jrtom: (social scientist)
http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-%E2%80%9Cto-destroy-this-invisible-government%E2%80%9D/#

I haven't entirely decided what I think about what Wikileaks has been doing, but this is an interesting look into, and analysis of, what Assange has been trying to accomplish via these leaks.

Of minor professional interest to me: apparently either Assange is not familiar with the terminology of social networks, or he thinks that his audience isn't (possibly fair). Apparently his strategy is an interesting complement to (or inversion of) the US counterterrorism social-network-based strategy, i.e., attempting to disrupt networks by identifying and removing key actors. Instead, Assange is apparently trying to disrupt the network by making the network itself--that is, the connections that make it something other than a collection of individuals--suspect, or at least less efficient.

EDIT: I do look forward to seeing what David Brin (_The Transparent Society_) has to say about this; I'll be watching http://davidbrin.blogspot.com to see when he posts something.
jrtom: (Default)
http://gerrycanavan.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/science-justice-science-fiction-an-interview-with-kim-stanley-robinson/

KSR is one of the more thought-provoking SF writers currently writing, IMO; for example, he's one of the few authors that really delves, in a meaningful way, into how science, politics, economics, ecology, and culture interact. (See, most especially, the {Red, Green, Blue} Mars trilogy.) This interview is long, but worth reading.
jrtom: (Default)
As a political movement, the Tea Party has come a long way in a relatively short time. They've already got one prominent supporter on the national ballot for November 2010 (Rand Paul), and there are probably others that I'm unaware of.

I'm starting to wonder whether it may have peaked too soon, though:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/not-all-tea-partiers-support-sharron-angle/57793/

It seems to me that established parties can afford to have public schisms; I'm not sure that insurgent movements can.

(For those who may have come in late: I am not a TP supporter.)
jrtom: (Default)
http://www.fakeisthenewreal.org/reform/

I'm amused at how this turns redistricting proposals that I've seen in the past on their heads, sort of.
jrtom: (Default)
http://www.slate.com/id/2208971/

An article that will reference a series of related articles with explorations of possible answers. (The first one: they got lucky last time.)

(A possible answer which I'd like to see explored relates to the question "is this fact statistically surprising?" but this looks like it may be an interesting series even if they don't touch on that one.)
jrtom: (Default)
I'm looking to have some conversations about the upcoming elections. (The US Presidential elections, primarily, although if there's anyone that wants to talk about WA Congressional or state-level elections, that's fine too.)

The reason why I'm putting this out there: )

Let's talk.
jrtom: (Default)
http://www.michiganmessenger.com/4076/lose-your-house-lose-your-vote

The URL pretty much captures it: the Michigan GOP plans to challenge voters' eligibility at the polls on the basis of home foreclosure records.

(Despite the fact that, among other things, a foreclosure notice does not necessarily entail that one is no longer living at the specified address.)

I say "part 1" in the subject line because I expect that this is not going to be the last such item that I'll be posting about for this election. (I volunteered for Election Protection in 2004 as LA-local tech support, and was in a position to see their entire database of reports of voter intimidation, machine malfunctions, polling place _absence_ fer gossake, etc. ad nauseam. I may do so again.)

If you're a McCain supporter, please contact his campaign and ask him to repudiate this policy. You might also point out to him that allowing his party to make plans to intimidate those that may have lost their homes is not the way to go about winning their trust and support.
jrtom: (Default)
http://www.crosscut.com/politics-government/17341

I would like to have more corroboration of some of the things said here, but it seems consistent with other stories that I've seen in some of the more easily checkable factoids (attempted censorship, issue positions, amount of debt that Wasilla was in after her tenure, etc.)...and there aren't all that many people (outside of Wasilla) that could comment on some of this.

If it's true, it needs to get much wider circulation. It appears to be a very clear look at Palin's history (and does not all cut one way).
jrtom: (Default)
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/05/14/countdown-special-comment-to-president-bush-shut-the-hell-up/

No, really.

(This was prompted by Bush's recent comment to the effect that he'd given up golf as something he shouldn't be playing while we're at war. Yes, that's right: his noble sacrifice was giving up golf.

Except that he apparently lied about even doing that.)
jrtom: (Default)
...and it is herself:

from http://rivka.livejournal.com/426444.html, quoting this article:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-05-07-clintoninterview_N.htm
Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."


I actually don't think that Clinton meant to equate "hard-working Americans" and "white Americans". Honestly, I think she stumbled and meant to say something semantically equivalent to "blue-collar whites". I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she doesn't actually believe, even in her heart of hearts, that Obama's supporters are primarily either overeducated (*cough*Wellesley/Yale*cough*) or black (or that blacks are neither working nor hard-working).

(I _am_ annoyed at the fact that she keeps bringing race back into this as part of an argument about electability--even though there's little real data to suggest that blue-collar white voters are unwilling to vote for Obama: saying "they didn't vote for him now running against me, so they won't if he's running against McCain" is a hard case to make, and I don't think she's made it. But that's a separate issue.)

Here's the funny thing: I think that the only person that can save her right now is...Obama. And I think that he should.

He could basically stand up and say "You know, I'm sure that she meant to say "blue-collar white voters". And then go on to both (a) debunk this statement, once again, and (b) decry this sort of race-based analysis. This would give him another opportunity to present himself as presidential...and to start reaching out to her partisans.

This wouldn't give Clinton any advantage (calling attention to her error won't help her, even if he forgives her and makes it clear that he believes it was a stumble rather than a miscalculation), and could be a really impressive political judo move on his part.
jrtom: (Default)
This is a fascinating exploration and comparison of Nixon and Reagan, and their analogues (true and false) to the current Democratic candidates. (No points awarded for guessing which one is which ahead of time.)

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/5/7/17115/19484/791/508728

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