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AboutDecisionsAboutDemocracy, see also MeatBall:VotingIsEvil.

VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country. --Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)

Every child in the Western world is taught from an early age that democracy is the fairest and most honest system of government ever invented. And the universal franchise – one person, one vote – is the cornerstone of democracy. Our rights, our lives, and our property are protected from tyranny by our ability to choose our leaders and decide on issues through voting.

But: Any child in any political system is taught (if the school is synchronized with government) that the political system is the best one available. That’s the way social systems create stability. Not-democratic systems do this using much more rigour. – HelmutLeitner

So what kind of monster could ever say that voting is evil? Anyone who says that must either be some kind of tyrannical overlord, or a post-modern nihilist, or a misanthropic elitist. Right?

But: Although this page changed from VotingIsEvil to AboutVoting it is anything but neutral in perspective. Voting is a technical thing, an element of decision making. It has a lot of dimensions and democracy doesn’t make good use of voting. Any decision making in a community must either delegate the decision to a single person or use some voting mechanism within some community subset instead. Voting can require a certain majority, even a consensus. Consensus can be seen as a desirable result of voting, in small groups often reached in an informal way, but theoretically it means nothing.

Wrong. Perfectly normal, decent people can be opposed to voting. There are several problems with voting that make it inappropriate for some decision-making situations. Especially in small groups, where communication between all the players is possible, voting is more trouble than it’s worth.

But: This is obviously the uninteresting case. The interesting case is when group are too large for a consensus or permanently split in their opinions because of strong interests.

Most of us know this instinctually: think about joking “votes” for what channel to watch on TV, or where to go in the car. It’s a funny joke because we know that voting is inappropriate for these situations.

So: That is the intended message of this page: “voting (democracy) is a joke.” Implied is: let’s get rid of it.

Voting's benefits

What is it about voting that makes it good for group decision-making?

Voting's problems

Here are some of the problems with voting:

Voting needs to accomodate expressions of both tolerances and preferences (see TolerancesVersusPreferences?). A vote is an expression of willingness to participate in a common process with some shared outcome. Those who feel that they were unable to express their limits or boundaries of tolerance in a voting system may be more likely to fail to support decisions made through it (more or an issue with political parties or policies). Those who feel that they were unable to express their real preferences may lack all enthusiasm for the choices or eventually chosen leader. Any vote is a balance of both kinds of considerations.

But: This is true with respect to decision making. People who had no chance to participate in a decision process and feel a negative impact of the decision will not identify with the decision. Again the way a decision is reached has little to do with it. I think what may be needed is AboutDecisions and AboutDemocracy.


In many situations, “first past the post” voting often does “work”, in the sense that some decision gets made. However, usually there is an alternative to “first past the post” voting that results in better quality decisions. Other kinds of voting processes (approval voting, DelegatedVoting, range voting, etc.) … and also non-voting decision-making processes.

In some situations voting doesn’t work at all.

When a decision must be made extremely quickly – a surgeon in the middle of a surgery, a soldier in the middle of a battle, a car driver rapidly approaching an accident – there is no time to call a vote. The best you can do is to train a person ahead of time to make the right decisions rapidly.

When there is a problem, and it is not clear what to do about it – a technician beginning to fix a complex piece of equipment; an engineer trying to design an improved piece of equipment; a biologist surveying the wildlife in an area, hoping to find an undiscovered species – there are no options to bring to a vote.

When …

When … a very small group …

When … trying to find out some fact that no one knows …

When …

Alternatives to voting

Alternatives to voting include ConsensusDecisionMaking?, which avoids votes where dissent is substantial, and betting, as in an AnticipatoryDemocracy?.


the Collective Problem Solving wiki discusses a variety of ways to solve problems, only some of which involve making decisions (AboutDecisions), and only some decision-making techniques involve voting.


ArrowsTheorem shows that no voting system is “good”, where good is defined in a specific way.

This isn’t necessarily an argument against voting, though. ArrowsTheorem applies to all systems of choosing a single group action based on a number of conflicting individual preferences.

Now, certainly, you can say it’s better to come to a consensus, that is, to get individuals to change their preferences until they are all the same. However, if the alternative to voting is some other social method by which a single group action is chosen that not everyone agrees with, then ArrowsTheorem applies to that method, too. For example, imagine that after a discussion, some group members disagree with something that everyone else agrees with, but they decide to let it go; this method of ConflictResolution? is subject to ArrowsTheorem.


