My first election? Fuck it, man.

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:53 pm UTC

Ugh, I'm tired of this - you keep saying that same thing, I'll offer some evidence against it, and you'll reply with the same argument again. I'm not about to spend another week or more arguing with circular logic, as the argument that voting is useless wasn't what I set out to throw down - this thread began as a discussion of whether one should vote despite the impression that all of the options are pretty bad. I've made my point, I see no reason to keep repeating the same thing hundreds of times without progression. Go ahead, keep arguing that it can't affect an election - I'll let you have the last word on that.
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:55 pm UTC

kaimason1 wrote:Ugh, I'm tired of this - you keep saying that same thing, I'll offer some evidence against it

The hell you will. All you've ever given is evidence that many people could change an election. My claim is that one person can't, and you haven't addressed that at all.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:02 pm UTC

OK, I'll admit that if only a single person were change their mind and vote, it wouldn't have any affect. However, if some portion of the group who thinks as you do and doesn't vote decides to vote, then that can make a difference. Now do you see my argument?
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:04 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:Ugh, I'm tired of this - you keep saying that same thing, I'll offer some evidence against it

The hell you will. All you've ever given is evidence that many people could change an election. My claim is that one person can't, and you haven't addressed that at all.


One person always changes an election -- the person who cast the vote that was num(Loser) + 1.

Since there is a one-to-one mapping (we hope!) of voters to votes, the person that cast the (num(Loser) + 1)th vote changed the election.

Pick a random ordering, if you must, since polls aren't tallied in real time, and not all districts report simultaneously (or consecutively), but for any ordering of votes, there will be a first vote for Winner that does not map to a vote to Loser, and that vote for Winner maps to a single Voter. Everyone before or after that person has no impact on the election (under simple majority).

So a single person always affects the outcome. The chances of predicting that single person, however, are rather small.

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:14 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:One person always changes an election -- the person who cast the vote that was num(Loser) + 1.

Since there is a one-to-one mapping (we hope!) of voters to votes, the person that cast the (num(Loser) + 1)th vote changed the election.

Pick a random ordering, if you must, since polls aren't tallied in real time, and not all districts report simultaneously (or consecutively), but for any ordering of votes, there will be a first vote for Winner that does not map to a vote to Loser, and that vote for Winner maps to a single Voter. Everyone before or after that person has no impact on the election (under simple majority).

So a single person always affects the outcome. The chances of predicting that single person, however, are rather small.


OK, you may be attempting to argue my point, but that logic is in every way wrong. I'm not going to support it, or else my attempts at trying to remain logical will be pretty much useless.
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:18 pm UTC

kaimason1 wrote:OK, I'll admit that if only a single person were change their mind and vote, it wouldn't have any affect. However, if some portion of the group who thinks as you do and doesn't vote decides to vote, then that can make a difference. Now do you see my argument?

Yes, and I've seen it all along*. If your goal is to change the minds of that slice of people, go ahead. But don't do it by lying to them about their individual power to make a difference.

*Then why haven't I simply assented, you ask? Because you kept failing to distinguish it from the more expansive, incorrect argument as you just did.

gorcee wrote:Pick a random ordering, if you must, since polls aren't tallied in real time, and not all districts report simultaneously (or consecutively), but for any ordering of votes, there will be a first vote for Winner that does not map to a vote to Loser, and that vote for Winner maps to a single Voter. Everyone before or after that person has no impact on the election (under simple majority).

Sure they do: they place that vote in a situation where it doesn't uniquely map to a vote for Loser.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:22 pm UTC

kaimason1 wrote:
gorcee wrote:One person always changes an election -- the person who cast the vote that was num(Loser) + 1.

Since there is a one-to-one mapping (we hope!) of voters to votes, the person that cast the (num(Loser) + 1)th vote changed the election.

Pick a random ordering, if you must, since polls aren't tallied in real time, and not all districts report simultaneously (or consecutively), but for any ordering of votes, there will be a first vote for Winner that does not map to a vote to Loser, and that vote for Winner maps to a single Voter. Everyone before or after that person has no impact on the election (under simple majority).

So a single person always affects the outcome. The chances of predicting that single person, however, are rather small.


OK, you may be attempting to argue my point, but that logic is in every way wrong. I'm not going to support it, or else my attempts at trying to remain logical will be pretty much useless.


