep and a work project that is augering in due to lack of sleep).
  • Cambridge
  • Famsworth
  • Mississippi
  • Nile
  • Nitrate
  • Saltpetre
  • Terror
  • Water
  • Whiskey Run
Range Voting Links:
  1. http://www.rangevoting.org/
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_voting
Monkey Brain stuff:
  1. http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkeysphere
  3. and a lot of links on how non-rational we humans really are though we won't admit it.
So I am voting for "Whiskey Run", ook.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't go wrong with anything booze-related. go!

Anonymous said...

Well, the point of a choice is to maximize your "utility", which you could think of as pleasure, satisfaction, value, or even -- in some very simplistic way -- fun. Voting is just a choice made by more than one person - but the goal of each person should still be to maximize his expected outcome.

According to an objective economic metric called "Bayesian regret", Range Voting (aka Score Voting), does just that. It makes you happier with election outcomes than every other feasible system.

http://rangevoting.org/UniqBest.html

So if you're looking for un, you want Range Voting.

Smooge said...

@broken_ladder, that would assume that people are objective logical creatures, and are 'happier' with election outcomes with less 'avoidable' regret.

I would posit the opposite, that human partisan/clan wiring makes us more happy when we have regret or feel that in the future we can 'win' in the future. The less we 'feel' we can win/game the systme, the less we want to engage with the population by voting in the future.

If I gave a person a 0 and that person won the seat.. I am still going to be unhappy. And because the system makes it quite clear statistically that I am an outside norm person, I have less incentive to become engaged with the rest of the society.. and thus do not vote in future elections.

Anonymous said...

@broken_ladder, that would assume that people are objective logical creatures, and are 'happier' with election outcomes with less 'avoidable' regret.

well, yes, by definition. you vote in order to give yourself the most pleasing result.

I would posit the opposite, that human partisan/clan wiring makes us more happy when we have regret

That is an oxymoron, since Bayesian regret is "regret" in the sense of anti-happiness, not necessarily the emotion we call regret (that some people might take pleasure in).

In other words, if someone hated Bush, but wanted him to win in order to take some kind of sick pleasure in hating him, then he would obviously want to score Bush a "10".

The less we 'feel' we can win/game the systme, the less we want to engage with the population by voting in the future.

You don't "win" by gaming the system - you win by getting a better voting method. The expected value of switching from an expressive to a strategic vote in a bad voting method is vastly less than what you get by staying sincere and upgrading to score voting. So you "win" by getting score voting. Of course score voting also does give a superficial sense of being more "exaggeratable" - but that ignores similar effects in ranked methods, such as burial or favorite betrayal.

If I gave a person a 0 and that person won the seat.. I am still going to be unhappy.

The odds of someone winning who'd make you unhappy, are less with score voting. Or rather, the odds of winning times the unhappiness (expected displeasure) is smaller with score voting.

You could make this same point about a ranked system if you had ranked the winner dead last. I don't see what point you're trying to make.

Smooge said...

@broken_ladder,

The point I am not making very well is that I don't 'feel' like I have "won by getting a better voting method."

I have now been in 8 or so range voting elections, and I 'feel' less connected to the process after each election... and I notice that the number of people voting in each election seems to go down.

And sorry for my lack of communication skills.. I wasn't trying to say that I wanted perverse happiness with a candidate I could hate.. I (and others I have talked to using this method) just feel less happiness even when our candidate wins when using this method than in the case of the 'worst' style of voting.

My belief is that this is something to do with how humans are wired in that the less fair elections elicite the same emotions that conflicts and gambling do.. and removing those emotions while more logical perversely makes people feel less invested.

Anonymous said...

you should talk about this in our discussion group. groups.yahoo.com/group/RangeVoting

this is interesting insight.

one experiment i'd eventually like to do is to have people vote twice, once with score voting and once with some other voting method that they "prefer", and then show them the winners from the two different voting methods (if they differ) from which they could choose their favorite of those two (without saying which winner was from which system). then at the end of all that, you could show them which system produced most of their preferred winners, "proving" in a weak sense that scoring actually did make them happier.

yeah...people are definitely economically irrational.

Smooge said...

@broken_ladder, I will if I have the time in the next couple of weeks. The biggest issue I can see is if there is a way to model that irrationality in the computer tests.

My worry is that because humans aren't rational creatures like computers, then the fairest voting method may have the long term effect of being worse because people quit voting out of ennui.

Smooge said...

@broken_ladder

by the way, thankyou for the comments. Sorry if I am a bit grumpy and not communicating as clearly as I wished.. when I get a bit less grumpy I will look at conversing on this on the email list you mentioned.