… there’s a little bit of information on voting technology at Cryptodox: Vote and Wiki:ElectronicVotingMachine and Wiki:TestTheSystem

See also


The following threads were copied from VotingIsGood

So, it seems like our discussion of voting is always about how voting is a necessary evil and maybe it doesn’t suck rocks 100% of the time. I’d like to maybe concentrate on more positive aspects of voting.

I really wish we had just one page, talking about tradeoffs.

I dunno; I guess I’ve never believed in XisGood? and XisBad? dichotomy pages. The LinkLanguage then becomes inherently polorized. I think the reality is that X is neither Good nor Bad, but that taken from specific angles, it appears that way.

I’d rather see tradeoffs described, and some larger framing explained.

This in still an unfinished thinking process and it will remain one. A black and white picture is black and white on one page. Deviding it in two you get a black and a white page but you have no picture anymore. All the french in one cluster all the english in another make no sense either. OneBigSoup, I mean it. But it’s very good voting came up again. I’m for a new page [[Voting?]]. We archive the good / bad ones there and start with a nice document mode condese of these.

The following threads were copied from VotingIsEvil

I wanted to re-start this page on CW. I especially want to have a page to point to for people who want to vote on wikis. Somehow, talking about ArrowsTheorem doesn’t really get the point across to people.

The title of this page unjustly predefines the result of an unfinished thinking process and should therefore be changed (put an X behind your choice).

  • Yes: XXX
  • No:

When this is done we are not only undevided, we have only winners, we proofed agile, time and attention was spent useful on it, we will keep reflecting on the issue and the discussion will go on, we know what’s popular, but also do we we know more about what’s true and we can always vote again on the question, but also did we playfully use and by that carefully began to establish a WikiParalangue? in a simple and fast manner that in our real life doesn’t hardly exist. Like real life’s paralanguage doesn’t exist here. ;)MattisManzel

I dunno… Voting: Evil?

Many of these things listed here are advantages, rather than disadvantages, given the proper situation.

I feel we are setting ourselves up for problems by saying: “VotingIsEvil.” I’d be much happier with VotingIsSometimesEvil?.

I have similar feelings about ArrowsTheorem- some people bandy that about like a broadsword, as if they’ve disproven voting for all time. “No voting system can ever be fair,” they say, and then “whack” “whack”, they swing the sword at anyone who might disagree. “But it’s Arrow’s Theorem- it’s math!

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen example votes between 5 people that are easily rigged by choice of voting system. But once you take it to the level of millions of voters, some systems are obviously a lot more fair than other systems. But does this matter? “whack” “whack” - Nope! Because it’s math!

I’ve seen people use Arrow’s Theorem to justify the two party system! Because every system is “unfair,” (it’s Math!), what’s wrong with simple majority-rules voting, for one president among two candidates? If someone else wants to run, what’s wrong with the situation? There’s no fair system! (It’s Math!)

It feels a little bit to me like the A-list Libertarian nut Bloggers, who chant the mantra “Choice, Freedom, Diversity- you can pick only two,” (thus tyrrany of the communications space is legitimate,) and can’t get it through their thick skulls that they’re playing in PlatonicCategories. By just giving up a teensy weensy bit of one thing (namely Freedom,) they can suddenly get dramatic results in other things (such as Choice and Diversity).

I agree with some of the spirit of this: You can’t just toss up everything to a vote. The framing of a vote is itself a contentious thing, easy to disagree with.

But I mean, there are a ton of cases where it’s clearly helpful to vote.

There are cases where you can’t just have a hodge-podge of preferences applied. Think of coding standards: I’ve personally experienced coding standards meetings, where standards were voted on in a per-piece fashion, and the result was a hideous franken-coding standard, that wouldn’t have been voted on by anyone, were it placed side by side people’s individual preference systems.

There’s times where the entire purpose is to put something behind ourselves, whether we like what we get or not. In many of such situations, it’s perfectly fine to call a vote. It’s not Evil, it’s not Dastardly. It may not be pleasant, it is likely not even fair; But it’s hardly Evil.

