Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:January:14 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2008/1/14-18 [Computer/Companies/Apple, Consumer/CellPhone] UID:48938 Activity:low
1/14    Anyone have an iPhone? Like it? Hate it? I'm thinking about getting
        one for the sake of getting the latest freeway traffic info online
        in order to optimize my commute.
        \_ Getting an iPhone for that?  I just use my cell phone that I got
           free with my plan to browse
        \_ Keep in mind Apple will announce products that will make the iPhone
           obsolete tomorrow. (I actually don't know about that, but Macworld
           is this week.)
        \_ I bought an iPhone about a month after they came out, because I
           didn't like my treo. I wasn't expecting much, but I'm very happy
           with it. It's very 1.0, obvious stuff (like sync'ing notes, or
           transmitting contacts) is not there. Go play with one in the
           store to decide if it's for you.                     -- Marco
2008/1/14-18 [Computer/SW/Languages/C_Cplusplus] UID:48939 Activity:nil
1/14    You know, I'm really tired of C++ books calling the '%' operator
        'modulus'.  It's remainder folks, not modulus.
        \_ I've never seen it called 'modulus', just modulo. Remainder
           doesn't really work. Usually an operator is a verb. Modulo
           returns a specific remainder. You say "the remainder of
           <a division>" not "the remainder of A and B."
           \_ Modulo is worse. It has a specified definition that isn't the
              same as how C/C++ uses it.
              \_ According to it doesn't
                 have just one definition. Which one do you think is the
                 "real" one?
                 \_ wikipedia is not authorative, not by a long shot.
                    \_ hence my question
                       \_ wikipedia points out the word shift of modulo ==
        \_ just say "mod". everybody happy?
2008/1/14-18 [Politics/Domestic/Immigration, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:48940 Activity:nil
1/14    36-year-old state governor!
        I'm one year older and I'm goofing off browsing Yahoo at work. :-(
        \_ Same here, but on the plus side I don't live in Louisiana
        \_ you got the better end of that deal.
2008/1/14-18 [Uncategorized] UID:48941 Activity:nil
1/14    What's a good swimming place near Santa Clara/Sunnyvale during
        the winter to learn swimming on your own? (recreational
        swimming). A lot of public swimming pools appears to be closed
        in the winter..
        \_ ObSuburbsSuck
2008/1/14-18 [Computer/SW/Languages/Perl] UID:48942 Activity:nil
1/14    My perl foo is weak. What's a simple elegant way to write the content of
        $result to the file $filename? Thanks!
        \_ open(FILE,">$filename");print FILE $result;close FILE;  -tom
           \_ Added a $ in the right spot
        \_ Depending on what you're doing: perl's print default to STDOUT, so
           you can also just print $result; and then run your script from the
           command line as: > file.  When doing the open() you also
           probably want to test that the open succeeded.  You may not have
           perms on the file, you may have typod the path, etc.
        \_ Dependin on how complex $result is you can also do shell escapes
           in perl.  I.e.   system "echo $result >> $filename";
           \_ Not exactly elegant when the real solution fits in about 1/2
              again as many characters.
2008/1/14-16 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:48943 Activity:nil
1/14    Saudi Arabia to buy $20B weapons package (including JDAM kits) and to
        re-invest in CitiGroup.  Israel had objected to JDAM sales, but backed
        off after $30B grants secured into next decade.  USA USA USA!!!
2008/1/14-16 [Computer/SW/Apps/Media, Recreation/Humor] UID:48944 Activity:nil Cat_by:auto
1/13    One of those Indian songs subtitled in English (very funny)
        The nipple song:
        \_ keywords: india funny youtube translation cuss cussing words word
2008/1/14 [Uncategorized] UID:48945 Activity:nil 66%like:48948
1/14    All you have to do is mention Mormons and a thread gets deleted.
        It speaks so well about Mormons.
2008/1/14-18 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Troll] UID:48946 Activity:nil 51%like:48949
1/14    Serious Troll question:
        Most goats view Trolls as an evil cult at worst and a laughingstock at
        best. They do not consider them Goats in any way and assume all
        Trolls are going to hell. How do Trolls perceive Goats and Sheep?
        \_ Food.
2008/1/14-18 [Computer/SW/Languages/C_Cplusplus, Politics/Domestic/California] UID:48947 Activity:insanely high
1/14    Why do we put up with plurality voting for stuff like primaries?
        When the "winners" get around a quarter to a third of the vote
        something is broken. We should have IRV. And also, national
        popular vote for president.
        \_ IRV is not monotonic.  What you want approval voting. -dans
           \_ Actually I'd rather have IRV. I think we discussed this
              before though. I think monotonicity is mostly irrelevant.
              The arguments I've seen against IRV are either wrong (use
              a misconception of what IRV is) or else cite concerns
              about tactical voting. But we have tactical voting now.
              The question is whether the situation is improved. I
              believe we can be a lot more confident in broad support
              of an IRV winner than a plurality winner.
              \_ Uh huh.  But approval voting has all the advantages you just
                 described, doesn't suffer from being not monotonic, and
                 elimnates tactical voting.  As a practical matter, have you
                 ever tried to count the votes in an IRV system?  It sucks,
                 and is completely opaque. -dans
                 \- See Arrow Impossibility Theorem
                    \_ Thank you for supporting my point. -dans
                       \- I am not supporting your point.
                          you pretty much cant eliminate tactical
                          or various other pathologies. if you think
                          you can, you dont understand the Arrow Thm ...
                          which is of course quite possible.
                          \_ Actually, you're the one who doesn't understand
                             it.  Voting systems can and do eliminate the
                             pathologies mentioned, it's just that a given
                             system cannot eliminate *all* of them.  Tactical
                             voting has a very specific definition in this
                             context, and you don't seem to understand it.
                             Indeed, all the arguments I've seen that suggest
                             approval voting is not strategy free seem rooted
                             in the same misunderstanding you hold. -dans
                             \_ What is the specific definition, and who
                                decides it? If there are problems that don't
                                fall into your specific definition, who cares
                                what the definition is, if the problems are
                                real? The fact is that approval voting does
                                not allow ranked choices and has its own
                                \_ Pathologies != Strategies.  Obviously
                                   approval voting does not have ranked
                                   choices, but that's not the point.  The
                                   point is that all forms of ranked choice
                                   voting I've seen add significant complexity
                                   to the process, and can produce oddball
                                   results where people's choices get
                                   permuted.  Both of these considerations are
                                   unforgiveable. -dans
                                   \_ Approval also adds complexity to the
                                      process. IRV is being used already so it
                                      is clearly a manageable complexity and
                                      obviously "forgiveable". Oddball results
                                      I think you're just wrong about.
                 \_ It does not have all the advantages. It does not eliminate
                    tactical voting, duh. If I approve A, but like B better
                    than C, I could vote B even though it hurts A's chances.
                    That is tactical. It does not let you rank your choices
                    which is the entire point. How is monotonicity relevant?
                    Who gives a shit?
                    With approval voting, approving another candidate could
                    lead to my preferred candidate losing. How is that
                    \_ You're just wrong.  If you vote for A and B in approval
                       voting, then you're saying you're okay with either A or
                       B, and there's no way your vote can help C, who you
                       don't approve of, win.  In IRV, if you vote A as you
                       first preference and B as your second, you can actually
                       cause C to win.  Whoops. -dans
                       \_ Show me a realistic example where that happens.
                          \_ Read the literature. -dans
                             \_ I have. It doesn't happen in any realistic
                                case. I believe, and I'm not alone in this,
                                that your concerns about being monotonic
                                totally irrelevant.
                             \_ You're making the assertion.
                                \_ It's not my job to do your homework,
                                   especially when if you're just going to
                                   assert that my example is unrealistic.
                                   Don't be disingenuous, and don't bring a
                                   knife to a gunfight. -dans
                                   \_ I've done my homework and think you're
                                      wrong. Many <learned authorities>
                                      support using IRV. Show me where we
                                      "cause C to win" by voting A. I think
                                      you're selectively playing fast and loose
                                      with terminology.
