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Handy Tools for
Group Decision-making
3 Tools we Use...
Decentralization
Consensus
Free Association
“The conclusion to draw is that there will
not be one kind of community existing
and one kind of life led in utopia. Utopia
is a framework for utopias, a place
where people are at liberty to join
together voluntarily to pursue and
attempt to realize their own vision of
the good life in the ideal community
but where no one can impose his own
utopian vision upon others.”

— Robert Nozick,
“Anarchy, State, and Utopia”
The Problem?
What’s Next? Voting
But Voting Sucks!
INCLUSIVE   EXCLUSIVE
LABORIOUS   IMMEDIATE
FREE ASSOCIATION   DO-OCRACY
  CONSENSUS        DELEGATION
As you know it: Plurality Voting


One vote per voter

Option with the most votes
wins
MAJORITY
WOMEN   MEN
GINGERS   GOOD-NATURED PEOPLE
Rules Define Participation
Duverger’s Law
                 Plurality =
                 Two-Party
                 Domination
YOUR PARTY   THE OTHER GUYS
Voting (as you know it) Sucks
The Reform: Instant Runoff Voting



Voters rank the options
The Reform: Instant Runoff Voting

 If there is no first-choice
 majority, eliminate the least
 popular option and use the
 second-choice votes of
 those voters.

 Repeat until a majority is
 found.
Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem
NO RANKED VOTING SYSTEM
                             Oh No
CAN GUARANTEE A RESULT
                              You
WHICH:                       Don’t
1. RESPECTS UNANIMITY

2. IS INDEPENDENT OF
   IRRELEVANT ALTERNATIVES
Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem
1. Unanimity is respected
                            Oh No
                             You



         >
                            Don’t
Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem
2. The result is independent
                                  Oh No
   from irrelevant alternatives    You



     >
                                  Don’t




     > >
?
A trip to the movies
Plurality Voting

                             Battlefield Earth

One vote per voter           Bio-Dome

Option with the most votes   The Room

wins
                             Gigli

                             Catwoman
Instant Runoff Voting

 If there is no first-choice
 majority, eliminate the least
 popular option and use the      Battlefield Earth
 second-choice votes of          Bio-Dome
 those voters.
                                 The Room
 Repeat until a majority is      Gigli
 found.
                                 Catwoman
What People Do


1.Opt-in:
   “I’m up for Bio-Dome
   or Catwoman”
What People Do
2. Expressions of Preference
   Intensity:

    “Options A & B look great,
    C looks good, and D looks
    meh.”

    “Option A looks great, B
    looks almost as good, C &
    D look meh.”
Consensus
Two Consensus-Driven
Voting Methods

    Opt-in        Battlefield Earth


      =           Bio-Dome

                  The Room
Approval Voting   Gigli

                  Catwoman
Two Consensus-Driven
Voting Methods
                       Rate the options
                         from 0 to 3
  Expressions of
Preference Intensity        Battlefield Earth

         =                 Bio-Dome
                           The Room
Score/Range Voting
                           Gigli
                           Catwoman
Consensus-Driven Voting

    55      > >
    35      > >
    10      > >
Consensus-Driven Voting

 80

  20
Rate the options
                     from 0 to 3
Battlefield Earth        Battlefield Earth
Bio-Dome               Bio-Dome

The Room               The Room

                       Gigli
Gigli
                       Catwoman
Catwoman


APPROVE               SCORE
Questions?
Different Information Content
Score Voting
    3          1   0
          2
Approval Voting
      LIMIT OF APPROVAL
Independence of Clones




   45%    55%
Independence of Clones




   45%    30%    25%
Independence of Clones
                Spoiled!




   45%    30%              25%
Condorcet Methods

Compare every pair of
options

The winner is the option
that is favored by the
majority against every
other option individually

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Handy Tools for Large-Group Decision-making

