@andy-dienes Thanks this is good, I like your groupings. I'd also like to hold votes that are more specific, such as "for a condorcet method, what is your preferred tiebreaker approach?" With possible answers combining ballot type (ranked, ranked allowing duplicates, rated 0-100, rated 0-5) and tiebreak tabulation method (irv, plurality, borda, score)
I don't want to do anything that requires a different log in or cookie or whatever, I'd like to know where the votes are coming from, and discourage people from voting more than once or voting if they don't even introduce themselves or participate in the community otherwise. So I'd prefer just collect the ballots manually for now, from posts and signatures here, and maybe posts on reddit's EndFPTP forum. There's also the election methods mailing list....
Remember that we can do a new one at any time, and anyone in the group can post one. I'll happily tabulate them and show pretty results and share my work on a forkable codepen , at least to get people started. Anyone is free to retabulate.
I was hoping to collect high-resolution cardinal ballots. I'd suggest rate on a scale of 0-10, decimal places allowed e.g. 5.76. If anyone wants to use a different scale, such as 0 to a million, fine, whatever...it will just be normalized anyway. And then we'll show results in a bunch of different methods. People can supply an approval threshold, if none supplied it defaults to 5. So mine might look like:
(that's using what is in my signature, but some of the groupings don't make sense for a real poll, especially "any condorcet")
I'll show some ideas for the pretty results display (hopefully with some interactivity or ability to animate or whatnot) soon. You may have seen some of my work in this direction....here's a some of it: (the Sankey diagram for IRV in the upper left isn't mine but it is uses an open source library to generate them)screenvoting.png
That said, in the perfect world, yes there would be a nice voting widget.
I'm gradually working toward that. I have experimented with running custom js in this forum and looking for things in posts that I can parse and replace and add interactivity. . (@Jack-Waugh has been trusting enough to allow me privileges so I can do that.... but currently nothing is running) Automatic server-side tabulation and external storage of poll data would come later if people stay interested. It's doable, but not needed to get it started.
When the forum was originally set up Jack just put it all in his own name as a stopgap, but that was never the permanent plan.
At the last meeting we discussed funds and bookkeeping and managing of that kind of thing and decided to do that through Equal Vote so we don't need a whole separate person/process for treasury and bookkeeping. They also voted to coalition unanimously (I abstained.)
The other reason mentioned was the "What if I get hit by a bus" issue, so we have been in the process of moving the forum into the fold of Equal Vote assets to ensure that passing of keys can be ensured, and adjudicated if needed, should anything happen to whoever has it in their name currently.
As part of that I've put in a bunch of hours over the last month on the back end and we now have the url on our the Equal Vote account and are paying for it from Equal Vote. Donations for the Forum can also be made to Equal Vote with earmarking for the Forum if desired. We also obtained a grant from Azure that can pay for the hosting, so the plan is to move the hosting there.
Again, Voting Theory Forum is still fully autonomous and this is a service that Equal Vote can offer and is happy to provide since we already manage this stuff for a number of other sites in our network.
We recruit some new volunteers to our Forum Council, Tech Committee, and Moderation Committee.
From where? The forum has been nearly a ghost town for most of its existence. But if a team of volunteers want to step up, that sounds like a plan and it doesn't sound like you need what I've offered. I will admit it seems a bit like magical thinking to me, but maybe you know something I don't.
I suggest you assemble this team of volunteers first, let them convince you that they are actually going to stick around and do the work, then make decisions. To me, it doesn't make sense to make decisions assuming a bunch of people are going to be ready to take on responsibilities, especially if those people haven't been participating in the forum already. I just don't see it happening.
When talking to Jack, he seemed to be convinced there was tech team ready to jump in. So maybe I'm wrong. I just have seen no signs of this.
We keep the forum constructive and drama free.
Offering to step up and run this democratically, per the original vision, doesn't sound like drama, and I would consider it constructive. I'm not attacking you or anyone else. I'm just saying the forum wasn't gaining traction, for very predictable reasons. Meanwhile the only person who has taken on day-to-day responsibility for the forum, Jack, says he's not willing to do that anymore. I have offered to spend a lot of my time, time that most people on the council don't seem to have, to both fill in the role Jack had played, while otherwise making positive things happen.
Also regarding drama: I've gone out of my way to try to suppress drama on the forum, only once using my admin powers (in a case of doxxing, I edited a post and diplomatically DM'd its author ), but often stepping in , sometimes in the awkward situation of, well, our tech admin posting stuff that many found offensive, off-topic and divisive. I don't know if anyone else ever has, other than a couple people weighing in, such as @spelunker did when he first arrived and was greeted by some toxic content, or as @Andy-Dienes did in that same situation. (I believe we've lost Andy, one of our best contributors --- I don't want to speak for him but I believe the "tone" of the forum was a significant thing that drove him away, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't because of a discussion of the future of the forum, since he also wished for some significant changes ).
Regardless, I am not trying to rehash events of two years ago, and am not attacking anyone. I don't see how this is escalating anything. I do feel that general issues about the forum's future should be resolvable in public at the forum. I understand taking things to private discussion for very specific cases, but for discussing how decisions are made at the forum and such..... why the need for secrecy? If you are worried about someone coming to the forum and being put off by my post...well, sorry, but I don't get it. If they are going to be put off by anything, it is that there is little activity, and whatever activity there is is not easy to find without several clicks, and if they do that, sometimes it is toxic and off topic. Not that we are talking about options to make the forum better.
I am honestly confused as to Jack's ongoing role. I understood he was wanting to back away due to frustration over a non-responsive council. If this wasn't the case, I would never have offered to step up.
That said, I think we need a lot more than what Jack has been doing, as I have outlined above. Basically, someone who is likely to be here on a daily basis, managing the social side, adding features and organizing the site and content etc. I don't see why a forum would be expected to succeed in the absence of this.
In any case, my offer stands for the time being but unless I hear strongly enough that people want this, I'm mostly assuming that the few left at the forum aren't interested.
Here is where Andy suggested improvements , we all agreed, and nothing happened. If I had the role I propose, I would have put it to an open vote (on the forum), notified the council, and unless there were objections within a week or two, made the changes: https://www.votingtheory.org/forum/topic/227/way-too-many-categories
I would have, separately, proposed and held a vote on changing the front page to be the "recent activity page", with a banner for links to other things at the site such as the CES forum archive.
@toby-pereira thanks for the "lumpers vs. splitters" description, made me chuckle. It'd be nice if there was an interface that both lumpers and splitters could appreciate, like something that kept the tags and categories collapsed or expanded based on how you last set it.
In the context of this forum, maybe it could make sense to keep the most "general" categories and move everything else to tags? People would still need to agree on what counts as general though.
Some issues with tags though: they have a length limit, and the interface for browsing them and adding them isn't as organized or alluring (colorful) as the category browser.
Thanks to everyone who came to today's council meeting!
We had nine people total and three of the four council members present.
We were able to get through everything on the agenda, and we added a number of new people to leadership positions!
We also made some plans and set some good intentions going forward.
This meeting followed the trend of our previous council meetings, and all discussions passed were unanimous (with some abstentions.)
We had general consensus to simplify our categories list, but didn't have agreement on a specific proposal, so we decided to continue the discussion here on the forum and then vote when we're ready.
Here's to a great next era of the Voting Theory Forum!
To everyone who RSVPed, attended, volunteered, gave input, or stepped up to serve in a leadership position. Thank you!!!
@sarawolk maybe we can have a "Voting Theory" category with two subcategories, "The big picture", for discussing the more social and connective aspects of voting theory and "Down to the details" for getting into more technical theories and problems.
This could provide space for people to really theorize and make connections about collective decision making in general, whether that's in institutional, government or informal settings.
Actually it could be nice to have a "beyond categories" space too, similar to the watercooler but more geared as a catch all for voting/collective decision making discussion that's multidisciplinary or defies categories.