Is voting theory important? An attempt to check my bias. 2019-02-17T23:45:57.960Z · score: 39 (13 votes)
EA grants available (to individuals) 2019-02-07T15:17:38.921Z · score: 34 (12 votes)
Does the EA community do "basic science" grants? How do I get one? 2019-02-06T18:10:00.827Z · score: 8 (3 votes)
A Rationalist Argument for Voting 2018-06-07T17:05:42.668Z · score: 13 (8 votes)
The Devil's Advocate: when is it right to be wrong? 2018-05-15T17:12:16.681Z · score: 16 (3 votes)
Upvotes, knowledge, stocks, and flows 2018-05-10T14:18:15.087Z · score: 41 (10 votes)
Multi-winner Voting: a question of Alignment 2018-04-17T18:51:09.062Z · score: 59 (15 votes)
5 general voting pathologies: lesser names of Moloch 2018-04-13T18:38:41.279Z · score: 96 (31 votes)
A voting theory primer for rationalists 2018-04-12T15:15:23.823Z · score: 209 (68 votes)


Comment by jameson-quinn on Welcome and Open Thread June 2019 · 2019-06-13T23:14:44.128Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

<spoiler>Oh, good to know.</spoiler>

Comment by jameson-quinn on Welcome and Open Thread June 2019 · 2019-06-13T19:21:46.473Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is there some way, when writing a post, to have a paragraph be collapsed by default? This would be useful both for "spoilers"/"answers", and for "footnotes"/"digressions"/"technical quibbles".

Comment by jameson-quinn on Humans Who Are Not Concentrating Are Not General Intelligences · 2019-04-10T13:28:00.775Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Absent unusual cases such as traumatic brain injury, there is no clear dividing line between "human who is concentrating" and "human who isn't concentrating". A normal human can switch back and forth between these states with no warning, either for well-motivated reasons ("wait, that doesn't make sense"/"bored now") or for essentially none. So I think "humans who aren't concentrating" is about transitory state, and "is/isn't a general intelligence" is about overall capacity; any equating between those two sides is a category error.

Comment by jameson-quinn on S-Curves for Trend Forecasting · 2019-03-05T01:11:05.461Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How do I know when some trend isn't made of S-curves? How do S-curves help me make predictions, or, alternately, tell me when I shouldn't try predicting? Is this falsifiable?

Comment by jameson-quinn on Karma-Change Notifications · 2019-03-04T20:51:38.829Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Minor point: on the settings page, the order of options for updates is currently "disabled, daily, weekly, realtime", when "disabled, weekly, daily, realtime" would make more sense.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Is voting theory important? An attempt to check my bias. · 2019-02-18T21:23:20.240Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maine, not Massachusetts. Massachusetts will probably pass ranked voting in 2020, though.

"Starting at the local level and building up" is a good plan, but not the only one. For anti-gerrymandering fixes (that is, proportional representation), starting with the federal level could make sense.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Is voting theory important? An attempt to check my bias. · 2019-02-18T14:28:41.139Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am a board member of the Center for Election Science, which was behind the campaign in Fargo. They definitely deserve your support, and are a big part of the improvement I see over 20 years. 20 years ago, the debate was largely between IRV and Condorcet; though approval voting had been proposed, its theoretical grounding was still not complete. Now, the theory of cardinal voting is much better, and we're beginning to seriously look at cardinal/ordinal hybrids such as STAR or 3-2-1. I could go on for pages about the intellectual history of this transition but I have to work on my thesis.

Are activists and academia one and the same? Sadly, not at all. That's why I, an activist, am at Harvard doing a PhD in statistics.

Yes, my ultimate targets are the big ones: the federal governments of the USA, Canada, and the UK. Aside from the Fargo case you mentioned, I was also deeply involved in the BC referendum on proportional representation last year; though this failed, I think we laid some good groundwork for future similar attempts in Quebec, PEI, and eventually Ontario. There's also some good reform energy in the US Pacific Northwest, with groups like, Counted, and Sightline. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Is voting theory important? An attempt to check my bias. · 2019-02-18T14:07:02.801Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think that there is a place for basic research here. By that I mean, research which, as much as possible, is motivated by fundamental bottlenecks, not by practical ones. Such research already exists in a tension between the specific and the abstract, and getting too abstract is one failure mode. My way of handling that tension is to metaphorically keep my feet on solid ground even as my eyes are on the horizon, and the specific immediate problems are that solid ground.