Editor's Notes

  1. \n
  2. \n
  3. \n
  4. \n
  5. \n
  6. \n
  7. \n
  8. \n
  9. \n
  10. \n
  11. We dither between these, from working for consensus, to at other times say: do your own thing, or free associate! But there may come a time when Burning Man will need to speak with one voice on large matters. After all, far smaller gatherings have made history this, way. The Seneca Falls convention was attended by 300 people, and it’s in the history books for the document it produced. At least, I believe we should be prepared for that need, and not be caught unawares.\n
  12. We dither between these, from working for consensus, to at other times say: do your own thing, or free associate! But there may come a time when Burning Man will need to speak with one voice on large matters. After all, far smaller gatherings have made history this, way. The Seneca Falls convention was attended by 300 people, and it’s in the history books for the document it produced. At least, I believe we should be prepared for that need, and not be caught unawares.\n
  13. So what's the status quo?\nWhat you know is called "Plurality" voting. One vote per voter. Candidate with the most votes wins.\nSimple, tidy, and terrible.\n
  14. "if one candidate is preferred by a majority (more than 50%) of voters, then that candidate must win"\n\n
  15. \n
  16. \n
  17. \n
  18. Likewise plurality voting ensures we’ll end up with a Two-party duopoly, through Duverger’s Law and the spoiler effect.\n
  19. \n
  20. The story starts with this man, Ralph Nader, in 2003. I was living in Austin and I saw Nader reps collecting signatures for his 2004 ballot access. Time and again I saw these reps harrassed and harangued, not by conservative opponents but by liberals, who blamed him for "stealing" votes from Gore, and "spoiling" the election. I knew something had to be broken in a system that turned natural allies into enemies.\n
  21. \n
  22. The most popular reform out there is "Instant Runoff Voting". It seems tailor-made to the Ralph Nader problem. Voters rank the candidates, but if there's no majority winner from the first-choice votes, the least-popular candidate is eliminated, and those voters' votes are redistributed to their second-choice candidate, and so on until the remaining top choices select a majority winner. This is a bit more complex, but at least seems like a plausible solution, right? Wrong. It's terrible.\n
  23. The most popular reform out there is "Instant Runoff Voting". It seems tailor-made to the Ralph Nader problem. Voters rank the candidates, but if there's no majority winner from the first-choice votes, the least-popular candidate is eliminated, and those voters' votes are redistributed to their second-choice candidate, and so on until the remaining top choices select a majority winner. This is a bit more complex, but at least seems like a plausible solution, right? Wrong. It's terrible, and intuitively so once you step outside of the voting mindset.\n
  24. http://rangevoting.org/Duverger.html\n
  25. A sort of uber criterion, Arrow's Impossibility Theorem prooves that it is impossible for a ranked choice voting system to solve all the following:\n\nThere be no dictator (benevolent or otherwise)\nUnanimity is respected: If all voters prefer apple pie over cherry pie, then the result prefers apple pie over cherry pie\nThe result is independent from irrelevant alternatives: If the voters favor apple pie over cherry pie, introducing the option of pumpkin pie does not make the result favor cherry pie\n\n
  26. A sort of uber criterion, Arrow's Impossibility Theorem prooves that it is impossible for a ranked choice voting system to solve all the following:\n\nThere be no dictator (benevolent or otherwise)\nUnanimity is respected: If all voters prefer apple pie over cherry pie, then the result prefers apple pie over cherry pie\nThe result is independent from irrelevant alternatives: If the voters favor apple pie over cherry pie, introducing the option of pumpkin pie does not make the result favor cherry pie\n\n
  27. A sort of uber criterion, Arrow's Impossibility Theorem prooves that it is impossible for a ranked choice voting system to solve all the following:\n\nThere be no dictator (benevolent or otherwise)\nUnanimity is respected: If all voters prefer apple pie over cherry pie, then the result prefers apple pie over cherry pie\nThe result is independent from irrelevant alternatives: If the voters favor apple pie over cherry pie, introducing the option of pumpkin pie does not make the result favor cherry pie\n\n
  28. \n
  29. Also, even in academia our approach to comparing voting systems has been confounding. For hundreds of years thoughtful people have been trying their darnedest to come up with valid ways of judging different methods. These criteria. while demonstrably valid, haven't brought us closer to a solution.Here on the left we have a list of voting methods, and along the left is a list of criteria. As you can see, no method passes every criteria, and to make matters worse, some methods have hidden flaws, of inscrutable complexity or difficulty in aggregation. Ultimately, they characterize these systems, but do not illuminate them.\n
  30. I submit that your intuition for this problem is much better developed at the social level, the human level, than it is at the societal level. Let’s test this out by attempting to considering the problem at the social level and applying our finding to the societal level. For example let’s consider the situation: You and a group of friends trying to decide what movie to watch together.\n
  31. Let’s apply that to our movie decision. We all each select a single movie, and the one which was selected by the most people would win and we would watch that, regardless the opinions of the others.\nWhat does your intuition say about that? Mine says: what a terrible way to treat your friends! Certainly we'd include them in the decision-making. That's plurality voting.\n\n
  32. Alright so what about Instant Runoff Voting, it’s better, right? Under the common reform, IRV, you'd all rank your choices, eliminate, rerank, etc. How ridiculously obtuse! Why wouldn't you just consider everyone's opinions simultaneously as they're expressed?\n
  33. In more casual situations, the people will simply volunteer: I'm up for any of these films: a, b, c. Others do the same: I don't want to see b, but I'm up for a, and c. In the end, they come to a consensus drawn from their most mutually-overlapping approval of the options.\n
  34. The other, which may arises when more subtle opinions are expressed. "I am so into seeing A, I could go for B but not C." "Ugh A looks terrible, let's see B or C." "Yeah A looks tacky, B is the best!". Here, the participants have expressed a range of opinions about each option, and the ultimate selection is drawn from the integration of these preferences, and the intensities thereof.\n
  35. \n
  36. These 2 practices actually already have names in the voting world: Approval Voting and Score voting, and there's a lot to be said for them. They're super-simple to vote and aggregate.\n
  37. These 2 practices actually already have names in the voting world: Approval Voting and Score voting, and there's a lot to be said for them. They're super-simple to vote and aggregate.\n
  38. \n
  39. \n
  40. \n
  41. \n
  42. \n
  43. They’re also more expressive than rank-based systems, which allows them to defeat Arrow’s Impossibility Theroem\n
  44. They’re also more expressive than rank-based systems, which allows them to defeat Arrow’s Impossibility Theroem\n
  45. They’re also more expressive than rank-based systems, which allows them to defeat Arrow’s Impossibility Theroem\n
  46. \n
  47. \n
  48. \n
  49. As you can do via the Condorcet Method, a really beautiful system in concept, in which voters rank all options and the system runs all the options against each other in pair-wise run-offs, and selects as winner the option that beats all others.\n