1130: "Poll Watching"

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SerialTroll
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby SerialTroll » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
In other news, does anyone else remember the Isaac Asimov short story about the one voter? The premise is that polling had got so accurate and so refined that, rather than fund an actual election, people just accepted the final poll results as a perfect prediction of what the result would have been - and then, with polling techniques being able to get more and more accurate results from fewer and fewer people, the system reached its logical conclusion with a single person taking a computer-administered survey, from which the election results that would have happened are extrapolated...


Did he really write something like this? I can't see Asimov writing something that couldn't be backed by some type of scientific theory. Extrapolating based on one voter isn't accurate regardless of the theory

(now, I'm off to Google to find it)

Edit: The story is "Franchise" and is similar to what the OP suggested, but I don't think it indicates any type of statistical relevance to the one-person polling. It appears that it is a computer that ultimately makes the decision using input from the one "voter".

ike
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby ike » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:54 pm UTC

That sounds a lot like a Demarchy. or mayber closer to random ballot voting.....



Coyne wrote:
ike wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
ike wrote:Just because you chose to fixate on some superficial differences doesn't make them different in any meaningful sense.

John Johnson and Jack Jackson both want to kill all puppies and torture cute kittens.

But Jack Jackson wants to torture the kittens to death, whereas John Johnson only wants to torture them a little.

Also, Jack Jackson wants to stab you in the face, on top of all this animal cruelty. John Johnson has no problem with your face.

Sure, they're both monsters, but can you honestly say you would have no preference between them?


the one with a smaller security detail.


Now see, when you said that, I immediately had the Machiavellian thought, "No, the one to prefer is the one that can be suckered into killing the other, so the one is dead and the other goes to prison."


:lol:

Fire Brns
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:56 pm UTC

SerialTroll wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:I'm laughing at you all.

The polls are all useless. Whenever I see a poll saying " 'Candidate A' guaranteed win in 'State A' " I immediately go to look at how they reached those numbers and can immediately call BS. One poll (which I am only using because it was obviously biased and no one can say I myself am being biased of it's results) said that Obama was guaranteed Ohio.

The poll included 46 Republicans, 19 Democrats, and 35 independents.
The poll had the numbers at 46/52 in favor of Obama.
Conclusion:If every Republican chose Romney and every Democrat chose Obama then 94% of independents had to have voted Obama. Those numbers don't agree with any other poll (but that doesn't matter because the other polls are wrong too) and the balance itself of 46/35/19 isn't an accurate cross section of the population.

Long story short: The only people who are actively polling are the people with a dog in the fight.


And yet, sites like electoral-vote.com managed to correctly predict EVERY state with the possible exception of Florida based on those polling numbers.

That's different than polls saying "x% of group y supports candidate z" which is what an unsettling number of the population pays attention to.
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.

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Pfhorrest
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:
peewee_RotA wrote:I'm definitely suggesting voting naked. Brings a whole new meaning to "pole watching".

Only if the guys get excited about voting--or about who is voting.

Or if the poll is held at a different kind of, uh, place with poles.
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The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

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neremanth
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby neremanth » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:35 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:My understanding is that even a frequentist would be willing to associate a 60% chance with it having rained yesterday in London, but only indirectly - something like "While there is either a 100% chance or a 0% chance of it having rained in London yesterday [specific event], over many days like today, the probability that there is a 100% chance it had rained in London on the previous day tends toward 60% as the number of days increases [general case]". The distinction between the specific event (which either happened or didn't) and what we know about the class of (sufficiently) similar historical (or simulated, or...) events (a fraction of which happened) gets around the frequentist's instinctive revulsion for the concept of a specific event which both happened and didn't happen in some proportion.

Thanks - I hadn't come across that, but it makes sense, and makes me happier with the frequentist approach.

Kit.
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Kit. » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:47 am UTC

SerialTroll wrote:Edit: The story is "Franchise" and is similar to what the OP suggested, but I don't think it indicates any type of statistical relevance to the one-person polling. It appears that it is a computer that ultimately makes the decision using input from the one "voter".

...or makes an illusion of using such input.

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dudiobugtron
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby dudiobugtron » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:54 am UTC

SerialTroll wrote:I can't see Asimov writing something that couldn't be backed by some type of scientific theory.


Like, say, positronic brains?
Image

rmsgrey
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:39 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
SerialTroll wrote:Edit: The story is "Franchise" and is similar to what the OP suggested, but I don't think it indicates any type of statistical relevance to the one-person polling. It appears that it is a computer that ultimately makes the decision using input from the one "voter".

...or makes an illusion of using such input.

I suspect the theory is similar to that behind Douglas Adams' Total Perspective Vortex - every individual affects and is affected by the rest of society, so a sufficiently detailed analysis of one (suitably chosen) individual will enable you to deduce the aggregate attitudes of the entire population.

It's an extrapolation of a trend that still exists - more sophisticated polling provides more accurate results from smaller (more constrained) samples - to its ultimate conclusion well beyond the range of validity of extrapolation from the available data. As a serious prediction, it's irresponsibly wild at best; as a possible scenario, it makes for an interesting thought experiment.


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