# [Suggestion] PF Awards, are they unfair?

1. Dec 15, 2005

### Kalouste

I notice that in PF Forums people vote in a poll to tell the community who they think that should win. Well, here's the problem:

Borda counting

I have here an excellent example, but it's written in portuguese and I have no pacience to translate it. Anyway here's a link that has a cool example about Borda Counting:

Borda Couting explanation

And if you want to know more about how fair is Borda Counting:

Basic Geometry of Voting, Donald Saari (from Northwestern University), 1995

This books reveals the teorethical superiority of Borda Counting. And if you like math like I do, you'll love this system. The problem is that politicians don't understand, so they don't love this system. How can we convince politicians that this ir ironically much more fair than the actual system («one man, one vote»)? I don't know the answer. Do you?

Aproaches for making Borda Counting automatic

The poll only allows 3 candidates (10 options in fact...3!=6 but 4!=24). There are 2 ways:

- allow only 3 candidates to each category (uses the poll);
- allow n candidates (uses programming skills).

Allowing n candidates

By making a javascript/flash application that allows people to vote in n candidates, and by dealing with server scripting(databases, php, asp+, etc.)...

Resource: http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/mathline/concepts/voting/activity1.shtm

Last edited: Dec 15, 2005
2. Dec 15, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

Borda counting/voting is a method my previous company used when polling participants regarding topics of interest for technical seminars. We had to select 6 out of 12-15 topics, and there were about 40-50 voting organizations. Often the topic of most interest (or top 2) was common to a majority, and topics of lesser common interest were generally of specific interest to a one or a few voters.

However, I don't know if the polling module at PF would support Borda counting.

3. Dec 15, 2005

### Kalouste

It is supported if and only if 3 candidates are considered. Let's say we have 3 candidates, A, B, and C. The poll would look like this:

A>B>C;
C>B>A;
B>C>A;
B>A>C;
C>A>B;
A>C>B;

3! combinations...but the problem is the following: the poll only allows 10 options (I think). So 4! would be too much for PF Forums to Handle (4 candidates).

4. Dec 15, 2005

### El Hombre Invisible

There was some talk a while back of not having public polls which might influence decision (it influenced mine). If the voting was performed by PM, that would eliminate the candidate restrictions.

5. Dec 15, 2005

### arildno

Why is it such a bad thing that your vote might be "influenced" by others' votes&reasons for their voting??

Is it less objective to make your decision in part on basis on others' cogent arguments than to vote merely on the basis of your own personal fancies and state of (mis-)information?

I'm sorry, I just don't get this..

6. Dec 15, 2005

### El Hombre Invisible

It is more honest to vote for the person I automatically think deserves it than to base my decision on how well they or others are doing in the poll.

7. Dec 15, 2005

### SpaceTiger

Staff Emeritus
In my mind, private voting would partially defeat the purpose of the awards. If it were done that way, we would just see a list of nominees and eventual winners, but there would be no impetus for people to step in and voice their appreciation for what the nominees (or, perhaps, overlooked folks) have done for them. Posts like that are, I would say, more important than the award itself. Although private voting might decide some of the closer races more fairly, it would also deprive the non-winners of some of the praise they deserve.

A downside, of course, is that some folks don't get many votes and that can be a bit humiliating. For me, though, it would just be an honor to be nominated.

8. Dec 15, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

I think when one person has a large lead, others may not bother voting thinking that their vote for a different candidate won't matter, when in fact there might be enough people thinking the same way and the outcome could have been totally diffferent.

I think we shouldn't post the votes until after the voting is final.

9. Dec 15, 2005

### El Hombre Invisible

Hmmm. This is some kind of trick. Evo never agrees with me.

I'm onto you...

10. Dec 15, 2005

### El Hombre Invisible

I don't see why. The nominees would still have to be posted, and people can still show their appreciation. Heck, they could even say who they voted for. But most people won't, so even those few who can be bothered to note down who everyone said they voted for won't actually know who's winning.

11. Dec 15, 2005

### SpaceTiger

Staff Emeritus
If it were only the tallies that were hidden, but the rest of the format were the same, then most of my objections wouldn't apply. I do think, however, that there should still be a thread for each category in which people are encouraged to voice their appreciation. It would be a shame if the whole process became focused on the "badge".

12. Dec 15, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

Only the tallies would be hidden.

13. Dec 15, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
The technology guru voting this year is a good example. We had a 3-way tie for a while, and it seemed the opposite was the problem...because it was so close, nobody wanted the responsibility of casting the deciding vote, so it stayed tied for quite some time. Once the tie was broken, the votes completely changed course!

I don't know why people let the other votes influence them in something like this. Who wins isn't as important as voicing your appreciation for whichever candidates have helped you most. It's not like voting for a political office where you might decide instead of voting for your candidate who is clearly behind in the polls, you'll cast a vote for your next favorite to keep your least favorite out of office.

14. Dec 15, 2005

### FredGarvin

Why are people taking the guru votes so seriously? Geeze-o-petes. Space Tiger summed the whole thing up very well.

15. Dec 15, 2005

### Gale

i think the way we do it is fine. Or maybe, if people could vote for more than one person. Then if you lean strongly with one person, you ONLY vote for them, if you like two, you vote for both, and then your votes sets those two apart from the rest, and if you like all but one or two choices, you could express that with your votes too. But i like seeing the polls as we go. And i like discussing people and appreciating them in the threads too.

16. Dec 15, 2005

### Danger

I just kinda like the suspense of not knowing the outcome ahead of time. The system as it stands seems okay, though.

17. Dec 15, 2005

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Come on guys, its just all good fun... Do you really think Danger is the funniest guy on the site? :zzz:

:rofl:

18. Dec 15, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
He's just the one the most people wanted to see thrown in a volcano.

19. Dec 16, 2005

### Lisa!

He really looks funny with his new ribbon!:tongue2:

20. Dec 19, 2005

### TheStatutoryApe

I'd really have to agree that discussing this in such depth is kind of silly.
Personally, as was mention in the other thread by someone else, I just voted with out clicking the little link that shows the poll results and before I read any of the comments.
Fairness isn't exactly an issue since this is all just for fun. No one is rigging the process and I doubt many people if anyone are using multiple user names.