[extropy-chat] exit polls

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Fri Oct 6 00:41:26 UTC 2006

On Oct 5, 2006, at 12:59 PM, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> Samantha Atkins wrote:
>> Repeating a lie does not make it so.  Exit polls have worked really
>> well here and abroad to predict winners in *fair* elections.
> Hm.  Don't want to get involved in this, but I do see a potential
> experimental-design flaw in the above statement.  What gold standard  
> did
> you use to decide whether the election was fair, aside from the exit
> poll itself?

Generally there is no 'gold standard' to be had in such situations of  
course.  But the evidence, which is certainly not limited to exit  
polls, is pretty damning.  But in the above I was referring to the lie  
that exit polls are not used to predict election outcomes.  They have  
been used for such purposes, usually with high accuracy, for some time.

> By the way, I'm quite willing to believe that the 2004 US election was
> broken, that most US elections have been broken, that both parties
> cheated, that the 2004 election was the worst yet in the series, that
> things will keep getting worse, that electronic voting marks a
> qualitative line of demarcation, and that there's nothing I can do  
> about
> it *directly* and I probably shouldn't even have spent the seconds
> writing this sentence.

I don't believe it was just business as usual and I do believe the  
problem is getting much worse.  As to what to do about I confess I  
haven't much clue except to demand a better and much more trustworthy  
voting system than what we have.   I don't think it wise to remain  
silent about everything I don't know how to fix.   Nor would it be  
wise to squawk about all of them.   We have to pick our battles.

- samantha

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