Old 10-23-2011, 01:27 PM   #856
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Is there any call for proportional representation in America. Do any of you live where your vote is worthless?

thank goodness he's on our side
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:33 PM   #857
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Is there any call for proportional representation in America. Do any of you live where your vote is worthless?
There's not big push for it in the US as far as I can tell. From a statistics standpoint, all votes are worthless even if democracy 'works'.

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Old 10-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #858
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He's Canadian, dogpet. Don't listen to him.

Our votes do count, especially in local elections. The bastards running for office wouldn't spend so much money trying to manipulate people for their votes if our votes were actually worthless.

"My vote doesn't count" is most often the grumbling of some poor sod who tends not to be aware that there are other voters in their midsts. And if a majority of them vote against your candidate or the specific proposition you support, well, you ain't gonna get your way this go 'round.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:42 PM   #859
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Our votes do count, especially in local elections.
They 'count', but do they matter? Not really, statistically speaking.

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Irr wrote
The bastards running for office wouldn't spend so much money trying to manipulate people for their votes if our votes were actually worthless.
Votes in total might be important (especially to politicians!), but individual votes are virtually worthless.

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Irr wrote
"My vote doesn't count" is most often the grumbling of some poor sod who tends not to be aware that there are other voters in their midsts. And if a majority of them vote against your candidate or the specific proposition you support, well, you ain't gonna get your way this go 'round.
How much does one's vote count if one votes for their favored candidate and still loses by a wide margin?

An individual vote is only valuable in affecting policy at p=1.0 when it is the deciding vote (i.e., a tie-breaking vote, or the only vote). The value of an individual vote as a means of affecting policy declines as the size of the electorate grows, and the probability distribution of others' votes shifts away from a tie. Since even local-level elections typically involve at least tens of thousands of people at a minimum, and since the probability of a tie approaches zero given voter preferences, the chances that any individual's vote will affect the outcome are basically zero, and that's assuming the election is between two (or more candidates) with substantial policy differences, which is usually not the case.

So, statistically speaking, a perfectly functional democracy can be said to offer a roughly 0% chance of choosing between two highly similar outcomes. Not a particularly valuable asset, hence why I asked you previously how much it would cost someone to buy your vote. You priced it at infinity, interestingly enough.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:29 PM   #860
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They 'count', but do they matter? Not really, statistically speaking.
They count and they do matter, especially if your man or woman gets in where you want 'em.

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Victus wrote
Votes in total might be important (especially to politicians!), but individual votes are virtually worthless.
So is an individual grain of sand. So let's close the beaches, why don't we?

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Victus wrote
How much does one's vote count if one votes for their favored candidate and still loses by a wide margin?
It's still a counted vote. If we all universally agreed upon whom should occupy a particular public office, there would be no point in voting.

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Victus wrote
An individual vote is only valuable in affecting policy at p=1.0 when it is the deciding vote (i.e., a tie-breaking vote, or the only vote). The value of an individual vote as a means of affecting policy declines as the size of the electorate grows, and the probability distribution of others' votes shifts away from a tie. Since even local-level elections typically involve at least tens of thousands of people at a minimum, and since the probability of a tie approaches zero given voter preferences, the chances that any individual's vote will affect the outcome are basically zero, and that's assuming the election is between two (or more candidates) with substantial policy differences, which is usually not the case.

So, statistically speaking, a perfectly functional democracy can be said to offer a roughly 0% chance of choosing between two highly similar outcomes. Not a particularly valuable asset, hence why I asked you previously how much it would cost someone to buy your vote. You priced it at infinity, interestingly enough.
I don't care about your antisceptic values, R2D2. If you vote, your vote is counted; if you don't vote, then there is no vote to count. I vote in every election in which I'm eligible and my vote is counted. Sometimes my guy or gal wins and sometime he or she loses. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:51 PM   #861
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They count and they do matter, especially if your man or woman gets in where you want 'em.
Really, your vote counts more if you win? Did your one vote decide the outcome more so in such a contingency?

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Irr wrote
So is an individual grain of sand. So let's close the beaches, why don't we?
No one is advocating closing the beaches, only that individual grains of sand are insignificant in the operation of a beach.

