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Re: GRs, irrelevant amendments, and insincere voting

On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 10:01:02PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> On Sat, 1 Nov 2003 22:49:47 -0500, Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> said: 
> > On Sat, Nov 01, 2003 at 06:40:21PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> >> Is it?  Sounds like you have a very short term viewpoint; and you
> >> are missing the whole point of a community of people finding common
> >> cause to create a free operating system.
> >> Sure, if having your way win is worth ore than coming to a
> >> cnosensus, you can vote insincerely.  Sounds kinda silly to spend a
> >> whole lot of time on Debian, when you are really contributing to
> >> infighting and intractability, just because you do not know how to
> >> be a team player.
> > Why the personal attacks on people who are interested in discussing
> > what is (to date) only a hypothetical flaw[1] in our Standard
> > Resolution Procedure?
> 	What personal attacks?

Both Mr. DeRobertis and I interpreted the text quoted above as a
personal attack.  How else is one to interpret "you are really
contributing to infighting and intractability" and "you do not know how
to be a team player"?  Are they in some way complimentary, or do they
somehow provide insight into our Standard Resolution Procedure?

>  How is my restatement different from
>  your characterization oif insincerity?

Well, that's pretty easy.  I stated from the outset how I was using that
term, which was in its technical sense.

  However, I cannot stop other Debian Developers from proposing an
  editorial-changes only amendment to compete with mine.  I fear to do
  so would promote the sort of insincere voting[...] that Condorcet's
  Method is designed to avoid, but if I'm right we may just have to
  learn that lesson the hard way.
  This term is defined at <URL: http://accuratedemocracy.com/z_words.htm>.[1]

>  I am stating that it is not smart to try and use majority to shut out
>  options, since that leads to no decision being taken.

Can you elaborate?  It is not obvious to me what relationship this
statement has to my hypothetical scenario.

> 	Why is it that You can get away with saying that people vote
>  insincerely when they state a that they prefer status quo
>  to some proposition,

If people don't actually prefer the status quo over a proposition but
rank the status quo as preferred to the proposition on your ballot,
you're voting insincerely.  I am using the term in its technical sense.

I must admit to being a little boggled at your apparent ignorance of
this, as you participated vigorously in the long discussions that led to
this year's amendment of our voting method, and even, as far as I can
tell, used the term in that technical sense yourself on at least one

> and when I characterize that strategy as short sighted it is a
> personal attack?

Well, if you're using terms like "short-sighted", "infighting",
"intractability", and "team player" is some specialized technical sense,
then it isn't.  Are you?

> 	Is it that you do not want to hewar any opposition to your
>  thesis, in in the event of any dissent you are going to use polemics
>  and ridicule to try and shut down debate?

Given that I've invited people to allay my fears with reasoned argument
at least twice:

  If someone can make a good case that my premises above are invalid,
  then I invite them to go ahead in this sub-thread.  I'd be quite
  relieved if our system cannot be "gamed" in the manner I fear.[3]

  More simply, I don't know what the solution to this problem is.
  That's one reason I've raised it for discussion -- to the evident
  annoyance of some people, unfortunately.[4]

...is this really the most reasonable conclusion you can draw?

> > Why the objection to an exploration of the issue?  If those of us
> > who are intersted in it think about it now, we (the Project) may
> > already have some reasoning under our belts should the situation
> > ever come to pass.
> 	Who is opposing exploration (apart from you, using the usual
>  masterly hyuperbole and ridicule?)

Well, I am presuming that fallacious debate techniques like personal
attacks are launched for a purpose, that being to persuade the target to
abandon the discussion, or the audience to disregard everything the
target has to say on the subject.

I suppose it's possible that some folks engage in personal attacks as
ends in themselves, because it makes them feel good.

Perhaps you can help me to understand your purpose.

And, incidentally, if your unsupported assertion about my "usual
hyperbole and ridicule" is true, how can it be "masterly" if clever
folks like you see through it every time?

>  I am merely stating that the so called smart strategy is really a
>  dumb one.

Let it be noted that you're the person introducing the term "dumb" into
this conversation.  I personally am not sure its're warranted, due to
its crudity and high emotive content.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2003/debian-vote-200310/msg00124.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2002/debian-vote-200211/msg00308.html
[3] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2003/debian-vote-200310/msg00178.html
[4] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2003/debian-vote-200311/msg00006.html

G. Branden Robinson                |    I have a truly elegant proof of the
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    above, but it is too long to fit
branden@debian.org                 |    into this .signature file.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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