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[Computational Complexity] Voting on the Web- Beware Colbert

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  • GASARCH
    What do The Hungarian Government, NASA, and my nephew have in common? (this is not a joke) They all lack an understanding of voting on the web. - In 2006 The
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 27 9:20 AM
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      What do The Hungarian Government, NASA, and my nephew have in common? (this is not a joke) They all lack an understanding of voting on the web.
      1. In 2006 The Hungarian Government set up a website to take a vote on what to name a particular Bridge in Hungary. Stephen Colbert urged his viewers to vote for The Stephen Colbert Bridge. (At the time The Chuck Norris Bridge was leading in the vote.) The Government overturned it since Colbert is not Hungarian and he is not dead. They should have NOT allowed writeins OR not have an election.
      2. In 2009 NASA set up a website to have a vote on what to name a room on the international space station. They already had two of the three rooms named: Unity and Harmony. I've read that they were hoping the last one would be Serenity- claiming that they wanted world peace to be a theme, though I think they were fans of the TV show Firefly. Once again Stephen Colbert urged his viewers to vote for Colbert. And this name won. NASA could overturn this (they will decide in April). I've read on websites statements like Stephen Colbert embarrassed NASA and NASA made the mistake of allowing writeins. However, if they just go with Colbert and say they are happy with it this will be far less embarrassing then overturning the vote. I hope the don't overturn it. But if they do then why have an election in the first place? They can say It was only a Poll but it sure looks like a election to me. But, to be fair, they have not overturned it yet so I can't be mad... yet.
      3. When my nephew's wife was pregnant my nephew set up a website for people to vote on the name of the baby. No, Stephen Colbert did not urge his viewers to vote for Stephen as first name and Colbert as middle name. And my nephew did not allow writeins. But they didn't end up using the top vote getter! This upset the family terribly if by the family you mean Bill Gasarch and by upset you mean told them that they destroyed democracy. They named the kid George even though Al had won (this is a joke, though the rest of the story is true).
      Hungary was just naive in a transitional time for things like these. NASA has less of an excuse. Both did not realize that you cannot control votes on the web. And my nephew did not realize that once you hold an election, if you overturn your results, you might get your uncle annoyed.

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      Posted By GASARCH to Computational Complexity at 3/27/2009 11:20:00 AM
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