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Irr wrote
It's still a counted vote.
Which is what I said, that it was counted but irrelevant.

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Irr wrote
If we all universally agreed upon whom should occupy a particular public office, there would be no point in voting.
Agreement on who to elect doesn't matter. Not-voting offers a 0% chance of directly affecting the outcome whether there is consensus; voting offers a chance of affecting policy which is indistinguishable from 0% In fact, your chances of affecting the outcome go up when the split is more stark.

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Irr wrote
I don't care about your antisceptic values, R2D2.
Those aren't my views, they're math.

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Irr wrote
If you vote, your vote is counted
But it doesn't matter, based on the requisite math.

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Irr wrote
if you don't vote, then there is no vote to count. I vote in every election in which I'm eligible and my vote is counted.
And it doesn't affect the outcome one way or another. You might as well say, "I buy every lottery ticket I can so I can get rich!". Think that's absurd? Consider that lottery tickets will almost always give you better odds than voting.

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Irr wrote
Sometimes my guy or gal wins and sometime he or she loses. That's the way the cookie crumbles.
And the outcome is not determined by your vote either way. Every election you've ever participated in would have ended the same way if you had staid home, because your individual vote is of basically zero value.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:51 PM   #862
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Really, your vote counts more if you win?
It counts toward a win if it was among those cast for the winning candidate or proposition, obviously.

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Victus wrote
Did your one vote decide the outcome more so in such a contingency?
No, not unless there was a one-vote difference between two of the candidates running in an election. A single vote does not usually decide an election, but they all count if there is going to be an election or polling. Otherwise, what is the point of using that means to settle a proposition or who is going to occupy a public office?

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Victus wrote
No one is advocating closing the beaches, only that individual grains of sand are insignificant in the operation of a beach.
It may be difficult to notice upon a superficial glance, but a beach is made up of individual grains of sand.

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Victus wrote
Which is what I said, that it was counted but irrelevant.
I know what you said. But I said that a single vote is not irrelevant. It's certainly not irrelevant to the person who casts it.

It might be statistically irrelevant-- which appears to be your focus-- but so is any single thing amongst a plethora of the same. In the grand scheme of the universe, our sun is "statistically" insignificant, but it damned sure is a very important to star to us.

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Victus wrote
Agreement on who to elect doesn't matter. Not-voting offers a 0% chance of directly affecting the outcome whether there is consensus; voting offers a chance of affecting policy which is indistinguishable from 0% In fact, your chances of affecting the outcome go up when the split is more stark.
And this is bullshit. I'm not claiming that my one vote has the power to sway the tide, but it is my voice, even if it's just one amongst a sea of many. I have a Constitutionally guaranteed choice to exercise it or not. If I truly believed that my voice was insignificant, ineffectual and unnecessary, I'd keep my ass at home on Election Day. But I don't.

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Victus wrote
Those aren't my views, they're math.
I know what it is, and I think you're using it inappropriately. The value of a vote is not entirely in the math (which, ultimately, would be in the outcome of all those cast votes added up), but in the expression of the individual person who casts it. And math can't measure that. That is why I kept telling you before that my vote is not for sale. There is no mathematical or monetary value that I could place on it.

I get a say. Whether you think that is insignificant or not, having a say is very important to me and, I suspect, a lot of other people who bother to vote.

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Victus wrote
But it doesn't matter, based on the requisite math.
If everything were measured on that basis alone, little would really matter in life.

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Victus wrote
And it doesn't affect the outcome one way or another. You might as well say, "I buy every lottery ticket I can so I can get rich!". Think that's absurd? Consider that lottery tickets will almost always give you better odds than voting.
I don't buy lottery tickets. They're a waste of time and money to me. But there are some folks who think differently and, once in a while, one of them winds up a millionaire.

But I don't think voting is really comparable to playing the lottery. As I said, I value my vote as my voice. That's all I'm adding to the political mix when I go to the polls, and I'm not gambling when I do it. It's a very deliberate exercise.

