The Instigator
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Zarroette
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

The new DDO Voting System is superior to the old

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/25/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,899 times Debate No: 55416
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (121)
Votes (8)

 

thett3

Pro

Resolved: The new DDO voting system is superior to the old one. I am affirming.

The new DDO voting system is a system of up/down voting where the judge selects a single winner for the debate. The old system was a categorical system weighing Spelling and Grammar, Conduct, and Sources as well as arguments. As a courtesy to my opponent, we'll use that system for the round.

Round 1 is for acceptance only. No new arguments in the last round. Good luck.
Zarroette

Con

Alright, Stevie. As amusing as it is watching you beg me for a debate, I can't help but think how satisfying it would be to beat you, especially since you've conquered Roy on this resolution. Now, give me your best.
Debate Round No. 1
thett3

Pro

Thanks Zarroette.

I. One man, two votes

The old system gave voters discretion on when to award points. The result of this is that since some judges are less reluctant to award points over minor grammar errors or one side having more sources than another, the value of votes gets skewed. A good example of this is GWL's vote in the Roy-Mikal debate[1]. Because GWL slapped onto his RFD "[Roy's] sources are better. And, Con's conduct was rude in my opinion." the value of his vote doubled, making it worth two of whiteflame's, who gave extensive reasoning for his decision in the comments section. The worst part about this is that despite all of us knowing GWL is a biased and dishonest voter, there is simply no grounds to delete such a vote as he justified the points given. We shouldn't have a system that cheapens the value of good votes to give power to poor ones. Moreover even if we were to work under the assumption that all voters were honest, since people have different paradigms on when to award the other points due to there being no specific bright lines on when to award them, the old system at the very least gives some voters more power than others for no real reason. Under the new system, a poorly reasoned ideological vote can be countered by one good vote, every time. Compare this to the old system where it often takes two good votes to outweigh a bad one and it's clear which one is preferable, particularly with the voting deficit we have on this site.

The practical result of the old system is to make bad votes worth more than good ones.

Another point to consider is that under the old system, I can justifiably award points without even reading the debate. I didn't read Mikal's debate with Lordgrae about Squirtle[2]. However looking at his first round, I saw he forgot to capitalize "i" so I awarded his opponent the Spelling and Grammar points. Airmax is powerless to remove my vote if he follows his own policy because I followed the rules: I justified each point I awarded. We should not allow legitimate votes of any size to someone who did not read the debate.

Another flaw in the old system is that judges aren't required to fill out the entire ballot. If I wanted, I could vote someone down every single time they have a debate by awarding their opponents every category that is remotely close and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Even if there is a clear winner on arguments or any other category, I can abstain from voting on arguments and vote down a person I dislike by scanning the debate for spelling errors or missing commas, for minor rule violations or stretched insults, by counting the sources or deciding that one source was "really good" and voting on that. In Mikal's recent debate about the existence of God[3], his opponent made no argument and forfeited the entire thing. Mikal forgot the apostrophe in "Occam's" so I abstained from voting on conduct and arguments and voted on S/G alone. I could do the same thing on contentious and close debates, and my votes couldn't be deleted because a voter can abstain for any reason. The amount of discretion the old system gives judges makes it so easy to vote poorly that it's a wonder it's been allowed to stand for so long.


II. Strategic voting

It's no secret that DDO has its share of poor and ideological voters. Under the old system, these voters are handed a blank check to increase their voting power because, as Airmax has stated[4], as long as the RFD gives a reason for each point awarded, it is considered valid and not subject to deletion. The goal of the ideological voter is to give as many points to his favored position as possible, and therefore he is going to award as many points as he can justify, even if the justification is extremely thin. The old system gives bad voters every power to do this. Compare this to the new system where a vote is a vote and you can see which one is superior in mitigating bad voting.

Moreover the old system encourages bad voting among otherwise good voters. There is a spectrum of dishonesty, on the one end being voters who will vote with every point they can to their favored side, and on the other the voters who will not give any unjustified points for any reason. The vast majority of people fall somewhere in the middle. The old system encourages bad voting in virtually everyone except the extremely honest end of the spectrum. The old system can be looked at through a game theory perspective. It's a prisoners dilemma, because the ideal strategy is for everyone to vote fairly but because voters know that some people are going to strategically fudge their votes to make them more valuable, the dominant strategy becomes going tit for tat and doing the same. I've competed in and judged real world debate for years and cannot claim to be above the temptation to add some points to my vote when I see that the side I thought won is losing. This is because everyone is biased to believe that the side they thought won actually did win, and view them losing as someone being unjustly deprived of a victory. Since the old system makes votes unequal, voters are incetivized to add points to their votes even when they're unjustified. Creating a fluff vote on something such as conduct or sources is *ridiculously* easy. Cons conduct "felt" rude to you. Con had an extra source. You feel Pro utilized her sources better. The new system is preferable because it wipes out a huge subset of ideological voting.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are no clear guidelines on when to vote on each category. In the forums, Zarroette argued that someone having more sources shouldn't be grounds for the sources points. I agree, however others don't and there is no guideline on when to vote on which category.

We should have a policy that removes as many tools as possible from the hands of biased voters, not one that gives them a veritable toolbox of weapons.

III. Competition and the nature of debate

The nature of debate is that of discourse and discussion. Debate is *all* about the arguments. One of the biggest problems with the old system is that the majority of the ballot value derived from items that the debaters do not argue in round. At most, there is smattering of discussion of who should win the other points in the last round because the purpose of debate is the exchange of arguments. This is bad because it assigns a majority of the ballot value to points not argued for in round. It's self evidently ridiculous that I can award someone 33% of the value of the arguments point by skimming the debate and noticing they used the wrong "your".

