Category Archives: humor

Doonesbury on the partisan nature of voter ID

This one has been making the rounds:



Personally I’m still conflicted on Voter ID. Loosely my position is that it is a good idea in principal but it must be implemented in a way that minimizes disruption to voters and partisan advantage. That certainly has not been occurring. You can read more at my post ‘supreme court rules on Indiana Voter ID case’. In case I discuss this again, see all articles tagged ‘voterid’.

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going storage neutral

Ed Felton’s excellent post An Inconvenient Truth About Privacy has inspired me to go storage neutral as well. We’ll see how long I can last – I’m guessing that I will tire of it quickly. Probably by tomorrow it will feel like a stale joke.

One of the lessons we’ve learned from Al Gore is that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. We all like to tool around in our SUVs, but too much driving leads to global warning. We must all take responsibility for our own carbon emissions.

The same goes for online privacy, except that there the problem is storage rather than carbon emissions. We all want more and bigger hard drives, but what is going to be stored on those drives? Information, probably relating to other people. The equation is simple: more storage equals more privacy invasion.

That’s why I have pledged to maintain a storage-neutral lifestyle. From now on, whenever I buy a new hard drive, I’ll either delete the same amount of old information, or I’ll purchase a storage offset from someone else who has extra data to delete. By bidding up the cost of storage offsets, I’ll help create a market for storage conservation, without the inconvenience of changing my storage-intensive lifestyle.

Colbert’s presidential bid

Colbert running for president

Comedian Stephan Colbert (host of fake personality-driven pundit shows ‘the Colbert Report’ on Comedy Central) had announced that he was running for president.
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A random post

From Joseph Hall’s blog:

(This is funny, but you have to let me build it up with context…)

In elections, especially in election audits, we often have to produce random numbers that an observer can prove to themselves came from a true source of randomness.

The RAND corporation also publishes a book of random numbers, which you can buy: “A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates”.

So, where’s the funny in all of this? Check out the reviews on Amazon for the RAND book. They’re drop-dead hilarious. My favorite is the first one:

A truly amazing genre-breaking work of art unlike any that has ever been or ever will. I was captivated from the moment I opened the cover until the extremely suspenseful moment I turned the last page. With that said, I was a little disappointed that 71602 was knocked off by 92937 just as the plot was unfolding, but the arrival of 96240 really got my blood pumping and I just couldn’t put the book down from that moment on.

I am so glad that Amazon.com is offering the “Search Inside This Book” option for this book so that it can be enjoyed by countless other avid readers who otherwise may not have come across it. I wait, impatiently, for the audio CD version of this fine book

Be sure to read Joseph’s whole post and to look through the reviews for this book as well. There are some gems in there.

(Joe describes himself as a politechnologist and PhD student at UC Berkeley’s School of Information. He was involved in at least the documentation part of the CA secretary of states Debra Bowen’s top-down review of electronic voting machines.)

Town Hall Meeting Gives Townspeople Chance To Say Stupid Things In Public

In a true display of democracy, a town hall meeting held at the New Bedford High School auditorium Monday gave the crowd of approximately 550 residents the opportunity to publicly voice every last one of the inane thoughts and concerns they would normally only have the chance to utter to themselves.

Though the meeting was ostensibly held to discuss a proposed $21,000 project to replace the high school’s grass football field with synthetic turf, City Councilman Thomas Reed inadvertently opened the floodgates to a deluge of ill-informed, off-topic diatribes on inconsequential bull**** when he allowed those in attendance to demonstrate their God-given gift of language.

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the australian fascist party

A bit of black humor from down under.

PhD students determine key way to improve voter turnout

One of the key issues with any election is whether the population bothers to show up to the election and vote. In the US voter turn out numbers are anemic.

Luckily some PhD students have determined a simple way to increase voter turnout. Continue reading