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Victus wrote
And the outcome is not determined by your vote either way. Every election you've ever participated in would have ended the same way if you had staid home, because your individual vote is of basically zero value.
Yes. Just like this forum would still exist without any single one of us participating in it. Had you never been born, it's still likely there would be a ravingatheists.com on the Internet. So when are you signing off?

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:20 PM   #863
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It counts toward a win if it was among those cast for the winning candidate or proposition, obviously.
So you derive value from voting for the winner more than voting for a loser. And that's a probabilistic outcome, right? Like a lottery? The parallels keep popping up.

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Irr wrote
No, not unless there was a one-vote difference between two of the candidates running in an election. A single vote does not usually decide an election, but they all count if there is going to be an election or polling.
But individual votes only matter in determining the outcome if an election if they act as a tie-breaker. If it doesn't break a tie, then the outcome isn't contingent on that vote, and said vote is worthless as far as the election goes.

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Irr wrote
Otherwise, what is the point of using that means to settle a proposition or who is going to occupy a public office?
In terms of satisfying individual preferences, democracy is little better than dictatorship, since the odds that an individual's vote will change the outcome is basically 0%. The best method is markets.

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Irr wrote
It may be difficult to notice upon a superficial glance, but a beach is made up of individual grains of sand.
None of which, individually, are important or necessary for the existence of the beach.

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Irr wrote
I know what you said. But I said that a single vote is not irrelevant. It's certainly not irrelevant to the person who casts it.
They might get some feelies out of voting, but their individual vote doesn't matter one way or the other unless it breaks a tie.

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Irr wrote
It might be statistically irrelevant-- which appears to be your focus-- but so is any single thing amongst a plethora of the same. In the grand scheme of the universe, our sun is "statistically" insignificant, but it damned sure is a very important to star to us.
The point of voting is to affect the outcome of an election, is it not? If a vote doesn't do that, then what's the point of voting?

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Irr wrote
And this is bullshit. I'm not claiming that my one vote has the power to sway the tide, but it is my voice, even if it's just one amongst a sea of many.
Exactly. As an individual, voting for the purposes of affecting the outcome is irrational in the same way that playing the lottery to get rich is irrational, just based on the probabilities inherently involved. As such, in so far as people value voting, it has nothing to do with determining the outcome of an election, and everything to do with superficial signaling for whatever reason (personal identity, group loyalty, etc).

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Irr wrote
I have a Constitutionally guaranteed choice to exercise it or not. If I truly believed that my voice was insignificant, ineffectual and unnecessary, I'd keep my ass at home on Election Day. But I don't.
Objectively, then, you're wrong. Your vote has less of a chance of affecting the outcome of an election that you have of winning the lottery.

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Irr wrote
I know what it is
Then why did you claim it was my 'view', instead of saying it was math.

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Irr wrote
and I think you're using it inappropriately.
How so?

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Irr wrote
The value of a vote is not entirely in the math (which, ultimately, would be in the outcome of all those cast votes added up), but in the expression of the individual person who casts it.
Which is basically what I'm saying. Voting isn't effective in determining the outcome of elections (and is blatantly irrational if that is one's goal), and therefore can only have value as a kind of entertainment/social signaling. Like going to an opera for free.

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Irr wrote
And math can't measure that.
Sure it can, with prices. Hence why I asked you how much you would be willing to sell your vote for. Your answer was that you value votertainment/signaling at infinity, despite the fact that it doesn't affect outcomes.

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Irr wrote
That is why I kept telling you before that my vote is not for sale. There is no mathematical or monetary value that I could place on it.
Exactly, you value this particular type of entertainment/hobby at infinity. You wouldn't give it up at any price. If someone offered you a billion dollars not to vote, you'd say, "no way, I love to vote".

And it doesn't matter at all that it has no effect on outcomes.

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Irr wrote
I get a say.
More accurately, since your vote doesn't affect the outcome, you get the appearance of a say.

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Irr wrote
Whether you think that is insignificant or not, having a say is very important to me and, I suspect, a lot of other people who bother to vote.
I'm sure appearing to have a say is very important to a great many people.

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Irr wrote
If everything were measured on that basis alone, little would really matter in life.
So to be clear, you don't care that you don't have a say (mathematically speaking), as long as you reap the emotional benefits of appearing to have a say?

