Voting For Oneself Should Be Allowed on DDO
Debate Rounds (5)
The idea for this resolution originated from private discussions with the esteemable GWL-CPA. Unfortunately, this esteemed individual cannot go more than one or two rounds of argument-counterargument before resorting to gratuitous insults and other forms of ad hominem, so I have refrained from challenging him to this resolution. Regardless, credit where credit is due - IMHO GWL-CPA's opinions and ideas on the problems with voting on this website are largely sound.
GWL-CPA's opinion on this resolution - that self-voting is wrong - is not one of those sound ideas. Long story short, bias should not matter when it comes to voting.
I've issued this challenge to TUF unannounced and unsolicited. I understand he may not have time to answer this challenge, in which case I will open it up to the general public. Regardless, since it is a DDO administrative issue, I figured it would be nice to give the Prez a chance to address this first if he so chooses to do so.
Voting For Oneself Should Be Allowed on DDO
I think the resolution is self-explanatory and does not require definitions.
My standard boilerplate:
This will be a NO SCORING debate. I am far less concerned with the scoring mechanism of this website, and much more interested in furthering constructive dialogue on this matter. I see the scoring mechanism as being extremely politicized and subject to all manners of corruption, and also see it as an inhibitor to constructive dialogue as many people who vote simply do not want their vote challenged or discussed.
Anyone and everyone is more than welcome to make a decision on this debate, declare a victor, and leave (hopefully) an insightful RFD, I merely ask that no one score this debate.
I will make exception to the scoring of conduct. Any forfeited rounds, ad hominem attacks, or breaching of the rules of this debate will merit a conduct point against the offender. Otherwise, no scoring, thank you.
Burden of proof (BoP) is on PRO.
1st round acceptance only
2/3/4 rounds argument and rebuttal
5th round closing, no new arguments or sources.
3,000 character rounds.
This is meant to be a short, succinct debate in order to minimize disruption to the prez, while allowing for back-and-forth if necessary.
I accept this debate, and thank Wrichcirw for his humbleness in pursuing honest intellectual debate, and agree that without scoring, it will be more likely that this will not be influenced by manipulation.
I promise to be open minded and am excited to hear arguments for this resolution. Please note, that as of right now I am not for or against the topic itself. I am however open to debating it, so I can see the benefits behind the suggestion, and weigh them against the potential harms. The point is, arguments made in this debate may not reflect my actual overall view of the subject.
Good luck to the pro, and I look forward to an enlightening and fun debate!
I thank TUF for accepting. I hope my argument proves to be interesting. =)
Bias is Expected
It is simply impossible to elminate bias. Each and every vote is biased, without exception, despite any ostensible claims otherwise.
Even a statement like "1+1 = 2 is true" requires a certain perspective, that being understanding of arabic numbers, algebraic symbology, and the English language. All three of those aspects of understanding lead to bias in how you interpret the statement.
Someone who did not use the arabic number system and thought the symbol for the number "1" connoted "carrot" and the symbol for the number "2" connoted Satan would find the statement to be rather difficult to accept. Thus, all else being the same ("ceteris paribus"), bias would lead this person to probably vote against the validity of the statement. Such a vote is a valid vote, regardless of how many people come out and flame this voter.
These votes are designed to reflect bias - the main aspect of scoring a debate is to ask yourself "who posted the most convincing arguments?" This basically breaks down to: "Where does your bias lean as a result of being exposed to the debate?"
RFD and Score are Wholly Separate
The vote is meant to reflect bias. The RFD is meant to explain this bias for the purpose of constructive criticism of either PRO/CON. These are two wholly separate aspects to what currently constitutes a "vote".
When Gallup does a poll, they do not require an RFD for why a respondent voted the way they did, even if Gallup brings up context (i.e. arguments) explaining the issue at hand. They simply score the vote. If the respondents want to leave an RFD, they are more than welcome to do so, and Gallup will look at the RFDs to ascertain why the vote went the way it did. Regardless, most news outlets would not care for the RFD...they would simply report on the score and consider the score itself to have significance.
I will expand on this as well in future rounds.
Problems Require Solutions
I understand I am bringing up an issue that will lead to further problems - for example, if people could just vote for themselves, they could just create a massive number of debates with the purpose of voting for themselves on each and every debate. They would not advertise these debates and rack up a lot of one-vote victories.
