As usual, there was a Kleroterian presence at the recent annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. There was a panel featuring one paper by myself and Scott Wentland, another paper by Jan-Willem Burgers, and one more by Melissa Schwartzberg (not sure if she’d call herself a Kleroterian, but she’s definitely sympathetic). Eric MacGilvray chaired the session (ditt0), and we received some excellent comments by Jack Knight. A very successful conference panel, I’d say. We also had an excellent Thai dinner the night before. It was attended by me, Scott, Jan, Eric, and Kleroterian Mindy Peden. I posted a picture of the event on the group’s Facebook page:
The response to the conference paper (which is very much a work in progress) has me thinking that there is a lot more work to be done on the way that randomization can influence political decision-making. Much of that influence comes from the fact that it induces a form of ignorance–it prevents people from knowing something. That can be good or bad; if you select jurors by lot, then you don’t know their race or partisan affiliation, but you also don’t know their intelligence or ability either. The goal of injecting randomness into politics is to ensure as much of the good effects of ignorance while minimizing the potential bad effects. It could take a lot of work to sort all that out, on a theoretical level at least.
Oh, and my book was for sale at the conference as well. Let’s not forget that. Buy your copy today! [Here -Yoram]