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Irr wrote
I don't buy lottery tickets. They're a waste of time and money to me.
The irony is a bit thick here, since you odds of winning the lottery are better than affecting the outcome of an election.

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Irr wrote
But there are some folks who think differently and, once in a while, one of them winds up a millionaire.
But on average, lottery players lose money (otherwise, it wouldn't be sustainable). Playing the lottery is a losing proposition if you're trying to make money, just like voting is a losing proposition if you're trying to determine the outcome - although the former offers better odds.

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Irr wrote
But I don't think voting is really comparable to playing the lottery.
They're basically the same thing, in so far as you vote to affect the outcome. If you do it as some kind of superficial entertainment ritual, then you're right, they're somewhat different.

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Irr wrote
As I said, I value my vote as my voice. That's all I'm adding to the political mix when I go to the polls, and I'm not gambling when I do it. It's a very deliberate exercise.
Why deliberate when you probability of affecting the outcome is zero. That's like saying that you choose your lottery numbers very carefully.

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Irr wrote
Yes. Just like this forum would still exist without any single one of us participating in it.
It would exist, but would be radically changed. Nothing would change if you stayed home on election night.

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Irr wrote
Had you never been born, it's still likely there would be a ravingatheists.com on the Internet. So when are you signing off?
Nope, I derive entertainment value by observing irrationality up close.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:17 AM   #864
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So you derive value from voting for the winner more than voting for a loser. And that's a probabilistic outcome, right? Like a lottery? The parallels keep popping up.
No. I very specifically told you that I derive value from the exercise itself. By voting, I get a chance to exercise my voice in the political process. If the candidate I voted for wins, well, that's icing on the cake.

It's not the lottery to me, even if you, personally, want to reduce it to that. Those are your values, and you've demonstrated time and again here that you just cannot fathom anybody not sharing your values. How illogical of them! Apparently, you don't value the idea of having a vote unless it guarantees you the results you want. If you can't have that, then the whole exercise is worthless to you, and you seem to think that others should see it that way, too.

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Victus wrote
But individual votes only matter in determining the outcome if an election if they act as a tie-breaker. If it doesn't break a tie, then the outcome isn't contingent on that vote, and said vote is worthless as far as the election goes.
Says you. But you don't get to determine what is valuable to other people. Yes, you're entitled to sneer at them and think they're inferior for not sharing your values, but so what?

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Victus wrote
In terms of satisfying individual preferences, democracy is little better than dictatorship, since the odds that an individual's vote will change the outcome is basically 0%. The best method is markets.
Democracy is not about satisfying individual preferences. How in the hell would that even be possible in a country of 300+ million people? It's about having a say in the process, no more, no less. Otherwise, in the U.S.A .,you ain't guaranteed shit, beyond what's in the Bill of Rights and what current federal and local laws allow. As long as it doesn't run afoul of what's guaranteed in the Constitution, laws can be changed, and sometimes by public referendum. That's balloting and tallying individually cast votes, whcih is how some public rules get settled sometimes. No, it ain't perfect if you're looking for guarantees that your personal preferences will be met.

And your markets are not going to achieve the perfect synthesis of guaranteeing individual freedom and satisfying individual preferences, either. Somebody is going to lose or be reduced to making choices between alternatives that they don't especially like. That's life. Deal with it, if you can.

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Victus wrote
None of which, individually, are important or necessary for the existence of the beach.
A beach without sand (or gravel, rocks and/or pebbles) is not a beach. If we're talking about a sandy beach, every one of those grains of sand contributes toward making it what it is. Yes, if you remove a bucket full of the stuff, you still have a beach, but if you remove every grain, then you've got something else. And it ain't a sandy beach.

If you discount every vote cast in an election, or you suspend balloting altogether, individual citizens, who otherwise would have a say in the political process, don't. And you don't have a democracy, which you don't appear to value much anyway.

