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A rootin' tootin' separate thread about voting, collective action problems and game theory

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    silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    If everyone only ever acted according to rational self-interest we would have a pretty shitty society.



    Also if you have any position at all on any issue, all you're accomplishing by not voting is making it more likely (even infinitesimally more likely) that the other party would win and advance the opposite position.

    So voting can only ever help you (even if it's only a tiny contribution to a greater good), and not voting can only ever hurt you (even if it's only a tiny non-contribution to preventing a greater harm).

    This ignores that some people consider voting to have a small but nonzero cost (e.g. 15 minutes out of your day, extra gas).

    Depending on the state, the time cost is irrelevant - in MN you just get time off work for it.

    Well, you should get time off, but your employer can fire you for a made up reason if you choose to vote on his or her time.

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    spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    The only time not voting would make sense is if you know the outcome ahead of time.

    This is probably the case for the majority of Americans, though I'm not entirely certain what the swing states look like at present.

    I don't mean the result, as in which candidate wins. I mean the turnout, which is probably the word I should have used. The percentage that a candidate wins by is important, as has been mentioned by others so far.

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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    If everyone only ever acted according to rational self-interest we would have a pretty shitty society.
    So? Obviously it would not be in my rational self interest to convince others to only act in their own rational self interest, but I don't see how that should affect my own rational self interest.

    Also if you have any position at all on any issue, all you're accomplishing by not voting is making it more likely (even infinitesimally more likely) that the other party would win and advance the opposite position.

    So voting can only ever help you (even if it's only a tiny contribution to a greater good), and not voting can only ever hurt you (even if it's only a tiny non-contribution to preventing a greater harm).

    Not true. My single vote won't have an effect on whatever election at all, it is only a single vote. Losing by a hundred thousand votes and losing by 99999 votes is the same.

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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

    The person who is making the 250,000,001th vote doesn't know that is what number vote they are ahead of time, or even how many votes there have been. The only time that information becomes available is after the election is over and so no one can make decisions for that election based on those numbers. Unless they have a time machine.

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    This is only true if you ignore the existence of outside actors.

    Also it's highly disingenuous to say your vote doesn't matter. Every vote matters. Objectively, each individual vote does not matter much, but it does matter, and it all adds up.

    You vote in the hopes that, your vote will contribute to a cohesive group action which will effect society in a way which will benefit you, often in large and significant ways that you yourself could never have achieved on your own.

    Rationally, it seems like it's in everyone's best interest to vote, because it increases the chances no matter how small that society itself will bend in a way that is preferable to them, which can often affect them more meaningfully than anything they could have done with the relatively trivial amount of time it takes to find out which candidates support policies in their best interest, and then voting for them.

    I'm usually not sure of my best interests when it comes to voting items, so when I do vote I end up picking almost randomly. Most of the stuff I'm interested in happens in the Supreme Court, which has almost nothing to do with how I vote.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    My single vote also has almost no effect on running up the score. (In any sufficiently large election that is. A single vote doesn't even affect the percentage a presidential candidate wins by.)

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    milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    Aistan wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    The only time not voting would make sense is if you know the outcome ahead of time.

    This is probably the case for the majority of Americans, though I'm not entirely certain what the swing states look like at present.

    I don't mean the result, as in which candidate wins. I mean the turnout, which is probably the word I should have used. The percentage that a candidate wins by is important, as has been mentioned by others so far.

    This is also pretty easy to know by virtue of straw polling. The P<0.05 numbers are not very large.

    I ate an engineer
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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Aistan wrote: »
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

    The person who is making the 250,000,001th vote doesn't know that is what number vote they are ahead of time, or even how many votes there have been. The only time that information becomes available is after the election is over and so no one can make decisions for that election based on those numbers. Unless they have a time machine.