Things like poor spelling or conduct weaken an arguments potency. Having no sources in most debates where they are relevant like policy discussions would destroy one's arguments, indeed their opponent could flatly deny everything for lack of documentation. These factors are still considered in the judges ballot under the new system, they just aren't overemphasized to an absurd degree as they were under the old system. It's absurd that someone could, in a debate--an activity solely based around argumentation, win the most compelling arguments but still lose the ballot overall.

We should also presume an affirmative ballot because every real world debate league uses an up/down voting style like the new system. My opponent has quite the mountain to climb to prove that everyone in the history of debate except for Phil, the sites creator, got it wrong. We should look to real world debate leagues on how to judge.


The resolution is affirmed.

1. http://www.debate.org...
2. http://www.debate.org...
3. http://www.debate.org...
4. http://www.debate.org...
Zarroette

Con

I wish to thank Thett3 for what I’m sure will be stiff competition.

By standard debate conventions, Pro is to assume the burden of proof, hence he must affirm that the new system is better than the old one. Anything less (e.g. neither being proven better) results in my victory.

“Better”

I propose that there are two highly important aspects involving a debate which can make it “better”:

1: Quality of content

2: Quality of votes

The old system strived for both components. My following arguments will show that the old system reached these goals better than the new system.

Arguments in favour of the old system

A1: Encourages far more complex, better voting

In some regard, the new voting system likens to that of a forum upvote system: you vote it up or you don’t. There is a slight difference, of course, in that of an RFD being required. However, because there is less framework for voters, this new system lessens the capacity to vote well for BOTH competent and new voters. Allow me to explain…

The multiple forms in which one can vote, under the old system, creates a structure that leaves the new system an embarrassment. For competent voters, the old system allows them to distinguish between debaters in important aspects of a debate. With the new system, competent judges cannot makes such distinction, in terms of point allocation. For example, if a competent judge thought that differing aspects of each debaters’ cases, he/she is unable to express those distinctions in point form (i.e. it’s either 7 points or nothing). Therefore, this competent voter is unable to express his/her true thoughts of the debate in point form, due to the over-simplification of the voting system.

As for newer voters, the tool-tips of the old system provide instructions on how to vote in each category. This will help the newer voters produce a better vote, especially when you compare it to the “who do you believe won?” In an analogy, you don’t teach someone to ride a bike by telling them that he/she should be going forward (the result). You tell him/her how to go forward. Likewise, you don’t get someone new to voting to vote properly by telling him/her to choose a winner (the result). You tell him/her how to choose a winner.

A2: From this complexity, it is far easier to detect fraudulent votes, because each component of the vote requires an RFD

With the new system, the delegation of 7 points is all that there is to the vote, in terms of determining the winner. As to why the 7 points are given, it’s really as simple as “who you believe won”. How could you easily penalise anyone for a supposed ‘vote-bomb’, when the criteria is literally “who you believe won”? Someone could think that I won this debate, and regardless of whether the reasons are even coherent, there would be no qualms with the RFD, in regards to the rules (which is different to the moderation, as I’ll explain later).

Alternatively, under the old system, a vote with underhand tactics would be deleted. Not only do the points’ allocation require accuracy, but it’s easy to detect inaccurate or fraudulent votes. If the RFD is not one from the criteria, listed in the tool-tip (the question mark circle, on the left of each category), then it is easily spotted, thanks to the explicit criteria to check against.

Conclusion for A:

Via increased complexity required in point allocation of votes, votes will: be easier for newer members to understand, be more nuanced for more competent members to differentiate debaters with and will make detection of fraudulent/grossly inaccurate votes easier. All of these things help to increase the quality of votes.

B1: Sources, spelling & grammar and conduct are all important aspects of a debate

My opponent essentially concedes this point in the latter half of his 3rd argument. Therefore, for this debate, this premise is a given.

B2: Giving points to categories greatly incentivises them

In absence of incentives, one does not necessarily feel obliged to perform. Hence, when the incentives are obvious (i.e. points, instead of assumed integrating into overall vote), then there becomes a real focus to strive for these. So, when 1 point is awarded for conduct in a debate, then there becomes a real incentive to behave during a debate. Similar examples can be given with sources and S&G.

Conversely, in absence of incentive, or in this case a convoluted sense (general 7 point vote, rather than the multi-category), these important points are not encouraged to a great extent. Yet they are, as my opponent concedes, important parts of a debate.

B3: Negation

When opposing debaters are incentivised to behave correctly, provide sources and punctuate and spell correctly, they will both try to compete for the point. In absence of conduct or spelling and grammar issues, neither side will be awarded points. So, as long as you are correctly spelling, correctly punctuating and behaving correctly, you should not lose in this contention.

In regards to the sources, offering points for sources encourages the debaters to not only gather sources, but to gather better sources than the opponent. The fear of not gathering the quality of sources required for points will drive debaters to hunt for sources.

Conclusion for B:

There are real incentives to be found in the old voting system. When offered points (i.e. things of desire) for work, people are far more likely to provide better quality work. When there is a vague sense of points for work, people are less likely to provide.

C1: Lessening of inherent bias

The goal of any voter is to vote objectively as possible on debate content only. At every point allocation of the old system’s tool-tips, it reminds voters that, “your opinion of the topic should not have any influence here”. Given this context, the new system spews out the unintelligent line, “who do you believe won the debate?” When it comes to voting in general, there is going to be a certain level of inherent bias. This is due to personal context, such as life’s experiences, background knowledge, reading comprehension skills etc. When there is explicit criteria to be met, this lessens the inherent bias, because the RFD is now bound by these specific voting guidelines. Again, “who do you believe won the debate?” is an incredibly vague standard in which to vote by, and this will exacerbate the inherent bias in voting. The old system lessened the capacity for inherent bias, and hence increased the quality of votes.