                                      Examples of this problem:
                                      Math Prof at Temple University:
                                      Wikipedia: Instant-Runoff Controversies:

                                      \_ I read the first example in the first
                                         link and it's ridiculous. Range voting
                                         is obviously less intuitive when you
                                         have averages, and his first example
                                         shows C winning even though the
                                         majority of the voters either dislike
                                         or know nothing about C.
                                         The discussion of monotonicity also
                                         shows how irrelevant the concern is.
                                         Yes, it is unrealistic: it proposes
                                         looking at the results after the fact
                                         and saying "if I had done such and
                                         such then the outcome would be
                                         different". How would you ever know
                                         to that detail how others would vote?
                                         You could easily end up accidentally
                                         electing C. The reality of the example
                                         is that it is close to a 3 way tie
                                         and any winner is "reasonable". Most
                                         importantly, the result of the
                                         "honest" IRV is reasonable.
                                         And how would you translate that into
                                         approval voting? All voters ranked
                                      \_ <cut mostly irrelevant comments -op>
                                         How would you translate the example
                                         to approval voting? All voters ranked
                                         all 3 candidates. Does that mean they
                                         approve them all?
                                         approve them all? Let's say they each
                                         approve their top two choices. Then
                                         B wins. But what if the supporters of
                                         A, being crafty, decide to withhold
                                         their approval of B, to make A win?
                                         In this way, "lying" helps them. So
                                         regardless of your terminology the
                                         same "problem" exists.
                                         \_ I am not advocating for range
                                            voting, merely citing an egregious
                                            flaw in IRV.  Since we're asking
                                            for citations, kindly cite all
                                            future unnecessary changes of
                                            subject and strawman arguments you
                                            plan to make before continuing this
                                            discussion. -dans
                                            \_ I'm sorry you're too dense to
                                               comprehend. I'll give up now.
                                               I mentioned the range voting
                                               because the source advocating it
                                               as realistic means the source is
                                               \_ You're right.  I am dense.
                                                  If I was sparse I would have
                                                  also asked you to list all
                                                  ad hominem attacks you would
                                                  apply before continuing the
                                                  discussion. -dans
                                                  \_ The ball was in your
                                                     court and you gave a
                                                     worthless response so I
                                                     responded in kind.
                                         \_ No, it doesn't.  They approve of
                                            both A and B.  One of A or B wins.
                                            Notably, in most actual ranked
                                            choice systems, e.g. San
                                            Francisco, you must rank all
                                            candidates.  Whoops. -dans
                                            \_ In the example below, A or B
                                               still wins. So it is the same.
                                               Perhaps it is merely a bad
                                               example. I found this one far
                                               more convincing/damning:
                                               However, I still don't agree
                                               with that article's conclusion.
                                               Pairwise comparisons aren't so
                                               meaningful. In this example,
                                               C and G are sharply split: you
                                               have those 5 voters in the
                                               middle who rank C on top and G
                                               on the bottom, who give their
                                               votes to M.
                                               votes to M. Condorcet isn't
                                               provably the best winner.
                              (Example from the link:)
                              voter1:   A>B>C
                              voter2:   A>B>C
                              voter3:   A>C>B
                              voter4:   A>C>B       IRV EXAMPLE.
                              voter5:   B>A>C
                              voter6:   B>A>C
                              voter7:   B>C>A
                              voter8:   C>B>A
                              voter9:   C>B>A
                              One of IRV's flaws is that it is not monotonic
                              and dishonesty can pay.  In the example, suppose
                              voter1, instead of honestly stating her
                              top-preference was A, were to dishonestly
                              vote C>A>B, i.e. pretending great LOVE for her
                              truly hugely-hated candidate C, and pretending a
                              LACK of affection for her true favorite A.
                              In that case the first round would eliminate
                              either C or B (suppose a coin flip says B) at
                              which point A would win the second round 5-to-4
                              over C.  (Meanwhile if C still were eliminated
                              by the coin flip then B would still win over A
                              in the final round as before.)
                              In other words: in 3-candidate IRV elections,
                              lying can help.  Indeed, lying in bizarre ways
                              can help.
                              \_ It sounds like your grief is with the imple-
                                 mentation of IRV (i.e., mandatory ranking of
                                 all candidates). If you allow voters to NOT
                                 rank all candidates, this problem appears to
                           \_ And lying in approval voting can help. So what?
                              But you said "In IRV, if you vote A as first
                              preference and B as your second, you can actually
                              cause C to win." You haven't shown an example of
                              that, which is what I asked for.
                              \_ No, it can only hurt.  Casting a vote for
                                 someone you don't want in office helps them.
                                 Not voting for someone you do want in office
                                 hurts them. -dans
                                 \_ Most real people have a top choice. If
                                    everyone only votes for who they really
                                    want then AV reduces to plurality voting.
                                    \_ Really?  Show me data.  You realize
                                       this flies in the face of a fairly
                                       large body of psychological,
                                       sociological, and hci research about
                                       choice, and peoples ability to
                                       effectively express their choices.
                                       \_ Well *I* always have a top choice.
                                          The problem with plurality winners
                                          that the majority of the votes
                                          did not count. A minority is able
                                          to elect the winner. With IRV,
                                          the rank system ensures that your
                                          preferences get factored in to
                                          the outcome. No, IRV does not
                                          eliminate tactical voting: with
                                          a field of strong candidates with
                                          divergent voter preferences there
                                          would be tough choices to make as
                                          to which of your top 2 choices to
                                          rank first. But that's perfectly
                                          fine: it's inherent to any runoff
                                          system. AV does not solve the
                                          problem that IRV solves. It still
                                          decides the winner based only on
                                          plurality. IRV also solves the 3
                                          candidate spoiler problem while AV
                                          does not.
        \_ I've read the wiki and other articles on most of the voting
           methods.  Although interesting most of them ignore the increased
           complexity of the system over a simple, "mark an X next to my
           favorite and drop it in the box" method we use now.  Some people
           say that various methods of anti-voter fraud are too high a burden
           for voters and are discriminatory but that's nothing next to the
           complexity of several of these alternative voting schemes.  What I
           got from my reading is that each of these other methods has a
           different idea of the 'best' way to determine a winner but their
           idea is based on their own notions of fairness.  Fairness is not a
           measurable absolute.
           \_ Approval voting is not complicated.  Instead of mark an X next
              to my your favorite candidate, you mark an X next to any
              candidate you would accept in office.  The winner is the one
              with the most votes so its notion of fairness is pretty close to
              that of plurality voting. -dans
              \_ If it "pretty close" then why not just do the simpler way
                 we already have now?  Seems like added complexity for no
                 \_ It eliminates spoilers and, more importantly, would make
                    it possible for us to grow viable third parties. -dans
                    \_ What you call a spoiler I call a low support third
                       party candidate.  For example, I don't think Nader
                       ruined Gore in 2000.  If those people really wanted
                       Gore to win, they understood the voting process and
                       should have voted Gore not Nader.  I also don't see
                       the need for third parties.  What has happened in this
                       country to third parties is the two major parties have
                       absorbed their platform when it became popular enough
                       eliminating the need for the third party without
                       causing the instability of a multi party mush that you
                       see in some other countries in Europe, Israel, etc.
                       In those place you end up in a situation where an
                       extremist party with a normally trivial number of votes
                       gets joins the majority party coalition and ends up with
                       power that far exceeds their vote count in the general
                       population.  I don't see that as a positive.
                       \_ So in other words, you believe something, and
                          whenever someone presents evidence to the contrary
                          you redefine the terms to suit your purposes and
                          state that the evidence is irrelevant.  Awesome!
                          P.S. Your assessments of the American two party
                          system as well as politics in "Europe, Israel,
                          etc." show an impressive degree of ignorance. -dans
                          \_ Why did you have to make this personal?  What is
                             wrong with you?  How about you provide some
                             actual facts or even some contrary opinions
                             instead of personal attacks?  I think if you call
                             me a "douche" like you normally do, you'd look
                             really extra super duper smart.  Good street cred.
