Re: Required degrees for TGDC membership

From: Richard C. Johnson <dick_at_iwwco_dot_com>
Date: Tue Nov 28 2006 - 10:47:10 CST

The degree question is not one of snobbery but rather one of professionalism. We all know really good psychics who might do a great job of healing, but for medical care we like MDs. Competence in technical areas related to voting is not much different. Some MDs are ignorant quacks practicing outside their competence. Some mathematicians have very narrow expertise and would not have basic skills outside their specialties. Technical degrees are a starting qualification, not the entire set of criteria.

Still, if we want a professional approach to election matters, some technical background in the form of computer science or electrical engineering can be very helpful. Kathy's concern for more expertise than the election equivalent of psychic surgeon seems reasonable. I believe that some (but not all) members should have this background. Others might have a statistical background--hopefully a person with a university preparation in that specialty. And yet others might have a Joe/Jane Doe general citizen qualification.

Note: a highly qualified but venal person, compromised by affiliation or employment, is not likely to satisfy any of us. Both character and qualifications are highly important, but neither is sufficient.

No guarantees exist that any of these people will be any better than the process or person who selects them. Still, it would be nice to have some knowledgeable professionals on board.

-- Dick

Jerry Lobdill <> wrote: At 07:36 PM 11/27/2006, Kathy Dopp wrote:
>So Please then, tell me a list of all the degreed fields that would be
>appropriate to require for membership on the TGDC because I am
>determined to increase the academic requirements to remove the current
>persons with degrees in hotel management and political science who do
>not belong on that committee simply because they've had years
>experience implementing shoddy voting equipment.
>What degrees in what fields specifically should be required to be on
>the technical guidelines development committee?
>Thank you.

It is no guarantee of competence when someone displays an academic
credential. I can easily think of and example, someone who has an
advanced degree in math who does not know the elementary properties
of the Gamma function and the factorial. I think you are barking up
the wrong tree when you try to credentialize membership.

Jerry Lobdill

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