I dunno. I probably shouldn’t get angry about it. But, I’ve just seen this so frequently…

i concider these voting games a hocus pocus of the ruling minority. you cannot vote about voting, you must have a consens about that. but if you were able to make a consens, why vote?

Well, there’s such a thing as agreeing to disagree, and then coming to agreement on a process to follow. That is, consensus on process doesn’t mean consensus on decision.

I just wanted to point out that the name comes from the Meatball page on the same subject. It was getting nearlinked a lot, and I didn’t think it made the point very well. I actually think it’s a good name; we could also have another version of VotingIsGood, too.

I’d rather have one page that represents our thoughts, though; If possible..!

w/r/t coding standards votes: amen! I’ve added a point that voting is reductionist – that it doesn’t deal with the system as a whole, but rather with one isolated part of the system.

I think the main thing about voting that needs to be communicated is that it’s not necessarily a panacea for conflict or crisis.

Another interesting thing about voting is that it raises TheIndividual? over TheCollective?. We stop working together as a HiveMind and split up into little, personal minds with little, personal desires and wants. It’s reductionist in another way: it assumes that summing up the good decisions of N individuals will make a single good decision for the whole. But systems rarely work that way.

One last thing I need to fit in here is that a vote is temporally fixed. There is before-the-vote and after-the-vote. Voting doesn’t interact well with the WikiNow.

Good. That’s the way I like it. Things get moved without voting and by talking. Votes devide as long as anything depend on them. As a WikiParalanguage?, a tongue in cheek that you could express here without that anyone sees your face they are very interesting. Just give a s*** about the results and vote! Let it make you talk. That counts. Apart it’s fun. You find out about yourself and the others. @sigi: why not finding a consens and vote to make it even more a consens?

if there is a substantial dissent we rather might choose the winner like in a lottery. Like that everyone has a chance and people are not shocked and angry. - ancient greeks disposed their duties by lots
(there was a crossing of our comments)

Good idea. We should do such after voting without any consequences attached to it. As a real shame for the community.

du meinst ja wohl nicht, dass ich das hier ernst nehme. in einer guten community brauchst du weder abstimmen, noch lose ziehn. wenn’s soweit erst mal ist, dann hat der baum versagt. --sigi

I think Mattis is right: this page should be renamed (I added my X to his poll/vote). The reason is it is a Wiki:FalseDichotomy between VotingIsEvil and VotingIsGood. There are lots of situations where voting may be good or bad, we would need a complete decision making theory. But nobody can do this theoretically, so you have to start somewhere by making decisions, trying consensus or voting or delegation or whatever and learn from the experiences.

We could call it “VotingIsVoting?.” ;D

In all seriousness, I agree with Helmut’s argument. We’d need a complete decision making theory.

I’d make the page “DifficultiesWithVoting?,” to express the kinds of tensions we feel, when it comes to voting.

So, first of all, I gotta say that I still think voting is evil. I realize it has its place, but it doesn’t have a place in any of the social systems where I have any kind of real say in shaping the process. So, as far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t advocate voting for any social system I’m involved in.

That said, it’d be nice to maybe structure this page like so:

  • What is voting
  • Methods of voting
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • When to vote
  • When not to vote

All humility aside, I think we’ve got a good start on the cons above. Can someone take a poke at, say, giving some arguments based on first principles that voting can be useful or productive? When can it work? How does it work? What are the positive sides of voting?

Also, what about, say, AboutVoting?

Also: I think it’s somewhat telling that we’re working out how this page should work… without voting!

Just a little brainstorming. Different decision making processes have different advantages. Voting is a fast way to get a decision. It is not the fastest, but usually much faster than seeking consensus. So one apprioach may be: what are the opinions (some kind of informal voting)? do we have consensus or can we reach it easily? How much time do we have? Should we delegate the decision to an expert or lead personality, a specialized work group?

Another issue is the number of people involved. A consensus needs a small group. You will never get consensus with 1000 people or if considerable interests are involved. You will never vote with two people. So there may be limits for consenses. You can change this by representation, perhaps (parliamentary system or work group).

One could think about a liquid system with a kind of “decision horizon” that grows or shrinks to include people or to reduce to trusted or expert people. And that goes from the analysis (importance, quickness, interests, minority situation, tribal situation) through modes of consensus or voting.