The solution is in line with what both GWL-CPA and myself believe - that these votes and the victories that are determined by them are almost utterly meaningless without a statistically significant sample (SSS) of votes - we simply need more votes on these debates. The best way to make the process more relevant is to acknowledge that there are no winners or losers in a debate until this SSS is achieved...let's say 100 votes or more on a debate. Therefore, simple - any debate without 100 votes on them would not count as having determined a victor.
We could play around with this quite a bit, and I will do that in subsequent rounds if challenged on this point.
The balance of Bias
I will not say that my opponent is wrong in his statement that most actions contain bias, but my problem with the contention is it's impact having an effect on the ultimate conclusion. Sure, if we want to get philosophical, we can argue that everything has a bias including the eqaution "1+1=2". The common equation, and answer to that equation, though is a bias that most societies unanimously accept and agree to. By unanimously agreeing to a system of mathematics, words, and phrases, we can easily understand and better accomplish things through one shared understanding. So yes, bias can be argued philosophically, but the accepted understanding of it shows us the realism behind the word.
Such is the case with the DDO community. Many newcomers to the website don't initially understand the way things here are run, yet the community and society here have a bias already set in place for how we expect voting to look like. The community is expected to adhere to that bias, and when the bias isn't adhered to, we have problems. So Bias exists, and always will yes, but on balance, bias works well here, and suits the vast majority of the members needs by sticking to that bias.
RFD VS Score
Again, I won't neccesarily dis-agree with the argument itself here. It is obvious that the points merely exist to satisfy the competitive nature and "need to win" of many that belong to this community. But on the other end of the spectrum, where exactly is the difference between a debater voting for themselves, and laying out there argument in a debate? It's obvious that they agree and believe in what they are saying, unless they themselves forfeit the debate (which has happened many times here). We've effectively established that bias itself isn't the whole problem, but if I may be philosophical myself, does allowing one to vote for themselves have a specific point?
if people could just vote for themselves, they could just create a massive number of debates with the purpose of voting for themselves on each and every debate.
This actually was the case, years ago when voting was allowed on ones own debate. Members like Danielle, Jblake, LogicalMaster, etc would undoubtedly always vote for themselves all 7 points. In which case almost 100% of the time, their opponent would too. Even with the RFD system in place, however, voting for oneself is very redudant, as their affiliation lies within their own arguments. While the SSS is an interesting idea, I don't see how it justifies allowing debaters to vote for themselves. The same system could be implemented now, and seemingly work well (probably a lot better than having time limits).
By getting other people's opinions on a debate, you are getting better knowledge on to what you can do better for future debates. You already know your own opinion, and your opponents. The points are merely a means of telling you that you did well, and should continue the good effort, or that there is room for improvement.
B1) CON: "Many newcomers to the website don't initially understand the way things here are run, yet the community and society here have a bias already set in place for how we expect voting to look like. The community is expected to adhere to that bias, and when the bias isn't adhered to, we have problems."
IMHO this above statement confuses "bias" with "rules" (and IMHO this site can use more enforced rules). The "rules" of mathematics force us to conform to a certain reality, that "1+1 = 2 is true" has a certain meaning that we all hold to be the same.
Currently, the "rules" on voting deal mainly with ensuring that RFDs adequately reflect the score, and that the score not reflect bias. The underlined rule needs to change, as both PRO/CON both agree that everyone has bias on a philosophical level, and so the underlined is impossible. This may go very far in explaining why voter turnout has declined recently. It would also eliminate all of the ridiculously petty bickering surrounding current voting procedures.
Once that rule changes, there is no reasonable basis to prohibit self-voting, except for the debate-spamming scenario I outlined and a solution for which I laid out (SSS).
RFD vs Score
RS1) CON: "We've effectively established that bias itself isn't the whole problem..."
I don't see how CON has argued that bias is a problem to begin with. We simply need to allow for it.
RS2) CON: "...but if I may be philosophical myself, does allowing one to vote for themselves have a specific point?"
Yes. That point is to express bias. The point of EVERY vote is to express bias.
RS3) My main point in this section is to simply state that people should be able to vote without an attached RFD if they so choose. The RFD is also valuable, but should not be obligatory.
