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Saturday, July 2, 2011

A water district survey that just seems wrong

Water survey screenshot The Santa Clara Valley Water District is sending around postcards pointing at a web survey. Here, they provide seven items and seven ways to rate them. What's amazing is that instead of having them come right out and say "in which order should we address things, if you had your way", they make this confusing 7x7 grid.

Apparently they have set things up so that you can say things are "not at all important". You can say this for such gems as flood control, improvement of infrastructure, dealing with mercury and pharmaceuticals, bettering wildlife, and creating jobs. Why would anyone ever say those issues are anything but important?

If you say "extremely important" to everything, they'll probably treat it as garbage. If you try to impose a stack rank based on available inputs, it'll probably be misinterpreted.

Here's my message to those in the SCVWD: do the right thing. Don't be evil. Heal the badness from those who came before you. Set up long-term goodness for those who will follow us. Don't be afraid to ask for help.