Five years ago at the blog: there are things I’d change if I were writing this today, but the title wouldn’t be one of them



 I'd definitely address gerrymandering if I were writing this today. I don't have a good answer for why I didn't back then.

Of course, the crazies have grown in number and in lunacy and have grown more dangerous. Now a plurality and possibly a plurality of one of the two major parties holds demonstrable delusions among their core political beliefs.

If the crazies leave, the Republicans cease to have a viable party.

 

The GOP needs the crazies more than the crazies need the GOP.

The following is not really a voting paradox, but it is kind of in the neighborhood. You have three stockholders for a company. A holds 48% of the shares, B holds 49%, and C holds 3%. Assuming that any decision needs to be approved by people holding a majority, who has the most power? The slightly counterintuitive answer is no one. Each shareholder is equal since an alliance of any two will produce a majority.

Now let's generalize the idea somewhat. Let's say you have N shareholders whom you have brought together to form a majority. Some of the members of your alliance have a large number of shares, some have very few, but even the one with the smallest stake has enough that if he or she drops out, you will be below 50%. In this scenario, every member of the alliance has equal veto power.

I apologize for the really, really basic fun-with-math explanation, but this principle has become increasingly fundamental in 21st-century (Read more...)