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Victus wrote
They might get some feelies out of voting, but their individual vote doesn't matter one way or the other unless it breaks a tie.
Well, at least those people have feelies. And there would be no tie to break or anything to decide if each of these feelie-friendly folk did not have access to a vote. They'd be at the mercy of something else. You markets, perhaps? I don't suppose they'd be allowed to have any feelings about that, however. Though, who knows what they'd use to access whatever preferences they might have? Maybe they'll all just consult their computers.

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Victus wrote
The point of voting is to affect the outcome of an election, is it not? If a vote doesn't do that, then what's the point of voting?
The point of an election is to poll individual voters to arrive an outcome as to how the majority of them voted. The point of casting a ballot is to express an individual choice.

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Victus wrote
Exactly. As an individual, voting for the purposes of affecting the outcome is irrational in the same way that playing the lottery to get rich is irrational, just based on the probabilities inherently involved. As such, in so far as people value voting, it has nothing to do with determining the outcome of an election, and everything to do with superficial signaling for whatever reason (personal identity, group loyalty, etc).
Again, I'm not voting to affect the outcome of how my neighbor across the street votes or how some guy in Dubuque, Iowa, votes. How presumptuous would that be? I don't have control of those people's ballots. In as much as I am trying to affect the outcome of an election, I can do that with only one vote, which is my voice. That's all I'm entitled to in a Democracy.

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Victus wrote
Objectively, then, you're wrong. Your vote has less of a chance of affecting the outcome of an election that you have of winning the lottery.
Don't tell me I'm objectively wrong when you're simultaneously trying to bind me to your biases. Clearly, your goal is to get what you want, preferably, every single time you endeavor to do something that involves other people. I don't quite understand that sense of personal entitlement, since it seems entirely unrealistic to me. I value the process of voting as a fair means to arrive at a consensus, even if I don't always like the results.

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Victus wrote
Then why did you claim it was my 'view', instead of saying it was math.
Because it is your view that math is the only logical and valid prism though which to determine the value of casting a ballot. I know it does not matter to you, but I'm going to keep reminding you that not everyone values what you do. If we were all robots, we might.

And, I'll stop here, because I'll only wind up repeating myself by responding to the rest of your post.

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Last edited by Irreligious; 10-24-2011 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:05 AM   #865
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I don't care about your antisceptic values, R2D2.
I thought this was a very good line because I'd read 'antiseptic,' which, following the 'don't listen to the Canadian' dig was very punny indeed.

But antisceptic? Typo?

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Old 10-24-2011, 07:50 AM   #866
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No. I very specifically told you that I derive value from the exercise itself.
Exactly. You value voting in the same way a shamen might value doing a rain dance. It matters not whether your vote at all affects the outcome, or whether dancing brings rain, although both of you may or may not profess a belief that you're each 'doing' something to affect your world.

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Irr wrote
By voting, I get a chance to exercise my voice in the political process. If the candidate I voted for wins, well, that's icing on the cake.
Which is what I said. You get more out of an election, emotion/entertainment wise, when you win compared to when you lose. And you seem to believe that voting makes a difference in that outcome.

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Irr wrote
It's not the lottery to me, even if you, personally, want to reduce it to that. Those are your values, and you've demonstrated time and again here that you just cannot fathom anybody not sharing your values. How illogical of them!
Again, my values don't even enter into it. It's just math. After receiving a negative prognosis from a doctor, it is as though you would respond, "Well those are your values, not mine!!!".

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Irr wrote
Apparently, you don't value the idea of having a vote unless it guarantees you the results you want. If you can't have that, then the whole exercise is worthless to you, and you seem to think that others should see it that way, too.
Imagine a world where, immediately after voting, your ballot fell into a hidden incinerator. Your vote has a 0% chance of affecting the outcome of the election. Would voting make sense in such a world? If your answer is no, then you have to explain why the world we live in, where your vote has a 0% chance of affecting the outcome, is different from such a world.

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Irr wrote
Says you. But you don't get to determine what is valuable to other people. Yes, you're entitled to sneer at them and think they're inferior for not sharing your values, but so what?
Absolutely. If you want to see value in dancing for rain, it's totally up to you, shaman. Just don't be surprised when I mock you for your ignorance of hydrodynamics.

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Irr wrote
Democracy is not about satisfying individual preferences.
Then what's the point of voting?

