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Re: Call for Consensus - "Use 'Schulze STV' for voting"

From: Jean-Charles (JC) Verdié <jicheu@yahoo.fr>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2014 10:22:35 +0200
Message-ID: <5379BF4B.8020108@yahoo.fr>
To: jeff@w3.org
CC: "Nottingham, Mark" <mnotting@akamai.com>, Carl Cargill <cargill@adobe.com>, "public-w3process@w3.org" <public-w3process@w3.org>
jeff@w3.org wrote:
> Mark,
> 
> The question was put to the AC (I thought) fairly in last fall's poll.  As I said earlier in the thread, the AC said it was not a priority.
> 
> Nonetheless, when the AB looked at the survey results the AB encouraged a CG to form to bring a proposal and justification forward for consideration.

Indeed, the poll did not state a strong opposition to seeing anyone
working on it, although it clearly stated the AC did not consider it to
be important enough to see the AB focus on it.

> I believe that earlier I this thread JC said he was forming a CG for that purpose.  I sincerely hope that one of these CGs does build such a proposal and justification.

Unfortunately there were some (volunteer?) miscommunication on
w3-process which  led people to think that the discussion would have to
remain on w3-process instead of moving to the newly created CG (which
led to the incredible event that we have less people in the CG than
people who supported its creation).

As I privately said to one of the CG "opponent", I don't really care
where the discussion will happen, I just care that it happens. As of now
it is still not happening (And that thread tends to confirm that it was
not a good idea to have this discussion in w3process).


