Voting Policies: An Irrelevant User's Perspective

Author: coal ,

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  • coal
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    I am not complaining here or even suggesting that any vote I have cast which was removed was wrongly removed.  I'm just stating something that might not have been considered. 

    I read whiteflame's debate with the new guy, whatever his name is, and while Whiteflame won and the other guy lost, there were numerous aspects of the debate that I simply don't have time to write out a comprehensive RFD for.  

    In the past I know I have argued for sufficient RFD's and for tougher voting standards and so I know how hypocritical it is for me to be saying this now, but this is the reality: an RFD which imposes upon me 30 plus minutes of typing (which is probably what it would have taken for an RFD that passes the new voting policies given what that debate was) is prohibitive for me to vote on it.  It wouldn't have been when I was in graduate school or even law school, but now that I have a job and my whole day gets eaten up with work stuff... and given that I am exhausted by the time I get home, I'm too tired to do anything. 

    So I won't probably be casting many more votes on more complex debates.  That would mean that someone like me, whose job it is to make decisions on the basis of the strength or weakness of arguments (and who charges hundreds of dollars per hour do do that, which clients pay) will not be voting when I otherwise might. 

    Should the policy be changed to accommodate me?   Without discussing the individual merits of whether I think the voting policies are good or not -- which I make no comment on either way -- policies generally should not be modified to fit one person; because they are set for what is best for the site, generally, not particular users.  However, we run into the same problem: I'm not voting because I don't have the time to type out an RFD when I have the energy, or the energy, when I have the time. 

    Is this best for the site?  Idk probably overall because most of the people who are going to be voting have more time than they know what to do with, and that is exactly the kind of person whose votes should be evaluated with particular scrutiny.  I wonder if Whiteflame's debate will be voted on, nevertheless.  Will the RFD that isn't deleted get the right result for the right reasons?

    Maybe.  Maybe not.  But what incentive does that provide for debaters? 

    I suppose if they're debating for the mere satisfaction of debating, they're already well and good.  But that's not how I roll.  When I debate, I play for keeps... always.  Maybe others aren't as competitive.  Who knows. 


  • RationalMadman
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    You're not superior to other users just because you work with the law. If you can't put in the time and effort to write a valid RFD, you getting paid hundreds of dollars for being an expert at it only shames you even more for being so incapable of it.
  • coal
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    --> @RationalMadman
    That is an absurd and unreasonably provocative comment. 

  • RationalMadman
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    --> @coal
    Should have replied this to your OP.
  • Wylted
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    Yes people like you should be accommodated by weighting points based on RFD lengths, while retaining the ability to remove votes that are obvious attempts to game the system. 
  • bsh1
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    I believe this was the vote/moderation decision being referenced here.

    *******************************************************************
    >Reported Vote: coal // Mod action: Removed

    >Points Awarded: 3 points to Pro

    >Reason for Decision: PRO won the debate because he successfully showed that based on what is good for the US militarily and economically, and the international community more generally; is best served by Israel's alliance with the US. Very few of the harms cited by CON were attributable to the US-Israel alliance. Most of CON's rebuttals talked past PRO.

    >Reason for Mod Action: To award argument points, a voter must complete all three steps set out in the site's voting policy. To award argument points, the voter must (1) survey the main arguments and counterarguments in the debate, (2) weigh those arguments and counterarguments against each other, and (3) explain, based on the weighing process, how they reached their decision. The voter completes none of these steps. It is not clear how Pro "successfully showed" that Israel is a good ally from this vote due to a lack of analysis of the main arguments and due to a lack of any explicit weighing based on such analysis. While the voter may have performed these steps in their own reasoning, these steps must be detailed explicitly in the vote itself. The voter can find the site's complete voting policy here: https://www.debateart.com/rules
    ************************************************************************

    Moderation is always open to listening to feedback on and about the site's voting policies, and will always take any such policy under advisement for potential MEEPing and use in interpreting the site's policies. I will be interested to see, of course, where this discussion leads.
  • coal
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    --> @RationalMadman
    If you continue to engage in unreasonably provocative behavior do not expect for me to engage with you on any issue.  
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @coal
    I don't see any loss considering that you already do just that.
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @coal
    A rule of thumb, is that no matter how unbiased, valid, reasonable or thoughtful an RFD is, you will almost invariably find the person you vote against feels it’s the most outrageous and sadistic violation of their human rights, and you must be a shill/douche/liberal/conservative nut job who is doing it on purpose just to penalize their genius, not because their arguments were worse.

    If these users wept and cried and gnashes their teeth at the moderators, and the mods only saw x argument was better”, it’s hard for them to disagree - as their is no objective measure for them to judge your vote on.

    The rules are there as an objective thing that a valid analysis of an argument would include: IE the RfD in your head you formed reading the debate would meet the voting standards.


    Writing it down will still have you accused of outrageous and sadistic violation of human rights: but if you’ve done everything a good RfD should do, all the mods are able to do judging whether your decision is correct - which is not their job (otherwise why not just have the mod pick winners).


    The rules are not setup for you or I, and those who would weigh in legitimately and objectively where necessary. They are there to try and preclude votes going the way of popularity contests or voting canals. It may not necessarily work that way - but it’s as much as can be done without having the mods beginninserting their opinions.
  • Castin
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    --> @coal
    It's a good question. Ideally there would be a desirable balance between quality and practicality. At the very least, I'm sure the volume of rules often discourages new prospective voters. The more work voters have to do, the smaller the voting pool is. That's bound to be true on any debate site.

    There have been many times I decided not to vote because I wasn't up for all the work. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's anything we can do about that without degrading important standards that are there for good reason. For instance, in order for your vote to have been acceptable, we would have to start allowing people to vote without addressing any specific arguments.

    Apologies -- you did clearly say you were not objecting to that mod action. To answer your actual point: I fear there might not be a way to be a "casual" voter, for lack of a better term.
  • coal
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    --> @Castin
    The weight of Whiteflame's arguments were what they were, and I addressed the subject matters of his main points.  I think any rational voter who read that debate would come to the same conclusion.  But I don't care... the RFD was less than 4 sentences I think and the debate was probably 80k characters or so.  Fair enough.  That's not the issue.

    I read a lot faster than I type.  At a desk, I'm about 95 words per minute, but laying in bed as I am now and as I typically am when reading debates (if I even do read them, which is very rare tbh because most people who are writing them are bad writers, and I don't feel like being a mentor or teacher -- which, as an irrelevant user, I am entitled to feel), I'm at about 60. 

    But, i don't write the RFD as I'm reading the debate.  I write it when I'm done.  So if I have to go back and reference parts of the debates and type out what would approximate a narrative flow across four rounds (where most of what was said by later rounds was tangential anyway, because few debaters actually know how to return a cross back to the main point) ...I'm just not going to do it.

    I have more important shit to do... or at least stuff I'm more interested in, like my AMA (although I invest almost no time in that either).  The reality is that I can type up an AMA answer even at considerable length a lot faster than I can type up an RFD because the ideas are my own; I'm not evaluating two other people's ideas, and I don't have to deal with their ideas on their terms when I'm in my AMA.  Fact is that I'm more interested in my ideas than I am in judging other people's (frequently poorly articulated, incoherent, contradictory, tangential, and generally bad -- like Whiteflame's opponent's) ideas. 

    So, returning to the point... 

    The return on time investment for me just isn't there.  It's not going to be there if I have to spend more than about 45 seconds writing an RFD, which is about how much time I spent on the RFD that was removed.  Maybe that makes me a bad member who is unwilling to contribute to "the community" or whatever.

    But I'm an irrelevant user (note my username).  I was the most prominent member on DDO for years, and the driving factor behind most forum discussions of substance and many debates (and the judging of many debates).  Here, I'm just some guy who randomly pops in to talk about some stupid old broken debate site and how important I was on that, like it mattered at all (note: it did not... everything crashes, burns, and is destroyed in the end).
  • coal
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    So yeah... voting policies are what they are.... I largely don't care because I'm not going to vote anyway.  However, I would vote if I could do so with a minimal time commitment.  Ideally, I'd like to just be able to select a winner and write three sentences.  

    This is the diametric opposite of what I would have argued for three years ago; two years ago, and the like.  I am totally reversing myself.  Shameless, I know... but I can do that because, again... irrelevant. 

    lol

    In the past I would have bitched and moaned about vote sufficiency, and all of that.  SeventhProfessor I'm sure can link my voting guide and be like "you contradictory bastard!" And... that would be true.

    But I find myself in a very different place now than I was, then.  As such, I have changed.  With that change, so too has my perspective.  



  • SupaDudz
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    --> @coal
    In order to be relevant, you must post
  • coal
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    --> @SupaDudz
    Just because I post doesn't make me relevant... lol.... 

    I am irrelevant to this place. 
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @coal
    You're relevant in my eyes uWu