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Irr wrote
How in the hell would that even be possible in a country of 300+ million people?
Markets.

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Irr wrote
It's about having a say in the process, no more, no less.
If the outcome isn't determined by whether or not you participate, do you really have a say, or just the appearance of a say?

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Irr wrote
And your markets are not going to achieve the perfect synthesis of guaranteeing individual freedom and satisfying individual preferences, either.
Miles better than in a democracy.

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Irr wrote
Somebody is going to lose or be reduced to making choices between alternatives that they don't especially like. That's life. Deal with it, if you can.
I deny that there are necessarily losers in a market.

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Irr wrote
A beach without sand (or gravel, rocks and/or pebbles) is not a beach. If we're talking about a sandy beach, every one of those grains of sand contributes toward making it what it is. Yes, if you remove a bucket full of the stuff, you still have a beach, but if you remove every grain, then you've got something else. And it ain't a sandy beach.
The value of each grain of sand increases as its share of the beach increases. When you have a fully stocked beach, individual grains are worthless. Likewise, when you have millions of statistically-illiterate fools willing to vote, your individual vote is worthless.

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Irr wrote
If you discount every vote cast in an election, or you suspend balloting altogether, individual citizens, who otherwise would have a say in the political process, don't. And you don't have a democracy, which you don't appear to value much anyway.
I value democracy for its palliative effect of giving the statistically-illiterate the appearance of providing input. I don't value it much beyond dictatorship as a means of satisfying individual preferences.

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Irr wrote
Well, at least those people have feelies.
Does this apply to theists who put their emotional attachment to irrational beliefs above their capacity to reason their way out of them as well?

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Irr wrote
And there would be no tie to break or anything to decide if each of these feelie-friendly folk did not have access to a vote.
But they do have access to the vote, and vote by the millions. And as such, voting remains irrational if your goal is to affect the outcome.

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Irr wrote
The point of an election is to poll individual voters to arrive an outcome as to how the majority of them voted. The point of casting a ballot is to express an individual choice.
And in a democracy, the individual choice doesn't matter. The outcome is the same whether the individual expresses their choice or not.

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Irr wrote
Again, I'm not voting to affect the outcome of how my neighbor across the street votes or how some guy in Dubuque, Iowa, votes.
I never claimed you were. But are you voting to affect the outcome of the election? When you vote do you vote for a particular party to help them win?

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Irr wrote
How presumptuous would that be? I don't have control of those people's ballots.
No, its worse than that. When you vote, you presume some measure of control over other peoples' lives (albeit, at the highly discounted rate necessitated by the statistics).

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Irr wrote
In as much as I am trying to affect the outcome of an election, I can do that with only one vote, which is my voice. That's all I'm entitled to in a Democracy.
And your vote has zero effect on the outcome. So why vote at all if you care about the outcome?

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Irr wrote
Don't tell me I'm objectively wrong when you're simultaneously trying to bind me to your biases.
What biases? All I've done on this front is present a straight-forward statistical argument that your individual vote doesn't affect the outcome.

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Irr wrote
Clearly, your goal is to get what you want, preferably, every single time you endeavor to do something that involves other people.
Definitely.

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Irr wrote
I don't quite understand that sense of personal entitlement, since it seems entirely unrealistic to me.
That's understandable if you're a democratic fundamentalist, such as yourself.

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Irr wrote
I value the process of voting as a fair means to arrive at a consensus, even if I don't always like the results.
I don't. Why would I need a consensus when I can just do what I want instead?

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Irr wrote
Because it is your view that math is the only logical and valid prism though which to determine the value of casting a ballot. I know it does not matter to you, but I'm going to keep reminding you that not everyone values what you do. If we were all robots, we might.
It doesn't have anything to with what I value, only what is true. It is objectively false that individual votes matter in determining the outcome of an election, based on the math.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:28 AM   #867
Rhinoqulous
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I seem to remember an election in Minnesota a few years back where Al Franken won by 312 votes. That seems to be an election where individual votes mattered. And then there was a state senate election in Minnesota that was a dead tie, I think individual votes mattered there. And a House election in Alaska where it was a decision of under 100 votes. I'm pretty sure every single vote was important there. There are many, many other examples. So this concept that individual votes don't matter isn't just hypothetically bullshit, it's shown to be bullshit in reality. It would be nice if Victus was honest and just admitted he was advocating a system Feudalism.