My solution to RFDs and votes and how they are portrayed is that we can list the votes like we do for votes in the polls section, and treat RFDs like comments in the opinion section. People can "vote up" RFDs they like, and RFDs with a lot of thumbs up would better reflect WHY the community voted the way they did for a debate.
Regardless, the score itself has meaning independent from the RFDs. Currently we do not recognize this, and obligate the marriage of the two out of fear of bias. This is an unwarranted fear.
SSS1) CON: "While the SSS is an interesting idea, I don't see how it justifies allowing debaters to vote for themselves."
An SSS requirement this would add statistical meaning to the score, and make the victor of a debate more than just the bias of one person + friends. This eliminates what most people fear - undue bias.
L1) CON: "The points are merely a means of telling you that you did well, and should continue the good effort, or that there is room for improvement."
Wholly disagree. The RFD does this, not the score. The score is the vote. The score reflects bias. The S&G, conduct, etc section of the scoring is actually part of the RFD, and not the score.
I don't think there is neccesarily any confusion between bias and rules, themselves, but the issue here is a dis-agreeance with the impacts behind the two. For example the "rule"wasn't put in place because of some dictatot sat on a throne and demanded it be so, it was something influenced by the decisions and mindsets of a community, and there belief about what voting should look like. We aren't talking about voting in general, so a lot of the issue I see being brought up here is irrellevant to voting on DDO. To me the most important impact to be upheld, is which option is the best for the communities well being? Given the constant complaints made almost daily about votebombing, can we really see voting for ourselves as a contributing factor of good, for the most amount of people? I realize I am looking at this from a utilitarianistic point of view, but given the resolution, that value seems most important to uphold to me.
RFD VS Score
Then we dive into human nature. Human psychology has us pursuing the score, because the score is what drives the nature of "winning". The need to win can be harmful, but it is still there. Unfortunately many people are not as humble as you, and don't share the philosophy that winning isn't everything. The way I see it, DDO encompasses winning, but the "rule" set in places, helps benefit both sides. The need to win can still be satisfied, but it does help reduce the "negative" outlook that already exists on bias, and vote bombing. Your suggestion to seperate the two, is interesting, but is something that I cannot see reducing the negative atmosphere around voting habits. People want to know why they are winning or losing. The win or the loss, unfortunately, is what many people care about. RFD's attached to the votes are the best tway to reduce conflict surrounding win/loss though it will never be flawless. Going into that, my question surround "the point" of voting for yourself, may have been mis-interpreted. What is the point of expressing bias towards yourself again, when you have already done so in the debate argument? You already know your position on it, why is it important to reinforce that through a vote? The point many members feel it should be, is to gather external feedback that can be used for future improvement, which is why it is the way it is now.
The primary problem with the SSS is that it should not have to exist independently of the current system, which I have explained above is the best system to satisfy all parties wants or needs.
The score and the RFD have to go hand in hand for the purposes of learning, however. They are a means of influencing learning. As a child, if you were simply told that you did something was bad, you don't stop merely on merit of that knowledge alone. You stop doing the act, because of the punishment or reward of stopping. Human psychology doesn't always have perfect logic to justify all actions, but it works.
B2) PRO/CON agree that "the score not reflect bias" is a rule and not a bias, and I will consider CON to have dropped his point that "the community and society here have a bias already set in place," because what he called a bias is actually a rule. Should this rule change? That is the core contention at this point.
B3) PRO/CON agree that the best option is what's best for the community. What's best for the community is for the score (i.e. result of a debate) to achieve significance and meaning. Currently they do not. At best they reflect the opinions of a handful of people, a handful of biased people that is not a SSS.
RFD vs Score (and Learning also)
RS4) CON delves into an excellent, succinct analysis on human nature, and PRO/CON agree that "winning is everything" is a prevalent and justifiable mindset.
RS5) CON: "The need to win can still be satisfied, but [outlawing bias in voting] does help reduce the "negative" outlook that already exists on bias, and vote bombing."
I disagree. I believe current rules actually exacerbate the negative outlook on bias, by turning bias into a sin. Similarly, rules banning witches, homosexuality, etc exacerbated the negative outlook on those respective groups. We should do away with "banning bias" utilizing similar reasoning as to why banning such categories is counterproductive. Perhaps some regulations on bias would be proper, just like regulating occult activities, sexual practices (no lewd acts in public, for example - I'm not implying anything about homosexuals, just sexuality in general, apologies for the potential implication), etc can be seen as proper. That is where my SSS solution becomes relevant - we control for bias via SSS. We simply cannot outlaw bias...that would be the same as outlawing eating. It's simply something we do...yet something we can regulate to stave off potential negative effects (food pyramids, nutrition labels, etc).