This is not to say that it is not good to look at the problem from the transhumanist angle, too. And in the countless hours I spend thinking about this stuff, a few of them point in that direction, even if I don't write it all here. But I think that even if your primary focus is the transhumanist angle, you should be happy that I'm over here looking at the problem mostly from a different angle.

("Your" there was directed to a generic/abstract reader, not specifically to Raemon.)

Comment by jameson-quinn on When to use quantilization · 2019-02-09T15:00:19.278Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Fair enough. You were thinking about the problem from the point of view of hiring a teacher; when projecting it onto the problem from the point of a teacher deciding how to teach, I had to make additional assumptions not in the original post (ie, that "teachers care about true performance to some degree").

Still, I think that putting it in concrete terms like this helped me understand (and agree with) the basic idea.

Comment by jameson-quinn on When to use quantilization · 2019-02-08T16:07:43.544Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Am I correct in saying that this suggests avoiding Goodhart's law by using pass/fail grading? Or at least, by putting a maximum on artificial rewards, such that optimizing for the reward is senseless beyond that point?

Let's take a common case of Goodhart's law: teachers who are paid based on their students' test scores. Imagine that teachers are either good or bad, and can either teach to the test (strategize) or not. Both true and measured performance are better on average for good teachers than for bad, but have some random variance. Meanwhile, true performance is better when teachers don't strategize, but measured performance is better when they do.

If good teachers care to some degree about true performance, and you set an appropriate cutoff and payouts, the "quantilized" equilibrium will be that good teachers don't strategize (since they're relatively confident that they can pass the threshold without it), but bad teachers do (to maximize their chances of passing the threshold). Meanwhile, good teachers still get higher average payouts than bad teachers. This is probably better than the Goodhart case where you manage to pay good teachers a bigger bonus relative to bad teachers, but all teachers strategize to maximize their payout. So this formalization seems to make sense in this simple test case.

ETA: I was trying to succinctly formalize the example above and I got as far as (U~𝒩(μ(teacher)-δ*strategy,σ²); I=-2δ*strategy ) but that is taking I as the difference between the test score and the true utility, not separating out test scores from payouts, and I don't want to write out all the complications that result from that so I quit. I hope that the words are enough to understand what I meant. Also I don't know why I was doing that via unicode when I should have just used LaTeX.

Comment by jameson-quinn on EA grants available (to individuals) · 2019-02-08T12:39:31.327Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


I'll look into those possibilities. However, though my proposed work relates to AI alignment, it is not focused on that issue; and I'd consider it "outside the dominant paradigm" of AI alignment work.

Edited to add: I was going to do a separate post about those possibilities, but it appears that this website is a reasonably up-to-date summary of all the funding sources that are linked from that post, so me repeating that work would be redundant..

Comment by jameson-quinn on EA grants available (to individuals) · 2019-02-07T21:57:27.398Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My time horizon is about 6 months. I could probably extend that by a few months but that would involve (tolerable but noticeable) sacrifices. So the difference between 1-6 months and 6-9 is meaningful to me, though not completely dispositive.

Comment by jameson-quinn on EA grants available (to individuals) · 2019-02-07T15:59:39.050Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Crossposted on EA forum.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Does the EA community do "basic science" grants? How do I get one? · 2019-02-07T14:15:12.126Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I am aware of the EA hotel, but since I have a family, I think it's probably not an option. Thanks for the EA forum suggestion; I planned to go there next, but thought here was the best place to start (highest upside-to-downside ratio for a half-baked query).

Comment by jameson-quinn on Does the EA community do "basic science" grants? How do I get one? · 2019-02-06T18:11:39.760Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I just published this, and it's not immediately clear to me whether or not I put it in the right place, as a personal post. I expected to be asked "where do you want to publish this" when I clicked "publish". I'll try to make sure it's in the right place but this interface is not transparent to me.

Comment by jameson-quinn on CDT=EDT=UDT · 2019-02-06T17:50:46.490Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I encounter the same problem when I'm writing about voting theory. But there is a set of people who have followed past discussion closely enough to follow something technical like this with a glossary, but not without one. My solution has been to make sure every acronym I use has an entry on electowiki, and then include a note saying so with a link to electowiki. I think you could helpfully do the same using less wrong wiki.

Comment by jameson-quinn on CDT=EDT=UDT · 2019-01-14T17:44:26.930Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Where's the glossary again?

Comment by jameson-quinn on Mandatory Obsessions · 2018-11-17T15:27:32.394Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm an obsessive about voting theory, and have been for over 20 years now. As time passes and my knowledge deepens, I find that while I still feel "this is really important and people don't pay enough attention to it", I feel less and less that "this is MORE important than whatever people are talking about here and now, and it should be my job to make them change the subject". Obviously I think this is a healthy change for me and my social graces, but it also means that you are more likely to hear about voting theory from a younger, shallower version of me than you are from me.

I don't know how to solve that problem. It's one thing to be immune enough to evangelists so that you can keep a balance of caring across multiple issues, as discussed in the post above; it's another harder thing to be immune enough yet still curious enough to find your way past the proselytizers to the calmer, more-mature non-evangelist obsessives.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Is Clickbait Destroying Our General Intelligence? · 2018-11-17T15:08:32.743Z · score: 2 (5 votes) · LW · GW

In my anecdotal experience, the kids are OK. At least as OK as we were when I was a kid in the 80s reading SF from the 60s and 70s.

If you want me to take this hypothesis more seriously than that, show more evidence.

Comment by jameson-quinn on An optimization process for democratic organizations · 2018-11-09T14:48:40.965Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

On Gibbard-Satterthwaite, you are wrong. Please read the original papers; Wikipedia is not definitive here. There is a sense in which the sentence you quote from Wikipedia is not quite wrong, but that sense is so limited that the conclusion you draw from it is not supported.

In terms of the "craziest possible option" strategy: people may deliberately vote for something they believe will not win in order to "build up" voting power for later. When they decided to actually spend this built-up power, they would not vote for something crazy. Insofar as this strategy artificially increases their overall voting power over that of other voters, it undermines the fairness of the system. And in the worst case, it could backfire by actually electing a crazy option. In case of backfire, this would obviously not be a rational strategy ex post, but I believe the collective risk of such failed rationality is unacceptably high.

As for the "rich irony" of me calling something a nonstarter politically: just this week, approval voting passed in Fargo; and STAR voting came within a few percent of passing in Lane County, OR. Last summer, thousands of people voted on the Hugo Awards which had been nominated through E Pluribus Hugo. In British Columbia, voters are currently deciding between four election methods, three of which are proportional and two to three of which have never been used. I personally played a meaningful role in each of these efforts, and a pivotal role in some cases. All of these are clearly far beyond "nonstarter politically". So yes, I'm not afraid to tilt at windmills sometimes, but sometimes the windmills actually are giants, and sometimes the giants lose. I believe I've earned some right to express an opinion about when that might be, and when it might not.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Bottle Caps Aren't Optimisers · 2018-10-09T11:34:15.248Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can you define it in terms of "sensory", "motor", and "processing"? That is, in order to be an optimizer, you must have some awareness of the state of some system; at least two options for behavior that affect that system in some way; and a connection from awareness to action that tends to increase some objective function.

Works for bottle cap: no sensory, only one motor option.

Works for liver: senses blood, does not sense bank account. Former is a proxy for latter but a very poor one.

For bubbles? This definition would call bubbles optimizers of finding lower pressure areas of liquid, iff you say that they have the "option" of moving in some other direction. I'm OK with having a fuzzy definition in this case; in some circumstances, you might *want* to consider bubbles as optimizers, while in others, it might work better to take them as mechanical rule-followers.

Comment by jameson-quinn on 5 general voting pathologies: lesser names of Moloch · 2018-08-14T17:06:24.443Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Stag hunt has two equilibria and only the good one is strong. Prisoner's dilemma has only 1 bad equilibrium. But here we're talking asymmetrical Snowdrift/Chicken, where both the bad and good equilibria are strong, but, if there's uncertainty about which is which, the best outcome is non-equilibrium mutual cooperation.

