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Why it's so easy to detect unfair voting

phantom
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6/12/2012 12:47:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
There are unfortunately many people on this site who vote on debates without reading them. One thing I've noticed they don't seem to realize is that it is very easy to tell that they didn't read the debate, at least easy to tell for others who have read the debate or those who participated in the debate they voted on, but often for any casual member. The reasons are as follows; each debate on this site generally is loaded with allot of information, arguments and refutations. When you read a debate you will remember a large portion of the contentions and points raised throughout the debate. Enough to write a fairly long analysis. Now any voter on this site would like to write good RFD's because then they get a good reputation and people will not question that they read the debate. They can demonstrate to everyone that they are a fair voter, and it is very easy for them to do so. Therefore if you know the debate you will most likely write a substantial RFD. Thus for anyone who has read the debate it is very easy for them to write a fairly detailed RFD. And because anyone would want to look like a fair voter if you read a debate you will mention much of the content of the debate. Therefore we can conclude that if a voters RFD is very vague and doesn't really mention much in the debate, they probably didn't read it. Other-wise they would have been inclined to write a good RFD.

For these reasons it is much easier to detect unfair voting than v-bombers seem to think.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
drafterman
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6/12/2012 12:52:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 12:47:18 PM, phantom wrote:
There are unfortunately many people on this site who vote on debates without reading them. One thing I've noticed they don't seem to realize is that it is very easy to tell that they didn't read the debate, at least easy to tell for others who have read the debate or those who participated in the debate they voted on, but often for any casual member. The reasons are as follows; each debate on this site generally is loaded with allot of information, arguments and refutations. When you read a debate you will remember a large portion of the contentions and points raised throughout the debate. Enough to write a fairly long analysis. Now any voter on this site would like to write good RFD's because then they get a good reputation and people will not question that they read the debate. They can demonstrate to everyone that they are a fair voter, and it is very easy for them to do so. Therefore if you know the debate you will most likely write a substantial RFD. Thus for anyone who has read the debate it is very easy for them to write a fairly detailed RFD. And because anyone would want to look like a fair voter if you read a debate you will mention much of the content of the debate. Therefore we can conclude that if a voters RFD is very vague and doesn't really mention much in the debate, they probably didn't read it. Other-wise they would have been inclined to write a good RFD.

For these reasons it is much easier to detect unfair voting than v-bombers seem to think.

I actually feel rather stymied in writing good RFDs/ An indepth analysis of a debate could be as long as the debate itself or, at the very least, much longer than the RFD character allowance. I am often at a loss as to how to convey my reasons in the space allotted AND still be apparent that I did read the debate.

Yeah, I know that some people leave their RFD in the comments of the debate, but I really don't like doing that.
phantom
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6/12/2012 12:57:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 12:52:20 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/12/2012 12:47:18 PM, phantom wrote:
There are unfortunately many people on this site who vote on debates without reading them. One thing I've noticed they don't seem to realize is that it is very easy to tell that they didn't read the debate, at least easy to tell for others who have read the debate or those who participated in the debate they voted on, but often for any casual member. The reasons are as follows; each debate on this site generally is loaded with allot of information, arguments and refutations. When you read a debate you will remember a large portion of the contentions and points raised throughout the debate. Enough to write a fairly long analysis. Now any voter on this site would like to write good RFD's because then they get a good reputation and people will not question that they read the debate. They can demonstrate to everyone that they are a fair voter, and it is very easy for them to do so. Therefore if you know the debate you will most likely write a substantial RFD. Thus for anyone who has read the debate it is very easy for them to write a fairly detailed RFD. And because anyone would want to look like a fair voter if you read a debate you will mention much of the content of the debate. Therefore we can conclude that if a voters RFD is very vague and doesn't really mention much in the debate, they probably didn't read it. Other-wise they would have been inclined to write a good RFD.

For these reasons it is much easier to detect unfair voting than v-bombers seem to think.

I actually feel rather stymied in writing good RFDs/ An indepth analysis of a debate could be as long as the debate itself or, at the very least, much longer than the RFD character allowance. I am often at a loss as to how to convey my reasons in the space allotted AND still be apparent that I did read the debate.

Yeah, I know that some people leave their RFD in the comments of the debate, but I really don't like doing that.

