Re: Shamos Rebuttal, Draft 1

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Sun May 01 2005 - 21:16:14 CDT

> Ron Crane wrote:
>
>> Here it is. Section 3.1 is still in progress, and there will be a few
>> other tweaks, but this is basically it.
>>
>> Please comment.
>>
>> -R
>
>
> I would like to use this paper to present in Utah to help stop the
> adoption of DRE electronic ballot voting machines here, so that is
> where I'm coming from with my comments:

Cool!

> 1. Because people may not be familiar with Shamos' paper, Please start
> with a short Background Section that gives a synopsis of his paper,
> and where it can be found. i.e. Its URL, and also possibly tells
> something about who Shamos is.

The URL is in endnote 1. I'll add the background.

> 2. scratch "entertaining" and "(sometimes rather amusing)" from the
> Abstract. It makes you sound unprofessional IMO.

I wrote "entertaining..." as a subtle jibe at Shamos's clear
unprofessionalism. If his paper had been passable, I might have written
"informative" instead. I'm open to changing it, but let's see what
others think.

> 3. Scratch "attempts to identify" - change to "identifies"
>
> 4. Change "also to consider" to "and considers"
>
> 5. delete " that have been compared to voting systems" This is
> already evident.
>
> 6. change "since" to "because" (still in paragraph 2)

I'll fix these. Have you been reading Strunk & White recently?

> 7. change "to maintain" -> "to secretly maintain" and remove " '
> secrecy" later

Na.

> 8. 3rd paragraph, remove comma after "trust in" and also make this
> into two sentences, and move one of the sentences to your conclusion.
>
> i.e. clears up some of the mystery surrounding e-voting systems.
> (leave that one in the abstract) and move the similar sentence re.
> "dispels some of the unjustified trust..." because you don't want to
> give away your conclusions at the beginning IMO - leave the "trust"
> issue until last IMO.
>
> Or better yet, why not change the sentence to:
>
> "The purpose of this paper is to clear up some of the mystery
> surrounding why Shamos' position of trust in opaque and unverified
> e-voting systems is felt to be so unjustified by the vast majority of
> computer scientists and computer professionals"

I belong to the "tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them,
then tell them what you told them" school of communication, and so
think it's best to show everything up front. As for "so
unjustified...", I prefer not to make arguments from authority, since I
tend to disbelieve them myself. The paper should stand on its own
reasoning.

> Just thinking out loud. I just don't like the last sentence of your
> abstract the way it is.
>
> Your pdf does not seem to allow copy and paste to suggest edits, so
> I'll quit now, as I should be working on other things anyway.

I'll post a DOC for the next version. I generated the PDF by "save as
PDF" in Mac Word. Odd that it doesn't allow editing.

Thanks,

Ron

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:09 2005

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