Counter-arguments to my opponent’s main points

CA1: The new system increases a voter’s capacity to cause more damage with a strategical vote

To argue this points, let’s say that I wanted to illegitimately vote on a debate. Under the new system, the maximum and only amount of damage that I can do is 7 points worth. All I have to justify is “who I believe won”. Comparatively, under the old system, to do seven points of illegitimate damage is nigh impossible. In conjunction with the voting rules expressed in the tool-tip, a voter cannot award source points to someone who did not provide sources, or clearly provide poorer quality sources. Thus, in instances of strategical voting, the damage in the new system will always be the maximal of the old system – the worst you can do in the old system is the norm in the new system.

CB1:“…there is no guideline on when to vote on which category.

I’m really quite shocked that my opponent has provided such misinformation. The tool-tips, next to each voting category, provide guidelines on when to vote on which category.






Due to character limits, I will address the other of my opponent's arguments in the next round. The resolution is being negated.

Debate Round No. 2
thett3

Pro

Thanks Zarroette.

=Neg case=

A

Voting complexity

Zarroette needs to provide some kind of empirical evidence on the quality of votes going down due to the lack of categories. My harms are tangible and widespread, hers we cannot be sure even exist; if the new voting system is as bad as she says it is she ought to be able to provide some tangible evidence of the decrease in votes under the new system. My impacts should be preferred because evidence of their occurrence is manifest and widespread. She argues that a voter cannot express their "true thoughts" on a debate without the categories, but this is just ridiculous. Not only can a voter simply express their opinion in their RFD, but taken to it's logical conclusion this argument would lead to a template with hundreds of categories for everything that is important in a debate. Indeed, things that are extremely important to debate like word economy, argument prioritization, and case structure are ignored under the old system.

Zarroette argues that the old system is easier for newer voters. First, this is an easily turnable argument. I've literally handed a lay judge a ballot and briefed her on how to judge on the way to the room--contrast this with the old DDO system where to teach a new member how to judge would be impossible as DDO members have wildly different paradigms on when to vote on each category. She argues that the tool-tips on the side of the point allocation provide an objective criteria on when to vote but this is flawed for two reasons: First, there's no indication that people even read them let alone abide by their suggestions--quite the contrary, my arguments show that they do not. Secondly, if you actually read the tool-tips they heavily imply that the judge is to vote on each category as it gives no quantification of when to vote, it just says "vote for the debater that does x better", even if they won the category by an extremely slight margin. This is a paradigm that most DDO voters *reject*. It's *rare* to see someone fill out the full ballot. Thus the tool-tips succeed only in misleading new voters into a voting paradigm that is contrary to the one most DDO voters hold, teaching them to vote incorrectly by adding 33% of the argument value to someone's count because they used the wrong "your".

Fraudulent votes

This argument is completely false. Zarroette offers no proof whatsoever of widespread voteboming under the new system. I would contend that contrary to the voting on debates with the new system has vastly increased. Zarroette is right that bad votes will still occur and they do--the difference is that under the old system a bad vote is often worth *two* good votes as opposed to one in the new system. Deletion of votes can only go so far--being overeager to delete votes led to a prominent member, Drafterman, leaving the site. Determining which RFDs are fraudulent is a lot more difficult than it sounds, this is why Airmax adheres to a policy of leaving votes unmolested as long as they explain each point awarded. By now, the vast majority of people wishing to vote dishonestly know how to structure their vote to keep it from being deleted, the best solution is to mitigate the power bad voters are allowed to grant themselves.

Zarroette sells new members short when she argues that they can't figure out how to vote without a specific template. The tool tips are, at best, irrelevant and at worst mislead new members into a voting paradigm that clashes with the majority opinion on DDO leading to increased hostility to new members voting. The old system is infinitely harder to explain than the new one.

B.

Incentives

Zarroette argues that things such as spelling and conduct are important in a debate. Sure. First cross apply the argument I made in response to her complexity argument--taken to it's full conclusion this argument would support nearly limitless categories for everything that's important in a debate. Zarroette shoots herself in the foot here--if these things are important in a debate than people will do them *anyway*. The goal of each debater is to win the round, and things like proper spelling and using sources help with this. Contrary to what my opponent claims, there has been no noticeable depreciation in conduct or grammar in debates under the new system. I would argue that the old system creates a perverse incentive in the debater themselves to argue points irrelevant to the arguments by encouraging them to nitpick spelling errors, to source spam, and to feign offense at minor conduct violations. While I don't dispute that some of these things are important in a debate, I question greatly the degree they're emphasized in the old system. Remember, a debater can win the arguments point and still lose the ballot as a whole. I can award 66% of the value of the arguments point by counting the sources used without reading the debate and the mods are powerless to stop me. What's really lacking here is empirical evidence--in my case I gave specific examples of bad voting. We all know that strategic voting occurs, which is why DDO members voted 17-0 when asked if someone had ever strategically voted on their debates[1]. I also offered (and performed) instances of poor voting under the old system and offered a comprehensive rationale for why we see these kinds of votes and how they are inherent under the old system. Comparatively Zarroettes arguments are baseless conjecture, my arguments should be preferred due to their sound basis.

Negation

Zarroette agrees that people will compete for the points under the old system. This is a tough fact for supporters of the old system because it gives incentive for debaters to use all means of abusive tactics. As a typical example, before he reformed 16kadams would spam as many sources in a debate as he could even if they were unnecessary so that his friends could claim that he had better sources and increase their voting power. Remember, either these things are important in picking up ballots or they aren't and if they are people will do them anyway. Zarroette gets no advantage from these aspects being important in a debate.

C.

