Last week was my baptism as a blogger. The astuteness and vigor of many of the reactions I got seemed to me dwarf even the most successful academic workshop presentations I have had. To be sure, in bluntness too the reactions dwarfed what I am used from a workshop presentation, and did occasionally make me wince, but the tradeoff seems well worth it.
It was astonishing to receive not just ingenious hypothetical variations that I had never thought of (like someone’s suggestion of a bargain in which the prisoner’s brother agrees to serve his term for him) but also referrals to books, newspaper accounts and internet sites I did not know anything about.
Some readers obviously were annoyed by my habit of closing the first four posts of the week with what I thought was no more than a teasing invitation to look at the book on which they were based. They felt badgered. If you are one of those readers, I apologize. That’s a problem for us novice contributors to the blogosphere: we don’t yet have a sense of how something comes across. Next time I’ll know better.
Obviously I can’t respond in detail to the plethora of interesting points raised. I will just have to limit myself to those I judge to be of the widest possible interest.
Some Last Words on Loopholes:
Many readers rightly remained puzzled how exactly I conceive of the analogy between killer amendments and loopholes. Perhaps I erred in trying to condense the gist of the analogy within the confines of a post. Nailing it down actually takes me a fair number of pages in the book itself. But let me try to give more of a glimpse of how the analogy works.
Killer amendments illustrate a ubiquitous feature of voting rules: a [...]