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day permlink Monday, 28 April 2003

permlink More QOTM

Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.

Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.
-- Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937)

The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealised past.
-- Robertson Davies, "A Voice from the Attic", 1960


permlink 2004 Campaign

Interesting comments and ambitions re: 2004's election: Outlining and the presidential campaign [Philip Greenspun's Weblog] can read a newspaper and learn a candidate's position on the current hot issue but it is very difficult to form a comprehensive picture of what a politician has said and done on the campaign trail (note the avoidance of the phrase "what the politician stands for" because this presumably shifts with opinion poll results).

Could the Internet be usefully applied to the challenge of informing voters?
Of course.
Idea 1 (not mine): every resident of New Hampshire sets up a blog and, if he or she encounters a Presidential candidate, writes down what happened...
Every? That's a bit too "boil-the-ocean" for me, but certainly some NH (and IA, and DC, and...) folks could do it, and it would be interesting and useful.

...that is, as long as people don't just make up nasty stories about people they don't like: "Joe Lieberman's a lousy tipper!" "Lynne Cheney spit on me!"
Idea 2: Build a dynamic outline of all the political issues that are on citizens' minds in 2004. Have people in New Hampshire and other campaign-heavy states augment this outline with real-time reports of personal interactions with politicians. By November 2004 this outline should be filled with information, presented in a way that is useful for making decisions, all stuff that voters could never get from the mass media...

What would it take to make this happen? ... a small team of part-time editors whose job would be to remove/suppress duplicate reports and off-topic postings, i.e., ones that go beyond a factual report of "Jane Candidate said X on Date Y".
Again, there's the problem of trusting each contributor. Still: hmm. permlink  

permlink QOTM: Xenocide

The future is a hundred thousand threads, but the past is a fabric that can never be rewoven.
-- Wang-mu in Xenocide by Orson Scott Card


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