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February 11, 2003

Usenet

God I love Usenet. I know it's not fashionable to like it. It's supposed to be full of junk and trolls. But I have a good newsreader (Gnus) and only frequent groups that have a high signal to noise ratio. One is comp.lang.python, for the Python programming language. The creator of the language, and Benevolent Dictator for Life , Guido Van Rossum, posted a Python Enhancement Proposal a couple of days ago, for a feature he is lukewarm on, saying "if you want this feature, this is your only chance. Vote and let me know."

This one post has generated over 700 posts by my count (which when I think of it, belies my claim of frequenting only groups with a high signal to noise ratio, so never mind), most of which I score down so I never have to see them again. But this post by Laura Creighton, is a quintessential classic post. In it she discusses various voting methods designed to guarantee a winner, and why they fall down when one of the choices is 'do nothing'. It is really interesting, at least to a guy getting minimal sleep!

Posted by dpwakefield at February 11, 2003 06:19 PM