Votebombing complaints are an unavoidable by-product of the drive to win, and are irrelevant to my advocacy. I only seek to address bias.
RS6) PRO/CON agree that "The win or the loss...is what many people care about." The win/loss must also have significance. Currently it does not, hence my advocacy of SSS. If the score is meaningless, so are the statistics that stem from it, such as leaderboards and what not. Such meaninglessness undermines the entire system.
RS7) CON: "The point many members feel [the score] should be, is to gather external feedback..."
The point of any scored debate is to win. You win through expression of bias by voters, including yourself. This is the score, and is separate from feedback.
Feedback/RFD is secondary to winning once a score is being considered to any degree. In the context of any scored debate, the only purpose of feedback is to help you win in the future.
SSS2) CON: "[The SSS] should not have to exist independently of the current system..."
I never said it should. I advocate incorporating it into the current system.
I am seeing a major contradiction. My opponent in R2, stated that bias was existent in all voting actions, yet is using it as an argument about whether or not to change the rule. However even in an SSS, bias will have to be present if what was said in R2 was true. This is why I was basically taking realism into the philosophy behind his argument. Realistically, the system we have in place works well because it suits the human psyche's needs of establishing a "fair" voting premise. Where my opponent is wrong, is where he asserts that we agree that just the score itself is important. The score needs justification, to properly fit the standards that debaters look to. Such is true in politics as well.
RFD VS Score
The initial direction I think Pro has gone with the beginning of this point, is counter-productive really. To be specific, this debate is about banning anything. Someone else has already made the decision to put the rule on voting for onself in place, this debate is about revoking that rule. So I will agree with my opponent that as far as trying to regulate things, we should be careful on how we do so, and why it is important to do so. However, the purpose of this debate is to actually repeal something already set in place, to which point I am not really seeing much reason why. If I were to suggest to Juggle to remove this standard, I would need a good proper reason that outweighed the pro's and the con's of doing so. So far I have only seen the con's, and some decent arguments against enforcing regulation itself, which is counter-productive.
We simply cannot outlaw bias...that would be the same as outlawing eating.
Bias will always exist, but I remain unconvinced that with standards set in place discouraging it, that it will be so much of an issue. For example, I have seen many people vote against the side that suits their originaly ideology, to support who they thought did better. If RFD's weren't present, they may not of read the debate and could have done one of the historic seven pointers that many of the veteran debaters are notorious for. Because the standard we have set in place is important though, members will go out of their way to meet it, because before, a debate wouldn't show the victor.
Ultimately, I feel the SSS isn't something that realistically will work as good as the current system. I have seen great debates go weeks, with only one or two votes on them (sometimes less). There is a certain point when people stop caring. Even then, we used to have voting periods that would last indefinitely (some debates still have these rules in effect). At some point, both debaters simply stop caring. The system in place seems to suit most debaters needs just fine. Either way, I don't see the SSS as an argument to allowing members to vote for themselves.
1) CON: "I am seeing a major contradiction. My opponent in R2, stated that bias was existent in all voting actions, yet is using it as an argument about whether or not to change the rule. However even in an SSS, bias will have to be present..."
This is not a contradiction. A SSS accounts for bias. We should remove the rule banning bias. That's been my stance since round #1.
2) CON: "Where my opponent is wrong, is where he asserts that we agree that just the score itself is important. The score needs justification, to properly fit the standards that debaters look to. Such is true in politics as well."
No one needs to explain their vote in politics. CON is wholly mistaken.
3) CON: " To be specific, this debate is about banning anything."
This debate is about REMOVING the ban on bias, and thus allow voting for oneself.
4) CON: "If I were to suggest to Juggle to remove this standard, I would need a good proper reason that outweighed the pro's and the con's of doing so. So far I have only seen the con's, and some decent arguments against enforcing regulation itself, which is counter-productive."
Then CON has ignored or misunderstood most of my case. CON does not elaborate on what he means by "decent arguments against enforcing regulation," making it impossible to argue the point - if anything, I have advocated for regulation of bias via SSS. CON does not have a counterargument, only opinion.
