Electoral Vote Predictor Cartogram

elections, news, politics

Link: http://www.electoral-vote.com/carto/oct09c.html

Kerry just passed Bush on the electoral vote predictor. Here's a neat view - a cartogram - of the country with the area of each state related to the number of electoral votes it has. It's a tad less depressing for a Kerry supporter like myself as the strip of plains states are beet red and physically vast on a normal map... which distorts their influence as they hold fewer EVs:

electoral vote predictor cartogram

Nathan enters the blogosphere

blogging

Link: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2004/10/06/the_term_user.html

Nathan Good just entered the blogosphere

Yes, I am responding to a blog for the first time ever. You should ask Peter about the term 'user'. We had a conversation about it a while back, where he mentioned that the term first came into use back when people starting writing operating systems for hardware. The hardware designers referred to the OS people as users. The use of this word has trickled down through the years through layers of application programming and in my mind still retains its original master-servant connotation. Effectively, it implies inferiority. You have to use what I give you, so I have the control and hold the power in the realtionship. I never really liked the word either.
Posted by:

Nathan Good at October 7, 2004 02:41 AM

Thoughts on the presidential debate...

politics

I'm no genius, so I'll keep 'em short:

I watched the presidential debate last night. It was rather captivating. The dynamics of these kinds of encounters are fascinating. Kerry did pretty damn well... except his answer to the 'abortion is murder' gal; he screwed that up. He is not animated, but he did a good job of reasoning with the American public. That is, he said things like his tax cut pledge and the "98% of America makes less than $200,000 per year... it's that other 2% that I want to roll back to the Clinton-level taxation."

Bush is phenominally bad when you take him out of the white house and put him in front of the camera. He tried his best to demonstrate that he had the knowledge and judgement to do the right thing. He had short periods where he performed well... and then he had periods, like when he answered the environmental question, where he did abyssmally bad. For example, at one point, Bush said, "We're going to increase wetlands by 3 million." What the holy hell does that mean? 3 million acres? dollars? gallons?

I (think|hope) the people of this country are reasonably educated. And I think the Kerry campaign should start using rhetoric about the campaign being like "one long job interview." He could say something like that in the final debate.

"America, I want you to stop and think for a moment. I want you to see this entire campaign as one long job interview. There are essentially two people left on your short list for the president of the united states: The current president and myself. America, your job is to evaluate the two of us and decide which one of us you think can do a better job of running this country for the next four years. The past four years speak for themselves: 2 wars, 1.2 million jobs lost and a 5 trillion dollar surplus turned into a 2 trillion dollar debt. I beleive strongly that I can do a better job. I will make decisions about issues taking into account the perspectives and beliefs of the entire country; not just big business and tax cuts for the rich. If you give me a chance to lead our country, you won't be dissapointed."

Google SMS

hacks

Link: http://www.google.com/sms/howtouse.html#business

Too freakin' wicked... Google is really pushing search into all aspects of our lives. Now you can text 'GOOGL' (46645) with specific queries and get short SMS answers.

  • Calculator
    Enter the calculation you'd like done as a query. The calculator can solve math problems involving basic arithmetic, more complicated math, and units of measure and conversions, as well as physical constants (in case you're at the hardware store and need to multiply the gravitational constant by the speed of light).

DoD Briefing Muck-up on Iraq Construction

wtf?, secrecy, politics

Link: http://cryptome.org/dod100704.htm

A great piece of insight into how mucked up this administration is... from a DoD briefing that was mistakenly made "on the record" when it was supposed to not be.

Q Is this on the record?

STAFF: Yeah --

Q (Off mike) -- background briefing, but it's on the record.

STAFF: Unfortunately, no. It's a background brief, off the record.

Q It was billed as being an on-the-record briefing.

Q Yeah.

Q So why is it not an on-the-record briefing?

STAFF: I was told --

Q These are senior officials, who should be accountable for the work they're doing.

STAFF: Right. I was told this morning from Baghdad that they can be quoted, I guess, as senior officials from Baghdad. I know.

[...]

We will -- I'll be happy to look at quotes and seek approval for on-the-record statements. I know that they will each be making some opening remarks, and then I'll be happy to liaise with you on that.

That's the best we can do, guys.

Q But are you aware that their names have already been announced publicly that they're doing this briefing?

STAFF: Yes.

Q Then this doesn't hold water. I mean, nobody can hold us to background when their names have been announced as the speakers of this event.

STAFF: Okay. All right. Let's start off with the secretary, who will make some comments.

Thanks.

Q On the record --

STAFF: Yes, yes.

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