I should have been more clear. I don't mean that if someone read the debate they will write a RFD too large to fit in the limit given. But if you read the debate it should be quite evident from the RFD you've given that you read it.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
socialpinko
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6/12/2012 12:59:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Tell that to Dimmitri.C. He's been vote-bombing Contradiction's debates for a while (not sure whether Contradiction actually knows) and doesn't seem to realize how obvious it is.

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

Every time gives him all 7 points with an incredibly ambiguous RFD.
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Stephen_Hawkins
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6/12/2012 1:01:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Jewgirl similarly. I said this before: contradiction has a lot of voter following him. I just hope he realises this. These people need banning though, or a massively strict statement saying to remove these votes. They are horrible.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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socialpinko
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6/12/2012 1:02:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 1:01:25 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Jewgirl similarly. I said this before: contradiction has a lot of voter following him. I just hope he realises this. These people need banning though, or a massively strict statement saying to remove these votes. They are horrible.

Jewgirl votebombed a bunch of my debates too a while ago, in favor though. It's annoying because I look bad by association.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
Double_R
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6/12/2012 2:07:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
While I value fair voting as much as anyone I think we focus way too much on poor RFD's. Not every voter is concerned with giving feedback, or assuring anyone else that they understand the arguments. Some voters hate giving any details for why they voted because they will be harassed for it by the debater they voted against, and not every voter is particularly skilled in putting their thoughts on paper. However none of that necessarily means that they didn't read or understand the debate, and certainly does not mean that their votes shouldn't count.

Now I am not suggesting that votebombs do not happen or should not be countered. But I think we should focus a lot more on reading debates and giving valuable feedback to the participants then cancelling out every RFD we do not accept the quality of. Just look at Writerdave and Contradictions debate.
drafterman
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6/12/2012 2:12:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 2:07:39 PM, Double_R wrote:
While I value fair voting as much as anyone I think we focus way too much on poor RFD's. Not every voter is concerned with giving feedback, or assuring anyone else that they understand the arguments. Some voters hate giving any details for why they voted because they will be harassed for it by the debater they voted against, and not every voter is particularly skilled in putting their thoughts on paper. However none of that necessarily means that they didn't read or understand the debate, and certainly does not mean that their votes shouldn't count.

Pretty much this all the way.


Now I am not suggesting that votebombs do not happen or should not be countered. But I think we should focus a lot more on reading debates and giving valuable feedback to the participants then cancelling out every RFD we do not accept the quality of. Just look at Writerdave and Contradictions debate.

Why? Did we do something wrong and need to be punished?
Double_R
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6/12/2012 3:03:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 2:12:56 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/12/2012 2:07:39 PM, Double_R wrote:
Now I am not suggesting that votebombs do not happen or should not be countered. But I think we should focus a lot more on reading debates and giving valuable feedback to the participants then cancelling out every RFD we do not accept the quality of. Just look at Writerdave and Contradictions debate.

Why? Did we do something wrong and need to be punished?

Not necessarily wrong, but countering someone because the person they countered was already countered? Some members were countered for providing RFD's like "This was a good debate.....but writerdave made more convincing arguments and had more reliable sources." while others were countered for not providing one ("RFD forthcoming"). I just feel it's too much. We need more voters and less vote cops.
YYW
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6/12/2012 9:31:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 2:07:39 PM, Double_R wrote:
While I value fair voting as much as anyone I think we focus way too much on poor RFD's. Not every voter is concerned with giving feedback, or assuring anyone else that they understand the arguments. Some voters hate giving any details for why they voted because they will be harassed for it by the debater they voted against, and not every voter is particularly skilled in putting their thoughts on paper. However none of that necessarily means that they didn't read or understand the debate, and certainly does not mean that their votes shouldn't count.

I think that depends on what a person is looking to get out of DDO. If you're here for fun and entertainment, then so be it. If you're here for something more serious, then I think people tend to want to see the evidence that those who judge approach their task with the same degree of seriousness that a person put into a debate. That's a problematic way to be, I think.