Bias

There's no evidence of bias being worse under the old system--we shouldn't look to the tool-tips on the old system, we should look to how people actually voted. I find it hard to believe that Zarroette would be comfortable with losing one of her debates because a voter "[wished] to choose a winner" and arbitrarily decided that "sources on Con's side aid his argument more."[2] Zarroette argues that "Who do you think won?" is too vague but it is just as vague as "Who had better conduct?". This disadvantage is nonunique. The old system increased the capacity for inherent bias because bad voters are given the power to outweigh good voters. We need to prefer whichever system best mitigates bad voting, not the one that hands them a blank check.

=Aff case=

Zarroette entirely misunderstands the strategic voting argument. What's important is not the nominal point value of votes, but their value in relation to eachother. While votes under the new system might nominally be worth seven points, for all practical purposes they are worth one. Compare this to old system where a poor vote can often be worth two good votes--look to GWL's vote as an example. Strategic voting is completely eliminated under a one judge, one vote system because voters can't fudge their RFDs to increase their value.

She also misunderstands my argument regarding guidelines--the tool tips might exist but they don't say *when* to vote except to heavily imply to fill out the full ballot. When I say there's no bright line, I mean that DDO members are undecided on when to vote on each category. Thus some peoples votes are worth more than others because they have differing paradigms.

The resolution is affirmed. We need a system that mitigates the power bad voters have, not one that hands them a blank check.


1. http://tinyurl.com...
2. http://tinyurl.com...

Zarroette

Con

Thank you, Thett3.

Counter-arguments to round 2 (leftovers) and 3 arguments

Real world debating versus DDO

~ Round 2:We should also presume an affirmative ballot because every real world debate league uses an up/down voting style like the new system.

Debaters compete through written work on DDO, not through speech. It would be far harder to write a complex RFD for a real world debate, given that the arguments are not literally written down in front of you. However, since we at DDO are afforded this luxury, should not the way in which we vote reflect this greater capacity to analyse?


Moderation and the voting system’s rules

~ Round 2: Let me make this clear: the voting system’s rules, and the moderation of said rules, are not the same. For example, voting systems do not ban people, they give reason to ban people.

~ Airmax has been quoted saying, “as long as the RFD gives a reason for each point awarded, it is considered valid and not subject to deletion.” This is not consistent with the rules of voting. The tool-tip specifies exactly why each allotment of points is to be awarded – “a reason” cannot be any reason.

~ A2: “this is why Airmax adheres to a policy of leaving votes unmolested as long as they explain each point awarded.”

This is a problem with the moderation, not the system. There are 2 moderators that regulate this site [3]. Does anyone honestly think that such an amount would be capable of regulating 9,230 debates (among the other tasks of moderation, such as forum duties, the opinion’s section, the polls section, personal messages etc.)? [2] OR, is it possible that there aren’t enough moderators, and the new system seems more popular because the site does not have the moderating staff required?

~ A2: “being overeager to delete votes…”

‘Overeager’ is an irrelevant term, in this debate. Votes should be deleted when they do no adhere to the rules, and that is all.

B2: “I would argue that the old system creates a perverse incentive in the debater themselves to argue points irrelevant to the arguments...”

It doesn’t mean that the old voting system allows it.

~ C: “We shouldn't look to the tool-tips on the old system, we should look to how people actually voted.”

No, because there were other factors involved, which would influence the result, such as moderation.


Good and bad votes, versus legitimate votes

~ If a vote is illegitimate, then it should be deleted. If it isn’t, then it shouldn’t be deleted. Labelling votes with these overly vague, subjective terms (good/bad) is meaningless. Having fair rules for legitimate voting will produce high quality votes.

~ III. Competition and the nature of debate & A1: My opponent consistently makes the argument of “it's self evidently ridiculous that I can award someone 33% of the value of the arguments point for conduct/spelling and grammar”. You can’t, because this isn’t legitimate. A single instance of a spelling mistake does not suffice as reason, by the old voting rules. The rule for voting in this section is: “which debater, on balance, took the time to [ensure] their writing was easy to read with proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation”. If your RFD reads, “Pro used the incorrect ‘your’”, then according to voting rules, it is not a legitimate vote, because this vote does not balance for all three categories.


The tool-tips of the old system, versus “Who do you think won the debate?”

~ Following fair, well-considered and explicit steps, as found in the tool-tips, will help keep votes fair, for both new and veteran voters, rather than being at the mercy of creative license.

~ A1: “…there's no indication that people even read [the tool-tips] let alone abide by their suggestions”

Then this is a problem with the people voting, not the rules themselves. For example, if my job is working with chemicals, and part of the rules in working there requires me to wash my hands afterwards, and I don’t, is there a problem with requiring people to wash their hands after working with chemicals? No, it’s a good idea, it’s just that someone hasn’t followed it properly. Likewise, the old system is a good idea, it’s just that someone hasn’t followed the rules properly.

~ A1: “Zarroette argues [for]… the old DDO system where to teach a new member how to judge would be impossible as DDO members have wildly different paradigms on when to vote on each category.”

Having a different voting paradigm does not mean that it valuable, in terms of quality voting. Besides, it does not follow that because voters are given this explicit voting criteria, that judging for new members becomes “impossible”.

~ A1: “…the tool-tips they heavily imply that the judge is to vote on each category as it gives no quantification of when to vote, it just says "vote for the debater that does x better", even if they won the category by an extremely slight margin.

Comparatively, the new system gives even less quantification of when to vote, by merely having “who do you believe won the debate?” Thus, the old system is better than the new, in this regard.

~ A2: “Determining which RFDs are fraudulent is a lot more difficult than it sounds”

…and it’s nigh impossible under the new system, with ‘who do you believe won the debate?’

~ A2: “The old system is infinitely harder to explain than the new one.

Prove it.

~ C: "Who do you think won?" is too vague but it is just as vague as "Who had better conduct?"

