Random Political Thoughts

To be fair, this was worded in such a way that this was more of a “supported Biden/Trump in the 2020 election” question vs a generic Democrat/Republican split.

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Sitting in the faculty room and some other teachers are chatting about their conservative political views and tipping their toes into conspiracies. I really need to just not say anything…

Also, on the board outside the criminal justice teachers room he has pictures of a handful of presidents (about 10) with little blurbs about things they did related to criminal justice. Among them is a picture of trump with no blurb at all.



It would be fun to add a blurb to the effect of “fomented an insurrection that led to several capital police officers being injured or killed”.

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I don’t think I like ranked-choice voting…not because of the results of any recent race, mind you…I just don’t think it’s [something]. It seems to me that only-counting the second-choice votes of the lowest vote-getter leaves out everyone else’s second-choice-vote…that the nut-jobs get their second-choice votes counted before any one else’s.

I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with an example that illustrates that, though, so maybe, in the end, it’s okay.

Yeah, that’s definitely a drawback. The difference between coming in 2nd vs 3rd in the first round is massive, even if the margin was tiny.

Like in Alaska, Sarah Palin only got 2.76% more first-round votes than Nick Begich.

That almost certainly made the difference between him coming in 1st vs 3rd.

More generically, imagine an extreme righty, a centrist, and an extreme lefty. Virtually everyone on the far right or far left prefers the centrist to the candidate on the opposite extreme. Suppose the votes are pretty close to evenly divided between the candidates.

30%: Extreme Lefty 1st, Centrist 2nd
3%: Extreme Lefty 1st, Extreme Righty 2nd
16.5%: Centrist 1st, Extreme Lefty 2nd
16.5%: Centrist 1st, Extreme Righty 2nd
3%: Extreme Righty 1st, Extreme Lefty 2nd
30%: Extreme Righty 1st, Centrist 2nd
1%: Undecided

If the centrist comes in 1st or 2nd, they will certainly win. But if they come in third by the tiniest of margins, then they definitionally lose, despite the fact that 2/3rds of voters prefer the centrist to the candidate who actually won.

This is one reason I would prefer approval voting to ranked choice. It’s much simpler to explain and to implement.

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Chile’s proposed new constitution has been overwhelmingly rejected. May have been more sensible to have tried to do this incrementally through amendments rather than through a total overhaul that was so radical compared to its predecessor?

Bolsonaro appears to be following the Trump playbook: gin up the mob to be prepared for violent action if he doesn’t win the upcoming election.

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I’ve often found the “heads-of-state* giving each other gifts” a dumb and worthless tradition. Maybe this will help bring it to an end**.

*or similar
**not holding breath

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Didn’t really know where this should go so plopped it here. Nixon makes his usual awkward comments on the call but it is a difficult situation and to his credit he did make the call.

I think that used to be pretty normal. I would like to think it still is, for the most part, but there are obviously some despicable exceptions.

I think Democrats rallied around Reagan when he was shot, for example, and Republicans around JFK.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that America’s problems stop at its borders and along a similar line I think there used to be a pretty strong recognition that at the end of the day we’re all on the same side even if we have different ideas of what’s best.

Less so in the 21st century, unfortunately.

One of the toughest phone calls for any POTUS to make is to the family of someone who has died young. Nixon was socially awkward so I expect it was hard for him to come up with the right words without a script. Trump was awkward when calling the families of fallen servicemen and women. It is not easy for anyone to properly extend condolences to the affected family but probably some, like Clinton, were able to do this better than others.

Listened to a podcast yesterday with an interesting thought. The writer said the only famine in the world today is political famine. There is plenty of food so everyone that cannot eat is only not getting food due to politics of some shape form or fashion.

hasn’t that always been true?

Debatable pre refrigeration and gas powered transportation.

ok, always is a bit much, but certainly not new

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Another obvious but not widely considered statement he made is money is just a symbol of trust. If there is no trust there can be no money. A really interesting thought this day and age and it brings into consideration the incentives of people who have invested a lot of energy and finances into alternative currencies. They stand to benefit from destabilization of current global systems. That has some perverse incentives for the rest of us.

Made me also think about doomsday preppers. A person with a bunker full of food and guns is not only ready for doomsday but would also take a considerable jump up the hierarchy of power if doomsday were to occur.

Most definitely not. Feeding billions required special disease resistant seeds and fertilizer. It requires the chemistry of synthetic fertile, achieved in mid 20th century. Prior to this, famine was common around the world.

Good recap:Wizard and the prophet

Yeah, the trust level of those (cyber currency, right?) is much higher.

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