Regards
JC


> Jeff
> 
> Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Nottingham, Mark" <mnotting@akamai.com>
> Date: Sun, 18 May 2014 18:31:15 
> To: Carl Cargill<cargill@adobe.com>
> Cc: public-w3process@w3.org<public-w3process@w3.org>
> Subject: Re: Call for Consensus - "Use 'Schulze STV' for voting"
> 
> Ah, but this isn’t a business (at least from a Member’s standpoint); the real question is whether there will be adequate support in the AC, not whether a case can be justified to a boss / board / whatever. 
> 
> If the question is put to the AC fairly and it fails to get enough support, I’m happy. What I’m not happy with is the continuing delaying tactics and rhetoric on show; let the AC make a decision and let’s move on.
> 
> 
> 
> On 18 May 2014, at 3:45 pm, Carl Cargill <cargill@adobe.com> wrote:
> 
>> Mark -
>>  
>> My comments in-line and indented and highlighted.
>>  
>> To sum my responses – you haven’t made a case for change by demonstrating a positive need or benefit to the consortium and the members that would result from the change.
>>  
>> Treating this as a business case, your arguments would read something like this:
>>  
>> -          We – a group of us – think there is a problem in our group (where “we” is defined as “my friends and I”).
>> -          We know we need to change because we’ve been talking about it for a long time.
>> -          We’ve got a new technical solution that has demonstrated a limited success in solving a certain class of problems, and we think that the problem we have may be one of this class.
>> -          We think that the new technical solution we’ve read about (which, admittedly hasn’t been used in this type of case too often, if at all)  may be applicable to the problem that we think that we have.
>> -          We want to bet the consortium (or at least an element of consortium management) on using  this different and largely untested solution (in this class of problem, if we’ve defined the problem correctly) to fix a problem that we assert that exists, even if everybody else doesn’t acknowledge the problem, but because we’ve been talking about the problem are sure that it exists – probably.
>> -          If people don’t object to being experimented upon, that means they agree.
>>  
>> Did I miss one of you your arguments?
>>  
>> I’ve had business cases like that presented to me when I taught – the assertion that a problem exists (without rigorous proof of the problem) and that the proposed solution would fix the problem. Absent the problem statement based on fact – which I don’t find in any of the arguments made so far –  the solution proposed is one of many possible solutions – since the problem isn’t agreed.
>>  
>> Give me a real problem statement with substantiated proof like:
>> -          Consortium membership is declining because the AB voting scheme is flawed; this is how it would be improved by the change:
>> -          The Community group success rate is bad because AB voting is flawed; this new voting scheme would fix that by …:
>> -          The advice given to the W3C Management team by the Advisory Board is bad because the voting is non-representational; by using our scheme, better advice and success would happen.
>>  
>> Any change requires a substantial proof case. In my view, you haven’t made one.
>>
>> Carl
>>  
>> Carl Cargill
>> Principal Scientist, Standards
>> Adobe Systems
>> Cargill@adobe.com
>> Office: +1 541 488 0040
>> Mobile: +1 650 759 9803
>> @AdobeStandards
>> http://blogs.adobe.com/standards
>>  
>>  
>>              
>>  
>>  
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Nottingham, Mark [mailto:mnotting@akamai.com] 
>> Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2014 8:38 PM
>> To: Carl Cargill
>> Cc: David Singer; Charles McCathie Nevile; public-w3process@w3.org
>> Subject: Re: Call for Consensus - "Use 'Schulze STV' for voting"
>>  
>> Hi Carl,
>>  
>> On 17 May 2014, at 12:24 am, Carl Cargill <cargill@adobe.com> wrote:
>>  
>>> I find myself in an interesting position on this issue. While I have been trying to follow the thread diligently, I find that I cannot identify any specific rationale for changing the current voting methodology.  And this frustrates me.
>>>
>>> I see glimpses of some form of frustration - Chaals and others seem to be requesting change - and yet, the rationale for the change is unclear.  Is there a belief that installing a new voting systems will magically change the mission, the status, or the impact of the AB? Or will a new host of potential candidates be identified that will suddenly appear to become involved because of the changed method of selection?  Will this selection methodology help solve (or even have an impact on) the larger issues of membership, funding, relevance, or any other of the pressing problems. If so, how?
>>  
>> For me, the motivation is that first-past-the-post voting is obviously flawed and introduces significant biases.           
>>  
>>               DATA PLEASE. I find no "obvious flaw", nor do I detect bias.  You need to be a bit more explicit, unless you're representing your viewpoint only.
>>  
>> As Chaals mentioned, this was seen pretty clearly in a recent TAG election.
>>  
>> I’m also for even the smallest move away from big-company politics; the consortium has a significant image problem in this regard, and forcing our members to vote strategically doesn’t help.
>>  
>>               DATA PLEASE. What big company politics? I used to be on the AB; I saw no "big company politics". What is a "big company"? Is Akamai? Is Adobe? Where and how do you draw a line?
>>               What image problem? Could you be more explicit? What causes the image problem? AB voting?  The presence of “big companies?”
>>              
>>  
>> There are obviously many alternatives, each with its own ups and downs. However, *any* kind of STV is preferable to the current regime, because it doesn’t have the gross problems associated with first-past-the-post.
>>  
>>               Again, Data. I completely disagree that “any kind of STV is preferable”. That’s presented as your view, and  I’ll accept that. But present it as Mark’s view, not fact.
>>  
>> So, if we’re going to subject our choice to rigorous selection criteria, I’d ask that the current system be subjected to the same scrutiny.
>>  
>> My suggestion would be that the current system has been subjected to an immense amount of scrutiny – and that the alternatives have “gross problems associated with” STVs (to paraphrase your above statement.)
>>  
>>> I think that the selection process of the AB is the least of the problems that we have in the W3C.  We're focusing on a solution set that is intellectually interesting (the proper voting method) while ignoring the larger set of issues that are hard and challenging - like how to keep the W3C and Web relevant in the next decade or so, how to increase participation, how to attract more technical challenges, or how to impact the policy issues that are roiling the industry.
>>>
>>> If we'd spent the intellectual capital on one of these pressing (possibly even survival) issues, we'd have had a discussion that might move the industry. 
>>>
>>> To make this explicit, I agree with Mike, David, Jeff, and others who find this discussion either premature, irrelevant, or, in my case, both.
>>  
>> Given how much time and coin the Consortium has spent on useful things like Web Services, I think we can spare a bit of time to contemplate how we make decisions.
>>  
>> Indeed, if it’s truly irrelevant, the most expedient way for you to move on to more critical issues would be to wave through an acceptable change. The fact that some are vocally opposing it tells me that there’s more going on.
>>  
>> That‘s sophistry; the easiest way to move on to critical issues would be to move on to critical issues. Neither you nor Chaals have made a case that this is a critical issue except to you and a small “group of people” who want to change a voting method.  The fact that there are people like me opposing should tell you that I find the debate to be trivial but bothersome.
>>  
>>> Let's either make this a "factful" discussion with a set of discrete issues we're trying to solve and why these issues take precedence over the more pressing technical and policy issues faced by the consortium,  or let's drop it and get back to the business of dealing with significant issues that impact W3C and the industry.
>>  
>> We currently have a group of people who want to change the voting regime, and a group of people who don’t think it’s worth the time to talk about changing how we vote. It has been this way for some time, and over the years I think the motivations and benefits have been discussed at length. Chaals has made a concrete proposal along those lines.
>>  
>> As such, I’d very much like to hear why people are voting against this, beyond “I don’t care / we don’t need it.”
>>  
>> How about because they think you’re wrong and that the current system works?  How about “You haven’t proven that there is a problem to the larger consortium members that is significant enough to get people to act”?
>>  
>> If you really want to go down the use cases route, I’ll take stab. W3C should have a voting regime that:
>>   * Does not require voters to vote “strategically” (e.g., not voting for their preferred candidate because it will be perceived as “throwing your vote away”)
>>  
>>               Again – Data points to show that this is a significant problem amongst the W3C membership.
>>   * Minimises the number of unrepresented or disenfranchised voters
>>  
>>               Ditto
>>   * Attempt to represent the membership’s voting accurately
>>  
>>               Ditto
>>  
>> Cheers,
>>  
>> --
>> Mark Nottingham    mnot@akamai.com   http://www.mnot.net/
> 
> --
> Mark Nottingham    mnot@akamai.com   http://www.mnot.net/
> 
> 
Received on Monday, 19 May 2014 08:23:17 UTC

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