August 7, 2003
Ernest Miller (of Lawmeme) and Fred von Lohmann (of EFF) have joined the fun on pho. I’m reposting their messages here – they’re really insightful.
In discussions like these, I quickly realize my limits. I can’t immediately and conclusively say anything on the technicalities they bring up – I’m not a statistics whiz, so I can’t say for sure that sampling or censuses or audits will fix everything. For instance, I don’t know if Aaron Swartz’s recent point about power laws is right or wrong or can be compensated for in some way. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do some research on it later. Perhaps Professor Fisher will incorporate some commentary on these issues into his next draft.
For now, I can just enjoy their insights and try to think them out, slowly. I’m most interested in getting the proposal on the table, so that we can start trying to figure these problems out. There is no Answer, but I think we can get a lot closer. This open dialogue is, I hope, part of that process.
I will try to continually update this. If someone would like their comments taken down, I will do so – I’ve posted everyone’s comments so far.
Update: Plenty to digest here. I have updated the post to include more of the messages. I included most every email, although I did leave out some that reiterated points already made by others, or strayed from the basic topics. If you are reading or writing on pho and think I missed something, please write to me.