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"Ann S. Brandon" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Ann S. Brandon
Sat, 13 May 2000 23:51:40 -0400
text/plain (56 lines)
I should probably leave this alone, but. . .

[log in to unmask] wrote:

> This makes sense. If they have actually researched the market by going out and
> asking people, then this is not going to be affected by factors such as team-ada
> advising its members that there is a poll available and we should vote in it.

Yes, that's why it's called a "poll:" the researcher polls a random
sample of, in this case, embedded systems programmers.

> Internet polls in general are seriously flawed, simply due to the fact that it
> is so easy for you to email all your friends and acquaintances to tell them what
> to put.

"Poll" is a misnomer: this is a vote.

> I'm not trying to criticise the Ada community for this, it is a good thing in a
> way, but the poll would have been more likely to succeed if people had just been
> left to find it on their own.

I disagree.  In votes, enthusiasm counts. Lobbying helps.  That's why so
many NRA free-and-easy handgun supporters "represent" the American
people in DC when, in fact, most Americans are sick of watching children
shoot each other.

Why?  Because in an election, the candidates who get their constituents
to vote wins.  If in my town of 5,000, 80% of the people don't want
handguns to be easily bought, but only 20% of them vote for the
anti-handgun candidate, while 90% of the happy handgun owners vote for
"their" candidate, as do the other 20% who don't like handguns but do
like the candidate's position on culverts (a hot topic around here),
well, the "handgun candidate" gets elected on a landslide.  That 90% who
vote against handguns control weighs more than the 20% who vote for it.

Hence the difference between a poll and a vote.

The fact that the Ada community leapt to the chance to vote for "their"
candidate is a sign of a robust language.  Would this have happened with

As far as the morality of ballot-stuffing:

1)      You can take the boys and girls out of Chicago, but you can't take
the Chicago out of the boys and girls, and
2)      Some of my best friends stuffed the ballots.

In other words, even in my small town, we have six poll watchers, and
they serve a purpose.  Embedded Systems Programming should've
safeguarded against multiple voting.  Perhaps someone could send them
some Ada code to contain the Chicago constituency.