The Mathematical World of C.L. Dodgson

On voting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2038&v=wYjnUDV3pTM

2019-10-22: Below you find text (2018-05-13) moved from https://snrk.de/page_the-new-belfry#voting to this blog article.

I think that Carroll/Dodgson tried to fight against apodictic assertiveness and oversimplification not only using nonsense but also mathematics. He expected decisions to have a solid base – like fair voting:

One small part of Dodgson’s work, though, has impressed social scientists: his analysis of the mathematics of voting. His interest in the topic was sparked by the deliberations of his colleagues at Christ Church over such matters as how to choose a new belfry. Dodgson’s pamphlets on voting were largely ignored until 1958, when a British economist, Duncan Black, noticed that there had been nothing so good on the topic since just after the French Revolution.

https://www.economist.com/node/11662202, 2009

Ostensibly, [Dodgson] was pondering the best way for the governing body of Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a tutor in mathematics, to decide on the design for a controversial belfry, and to pick new members of the college. […] For college elections, Dodgson first proposed a version of Borda‚Äôs method, and also a version of Condorcet‚Äôs (though he appears not to have known about Borda‚Äôs and Condorcet‚Äôs work). Later, he developed an interest in politics beyond the walls of Christ Church, and, in the eighteen-eighties, he tried to find ways to secure equitable representation in Parliament for minorities.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/07/26/win-or-lose, 2010

Dodgson’s method of taking votes on more than two issues (1876) attempts to find winners in case initially there is no winner. The method was applied at Christ Church college for a small number of candidates. However, for large lists of choices, the rearranging of candidates (until a winner is found) requires a computing power which surely was not available then. And in 2006 it still was a challenge (see McCabe-Dansted below).