Comment by jameson-quinn on 5 general voting pathologies: lesser names of Moloch · 2018-08-14T17:02:34.217Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Condorcet is good. The one fundamental sense in which 3-2-1 is better is a better resistance to dark horse pathology, especially in the context of combined delegated and tactical voting. In Condorcet, in a highly-polarized situation, somebody 90% of everybody's never heard of might be the Condorcet winner because each side rates them above the other. In 3-2-1, that person never makes it to the top 3.

This is not a strong argument, but it's the one I have.

As regards IRV, it's definitely worse than either.

Comment by jameson-quinn on A voting theory primer for rationalists · 2018-07-07T18:55:38.524Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Summable" voting methods require only anonymous tallies (totals by candidate or candidate pair) to find a winner. These do not suffer from the problem you suggest.

But for non-summable methods, such as IRV/RCV/STV, you are absolutely correct. These methods must sacrifice either verifiability/auditability or anonymity. This is just one of the reasons such reforms are not ideal (though still better than choose-one voting, aka plurality).

Comment by jameson-quinn on An optimization process for democratic organizations · 2018-07-07T18:51:47.195Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think this is an unfixably bad idea, in two ways: it's a nonstarter politically, and it would be bad if it did get implemented.

I largely agree with the section on what's wrong with the current situation.

But this goes off the rails when it asserts, in passing, that score voting is immune to the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem. Read the Satterthwaite proof of this theorem, and you'll see how general it is. Cardinal voting escapes Arrow's theorem, but does NOT escape G-S.

In particular, any proportional method is subject to free riding strategy. And since this system is designed to be proportional across time as well as seats, free riding strategy would be absolutely pervasive, and I suspect it would take the form of deliberately voting for the craziest possible option. If I'm right then, like Borda, this system could actually be worse than random-ballot-single-winner; impressively bad.

I think it's great that you're thinking about structural reform and voting reform, and you're on the right track in many regards. I just hope you can let go of this particular idea. I'm sorry to be so negative, but I think it's warranted here.

Comment by jameson-quinn on A Rationalist Argument for Voting · 2018-06-18T19:04:58.125Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Density for almost-equal numbers of votes is not lower in most high-stakes elections. I'd say 1 in 5 million or so. That's just a bit more than one order of magnitude and doesn't substantially change the overall conclusions.

Comment by jameson-quinn on A Rationalist Argument for Voting · 2018-06-18T19:01:18.508Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The case would rely on curvature in the sigmoid that describes probability of winning the election as a function of participation. And you're right, that makes it decidedly a second- or third-order effect; to first order, correlation is irrelevant.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Beyond Astronomical Waste · 2018-06-18T18:58:19.493Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have no idea if there is such a bound. I will never have any idea if there is such a bound, and I suspect that neither will any entity in this universe. Given that fact, I'd rather make the assumption that doesn't turn me stupid when Pascal's Wager comes up.

Comment by jameson-quinn on A Rationalist Argument for Voting · 2018-06-11T13:13:36.672Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

On (1): if you can't tell who the better candidate is, voting is working. You shouldn't use that example to reason about what would happen if you didn't vote. It's not a one-off game.

On (2): this is true, but it's also a fully general argument. Doing anything contributes to mind-kill, as you become attached to the idea that it was the right thing to do.

I'm tempted to erase the following argument because it's a bit of a cheap shot "gotcha", but it does also serve the legit purpose of an example, so here goes: For instance, not voting contributes to assuming that anybody who thinks Clinton is an EA cause is mind-killed. (Note: I think that high-profile political campaigns are awash in cash and don't use it effectively, so I would never recommend high-profile political donations as EA. And you may be right that there's no argument of sufficient rigor to show that Clinton was better than Trump in x-risk terms. But I strongly suspect that you feel more immediate contempt for somebody who says "donating to Clinton is EA" than for somebody who says "donating to the EFF is EA", in a way that is slightly mind-killing.)

Comment by jameson-quinn on A Rationalist Argument for Voting · 2018-06-09T19:56:30.822Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am suggesting establishing a policy of voting ("being a voter") as an x-risk strategy. Once you have that policy, voting is just an everyday action, only indirectly related to x- risk. This distinction makes sense to me but now that you mention it I'm sure there are those for whom it's nonsense.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Beyond Astronomical Waste · 2018-06-08T14:15:08.528Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When you're faced with numbers like 3^^^3, scope insensitivity is the correct response. A googolplex is already enough to hold every possible configuration of Life as we know it. "Hamlet, but with extra commas in these three places, performed by intelligent starfish" is in there somewhere in over a googol different varieties. What, then, does 3^^^3 add except more copies of the same?