    Nate Silver and co. know reliably how much the total n will be, so if there's a vote expected to be decided 10 people; I'll put in 1/10 the effort. If there's a vote to be decided by 250,000,000 people, I'll put in 1/250,000,000 the effort.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    This is only true if you ignore the existence of outside actors.

    Also it's highly disingenuous to say your vote doesn't matter. Every vote matters. Objectively, each individual vote does not matter much, but it does matter, and it all adds up.

    You vote in the hopes that, your vote will contribute to a cohesive group action which will effect society in a way which will benefit you, often in large and significant ways that you yourself could never have achieved on your own.

    Rationally, it seems like it's in everyone's best interest to vote, because it increases the chances no matter how small that society itself will bend in a way that is preferable to them, which can often affect them more meaningfully than anything they could have done with the relatively trivial amount of time it takes to find out which candidates support policies in their best interest, and then voting for them.

    I'm usually not sure of my best interests when it comes to voting items, so when I do vote I end up picking almost randomly. Most of the stuff I'm interested in happens in the Supreme Court, which has almost nothing to do with how I vote.

    In the first case, I guess I don't know what to tell you. Generally you pick a party and just look at the kinds of things they support and vote for, and the candidates you agree with more you vote for.

    On the second matter that's totally wrong. It has everything to do with how you vote, because how you vote contributes to determining who the President is, and the President picks Supreme Court Justices.

    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

    But still not zero. Which is the point. Every votes matters and has influence on society and future policy and elections. That you don't think it matters very much is has no bearing on the fact that it still matters.

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    DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    If everyone only ever acted according to rational self-interest we would have a pretty shitty society.
    So? Obviously it would not be in my rational self interest to convince others to only act in their own rational self interest, but I don't see how that should affect my own rational self interest.

    So you should get to reap the benefits of acting in your own self-interest, in addition the the benefits of everyone else eschewing their self-interest and acting in the collective interest, while avoiding any of the effort/responsibilities of the latter.

    Rational self-interest sounds more and more like raw selfishness with every page.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    This is only true if you ignore the existence of outside actors.

    Also it's highly disingenuous to say your vote doesn't matter. Every vote matters. Objectively, each individual vote does not matter much, but it does matter, and it all adds up.

    You vote in the hopes that, your vote will contribute to a cohesive group action which will effect society in a way which will benefit you, often in large and significant ways that you yourself could never have achieved on your own.

    Rationally, it seems like it's in everyone's best interest to vote, because it increases the chances no matter how small that society itself will bend in a way that is preferable to them, which can often affect them more meaningfully than anything they could have done with the relatively trivial amount of time it takes to find out which candidates support policies in their best interest, and then voting for them.

    I'm usually not sure of my best interests when it comes to voting items, so when I do vote I end up picking almost randomly. Most of the stuff I'm interested in happens in the Supreme Court, which has almost nothing to do with how I vote.

    In the first case, I guess I don't know what to tell you. Generally you pick a party and just look at the kinds of things they support and vote for, and the candidates you agree with more you vote for.

    On the second matter that's totally wrong. It has everything to do with how you vote, because how you vote contributes to determining who the President is, and the President picks Supreme Court Justices.

    The Justice who wrote the majority opinion for Obergefell v. Hodges also wrote the majority opinion for Citizens United v. FEC, and was appointed by Reagan. The main dissenting opinion for Citizens United was written by a justice appointed by a president that was never voted into office. The president's appointment must (for all practical purposes) be confirmed by congress in a way that purposely obfuscates the idea that you can indirectly vote for a supreme court justice, who may or may not completely go rogue with almost no accountability.

    It seems like a system designed to be supported by directionless voting, as that can never be controlled. The other two branches are accountable to voters and can and should be anticipated.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    How much time did you spend researching candidates or reading about politics in order to determine who you should vote for? In reality you probably would have benefited more by spending time on other aspects of your life. Whether that was some kind of continuing education, or just spending more time with your family, or even cleaning your house, the time you spent determining who you should vote for probably would have benefited you more if you had chosen not to participate in politics at all. Now, you probably benefit mentally from this task of voting, because you have an idea of what it could mean to the broader society. You should not think it means the same thing to everyone, and understand that large numbers of people are perfectly rationally making the decision not to vote or even know about politics.


