Monday, May 15, 2023

An ideal learning community(?)

"The fundamental academic freedom is the freedom to study according to one’s convictions and interests. Those who are called ‘teachers’ are essentially experienced and continuing students who have special responsibilities to those less experienced of their fellows who are called ‘students’; study is both a private and a public activity, involving discussion in speech and writing with one’s fellows to achieve a better development of one’s understanding and in some circumstances an assessment of that understanding for the sake of public recognition."

- Peter Campbell, 'Affluence, Academic Authority, and University Government' Political Studies (1975), at p. 147.

One of my colleagues has been known to say something along these lines at open days. I'm not sure how it goes down with prospective students, being told that they'll pay over £9,000 per year to learn from those who are still learning themselves, though it is of course true - we are all studying continually.

Friday, May 05, 2023

Why my vote wasn't counted

I didn't vote yesterday, but that's because I registered for postal voting and had posted my ballot last week. As it turns out, the election in my ward was declared void when one of the candidates died. My condolences to his family.

I didn't hear the news until later, and I doubt that many did, so I don't know how much effect it would have had one voting. However, this does highlight some interesting things about voting.

First, discussions of contraction consistency sometimes consider the effect of one candidate withdrawing. It is sometimes assumed that if A wins a three-way contest between A, B, and C then A should also beat B (or C) in a two-way contest. But this is not the case in many voting systems.

Second, this case also highlights the fact that - in the UK - voters elect individuals, not parties. If the votes were cast for the Conservative Party, rather than for Mr Galton, then he could presumably be replaced with another party nominee. But the votes are for the individual. This is relevant when elected officials decide to change party. It is sometimes suggested that this ought to trigger a by-election, though this is not the case.

Monday, May 01, 2023

Mordheim undead

I haven't posted any hobby content in a while, but I just finished painting this set of undead heroes for Mordheim and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out: