jodawi: (Default)
The new electronic voting machines are complicated. But don't worry: Octogenarians will be on hand to troubleshoot any technological problems that might arise.

"That's it. I'm voting for the candidate who would flip-flop on sending my son to die, rather than the one who'd do it without hesitation."
jodawi: (Default)
The new electronic voting machines are complicated. But don't worry: Octogenarians will be on hand to troubleshoot any technological problems that might arise.

"That's it. I'm voting for the candidate who would flip-flop on sending my son to die, rather than the one who'd do it without hesitation."
jodawi: (Default)
Eminem's Mosh - anti-Bush, pro-vote music video, somewhat amusing
jodawi: (Default)
Eminem's Mosh - anti-Bush, pro-vote music video, somewhat amusing
jodawi: (persistence of nanowrimo)
take this poll
So Nader might have 50% of the progressive vote, in theory, and none, in practice. Curious humans, the curious little monkeys.

Force drug companies to reveal the results of all studies
"A recent study revealed that teenagers who took a certain antidepressant were more likely to consider suicide. But even more disturbing is the fact that the company responsible for both the drug and the study hid these findings from the public.

Existing laws and regulations make it easy for drug companies to hide the results of studies that might make their products look bad. This means that we could be unknowingly taking medication that might endanger our health or work less effectively than other drugs.

We can’t let the drug companies police themselves any longer! Congress must force the industry to tell us the results of their tests on prescription drugs, so doctors and the public will know about any potential dangers."
jodawi: (persistence of nanowrimo)
take this poll
So Nader might have 50% of the progressive vote, in theory, and none, in practice. Curious humans, the curious little monkeys.

Force drug companies to reveal the results of all studies
"A recent study revealed that teenagers who took a certain antidepressant were more likely to consider suicide. But even more disturbing is the fact that the company responsible for both the drug and the study hid these findings from the public.

Existing laws and regulations make it easy for drug companies to hide the results of studies that might make their products look bad. This means that we could be unknowingly taking medication that might endanger our health or work less effectively than other drugs.

We can’t let the drug companies police themselves any longer! Congress must force the industry to tell us the results of their tests on prescription drugs, so doctors and the public will know about any potential dangers."
jodawi: (heart pool)
Female vs male narcissississts

Do people "drop by" any more?

I kind of would like to have a home where people stopped by and sat about reading or playing with the cats or building odd structures on the table, but perhaps that doesn't happen in homes without children, and perhaps I'm stuck in the ideas of the past.
jodawi: (heart pool)
Female vs male narcissississts

Do people "drop by" any more?

I kind of would like to have a home where people stopped by and sat about reading or playing with the cats or building odd structures on the table, but perhaps that doesn't happen in homes without children, and perhaps I'm stuck in the ideas of the past.
jodawi: (alien answer)
The Unpolitical Animal — via [livejournal.com profile] cyotha
Skepticism about the competence of the masses to govern themselves is as old as mass self-government. Even so, when that competence began to be measured statistically, around the end of the Second World War, the numbers startled almost everyone. ...

Converse claimed that only around ten per cent of the public has what can be called, even generously, a political belief system. He named these people “ideologues,” by which he meant not that they are fanatics but that they have a reasonable grasp of “what goes with what”—of how a set of opinions adds up to a coherent political philosophy. Non-ideologues may use terms like “liberal” and “conservative,” but Converse thought that they basically don’t know what they’re talking about, and that their beliefs are characterized by what he termed a lack of “constraint” ...

... It’s not that people know nothing. It’s just that politics is not what they know.

In the face of this evidence, three theories have arisen. The first is that electoral outcomes, as far as “the will of the people” is concerned, are essentially arbitrary. ...

A second theory is that although people may not be working with a full deck of information and beliefs, their preferences are dictated by something, and that something is élite opinion. Political campaigns, on this theory, are essentially struggles among the élite, the fraction of a fraction of voters who have the knowledge and the ideological chops to understand the substantive differences between the candidates and to argue their policy implications. These voters communicate their preferences to the rest of the electorate by various cues, low-content phrases and images (warm colors, for instance) to which voters can relate, and these cues determine the outcome of the race. Democracies are really oligarchies with a populist face.

The third theory of democratic politics is the theory that the cues to which most voters respond are, in fact, adequate bases on which to form political preferences. People use shortcuts—the social-scientific term is “heuristics”—to reach judgments about political candidates, and, on the whole, these shortcuts are as good as the long and winding road of reading party platforms, listening to candidate debates, and all the other elements of civic duty. Voters use what Samuel Popkin, one of the proponents of this third theory, calls “low-information rationality”—in other words, gut reasoning—to reach political decisions; and this intuitive form of judgment proves a good enough substitute for its high-information counterpart in reflecting what people want. ...

This theory is the most attractive of the three, since it does the most to salvage democratic values from the electoral wreckage Converse described. It gives the mass of voters credit for their decisions by suggesting not only that they can interpret the cues given by the campaigns and the élite opinion-makers but that the other heuristics they use—the candidate seems likable, times are not as good as they were—are actually defensible replacements for informed, logical reasoning. ...

The principal shortcut that people use in deciding which candidates to vote for is, of course, the political party. ...

Bartels has also found that when people do focus on specific policies they are often unable to distinguish their own interests. ...

But who ever does the math? As Popkin points out, everybody uses heuristics, including the élite. Most of the debate among opinion-makers is conducted in shorthand, and even well-informed voters rely on endorsements and party affiliations to make their choices. The very essence of being an ideologue lies in trusting the label—liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. Those are “bundling” terms: they pull together a dozen positions on individual issues under a single handy rubric. They do the work of assessment for you.

Man may not be a political animal, but he is certainly a social animal. Voters do respond to the cues of commentators and campaigners, but only when they can match those cues up with the buzz of their own social group. Individual voters are not rational calculators of self-interest (nobody truly is), and may not be very consistent users of heuristic shortcuts, either. But they are not just random particles bouncing off the walls of the voting booth. Voters go into the booth carrying the imprint of the hopes and fears, the prejudices and assumptions of their family, their friends, and their neighbors. For most people, voting may be more meaningful and more understandable as a social act than as a political act.


Here's where I almost feel like adding commentary.
jodawi: (alien answer)
The Unpolitical Animal — via [livejournal.com profile] cyotha
Skepticism about the competence of the masses to govern themselves is as old as mass self-government. Even so, when that competence began to be measured statistically, around the end of the Second World War, the numbers startled almost everyone. ...

Converse claimed that only around ten per cent of the public has what can be called, even generously, a political belief system. He named these people “ideologues,” by which he meant not that they are fanatics but that they have a reasonable grasp of “what goes with what”—of how a set of opinions adds up to a coherent political philosophy. Non-ideologues may use terms like “liberal” and “conservative,” but Converse thought that they basically don’t know what they’re talking about, and that their beliefs are characterized by what he termed a lack of “constraint” ...

... It’s not that people know nothing. It’s just that politics is not what they know.

In the face of this evidence, three theories have arisen. The first is that electoral outcomes, as far as “the will of the people” is concerned, are essentially arbitrary. ...

A second theory is that although people may not be working with a full deck of information and beliefs, their preferences are dictated by something, and that something is élite opinion. Political campaigns, on this theory, are essentially struggles among the élite, the fraction of a fraction of voters who have the knowledge and the ideological chops to understand the substantive differences between the candidates and to argue their policy implications. These voters communicate their preferences to the rest of the electorate by various cues, low-content phrases and images (warm colors, for instance) to which voters can relate, and these cues determine the outcome of the race. Democracies are really oligarchies with a populist face.

The third theory of democratic politics is the theory that the cues to which most voters respond are, in fact, adequate bases on which to form political preferences. People use shortcuts—the social-scientific term is “heuristics”—to reach judgments about political candidates, and, on the whole, these shortcuts are as good as the long and winding road of reading party platforms, listening to candidate debates, and all the other elements of civic duty. Voters use what Samuel Popkin, one of the proponents of this third theory, calls “low-information rationality”—in other words, gut reasoning—to reach political decisions; and this intuitive form of judgment proves a good enough substitute for its high-information counterpart in reflecting what people want. ...

This theory is the most attractive of the three, since it does the most to salvage democratic values from the electoral wreckage Converse described. It gives the mass of voters credit for their decisions by suggesting not only that they can interpret the cues given by the campaigns and the élite opinion-makers but that the other heuristics they use—the candidate seems likable, times are not as good as they were—are actually defensible replacements for informed, logical reasoning. ...

The principal shortcut that people use in deciding which candidates to vote for is, of course, the political party. ...

Bartels has also found that when people do focus on specific policies they are often unable to distinguish their own interests. ...