    Many individuals upon participating in the system for years only to have politicians they helped elect vote against the specific issues they campaigned on, based on an educated understanding of the system then choose not to vote. For a variety of reasons, it can be rational, and even an educated decision not to participate in the system. The system as it is rewards powerful people with ill intentions, and incentives them to participate heavily. It offers rewards mostly not worth talking about to the broad society that might choose to vote.

    If you are posting on this forum right now to argue over this it is safe to say you have time to learn about party platforms or candidates as you're clearly not doing any of those other things either.

    My choice to post on this forum, and to know about politics stems from my deep interest in classical philosophy. My thoughts on politics, and discussion of the issues gives me a great amount of enjoyment. I'm not reading deeply about these issues because I think I can make a difference, I think the long term trajectory of our society is on a particular path that cannot be changed. That path I think we are on, is a dark one.


    Additionally, we are not talking about me as the average voter. I'm an unusual individual in that I find it valuable to spend a lot of time thinking about politics, and human nature. I know plenty of people that are more representative of the general public. A lot of them don't want to know about it, they don't know whether they are liberal or a conservative, because even reading enough to make a decision about that would cost a non-trivial amount of time doing something they find boring, and depressing. Aside from them, I mostly know people who are conservative cause they like guns and eating meat, or liberal for the opposite reason. For almost none of them, did they spend a serious amount of time thinking about the issues and participating in a serious discussion. They saw a youtube video that outraged them and a political party they had something in common with.

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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Cantelope wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    How much time did you spend researching candidates or reading about politics in order to determine who you should vote for? In reality you probably would have benefited more by spending time on other aspects of your life. Whether that was some kind of continuing education, or just spending more time with your family, or even cleaning your house, the time you spent determining who you should vote for probably would have benefited you more if you had chosen not to participate in politics at all. Now, you probably benefit mentally from this task of voting, because you have an idea of what it could mean to the broader society. You should not think it means the same thing to everyone, and understand that large numbers of people are perfectly rationally making the decision not to vote or even know about politics.


    Many individuals upon participating in the system for years only to have politicians they helped elect vote against the specific issues they campaigned on, based on an educated understanding of the system then choose not to vote. For a variety of reasons, it can be rational, and even an educated decision not to participate in the system. The system as it is rewards powerful people with ill intentions, and incentives them to participate heavily. It offers rewards mostly not worth talking about to the broad society that might choose to vote.

    If you are posting on this forum right now to argue over this it is safe to say you have time to learn about party platforms or candidates as you're clearly not doing any of those other things either.

    My choice to post on this forum, and to know about politics stems from my deep interest in classical philosophy. My thoughts on politics, and discussion of the issues gives me a great amount of enjoyment. I'm not reading deeply about these issues because I think I can make a difference, I think the long term trajectory of our society is on a particular path that cannot be changed. That path I think we are on, is a dark one.


    Additionally, we are not talking about me as the average voter. I'm an unusual individual in that I find it valuable to spend a lot of time thinking about politics, and human nature. I know plenty of people that are more representative of the general public. A lot of them don't want to know about it, they don't know whether they are liberal or a conservative, because even reading enough to make a decision about that would cost a non-trivial amount of time doing something they find boring, and depressing. Aside from them, I mostly know people who are conservative cause they like guns and eating meat, or liberal for the opposite reason. For almost none of them, did they spend a serious amount of time thinking about the issues and participating in a serious discussion. They saw a youtube video that outraged them and a political party they had something in common with.

    That's people not giving a damn. That isn't their votes not mattering.

