1130: "Poll Watching"

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Quicksilver
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1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Quicksilver » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:53 am UTC

Image
Alt Text: "The choices we make Tuesday could have MASSIVE and PERMANENT effects on the charts on Nate Silver's blog!"
Eh, the $100 million Lotto draw is closer to home for me.
Last edited by Quicksilver on Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:54 am UTC

I'm just waiting for the day when whichever presidential candidate wins the final pre-vote poll automatically gets Ohio. And the Dakota/Carolina of their choice.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby nowhereman » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:04 am UTC

I know some people like that. I kinda want to throw my 10lb stats book at them.
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby sardia » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:11 am UTC

I see even Randall has noticed the famous Nate Silver now.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby mekily » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:36 am UTC

I knew I had been reading Nate Silver too much when I saw someone holding a completely unlabeled graph printout the other day and instantly recognized it as Nate Silver's Electoral Vote Distribution chart.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby waiwai933 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:38 am UTC

sardia wrote:I see even Randall has noticed the famous Nate Silver now.


About four years ago, yes. (See title-text).

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby DaveMcW » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:53 am UTC

Randall is one of Nate's biggest fans.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby oliphaunt » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:13 am UTC

We had elections in the Netherlands seven weeks ago. One day after the elections, a Dutch satirical site published a "news update" in similar vein. Here's a bad google translation.

The title should be: "Election results don't say anything yet about polls."

http://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.speld.nl%2F2012%2F09%2F13%2Fverkiezingsuitslag-zegt-nog-niets-over-peiling%2F&act=url

One nice quote, my translation:
Says De Hond [major Dutch pollster]: "Elections are just daily rates. In two years, everybody will have forgotten the official results of 12 September. Of course it's all very nice to win 76 seats in the elections [a majority; unheard-of for a single party in our coalition politics], but that will at most allow you to form a government and to make your ideals reality; no more than that. If you really want to get sorely-needed media attention, you will have to score high in my polls. The next few days will be crucial."
ylno thgir ot tfel morf txet siht daer esaelp

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby BAReFOOt » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:27 am UTC

It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Alltat » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:41 am UTC

BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


I take it you're not really a fan of democracy?

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby fasces349 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:13 am UTC

Nate Silver is the number 1 reason why I am voting Romney. I'm secretly hoping for a Romney win so the nate has to write a series of articles explaining why his 86.3% chance was wrong.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby fasces349 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:15 am UTC

BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.

I hate to break it to you, but corporations account for less then 1/4 of all campaign donations meaning they aren't deciding the election for you

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby MrT2 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:30 am UTC

Most of the polls over the last few months have had smaller differences than the margin of error values, yet the the media/parties still commission new polls and shout about any change in the (still not significant) numbers.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby dudiobugtron » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:56 am UTC

Alltat wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


I take it you're not really a fan of democracy?

It sounds more like BAReFOOt is a fan of democracy, but is just not a fan of the American version of it.
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby LüneTanz » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:32 am UTC

BAReFOOt could be talking about the style of American, and sadly Canadian Democracy as well. I've been transplanted to Europe and have got to say that Representational Govt. just makes sense. It's what democracy is all about. None of this two-party, or first past the post. Something tells me that this thread is going to get very long, very quickly.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Vahir » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:35 am UTC

fasces349 wrote:I hate to break it to you, but corporations account for less then 1/4 of all campaign donations meaning they aren't deciding the election for you


I'd just like to emphasize this.

Also, obligatory image:

Image

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby jestingrabbit » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:43 pm UTC

fasces349 wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.

I hate to break it to you, but corporations account for less then 1/4 of all campaign donations meaning they aren't deciding the election for you


Barefoot isn't talking about campaign contributions, he's talking about the policy making process, and claiming that both sides are in pretty much the same corporations pockets. Regardless of whether its true, you've completely failed to understand what he's saying.

Also, campaign donations... meh. What about superPACs? It is now impossible to know who is spending what on American elections.
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby EpicanicusStrikes » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:06 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:...campaign donations... meh. What about superPACs? It is now impossible to know who is spending what on American elections.

No candidate has an honest chance without corporate backing. We hardly have decent transparency when it comes to campaign support, and even outside of the hidden money there are many ways to launder contributions.

Even assuming the 1/4 figure that fasces349 tossed out is in any way accurate; if you have 100 million people donating a dollar each, and one person donating $25 million dollars, who's going to have a stronger voice in your administration?

Financial influence is quite real. I'm not saying it's evil or even unwanted at times, but it sure as hell is real.

