Friday, 5 October 2012

Condorcet. James Condorcet

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Condorcet, James Condorcet ~

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Condorcet was a key figure in the age of French enlightenment and rationalism, but had a bit of a hard time of it, dying a mysterious death shortly after the French revolution in 1794.

That's him down in the right-hand corner, a suitably shadowy figure.

As a philosopher, mathematician and one of the first political scientists, he came up with some useful principles on fair voting and genuine results, as well as the Condorcet Paradox.

This latter shows that majority preferences become intransitive with three or more options – it is possible for a certain electorate to express a preference for A over B, a preference for B over C, and a preference for C over A, all from the same set of ballots.

Huh? It's the same as you saying you prefer Paris to New York, New York to London, but London to Paris. Illogical captain. How can this be possible? Well, it's easy enough, if you just introduce a bit of real world context.

You might prefer Paris to New York for its history, New York to London for its vibrancy, but London to Paris at Christmas because your family always meets up there... Similar circumstances can be imagined for the three election candidates above, based on their stances on various issues as well as their broader political allegiances.

Towering above Condorcet is Bond, Daniel Bond, in a similar stance. Paris loves to surprise me with these intemporal coincidences, and does so all the time. As it were.

Which isn't bad because it allows us one more illustration of the Condorcet Paradox. I'm quite certain, given the choice of three equally alluring Bond girls, Mr. B could see fit to prefer any one of them over the other two, for any number of reasons, corporal or otherwise...

Thus endeth, as many paradoxes do, the mystery with the ultimate solution defying logic of any type: we're only human!

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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