I’m leaving for DAMOP tomorrow, and did a presentation for local high-schoolers today, so everything is in chaos here. Thus, a poll to pass the time, inspired by my current activities:

The word “best” naturally implies a single item, so choose only one.


  1. #1 Dale Sheldon-Hess
    May 24, 2010

    “The word “best” naturally implies a single item, so choose only one.”

    Well, yes, clearly each individual person can only find one item on the list to be “best” (barring any ties, but let’s ignore that for now.)

    But when you’re aggregating the opinions of many people, having each one indicate only their single favorite does not necessarily indicate which one choice is “best” with respect to the group as a whole. (Or, “the sum of truncated preference vectors does not equal the truncation of the sum of preference vectors.”)

    The belief that “best” “naturally implies” that each person can “choose only one” is why democratic politics sucks as bad as it does.

    (Down with plurality! Up with approval voting or score voting!)

  2. #2 Joseph Smidt
    May 24, 2010

    I seem to get more out of talking to people informally then that actual posters and presentations. The face to face personal interaction with scientists is most helpful for me.

  3. #3 --bill
    May 24, 2010

    The best part of a conference is having dinners at good restaurants.

  4. #4 Clay Shentrup
    May 25, 2010

    Dale is right. It doesn’t tell you much to know what people find “the best” out of so many options. It would be better to let people rate these (i.e. Score Voting) or vote for more than one (i.e. Approval Voting).

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