Re: Shamos Rebuttal, Draft 3

From: Ron Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Sun May 08 2005 - 18:16:36 CDT

On May 8, 2005, at 11:54 AM, Kathy Dopp wrote:

> Ron Crane wrote:
>
>>
>> I disagree with some other edits.
>>
>> I am deleting the last item in 5. It's a minor point, and I refuse
>> to cite any improperly-conducted poll (such as the ACM's poll on
>> paper trails) in any formal paper.
>>
>> The qualifications you added to the conclusion weaken it
>> substantially, and introduce terms not elsewhere defined ("auditable
>> dual data paths", "Best Practices").
>>
>> Finally, I am a little confused by your edit in 3.3.
>
>
> IMO, when you do not accept the edits that people make - then not many
> people will be willing to co-sign or make use of your document.
>
> You should try as much as possible to bend over backwards to accept at
> least partially, or figure out how to incorporate, all the points that
> you are given.
>
> Your paper does not sound at all professional if you overstate things
> by refusing to qualify what needs qualifying IMO. And anyone who
> feels that qualifications are needed when you refuse to add them
> because you feel it will weaken the argument, makes your paper less
> likely to be agreed to, less likely to be used, and makes it sound
> less professional and less strong than if you acknowledge all the
> points in it.
>
> I've personally been the writer for many collaborative documents of
> PhD computer scientists and PhD mathematicians on the voting and
> elections issues over the prior year. It takes a huge amount of time
> and intellectual work to figure out ways to come to agreement and to
> incorporate everyones' points, but if you want everyone to sign it
> with you and you want it to be a useful document, you must acknowledge
> all their points in some manner in your paper, and not be so quick to
> dismiss the edits people give you in their entirety. Figure out ways
> to understand and incorporate their points.
>
> I apologize for the unasked (and perhaps unwelcome) advice.

I have tried to incorporate all points that improve the paper and don't
change its focus too much from its core purpose, which is to rebut
Shamos's (mostly technical) errors. Your note here presumes that "all
the points...given" are correct, and that I actually "overstate things
by refusing to qualify what needs qualifying". Only valid points
related to the paper's purpose should be "acknowledge[d] in some manner
in [the] paper", not every point submitted.

Further, I have accepted many comments along the way. And at every
opportunity -- in order to keep the process open -- I have responded
on-list to most comments with my reasons for accepting, modifying, or
rejecting them. For example, some reviewers wanted more about
transparency and democracy. I thought that those points furthered the
paper's purpose, so I added something about them. Others asked me to
tighten the language, which I have done and am continuing to do. Still
others wished me to cite an unscientifically-conducted poll to support
another (quite minor) point, which I have refused to do, choosing
instead to delete that point entirely.

When responding on the list to Ed's numerous edits, I cited some
examples rather than responding to each one individually, perhaps
giving the misleading impression that I've rejected them all. That's
not so, as the (hopefully final) version of the paper will make clear.

In sum, as the paper's primary author, it's my task to determine its
scope and to give it focus, not to mention actually to write most of
it. I have tried to do all this appropriately and openly, and to
exercise editorial judgement reasonably. Obviously you feel that I have
done a poor job. Perhaps you would like the job yourself. If Alan
consents to it, I would be happy to give you the reins. Why don't you
ask him?

-R

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:25 2005

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