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    milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Quid wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Cantelope wrote: »
    How much time did you spend researching candidates or reading about politics in order to determine who you should vote for? In reality you probably would have benefited more by spending time on other aspects of your life. Whether that was some kind of continuing education, or just spending more time with your family, or even cleaning your house, the time you spent determining who you should vote for probably would have benefited you more if you had chosen not to participate in politics at all. Now, you probably benefit mentally from this task of voting, because you have an idea of what it could mean to the broader society. You should not think it means the same thing to everyone, and understand that large numbers of people are perfectly rationally making the decision not to vote or even know about politics.


    Many individuals upon participating in the system for years only to have politicians they helped elect vote against the specific issues they campaigned on, based on an educated understanding of the system then choose not to vote. For a variety of reasons, it can be rational, and even an educated decision not to participate in the system. The system as it is rewards powerful people with ill intentions, and incentives them to participate heavily. It offers rewards mostly not worth talking about to the broad society that might choose to vote.

    If you are posting on this forum right now to argue over this it is safe to say you have time to learn about party platforms or candidates as you're clearly not doing any of those other things either.

    My choice to post on this forum, and to know about politics stems from my deep interest in classical philosophy. My thoughts on politics, and discussion of the issues gives me a great amount of enjoyment. I'm not reading deeply about these issues because I think I can make a difference, I think the long term trajectory of our society is on a particular path that cannot be changed. That path I think we are on, is a dark one.


    Additionally, we are not talking about me as the average voter. I'm an unusual individual in that I find it valuable to spend a lot of time thinking about politics, and human nature. I know plenty of people that are more representative of the general public. A lot of them don't want to know about it, they don't know whether they are liberal or a conservative, because even reading enough to make a decision about that would cost a non-trivial amount of time doing something they find boring, and depressing. Aside from them, I mostly know people who are conservative cause they like guns and eating meat, or liberal for the opposite reason. For almost none of them, did they spend a serious amount of time thinking about the issues and participating in a serious discussion. They saw a youtube video that outraged them and a political party they had something in common with.

    That's people not giving a damn. That isn't their votes not mattering.

    The argument he is making is not "their votes don't matter," it's "they derive less utility from educated voting than the costs of educating themselves."

    E: To be clear, I think most everybody in the thread agrees that voting has some positive utility. The people who say "I would rather not vote" or "I can understand why people don't vote" are arguing that the costs are higher than the benefits, not that the benefits are absolutely zero.

    milski on
    I ate an engineer
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    CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    They don't give a damn because it doesn't benefit them in a way that they can clearly see. The cost of learning more would be significant compared to the cost of doing most anything else.


    Edit: Basically what Milski said. I agree, voting has an effect. But for various reasons to a lot of people I think the costs outweigh the benefits.

    Cantelope on
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    chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    I vote, but I simply do it because it's easy. In the end the idea that running up the vote has act actual effect on policy or such us laughable if you actually study politics or history.

    It doesn't.

    Almost every single policy of the last 40 years was made purely off if financial motivations. Look up studies on how much it costs to buy a vote. I'm sure the civic minded might think it expensive because of party loyalty and voter's and morals!

    When in reality most people get bought out for a good steak dinner or some baseball tickets.

    Like the point people are making is 100% true in a vacuum with no actual humans or money, but doesn't actually happen in reality.

    steam_sig.png
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    If everyone only ever acted according to rational self-interest we would have a pretty shitty society.
    So? Obviously it would not be in my rational self interest to convince others to only act in their own rational self interest, but I don't see how that should affect my own rational self interest.

    So you should get to reap the benefits of acting in your own self-interest, in addition the the benefits of everyone else eschewing their self-interest and acting in the collective interest, while avoiding any of the effort/responsibilities of the latter.

    Rational self-interest sounds more and more like raw selfishness with every page.

    Well yes it is selfishness. The whole idea is that the rational thing to do is to act only to maximize your own self-interest.

    The fact that you get a terrible society if everybody does it is just proof that everybody doing it isn't in your self-interest.