But who ever does the math? As Popkin points out, everybody uses heuristics, including the élite. Most of the debate among opinion-makers is conducted in shorthand, and even well-informed voters rely on endorsements and party affiliations to make their choices. The very essence of being an ideologue lies in trusting the label—liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. Those are “bundling” terms: they pull together a dozen positions on individual issues under a single handy rubric. They do the work of assessment for you.

Man may not be a political animal, but he is certainly a social animal. Voters do respond to the cues of commentators and campaigners, but only when they can match those cues up with the buzz of their own social group. Individual voters are not rational calculators of self-interest (nobody truly is), and may not be very consistent users of heuristic shortcuts, either. But they are not just random particles bouncing off the walls of the voting booth. Voters go into the booth carrying the imprint of the hopes and fears, the prejudices and assumptions of their family, their friends, and their neighbors. For most people, voting may be more meaningful and more understandable as a social act than as a political act.


Here's where I almost feel like adding commentary.
jodawi: (Default)
Study: The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters - October 21, 2004 [PDF] — via [livejournal.com profile] wispfox

- So the Bush administration is effective at creating its own reality, at least for half of the population (of the US). Iraq doesn't cooperate with the reality, so constant energy has to be expended in shoring up the created reality.

Perhaps more interesting would be a similar study about something like US military / economic history broken down by Kerry supporters and people who don't support either Bush or Kerry.

We don't find intelligent life in the universe because you only have to be dimly sentient before you can create nuclear weapons and worse.
jodawi: (Default)
Study: The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters - October 21, 2004 [PDF] — via [livejournal.com profile] wispfox

- So the Bush administration is effective at creating its own reality, at least for half of the population (of the US). Iraq doesn't cooperate with the reality, so constant energy has to be expended in shoring up the created reality.

Perhaps more interesting would be a similar study about something like US military / economic history broken down by Kerry supporters and people who don't support either Bush or Kerry.

We don't find intelligent life in the universe because you only have to be dimly sentient before you can create nuclear weapons and worse.
jodawi: (am jodwi)
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
— Bertrand Russell

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
— Francis Bacon

How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!
— Homer

As he left, he realized that he was wiser than this man because even though neither of them had any knowledge to boast of, the man thinks that he does, whereas Socrates is aware that he doesn't.
jodawi: (am jodwi)
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
— Bertrand Russell

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
— Francis Bacon

How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!
— Homer

As he left, he realized that he was wiser than this man because even though neither of them had any knowledge to boast of, the man thinks that he does, whereas Socrates is aware that he doesn't.
jodawi: (Default)
"Without a Doubt" — via [livejournal.com profile] firecat


This is the best article on Bush I've ever seen I think. If you're puzzled why he has 50% of the vote, this one's for you.

In related news, the way to battle him is probably not with facts and reality, but by attempting to convince people he's a deluded pawn of Satan. Which he is.
jodawi: (Default)
"Without a Doubt" — via [livejournal.com profile] firecat


This is the best article on Bush I've ever seen I think. If you're puzzled why he has 50% of the vote, this one's for you.

In related news, the way to battle him is probably not with facts and reality, but by attempting to convince people he's a deluded pawn of Satan. Which he is.
jodawi: (Default)
Wall Street Journal reporter Fassihi's e-mail to friends — via [livejournal.com profile] indigopowder
Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.

I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad.
...

The Iraqi government is talking about having elections in three months while half of the country remains a 'no go zone'-out of the hands of the government and the Americans and out of reach of journalists. In the other half, the disenchanted population is too terrified to show up at polling stations. The Sunnis have already said they'd boycott elections, leaving the stage open for polarized government of Kurds and Shiites that will not be deemed as legitimate and will most certainly lead to civil war.

I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree elect a leadership. His response summed it all: "Go and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?"
Garbage In, Garbage Out
jodawi: (Default)
Wall Street Journal reporter Fassihi's e-mail to friends — via [livejournal.com profile] indigopowder
Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.

I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad.
...

The Iraqi government is talking about having elections in three months while half of the country remains a 'no go zone'-out of the hands of the government and the Americans and out of reach of journalists. In the other half, the disenchanted population is too terrified to show up at polling stations. The Sunnis have already said they'd boycott elections, leaving the stage open for polarized government of Kurds and Shiites that will not be deemed as legitimate and will most certainly lead to civil war.

I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree elect a leadership. His response summed it all: "Go and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?"
Garbage In, Garbage Out

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