My logic is in fact not wrong at all. It just doesn't merge with the rhetoric.

Technically speaking, if you pick some random ordering of votes, line them all up, pair up every vote for Loser with a vote for Winner, you will have at least one vote for Winner left over. That's the one that decided the election. The rest just padded the lead.

It's just like hockey. The guy that scored the goal that was the other team's score + 1 scored the "game winner". The guy that cast the Loser + 1 vote scored the "election winner". We don't need to group that vote with any other vote to call the election.

Of course, this is all just a technical argument, and not a practical one. But if you want to get down to it, you only need a single extra vote, and not a group of votes, to win an election.

Sure they do: they place that vote in a situation where it doesn't uniquely map to a vote for Loser.


Yeah but it doesn't mean anything (to the election itself, at least; it means plenty when it comes to all the post-processing, &c).

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:28 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:But don't do it by lying to them about their individual power to make a difference.


OK, thanks for acknowledging that my point even exists as it is instead of mutating it. However, I was never trying to lie about a single individual having acknowledgeable power. You will never be acknowledged as having changed an election, and as I pointed out before, will never even get a feeling that your vote individually counted. However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference; however, uniqueness does not exist in voting, so you have to drop that expectation.

Also, gorcee, your logic as to a single vote being the 'winner' doesn't work. Imagine if that vote didn't happen. Seeing as I don't think any large scale election, ever, has been won by a margin of one vote, the winner would still win. Elections are not won by a singular person. End of story, that was never intended to be my point, an so on and so forth.
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:32 pm UTC

kaimason1 wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:But don't do it by lying to them about their individual power to make a difference.


OK, thanks for acknowledging that my point even exists as it is instead of mutating it. However, I was never trying to lie about a single individual having acknowledgeable power. You will never be acknowledged as having changed an election, and as I pointed out before, will never even get a feeling that your vote individually counted. However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference; however, uniqueness does not exist in voting, so you have to drop that expectation.

Also, gorcee, your logic as to a single vote being the 'winner' doesn't work. Imagine if that vote didn't happen. Seeing as I don't think any large scale election, ever, has been won by a margin of one vote, the winner would still win. Elections are not won by a singular person. End of story, that was never intended to be my point, an so on and so forth.


If that vote didn't happen, then there would be a different single vote that was Loser + 1, and so on, until Winner and Loser are tied, and then we don't have a decisive election.

But in any decisive election, you can always order the votes in any way, cancel out the pairs, and pick the first one that doesn't have a pair. That's the winning vote. Or, you can pick the n extra votes per winner, and say each of these people cast 100/n% of the decision (or that each of the people whose votes did map cast 100/m% of the attrition). The point is, it's still a finite, computable number.

User avatar
setzer777
Good questions sometimes get stupid answers
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby setzer777 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:41 pm UTC

kaimason1 wrote:However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference; however, uniqueness does not exist in voting, so you have to drop that expectation.


And if you do vote, combined with a few others voting the opposite decision, it will work against your goal. Your vote no more causes other people to vote the same than it causes them to vote opposite. The same appeal that motivates you to vote might very well motivate others to vote the opposite way, more than cancelling out your contribution.
Meaux_Pas wrote:We're here to go above and beyond.

Too infinity
of being an arsehole

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:43 pm UTC

kaimason1 wrote:However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference;

Sure. But that isn't, in itself, a reason to vote.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

Sheikh al-Majaneen
Name Checks Out On Time, Tips Chambermaid
Posts: 1075
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:17 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:04 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:And, thanks to millions of people like you, we'll likely be inflicted with the latter. In fact, the GOP is counting on your apathy, your jaded, irrational cynicism, and your bold stance of sitting on your ass come election day. But hey, don't worry - when President Bachmann orders us into another illegal war it will only be millions of non-Americans who die. What's their lives compared to your idealistic non-idealism?

I don't think I have yet missed an election (none that I remember anyway)--presidential, senatorial, representative, state, primaries (why can we not vote in all primaries? I would have loved to chose my favorite democrat and republican candidates), but he is right. We are going to wind up with a president Bachmann, or a second term for Obama, not because of the cynics, but because of nonpragmatists. For everyone non-cynical out there who agrees with you (or me...I don't know your perspective really but that's not my point), there are ten, a hundred, a thousand, x>1 non-cynical people who believe so hard that our government will compromise bills only to make them counterproductive. (Health care? Rising sea levels? Debt? War? That sounds like a problem for FUTURE CONGRESS!)
Last edited by Sheikh al-Majaneen on Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:11 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:05 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference;

Sure. But that isn't, in itself, a reason to vote.