Comment by jameson-quinn on A Rationalist Argument for Voting · 2018-06-08T03:30:55.417Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Lobbying, or campaigning?

I think that there are various distinctions between lobbying, campaigning, and voting. Similar logic may or may not apply across these domains.

Comment by jameson-quinn on A Rationalist Argument for Voting · 2018-06-08T03:26:38.267Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think that normal humans can live on the bleeding edge of maximum effectiveness every waking moment. I don't presume to give advice to those who aren't normal humans.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Beyond Astronomical Waste · 2018-06-07T22:37:32.550Z · score: 5 (1 votes) · LW · GW

With quantum branching, our universe could have some number like a googolplex of stuff, maybe more. And philosophically, you're worried about the difference between that and 3^^^3? I get that there's a big gap there but I'd guess it's one that we're definitionally unable to do useful moral reasoning about.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Toolbox-thinking and Law-thinking · 2018-06-04T04:16:00.377Z · score: 13 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm saying that law thinking can seem to forget that the map (model) will never be the territory. The real world has real invariants but these are not simply reproduced in reasonable utility functions.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Toolbox-thinking and Law-thinking · 2018-06-03T13:31:27.023Z · score: 30 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This doesn't pass my ITT for anti-law-thinking. The step where law thinking goes wrong is when it assumed that there exists a map that is the territory, and thus systematically underestimates the discrepancies involved in (for instance) optimizing for min Euclidean distance.

I realize that this post addresses that directly, but then it spends a lot of energy on something else which isn't the real problem in my book.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Hero Licensing · 2018-06-03T04:49:52.176Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That was surprisingly good. I've never let my inner Pat Modesto be the boss, but I've never tried to kick them out either. This makes me consider whether I should. Which is a lot more than I get out of most of Eliezer's writing.

And here's what kicking Pat out would let me say: I think that I've designed at least 5 voting methods that are each the best solution currently in the world to the problem it solves, and at least 3 of those problems are at least 25% likely to be adequately-posed (including pragmatic considerations) and important (fixing would be roughly order of one-off value of $1e12, with SD 1 in the exponent). I think that if you find this sufficiently plausible you should contact me.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Moderating LessWrong: A Different Take · 2018-05-27T18:23:54.844Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It's OK to say "I think you're criticizing me wrong", and it's OK to say "the community norms are that you're criticizing them wrong", but I'm uncomfortable when this piece says "the community norms are [that is, should be] that you're criticizing me wrong". If you're going to assume the mantle of neutral community arbiter of norms, even tentatively, you have to not only be impartial; you have to appear impartial.

Other than that, well done; I agree with most of it.

Comment by jameson-quinn on A Short Celebratory / Appreciation Post · 2018-05-27T18:16:30.117Z · score: 9 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with everything in this post, but won't upvote it, because I think upvotes should signal "I want more like this" not "I agree with this". I don't want less like this, but I think this is enough.

(On the same principle, you probably shouldn't upvote this comment unless its score is negative.)

Comment by jameson-quinn on Visions of Summer Solstice · 2018-05-21T20:45:16.305Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure if "nobody is being creepy" is sufficient for a good vibe, but it's probably necessary (where "being creepy" means basically "making more than one person uncomfortable in ways that could be avoided and that those people feel should be"). So how do you make sure nobody is being creepy? I think the logical options are: pre-filter people; actively filter people on the spot; and discourage creepiness on the spot. I suspect that there's a place for all three of these tactics. I have nothing more to say about how to do tactics 1 and 3.

But on tactic 2: if you want active on-the-spot filtering to be viable, I'd suggest that you should get people to pre-commit to leaving without a fuss if certain conditions are met. For instance, you must leave if asked to leave by two people; or possibly, by two of the people pre-selected by the community for this job; or by 1 person selected for this job, who has gotten two anonymous complaints; or something like that. Obviously that wouldn't solve all possible issues but it would at least allow strong, unanimous social pressure against on-the-spot special pleading, which is absolutely going to spoil the mood if it can't be nipped in the bud.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Talents · 2018-05-21T08:43:10.627Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A third hypothesis would be a Marxist/Picketty one: wealth accumulates through rent collected on capital and then turned back into capital, and capital is initially distributed through inheritance and/or theft. This is clearly not the whole story, but it also clearly captures part of the story that neither "deserving rich" not "war profiteer" do.