At the risk of sounding truculent, I have harassed two voters on the site, because they gave authentically shitty RFD's (both many months ago). I think more or less that was back when I was on this site because I thought I had something to prove (I suppose it was before I had actually done anything significant, I wanted to find some significance on the site). I didn't post on the forums, or anything. Now, I prefer the forums. I have had some of the most entertaining and enlightening conversations I have ever had with members on the forums.

Now, I love reading RFD's. What people see as important in a debate and what people don't is absolutely fascinating to me, and no two RFD's look alike. I really believe that there is no clearer way to see how a person thinks then how they balance concepts -especially in my debates- which is why fundamentally I'm ok no matter what the outcome now.

But I do think that there are people who genuinely don't understand debates (people who write things like "I just didn't buy [pro or con's] point [x, y or z]," for instance). Their vote has every right to count, but another person has every right to counter an awful RFD if they see fit. Democracy in action, I guess. All in all though, I do think that most judges do their best, but some do better than others.

There are some perspectives that I just enjoy getting. By now I have seen behaviors long enough that I can (generally sort of) tell how a person is going to vote, based on the patterns of what they look for.

It would be interesting to see how people would vote if they couldn't see how others voted before they cast their ballot though... just a thought.


Now I am not suggesting that votebombs do not happen or should not be countered. But I think we should focus a lot more on reading debates and giving valuable feedback to the participants then cancelling out every RFD we do not accept the quality of. Just look at Writerdave and Contradictions debate.

I suppose the reason that people get so irritated about vote bombs is because they don't want their stats messed up, which is understandable. On the WriterDave v. Contradiction debate (epic debate, btw.) that became incredibly political (as in DDO politics rather then the actual topic of discussion). I suppose that's inevitable given the format of the site. But I suppose if one person can cast a vote against a debater because he was "appalled" at one of the debater's arguments, I don't see any reason why another person can't cast a vote for the other debater because they didn't accept the VBer's reasons.
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phantom
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6/12/2012 10:28:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 10:27:36 PM, Ahmed.M wrote:
anonymous voting?

Eh...That would make it much worse.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
daytonanerd
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6/12/2012 10:39:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 10:28:56 PM, phantom wrote:
At 6/12/2012 10:27:36 PM, Ahmed.M wrote:
anonymous voting?

Eh...That would make it much worse.

I think we should add the secret ballot. It helps, because you can't pick out specific users. Therefore, we can release our true opinions.
#FeeltheFreezerBern
phantom
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6/12/2012 11:16:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/12/2012 10:39:56 PM, daytonanerd wrote:
At 6/12/2012 10:28:56 PM, phantom wrote:
At 6/12/2012 10:27:36 PM, Ahmed.M wrote:
anonymous voting?

Eh...That would make it much worse.

I think we should add the secret ballot. It helps, because you can't pick out specific users.

Don't know what you mean by picking out specific users.

Therefore, we can release our true opinions.

Which is more important than fair voting? Actually it holds little to no importance though I'm not entirely sure what you're even talking about.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
larztheloser
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6/13/2012 12:32:07 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Time for me to weigh in.

Voting has NOTHING to do with opinion. If opinion is going into a vote, it's unfair. All votes should be objectively derived from the debate.

Bad votes are hard to detect because there's so few of them. It's like finding needles in haystacks. A good vote is one that convinces the losing debater that they lost. A very good vote will also provide constructive criticism to both debaters. Judging a debate is more difficult than doing a debate by a mile.

Double_R thinks that's too hard and that we should just let people read debates and be content with voters providing shallow or meaningless reasons. In that case, what was the point of the vote? From the debater's perspective, that's an insult to the time and effort they put into the debate. It's also an insult to all those judges who actually did take the time to go through the debate carefully and critically analyse all the arguments.

And if voters cannot defend their vote upon being harassed, then it's a bad vote too. I've been harassed three times on this site, twice by really good debaters, on account of my RFDs. On two of those occasions I was, on the second go, able to convince them otherwise. On the third occasion we had a debate about my RFD and I won. That kind of feedback mechanism should be WELCOMED by judges - it's how RFDs improve.

If people want to learn how to write a good RFD, then I suggest they get in touch with a good voter on this site and ask them to teach them. It's really not very hard, anyone can do it if they've actually read the debate. If they're not willing to put in the effort to do their judgement fairly, then I say they've just wasted everyone's time.

