Archive for October, 2016

Best Electric Toothbrush Goes to Sonicare

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Succinct de Bruijn Graphs – Springer

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Places we visited in London

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Various things I’ve liked:

National Portrait Gallery
National Gallery
Victoria and Albert Museum
Courtauld Gallery
Tate Modern *
the British Museum *

Hampstead Heath
Princess D Playground
St. James Park
Green park and Hyde park *

Buckingham Palace playground
Parliament Buildings *
St Paul’s *
Windsor castle *
Buckingham Palace (with Changing of the Guard) *

Trafalgar Square
Liverpool st, Waterloo & King’s cross stations
Greenwich Observatory *
Ferry on the Thames (with London bridge) *
Mecklenburgh Square (where London house is) *
Notting Hill *
Russell Sq & Sloane Sq *
Bond St *
Covent Garden
Leicester Square

Harrods Department Store
Pizza express
John Snow Pub *

Ham House
Ickworth * (outside of City)
Osterly park *
Kew gardens *
Royal hospital in Chelsea (Air Fair)

Related links & tags

15 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Dropbox

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Whitehead Institute – News – 2016 – Susan Lindquist, accomplished and beloved scientist, has died at age 67

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Meet the New Corporate Power Brokers: Passive Investors – WSJ

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

New Corp. Power Brokers: Passive Investors Control from those w. strong incentives to spend less time on oversight

How Twitter Is Changing Modern Warfare – The Atlantic

Monday, October 24th, 2016

How Twitter Is Changing…#Warfare Changing the traditional emphasis from information secrecy to wide broadcast

Grading Candidates » American Scientist

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Grading Candidates, w. medians is robust but affected by the no-show paradox – extra votes for top-ranked can hurt


Although the median is generally less manipulable than the mean, which would seem to favor majority judgment over range voting, majority judgment suffers from a bizarre problem that range voting and approval voting do not—its vulnerability to the “no-show paradox,” as illustrated by the following example, in which five voters give candidates A and B the following grades:

Notice that all three voting systems, including approval voting, render A the winner, and that A receives a higher grade than B from every voter except the second one.

Now suppose that two new voters show up, and each gives a grade of Excellentto candidate A and a grade of Very Good to candidate B. These additions would not change the outcome under range and approval voting; in fact, they would give a bigger victory to A. By contrast, under majority judgment, the new median would be Very Good for B but would remain Good for A, so B would win, even though it was A who received more support from the new voters.

Although the new voters have given higher grades to A than to B, their votes have backfired, electing B instead, so they would have been better off not showing up. This paradox is clearly antithetical to democratic choice—more support should help, not hurt. The authors acknowledge that majority judgment is vulnerable to the no-show paradox, but they dismiss this as “of little real importance” in practice.

Majority judgment is not the only system in which additional support can sometimes hurt a candidate. In some systems—such as the Hare system of single transferable vote (also known as the alternative vote or instant-runoff voting), which is used in Australia, among other places—voters rank all of the candidates. Those who receive the fewest first-choice votes are sequentially eliminated, and the votes cast for them are transferred to the next-lower choice who remains until one candidate receives a majority. Under this system, a voter who raises a candidate in his or her ranking can actually cause that candidate to lose. Voting systems that allow this to occur are said to be nonmonotonic.


Grading Candidates

Steven J. Brams

MAJORITY JUDGMENT: Measuring, Ranking, and Electing. Michel Balinski and Rida Laraki. xvi + 414 pp. The MIT Press, 2010. $40.

Biological data sciences in genome research

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Tales of African-American History Found in DNA – The New York Times

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Tales of African-American History Found in DNA, by @carlzimmer #Histories of molecules in addition to that of people