This is a neat idea. Suddenly, though, I am reminded of one of the classic voting paradoxes--this approach to ranking the great works (or kittens ) is more or less equivalent, on average, to the Condorcet method of voting , where every candidate faces every other candidate in a simple majority election, and the winner of the overall election is the one who wins the plurality of pairwise contests. One problem with the approach is that you could end up in a situation where, on average, the population thinks that candidate A is better than candidate B, B is better than C, and C is better than A -- the so-called Condorcet Paradox .
On the other hand, it's been proved that no social choice technique can meet all of the desirable properties of an ideal voting system, if there are more than two candidates , so pick your poison, I guess.
>> Eric Lease Morgan <[log in to unmask]> 11/4/2010 9:12 AM >>>
In an effort to answer the question, "How 'great' are the Great Books?", I have created the beginnings of a crowd sourced survey, and it would be "great" if y'all were to beta test it for me -- http://bit.ly/bPQHIg
The list of Great Books of the Western World was based on 102 "great ideas". My survey randomly selects one of the great ideas, two of the Great Books, and asks the you to select the "greater" work. All the while it returns "your" great books as well as the overall cumulative results. So far Montaigne's Essays is the "greatest" with Shakespeare's Antony And Cleopatra close behind.
What I'm trying to do underneath is compare people's opinions with a mathematical model based on TFIDF. After getting enough votes (100's of thousands, if not more) I want to see how well the model coincides with people's perceptions.
I'm also looking for ways to make the survey more fun to use. If y'all could give me any suggestions, then at would be... great.
Vote early. Vote often. It's easy. If everybody here answered 10 survey questions, that would result in close to 15,000 votes. The more you vote the more interesting your results will be.
Eric Lease Morgan
University of Notre Dame