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22 APRIL 2011

The History of Instant Runoff Voting ('Alternative Vote' in Australia)

"The key the to the development of instant runoff voting (IRV) was the invention of the single transferable vote (STV) in the 1850's by Thomas Hare in England and Carl Andrae in Denmark. The essence of STV is the concept that a citizen would have one vote in a particular contest, but that that vote might be transferred from one candidate to another according to each voter's ranking of candidates, depending on the aggregate result of other voters' ballots. Hare devised this balloting and counting procedure in creating a system of proportional representation.

IRV, however, is not a system of proportional representation. Instead, IRV uses the STV innovation in a winner–take–all context. Instant runoff voting, using a preference ballot, was invented by an American, W. R. Ware, a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, around 1870. The first known use of IRV in a governmental election was in 1893 in Queensland, Australia. However, this was a modified version of IRV in which all candidates except the top two were eliminated in a batch rather than sequentially, as in the pure form of IRV. The 'staggered runoff' concept that we understand today as IRV was first used in Western Australia in 1908.

IRV, called 'alternative vote' in Australia, came to be used in most Australian legislative elections, although it was superseded by Hare's STV system of proportional representation for the federal Senate. IRV is still used for electing members of the lower house. IRV is also used in other nations, such as Ireland. In the United Kingdom, the Jenkins Commission, appointed by the new government, released their report October 29 that recommends the use of IRV for electing the House of Commons (with proportional representation achieved through the election of additional members based on the popular vote for parties nationally). ...

The single transferable vote is a more common voting procedure in the U.S. than most of us realize. Even the Academy Awards uses STV in determining their finalists. The American Political Science Association (APSA), the organization of political science professors, uses IRV to elect their national president, since political scientists understand that IRV is the fairest and simplest way to elect a single winner from a field of candidates."

(Center for Voting and Democracy, Washington, D.C.)

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TAGS

1850s1893advocacyAlternative Vote • American Political Science Association • APSA • Australia • Australian Federal Senate • Australian Lower House • Carl Andrae • contest • counting procedure • Denmark • election • fairnessHouse of CommonsInstant Runoff VotingIRV • Jenkins Commission • legislative elections • Massachusetts Institute of TechnologymisrepresentationParliamentpolicypolitical representationpolitical sciencepoliticspopular vote • preference ballot • proportional representation • QueenslandrankingRepublic of Irelandsimplicity • Single Transferable Vote • single winner • STV • systemThomas HaretransferUKvotingvoting system • W. R. Ware

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 MARCH 2011

Marshall McLuhan predicts 'world connectivity'

"We waste too much time racing from home to office, says Marshall McLuhan, an English professor at the University of Toronto who's becoming known internationally for his study on the effects of media. Society's obsession with files and folders forces office workers to make the daily commute from the suburbs to downtown. McLuhan says the stockbroker is the smart one. He learned some time ago that most business may be conducted from anywhere if done by phone. McLuhan's prescient knowledge: In the future, people will no longer only gather in classrooms to learn but will also be moved by 'electronic circuitry.'"

(Marshall McLuhan, 1965)

Medium: Television; Programme: CBC Television: Take 30; Broadcast Date: April 1, 1965; Hosts: George Garlock, Paul Soles; Guest(s): Marshall McLuhan; Duration: 3:25

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 NOVEMBER 2009

Mechanical animal reproduction - Patent 6695673

"According to the present invention, a mechanical animal simulating structure comprises a head and a tongue carried by the head, wherein the tongue includes at least one duct issuing within the zone of the tongue tip into at least one first orifice. An end of the tongue away from the tip issuing into at least one second orifice is connected to a liquid tank. A selectively driven suction device sucks liquid through the first orifice into the duct. The tongue is displaceably supported at the head and connected to a drive system that selectively displaces the tongue to extend from, or retract into, the head.

The invention offers the advantage of imitating in a life–like manner by mechanical simulation the actions carried out by real animals. The simulated mechanical animal of the invention includes an additional function, namely accepting liquid such as water from an external container, for instance a cup, to provide a greater range of playfulness and hence a greater play value. The user can bring a container, for instance filled with water, near the mechanical simulator, or reversely the simulated mechanism can approach the water–filled container, in such manner that the first orifice on the tongue tip dips into the water. By activating the suction device, the water is then sucked from the container through the first orifice, the duct and through the second orifice into the liquid receptacle of the simulated animal, thereby giving the impression that the mechanical animal is slurping or splashing water to reduce its thirst."

(FreePatentsOnline.com)

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TAGS

Andreas Stadbauer • bodyconstructiondevicedogdrinkingengineering • FreePatentsOnline • industrial designinnovationlifelikemechanical animalmechanism • orifice • patentproduct designrobotsimulationsolutionsystemtechnologytongue

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 OCTOBER 2009

JISC infoNet : What are e-Portfolios?

"If portfolios are 'simply a collection of documents relating to a learner's progress, development and achievements' (Beetham 2005) then e–portfolios could be defined as simply digital collections of these documents. However, ideas of what an e–portfolio 'is' are complex and to an extent the definition and purpose will vary depending on the perspective from which a particular person is approaching the concept. Consensus is beginning to grow as experience of e–portfolios develops which will help converge these different ideas and definitions.

"An e–portfolio is a purposeful aggregation of digital items – ideas, evidence, reflections, feedback etc, which 'presents' a selected audience with evidence of a person's learning and/or ability." Sutherland and Powell (2007)

A helpful starting point is to distinguish between e–portfolios as products, e–portfolios as tools or systems and the processes associated with e–portfolio development although they are intrinsically linked and in the case of product and process, interdependent.

Essentially then, an e–portfolio is a product created by learners, a collection of digital artefacts articulating learning (both formal and informal), experiences and achievements. Learners create 'presentational' e–portfolios by using e–portfolio tools or systems. As part of this production process, learners can be inherently supported to develop one or more key skills such as collecting, selecting, reflecting, sharing, collaborating, annotating and presenting – these can be described as e–portfolio–related processes. Definitions of an e–portfolio tend to include the concepts of learners drawing from both informal and formal learning activities to create their e–portfolios, which are personally managed and owned by the learner, and where items can be selectively shared with other parties such as peers, teachers, assessors and employers."

(JISC infoNet, UK)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 OCTOBER 2009

Wish You Were Here! Postcards from our Awesome Future

"Packard Jennings and Steve Lambert asked architects, city planners, and transportation engineers, 'what would you do if you didn't have to worry about budgets, beauracracy, politics, or physics?' Ideas from these conversations were then merged, developed, and perhaps mildly exaggerated by Steve and Packard to create a series of 6 posters for the San Francisco Arts Commission's Art on Market Street Program"
(Steven Lambert, November 2007)

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TAGS

2007architectureconstructionenvironmentfantasticfantasyformfuturistic • Packard Jennings • postcardSan Franciscospace • Steven Lambert • structuresystem

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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