alphamule's recent activity

  1. Comment on Never Trumpers' strange relationship with the Democratic Party in ~misc

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    Limiting the conversation to just President, the US Constitution says that each state gets to determine how it's electors to the electoral college are determined:...

    Limiting the conversation to just President, the US Constitution says that each state gets to determine how it's electors to the electoral college are determined: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Two_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Clause_2:_Method_of_choosing_electors

    Two states don't use FPTP to determine electors. Then, if those electors don't form a majority (not FPTP), then it goes 1 vote per state in the house amongst the top 3, one of which must win a majority (not FPTP) or else it re-votes same rules until they do.

    So, I understand this as meaning that FPTP isn't really enshrined in the constitution, it's merely that each state two-party apparatus keeps it this way (for the most part). Presumably, these are the same people who keep it the same way for all other elected positions (governor, senators, reps, on down). It also seems like there's a spectrum of possibility between the status-quo and the popular vote amendment pact. An individual state could, in theory, on its own choose to use a more optimal voting mechanism.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on What's your favorite defunct website? in ~talk

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    Carl Steadman of suck also made http://plastic.com (random 2005 snapshot: http://web.archive.org/web/20050828003806/http://www.plastic.com/ ). Now plastic.com points to his tumblr, it would seem,...

    Carl Steadman of suck also made http://plastic.com (random 2005 snapshot: http://web.archive.org/web/20050828003806/http://www.plastic.com/ ). Now plastic.com points to his tumblr, it would seem, but at the time it was a discussion board a very tildes sort of vibe, similar smallness.

    There is http://suckagain.com if you want some nostalgia in your mailbox each day.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Do you still post on Reddit? in ~talk

    alphamule
    (edited )
    Link
    Just unsub. Whenever I have a bad interaction or see a post that makes me feel like I would have been better off mentally had I just never seen it, then I just jam the unsub button. I do a similar...

    Just unsub. Whenever I have a bad interaction or see a post that makes me feel like I would have been better off mentally had I just never seen it, then I just jam the unsub button.

    I do a similar thing with facebook. I made a custom friends list & then went through each friend and thought to myself, has this person ever posted anything here that I find of value? If so, I added them to the list. Then I set up my phone and browser so that whenever I go to fb, it lands on that custom friend list. If anyone is a dipshit, then I remove them from the list.

    Filter bubble, sure, but I go on reddit and fb to waste time while I'm sitting on the toilet, not to hate my friends and family and humanity at large.

    10 votes
  4. Comment on Super Tuesday: who did you end up voting for and why? in ~talk

    alphamule
    Link
    Interesting that all the top line replies here are for Sanders, save two for Warren.

    Interesting that all the top line replies here are for Sanders, save two for Warren.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on The case for being a medical conservative in ~health

  6. Comment on If the US removed FPTP and the electoral college, what new parties would pop up? in ~talk

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    You don't need to change the constitution to get rid of FPTP as it is not mandated in the constitution. It can be changed on a state-by-state basis and would probably actually be harder to change...

    You don't need to change the constitution to get rid of FPTP as it is not mandated in the constitution. It can be changed on a state-by-state basis and would probably actually be harder to change at a national level, as there would be lawsuits demanding that this be a state's right to determine.

    The reason you won't see this in the US is because it does not behoove the two entrenched parties (nor their funders) to see this happen, not because of any actual legal reason.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on A lawyer set himself on fire to protest climate change. Did anyone care? in ~enviro

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    Thích Quảng Đức's self-immolation is still an iconic image of Vietnam War protest fifty-six years later.

    Thích Quảng Đức's self-immolation is still an iconic image of Vietnam War protest fifty-six years later.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on To Build a Better Ballot — An Interactive Guide to Alternative Voting Systems in ~misc

    alphamule
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    While ridiculous that it might just be marketing that popularized an inferior design, it gives me hope that maybe, through a ton of effort, marketing could bring us an even better solution.

    While ridiculous that it might just be marketing that popularized an inferior design, it gives me hope that maybe, through a ton of effort, marketing could bring us an even better solution.

  9. Comment on To Build a Better Ballot — An Interactive Guide to Alternative Voting Systems in ~misc

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    But even Australia hasn't always had IRV. Looks like you had 4 elections with FPTP before you changed to IRV in 1919 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system_of_Australia ). Why IRV? Why...

    But even Australia hasn't always had IRV. Looks like you had 4 elections with FPTP before you changed to IRV in 1919 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system_of_Australia ). Why IRV? Why not Score Voting or Approval Voting then? AV and SV had been around for half a millennia even back then, while IRV as an idea was at the time less than 50 years old.

    Because it's used in actual elections?