My theory on how to attract good-quality voters is to ensure that this is a good-quality site. Incumbent president take note. If good votes are always being undermined by bad ones then what's the point?
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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6/13/2012 1:46:11 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Both debating and voting are equally difficult and challenging if the quality of the debate is top-notch. It does indeed take a large number of time to compile sources and backup your arguments with facts from credible websites and research papers. With that being the case, debaters who spent a lot of time on their debates should expect good votes. It also helps to build relationships with other members and vote on their debates so when you want your debate voted on, they would return the favor. Note, "favor" means taking the trouble to read a 40,000 character long debate and voting fairly not voting for the person who asked you to vote on the debate.

This will certainly help negate the problem of bad voting. Asking a lot of people to vote on your debate who you know will vote accurately will help provide feedback for the debaters while also minimizing the effect of poor votes.

Giving detailed analysis is often highly appreciated by the debaters. I disagree with the notion that voters should be "harrassed" by debaters although there is nothing wrong with asking for clarifications. Also, there comes a point when debaters (even some good ones) fail to admit that their opponent had better arguments and blame it on the voters. These often come from a very select group of members who cannot accept defeat. At risk of sounding unproffessional: If a voter gave you a 3 page -long RFD and you don't like it, it is far more likely you are deluded than that the voter did not read the debate.

As for reading the debate and giving short RFD's, it depends on how much of the debate you can capture within the RFD. Double_R often gives accurate RFD's within the characters allocated for the RFD. Most others including me can't or don't do it. That is why giving RFD's in comments is a great idea since it gives a lot more feedback to the debaters.

Larz, you say that if a voter cannot defend a vote on being harrassed, then it is a bad vote. I agree with that statement. However, the bigger question is whether the debaters should harrass voters at all. Voters spend a lot of time (reading a debate just this morning took me an hour to finish voting) and I certainly don't encourage anyone taking any more of my time. I never complained against a vote though I have defended my votes against others. It is far better if a debater asks for clarification on a vote as opposed to complaining that it was unfair.
larztheloser
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6/13/2012 2:06:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I guess it depends on what you mean by "harass." If you mean harass as in "bully" then of course, that kind of thing is un-necessary and in fact probably harmful. If you mean "harass" as in "nag about later" then I think that's fair, as it indicates something about your vote needs improvement, and provides an opportunity to give further feedback to debaters.
TUF
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6/13/2012 2:13:48 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is very interesting discussion. I have not yet decided who I agee with. I will think about is some more.
"I've got to go and grab a shirt" ~ Airmax1227
YYW
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6/13/2012 2:44:19 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
It should be prudent, at this point, to gain a higher understanding of what an RFD is.

To begin, most voters vote based on the metric of persuasion, where the litmus the select for persuasiveness is how they responded to a particular argument. If a person doesn't understand an argument, for example, it should seem logical that they weren't persuaded. That is not to say that if they weren't persuaded that they didn't understand the argument (let's not confuse necessary and sufficient conditions here, lol).

How their votes are cast, then, depends on that most fundamental of questions; the typical DDO voter asks themselves "was I or was I not persuaded" by some given argument. Some people are harder to persuade then others, naturally. For instance, a person with a religious predisposition against homosexuality might find it very difficult to be persuaded by any argument, no matter how objectively compelling that argument may be. I'm not saying that's a bad or a good thing, I'm just saying that's how most votes are cast. There are few exceptions to that, so far as I can tell.

That being said, here we differentiate rhetoric from debate. Rhetoric is an exercise of persuasion. Debate is an activity of proffering superior arguments, that usually involve -very- deep analysis. For those who are trained debaters, it can be quite frustrating to have debates judged through a rhetorical lens, but I am becoming increasingly more and more of the opinion (only my opinion now, nothing more, nothing less) that expecting debate to be judged through any lens other then a rhetorical one is probably irrational, given the limitedness of exposure.

It's funny that often rhetoric is syllogistically structured, and arguments like:

P1) All that is moral is in accordance with a species typical functioning.
P2) Homosexual behavior is outside the bounds of species typical functioning.
C) Homosexual behavior is immoral.

(I use this as a generic argument, not as a specific address to any person, FYI.)

