Monday, November 6, 2000

Electoral College Redux

In my News Item of November 3rd, I talked about the mathematician who has published his proof that the Electoral College is a good thing. On the way in to work this morning, I realized that I'd neglected two things:

  • Most of the reportage, including the article I cite, only summarizes the notion of the proof (and discusses what the EC is supposed to do), so it still needs to be defined what Natapoff thinks is good about the the Electoral College that he has 'proven'. It is clear from the article that he thinks without the EC our country would be a chaos of opposing factions, but I would like a more precise definition of the proof's boundaries.
  • While the proof has been published, it has yet to undergo the rigors of peer criticism (other than the peer review of the journal editors). Several proofs of theorems, like the Four Color Theorem, have fallen in the past once the mass of mathematicians have gotten their hands on them.

So whether I agree with the EC or not, the jury is still out...

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