It is for me.

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference;

Sure. But that isn't, in itself, a reason to vote.

And that's the psychology which I am trying to dispel. Sometimes, even if others have to make the decision as you for your decision to count, you just have to make that decision in the hope that others will as well.
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

Soralin
Posts: 1347
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Soralin » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:43 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:But in any decisive election, you can always order the votes in any way, cancel out the pairs, and pick the first one that doesn't have a pair. That's the winning vote.

Exactly, you can order the votes in any way, which means that every individual vote could equally be said to be the winning vote (on the winning side), because I can always order the votes in such a way to make any individual vote the winning one.

User avatar
Jacque
a member of shro's band
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:28 pm UTC
Location: Oakland, CA
Contact:

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Jacque » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:46 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference;

Sure. But that isn't, in itself, a reason to vote.

So sayeth TGB.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:
gorcee wrote:But in any decisive election, you can always order the votes in any way, cancel out the pairs, and pick the first one that doesn't have a pair. That's the winning vote.

Exactly, you can order the votes in any way, which means that every individual vote could equally be said to be the winning vote (on the winning side), because I can always order the votes in such a way to make any individual vote the winning one.


Right. But still, A winning vote is the winning one.

I'm making no promises that Steven Spielberg's vote is the winning one. All I'm saying is that it could be his, or Susan Sarandon's, or Ben Affleck's. Or someone else's. But any way you order it, there will always be one that is the winning one.

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:32 am UTC

There is no winning vote - you can't just order votes like that, and even if you could, it really wouldn't matter that much on it's placement, as it still has the same value to the overall election.
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:35 am UTC

kaimason1 wrote:There is no winning vote - you can't just order votes like that, and even if you could, it really wouldn't matter that much on it's placement, as it still has the same value to the overall election.


Sure I can.

*tosses votes in the air*
*stacks them*

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:42 am UTC

Then you could arbitrarily call any vote the winning vote.
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

User avatar
Jacque
a member of shro's band
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:28 pm UTC
Location: Oakland, CA
Contact:

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Jacque » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:42 am UTC

It's not the winning vote that really matters, it's all of the others behind it.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:47 am UTC

kaimason1 wrote:Then you could arbitrarily call any vote the winning vote.


Yes! You can!

But my point still stands than there is a single vote that becomes the winning vote, irrespective of the random ordering you choose! Which, as it stands, counters TGB's point that a single vote never matters. Quite the opposite, a single vote is all that ever matters. It's just that we can't resolve which one it is until it happens!

Also, as it stands, in my frame of reference, whenever I am aligned with the winning party, it is my vote that is the winning vote! Basically, it makes me a badass.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:55 am UTC

Jacque wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference;

Sure. But that isn't, in itself, a reason to vote.

So sayeth TGB.

I should clarify: if all that matters to you is the "making a difference" part, then the fact that you can be part of a group that might make a difference is still inconsequential, since you're just as unlikely to make a difference to their making a difference as you were to the bigger picture.

gorcee wrote:Which, as it stands, counters TGB's point that a single vote never matters.

Image
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
setzer777
Good questions sometimes get stupid answers
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby setzer777 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:03 am UTC

gorcee wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:Then you could arbitrarily call any vote the winning vote.


Yes! You can!

But my point still stands than there is a single vote that becomes the winning vote, irrespective of the random ordering you choose! Which, as it stands, counters TGB's point that a single vote never matters. Quite the opposite, a single vote is all that ever matters. It's just that we can't resolve which one it is until it happens!


This turns it into a meaningless word game totally divorced from how humans actually assign importance. Even in situations with non-arbitrary order (such as points in a sports match), we don't say that the point which put the winning team initially ahead is the "winning" point, if it is a landslide victory. You personally can call it that, but that isn't going to cause anyone else to assign more importance to it.
Meaux_Pas wrote:We're here to go above and beyond.

Too infinity
of being an arsehole

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:07 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:
gorcee wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:Then you could arbitrarily call any vote the winning vote.


Yes! You can!

But my point still stands than there is a single vote that becomes the winning vote, irrespective of the random ordering you choose! Which, as it stands, counters TGB's point that a single vote never matters. Quite the opposite, a single vote is all that ever matters. It's just that we can't resolve which one it is until it happens!


This turns it into a meaningless word game totally divorced from how humans actually assign importance. Even in situations with non-arbitrary order (such as points in a sports match), we don't say that the point which put the winning team initially ahead is the "winning" point, if it is a landslide victory. You personally can call it that, but that isn't going to cause anyone else to assign more importance to it.


Not the initial, but the last point we do.

Really, we do. Just google "game winning goal hockey". Or like, here's the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goal_(ice_hockey)

"A game-winning goal (GWG) is the (n + 1)th goal scored by a team that defeats a team which scores n goals..."

This turns it into a meaningless word game totally divorced from how humans actually assign importance.


Yeah, but I'm playing TGB's game: meaningless wordplay and pedantry to avoid discussing the actual meat and potatoes of a subject (masking a youthful naivety and lack of any actual experience with how the real world works).

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:09 am UTC

Hi. I'm in fact in the room and would be happy to discuss any point on which you feel I've erred.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:18 am UTC

gorcee wrote:Yeah, but I'm playing TGB's game: meaningless wordplay and pedantry to avoid discussing the actual meat and potatoes of a subject (masking a youthful naivety and lack of any actual experience with how the real world works).


Your point is completely pedantic and unfounded, however, while at least TGB's has some logical basis. I admit I disagree with him, but this idea of yours is just making things worse. There is no winning vote, and he was never arguing like that; maybe repeating the same arguments over and over again, but that isn't nearly as annoying as what you are doing here, and on purpose.
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:45 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Hi. I'm in fact in the room and would be happy to discuss any point on which you feel I've erred.


Well, I already made it clear that quite literally speaking, you were wrong about a single vote. Which is just wordplay, but I chose this particular thread and topic to exhibit how obnoxious it is when someone completely derails a conversation with such ultimately meaningless drivel. Anyway, from a few pages back, there is a point I would like to bring up, and point out something you've maybe not considered.

You asked:

If I'm not even planning on voting, what special reason is there for me to care about issues of a political nature


Now, I understand that you're young (your profile says 19, I'll assume that's factual or at least in the neighborhood), and that's cool and it's pretty unreasonable for me to hold that against you. But you have to acknowledge that your experience is far from comprehensive.

Why then should you care about issues of a political nature?

Because politics is more than granstanding about big ticket legislation and high profile items. Because the government is responsible for a lot of things, from the big to the small. And one day, you're going to have to pay actual taxes, and one day, you're going to have to file a complicated tax return and realize that you're not getting anything back. And you're going to start to care more about where that money is going. At that point, it becomes less about principle, and more about pragmatics. And that's going to matter.

One day, you're going to have loved ones, and a family beyond the one you have. And you or one of those loved ones might have their jobs and livelihoods depending on a program that is sponsored by the government. I'm not talking about things like being on welfare or unemployment, or working for a government agency. I'm talking about working for a contractor whose primary existence is doing work that the government has decided it wants done. And one day, those jobs are going to be on the line because of a political issue. And at that moment, the grand theories about government spending and what is right and wrong in the minds of lofty idealists (from the right or the left, either way) become irrelevant, because those theories don't put food on your plate and don't pay your mortgage.

One day, you or one of your loved ones might develop a disease. A disease that has almost certainly been studied by some governmental agency. And once a year, every year, while you endure the difficulties of treatment and recovery, a decision will be made as to how much funding the department gets that is responsible for researching or managing care of that disorder. And in a bad year (or, a bad several years), it might be that department that gets the axe.

By voting, you don't simply affirm allegiance to a political party or candidate. You affirm your ability to exhibit some control in a world that is by and large out of your control. You contribute your voice, not just to support something you believe in, but to support something that affects you on a very real basis, every day. By becoming an active member of the voting public and encouraging others to do the same, you exert a small but relevant portion of the control you have over your own future and the future of people that matter to you. And if you can get other people to understand the same things, then the effect of your voting activity becomes more than just a tally. It becomes a statement that you are genuinely concerned with your future and the future of your community, state, or country.

And it may be that right now you are not. But I will tell you this. One day, you will be. And right now, there are people, some of whom have been in your shoes where you stand now, that are in exactly those situations. And while it might not matter to you, it matters to them.

I work for a company that does government-sponsored research. I am personally involved with 2 or 3 projects at a time. The contracts are not large, multimillion dollar deals that you hear about. They're small, short term, but very effective. During the recent budget crisis, the contracts and extensions that we were awarded for my projects were delayed. I was supposed to start a 2-year project in December. It didn't come. I had some work to cover me, but that was finite. So I had a calendar, with an X on the day that job ended, because if the government didn't get its act together, that was the last day that I would have been certain to have had a job. So it matters to me. And who knows, maybe the algorithms I design will save the life of you or one of your loved ones.

But it also matters to the EMTs that might respond to a car accident that you're in, or to the doctors that detect the cancer growing inside you, or to the manager of the shop where you buy your coffee. Whatever the case may be, your life might not presently depend on your own concern for political issues. But other people's lives and livelihoods do, every day.

User avatar
Cloud Walker
Posts: 605
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:37 am UTC
Location: Midwest, USA, Earth, Sol, Milky Way
Contact:

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Cloud Walker » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:01 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Jacque wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference;

Sure. But that isn't, in itself, a reason to vote.

So sayeth TGB.

I should clarify: if all that matters to you is the "making a difference" part, then the fact that you can be part of a group that might make a difference is still inconsequential, since you're just as unlikely to make a difference to their making a difference as you were to the bigger picture.


If you think you might be a part of a group that would make a difference if the group voted, then why not vote? To withhold your vote makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy: it won't actually make a difference simply because you think it won't make a difference. If people didn't have this mindset, everyone's vote would make a difference (well, at least anyone who is of like mind with a large enough group of people to make a difference, which, I think, is most people).

To the topic in general: if you don't like the "two" "choices" available (quotes because of cynicism), vote for a third party candidate. Third party numbers show up on, for example, CNN when it's reporting the results. There are a significant amount of third party voters out there. If we could send a few or several states' electoral colleges to something other than "Democrat" or "Republican", I think something significant will happen in people realizing that, hey, there are other choices out there, and some of them really good! (Relatively.) Which will of course bring more third party voters. In other words, more third party voters = more third party voters. And the regular two teams, I mean. . . parties, will hopefully realize that they have to be less idiotic.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die. - Amelia Burr

I make pretty pictures!: Photography & Video Production

User avatar
kaimason1
WINNING
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:05 am UTC
Location: See avatar.

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby kaimason1 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:43 am UTC

Cloud Walker wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Jacque wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
kaimason1 wrote:However, if you do vote, combined with even a relatively few others like you making the same decision, it can make a difference;

Sure. But that isn't, in itself, a reason to vote.

So sayeth TGB.

I should clarify: if all that matters to you is the "making a difference" part, then the fact that you can be part of a group that might make a difference is still inconsequential, since you're just as unlikely to make a difference to their making a difference as you were to the bigger picture.


If you think you might be a part of a group that would make a difference if the group voted, then why not vote? To withhold your vote makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy: it won't actually make a difference simply because you think it won't make a difference. If people didn't have this mindset, everyone's vote would make a difference (well, at least anyone who is of like mind with a large enough group of people to make a difference, which, I think, is most people).

To the topic in general: if you don't like the "two" "choices" available (quotes because of cynicism), vote for a third party candidate. Third party numbers show up on, for example, CNN when it's reporting the results. There are a significant amount of third party voters out there. If we could send a few or several states' electoral colleges to something other than "Democrat" or "Republican", I think something significant will happen in people realizing that, hey, there are other choices out there, and some of them really good! (Relatively.) Which will of course bring more third party voters. In other words, more third party voters = more third party voters. And the regular two teams, I mean. . . parties, will hopefully realize that they have to be less idiotic.


Thank you for reading my mind and summing up all my intended points much better than I could have.
SexyTalon wrote:If it walks like a person, talks like a person, and tastes like a person, it's probably a person. Or I Can't Believe It's Not People, which cannibals prefer to Soylent Green nearly 5 to 1 in a blind taste test.

User avatar
setzer777
Good questions sometimes get stupid answers
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby setzer777 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:04 am UTC

gorcee wrote:And at that moment, the grand theories about government spending and what is right and wrong in the minds of lofty idealists (from the right or the left, either way) become irrelevant, because those theories don't put food on your plate and don't pay your mortgage.


I pay taxes. I work for a job that is funded by government grants (and my continued employment is uncertain at the end of every grant year). Someone I love depends on government assistance in order to fully function day to day*. I still think that informed voting is not worth my time and effort (and uninformed voting is worse than useless).

Pragmatically my single vote is simply too inconsequential to bother. Were I to dedicate large amounts of time and/or money to a cause, I might feel it is making a difference, but it is not worth that kind of investment to me. I'd rather deal with the political climate as it changes, than invest a large amount of effort for a small chance of making a positive change.

As far as I can see there are a few good reasons to vote:

A. You are making a symbolic but not pragmatically significant stand for your cause and your beliefs.

B. You are following a rule-utilitarianism principle and considering what would happen if everyone copied your actions (i.e. if everyone refrained from voting the system would break down; or if everyone who shared your beliefs refrained the opposition would always win).

C. For the above reasons or others, you gain positive emotional benefits from voting.

If the above are not important to someone, I'd say that voting might not be worthwhile to them.

*And please don't suggest that were disaster to strike in these areas I would regret my belief on the matter. I would do my best to adapt and help myself and my loved ones handle it, but I would not regret not making a symbolic statement on the matter.

Edit:

gorcee wrote:Not the initial, but the last point we do.
Really, we do. Just google "game winning goal hockey". Or like, here's the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goal_(ice_hockey)

There's a reason we do this for hockey, a typically low-scoring game. Individual points are more emotionally significant specifically because there are less of them.
Meaux_Pas wrote:We're here to go above and beyond.

Too infinity
of being an arsehole

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:41 pm UTC

Then all of that is rather sad and selfish. Not caring about how something affects you is fine. But willingly not spending 10 whole minutes out of your day, once a year, to do something that matters to someone else, that's just kind of pitiful. Your points aren't invalid, so there's no sense in arguing them. They're just pathetic.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11120
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Yakk » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:57 pm UTC

See, I can understand why people would shamefully concede that they have fallen for a tragedy of the commons logic trap. But, why would someone would be proud of it?

I suppose people have a tendency to believe they are "good people" and that their actions, being the actions of a "good person", must be "good actions"?

Does someone who considers that (A) everyone not voting would be horrible and (B) my voting isn't worth my time also litter, leave gum under seats, and generally act like a "baby" sociopath? Or is it isolated to just not voting? Are they as proud about their various other anti-social habits as they are about their (admittedly anti-social) decision not to vote?

Just wondering. Because, ya know, I have littered in the past, but I'm not self-righteous about it. I'm ashamed of it, really.

(note that this is written more harshly than I feel, because it is hard to get nuance right)
Last edited by Yakk on Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:49 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7588
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:06 pm UTC

I still think that informed voting is not worth my time and effort (and uninformed voting is worse than useless).

Here's what I don't get about this stance: yes, your influence over government decisions is tiny.. The influence of the electorate as a whole is significant, but yours is only an x-millionth (fill in your local big number) share of that influence. But government power is proportionally big. Its power is multiplied by that a similarly large number of people over which it has control, and whose resources it draws on.

The product of those two is still big. It's not like a lottery where the product of odds and payout has to be smaller than the cost to play. The product of your little influence multiplied with that awesome government power is still a lot, only distributed over everyone instead of returning back to you.

Instead of a lottery, it's more like one-in-a-million odds to return a million wallets at one go, or taking one step on along road towards returning a million wallets. Since surely the difference between policies you favour and policies you oppose is easily comparable to returning a wallet to everyone in the country. Of course, if you only focus on the effects on people you know, than we're back to zilch effect. If you ignore the effects on all those other people you don't know, then your little influence times the power of the government ends up being very little.

That takes a very particular two-step: first you have to take a cold non-emotional look at voting. Which surely feels like it matters, even when you know the numbers involved. Just try voting for someone you abhor, while telling yourself that it doesn't matter. But then you have to decide not to take that same cold hard look at government size, but only to base your decision on the few people you have a personal bond with.