An argument structured like that has a couple of qualities: Firstly, it is incredibly easy to follow. Secondly, there is basically nothing complicated or challenging. Thirdly, there are no concepts or conditions to mentally entertain or keep track of. Fourthly, we all inherently understand that structure, wether we have taken a class on formal logic class or not. (More complex arguments do not enjoy that same ease of comprehension.)

Personally, I like rhetoric. But I like rhetoric to be rhetoric, and not masquerade as debate. The division between rhetoric and debate is much like the division between literature and all other fiction writing -one is just a step ahead of the other. But more people will read The Hunger Games or Fifty Shades of Grey then The Brothers Karamazov. So all that to say, no one style is better then the other, but the two are not the same, and shouldn't be treated as such.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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6/13/2012 2:52:07 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Btw:

In rhetorical exercises, there are only judges who were persuaded, and those who weren't.
Tsar of DDO
larztheloser
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6/13/2012 3:11:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I fully agree with YYW, except that I'm slightly more optimistic that with a little help, people can be made to vote like on debates. Rhetoric-style voting definitely is one of the things that is unfair but terribly prevalent on this site.
YYW
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6/13/2012 3:46:30 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 3:11:12 AM, larztheloser wrote:
I fully agree with YYW, except that I'm slightly more optimistic that with a little help, people can be made to vote like on debates. Rhetoric-style voting definitely is one of the things that is unfair but terribly prevalent on this site.

I had a professor begin a class one time with the hardest concept that would be covered throughout the semester. About three fourths of the class dropped by the next day. I asked her why she chose to begin in what logically should have come at the end, and her answer blew me away (and now I have seen this done in a couple of cases). Her response was that she wanted "to test the intellectual temperature of the class."

I would submit that rhetorically framed voting is not unfair or fair. It is just a different way of doing things. I think that if you are going to compete on DDO, there is a certain degree of that modality of voting that is basically unavoidable. In actual debate competitions, when judges vote that way, they are blackballed. This is done to ensure that everyone is operating on the same page, that everyone knows what to expect, and that there are no "surprises."

But in regard to fairness, all votes are "fair" in the sense that they are all worth the same and hold the same water. Some are more valid than others, but all are "fair." I want to emphasize that I really believe (now) that most people do their best when voting, but what their best is, is not congruent with what a formally trained debater will offer. (I think something like the difference between a classically trained theater actor, and... Nicholas Cage, or -in the music- Luciano Pavarotti and Justin Bieber.) One isn't better or worse, but Nicholas Cage and JB get more exposure.

I don't say all of this to paint judges in a bad light (because I don't think less of rhetoric then debate), only to point out the difference between the two.
Tsar of DDO
larztheloser
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6/13/2012 3:56:26 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm not arguing that it's inherently unfair, and it no doubt has its place. I just don't think it's fair that one block of voters judges to one standard and another to another standard. Since this is a debate website, my assumption in calling it unfair is that it isn't the standard that should be used. My optimism is that people can learn to use any given standard, so long as there is certainty around it.
YYW
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6/13/2012 11:01:30 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 3:56:26 AM, larztheloser wrote:
I'm not arguing that it's inherently unfair, and it no doubt has its place. I just don't think it's fair that one block of voters judges to one standard and another to another standard. Since this is a debate website, my assumption in calling it unfair is that it isn't the standard that should be used. My optimism is that people can learn to use any given standard, so long as there is certainty around it.

It frustrates me too....
Tsar of DDO
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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6/13/2012 1:42:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I agree that judges should not vote based on whether they were persuaded by the arguments to sway their opinion. That is what the "agree with after the debate" box is for. However, debaters need to be able to convince the judge that their argument is valid. If they can't, then it is not good enough.
Double_R
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6/13/2012 3:20:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 12:32:07 AM, larztheloser wrote:
Voting has NOTHING to do with opinion. If opinion is going into a vote, it's unfair. All votes should be objectively derived from the debate.

Double_R thinks that's too hard and that we should just let people read debates and be content with voters providing shallow or meaningless reasons. In that case, what was the point of the vote? From the debater's perspective, that's an insult to the time and effort they put into the debate. It's also an insult to all those judges who actually did take the time to go through the debate carefully and critically analyse all the arguments.