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    spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Quid wrote: »
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

    But still not zero. Which is the point. Every votes matters and has influence on society and future policy and elections. That you don't think it matters very much is has no bearing on the fact that it still matters.

    If the party/politician reacts the same to n or n+1, then the effect is nothing though. I find it highly doubtful that anyone would be influenced by n+1 differently from n where n is sufficiently large enough.

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    CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    It's not just about the votes, it's about who makes them. We know old people vote, so some issues that particularly mostly old people care about get more attention. If we know X group votes, based on who voted, politicians have a better idea of what issues they have to take seriously and which ones they do not. X issue <insert demographic here> cares about passionately, but most of them don't vote so the left and the right just ignore them. That's the kind of thing that's being looked at.

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    spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Cantelope wrote: »
    It's not just about the votes, it's about who makes them. We know old people vote, so some issues that particularly mostly old people care about get more attention. If we know X group votes, based on who voted, politicians have a better idea of what issues they have to take seriously and which ones they do not. X issue <insert demographic here> cares about passionately, but most of them don't vote so the left and the right just ignore them. That's the kind of thing that's being looked at.

    But n people in group X vs n+1 people in group X isn't going to make a difference. This is the heart of the issue. Unless n+1 will prompt a different reaction than n, the 1 doesn't matter.

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    CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    If no democrats voted in Texas there would not be pollsters predicting that Texas is going to become a blue state in X years based on voting patterns of demographics that are growing and shrinking. This has some value.

    Cantelope on
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    Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    Whatever else we say, let us all agree that First Past the Post is the worst voting system.

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    lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I vote. and I promise you it's not easy.

    I take my time out of work and life to go get my fingerprints taken, then print off and sign the absentee ballot request forms, and then head to the post shop to mail them off.

    I then also take my time when my ballots come in (both primary and general, at different times) to read through them educate myself on the local elections that will effect my family and friends back home, fill out the ballots and then get to the post shop and mail them back home by the deadline.

    And no, my individual vote may not make any difference in the x+1 type matter.

    But, I am an expat American making the effort to have my voice heard in the election of the politicians and the decisions on policy that will effect my family, freinds, and community back home. My vote doesn't really effect me exactly, I live in another country and am rarely personally effected by US policy. Other than having to explain a bunch of our screw ups all the time.

    But you know what? My vote does effect things. Democrats Abroad has a delegation that gets sent to the National Convention. As does the Republican counterpart. My votes go towards the decision of that delegation for whom to send our 3 electoral votes and our 3 delegates for. I may be only one among thousands of expats who make their voices heard through our votes, but my vote counts.

    My single vote counted in Maine 2008, when there was a 2 vote margin in our local caucus between Hillary and Obama. No, it wasn't a 1 vote margin, but me showing up and voting and standing on the side for Obama? That made the victory in our district just that much bigger for him, which ended up lifting the total of his victory throughout the state.

    Voting matters. Maybe not in the sweeping, generalized, game theory way that you all seem to be talking about. But it matters. And policies matter.

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    Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    If the party/politician reacts the same to n or n+1, then the effect is nothing though. I find it highly doubtful that anyone would be influenced by n+1 differently from n where n is sufficiently large enough.

    I fail to see why this is crucial to wanting to vote. It's voting, not a competition. You're not going to get a prize for it, the "prize" is getting your candidate elected. This isn't about you, it's to maintain a system of democracy by electing leaders to govern. If you want to increase the chances of your candidate vote for them. If they lose, you decreased their chances of winning by you, and others like yourself who feel the same, by not voting. Elections aren't about individual voters, it's about getting politicians elected - who wins determines the future to how the country operates.
    Cantelope wrote: »
    They don't give a damn because it doesn't benefit them in a way that they can clearly see. The cost of learning more would be significant compared to the cost of doing most anything else.


