Fooled by randomness


Rick Jelliffe’s “Name ’em and shame ’em! Non-voters on recent SC34 ballots” covers the actual facts of recent SC34 activity, which various parties have tried to stitch together to support their agendas. As usual, his post needs no explanation; here’s an excerpt:


So lets actually look at the NBs that failed to vote, and compare to their vote on DIS 29500 (Open XML) as far as I can figure it out. I’ll use the ballot results on the recent NVDL draft corrigendum as an example.

The countries that voted Yes on DIS 29500 but failed to vote on NVDL DCOR = 12: Bulgaria, Côte-d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Egypt, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malta, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Venezuela

The countries that voted No on DIS 29500 but failed to vote on NVDL DCOR = 9: Brazil, China, France, India, Korea, Norway, New Zealand, Thailand, South Africa

The countries that abstained on DIS 29500 but failed to vote on NVDL DCOR = 2: Chile, Trinidad and Tobago

So both sides are equally slack. What did you expect the result to be? If you expected it to show that the MS stooge countries were pretty bad, while the valiant anti-OOXML forces were pretty good it shows you have drunk the Kool-aid, with all gentle respect. Some-one says something based on no objective evidence, but if it accords with what has been said enough times before, people think “That sounds about right”: but what if what was said before also had no objective evidence, that there is a chain or ripple of make-believe and demonization that merely emotifies foregone conclusions?

It’s so easy to be fooled by randomness sometimes.