Monday, July 21, 2008

What do you vote when no one is looking?

On June 18th, I gave some thoughts on voting as we were about to go into the voting stage for the Miami Road Racer Competition.

I want to add to those thoughts that I gave in that post by discussing another interesting trend in voting.

Ever wonder what happens when a politician goes behind the ballot box curtain?









(The Governator Casting his Vote)







(The Governator's Wife about to Vote - Who did she support? Her Party or Her Husband?)


Do you ever wonder whether Ronald Reagan voted for the other guy? What about Franklin Roosevelt? Winston Churchill?

When it is "he or I" that is going to win, this notion of "altruism" seems quaint if not unlikely, but what about when there are many competitors, and the scale is not "yes or no" but rather "0-5"? Sound familiar?

Yes, this is in fact a description of the Local Motors Competition Ballot Box and I want to discuss the behavior that we have begun to observe. Several, NOT ALL, of our competitive designers have entered the fray of a competition.

For this bravura they are all to be congratulated. However, when some cast their first votes for others' designs they put a little tarnish on their objectivity by voting a "5" for their own design and a "0 or 1" for 50 others.

We talk about this alot at the LM HQ. Thinking your design is the best, is perhaps understood, natural, and a likely outcome of sleeping with your own ideas night after night, but disparaging equally all other works when they are clearly distinct is transparent, self serving, and not very honest.

This unfair "disparagement" is even more abstruse when the comments made along with the votes show clear distinction between different projects and often great praise.

So.... not an outright scolding, but a kind reminder to everyone: be faithful in your voting pattern. If you were only to win based on the extra artificial boost you alone gave to your design by putting down all others, is that really a win you would be happy with?

What if instead you voted with your conscience fully intact by judging others on their merits (perhaps even voting other designs above your own), and then - VOILA - you won! Wouldn't that be something to write home about?

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