Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2007:October:07 Sunday <Saturday, Monday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2007/10/7 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:48252 Activity:nil 61%like:48246
10/4    It all depends on what the meaning of "torture" is: \_ Even the Red Cross calls it torture:
2007/10/7 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:48253 Activity:nil 66%like:48241
10/4    Richardson says "Pull Out Now" \_ Sorry baby, I just couldn't stop.
        \_ Why? It feels better to stay inside.
           \_ Cuz I need to take a dump.
2007/10/7 [Computer/SW/Security, Recreation/Humor] UID:48254 Activity:nil 50%like:48227
10/3    Is that a Real Doll?  Wow!  So real! \_ Another one: \_ It'd be more real if the skin
        is not as glossy.  \_ HA! Funny how he pulled out and squirted
        on his left hand
           so that he wouldn't have to clean up the doll. Now in real
           sex... Oh well, I guess it's better than no sex.
2007/10/7-9 [Computer/HW/Laptop] UID:48255 Activity:low
10/7    I have a laptop with 3 mouse buttons, running linux.  left
        button is dead.  I'd like to remap the middle button->left button.
        How do I do that?
        \_ Mmm, maybe get your laptop repaired?
        \_ xmodmap in X11, whatever linux user for a mouse damon (gpm?)
2007/10/7 [Recreation/Computer/Games, Recreation/Sports] UID:48256 Activity:nil
10/7    Odds on Cal pooching it and losing to both USC and at the Big Game?
2007/10/7-9 [Uncategorized] UID:48257 Activity:nil
10/7    Battle of the Bulge. On KCET. Better than History Channel.
2007/10/7-11 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold] UID:48258 Activity:moderate
10/7    Let's make every vote count.  Unless it hurts us.
        \_ Changing the electoral system of the most populous state in the
           country, while leaving the rest of the states the same, is not
           "making every vote count"; it's a transparent attempt to undermine
           the electoral process.  If you want to change all 50 states, we'd
           have something to talk about.  -tom
           \_ I'd take a 50 state change.  And no, CA wouldn't even be the
              first leading the way, but the third.  And if you read the
              article, they have no concern about voters but their own power.
              How many quotes in there are about killing babies and shooting
              guns and other forms of violence?
              \_ I'd consider a 50-state change, but that's not what's on the
                 table.  I'm sure the Republicans would fight heartily against
                 a 50-state change.  This is a political move (led by
                 Guliani's campaign) and was defeated politically
                 by the opposing party.  No surprise at all.  -tom
                 \_ Of course, that can never happen.  States aren't allowed to
                    make those compacts.  Frankly I think it'd be better if
                    every state went to the congressional district solution,
                    but I'd be okay if CA did it.  That would probably go for
                    TX, NY and FL as well.  The states are too big.
                    \_ 'States aren't allowed to make those compacts'?
                       E_LACKS_FACTUAL_BASIS.  You're a moron. -!tom
                       \_ What part of "No State shall, without the Consent of
                          Congress ... enter into any Agreement or Compact
                          with another State" in Article I, Section 10,
                          paragraph 3 of the constitution don't you understand?
                          \_ The part in Article II that says "Each state
                             shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature
                             thereof may direct, a number of electors...."
                    If a number of states
                             pass state legislation conditional on other
                             states passing similar legislation concerning
                             a winner-take-all award of electors, that would
                             not constitute the Agreement or Compact you
                             cite above.
                             \_ I believe that making the allocation of
                                electors conditional on how other states
                                allocate their electors would be an illegal
                                compact.  Do it or not.  None of this crap
                                about "who else is going"?  Otherwise, all
                                compacts could be "we'll do this if State B
                                implements it as well" would be a way to get
                                around this paragraph every single time.
                                \_ Welcome to Constitutional Law 101.
                                \_ I believe you are not a fucking lawyer,
                                   and that you should shut the fuck up before
                                   you highlight your lack of domain-specific
                                   knowledge further.
                                   \_ Jesus, even I wouldn't go that far. It's
                                      the motd, not Debate Club. -!pp
                 \_ You'd be wrong about the (R) fighting a 50 state change.
                    Because they'd win the Presidency hands down if the last
                    several elections are anything to go by.  Anyway, I don't
                    care who came up with an idea if the idea is good.  The
                    source of a good idea seems to be a reason to dismiss an
                    idea to you.  To me that is just ad hominem.
                    \_ No, you forget that Gore won the popular vote in 2000.