    Edit: Basically what Milski said. I agree, voting has an effect. But for various reasons to a lot of people I think the costs outweigh the benefits.

    They're low information voters, they don't pay attention to the consequences when it's staring them in the face - they just have to look in the right places. Which is on the news, the internet and see any political impact in their state or nation wide depending on the politicians in the elections.

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    lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    and on top of all that, I don't even get a sticker. Which sucks.

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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

    But still not zero. Which is the point. Every votes matters and has influence on society and future policy and elections. That you don't think it matters very much is has no bearing on the fact that it still matters.

    If the party/politician reacts the same to n or n+1, then the effect is nothing though. I find it highly doubtful that anyone would be influenced by n+1 differently from n where n is sufficiently large enough.

    But they don't react the same. You keep saying this but provide no proof. Every single digit one way or another provides a difference. Nobody reacts to two different numbers exactly the same, even if the difference in reaction is incredibly small.

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    spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    If the party/politician reacts the same to n or n+1, then the effect is nothing though. I find it highly doubtful that anyone would be influenced by n+1 differently from n where n is sufficiently large enough.

    I fail to see why this is crucial to wanting to vote. It's voting, not a competition. You're not going to get a prize for it, the "prize" is getting your candidate elected. This isn't about you, it's to maintain a system of democracy by electing leaders to govern. If you want to increase the chances of your candidate vote for them. If they lose, you decreased their chances of winning by you, and others like yourself who feel the same, by not voting. Elections aren't about individual voters, it's about getting politicians elected - who wins determines the future to how the country operates.
    Cantelope wrote: »
    They don't give a damn because it doesn't benefit them in a way that they can clearly see. The cost of learning more would be significant compared to the cost of doing most anything else.


    Edit: Basically what Milski said. I agree, voting has an effect. But for various reasons to a lot of people I think the costs outweigh the benefits.

    They're low information voters, they don't pay attention to the consequences when it's staring them in the face - they just have to look in the right places. Which is on the news, the internet and see any political impact in their state or nation wide depending on the politicians in the elections.

    Unless there is a reasonable likelihood of a 1 vote margin, you didn't increase the chance of q win though. Literally. It isn't about winning a prize. It is about whether there is an actual reason to incur the costs of voting. The answer for any individual is generally no.

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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    and others like yourself who feel the same

    Why are the actions of others relevant to mine?


    Clearly I want others to vote, as having people vote is in my interest, but why does that matter if the question is whether I should vote?

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    AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Not every vote will matter, but any vote could matter.

    Participatory democracy only works if people participate.

    Otherwise you get American democracy.

    Lh96QHG.png
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    Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    and others like yourself who feel the same

    Why are the actions of others relevant to mine?


    Clearly I want others to vote, as having people vote is in my interest, but why does that matter if the question is whether I should vote?

    Because it's not just you who aren't voting, and that adds up quickly in elections. If you and they had voted we'd be getting different results.
    If the party/politician reacts the same to n or n+1, then the effect is nothing though. I find it highly doubtful that anyone would be influenced by n+1 differently from n where n is sufficiently large enough.

    I fail to see why this is crucial to wanting to vote. It's voting, not a competition. You're not going to get a prize for it, the "prize" is getting your candidate elected. This isn't about you, it's to maintain a system of democracy by electing leaders to govern. If you want to increase the chances of your candidate vote for them. If they lose, you decreased their chances of winning by you, and others like yourself who feel the same, by not voting. Elections aren't about individual voters, it's about getting politicians elected - who wins determines the future to how the country operates.
    Cantelope wrote: »
    They don't give a damn because it doesn't benefit them in a way that they can clearly see. The cost of learning more would be significant compared to the cost of doing most anything else.


    Edit: Basically what Milski said. I agree, voting has an effect. But for various reasons to a lot of people I think the costs outweigh the benefits.

    They're low information voters, they don't pay attention to the consequences when it's staring them in the face - they just have to look in the right places. Which is on the news, the internet and see any political impact in their state or nation wide depending on the politicians in the elections.