But to give a positive example: Let’s assume a community like cw would give an award (money or symbolic) to the “best rooky community of year”. There are applications and at a certain date the winner must be named. There will be presentation and discussion, maybe even a consensus. But at a point you have to make a decision. A kind of voting is IMHO the best solution. If you agree, this is even an example where an open voting doesn’t make sense: the largest community would usually win because of the possibility to activate its members.

[en] Does this boil down to VotingIsNotAlwaysTheOptimalDecisionMakingProcess?? I think the problem is that the terms “X is evil” or “X considered harmful” are anglophone ways of pushing a main thrust of an argument. This can work well in a document mode dominated wiki, where arguments are naturally split into thesis and antithesis pages. But that doesn’t seem to be the way things work here. Perhaps the natural form for here would be a page “Voting” off a cluster “DecisionMakingProcesses?

And I agree with Helmut again. There are times where you just must move forward.

Suppose you live in a farm commune. There are hoards and hoards of decisions to be made, and the decisions to be made just keep coming up. Coming to a consensus on every question is likely impossible, especially if you’ve got 50-100 people in the commune. You need some way to resolve things at some point, so that you can move on to the next big thing.

Kat Kinkadey, the author of “Is it Utopia Yet,” of Twin Oaks, wrote about how there was a sort of “plate” they were working on. It’s like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but for a whole commune. There are countless things for them to work on. Some super-urgent, some less urgent. They can only go through issues so quickly.

I get the impression that they’d be absolutely crushed if they did not have voting systems for resolving issues. There would be no commune.

I guess you could say that there should be no commune with that many people. But, I don’t know: From the book, it seemed like a pleasant enough place. I’d like to go there some day.

Aonghus: I think it might be better to say, VoteLast?.

we have a recurrent prolem here, i think. some people do not agree to the structure and the contents of the vote pages, and that is a chance to learn more about problems & their solutions. my meta solution is called evan. it’s so simple: if we all agree, then evan may decide it in the long run, because he is the natural center of the discussion and because we trust him. i’m shure, there is no oppose to that.

Yeah. What sigi said. :)

How do they say it? “I second sigi’s nomination of Evan.”

Evan makes a new voting super-page, and then we can delete all these old ones. Try to include our basic ideas. If you forget something important, we’ll just add it in ourselves.

I feel we have a rough consensus on the major tradeoffs.

so do i. sigi

I think I should rewrite VotingIsEvil. I wrote it for a particular audience, but it’s not broad enough or useful enough. After the past two months on Wikipedia, it’s become clear that I need to rewrite it. The discussion on this page is still kind of missing the essence of the issue; I’ll have to think about what I mean harder. ArrowsTheorem, for instance, is not the reason why voting is evil, but using “math” [sic] is an effective way to disrupt one particular mindset long enough to make the larger point. – SunirShah?

what essence of what issue? ;) sigi

To be overt, the essence of the original page was a reaction against those who were using “voting” to force people (i.e. FridemarPache, HelmutLeitner) off WikiWiki?. Alternate contexts are the short voting periods used on WikiPedia to maintain the instigator’s power on English Wikipedia. It’s not insignificant who wrote the VotingIsGood page on MeatballWiki? either. Right now the discussion seems divorced from a real context. Or perhaps rather the originating context on MeatballWiki?’s version of the pages make the pages less than clear. – SunirShah?

sunir, you wrote, you should rewrite VotingIsEvil, but that is, what we are doing here. the subject of our writing expended by discussing it, so the topic is now: what’s the best way for us to make decisions. our business is to find a first common point to go ahead. therefore i nominated evan to be our last instance. if you believe to be the better man for that, then we must vote!!! and that’s the answer of the question: in which situation is voting needed.

I’m not going to rewrite the page on CommunityWiki. I’ll rewrite it on MeatballWiki?. I am responding to Evan’s assertion that the original page is not very good. – SunirShah?

I hope I didn’t come across as thinking it’s not a good page. I just don’t think ArrowsTheorem is helpful for practical process development. Even though we know that neither majority-rule voting nor TrialByCombat? can be truly “fair”, we (generally) think that the first is better than the second. Why?