    FPTP is used in actual elections. Those AV and SV things in the 13th century were actual elections. This isn't a particularly compelling argument. It's used for elections because it's used for elections is rather circular logic.

    Both Score Voting and Approval Voting are still currently used in some small polities, internally within parties and at the UN:

    But not nearly to the extent IRV is used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting#Global_use

  10. Comment on To Build a Better Ballot — An Interactive Guide to Alternative Voting Systems in ~misc

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    1000% agreed there. FPTP is a travesty. A relic of when votes involved quill pens and oak boxes and were transported by horse. Its main benefit today is that it will mathematically produce a...

    1000% agreed there. FPTP is a travesty. A relic of when votes involved quill pens and oak boxes and were transported by horse. Its main benefit today is that it will mathematically produce a two-party system which is convenient because now there's only two parties to bribe. I consider it the very core of the US's political dysfunction.

    I'd rank them FPTP <<<<< IRV < { SV, AV }

    Now, the question I have is why is IRV always put up as the alternative? The main argument against IRV and in favor of FPTP is that IRV is complicated and takes a while to compute the result. SV and AV have none of this, but most people have never heard of them. Both AV and SV have been used starting in the 13th century. IRV was invented fewer than 150 years ago in 1871. I can't help but have conspiratorial suspicions that they've offered us up the second worst option so that they can try to keep the worst option.

    Check out this op-ed from David Cameron back when the UK was considering IRV: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/av-referendum/8485118/David-Cameron-why-keeping-first-past-the-post-is-vital-for-democracy.html (he refers to IRV as AV, as it was billed the Alternative Vote).

    All of his arguments against IRV and for FPTP wouldn't hold up at all if the alternative was Score or Approval voting.

    And so the whole thing failed 2:1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2011_United_Kingdom_Alternative_Vote_referendum

    1 vote
  11. Comment on To Build a Better Ballot — An Interactive Guide to Alternative Voting Systems in ~misc

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    Let's say that an Australian liked minor party candidate A and major party candidate B. They were going to vote for 1-A, 2-B per the strategy you describe. Let's say that day of the election, the...

    Let's say that an Australian liked minor party candidate A and major party candidate B. They were going to vote for 1-A, 2-B per the strategy you describe. Let's say that day of the election, the voter changes their mind. Candidate B gives the speech of their political career and the voter decides to switch their voting order. They decide to vote 1-B, 2-A instead.

    Now, it would be kinda broken if this made it so that B was now less likely to win and could even cost B the election, right? But this can happen in IRV. Can't happen in non-ranked voting systems.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on To Build a Better Ballot — An Interactive Guide to Alternative Voting Systems in ~misc

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    It's not that a non-#1 leader shouldn't win. Think about things from those two voters' perspective. They get the outcome they want by hiding their true preference. This is non-ideal in a voting...

    It's not that a non-#1 leader shouldn't win. Think about things from those two voters' perspective. They get the outcome they want by hiding their true preference. This is non-ideal in a voting system. Arrow's Impossibility Theorem says that this will happen no matter what kind of ranked voting system we choose. In particular, this violates this goal of voting systems (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow%27s_impossibility_theorem ):

    Monotonicity, or positive association of social and individual values

    If any individual modifies his or her preference order by promoting a certain option, then the societal preference order should respond only by promoting that same option or not changing, never by placing it lower than before. An individual should not be able to hurt an option by ranking it higher.

    Non-ranked voting systems like AV or SV can also help find compromise candidates, but avoid these monotonicity issues completely.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on To Build a Better Ballot — An Interactive Guide to Alternative Voting Systems in ~misc

    alphamule
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    One of the linked articles in that section has a better example of where IRV breaks down. Consider this preference table: #voters their vote 6 C>A>B 2 B>A>C 3 B>C>A 4 A>B>C 2 A>C>B In this...

    One of the linked articles in that section has a better example of where IRV breaks down.

    Consider this preference table:

    #voters their vote
    6 C>A>B
    2 B>A>C
    3 B>C>A
    4 A>B>C
    2 A>C>B

    In this scenario, in the first round B is eliminated as they have only 5 #1 votes, to A and C's 6. 2 votes go to A and 3 votes go to C, per the 5 B voters' second preference, so C wins 9 to A's 8.

    Now consider what happens when those two A>C>B voters change into C>A>B voters. Two people liking C more should make it so that C is more likely to win (and A less likely to win). But, this is the result:

    #voters their vote
    8 C>A>B
    2 B>A>C
    3 B>C>A
    4 A>B>C

    Now, in this scenario, A is eliminated as they have 4 #1 votes compared to C's 8 and B's 5. Those 4 votes for A go to B. Now, B wins 9 votes to C's 8.

