Should we move forward with votingtheory.com?

We haven’t heard back from EqualVote with regard to the vote we held regarding the domain name, after the erroneous results were posted.

Votingtheory.com was the clear winner with the agreed upon method (STAR), and it was happily also the Condorcet winner (which, to me, means we can be confident that vote splitting didn’t occur).

I know not everyone loves votingtheory.com, and I didn’t push hard for it other than asking that it be on the ballot. (I was ready to go with forum.vote when I thought that was in the lead) Since votingtheory.com managed to win the vote, I feel like I should go ahead and say why I think it is the best choice, in hopes that those who don’t like it so much will warm up to it.

I’m not trying to start a debate, but please take these as nothing more than my opinions.

  1. “Vote/voting” is preferable to “election/electoral” because election implies electing human candidates to political office. While that may be some people’s concentration, it isn’t the only thing. I personally would love to see our community develop new and better tools for the internet to hold votes for things, just like we did with our domain name. I think it’s a great way to familiarize people with alternative voting systems, as well as to simply use our expertise to create immediate value for the internet at large. “Voting” better represents the general use case of what we talk about and work on, with political elections being one practical application, albeit a significant one.

  2. “Electoral science” suggests to me the science of getting a candidate elected, or predicting the outcomes of elections, etc. Sort of like what they do at 538.com, or what a technical consultant to a campaign might specialize in. “Psephology.” That is very different from our concentration.

  3. “Electoral science” is too close to the name of an organization, and one that has expressly stated a desire to create a bit of distance from our forum. We’d love to have CES’s site point to our site, but I could understand their hesitance to do so if the forum name sounds too close to their organization and could cause confusion. (while they haven’t said anything explicit, I couldn’t help but notice that at least one key officer of CES likes votingtheory.com best, and dislikes all of the ones that are similar to their organization’s name)

  4. “Reform” can mean many things, including verifying the vote with a paper trail, making sure that voting isn’t suppressed, reducing gerrymandering, etc. Many of those seem out of our area of concentration. (those things tend to attract conspiracy theory types as well)

  5. “Theory” is a good word that is used, for instance, in the main category in the existing forums. (“electoral theory”) I have heard concerns that the word might encourage discussion that are out of touch with the current work and otherwise would encourage tangents. I just don’t see a problem with us having a place to get deep into the philosophical underpinnings if we like. That sort of discussion should happen, certainly where we get into all the math and such. I personally see voting theory as a subset of Game Theory… a branch of mathematics. That’s not to discourage us from building practical tools that can be used in the real world, something I intend to push forward, but I don’t see the word “theory” as off-putting at all.

  6. Whenever I have described my hobby of the past nearly 20 years, I have used the term “voting theory”. It seems to communicate.

  7. dot-com domains are considered generic. True, we aren’t a commercial venture, but we aren’t really an organization per se either. (technically we might be, but the organization is simply the one to manage the forum)

  8. I was actually surprised that such a short, generic term was available as a dot-com. It is simple and memorable, and the words “voting theory” are likely something people would search for if looking for this very thing.

Of course, we held a vote and votingtheory.com clearly won. That’s not necessarily going to make everyone like it, but … I think it should be mentioned, in case there is any hesitance to move forward. Of all communities to respect the outcome of a vote, we certainly should. We didn’t get “voteymcvoteface,” and we didn’t get something that could conflict with the name of an organization or otherwise justify overruling the vote.

So… can we go ahead and move forward with this?

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I think it’s a great name and it won the election, so IMO it’s a go! But I’m a newbie here, so my vote is diminished by a factor of 12.

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Seems reasonable to me.

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None of the names are super exciting. That one’s fine. .com slightly bothers me, because it’s not a company, but whatever. :man_shrugging:

forum.votingtheory.com looks better to me? Though I don’t know what other subdomains would make sense to exist.

Is the forum name winner still electoral reform forum?

If so, perhaps we should have a vote on whether we should go with the forum name winner and have another vote on which url to use after knowing what the forum name is or go with the url winner and have another vote on the forum name now that we know what the url is.

My personal opinion is while I kinda dig the simplicity of forum.vote and like the .vote idea and like psephomancy the .com part also annoys me. Though we did have a vote on it and if the name and url conflict isn’t a problem then I have to respect the will of the people.

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I don’t think “electoral reform forum” won that vote. I agree the votes for domain name and forum name should be separate, but I’d think the domain vote should be the first decided, partly because we need to make that decision quickly, but more importantly, because domain choice is so limited by the options that are actually available.

Like, it doesn’t make sense to decide we want it to be “Better Voting” and then realize bettervoting.com/.org etc are all long gone. I had understood, when we decided to hold a vote, that the domain was the important thing we were voting on. The name usually tends to follow from that.

We can put it on a subdomain if we must, but it just makes it longer. I’d normally only do that if we already have a substantial web site at the domain, and the forums are one part of it. That’s also usually done for technical reasons, because the forums often exist on a different server than the web site.

Surely the simpler the better. If you’re just adding stuff to it, to me it’s strictly worse.

But yes, the name and URL are linked so having separate votes at the same time was a bit weird. Also, I’m not sure how it was decided what made the poll. In any case, I think it would make sense to have a separate vote now on the name given this URL.

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I am good with whatever. Just build it.

I do think that it would make sense for the forum name to match the URL

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Perhaps theory.vote is a nice compromise? Is that available? It keeps the simplicity of forum.vote and doesn’t end in a .com while also alluding to that the forum is about voting theory.