    Unless there is a reasonable likelihood of a 1 vote margin, you didn't increase the chance of q win though. Literally. It isn't about winning a prize. It is about whether there is an actual reason to incur the costs of voting. The answer for any individual is generally no.

    How you interpret the costs? If you were involved in getting your favorite politicians into office that was an effect that benefited you, in the case of presidents whoever wins will impact how the country goes forward politically based on who won. If your candidate didn't win the policies you want won't get enacted and if the opposition wins you may get effected indirectly or with causes you believe in - like unions, Wall Street policies and social laws. For instance, Republicans who didn't want gay marriage to become law lost big time when Obama got elected twice when he effected the Supreme Court nominees and the same happened when George Bush Jr. got his nominees there for the Citizens United ruling. If McCain or Kerry had been elected those outcomes would have been very different for how America looks today. That's ignoring the state and local government elections which are closer to home.

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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    Your one single vote probably isn't going to change much. You're still an asshole if you don't vote, because you're contributing to the problem.

    Throwing that one paper wrapper on the ground probably isn't going to singlehandedly wreck the environment. You're still an asshole if you litter, because you're contributing to the problem.

    Watering your lawn once at midday in the middle of a drought isn't going to immediately use up all available water. You're still an asshole blah blah blah are we seeing a pattern yet?

    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

    But still not zero. Which is the point. Every votes matters and has influence on society and future policy and elections. That you don't think it matters very much is has no bearing on the fact that it still matters.

    If the party/politician reacts the same to n or n+1, then the effect is nothing though. I find it highly doubtful that anyone would be influenced by n+1 differently from n where n is sufficiently large enough.

    But they don't react the same. You keep saying this but provide no proof. Every single digit one way or another provides a difference. Nobody reacts to two different numbers exactly the same, even if the difference in reaction is incredibly small.

    Given that election coverage and discussion is usually about percentages I find the suggestion that anyone actually cares about singular votes pretty dubious.

    Why would they even? A single vote tells you nothing, 27% of people will vote against you regardless of the merits of your positions. That single vote might be from someone who respectfully disagrees with your position for a good reason, but it could also easily be a vote from some crazy guy who just doesn't like your name.

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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

    But still not zero. Which is the point. Every votes matters and has influence on society and future policy and elections. That you don't think it matters very much is has no bearing on the fact that it still matters.

    If the party/politician reacts the same to n or n+1, then the effect is nothing though. I find it highly doubtful that anyone would be influenced by n+1 differently from n where n is sufficiently large enough.

    But they don't react the same. You keep saying this but provide no proof. Every single digit one way or another provides a difference. Nobody reacts to two different numbers exactly the same, even if the difference in reaction is incredibly small.

    Given that election coverage and discussion is usually about percentages I find the suggestion that anyone actually cares about singular votes pretty dubious.

    Why would they even? A single vote tells you nothing, 27% of people will vote against you regardless of the merits of your positions. That single vote might be from someone who respectfully disagrees with your position for a good reason, but it could also easily be a vote from some crazy guy who just doesn't like your name.

    Are you claiming that people react to different things exactly the same?

    I'll hazard a guess not. Which means accepting that politicians react differently to 100 vs 101 votes for them. Even if it's only a small percentage it's still a difference.

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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    and others like yourself who feel the same

    Why are the actions of others relevant to mine?


    Clearly I want others to vote, as having people vote is in my interest, but why does that matter if the question is whether I should vote?

    Because it's not just you who aren't voting, and that adds up quickly in elections. If you and they had voted we'd be getting different results.

    That doesn't actually answer the question. I do not control the behaviour of others, so their voting or not voting isn't relevant to my voting.

    Like, if all of them had voted but I still hadn't we'd be getting the same results as if both them and I had voted. And if they didn't vote but I did the result would be no different from neither them nor I voting.