EDIT: Well, I suppose that'd only be 75 million people unless we're talking about matching 25% of current contributions, but I don't want to get caught up in pedantry.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby armandoalvarez » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:48 pm UTC

BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


Even supposing that the election were utterly meaningless and the two parties were exactly the same (which I don't agree with), I would say there are plenty of comics indicating that Randall believes in subjective importance, where everything only matters to the extent it matters to you.
See, e.g., the alt-text in http://xkcd.com/915/
and http://xkcd.com/1095/
Wine is objectively meaningless. Pictures of Joe Biden eating sandwiches are objectively meaningless. Crazy straws are meaningless Sports are meaningless. Whether T-Rex had feathers or not will not affect my life in any perceivable way. But we all need hobbies and interests to pass our lives.
Would you say, "I can't understand how otherwise intelligent and educated people can care about [X work of literature, Y movie, whether Z sports team will make the playoffs, a newly discovered exoplanet]"? None of those things change your life.
The only thing that I can think of that might be objectively meaningful are your personal relationships, but even there, nobody in the greater world cares about how good of a father or friend you are.
EDIT:
But as to the idea that who you vote for is meaningless because the two parties are so similar and controlled by corporations, that may be true for many aspects of policy, but not all. Two obvious examples off the top of my head: 1. I think it's clear that if Al Gore had been president, we would not have invaded Iraq in 2003. That makes a radical difference in American history. 2. If you're a gay person in the military, Obama radically changed your life. The repeal of DADT would not have happened in a McCain administration.
Last edited by armandoalvarez on Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:20 pm UTC, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby functoruser » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:49 pm UTC

fasces349 wrote:Nate Silver is the number 1 reason why I am voting Romney. I'm secretly hoping for a Romney win so the nate has to write a series of articles explaining why his 86.3% chance was wrong.


Suppose you are about to roll a pair of dice, and I say "There's about an 88.9% probability one of those dice will be higher than 2." Then you roll a pair of ones. I still wasn't wrong.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby danivon » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:52 pm UTC

fasces349 wrote:Nate Silver is the number 1 reason why I am voting Romney. I'm secretly hoping for a Romney win so the nate has to write a series of articles explaining why his 86.3% chance was wrong.
I can't think of a dumber way to decide how to vote. In order to prove a single pundit wrong? (and functoruser has just shown how it won't even prove that)

Seriously, go by tie-colour, or how shiny their shoes are ahead of this. It may be shallow and irrelevant to their policies or abilities, but at least it's about the candidates and not some other guy.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Whammy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

waiwai933 wrote:
sardia wrote:I see even Randall has noticed the famous Nate Silver now.


About four years ago, yes. (See title-text).


...replace 2012 with 2016 and this is sadly how I'm probably gonna react once all of this over. That, or I'm gonna go "Great, we're done here...now I got two years to study what the heck happened this election until primaries start up for the next one or otherwise I'll be behind in studying that election!"

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Harry Voyager » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:38 pm UTC

Alltat wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


I take it you're not really a fan of democracy?


Churchill wrote:It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby jay35 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:45 pm UTC

Poll watching... more like pole watching, amirite.

Alltat wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


I take it you're not really a fan of democracy?

Complaining that voting amounts to being left to choose between two faces of one behemoth, isn't at all a complaint about democracy. Rather, it is a complaint about the system that is pulling the strings behind a veneer of democracy, selecting the options you are allowed to choose from, all of which are benign (or malignant, depending on how you look at it) and will by and large just continue the status quo.

functoruser wrote:
fasces349 wrote:Nate Silver is the number 1 reason why I am voting Romney. I'm secretly hoping for a Romney win so the nate has to write a series of articles explaining why his 86.3% chance was wrong.


Suppose you are about to roll a pair of dice, and I say "There's about an 88.9% probability one of those dice will be higher than 2." Then you roll a pair of ones. I still wasn't wrong.


If your claim was merely that "one of the dice will be higher than 2", then no, you wouldn't be wrong. However if your claim selected one of the two dice in particular as the one that would be higher, and it turns out the other one was higher instead, you'd be quite plainly incorrect.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Aiwendil » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:02 pm UTC

BAReFOOt wrote:PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.


You sound rather a lot like some of those Nader voters in 2000 - you know, the ones who, however inadvertantly, gave us two unfunded wars, massive tax cuts for the wealthy, myriad invasions of civil liberties, etc., etc. The American two-party system has many very serious problems, but if, after all that's happened over the past decade, you still think there's no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, you're being willfully blind.

jay35 wrote:If your claim was merely that "one of the dice will be higher than 2", then no, you wouldn't be wrong. However if your claim selected one of the two dice in particular as the one that would be higher, and it turns out the other one was higher instead, you'd be quite plainly incorrect.