Wrong. Again, there is a tool-tip that explicitly states what is to be considered for each point allocation. No such thing exists with the new system.

~ C: “The old system increased the capacity for inherent bias because bad voters are given the power to outweigh good voters.”

Again, compared to the old system, having the voting standards of, ‘who do you believe won the debate?’ sets no explicit standard in which to vote by. Thus, the capacity for inherent bias to be ingrained within the vote, and be allowed, is far more in the new system than the old.


‘Evidence’ – Small sample-size fallacy

~ The fundamental problem with all of my opponent’s evidence is that the sample sizes are always too small. This leads to inferences proceeding to not be based upon a true representation of DDO. [6]

~ There are currently (31/05/2104) 35,013 debates on this website [1]. My opponent believes that in sourcing a few debates, and analysing trends from these few, that he now has sufficient evidence to say that the harms of the old voting system are “widespread” (the term use a couple of times, by my opponent, to refer to his ‘evidence’).

~ A1:“Zarroette needs to provide some kind of empirical evidence on the quality of votes going down due to the lack of categories. My harms are tangible and widespread”

My opponent confuses causation with association (logical fallacy), in that he assumes increasing the quality of the voting system will better the results. It is possible that the old voting system is better than the new one, yet the results, of a small sample-size, show that the new is producing better votes.

~ B2: “We all know that strategic voting occurs, which is why DDO members voted 17-0 when asked if someone had ever strategically voted on their debates[1].”

There are far more than 17 debaters on DDO.


Appeals to popularity

~ Appealing to popularity occurs when someone argues that because many people believe something is good, it is therefore good[4]

~ Round 2: We should also presume an affirmative ballot because every real world debate league uses an up/down voting style like the new system.

~ A1:This is an appeal to unpopularity, which is as fallacious as an appeal to popularity: “This (the old system) is a paradigm that most DDO voters *reject*”


In the next round, I will continue which my leftover rebuttal contentions, and conclude the debate.


References

[1] http://www.debate.org...

[2] http://www.debate.org...

[3] http://www.debate.org...

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
thett3

Pro

Thanks for the debate.


=Aff case=

I. One man two votes

Zarroette makes no attempt to mitigate the impact of disparate voting power between members. Her only response was taken out in my last round--what's important are votes values in relation to each other, not their nominal value. I'll just extend this point all the way across and urge an affirmative ballot, the practical result of the old system is to make bad votes more valuable than good ones. DDO cannot have a system that gives GWL twice the power of whiteflame.

Zarroette makes literally no response to the instances of bad voting I performed. Unless you think my votes against Mikal were justified, vote Pro. Remember that I can do the same thing on close and contentious debates and the moderators are not going to stop me. Any system that allows someone a legitimate vote without reading the debate is a system we should reject out of hand.

Her only response that sort of attacks this point is the one on sample size. The problem with her argument here is that I'm not making sweeping generalized claims like x% of votes are fraudulent, I'm giving specific case studies of voting gone wrong under the old system. Anecdotal evidence is better than no evidence, under Zarroettes case we have no evidence of any harms stemming from the new system.

II. Strategic voting

This point should be viewed as dropped and therefore conceded. This is a crushing blow for Con, as it takes out her argument about me not providing enough evidence by establishing a logical framework that indicates strategic voting is inevitable under the old system. Ideological voters are going to try to award as many points as they can, and under the old system they are handed a toolbox to use to increase their voting share. I'm not sure what else to say here except to heavily encourage judges to reread my second contention and to not allow Zarroette any rebuttal to it in the last round as I can't respond. All of Zarroettes qualms about subjectivity are magnified under the old system because of the vast amounts of discretion voters are given. Zarroette's only response to my poll is that there are more than 17 debaters, but given DDO's small active population 17 is probably a pretty representative sample. Even if it isn't, I have 17 people who were harmed by the old system, Zarroette has 0 harmed under the new.

At this point you can already vote Pro, as I gain the advantage of wiping out a huge subset of ideological voting that is impossible to extinguish in any categorical system.

III. Competition and debate

Zarroette drops that it's absurd the old system assigns a majority of the ballot value to points that aren't argued for in the debate. Her only response is that voting on a simple spelling error would be a violation of the rules under the old policy, but obviously it isn't because I did that very thing twice and my votes still remain in place. She also argues that we should reject the voting system used in every single debate league ever in favor of Phil's because the arguments aren't written down for the judge in a real debate, except they are. It's called flowing, the vast majority of judges are very adept at writing the arguments made down and it isn't as if the arguments are only heard once--the important ones are emphasized by the debaters again and again. Keep in mind as well that Zarroette never proved that "complexity" is a good thing nor that complexity has declined under the new system. As with my previous points, I don't really know what else to say here. At this point there's literally no way to vote Con because the majority of my case has survived the round completely unscathed.

=Neg case=

Tool tips vs. Moderation policy

In order to circumvent my arguments about poor votes slipping through under the old system, Zarroette tries to argue that we should look to the tool-tips on the side of the ballot as the voting policy, not the kinds of votes the mods allow. I think this is where she is staking her entire hopes to winning the debate, but this is flawed for four reasons: First, Zarroette made no response to my argument that these guidelines still don't explain *when* to vote. She asserts that awarding the S&G point because someone used the wrong "your" would be a fraudulent vote but the tool tips don't say that. Quite the contrary, they heavily imply that the judge is to try their best to fill out the entire ballot. The tool-tips say "on balance". If Pro makes one spelling error and Con makes zero, if I follow the tool tips I should award 33% of the argument value to Con because of one misspelled word in thousands, which even Zarroette admits is ridiculous.