Larz, it is impossible to vote on a debate without involving your opinions. That is what a vote is.

My comments were not that we should all be content with everyones crappy RFD's. My point was that a crappy RFD does not necessarily equate to a voter who didn't read or understand the debate. I already explained why in detail, and did so to show why I feel we focus too much on bad RFD's, not that we shouldn't focus on them at all.

Personally I hate it as much as anyone when I put my time and energy into a debate to be voted against with an RFD like "Pros case was better". But if say 3 people voted on the debate, I would much rather lose all 3 votes with the other 2 being real votes with good RFD's, then to be voted against 2-1 with the 1 in my favor being a counter vote leaving only one real RFD. I find that much more discouraging.

But this is where the problem comes in. I see members counter someone and say that they will remove their counter when the person provides a better RFD. Why? If you are going to put in that much energy into a debate then just read it and vote. If the person who was voted against should have won then the valid RFD's will drown out the bad ones. That is the way it is supposed to work. What else I find funny is that we only seem to worry about this when the bad RFD goes against the person we think should have won. No one ever seems to counter bad RFD's that they agree with, so it seems more like a lazy way to vote without giving feedback.

So once again I am not saying that votebombs should not be countered, and in some cases, bad RFD's. I ask for them all the time. But I try to use counters as a last resort unless it is an obvious votebomb. Instead I prefer to ask other members to read it and give an honest vote. If the votes work in my favor then great. If not then I should have lost anyway.
larztheloser
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6/13/2012 7:38:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 3:20:22 PM, Double_R wrote:

Larz, it is impossible to vote on a debate without involving your opinions. That is what a vote is.

That's wrong. A vote is not an opinion of who won. It's an analysis of the whole debate, with reference to the onus on each team. I'm incredibly tempted to make a short video on how I think voting should be done.

My comments were not that we should all be content with everyones crappy RFD's. My point was that a crappy RFD does not necessarily equate to a voter who didn't read or understand the debate. I already explained why in detail, and did so to show why I feel we focus too much on bad RFD's, not that we shouldn't focus on them at all.

Crappy RFDs may mean a voter understands the debate, but not how to vote. Unless they know how to vote, then their understanding of the debate has little meaning.

Personally I hate it as much as anyone when I put my time and energy into a debate to be voted against with an RFD like "Pros case was better". But if say 3 people voted on the debate, I would much rather lose all 3 votes with the other 2 being real votes with good RFD's, then to be voted against 2-1 with the 1 in my favor being a counter vote leaving only one real RFD. I find that much more discouraging.

I'm not a fan of countering votes full stop. There should be no need if only everyone who voted provided a good RFD.

But this is where the problem comes in. I see members counter someone and say that they will remove their counter when the person provides a better RFD. Why? If you are going to put in that much energy into a debate then just read it and vote. If the person who was voted against should have won then the valid RFD's will drown out the bad ones. That is the way it is supposed to work.

That assumes that there are more valid voters than bad voters. About 95% of votes that I've ever received (since RFDs began) have been bad votes - believe me, I've gone through them all.
Double_R
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6/14/2012 1:57:36 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/13/2012 7:38:28 PM, larztheloser wrote:
At 6/13/2012 3:20:22 PM, Double_R wrote:

Larz, it is impossible to vote on a debate without involving your opinions. That is what a vote is.

That's wrong. A vote is not an opinion of who won. It's an analysis of the whole debate, with reference to the onus on each team.

An analysis is just that, an analysis. Voting is when you check off the little boxes next to where the questions are asked which result in points being awarded. For example; "who had the most convincing argument?" That question, as well as all the others asked are not objective. Hence, answering them can not possibly be done without providing your opinion.

An RFD is a reason given to support your opinion of who you think won the debate. The question is what did you base that opinion on? Did you base it on which side of the resolution you agree with, or did you base it on which debater made the better argument? The problem is that it is very easy to base your vote on the former while making it sound like you did so on the latter. In fact it is very easy to base your vote of the former while believing you did so on the latter. That is why there are so many debates which include very thoughtful RFD's on each side. So let's be clear, we are not talking about cancelling out subjective votes, we are talking about cancelling out every vote whose RFD does not sound objective enough for you.