Umm . . . I think you've missed the point. Let's make it simpler. If you roll one die, I claim that there is an 83.3% chance that you get a number higher than 1. If you roll a 1, you haven't proved me wrong.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Plundermot » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:16 pm UTC

Aiwendil wrote:
jay35 wrote:If your claim was merely that "one of the dice will be higher than 2", then no, you wouldn't be wrong. However if your claim selected one of the two dice in particular as the one that would be higher, and it turns out the other one was higher instead, you'd be quite plainly incorrect.


Umm . . . I think you've missed the point. Let's make it simpler. If you roll one die, I claim that there is an 83.3% chance that you get a number higher than 1. If you roll a 1, you haven't proved me wrong.


Indeed. And if you insist on using two dice, if I roll a 6-sided die and a 20-sided die, and I say that the 20-sided die has an 82.5% probability of rolling a higher number, it still doesn't make me wrong if the 6-sided die happens to "win". (Unless my maths was wrong, of course.)

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby mattcoz » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:01 pm UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:
Alltat wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


I take it you're not really a fan of democracy?

It sounds more like BAReFOOt is a fan of democracy, but is just not a fan of the American version of it.


Except that we're not a democracy, we're a republic.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby armandoalvarez » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:11 pm UTC

mattcoz wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:
Alltat wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


I take it you're not really a fan of democracy?

It sounds more like BAReFOOt is a fan of democracy, but is just not a fan of the American version of it.


Except that we're not a democracy, we're a republic.

Democracy is not synonymous w/ "direct democracy." That's one kind of democracy but not the only kind. Democracy in the modern sense means any government where the people have control. The UK is a democracy, but not a republic, because it's a constitutional monarchy. The people in the end control the government. The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics was a republic but not a democracy because although they had no real control. The US is both a democracy and a republic (a democratic republic).

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby SerMufasa » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:36 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:Democracy is not synonymous w/ "direct democracy." That's one kind of democracy but not the only kind. Democracy in the modern sense means any government where the people have control. The UK is a democracy, but not a republic, because it's a constitutional monarchy. The people in the end control the government. The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics was a republic but not a democracy because although they had no real control. The US is both a democracy and a republic (a democratic republic).


Exactly. Very tired (for roughly 20 years now) of "The US is a not a democracy!!!!!111" boneheads hung up on literal definitions.

I'll take it one step further. In modern society, "democracy" also constitutes multiple ideals, such as Free Speech, Free Press, Free Market economy, Pleading the 3rd, etc. Simply letting the people vote isn't enough to make it a democracy if the government still coerces behavior.
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby J Thomas » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:43 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:
mattcoz wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:
Alltat wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


I take it you're not really a fan of democracy?

It sounds more like BAReFOOt is a fan of democracy, but is just not a fan of the American version of it.


Except that we're not a democracy, we're a republic.

Democracy is not synonymous w/ "direct democracy." That's one kind of democracy but not the only kind. Democracy in the modern sense means any government where the people have control. The UK is a democracy, but not a republic, because it's a constitutional monarchy. The people in the end control the government. The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics was a republic but not a democracy because although they had no real control. The US is both a democracy and a republic (a democratic republic).


It sounds to me like BAReFOOt is arguing that the USA is not a democracy in the way you mean it. We are a republic the way the USSR was.
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby mcdigman » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:45 pm UTC

Aiwendil wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.


You sound rather a lot like some of those Nader voters in 2000 - you know, the ones who, however inadvertantly, gave us two unfunded wars, massive tax cuts for the wealthy, myriad invasions of civil liberties, etc., etc. The American two-party system has many very serious problems, but if, after all that's happened over the past decade, you still think there's no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, you're being willfully blind.

jay35 wrote:If your claim was merely that "one of the dice will be higher than 2", then no, you wouldn't be wrong. However if your claim selected one of the two dice in particular as the one that would be higher, and it turns out the other one was higher instead, you'd be quite plainly incorrect.


Umm . . . I think you've missed the point. Let's make it simpler. If you roll one die, I claim that there is an 83.3% chance that you get a number higher than 1. If you roll a 1, you haven't proved me wrong.


I've been reading Nate Silver's book... According to the way we constructs his model, if you say theres an 85% chance Obama wins, you aren't wrong at all if Romney wins; however, you are wrong if, over time, in elections you call as having an 85% chance of an incumbent win, the challenger *doesn't* win about 15% of the time.