Secondly, even if Zarroette carries this point, she still loses because we should look to realism instead of idealism when trying to determine which system is best. At the end of the day, moderation policy is all that matters when it comes to the deletion of votes, not the tool tips and she hasn't even explained why these should be binding over the moderators policy. She argues that maybe there aren't enough mods--this is a turnable argument. Juggle is not going to grant anyone else mod power, at least not for a while thus if her system is unworkable without many more moderators we should prefer mine. Thirdly, the tool-tips encourage a bad voting paradigm. Zarroettes only response to this argument is that it's an appeal to popularity, but she fails to understand that things are often popular for a reason. Someone following the tool-tips and voting on a minor spelling error would have their vote meet hostility because trying to fill out the entire ballot is a *bad* paradigm. Fourth, there's no evidence that voting quality has decreased under the new system so she loses her offense. Thus the tool-tips should be ignored.

Voting complexity

Zarroette puts herself in a double bind by asking me to prove that it's harder to explain the old system to a new voter while simultaneously arguing that the old system is better due to it's complexity. Zarroette makes no response to my argument that if we follow this argument all the way it advocates a system with hundreds of categories. Remember, either these things are important in a debate or they are not. If they are. people have the incentive to do them anyway due to wanting to win the ballot.

Fraudulent votes

Zarroette has failed to give a single example of a bad vote under the new system, and now it's too late for her to do so. Zarroette has no answer to my response that under the old system a bad vote can be worth two or more good votes. Even if fraud was easier under the new system (it isn't), it's less potent. Zarroette keeps saying that we should assume that people vote poorly because the new system only asks who won, but that's literally the same thing the old one does except the old one gives poor voters more power. Vote Pro.

Incentives

Zarroette makes no response to the massive double bind she's put herself in. I argue that the categories on the old system, while important in a debate, are overemphasised to an absurd degree in the old system. Zarroette argues that these things are important in a debate, and that's why without having points for them no one will do them properly despite having every incentive to try and pick up the ballot. I think the flaw in this argument speaks for itself. Recall as well that Zarroette has given literally no evidence of any depreciation of debate quality under the old system and at this point it's too late for her to do so.

Zarroette makes no response to my rebuttal about how the old system encourages debaters to use bad tactics such as source spamming to try to gain points.

Bias

If bias was really so widespread and easy under the new system, Zarroette should've had some evidence of this. As it is, my harms greatly outweigh. Her vagueness disadvantage is nonunique. Vote Con only if you want your debate to be decided by an RFD like "sources on Con's side aid his argument more."


Vote Pro.
Zarroette

Con

Thanks for the debate.



Before I begin, I want everyone to know that Pro has the BoP – in the event neither system is proven better, I win.

Other logical fallacies

I’m really quite shocked at how many logical fallacies riddle my opponent’s arguments – how much sense can you be making with this many fallacies?

Slippery slope fallacies

~ A1: “Not only can a voter simply express their opinion in their RFD, but taken to it's logical conclusion this argument would lead to a template with hundreds of categories for everything that is important in a debate.”

B2: “taken to it's (spelling and grammar) full conclusion this argument would support nearly limitless categories for everything that's important in a debate.

(For both) Just because I’m arguing for the old system’s voting categories being better than the new system, it does not mean that I am arguing for the extreme. Clearly, the old system did not have ‘hundreds’ of categories, and so I am not required to defend that.

Strawmans

~ A1: “She argues that a voter cannot express their "true thoughts" on a debate without the categories, but this is just ridiculous.”

I argued that, “this competent voter is unable to express his/her true thoughts of the debate in point form”. It’s not just “true thoughts” (i.e. qualitative reason), as my opponent has incorrectly stated. It’s ‘true thoughts in point form’ (i.e. points delegated via true thought).

~ A2: “Zarroette offers no proof whatsoever of widespread voteboming under the new system.”

I argued the theoretical likelihood of being able to get away with votebombing, not this.

Pro’s case

I. One man two votes

Voting does not exist in a vacuum – simply giving your vote twice the amount of points of another does not mean that:

  1. 1. It is legitimate
  2. 2. It will survive

Illegitimate votes, under the old system, were not tolerated. The GWL example, wherein he tacked on illegitimate RFDs (as I explained earlier), makes the vote null (and subject for deletion), NOT more valuable than good ones.



“Zarroette makes literally no response to the instances of bad voting I performed.”

You can vote poorly under EITHER system. It’s just that the old voting system LESSENED the potential for poorer votes, due to its structure.

“Remember that I can do the same thing on close and contentious debates and the moderators are not going to stop me.

There is a difference between moderation and the voting system.



II. Strategic voting

These are the arguments I made against this point:

  1. 1. Under the old voting system, strategic voting wasn’t tolerated
  2. 2. MODERATION of the old system was wanting, as my opponent showed with Airmax’s policy of allowing votes as long as there was an RFD
  3. 3. It’s much harder to detect strategic voting under the new system, because of the sheer vagueness of the voting standard: ‘who do you believe won the debate?’ It’s through having the “toolbox” that votes can be broken down to see if they are legitimate.

“…given DDO's small active population 17 is probably a pretty representative sample.”

The fact that my opponent thinks this poll is sufficient as evidence is an insult to everyone’s intelligence:

  1. 1. It suffers from the small sample-size fallacy (17 debaters, when there are more than 35, 000 debates)
  2. 2. People are not bound by anything to be honest with their vote
  3. 3. Conversely, if you’re to say that the sample size is just fine, I could flip this and say that during the old system’s time on DDO (many years), only 17 people have involved themselves in strategic voting (remember all the other positives that it brings!)





III. Competition and debate

“…a simple spelling error would be a violation of the rules under the old policy, but obviously it isn't because I did that very thing twice and my votes still remain in place.”

The moderation of illegitimate votes, and the voting system that determines what an illegitimate vote is, are different. This conflation is incorrect.

(about debating irl)“…The vast majority of judges are very adept at writing the arguments made down…”

Writing down =/= already written down, which is what I said.