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    Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    A lot of people complain they don't want to vote for either the Democrat or the Republican, because their preferred candidate didn't make it out of the primaries. I feel that this reasoning is naive.

    You vote in the primary to get your preferred issues/candidates put forward.

    You vote in the general to elect the least bad option, because a non-vote is indistinguishable from a vote to default on the economy and plunge us back into a Mad Max style feudalistic society.

    The primary is when you play offense; the general election is when you play defense.
    Julius wrote: »
    Why is it so important that YOUR vote is the ONE VOTE that matters?

    From a position of rational self interest I should only ever do things that are beneficial to me.

    If my vote doesn't matter and voting requires a non-zero amount of effort, then there is no benefit to voting to me.

    I'd argue that in elections, unlike sports, running up the score has a tangible benefit. The percentage a candidate wins by can shift people's perspective on issues. So every single vote definitely has a non-zero value.

    But the differences between 250,000,000 and 250,000,001 is so close to zero as to be effectively zero.

    But still not zero. Which is the point. Every votes matters and has influence on society and future policy and elections. That you don't think it matters very much is has no bearing on the fact that it still matters.

    If the party/politician reacts the same to n or n+1, then the effect is nothing though. I find it highly doubtful that anyone would be influenced by n+1 differently from n where n is sufficiently large enough.

    But they don't react the same. You keep saying this but provide no proof. Every single digit one way or another provides a difference. Nobody reacts to two different numbers exactly the same, even if the difference in reaction is incredibly small.

    Given that election coverage and discussion is usually about percentages I find the suggestion that anyone actually cares about singular votes pretty dubious.

    Why would they even? A single vote tells you nothing, 27% of people will vote against you regardless of the merits of your positions. That single vote might be from someone who respectfully disagrees with your position for a good reason, but it could also easily be a vote from some crazy guy who just doesn't like your name.

    Are you claiming that people react to different things exactly the same?

    I'll hazard a guess not. Which means accepting that politicians react differently to 100 vs 101 votes for them. Even if it's only a small percentage it's still a difference.

    Given the way we conceptualise large numbers (i.e. not very well) I am sceptical of this rather intuitive picture.

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    milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
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    Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    That doesn't actually answer the question. I do not control the behaviour of others, so their voting or not voting isn't relevant to my voting.

    It does when you vote and encourage others to vote with you.
    Like, if all of them had voted but I still hadn't we'd be getting the same results as if both them and I had voted. And if they didn't vote but I did the result would be no different from neither them nor I voting.

    Except you don't know the result until after the election and one less vote to the candidate you like means that's one less they have of winning an election. Once the election is won every political issue you have is in their hands, and you missed your chance to participate. The chances of your vote being the one which gets to be part of the portion that wins them an election dwindles to zero if you don't vote. Elections are determined by votes, lack of votes will impact them indirectly and the ones with the most votes wins.

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    spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Not every vote will matter, but any vote could matter.

    Participatory democracy only works if people participate.

    Otherwise you get American democracy.

    Agreed, but people participating and person x participating are different things.
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Your one single vote probably isn't going to change much. You're still an asshole if you don't vote, because you're contributing to the problem.

    Throwing that one paper wrapper on the ground probably isn't going to singlehandedly wreck the environment. You're still an asshole if you litter, because you're contributing to the problem.

    Watering your lawn once at midday in the middle of a drought isn't going to immediately use up all available water. You're still an asshole blah blah blah are we seeing a pattern yet?

    The difference is the one wrapper can actually impact someone negatively if they come across it. The person watering their lawn actually reduces the amount of water that is available. Both are small impacts but they can occur. By contrast, if someone doesn't vote no one else is harmed. Their votes still count the same either way. The harm would only be if they fail to get the outcome they wanted because of the non-voter, but that is the single vote situation again, which is extremely unlikely in a large numbers game like voting in the U.S.

This discussion has been closed.