Word of the Week #111:

Amend

Okay, consider the following situation:

A sports club has 3 coaches and 100 players, and they need to decide the colour of their uniforms.

Coach A wants it to be Yellow.
Coach B wants it to be Blue.
Coach C wants it to be Red.

Since they cannot decide it among themselves, they get the players to vote.

Such democracy… Much wow…

Coach A gets 44 votes.
Coach B gets 35 votes.
Coach C gets 19 votes.

The numbers do not add up? Well, there are always a couple of guys who chose to write in different responses. It happens.

Now, one would be tempted to jump on the phone and order 100 yellow uniforms, plus spares, perhaps? It seems to be the logical conclusion, does it not?

However, is it actually fair to override the wishes of 56 of the players, and force them to wear a uniform that they do not view as an apt representation? Is it the right way to inculcate team spirit?

What happens if Coach B and Coach C come together and suggest a jersey with Blue and Red stripes, which represent the wishes of a larger section of the players? Is that better?

On one hand, 54 is better than 44; on the other, nobody actually voted for that specific combination.

What if Coach C concedes defeat, since he clearly lacks support, and the players are then asked to vote for either A or B?

Apparently, this is what they do in France. And no, this is not a ‘France surrenders’ joke. Take a look at their Presidential Election, for context.

Now, with a possible swing of 21 votes, the results could vary significantly. One could say that these new results are a better representation of what the players want, but we have still not solved the concern about the dissatisfaction of the losing side…

To begin with, does a single vote truly and completely represent the wishes of an individual? Seems like an extreme case of oversimplification, to me.

What if a player X loves Blue, hates Yellow, and is somewhat fond of Red? His single vote for Blue does not capture the rest of his preference.

People are complex, you know.

Perhaps being able to assign a grade to each option would be a better representation?

I agree. Democracy is long, messy and annoying, and too many people seem it interpret it in their own ways.

But for now, it is the best we have.

And if it does not work for everyone, it does not work.

At the end of the day, we are all in the same team.

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Word of the Week #32:

Pinata

This, right now, is the exact moment when the first state of US begins to vote for their new president.

Yeah, apparently the guys at Vermont are quite the early birds…

So, really, it is only fitting that we take a quick look back at the moment that may have, in all probability, sparked off Donald Trump’s campaign to the White House.

Now, how does that related to the aforementioned word?

Well, this was the night, April 30th, 2011, was the night when the US Commander-in-Chief took on the role of the Comedian-in-Chief, and proceeded to smack the Donald with a stick, till the smug exterior shattered, and the crazy inside oozed all over the country.
Continue reading Word of the Week #32:

Word of the Week #31:

Deplorable

With the US presidential election exactly a week away, we take a look at the word that has somehow come to define this entire campaign.

It is kind of amusing how the recent political proceedings have drawn out certain unsavoury elements in our world that we have generally preferred to just ignore. Continue reading Word of the Week #31: