Re: limiting our set of cities

Keith Moore <> Thu, 20 February 2020 17:57 UTC

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Subject: Re: limiting our set of cities
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From: Keith Moore <>
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Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 12:57:15 -0500
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On 2/20/20 9:13 AM, Christian Hopps wrote:

>> On Feb 20, 2020, at 8:17 AM, Keith Moore <> wrote:
>> On 2/20/20 7:46 AM, Christian Hopps wrote:
>>> I think that we should pick the top 12-16 locations that participants are from, then for each destination prior to it being considered we calculate the travel PAIN (cost + time) for that set of participants.
>> Why favor participants from large cities?   It's not like they're representative of the whole group.
> By trying to make it easier for the most people, of course it's going to be helping areas with the most people. The point is to obtain a list of sites to measure travel cost and time from.
I think that's statistically incorrect.   The likely effect of what you 
propose would be to artificially discourage participation by people not 
living in large cities.
>> Also, different participants have different ideas of pain.
> I think it's reasonable to equate "painful" with travel time and cost.

For me, pain includes those things but also includes things like the 
availability of food that is compatible with my diet.   And not just 
travel time but discomfort, which is nonlinearly related to travel time.

> Do we really want people who love to travel and couldn't care less where we go to be diluting the "pain pool" for the measurement?
I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't have a preference about where they 
travel.   But I think that letting everyone decide for themselves what 
is painful and whether the meeting location is an effective enough place 
to work to justify the trip, is much better than having one person 
unilaterally declare what the criteria should be.
>> A fairer method would be to poll every participant about their preferences for future meeting cities, then for each meeting, pick N polled participants at random from those who have attended the last M meetings (locally or remotely), and select from the cities show up in their preference lists.
> Ok as long as N is large and M is reasonable. But making N large is just going to skew to large metro areas being heavily represented anyway. *shrug*

The difference is that the chance of considering a small city as a 
location would be in proportion to the number of attendees from small 

But I also think that minimizing pain (however defined) is not the right 
overall criterion - it should instead be to maximize effective 
participation (of which pain is certainly a factor but not the only 
one).   Granted, that quantity is even harder to define than pain.   But 
several people have observed that the meeting venue has a lot of effect 
on the ability to get work done.