Technically Exists

The motivation behind SPSV, part 1


This blog post has been adapted from a series of posts written for r/SimDemocracy.

Sequential proportional score voting (SPSV) is a multi-winner voting method and a form of proportional representation. Like score voting, it uses rated ballots, and it is party-agnostic, meaning it does not take into account which parties the candidates are from. Currently, the only known instance of this method being used is the subreddit r/SimDemocracy, which uses it to elect its legislature.

Before SimDemocracy used SPSV, it used a method known as bloc score. This method was simpler to understand, but it had major issues when it came to electing a senate that represents the voters. This occurred because it was not a proportional method.

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The NPVIC, RCV-1, and Maine


The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) aims to subvert the Electoral College and elect the president of the U.S. by popular vote. It would accomplish this by having the states that signed on give their electoral votes to whichever candidate won the popular vote. However, the way it defines the popular vote assumes that all states will use single-choice plurality voting in their presidential elections. This is a problem, because Maine has switched its presidential elections to use single-winner ranked choice voting (RCV-1), also known as instant runoff voting.

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Quadratic voting and types of one person, one vote


In a previous post, I laid out a hierarchy of three different possible meanings of one person, one vote (OPOV). The 1st level of OPOV required that each voter have exactly one ballot. The 2nd level required that each ballot have the same weight. Finally, the 3rd level required each possible ballot to be perfectly cancelled out by another possible ballot. I also created a combination Euler/pyramid diagram to demonstrate the relationship visually:

One person, one vote diagram

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Soul harvester


Epistemic status: fiction

Most people believe that the soul is the essence of a person. These people are wrong. The essence of a person is their consciousness, and consciousness is merely a complex and intricate set of computations occurring in the brain. The reason so many believe this myth regarding souls arises from the consequences of removing one.

The exact results vary from procedure to procedure, but what they all have in common is the destruction of the patient’s consciousness. In some cases the patient simply dies. In others they enter a permanent coma-like state. And for some procedures, the results are… best left unsaid.

The issue that all of these procedures encounter is related to the soul’s dependence on a person’s consciousness. Without a consciousness to shape it, a soul would merely be a small and unremarkable reservoir of magical energy. However, magical energy shaped directly by consciousness becomes incredibly useful.

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Why 1 is not prime


Modern mathematicians have come to the consensus that the number 1 is not a prime number. However, many people still believe that 1 is in fact prime. This belief is justified by definitions like

a prime number is a positive whole number that is only divisible by 1 and itself

and indeed, under this definition 1 would be prime. However, most definitions are worded to exclude 1, usually by specifying that a prime number must be greater than 1.1

But why make the definition more complicated just to prevent 1 from being a prime number? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just say it is prime? Well, it turns out that treating 1 as a prime number is quite awkward as it lacks many properties that all prime numbers have. This post will go over four of those properties, and in doing so will hopefully make the exclusion of 1 less of a mystery.

  1. Some definitions instead say that prime numbers have exactly two positive integer factors, which I find to be a much more natural means of excluding 1 from the primes. Nonetheless, requiring primes to be greater than 1 seems to be more common; Wikipedia, Wolfram|Alpha, and Wolfram MathWorld all use this option. 

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