The Marquis de Condorcet
and Admiral Jean-Charles de Borda
were two men of the French Enlightenment who struggled with how to design voting systems that accurately reflected voters' preferences. Condorcet favored a method
that required the winner in a multiparty election to win a series of head-to-head contests, but he also discovered that his method easily led to a paradoxes
that produced no clear winners. The Borda method
avoids the Condorcet paradox by requiring voters to rank choices numerically in order of preference, but this method is flawed because the withdrawal of a last-place candidate can reverse the election results
. Mathematicians in the 19th century attempted to design better voting systems, including Lewis Carroll
, who favored an early form of proportional representation
. Economist Kenneth Arrow argued that designing a perfect voting system was futile, because his "impossibility theorem"
proved that it's impossible to design a non-dictatorial voting system that fulfills five basic criteria of fairness
. (more inside)
posted by jonp72
on Aug 27, 2007 -
Odds are, God exists.
So says Dr. Stephen Unwin, a risk assessor in Ohio who applied Bayes' Theory to the question and determined there's a 67% likelihood of ... you-have-to-buy-the-book-to-find-out. Ah, the Devil is in the retail -- er, I mean, the details.
As a scientist and a Christian, I'm embarrassed by this junk. His book "includes a spreadsheet of the data used so that anyone can make the calculation themselves should they doubt its validity."
I can hardly wait.
posted by tbc
on Mar 20, 2004 -