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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-01-07 05:22 AM
Original message
I want my own conspiracy theory. What if the software for voting on
American Idol has really been a testing to work out the bugs on software used in voting machines?

Discuss.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-01-07 05:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. don't get me started on idol voting
you vote for the one you want to KEEP, but they then use that to determine the one to ELIMINATE. that's just the first flaw....
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-01-07 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Sounds like several election systems
What's your problem with that?
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-01-07 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. not sure what you're comparing it to, as if something else is better just because it's used
anyway, one of the problems with idol's voting scheme is that each week is an elimination competition. which would be fine except that you vote for someone you'd like to keep.

strategy then is potentially very confusing. your early favorite might be a shoe-in to make it through the first few rounds, so no need to vote for that person. perhaps it is better to form a bloc with your friends; some of you vote for your hero and others vote for the "obvious" loser. this increases the odds of a "surprise" elimination. a good contestant might get eliminated just because they got overlooked; no one really wanted them to go, but no one thought they were initially worth voting on given the peculiar interpretation of the vote.

those "surprise" eliminations are the key "flaw" to the design -- i put "flaw" in quotes because no matter how surprised the judges pretend to be, i think it was engineered to produce such results on occassion. think of it this way. 100 million votes are cast, the 6 idols get 34, 28, 24, 8, 3.5, 2.5 million votes. that means that the elimination was decided based on 1% of the votes. not too much problem in the early rounds, but as it goes in it gets tighter and tighter.

throw in a bit of (intentional?) busy signals and the finals are REALLY tight!


anyway, it's a fundamental principal of voting, that your vote should be counted for what it was intended to represent.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-01-07 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. It's quite like Instant Runoff Voting
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_vote

It's even more like the way the Conservative Party in the UK elects its leader:

If more than two candidates stand, then MPs first hold a series of ballots to reduce the number to two. On each round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. (If two or more candidates tie for last place, as happened in the 2001 contest, then the ballot is repeated, and if the tie remains, all bottom-placed candidates are eliminated.) Candidates may also withdraw between rounds (this also happened in the 2001 contest).

The series of ballots by MPs continues until there are only two candidates remaining.

source


You want people to phone in to say "I think X is the worst - dump them". That might be acceptable for a program like "Big Brother", where it's all about disliking people anyway, but in theory this is meant to be finding a good singer - so they ask people to vote for people they like. By making people vote positively rather than negatively, they hope that the person left will be liked - and thus will actually sell records. If they've been asking people to think "which of these is bad" for several weeks, people will think negatively about the winner.
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