It’s like Godel’s Theorem. Even though Godel tells us that our system of math is fundamentally flawed and inconsistent, we still do math. And even though ArrowsTheorem tells us that our decision-making processes can never be fair or right or whatever, we still have to make decisions. I wouldn’t apply Godel when marking up 2nd-grade arithmetic exercises (“addition is meaningless and can never have meaning. F.”).

Perhaps the main place ArrowsTheorem is useful, practically, is when you’re in a cycle of ProcessImprovement?. Knowing that things are never going to be perfectly fair and accurate, you can settle for OK or good enough.

as far as i understand this stuff, our tree is the best system. yeah, indeed, wonderful structure.

Another thing: my main incentive to start this is that I find it really intolerable when voting happens on wikis. Almost always, it’s premature, or a way to route around FairProcess? or site standards. The fact that voting is considered the fair way to make decisions also makes these instances really frustrating. I just wanted to have a place to point to that said, “Look, voting isn’t the be-all and end-all of decision-making. Sometimes, it’s just not right.”

Evan, I don’t understand you and others. Voting as part of decision processes is such an enormous phenomenon. Much too enormous to put it in a simple judgement. People keep telling me that consensus is perferred - of course, that’s trivial - but how do you know that consensus is reached online? We will not be able to live without counting opinions and voting is nothing different. The interesting thing is the process around voting. What is open for decisions? How much time is available for the discussion? Is complete information available? What legitimacy is available? What does the result of the voting mean (it could be a check for consensus, advisory, majority decision, …? There are about 2 dozen dimensions of the decision making process. Online communication will change everything. Totally new processes can be tried and developed.

When I hear “I don’t like voting” today I only understand “we basically dislike democracy”. It seems totally inadequate to go for that word. There always was decision making and there is no way around making decisions. Decisions can be violent or fair, hidden or public, open or closed … and this doesn’t depend on whether one uses the flag “democracy” or “monarchy” or “anarchy” or something quite different. Words mean nothing compared to the process.

Very interesting. Wiki gives access to the “evil powers”, these are able to influence wikis content. On that side wiki is all-inclusive, a clean mirror. Whoever decides to beam a light on it, the light will be reflected by wiki and everybody will see how the image changes by that lightbeam. wiki reflects the all-inluding Yggdrasil, the world-tree from norse mythology, with all the powers that gnaw on its roots and leaves. It is chaotic, savage. It is like nature. This is wikis basic condition.
You see nature, it is there. The sun casts light, nature reflects this light, you see nature.
Wiki as a mirror reflects only the light that is intentionally casted on. Unlike nature you see nothing (than a front page) on a brandnew wiki that is up and online. But potentially there is everything, potentially it is chaotic, every troll and every spammer could potentially make a page on the wiki from the very moment it is up and online. The only reason that they do not do so is that their attention is somewhere else. Every wiki is potentionally a vast savage and chaotic nature. On every wiki, wikipedia included, the structured world, the intentionally casted light that get’s mirrored by it, is tinytinytinytiny compared to the potential chaotic nature that potentially exists not only around, but inside the structures. The gnawing creatures. The world-tree. The secrete troll base, that lion has added in the corner on his drawing the other day. We had fun about that. But it is not only funny, instead it “makes my blood freeze in my veins” as you say in German. It is essential. It is a part of it. It is good that it is a part of it.
As humans shape nature for example by building cities, wiki is shaped to create structure. On the streets of cities humans put asphalt. This has advantages, water flows away instead of turnig everything into mud (like in the cities of the middleages), trees dont’t grow in the middle of the street … Humans limit nature in their little urban resorts, humans do control it to a certain degree. But nature is still there and active. Nature is the grass that grows out of a rip in the asphalt. But it always can also turn out into a hurricane or a new virus, it can sweep an entire city away in a day. That’s one side, I think the beautiful side about wiki. There is another side of it too.
A couple of thousands of people use wiki. Physically wiki is a box called server connected to the internet. There are far far less of these wikiboxes than wikiusers. The box is owned by someone, mostly it is located in the owners private space. Power can go out locally, the owner can have an accident, the kids can pull out the plug whatsoever. You can share on administrator right, yes, but the physical fact remains. Wiki must be decentralized. Who writes takes a bit of the serverload, like freenet (said that before I guess). A nice little clientprogram will be on its way pretty soon I hope. The physical part would turn dynamic and global and free instead of continuing static and local and proprietary, much more wiki/yggdrasil like. Remember: when it’s not free it doesn’t exist. Wiki doesn’t exist. You can switch it off. You can’t switch of nature. You couldn’t switch of a decentralised wiki. You cant’t switch off freenet btw. The world-tree neither.
What I called nature in a metaphoric way above, the potentially present the chaotic, the wiki nature, is composed from the same that what we are composed of here. Human intelligence. This wiki nature is even capable of using wiki itself. I’m not sure what is more frightening, real nature or wiki nature. Both must be lived with in accord. Both will simply wipe you away when you do not respect them.
Imagine you couldn’t swich off MetaBaby? anymore. Imagine you could change the code, imagine you could do everything to a decental world-tree like wiki, wouldn’t we be able to build something? And wouldn’t wiki nature then mess it up again. And wouldn’t we rebuild it better than before. And get it messed up and rebuild and so on. We could use traditional wiki to keep up the work.
Dunno what this is yet. I’ll save and prepare me another coffee.