    Now let's imagine those two voters sit at home instead:

    #voters their vote
    6 C>A>B
    2 B>A>C
    3 B>C>A

    Here C wins too.

    This is undesirable because those 2 A>C>B -> C>A>B voters have to think strategically. If they vote their straight preference, the outcome they want won't happen. Those two would be better off if they didn't vote at all than to reveal their true preference. This is especially problematic because at least in FPTP you can reason about your strategic voting more or less, but in IRV, scenarios like the one I outlined can surprise you.

    Yet another reason why I like score or approval voting is that the outcome is easily understood. You don't have scenarios like the one you describe where the public doesn't really understand how this person won. In approval voting you have "this many voters said OK to this candidate", or in score voting you have "this candidate earned this many stars". Easily understandable and computable with a simple summation.

    I'm 100% with you that IRV>FPTP. I just wonder why IRV is the alternative that is always offered to us when there seem to be better options.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on What books are best experienced through a physical copy? in ~books

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    Like I said, they're amongst my favorites, so I'd say they're worth it. I can see why they get a lot of hate, but I love them. I've read them both multiple times at different points in my life and...

    Like I said, they're amongst my favorites, so I'd say they're worth it. I can see why they get a lot of hate, but I love them. I've read them both multiple times at different points in my life and gotten something different out each time.

    For GEB, if you don't want to make the time investment, Hofstadter wrote a later book, I am a Strange Loop that is basically a distillation of what he was trying to get across with GEB.

    For Infinite Jest, there is a readers' guide called Elegant Complexity that I highly recommend, even on a first read. It helps identify the themes and keep all the characters and plots straight.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on To Build a Better Ballot — An Interactive Guide to Alternative Voting Systems in ~misc

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    The only reason there are "establishment" candidates is because of this voting mechanism. FPTP mathematically ensures that there will be only two major parties no matter how anyone votes. Any...

    The only reason there are "establishment" candidates is because of this voting mechanism. FPTP mathematically ensures that there will be only two major parties no matter how anyone votes. Any third choice can only play the role of the spoiler and both the original party and the splinter faction will, over time, realize it's in their best interest to reconcile as their mutual opponent wins over and over.

    This vid from CGP Grey is one of my favorites to explain the issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo

  16. Comment on What books are best experienced through a physical copy? in ~books

    alphamule
    Link
    Two of my favorite books: Gödel, Escher, Bach would miss some stuff in free flowing e-text. <WARNING POTENTIAL SPOILERS> At least one of the dialogues is an acrostic, meaning there is a message in...

    Two of my favorite books:

    Gödel, Escher, Bach would miss some stuff in free flowing e-text.

    <WARNING POTENTIAL SPOILERS>

    At least one of the dialogues is an acrostic, meaning there is a message in the first characters of each row of text. This would be destroyed if reflowed.
    </SPOILERS>

    Infinite Jest makes extensive use of footnotes, and it has been suggested that this was meant to mirror the game of tennis, which features heavily in the book. In any case, it has footnotes on footnotes which would be (even more of) a pain in an e-reader.

    9 votes
  17. Comment on To Build a Better Ballot — An Interactive Guide to Alternative Voting Systems in ~misc

    alphamule
    Link
    This uses interactive diagrams to show not only why FPTP is fundamentally flawed, but also, why ranked choice mechanisms (such as IRV) are also similarly flawed. But, it ends on an optimistic note...

    This uses interactive diagrams to show not only why FPTP is fundamentally flawed, but also, why ranked choice mechanisms (such as IRV) are also similarly flawed. But, it ends on an optimistic note by showing that a better way is not only mathematically possible, but also quite easy and within our grasp with an endorsement from Dr. Arrow himself. You'll see that Arrow's Impossibility Theorem isn't as as doom and gloom as it may seem.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on After Stinging Presidential Loss, Popular Vote Movement Gains Momentum In States in ~news

    alphamule
    Link Parent
    President was specifically left out of the text of Main Question 5: https://ballotpedia.org/Maine_Ranked_Choice_Voting_Initiative,_Question_5_(2016)#Full_text . So, while Maine also (since 1972)...

    President was specifically left out of the text of Main Question 5: https://ballotpedia.org/Maine_Ranked_Choice_Voting_Initiative,_Question_5_(2016)#Full_text .

    So, while Maine also (since 1972) allocates its electoral votes proportionally, I suspect those votes will still be chosen as FPTP (one vote for each of the two congressional districts and two at-large votes based on state totals).

  19. Comment on Atheists and non-believers could soon receive civil rights protections under Portland law in ~humanities

    alphamule
    Link
    This may have been triggered by this lawsuit from last year.

    This may have been triggered by this lawsuit from last year.

    2 votes