Unless Nate Silver actually calls the election for Obama (which he hasn't), we won't be wrong if Romney wins. So don't cast your vote to try to prove him wrong, because it will not prove that.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Ken_g6 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:48 pm UTC

Some of us have already voted, and so we have nothing better to do than poll watching. :wink:

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby radtea » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:51 pm UTC

fasces349 wrote:Nate Silver is the number 1 reason why I am voting Romney. I'm secretly hoping for a Romney win so the nate has to write a series of articles explaining why his 86.3% chance was wrong.


A couple of other people have answered this already but I'm seeing this idiocy all of the Web right now so I'll pile on a bit.

This is the anti-Bayesian equivalent of the anti-evolutionist's "People couldn't have evolved from monkeys because there are still monkeys." It confuses a population-based theory with an individual outcome.

How exactly would Romney winning "prove" Silver's 86.3% chance of Obama winning "wrong"?

If the underdog didn't win sometimes (about 13.6% of the time, in the present case) then Silver would be wrong. Ergo, it is necessary that the favourite lose now and then when the prediction is less than 100% certain, which it always is, of course, because certainty is an epistemic error engaged in only by those people who practice that anti-Bayesian travesty known as "faith". [And no, I'm not certain of that, or anything else, including where I left my socks last night, but that doesn't stop me from generally living a happy life and almost always finding my socks in the morning. Certainty is for religious and ideological nutjobs who've done a poor job of becoming mature human beings.]
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby SerMufasa » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

Y'all responding to fasces349 are spending too many words on the subject. The answer is simple: Silver would only be wrong if Romney wins after Silver gave Obama a 100% chance to win.

% chance to wins are always a tricky measure, but as long as they don't reach 100%, they're never wrong. Here's a fun one: a graph of the Red Sox playoff chances in 2011.

Image

http://www.totalprosports.com/2011/09/2 ... -collapse/
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby armandoalvarez » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:
mattcoz wrote:
dudiobugtron wrote:
Alltat wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.


I take it you're not really a fan of democracy?

It sounds more like BAReFOOt is a fan of democracy, but is just not a fan of the American version of it.


Except that we're not a democracy, we're a republic.

Democracy is not synonymous w/ "direct democracy." That's one kind of democracy but not the only kind. Democracy in the modern sense means any government where the people have control. The UK is a democracy, but not a republic, because it's a constitutional monarchy. The people in the end control the government. The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics was a republic but not a democracy because although they had no real control. The US is both a democracy and a republic (a democratic republic).


It sounds to me like BAReFOOt is arguing that the USA is not a democracy in the way you mean it. We are a republic the way the USSR was.

Yes, I imagine Barefoot would say that. I was responding to Mattcoz's claim that we're not a democracy merely because we're a republic, as though the two terms were mutually exclusive. They were in ancient Rome, because "democracy" meant "direct democracy." You can't be both a direct democracy and a republic. But today we have the term "direct democracy" to distinguish between direct democracy and representative democracy. Both are considered forms of democracy today.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby jay35 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

radtea wrote:
fasces349 wrote:Nate Silver is the number 1 reason why I am voting Romney. I'm secretly hoping for a Romney win so the nate has to write a series of articles explaining why his 86.3% chance was wrong.


A couple of other people have answered this already but I'm seeing this idiocy all of the Web right now so I'll pile on a bit.

[...]

How exactly would Romney winning "prove" Silver's 86.3% chance of Obama winning "wrong"?

If the underdog didn't win sometimes (about 13.6% of the time, in the present case) then Silver would be wrong.

Then based on your statement, statistics are never wrong, but they're also essentially pointless, since we can't be certain which portion of the percentage the outcome will actually fall within (the 86.3% or the 13.6%). If it can fall in either place, it's essentially 50/50, since any given instance it could go either way. :P

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby fasces349 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:30 pm UTC

EpicanicusStrikes wrote:
jestingrabbit wrote:...campaign donations... meh. What about superPACs? It is now impossible to know who is spending what on American elections.

No candidate has an honest chance without corporate backing. We hardly have decent transparency when it comes to campaign support, and even outside of the hidden money there are many ways to launder contributions.

Even assuming the 1/4 figure that fasces349 tossed out is in any way accurate; if you have 100 million people donating a dollar each, and one person donating $25 million dollars, who's going to have a stronger voice in your administration?