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Yes it is available. I’m personally not big on it (I find it rather confusing), but I’d hope that at this point we can go ahead and accept the results rather than bring new suggestions in. The biggest complaint I heard, before the vote, regarding votingtheory.com was about the word “theory.” But mostly, I think that a community that is about voting should at the very least respect the results of votes we have, absent any really good reasons not to.

I just don’t feel comfortable moving forward without the people who ran the vote coming back and saying something, after we noticed the results were not correct. They weren’t just a little bit not correct… they were completely random. I’m assuming it was an honest mistake but the lack of response feels kinda weird.

I am calling for new elections! Most all these domain names emphasize ‘theory’, and theory is secondary to me. I primarily want active measures (protests, etc.). Plus I happen to know a few things. The ‘.org’ upper level domain (ULD) strongly implies non-profitness. But it is 100% owned by a ruthless hedge fund (welcome to the real world), and everybody who is deeply informed, and depends on a ‘.org’ ULD, is pooping out big-time right now (how much will it eventually cost?). And rumor has it that ‘.com’ is about to be swallowed up too. Right now, I would go with ‘.net’ or maybe even ‘.xyz’ (why should some jet setting rentier eat up my meager funds?).

So, my recommendation is ‘electionsystems do+ net’ Registered via ‘www.nearlyfreespeech.net’ You want integrity before all else!

By the way, I am one of those ultra-pessimists who expects total social collapse, so my message is ultimately for those who will come after my time here.

Addendum:

Who will own the domain name? You need to create a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit corporation.to equitably own it.

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Does your idea of integrity include holding a revote when you didn’t speak up before the first vote, but now you don’t like the results? :slight_smile:

I understand that you are more about reform and protest, than theory. I get that. We all have our different interests. I am interested in better voting methods, and the theory and math behind them. I like a bit of an academic tone to the community. My hope is that I can be a part in cultivating a community where we do take “active measures,” but my own personal approach would be more in developing widgets and visualizers that we can share with the internet at large.

I just gave you some extremely valuable free advice. You’ll not receive that at many places elsewhere. It is all your’s to take, or to leave. The choice is always up to you.

Nope.

Yeah you’re right. The ICANN organization which oversees management of the conventional top level domain names (TLDs) actually blocked the sale of ‘.org’ to the hedge fund. I had no expectation of this, since we live in an age where dirty deals are seldom blocked. So the ‘.org’ TLD is okay to use. Yay! (This cheers me, as I happen to own a ‘.org’ TLD myself.

You could have explained what I just said, but maybe you are one of those mathematicians who indulge in what I call ‘hyperreticence’. I did some work as a technical writer (even with my painful typing), and I pray that no mathematician ever gets a job as a technical writer.

Just as an aside, I can see no reason why the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation could be prevented from simply selling its potentially trade secret moderation facilities to, say, Microsoft. So the ‘non-profit’ concept is trickier that it first appears to be. However, the people wishing to continue practicing the strange ‘quasi-new’ discipline of election system analysis would do well to incorporate under 501( c )( 4 ). They would be well advised to hire someone to choose which state to incorporate in, since they all have differing regulations. And if any dispute arises, the parties would have to travel to a court in the state in which the corporation was originally established. Good luck. I am satisfied with strategic hedge simple score voting, personally.

I think the consensus here is that maybe we’d like some minor changes, but we’re fine with moving ahead. It seems like if we had a plurality vote on whether to move ahead or to hold another election to change the name, we would end up moving ahead. @Sara_Wolf and others seem to me perhaps to be in the camp of a re-vote, and that makes sense because that was her lowest-rated candidate, but I think most of us would be fine with votingtheory.com. Just to reiterate, I think moving ahead is the practical thing to do, but it isn’t my decision and I think it’s fair to leave that decision up to a vote like myself and @parker_friedland suggested.

As far as I can tell, at least myself, @parker_friedland, @RobBrown, @Keith_Edmonds, @Toby_Pereira, @psephomancy, and @Marylander are all fine with going ahead. I don’t know what method is being used to decide the election anyway.

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I’d be fine with a re-vote, too… :sweat_smile:

The first vote had some issues, and maybe we can come up with something different that everyone likes, and if not, the same thing should win the second time, too, right? Also people should talk about why they like/dislike certain things, to try to change minds and reach a consensus.

There wasn’t anything like “election methods forum” in the list, was there? Was that because there weren’t domains available? (Or voting methods or election systems or electoral methods or voting systems or one of the many variants…) That would include both reform and theory, no?

What about voting on preferred TLDs first (.vote, .com, .org, .info) and making a preference list of those, then voting on domains separately? Then go through the TLDs in order until we find one that’s available?

.forum is apparently a legit TLD also…

https://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt

(…though not actually registerable?)

All that I see in the list that might be relevant (but not sure if actually available):

.com
.org
.net
.info

.vote
.voting

.forum
.social
.talk
.community
.group
.meet

.science
.systems

.center
.site

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@RobBrown Just do it as you see fit.In the end this will largely be your project. I know you will get help and there will be a board and all that great stuff but this will mostly be your project. Just built it as you see fit. Nobody else is going to do it. If you build it they will come.

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Thanks Keith, I’m open to that. It’s a lot of time to do it as I want to do it, so I don’t really want to bother if I’m not sure it will have lots of support. I have lots of projects, and a finite amount of time.

And I’d really like to be able to say “We use our voting methods right here! We even used them to decide the domain name! They work great!”

Grrrr.

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