Comment by jameson-quinn on The Devil's Advocate: when is it right to be wrong? · 2018-05-16T22:05:02.804Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Related, but slightly more political: <a href=""></a>

Comment by jameson-quinn on The Devil's Advocate: when is it right to be wrong? · 2018-05-16T19:17:23.196Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You're of course right that even the best voting method doesn't solve the "semi-evolved house-ape" problem. But I'd argue that the perverse incentives of FPTP give an outcome substantially worse than that. Neither Bush nor Trump (nor, probably, Clinton) would have won with a better voting method; and I'd argue that even the options would be better.

(Re 2016: I've done an "MRP" analysis of high-quality cardinal-rated polling data on the eve of the 2016 election. This uses hierarchical logistic regression, which I was able to control for gender, age, income, race, education, region, state, as well as the two largest interactions between those 7 variables. My own preferences very much aside, I can say with high confidence that Bernie would have won if there had been a last-minute change to an improved voting method with 9 candidates. If the entire campaign had been run under those conditions, I can't of course say what would have happened.)

Comment by jameson-quinn on The Devil's Advocate: when is it right to be wrong? · 2018-05-16T19:10:11.119Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Mostly agree, but a couple of notes:

"RCV" is combined branding for IRV (single winner) and STV (multi-winner). So it clearly doesn't refer to Borda count. (I personally hate the "RCV" terminology, because it sounds as if it should include things like Borda count, while blurring the important distinction between IRV and STV. But that battle is pretty much lost right now.)

PAD voting is not "susceptible to the problems with Borda counts", if by that you mean the issue with encouraging burial strategy and thus leading to a "dark horse" winner who prospers precisely because nobody expects them to. The Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem shows that no voting method (with more than 2 candidates and more than 2 voters, and with the exception of dictatorship/random-ballot) is strategy-free, but in PAD the main possible strategies in practice are "free riding" (rating candidates lower if you expect them to win without your vote), and in PAD that's risky and self-limiting. I expect that in practice most voters would be risk-averse and expressivity-seeking enough to vote honestly in PAD.

Comment by jameson-quinn on The Devil's Advocate: when is it right to be wrong? · 2018-05-15T18:37:08.909Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, that's definitely cute... but less so, when it's your life.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Fun With DAGs · 2018-05-15T15:49:21.771Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Causal DAGs are used in statistics for causal analysis. Also, widely misused. When real causality isn't acyclic and real dependence is highly nonlinear, inference based on the assumption that there exists some (quasi-linear) causal DAG can go very very wrong. It may be closer to being true than just assuming that the most complicated structure is bivariate interaction (Z depends on the combination of X and Y), but it is also a lot more dangerous.

Comment by jameson-quinn on [deleted post] 2018-05-10T13:22:43.476Z

I expected to have an way to tag this as "meta" but I don't see anything obvious.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Saving the world in 80 days: Prologue · 2018-05-09T23:09:48.851Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's probably just a lame joke that didn't land. I wouldn't downvote it below "a little bit negative" which is where it currently stands.

Comment by jameson-quinn on A voting theory primer for rationalists · 2018-05-03T17:08:43.311Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, fixed.

This is probably the best place to note that Electorama is limping along on a mostly-broken installation of mediawiki that a nice person set up like 15 years ago. Migrating it to, say, a GitHub Pages wiki would be a substantial benefit to the electoral reform community. If anybody wants to do that, I can get you a database dump.

Comment by jameson-quinn on Multi-winner Voting: a question of Alignment · 2018-04-28T21:22:25.010Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Generally, you can use prop-rep methods, but some of the considerations in choosing which method shift a bit. Complex ballots are not as much of a problem as in bigger prop-rep situations, while premature elimination isn't as big a problem as in single winner. Thus, for off-the-shelf methods, STV or EPH are pretty good in those cases. If I were to design a method for a specific case, I could probably do better, but it might not be worth it.