That's the nice thing about voting: you can act as if your vote matters a lot, and only take people you know into account. That's a doable choice for human beings, while no one can truly grasp tiny nudges to enormous entities.
And the end result of everyone acting that way happens to work out fairly OK, as history suggests. That's a nice system, why try to convince yourself that it is not?
Last edited by Zamfir on Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:12 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:07 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:See, I can understand why people would shamefully concede that they have fallen for a tragedy of the commons logic trap. But, why would someone would be proud of it?

I suppose people have a tendency to believe they are "good people" and that their actions, being the actions of a "good person", must be "good actions"?

Does someone who considers that (A) everyone not voting would be horrible and (B) my voting isn't worth my time also litter, leave gum under seats, and generally act like a "baby" sociopath? Or is it isolated to just not voting? Are they as proud about their various other anti-social habits as they are about their (admittedly anti-social) decision not to vote?

Just wondering. Because, ya know, I have littered in the past, but I'm not self-righteous about it. I'm ashamed of it, really.


You've got some weird grammar going on. I can't tell if you're pro-not voting or anti-not voting.

User avatar
Jacque
a member of shro's band
Posts: 870
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:28 pm UTC
Location: Oakland, CA
Contact:

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Jacque » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:12 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:[I pay taxes. I work for a job that is funded by government grants (and my continued employment is uncertain at the end of every grant year). Someone I love depends on government assistance in order to fully function day to day*. I still think that informed voting is not worth my time and effort (and uninformed voting is worse than useless).

Pragmatically my single vote is simply too inconsequential to bother. Were I to dedicate large amounts of time and/or money to a cause, I might feel it is making a difference, but it is not worth that kind of investment to me. I'd rather deal with the political climate as it changes, than invest a large amount of effort for a small chance of making a positive change.

What kind of time and effort do you think it takes to be informed enough to vote?

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gorcee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:14 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
I still think that informed voting is not worth my time and effort (and uninformed voting is worse than useless).
That's the nice thing about voting: you can act as if your vote matters a lot. And the end result of everyone acting that way is indeed close to a situation where individual votes did matter significantly. That's nice, why try to convince yourself that it is not?


Exactly, which was the whole point of my pedantic thought experiment about ordering votes. It was just a roundabout way of saying, "I can feel as if my vote matters, even if the chances are immeasurably small."

It's like being in a large choir. Why sing? Everyone else's voice just washes out yours. But you can't tell from where your sitting if your voice adds the thing that turns it from a good choir to a great one. So why not just feel like you matter, than trying to rationalize away your relevance and acting like a victim for not mattering?

And, for what it's all worth, most elections aren't settled by millions of votes, or even tens of thousands. Local elections are often settled by a gross total of a few hundred to a few thousand votes. And those often have a direct and measurable impact on your life. Do you get a new road to your neighborhood to ease traffic? Will they pass a noise ordinance to squelch partying that has been keeping you up at night?

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7588
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Zamfir » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:29 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:But you can't tell from where your sitting if your voice adds the thing that turns it from a good choir to a great one.

Hmm, not sure if that is right, even if the choir analogy itself is sound. There's no single voice that adds that one important thing, just as there is never a single vote that determines the outcome. Either all votes matter (in the edge case), or no individual vote.

It's just that in both cases, little-part-of-something-big ends up comparable to big-part-of-something-small. So we humans can abuse the latter case to get an appropriate emotional response, that we cannot really get from the abstract first case.

So we can reason that our response is roughly appropriate, even when we cannot fully emotionally comprehend the "little-part-of-something-big" case.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26739
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:44 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:You've got some weird grammar going on. I can't tell if you're pro-not voting or anti-not voting.
Really? I noticed no weird grammar, and an abundance of words like "ashamed" and "self-righteous" and "sociopath", which make Yakk's meaning pretty easy to comprehend.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11120
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: My first election? Fuck it, man.

Postby Yakk » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
gorcee wrote:You've got some weird grammar going on. I can't tell if you're pro-not voting or anti-not voting.
Really? I noticed no weird grammar, and an abundance of words like "ashamed" and "self-righteous" and "sociopath", which make Yakk's meaning pretty easy to comprehend.

I was more worried about coming over far too harsh rather than having the direction of the comment being ambiguous!

Note that I'm equating not-voting to littering, morally, not to killing babies.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 39 guests