                    \_ In the current climate of gerrymandering by both
                       parties, district-based electoral votes are
                       meaningless. A direct apportionment by popular vote
                       would be more representative, esp. if coupled with
                       Instant Runoff Voting. --erikred
                       \_ Ok, true, I forgot the gerrymandering part.  I still
                          like the concept even if the implementation would
                          be flawed due to policians picking their voters
                          instead of voters picking their politicians.  I'm
                          not entirely thrilled with true direct democracy
                          given how stupid the average citizen is.  As a
                          separate issue I think IRV is too complex for most
                          people to figure out.  You think the butterfly
                          ballot and hanging chads thing was a mess?  Wait
                          til people start complaining they didn't understand
                          IRV or it wasn't clear or whatever so they ended up
                          with Pat Buchanan in office.
                          \_ Question: why would you expect less direct
                             methods to succeed in the face of postulated
                             stupidity of the voter?  -- ilyas
                             \_ The point (to me) of having to win voting
                                blocks (of whatever size) instead of just
                                across the entire set of individuals helps
                                prevent a regional candidate from squeaking
                                in.  When regional votes count you have to
                                please the entire nation to some degree not
                                just a large enough group who all think the
                                \_ Alright, but given your own assumption
                                   of voter stupidity how does pleasing a wider
                                   section of voters help?  You are slicing
                                   the same stupid pie. -- ilyas
                                   \_ It spreads the stupidity such that a
                                      candidate must gain the confidence of
                                      *different* sets of stupid people.  Just
                                      taking a single geographic region or
                                      heavily taking cities/rural areas alone
                                      won't be enough.  Call it a 'stupidity
                                      smoothing function' if you like.  I don't
                                      think you'll find that many stupid people
                                      all thinking the same thing across
                                      multiple slices of the country.
                                      \_ If you just want to average, you leave
                                         yourself open to well known biases,
                                         anchoring, etc.  Averaging over
                                         stupid opinions doesn't give you good
                                         outcomes if good opinions are 'far
                                         away.'  Further, if you want
                                         to average, you can just bypass the
                                         voting thing entirely. -- ilyas
                                         voting thing entirely.  Still, it
                                         would be nice to harness the 'wisdom
                                         of the crowds' effect, though I think
                                         markets do that better than voting
                                         schemes.  But then using markets to
                                         make political decisions is batshit
                                         crazy, right?  -- ilyas
                                       \_ How would you use a market? Require
                                          people to bid for the right to vote?
                          \_ I submit to you that ordering your choices 1,
                             2, 3 would be much easier than asking Amerians
                             to select one, and only one, candidate, and
                             tough shit if he doesn't win outright.
                             \_ Of course it isn't easier. "Pick one" is easier
                                than "pick an ordered list".
                                \_ I haven't thought about voting schemes a lot,
                                   but your notion of 'easier' seems misapplied.
                                   What's difficult about 'picking one' is
                                   choosing which candidate matches your
                                   beliefs better, out of a field of candidates
                                   who are generally not very well matched to
                                   your beliefs.  This creates 'hard choices,'
                                   since the winner takes all.  In this case,
                                   an ordered list makes the choice less hard,
                                   since you are signalling your beliefs much
                                   better.  Voting isn't a computational
                                   problem but a signaling one. -- ilyas
                                \_ I haven't thought about voting schemes a
                                   lot, but your notion of 'easier' seems
                                   misapplied.  What's difficult about
                                   'picking one' is choosing which candidate
                                   matches your beliefs better, out of a field
                                   of candidates who are generally not very
                                   well matched to your beliefs.  This creates
                                   'hard choices,' since the winner takes all.
                                   In this case, an ordered list makes the
                                   choice less hard, since you are signalling
                                   your beliefs much better.  Voting isn't a
                                   computational problem but a signaling one.
                                   -- ilyas  [formatd]
                                   \_ Sorry, I meant easier to implement. True,
                                      making that one pick is not easier
                                      for a conscientious voter, especially
                                      with >2 candidates and tactical concerns.
                                      But the practical apparatus, instruction,
                                      and reporting of results are obviously
                                      harder than pick one. AFAIK this is
                                      the primary complaint. Personally I
                                      actually have long supported IRV, ever
                                      since I heard about it in high school
                                      or whatever.
                             \_ I submit to you that the typical American
                                voter barely knows anything about their first
                                choice much less has 3 choices in mind they
                                could actually rank.
                       \_ IRV is not monotonic, and thus not strategy-free.
                          I think this makes it a terrible idea.  Approval
                          voting >> IRV.  Simpler too. -dans
                          \_ Approval voting is not strategy free either.
                             I think its simplicity is a major point in
                             favor though. It's very close to the simple
                             FPTP system logistically. However I feel it
                             does not really address the "spoiler problem"
                             which is the main benefit to alternative voting
                             systems as I see it.
                             \_ Okay, just brushed up on this (I haven't done
                                serious research or study of voting systems
                                since 2004), and you are correct, approval
                                voting is not strategy free.  There exists,
                                however, fairly strong evidence that it is
                                about as resistant to tactical voting as one
                                can hope for without introducing
                                non-determinism.  We seem to be having some
                                problems with semantics because approval
                                voting *eliminates* the spoiler problem, how
                                do you feel it fails to address it?  IRV,
                                however, partly because it is not monotonic,
                                and due to several other side effects risks
                                *severe* spoiler effects. -dans
                                \_ Due to the Primary system (which won't go
                                   away with IRV), approval voting already has
                                   tactical voting built in. I consistently
                                   re-register as a member of whichever party
                                   has the Primary I want to vote in. Je suis
                                   un saboteur.
                                   \_ That's reasonable, but it has nothing to
                                      do with approval voting itself.  And,
                                      arguably, approval voting makes the
                                      primary system unnecessary, though I
                                      understand why it probably wont' go away
                                      for political reasons. -dans
                                \_ Consider candidates ABC and I think A>>B>>C.
                                   Do I vote for B or not? Voting for B hurts
                                   A's chances. But I really don't want C to
                                   win. IRV lets me just rank them A,B,C and
                                   leads to a reasonable result in general.
                                   The results may not always match some
                                   theoretical rule but I don't think it has
                                   practical problems in most cases. It's not
                                   perfect but it lets me state my preferences
                                   better than approval voting.
                                   \_ "This voting for 3 people thing really
                                       confuses me and I've now been disen-
                                       franchised!  I want to re-vote!  Wah!"
                                      \_ It would sure as hell be easier to
                                         divine voter intent in IRV than
                                         hanging chads.
                    \_ Um, the idea is terrible.  It's a blatant power grab.
                       Furthermore, past events are not a predictor of future
                       behavior.  There are some very interesting shifts in
                       the behavior of substantial voter demographics in red
                       states.  Oh, and you don't seem to know what ad hominem
                       means.  You're a moron.  That's ad hominem. -!tom
                       \_ Ad hominem: attacking the man, not the idea.  Thank
                          you for showing us how little you know.  The idea is
                          great.  It gets us closer to true democracy instead
                          \_ Little known fact:  The founding fathers didn't
                             want "true democracy".  They thought the people
                             as a whole, were dumb.  So much stupid shit
                             happens these days that I am inclined to agree
                             with them.  There's a reason we are a
                             'representational democracy'.
                             \_ I'm aware of that and the FF were right.  But
                                the country was much smaller then and I don't
                                think they foresaw half a dozen states of 50
                                determining the POTUS with no realistic say
                                for the rest of the country.  Going to county
                                sized voting blocks would still be
                                representational without going 100% democracy.
                          \_ I take it back, you're not a moron, you're a
                             disingenuous tool.
                             \_ Who cares what you think?  You've yet to post
                                anything that could be mistaken for rational
                                thought or adding value to this discussion.
                          of the current system of Red/Blue states where if
                          you're in the "wrong color" state your vote has no
                          power.  It is not a power grab.  I don't care which
                          "color" President gets elected.  I want votes to
                          count.  What do *you* want?  You want "your guy"
                          whoever that is to be in office no matter how they
                          got there.  *That* is what power grabbing is about.
                          \_ Stating the fact that Giuliani's campaign was
                             leading the push is not an ad hominem.  Stating
                             that it is a naked political push to crack CA's
                             electoral vote bloc is not either.  Saying "I
                             don't like it because Giuliani's a doo doo head"
                             would be, but no one said such a thing.  The
                                \_ In context, it was clearly meant as "G.
                                   came up with this so it must be bad".
                                   \_ Bullshit.  You're laying your opinion
                                      of the matter on others' comments.
                                      \_ Welcome to the motd.  Ready to play?
                             other two states that break up their votes along
                             district lines each have 3 electoral votes.  For
                             them it makes sense to do this so they can grab
                             attention from the candidates.  For CA it would
                                \_ 3 votes isn't attention grabbing.
                                   \_ In a tight race, it can be.
                                      \_ "In a tight race your vote might
                                         count, maybe, otherwise screw you."
                                         That isn't what our voting system
                                         was supposed to be like.
                                         \_ I don't see how you've put any
                                            proposal forward which would change
                                            \_ I stated I think we should do
                                               it by county or by voting
                                               district or polling place or
                                               whatever instead of as giant
                                               state sized blocks.  I've also
                                               explained why I think this will
                                               improve voter 'value' in more
                                               than the current top 6 states.
                                               \_ If the race isn't tight,
                                                  your vote still wouldn't
                             be a sacrifice of the state's sway in electoral
                             politics.  I would tend to agree with an amendment
                                \_ We have no sway.  We're the bank for the
                                   party who comes through here doing no
                                   campaigning at all because they know our
                                   votes don't matter.  They just take our
                             to institute such a change nationwide, though it
                             would be a big bite out of the 10th..  I would
                             also agree with abolishing the electoral college,
                             but that's just me. --scotsman
                                \_ I'm not saying CA should be the only state
                                   doing it.  I'd go for a nationwide change.
                                   But not doing it out of pure partisan power
                                   play politics puts party before nation.  I
                                   have no interest in that.  Nation first.
                                   \_ How would the nation be better off if
                                      California (and only California) split
                                      its electoral votes?  -tom
                                      \_ It would bring candidates here to
                                         earn our votes because it would
                                         suddenly matter.  Other states would
                                         see that and follow suit.  Voila!
                                         Now everyone's vote matters more and
                                         the nation is better off.
                                         \_ With us voting last and our
                                            primaries near last, the elections
                                            are often 'called' before they even
                                            get to us.  Granted recent years
                                            much of this has changed.
                                            \_ That's another story.  As a CA
                                               resident our insanely late
                                               voting date always irked me.
                                               This time we're Feb 5th only
                                               a few weeks after the first
                                               votes take place so we finally
                                               get a say in things.  We're
                                               still the bankroll for both
                                               parties and they don't
                                               campaign here at all but at
                                               least our votes might count
                                               for something.
                                               \_ The Democrats have been
                                                  campaigning like mad in
                                                  California, where have you
                                                  been? Each major candidate
                                                  has been to the Bay Area
                                                  alone in the last six weeks.
                                   \_ Proud statements, but it's not a
                                      persuasive argument for CA switching.
                                      Politics is the process by which the
                                      nation runs.  Go find a benevolent
                                      monarchy if'n you don't like it.
                                      \_ See my response to tom just above.
                                         But I do find your "love it or leave
                                         it" line amusing.  I wonder if you
                                         see the irony in that statement in a
                                         dicussion of how to better run our
                                         representational democracy.  :-)
                                         \_ In your argument, you've decided
                                            to reject the process that under-
                                            pins democracy out of hand. I
                                            wonder if you see the irony in
                                            thinking you're astute enough
                                            to declare something ironic.
                                            Are you the same person who
                                            claimed "earmarks" == "pork"?
                                            \_ In what way have I rejected the
                                               process that underpins
                                               democracy? Au contraire mon
                                               frere!  I want more people in
                                               more places (all places) to
                                               know their vote is valued.
                                               \_ You reject "politics".  We
                                                  are a representative
                                                  democracy.  Do you support
                                                  Mike Gravel's direct
                                                  democracy initiative?
                          \_ Eh, I'm gonna have to go with !tom on this one.
                             Maraland passed a similar law with the stipulation
                             "when enough other states change to swing the
                             electoral college."  To do it in just one state
                             is whack.  That said, yeah CA is WAY too large.
                             \_ Sure, but if you split it into NorCal/SoCal,
                                SFBA and LA would still be the 500lb.
                                \_ That's only because human beings should
                                   have more of an effect on the electoral
                                   process than dirt does.  -tom
                                   \_ What?  Dirt?  Huh?
                                      \_ The Bay Area has people.
                                         Modoc County has dirt.  -tom
                                         \_ So you think people in Modoc County
                                            shouldn't count?  LA has way more
                                            people than SF.  By your logic, we
                                            should only count LA's votes.  Oh,
                                            and San Jose since they have more
                                            people than SF, too.
                                            \_ If Modoc, Salinas, King, Fresno,
                                               San Diego, and Orange all swing
                                               against LA, LA loses.
                                               \_ Ok, and so?  It takes 6
                                                  counties, 2 of them heavily
                                                  populated to top LA.  What
                                                  is wrong with that?
                                                  \_ Nothing. It just proves
                                                     that people count more
                                                     than dirt.
                                         \_ So you disapprove of the Senate?
                                            \_ As arbitrary divisions of
                                               representation go, this one
                                               is still oddly more repre-
                                               sentative than are Districts.
                                               \_ You're inconsistent (or
                                                  you're inconsistent with
                                                  tom).  Either dirt counts or
                                                  it doesn't.
                                                  \_ You're beating a straw
                                                     man.  Note that I said
                                                     "more of an effect." -tom
                                                     \_ And in the Senate, the
                                                        dirt matters more than
                                                        the people.
                                                        \_ If so, Alaska would
                                                           get more Senators
                                                           than RI.
                                                  \_ Arguably, the Senate
                                                     is neither about dirt
                                                     or ppl, just arb. pol.
                                                     distinctions. -pp
                \-  Trying to get this implemented ni a large state with a
                   long history of voting for a particular party is patently
                   unfair unless coupled with a number states whose combined
                   electoral votes show a similarly strong record voting for
                   the other party.  I  could agree with legislation to divide
                   CA's electoral votes by popular vote if that condition was
                   met.   The alternative of course, is implementation over
                   all states.
                      Were third (and nth) parties considered as well?
        \_ You may wish to peruse:
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2007:October:07 Sunday <Saturday, Monday>