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Comment Re:Where have I heard that before (Score 1) 609

Replying to myself - I realize that the earlier comment was slightly offtopic, given that it was focused on USian politics and not the UKian issues, but I think the overarching theme is the same.

Given a populace driven by misinformation on both sides, a margin this close cannot be considered "What the people want" in the truest sense. The whole reason for representative democracy is that people can't be bothered to get actual facts (or, barring that, some semblance of knowledge for and against an issue). We hire politicians to do that for us.

The fact that the system is populated with humans and is inherently corrupt doesn't change that any. It's still a smaller number of people who can devote considerably more time to the issue than I can, and who have resources to get the necessary information better than I can by using various news sources.

Will they fail? Absolutely. Will they fail as much as if we did phone in voting for every major decision based on which Lord / Senator danced the best? Yeah...I'm not so sure on that one.

Comment Re:Where have I heard that before (Score 1) 609

Depending on exactly what question you're asking - yes. I certainly do. Not necessarily in an argumentative way, but it's still valid.

We've got a democratic system that has two parties which have a number of wedge issues on either side. In order to stand out from the other party, each of them continues to push deeper into the territory of their respective base.

As a result, you frequently get people voting not because someone truly matches their ideological stance, but because they don't want someone who is further away from their ideologies. Instead of us having two largely similar candidates debating over nuanced policy measures and differing views of how they feel the country should proceed, we get demagoguery that demonizes the opposition and alienates a decent portion of the people who would otherwise claim to be a part of that party.

I think that with a split that is that close to 50/50 (ignoring the actual voter turnout), you have a population that cares strongly about some hot-button topics, but which probably agrees on other hot-button topics (with the results varying from person to person). Presidents seem to have this opinion that they have a mandate from the masses, when in fact they have at best the accession of a plurality.

This is both good and bad. If we saw 80% voter turnout and a 87% vote for one person, it would suggest that the other party has failed so miserably that America completely agrees on what needs to be done. In general, while the parties appear to be moving ever further apart, the average of where they are still seems to be going more or less in the direction that democrazy is suggesting that it wants to go.

Aside: I saw the typo in the last line there, and decided to keep it because, well, its apropos.

Comment Re:In some ways (Score 1) 348

I love the idea of an advanced civilization coming along and discovering that we've made a modern Rosetta stone out of the collected works of Dr. Seuss.

Graduate studies courses in ancient human civilization discuss how we destroyed our climate, and how we had now-extinct creatures who would speak for the trees, and so on.

Comment Re:Completely wrong.... (Score 1) 618

When somebody else wants to fuck your wife do you quibble about whether or not his service will be satisfactory to her?

No, I assert that even given that the activities of screwing the milkman and getting supper are mutually exclusive, now that the screwing is over, surely then, supper may now, logically, be got.

Comment Re:Immigration (Score 1) 1718

This was proven false a while back. We put a bunch of antelope in an airtight container and waited for Native Americans to spontaneously appear and hunt the antelope. They did not.

Killing two birds with one stone, after the antelope died (it being an airtight container and all), we reproduced the results of earlier spontaneous generation experiments when we failed to notice any maggots appearing on the antelope carcasses.

Comment Re:I think I am in trouble (Score 1) 208

I think what you're describing is exactly the problem. It's clear that what they're saying has meaning, and something obvious comes to mind. But what comes to mind and what they *actually do* may be vastly different. Leaving the boring details out allows the investors and consumers to imagine that something being a whole lot greater than it actually is.

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