Neg’s case

Tool tips vs. Moderation policy

Why are the tool-tips better than ‘who do you think won the debate’?

  1. 1. Provides better structure. There are indicators of when to vote on the important aspects of a debate. There are even indicators of when to vote on arguments, which my opponent agreed are the most important aspect of a debate (and the new system lacks).
  2. 2. Gives new members an understanding of when to vote. ‘Who do you think won the debate?’ doesn’t even come close to the tool-tips standards, in this regard
  3. 3. Gives veteran members more chance to differentiate components of the debate, rather than a ‘winner takes all’ outcome
  4. 4. Provides less creative licence to justify what is essentially a vote-bomb. Under the old system, I must justify the voting according to the tool-tips. Under the new system, I can justify however I wish, as long as it’s who I think won


“Zarroette made no response to my argument that these guidelines still don't explain *when* to vote.”

Wrong. I made it several times. I showed the tool-tip in which it tells you when to vote. I worked through your S&G point of when S&G points should be given, as you refer to in the sentence after the one I’m quoting.

“If Pro makes one spelling error and Con makes zero, if I follow the tool tips I should award 33% of the argument value to Con because of one misspelled word in thousands”

Having the potential of this extreme (it’s unlikely that both debaters will only make one mistake, altogether, S&G wise) is better than having:

  1. 1. Less of an incentive to spell and apply grammar well
  2. 2. Having the excessively vague voting standard of ‘who do you believe won this debate?’ – it essentially allows you, under the new system, to justify the vote with whatever you think, as long as it’s why you believe someone won the debate.

“moderation policy is all that matters when it comes to the deletion of votes, not the tool tips and she hasn't even explained why these should be binding over the moderators policy.”

We’re debating which voting system is better, not whether moderation policy should be binding over voting system rules.

“if her system is unworkable without many more moderators we should prefer mine.”

Not unworkable, since DDO had it for a long time. Besides, it will be worth the extra moderator or two.


Voting complexity

It’s not “infinitely harder” to explain the old system (no proof from opponent to the contrary), and that doesn’t mean it’s hard to explain (it’s really quite simple, thanks to the tool-tips). The new system is over-simplified: ‘who do you think won the debate?’ does not pertain to the level of depth required to vote with quality on a debate.

Why the increased complexity is good:

  1. 1. Allows competent voters the chance to better differentiate the debate
  2. 2. Allows newer voters to gain an understanding of how to structure a quality vote
  3. 3. Easier to detect fraudulent votes

“Zarroette makes no response to my argument that if we follow this argument all the way it advocates a system with hundreds of categories.”

Slippery slope fallacy.



Fraudulent votes

I’ve explained this elsewhere, in terms of old voting rules not allowing this and requiring more complex RFDs.


Incentives

My opponent has conceded that the voting point allocations of the old system gave points to important components of a debate. If your arguments are better, you won’t lose based on S&G.

“Zarroette makes no response to my rebuttal about how the old system encourages debaters to use bad tactics such as source spamming to try to gain points.

It’s not permitted in the old voting rules – this is not encouraged.


Bias

“Vote Con only if you want your debate to be decided by an RFD like "sources on Con's side aid his argument more."

That’s not a legitimate vote, under the old system. Interestingly though, such a vote would be permitted, under the new system.



Thank you for reading :)

Debate Round No. 4
121 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by orangemayhem 3 years ago
orangemayhem
@Zaroette - I vote for who won the debate, as should we all. Popularity or personal feelings are irrelevant.
Posted by Zarroette 3 years ago
Zarroette
Another stuff-up...
Posted by Zarroette 3 years ago
Zarroette
@orangemayhem

"...though I would say to Zaroette that there is a lot of value in humility"

There's even more value in having standards and keeping to them, but thanks for the vote (I'm honestly surprised that you voted for me, considering how much you resent me. I guess it shows your strength of character).
Posted by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
Yeah crypto I did it because I was afraid she wouldn't accept otherwise and I've had to deal with the old system for 3 years, one more debate on it won't matter
Posted by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Thett3 are you aware of the sheer irony that you are PRO the new voting system yet you chose to use the old voting system for voting on this debate?
Posted by orangemayhem 3 years ago
orangemayhem
RFD Part 1 of 10

Well this was certainly a fascinating debate to read, and a very tough one to score. It"s interesting, if mildly annoying, to have to judge this debate using the new voting system, given that now I"m going to feel guilty regardless of which categories I choose or choose not to award points on, due to the arguments made in this debate.

I"m going to deal with spelling, grammar, and conduct right at the start, because these have been reasonably uncontentious. As I write this RFD I"m still not quite sure which way arguments are going to go, but as I continue to write the RFD I imagine it will become obvious. It"s a testament to both of the debaters that this is the case: in particular I was surprised by what a good job Zaroette did. I went into this debate expecting an annoying girl who causes flame wars attempting to defend the indefensible (no offence, but from me that preconception shouldn"t come as a major shock) but was pleasantly surprised at what a good performance you put in.

But I digress. Ironically, even though this idea of whether or not misplacing an apostrophe should count as a grammar violation on point terms kept coming up during the debate, both sides committed that very same minor grammatical infraction, which made me chuckle. But I think it was only one occasion on each side, which balances out.