5) CON: "If RFD's weren't present, they may not of read the debate and could have done one of the historic seven pointers that many of the veteran debaters are notorious for."
a) I do not advocate removing RFDs.
b) If people want to leave an RFD, then implementing a thumbs up standard, as I advocated in round #3, would give them incentive to do so.
c) I would make one vote = one point, period. The RFD can still contain all of the categories that may explain the vote. This is consistent with my advocacy of RFD =/= score.
6) CON: " I have seen great debates go weeks, with only one or two votes on them (sometimes less)."
This is EXACTLY what the SSS is attempting to solve. The debaters for these great debates would have incentive to attract a greater audience pool to vote for their debates. If their debates really are that great, then it will create a word-of-mouth effect, and will cascade into more votes. Right now most people are afraid of bias. That is an unwarranted fear.
7) CON: "The system in place seems to suit most debaters needs just fine."
CON has not addressed the meaninglessness inherent in the current system.
8) CON: "Either way, I don't see the SSS as an argument to allowing members to vote for themselves."
I do believe CON has misinterpreted a good deal of my case. Argumentatively speaking, CON dropped most of my arguments in his prior round and instead rendered judgment without debate. This renders CON's statements to be dogma and opinion.
I welcome further analysis/debate on this issue, especially point #6.
No one needs to explain their vote in politics. CON is wholly mistaken
I think my opponent is thinking in terms of a civilian voter, as opposed to the positions of the politicians themselves, in which case, we are at a mis-understanding.
if anything, I have advocated for regulation of bias via SSS. CON does not have a counterargument, only opinion.
Con has this debate slightly getting confusing as the above statement suggests that bias is thus a problem to some extent requiring "regulation", however in this statement:
This debate is about REMOVING the ban on bias,
Suggests bias is not a problem justifying the means of removing it's ban. The line on bias drawn by my opponent seems to be too slippery, and has me doubting whether an SSS is really more of a solution. Why go through the effort of implementing it? What positive change to voting can this possibly impact in a way that can't already be affected?
I do not see a presented problem with anything in 5.
The debaters for these great debates would have incentive to attract a greater audience pool to vote for their debates. If their debates really are that great, then it will create a word-of-mouth effect, and will cascade into more votes. Right now most people are afraid of bias. That is an unwarranted fear.
The explanation behind how an SSS will acheive the "word of mouth" effect any better than that effect is already being implemented remains lost on me. The fear of bias should be shut down with the current rules implementation, as my opponent promptly stated himself in better wording. Again, this really seems to come down to my opponents view on bias, which seems to be skewed at the moment.
CON has not addressed the meaninglessness inherent in the current system
Niether, do I feel, has pro.
I don't feel like this debate is really over, and I would definitely be willing to continue discussion in a forum somewhere where we can get some more avenues of opinion on the topic. As far as dropping points, realize this is a 3,000 character debate. I feel like my arguments encompassed most of the impacts, but my opponents accusation of my arguments being "dogma and opinion" are slightly mis-represented. This entire "debate" isn't really a debate, nor was it ever. I am not specifically against people voting for themselves yet, but I have yet to have seen an argument to convince me that voting for oneself should be once again allowed. Then a lot of this "debate" needs discerning between the impact of voting for oneself, and a change in the voting system itself. The link between the two would be required to properly establish why removing the rule is neccesary absent of all the philosophy. I invite further discussion on this subject elsewhere, so we can more properly discuss and adress specific points of impact. Thanks for a good discussion!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Wrichcirw I respect you as a debater, yet praising a user who last I checked (as he's a former stalker of mine, I shall not recheck nor in any other way seek contact with (nor respond when he occasionally attempts it)) cannot win a single debate, and refuses to debate even after making a fool of himself; overall a bad idea in the opening presentation. "let's say 100 votes or more on a debate" is not likely to happen. As con pointed out, each debater would almost certainly vote for themselves (doubly so in the bias encouraged system) cancelling it out, thus negating any point to their comments not already able to be conveyed in the debate rounds. Encouraging bias, would encourage votebombing, thus encourage this site as the popularity contest I hope it never becomes. As TUF pointed out, this site used to allow it, along with no RFD, and as much as we're not living in heaven on earth, things are clearly better than under those systems pro wishes to bring back.
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