I don’t quite get your message. Nature in the form of grass and trees and rolling waves is nicer than humans? Physical processes that have no choices are nicer than living and social processes that have choices? Agreed. But we can’t help but act in the framework of our situation.

About wiki: Technical systems can break or they can be turned off. Anything can. We build safety nets so that we are not harmed.

Still remember the topic of the page? – HelmutLeitner

Helmut: I think you’re responding to the title of this page rather than to its contents. I don’t think it’s a good idea to conflate democracy (a principle where people decide their own fate) with voting (a decision-making method). There are other ways to achieve democracy besides voting, consensus being one such method. Voting has a number of faults (listed above) that make it counterproductive in some situations.

All that said: I’m going to try to merge this page and VotingIsGood into a single page, which for now I’ll call AboutVoting. It seems like folks would prefer to have a single page with a more neutral name than a couple of names with opposite ideas and weighted names.

hi evan, good work. that’s a feather in your cap. sigi

Evan, I don’t think that the given arguments against voting hold. I’ll give it a try. – HelmutLeitner

Like much rhetoric, the arguments against voting are not meant to hold, but merely to raise concern so that people themselves question what they are doing. Is voting really evil? No. Indeed, it is a contradiction in our moral framework to think voting is evil, because voting is so closely associated with freedom, it would make us think that freedom is evil; and I define evil as the reduction of freedom. But the breakdown that occurs from this contradiction creates the necessary room for a discussion of whether or not the “obvious” solution (hold a vote) is the right solution. – SunirShah?

Very right, Sunir: if it ain’got that swing, it don’t mean a thing. Got it now.

Please note that the vote I opened up on changing this names page, did not decide anything, but was a useful additional WikiParalanguge?. That was pretty close to my idea about the use of voting btw. Information is useful, innit?

Technical systems can break or they can be turned off. Anything can. We build safety nets so that we are not harmed.

Exactly. We discussing safety nets for wiki over at WikiFeatures:FailSafeWiki .

Since this doesn’t really have anything to do with AboutVoting, I plan to move my comments and a big chunk of comments from MattisManzel and HelmutLeitner over to WikiFeatures:FailSafeWiki . Unless I hear an objection.

(WikiFeatures:FailSafeWiki : taking a “single wiki”, a single community of people, and adds a safety net, so that it cannot be turned off by a single person). (I would stick them at DistributingWiki , but that seems to be more about shuffling pages between several different communities ?).


I was thinking about this page the other day – how painful and frustrating the AboutVoting discussion was for me. I really felt terrible, spending a lot of time dealing with the dualistic nature of VotingIsEvil (which I’ve always equated with the humorous “Bert is Evil” Web site, btw) and then having to write all of VotingIsGood to show my good faith. THEN going through the process of integrating the two into the cohesive AboutVoting. And then having that page torn apart into call-and-response format, rather than integrative DocumentMode? – with me, who’d spent all this time trying to balance and synthesize, being pointed to as the voice of fascism.

