Story 2014-03-16 3G3 Approval voting

Approval voting

in pipedot on (#3G3)
This week's poll is an example of the Approval voting method. Note that the items are checkboxes instead of the traditional single choice radio button. Please check all the features that you would prefer to see on this site sooner-rather-than-later. I plan on adding all of these features (except the NSA option - that one is a joke!) over the next few weeks. This poll will give me some feedback on which features are the most popular. For example, if nobody really cares about the Achievement system, I'll know to not spend too much time on it.
Reply 6 comments

Approval Voting is Under-Rated (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-16 07:22 (#KH)

Good work on choosing approval voting!

Single-vote (first past the post) methods are terrible methods of translating voter will into meaningful results. They discourage most people from voting and most candidates from running, and produce divisive results (see american presidential elections). If most people dislike a particular candidate, it can still win, because the vote against it may be split between the other options, since people can only express their first preference, and nothing else.

Preferential (ranked) voting systems can be ok, but it gets complicated when you decide how to count the preferences. If you use instant-runoff (eliminate the least popular candidate if there is no majority, then re-distribute the second-preferences from those votes. Repeat until someone has a majority) is divisive, because most people who didn't vote for whoever ends up winning, do not get their preferences counted at all. This is because their first-preference option doesn't get eliminated before a majority is reached by another candidate.

There are some decent preferential systems (e.g. borda count, kemeny-young), but they all suffer from arrow's impossibility theorem (which shows that they're all flawed in some key aspects).

Approval voting is simple to use, simple to count, and tends to produce consensus results.

This site doesn't appear to have a whole team of volunteers like SoylentNews (which I also like), so progress is slower, but I very much like and admire the effort. Consider me sold.

Re: Approval Voting is Under-Rated (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-16 10:00 (#KN)

Love the site/html, beautiful and clean. Like the fresh approach to the strength of Slash-style moderation.

I like the voting system and it would be a huge step up for most systems (particularly political ones).

That said by starting to vote it got me thinking:
- I happen to only have two definite positive preferences I'll vote for, those are easy.
- Then among the remaining five options (not counting the NSA one) there are some I really don't want or want to hold back until a future date, I obviously don't want to vote for those, so those are easy.
- But since I've only chosen two out of seven options I could be wasting my influence if I don't push for at least some of the options that aren't outright "bad" in my opinion. It could end up weakening my own choices or it could end up weakening the choices I want to avoid, this starts to get hard.

It's like ranking without ranking; if I vote for all options I might as well not vote and if I vote for none I'm not voting so those two examples are the extremes and intuitively that tells me I should try to choose roughly half of the options XD

Maybe I'm just evil¹ :3

¹ "lawful chaotic" chaotic? *head asplodes*

P.S. I would like (more) unicode support but I'm in no rush , the code barfs at superscript 1 unless it's written using predefined html entities (ampersand sup1 semicolon) but on preview it changes the html entity (numeric doesn't work either) in the comment entry box to the character so if you preview it twice or preview and post it will fubar all over the place :o

Re: Approval Voting is Under-Rated (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-16 22:54 (#KW)

I also like the fresh take on this site. Hoping it gains a community!

Re: Approval Voting is Under-Rated (Score: 2)

by on 2014-03-17 08:02 (#M2)

What kind of stuff would you like to see on Pipedot?

Re: Approval Voting is Under-Rated (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-17 12:41 (#M5)

What interests me more than anything (in the context of a news aggregation/discussion site) are discussions of past or future decisions, i.e., in given circumstances, what have thoughtful people elected to do in the past or plan to do in the future. Based on what comes up, I will follow the lead of others, do something different, or simply learn about the different views that are out there. Almost always, I find such exchanges both fun and helpful.

So, for example:
I liked the recent topic on kids versus adults and learning new tasks because I have kids and I am an adult and I like us all to be learning when possible.
I liked the recent topic on ergonomic office equipment because: a) this hits close to home for me, and b) I get to learn what others have done.

In terms of categories:
technology first (e.g., innovations in Linux distributions, programming workflows, video game system/game preferences, ...)
techno-science ethics second (e.g., is it good to teach/not teach programming to youth, should modern families be preserving stem cells for future health problems, to what extent should business plans place social responsibility over profits or vice versa, etc.)
science third (e.g., what comes after the Higgs boson, the new Mercury shrinking story fits, ...)
techno-politics fourth (e.g., privacy versus convenience, authoritarian design decisions or community-driven, etc.)

So, probably in line with what pipedot is already doing, what slashdot has done (and continues to do), and what soylentnews is trying to do as well. In the end, the community is really what makes it and for some reason (simple design is part of it), I'm quite intrigued by the potential of pipedot to be a fresh take on this community at large.

Re: Approval Voting is Under-Rated (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-18 13:06 (#NB)

Agreed. I'm still hopeful that SN comes out of their tribulation ok, but I'm much less optimistic than when it launched. At this point |. looks like the best site in the bunch.