Re: 50/50 elections

From: Brian Fox <bfox_at_TheOkoriGroup_dot_com>
Date: Fri Nov 28 2008 - 14:42:02 CST

The entire election pool came close to 50/50 (i.e., 52/48). I wasn't
thinking about Minnesota.

The discussions about society are, in my belief, totally on-topic to
understanding what makes a society work. Is it, in fact, possible to
have a series of elections that are skewed greatly in one direction?
I think not, for a variety of logical reasons, which closely parallel
the biological experience.

It seems reasonable to have a short discussion on one system that
mirrors another - could one not learn from that?

Thanks,

Brian

On Nov 28, 2008, at 12:35 PM, David Mertz wrote:

> The speculation about biology is pretty far off-topic for this list.
> Jost's work was interesting, and I remember that study. But in
> general list member are spending a lot of work explaining something
> that doesn't need explanation.
>
> While the Minnesota Senate race is very close, most political races
> are nowhere near as close. The fact we're talking about the close
> ones is just selection bias on our parts. There is no need to
> "explain" the non-phenomenon of "attraction towards 50/50 splits".
> Not in terms of genetic breakdowns, not even really in terms of
> political strategies. It's just that we happen to be looking at the
> close Minnesota race, not the slam-dunk ones in Massachusetts or
> Alabama.
>
> I suppose there is a slight "attraction towards 50/50" in that in the
> very narrow way that races that are likely to be outrageously skewed,
> the "opposition party" doesn't bother running a candidate at all. My
> representative, Henry Waxman ran unopposed because presumably the
> Republican party knew an opponent would have only gotten 20%, so why
> waste resources.
>
> FWIW, the problem with most "evolutionary psychology"/sociobiology is
> exactly like this: it goes to great lengths to "explain" things that
> need no explanation, but that are simply false generalizations or mere
> observer bias.
>
>
> --
> Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food
> from the bellies of the hungry; books from the hands of the
> uneducated; technology from the underdeveloped; and putting
> advocates of freedom in prisons. Intellectual property is
> to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.
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Thanks,

Brian

--
Brian J. Fox
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:21 2008

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