Air molecules & cost-benefit analysis

we have to design for the worst case, not merely the probable. Therefore, when designing a "room in a house" I have considered the possibility – not forbidden by molecular dynamics – that 90% of the air molecules will move to the other half of the room. That would probably kill you. I demand that all rooms built from now on have safety features so you can quickly grab an air bottle and dive into a protective hole in the floor.
but according to my calculations, that is a very improbable event, which will probably never occur (indeed, even 1% of the air moving will probably never occur) during the history of the universe. So even though your life is very valuable and the cost of building your safety mechanism is only $1000, the benefit is not worth the cost. In fact, not even close.

The above laughable conversation would never happen. But yet, the exactly analogous conversation is going on right now in the range voting "blanks versus zeros" debate. The "improbable event" that is likely to be avoided in our universe, is analysed here. The source of the improbability is the large number of air molecules (or voters) – statistics of large numbers become near-certain, often called the "zero-one law". But as this URL showed, even with only 100 voters and very generous-to-my-critics assumptions, we get enormous improbability for the "stealth candidate" bogeyman that those who hate having X-blanks in range voting, fear.

The benefit of trying to rule out those nightmares-caused-by-blanks scenarios is thus extremely small. But we have to weigh that small benefit against a cost which is not at all small – namely – that, say, some worse judge will get elected purely because he is better known because he has more publicity because he has more money because he has collected more bribes – while his opponent gets 0s from those voters who do not know about him.

This event is not implausible. I would venture to say it has already happened many times in the history of the universe. In fact even in the history of just my county during the last 50 years.

Weigh the benefit of eliminating blanks against the cost. It is not close. Keep the X-blank option.

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