tungwaiyip.info

home

about me

links

Blog

< October 2011 >
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
       1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

past articles »

Click for San Francisco, California Forecast

San Francisco, USA

 

Ranked Choice Voting Is Great - the Problem Is the Commentators

I'm disappointed to see another article from Chronicle to decry Ranked-choice voting complicates S.F. mayor's race. What is it so complicated about RCV? It is too complicated for voters? for candidates? or for commentators?

Let set the record straight. RCV is very simple for voters. You put in your ranked choice of number 1, number 2 and number 3 candidates. This is as straight forward as it can be. We often make similar choices in other siutation in life. That's no justified reason to call it complicated.

How the winner is decided may need more explanation. But this should not affect how they vote. A lot of voters may not know the exact detail of US presidential election either or to be able to explain why a candidate who gets the most vote do may necessary wins. Nevertheless this hardly become a issue for voters. It is more a problem for the election campaign for strategizing.

Still I want to bust the myth the RCV is hard to understand. It is simply a tournament. In each round the weakest candidates is eliminated. Whose vote is then assigned to the next ranked candidates if any is left on a ballot. The tournament keep running until a winner with the majority vote is found. Even last year's epic 21 candidates races in district 10 can be followed with a well organized chart. The old run off election system can be understand as a tournament with two rounds at most. With the first round eliminated everyone but the top two candidates.

RCV has greater stake for candidates who need to use perhaps a different strategy. The old way is just to admonish your opponents. Negative campaigns, though despised by voters, are found to be effective. In RCV they have to rely less on admonishing the opponents and to appeal to a large base of voters instead. In many ways, this is one of biggest improvement RCV brings.

The article cites the shocking defeat of Don Perata in Oakland's mayoral race. Don Perata does not understand RCV. That's one thing the article and I agree. I think Don Perata is a sad sad example. It is not because he lost the race, which is fair and square. It is sad because we elect officials precisely to understand and make decision on complex issues that we ordinary citizens do not have enough expertise or diligence. That's the essence of representative democracy. If Don Perata do no understand a simple game like RCV, how can we trust him with big issues like balancing budget, which is infinitely more complex?

The journalists do not help either. Instead of writing about many great improvement under RCV, they often throw doubt on the system. One issue they brought up is the election becomes a more unpredictable system. I agree. I think in many ways this is like saying the stock market is an unpredictable system. This is the nature of having a lot of individuals each making their own choice. The result is going to be unpredictable. When the "leading" candidate Don Perata loses to Jean Quan, it shocks a lot of commentators. Similarly a lot of times stock trend defies the prediction of "expert" analysts. Rather than doubting the market, perhaps we should be more humble in our knowledge and to re-examine how our prediction go wrong instead.

2011.10.23 [] - comments

 

行行一歲,行了一步

Tavi 1 year old

行行今日一歲了,好日子,就扶著牆站起來,自己向前行了一步。壯舉完成後坐了下來,還不忘為自己熱烈擊掌。

2011.10.14 [] - comments

 

Jane McGonigal - Reality is Broken

Reality Is Broken Cover

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
By Jane McGonigal (2011)

Computer games are often considered time wasting entertainment at best, and extreme violence to be avoided at worst. Jane McGonigal Ph.D, the Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future, say it ain't so. Not only is computer gaming enjoyable and beneficial to the players, it can be a wonderful way to motivate and to let people collaborate to solve some of the most difficult problem in the world. She uses the provocative title "Reality Is Broken" to highlight this situation. I find she make a convincing case in the book.

She starts by showing us why game is so wonderful. Playing games is a satisfying work. It offers us a hope of success, and for many players, a call for optimism. Good games can strengthen social connections. And it provides a meaning and allow us to be something bigger than ourselves.

The book gets even better as it move beyond computer screen into show casing some alternative reality game that people do in the real world. It applies many successful gaming concept, like leveling up your skill, promote pro-social interaction and increase our happiness (happiness hacking). Some inspiring examples are "Tombstone hold 'em". It takes player to graveyards and induce them to contemplate about death (with very positive effect to the players documented). The "Lost Ring" game is promoted in the official Olympic website. It turns the Olympic game from a spectator sports into a discovery participatory race that people from around the world collaborate on.

Jane McGonigal's work draw on the foundation of positive psychology and play's important role in development and social function. It is a must read to understand the wonderful possibility enabled by games.

2011.10.14 [] - comments

 

California Among the Best in U.S. at Retaining Skilled Workers

They are familiar refrains in California: “The state is losing its best and brightest to other states, where the cost of living is cheaper and jobs are more plentiful.” “foreign-born students get an excellent education here and then take the knowledge elsewhere and start innovative companies.” “The state’s brain drain is sure to sink its position as a national leader in technology.”

But the idea that high-skilled workers are leaving en masse is generally fiction. According to the report, "What Brain Drain? California Among the Best in U.S. at Retaining Skilled Workers".

"Because the major disadvantage of out-migration for any state is the loss of skilled young workers, we were pleased to see that the numbers tell a story quite different from what people seem to believe about the flow of labor and California," said Ross DeVol, the Milken Institute's chief research officer.

2011.10.12 [] - comments

 

My Keyboard Has Melted!

My keyboard has melted! No, there wasn't a fire in my house. I left the keyboard near the windows. Sunlight comes in. The black keyboard absorbs the heat. Two hours later the keyboard is done for. This isn't even direct sunlight. My neighbor's window reflects the light to my house. That's enough to cook the flimsy keyboard.

Melted Keyboard

2011.10.09 [] - comments

 

Shopping in Daiso

I was shopping in the Japanese discount store Daiso. Almost everything is priced at $1.50. You can have one pen for $1.50. Or you can have a pack of 10 pens, also at $1.50. Isn't it amazing!

Daiso Shopping

I bought the pack of 10. The pens are crappy by the way.

2011.10.04 [] - comments

 

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Trump asked to determine Saudi prince's 'role' in Khashoggi murder (21 Nov 2018)

 

Yemen crisis: 85,000 children 'dead from malnutrition' (21 Nov 2018)

 

Nedim Yasar: Reformed gangster shot after book launch (20 Nov 2018)

 

Mexican tetra fish may offer heart repair clues (21 Nov 2018)

 

NY Stock Exchange President: 'A man wouldn't get that question' (21 Nov 2018)

 

Millie Bobby Brown: 'I've been bullied... that inspires me' (20 Nov 2018)

 

US says China has 'not altered' unfair trade practices (21 Nov 2018)

 

Parents 'not wholly to blame for child weight gain' (20 Nov 2018)

 

The tech that could make water use sustainable (21 Nov 2018)

 

Glamour magazine to go online only in the US (21 Nov 2018)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

Ship traffic, November 21 (20 Nov 2018)

 

Needing growth, Uber expands in Germany. This time on best behavior (20 Nov 2018)

 

How and when to talk to your children about money (19 Nov 2018)

 

US stocks take sharp losses as tech, internet companies drop (19 Nov 2018)

 

Ship traffic, November 20 (19 Nov 2018)

 

Why the best shopping holiday for travelers may not be Black Friday (18 Nov 2018)

more »


Site feed Updated: 2018-Nov-20 21:00