                             \_ There's nothing personal about this.   I
                                present facts, cite source, you repeat the
                                same arguments, change the subject, and
                                dissemble.  Nothing personal about that,
                                unless you think my pointing out that your bad
                                form is 'personal', in which case, get a
                                thicker skin, and maybe join a debate or
                                forensics society.  And, yes, you're being a
                                douche. -dans
              \_ Of course it completely misses the point that "I could live
                 with this bozo" vs "I really want this guy" are two seperate
                 things.  While IRV does have some theoretical issues, in
                 any real world situation they don't actually matter worth
                 a damn.  Oh and as to how to count votes, well guess what,
                 there's this magical thing called software.
                 \_ Okay, "mark an X next to any candidate you want in
                    office".  Don't be a douche.  Of course, since you're
                    advocating a voting system that, by your own admission, is
                    so complex that it requires software to effectively
                    implement the count, you have shown yourself to be utterly
                    unqualified to take part in any discussion of voting
                    systems and methodologies. -dans
                     \_ Suppose I have an election with a total bozo (B) and
                        2 pretty good candidates.  (A and C).  Out of 100
                        people 99 like A and C but like C better.  But 1
                        person likes A and B.  In an approval vote system
                        that gets you candidate A.  But if B isn't in
                        the race that gives you candidate C.  Thus having
                        B in the race changes the results UNLESS people vote
                        with the knowledge that B has no chance.  I'm not
                        saying it is likely, but then again neither are the
                        contrived IRV problems, and IRV has big wins because
                        ranking matters.
                        \_ By the numbers, more people wanted A.  Get over it.
                           \_ No, more people "approved" A. But the vast
                              majority wanted C. There is a difference.
                              \_ Now you're just arguing with semantics. -dans
                               \_ No, because if C wasn't in the race the
                               \_ No, because if B wasn't in the race the
                                  result would be different.  But because
                                  you have decided on a set of criteria that
                                  happily ignores that you don't think it is
                                  a problem.  You've decided "tactical voting
                                  is bad" and then defined tactical voting
                                  in a nonsense way so that you don't have to
                                  admit that in ANY voting system there will
                                  be tactical voting.  Oh and once again
                                  in real world situations IRV is much less
                                  likely to be broken and much less likely
                                  for a small group of tactical voters to
                                  throw an election.  Plus it gives you
                                  ranked choices which are a win.
                     \_ You're ignoring his point about ranked choices.
                        Don't be a douche. I've yet to see a case where
                        IRV produces results that are "unreasonable". (Where
                        "reasonable" is intuitive, since no one result is
                        provably "best" for all voting scenarios.)
                        Don't be a douche. Show me some cases where IRV
                        produces "bad" results and let's talk about how
                        bad they really are.
                        \_ Preference inversion (i.e not monotonic).  Done.
              \_ How's that STD going dans?
                 \_ Awesome!  I've got a sentient talking boil on my ass that
                    likes your philosophy, and wants to know if you have a
                    newsletter it could subscribe to.  As a practical matter,
                    would you actually make fun of someone who had an
                    nasty and possibly life-threatening disease?  Wow, what an
                    asshole! -dans
                    \_ the most common STDs are not life-threatening.
                       \_ Yeah, 'Sorry about your syphilis man, Haw Haw!' like
                          I said, what an asshole. -dans
2008/1/14-18 [Uncategorized] UID:48948 Activity:nil 66%like:48945
1/14    All you have to do is mention trolls and a thread gets deleted.
        It speaks so well about trolls.
        \_ This thread is still around.
2008/1/14 [Reference/Religion] UID:48949 Activity:nil 51%like:48946
1/14    Serious Mormon question:
        Most Christians (and certainly their churches) view Mormons as an
        evil cult at worst and a laughingstock at best. They do not
        consider them Christian in any way and assume all Mormons are
        going to hell. How do Mormons perceive Christians and Jews?
        \_ Are you "stalking the mormon chick" guy?  Instead of turning her
           into a label, how about you just have coffee or whatever and get
           to know her?  That will work a lot better than asking the motd
           about her.
           \_ nearly 30 extremely attractive hot Mormon chicks DO NOT
              DRINK COFFEE.  Actually I dunno how the holy hell Mormons
              live without caffeine.  I guess that god stuff really works.
        \_ Find a Mormon and ask him/her. Enough with the trolling.
2019/04/18 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:January:14 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>