As for conduct, although Zaroette"s R1 came across as frankly a tad rude, the conduct infractions ended there and I don"t consider that to be grounds for awarding a conduct point" though I would say to Zaroette that there is a lot of value in humility" or perhaps I"m just being British.
Posted by orangemayhem 3 years ago
orangemayhem
RFD Part 2 of 10

The sources point ended up being much more contentious. I think the big problem with Zaroette"s side of the case was that she criticised thett3"s use of sources, and whilst I agree they were somewhat cherrypicked, Zaroette was challenged to find sources which could demonstrate an alternate pattern" and she didn"t. I can appreciate the logic behind this: Zaroette clearly threw down the gauntlet that this was not a debate that should focus on isolated examples, but when we compare the evidence presented for each side of the case, thett3"s side comes out stronger. This is mainly because, as thett3 pointed out, Zaroette was unable to demonstrate a pattern of voting change emanating from the introduction of the new system. Whilst Zaroette did correctly identify that bad voting is possible with both systems, and is a problem with voters and not with the systems, she didn"t demonstrate that the new system had actually changed anything, which I felt she needed to do in order to in order to combat the examples and sources which thett3 gave to demonstrate "superior" voting in the new system. The reason I bring this up here is because I felt this argument became, in effect, a proxy debate over whether or not Zaroette needed to provide counter-examples (i.e. sources) to what thett3 was arguing with regards to problems with the former system, and on balance I felt that she did. Thett3 was the only one to provide sources and I felt he sufficiently demonstrated that the sources he had were valid, so I will be awarding source points to Pro. More on this later.

Anyway, moving into the arguments put forward in the debate. I"m not going to deal with it chronologically, rather looking at what I thought the main points of clash were in this debate and trying to address why I thought the clashes arose and where I think the two sides were correct or incorrect.
Posted by orangemayhem 3 years ago
orangemayhem
RFD Part 3 of 10

Thett3 immediately set out his stall in R1 that a major problem with the voting system was that the votes were left unequal, which I thought was a good argument. This was an argument which Zaroette didn"t really touch until her last speech, at which point she argued that any vote which is not legitimate ought to be deleted, which would leave all valid votes on the same level. Whilst I agree that this would be desirable, this argument was shot down by thett3"s points over the extent to which this is practicable within the current framework of DDO. Thett3 was right to argue that it is difficult to set out an exacting standard as to what constitutes a valid vote, and he did point out instances of votes which are not removable because they are justified, albeit flimsily. I didn"t feel that Zaroette sufficiently acknowledged the practical hurdle here: deleting a vote is always going to attract controversy and so, where there is vaguery, moderators will generally err on the side of caution. Zaroette stated that such votes are null, and whilst that is an opinion with which many people agree, she did not acknowledge that the vagueries of BOTH systems prevent moderators from being able to formally nullify the vote. The result of this was that I didn"t feel that Zaroette sufficiently refuted the central notion that, under the old system, a bad vote could hold twice the value of a good vote without being deleted, due to the fact that deleting a vote inevitably causes a backlash because DDO cannot agree on what constitutes a valid vote.
Posted by orangemayhem 3 years ago
orangemayhem
RFD Part 4 of 10

The idea of how important aspects such as spelling and grammar were to the actual fabric of the debate was an important one which cropped up throughout the debate. I think both sides were slightly chasing their own tails, to a certain extent. I think thett3"s fundamental argument that a debate should be won on the arguments, and that you should not be able to win the arguments points and not the debate, went unrefuted. Whilst Zaroette said that this shouldn"t happen, nowhere did she actively demonstrate that it COULDN"T happen under the old system. Moreover, her insistence on using the question mark thingamybobs as the basis for which debates should be scored under the former system did shoot her in the foot to a certain extent, because thett3 did point out that they were heavily weighted in favour of giving a vote on each individual aspect of the debate. This linked in with thett3"s point about votes having different values to each other, because it is difficult to agree when to vote on a particular point and when not to vote on a particular point. On the whole, I think thett3 won the argument over the extent to which spelling and grammar warranted its own points. If spelling and grammar (and sources and conduct) are as integral to the debate as Zaroette claims, then they should ultimately have an impact on the overall fabric of the debate, and I agreed that to artificially sieve the elements of a good debate seems daft if these elements are really so important to the debate. Ultimately, debates are about communicating an argument " and thett3"s arguments convinced me that these things can still be important whilst being integrated into the wider theme of who won the debate.
Posted by orangemayhem 3 years ago
orangemayhem
RFD Part 5 of 10

We also had a tango around strategic voting, and the extent to which it is a problem on DDO. I think thett3 successfully argued that the older system made strategic voting inherently easier to practice, due to the fact that bad votes are difficult to delete and cumbersome to counter when they can count for more than a valid vote. The whole episode surrounding the 17 members of DDO who admitted to voting tactically was amusing, but ultimately I think it"s a victory for Zaroette. Whilst I don"t necessarily agree that the sample is not representative, I think people are far more likely to put negative voting on their debates down to being disliked than being due to inferior debating skill. I think this is especially true given the ongoing controversy over the standard of voting which led to the introduction of the new system and is the reason why this very debate is taking place. But even though I think that Zaroette was right to point out the flaws in that poll, that didn"t demonstrate that strategic voting was not an issue which is visible with the old system.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by John95 3 years ago
John95
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Reasons for voting decision: Wow!!! An excellent debate from both sides... I need to be more like this!
Vote Placed by orangemayhem 3 years ago
orangemayhem
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
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Reasons for voting decision: There's a reason the mighty powerful Roy lost to thett3 in this debate. Pro fulfilled his BoP and proved the new voting system superior to the old, and even tho con tried hard, stating many flaws in the new system, thett3 refuted them all and held up his stance strong. One great example was near the end, thett3's powerful "The resolution is affirmed. We need a system that mitigates the power bad voters have, not one that hands them a blank check." That did it for Zarroette. If you are confused and need deeper analysis, please read whiteflame's RFD.
Vote Placed by neutral 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I think there were several good points all around, but the part I found most compelling is that there is a difference between moderation and systems. The system should be changed to eliminate and remove problematic 'voters' and its debatable (no pun intended) whether the changes are doing that.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
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Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
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Vote Placed by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments