November 2nd, 2010

Memetic Hazard

Writer's Block: You can't take that away from me!

If you had to go an entire week without TV, music, or your mobile phone, which would you choose, and why?

I could go a week without TV, easy.  (In fact, I'm only just now getting around to watching the stuff I recorded October 25th.)

I could go without music for a week too.  It wouldn't be that hard.

My previous mobile phone I could go a week without, but I'd be hard pressed to give up my EVO for a whole week.  It's not that I make many phone calls, quite the opposite.  I use my EVO primarily for Internet, e-mail, Twitter and games. I use it every single day and it would be very difficult to do without it.
I voted for Kodos!

Writer's Block: Vote early, vote often

Do you vote for a candidate based on issues or do you do you follow the party line, and why?

Nebraska makes it very difficult to make an informed choice at the polls.  They provide no voter information pamphlet, no sample ballot, no information on propositions, nothing.  Heck, aside from the little confirmation card they send back after you register to vote, the state doesn't provide anything at all!  You're basically left to fend for yourself if you want to find information on candidates.  How are the masses, who barely understand how to use the Google, supposed to learn anything about who they're voting for except deceptive commercials?  (And I didn't see that many political ads this year.)

I managed to find a website that claimed to be nonpartisan, though the information clearly had a conservative bent to it (like asking pro-life attorneys their opinions about a judge, but not asking any pro-choice attorneys), and a lot of the candidates never bothered to respond.  In the end I wound up voting a mostly Democratic ticket, with a single Libertarian, since their candidates seemed to be more sane than the Republicans.  I left a lot of positions blank because I didn't know anything about the individuals and/or didn't care about the position (County Weed Board?  That's a thing?)

California does a great job at providing election information.  The state sends out an voters guide containing candidate statements, and more importantly, extremely thorough info on the propositions.  The guide book lists the text of the new law, a summary, an impartial analysis, and statements and rebuttals from the proponents and opponents.  They also provide a sample ballot that you can mark with your selections so that when you get to the polls, you can mark your ballot quickly and accurately.  If only more states provided this level of information, the nation as a whole would have much better government.