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:38 AM   #868
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I seem to remember an election in Minnesota a few years back where Al Franken won by 312 votes. That seems to be an election where individual votes mattered.
Given the size of the electorate and the observed distribution of votes, your odds of being the tie breaker were something like 5.04 x 10 to the -4th (using one set of formulas I've come across). And that was a close one!

Quote:
Rhino wrote
And then there was a state senate election in Minnesota that was a dead tie, I think individual votes mattered there.
Your odds of being the deciding vote are 1.0 if it was really a tie. This doesn't mean the vote mattered, though, if the candidates were interchangeable.

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Rhino wrote
And a House election in Alaska where it was a decision of under 100 votes. I'm pretty sure every single vote was important there.
Nope, see above. Just a few dozen votes one way or another is enough to push your odds of being a tie-breaker into scientific notation territory.

Quote:
Rhino wrote
There are many, many other examples.
But many, many more where one side or the other wins by > 1% of the vote. Indeed, I would be surprised if more than 1% of races have a margin of less than 1%. So you're examining the rare, outlier cases (where you still happen to be wrong) and making an inappropriate inference about the rest of the same (where you are even more wrong).

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Rhino wrote
So this concept that individual votes don't matter isn't just hypothetically bullshit, it's shown to be bullshit in reality.
If a candidate wins by 5 votes, would the outcome be changed if one of those five staid home that night? If your answer is "no", then you're wrong.

Quote:
Rhino wrote
It would be nice if Victus was honest and just admitted he was advocating a system Feudalism.
Nope, I'm advocating markets.

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:01 AM   #869
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If a candidate wins by 5 votes, would the outcome be changed if one of those five staid home that night? If your answer is "no", then you're wrong.
But you're not telling individuals to stay home, you're advocating everyone to stay home. If five people (or 500 or 5000) who would have voted the same stayed home, that would change the election.

Do you dismiss anything that can't be done by a single individual? Or do you understand most things take a collective effort, whether it be corporations or rock bands. Isn't the democratic process the same?

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Nope, I'm advocating markets.
I don't even know what that is supposed to mean. Are you saying businesses should select the leaders? Then I am wrong, you're not supporting Feudalism, you're supporting Fascism.

Wait just a minute-You expect me to believe-That all this misbehaving-Grew from one enchanted tree? And helpless to fight it-We should all be satisfied-With this magical explanation-For why the living die-And why it's hard to be a decent human being - David Bazan
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:23 AM   #870
Victus
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But you're not telling individuals to stay home, you're advocating everyone to stay home.
No I'm not. I'm saying that it's irrational for individuals to vote as long as large numbers of others are also voting. If everyone stopped voting, voting would become entirely rational. But that's not going to happen, because more people are statistically illiterate and get the feelies from voting. So why not take advantage of the prevailing equilibrium?

Quote:
Rhino wrote
If five people (or 500 or 5000) who would have voted the same stayed home, that would change the election.
But their individual votes wouldn't have changed anything, so its rational to stay home.

Quote:
Rhino wrote
Do you dismiss anything that can't be done by a single individual?
Nope.

Quote:
Rhino wrote
Or do you understand most things take a collective effort, whether it be corporations or rock bands. Isn't the democratic process the same?
Nope. The difference being the corporations and rock banks are voluntary associations; you join them. Not so for governments.

Quote:
Rhino wrote
I don't even know what that is supposed to mean.
It's not terribly complicated. There are 3 main options for decision making: dictatorship (one individual decides for everyone), democracy (majority decides for everyone) and markets (everyone decides for themselves). I advocate the latter as the best option, and the democracy as distant 2nd best in a limited few circumstances where markets are theoretically impossible.

Quote:
Rhino wrote
Are you saying businesses should select the leaders? Then I am wrong, you're not supporting Feudalism, you're supporting Fascism.
*checks to watch*

Time to Godwin's Law, 2 posts.

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