All I ever wanted to say was WeDontAlwaysHaveToVoteOnEverything. But I got caught up in other people’s ideas of what voting meant, and what democracy meant. I think I’ve begun to understand why this was such a hot-button issue, although I never intended it to be. I think if someone were to say to me, “Let’s open up the discussion as to whether women are actually as smart as men…” or “Let’s talk about whether blacks actually deserve to be treated equally to whites…” I’d be really really against it. It would make my gut crawl even to have the question brought up. It could never, ever be a fruitful conversation for me, and I would always feel sullied for participating in it, and I’d fight against being drawn into it. And I think that’s how other people felt when I kept saying, “Let’s tease apart this voting issue and see what’s actually at the bottom of it.”

I’d like to StartAgain with this page; or, rather, with my original idea. I’m going to make a stub page for WeDontAlwaysHaveToVoteOnEverything, or maybe WhenShouldWeVote?, and just try to say what I wanted in the first place: that for certain group sizes, group cohesiveness, and SubordinateGoal?"s, voting isn’t the only or even the best process. Actually, maybe I’ll leave out terms like “best” or “better” or “worse”. I’ll try to be as value-neutral as possible.

But I’m washing my hands of AboutVoting. It’s not my job to make this page work any more. I can participate in CommunityWiki without fixing this page or making it worthwhile. It’s SomebodyElsesProblem?. Albatross discarded.

Heh. I don’t mind about the page so much. It’s just good to see you again. :)



I found your review of your involvement in creating this page to be sufficiently compelling that I decided to post, after several weeks of merely “lurking” at this site. The fact that I am also quite interested in this subject and have worked on this subject a bit with Helmut at meatball was also part of my motivation.

I cannot offer participate very quickly, if you decide to re-engage this subject, simply because I do not think I have an adequate mastery of the skills needed to edit within this particular wiki technology yet, but I’ll try to be as supportive as I can, assuming this community is accepting of my interest in participating.

P.S. To Lion: Sorry, but I haven’t yet figured out how to make the ‘break’ in speakers happen.

Sure, we are happy when someone is interested. Hi Hans. The sign at the beginning of the contribution (just like the pics) makes sense, I guess. How to insert your foto here?

Thanks, Mattis. I’ll make a picture. Its been a while. (In fact, as I recall, we last ‘chatted’ when you welcomed me to the meatball wiki as “Ein Fass ohne Boden”.) In the interests of ‘efficiency’ and attempted humor, “Is there somewhere else that I should go, so you can welcome me again?” – HansWobbe. P.S. My name seems to automatically assume meatball as a target, rather than this wiki - An interesting feature that I have not encountered before. Is there a specific person due the credit for that?

You gotta press HansWobbe in make this page locally down on the page. AlexSchroeder made it.

Hmm. I never really thought about this feature. It seemed weird to me in beginning. But now … Imagine wikis would define their neighborhood. Maybe by voting, maybe. They say these 3, 5 or 11 or whatever are the wikis we are especially interestested in. Interested: Some we just adore, some we collaborate with, some we’d like to collaborate with, again “whatever”. The magical techniques now enable dynamically that whenever somebody makes a page named simmilar to a page within the Athmosphere (the surounding you can breath in) of a wiki, this links automatically to the “inner-athmospheric” page on the other wiki. s23-wiki: recent changes of our neighbors

Mattis: If I understand what you are suggesting, then it seems to be a variation of the standard interWiki map feature that aleady exists, except that the apparent prefix is not visible. (e.g. Wiki:HansWobbe - assuming this site recognizes ‘Wiki:’).

Hardcore, but yes, you are right. Is the interwiki map standardized? I never felt like it is.

If it’s not a free choice you can’t agee on it, right? Mine is a suggestion, but it can be alternated, the intermaps can also, sure, but later. ;) See clean linking. Not: see CleanLinking.

I was reading EbenMoglen?’s blog and found a mention of deliberative democracy in his discussion of GPLv3. It seemed like an interesting idea, and the WP page also has a link to consensus democracy.

yet more discussion

Dear friends,

I think voting is often a wonderful thing.

I also think science is often a wonderful thing.

So how surprised will you be, when I suggest that “democratic science” ( ) is woefully misguided?

p.s.: Is this AboutVoting page the best place to move the “voting” stuff from the FreeWillAndDeterminism page? Or would the AboutDecisions page be better?

“By just giving up a teensy weensy bit of one thing … they can suddenly get dramatic results in other things … .”

Are you talking about the Wiki:WaterbedTheory ?


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