Financial influence is quite real. I'm not saying it's evil or even unwanted at times, but it sure as hell is real.

EDIT: Well, I suppose that'd only be 75 million people unless we're talking about matching 25% of current contributions, but I don't want to get caught up in pedantry.

Going back to my source (Bradley Smith, the former Commissioner of the FEC), it was 18% not 25% and that was included Super PACs
@Jestingrabbitt and EpicanicusStrikes: Superpacs don't make it anonymous, in fact its the opposite, a common misconception which even some news shows have gotten wrong.

Donating to the persons campaign is anonymous, but you can't donate more then $2500. Super Pacs have to release the name and amount of money for every donation they receive. And in 2010 1 candidate actually lost because their opponents pointed out that corporations were backing him 50-1 and so he would be bad for the people. The claim that corporations control politics is a complete myth and infact unions donate more then corporations do (18% for corporations and 26% for unions)

Myths about politics:
Both options are the same. The reason most people end up thinking this is because the president actually has significantly less power then people think and so can actually do very little compared to what is expected.

Corporations control politics. If this was the case then Dodd-Frank wouldn't have been passed. In past recessions companies that employ thousands of workers got bailout when they were failing. This wasn't because the CEOs and the politicians were good friends but simply if it didn't happen the recession would have been much worse (can anyone name keynes?) as unemployment would skyrocket. To big to fail isn't because they buy politicians but because they have such a high stake in our economy that if they failed so would the US economy. This being said, EpicanicusStrikes brought up a good point about lobbying, the NRA (a non-profit so doesn't count as a corporation) is on average the largest campaign contributor for republicans and the teachers union is on average the largest campaign contributor for democrats. Obviously as a result Republicans are pro-guns (but this doesn't mean democrats are anti-guns) and democrats are pro-union. However mega corporations, despite popular belief tend to stay out of politics. Microsoft, Google, etc. donate a total of $0 to political parties because the maximum amount of damage a president could do minuscule compared to isolating 1/2 of your consumers by supporting the wrong party. Oil and Agriculture are notable exceptions because they jump behind politicians who support subsidies in their respective industries, simply because subsidies mean more profit. Banks have become a recent exception (The finance sector donated more to Obama in 2008, then they have in every other election combined in history).

The Rich buy elections: Freakonomics did a study in this by looking at every circumstance in history where the same 2 candidates ran against eachother more then once. They found that if you spend twice as much as your candidate, you would get 1% more votes then you originally would have. The reason why in almost every case in history the winner had more money is simply because 56% of donations (in $ amount) come from individuals. Think about it, if your the more popular candidate, more people will donate to your campaign and so you will have more money you have to spend.

I think these are the big ones.

Lastly to clarify my previous post:
SerMufasa wrote:Y'all responding to fasces349 are spending too many words on the subject. The answer is simple: Silver would only be wrong if Romney wins after Silver gave Obama a 100% chance to win.

% chance to wins are always a tricky measure, but as long as they don't reach 100%, they're never wrong. Here's a fun one: a graph of the Red Sox playoff chances in 2011.

Image

http://www.totalprosports.com/2011/09/2 ... -collapse/

I'm actually rather disappointed that nobody realized that my original post was a joke. noone (hopefully) is stupid enough to vote for the underdog in an election just because he is the underdog.

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Coyne » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

fasces349 wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:It is sad, that even supposedly intelligent and educated people, like Randall, or Jon Steward, completely fall for that utterly meaningless distraction. As if it was in any way relevant to their lives. Like CD jumping, they just never ever seem to get it.

PROTIP: THE DEMS WILL ENACT THE REP CHANGES ANYWAY! AND THE REPS WILL ENACT THE DEM CHANGES ANYWAY! Because in both cases, they are controlled by the same lobbyists, have revolving doors with the same companies (all of them) and will show you the same propaganda on TV to brainwash you into believing whatever they want.

If you still think that it matters, which one of two parties “you” choose (actually: is chosen by bribery aka “donations”, so the big companies are the only ones who decide)… let alone which one of that one single decorative puppet they put in front of you to distract you… then if you don’t want to commit yourself, please shoot yourself right now. Because you have gone officially crazy, a danger to yourself and everyone around you, and belong to a nuthouse.

I hate to break it to you, but corporations account for less then 1/4 of all campaign donations meaning they aren't deciding the election for you


If you think campaigns are all that matter, you haven't been paying attention. For example, while Obama and Romney have both raised about $1.1 billion for this election, just one PAC--American Crossroads--expects to raise and spend $300 million.

Of course, we don't know how all the PAC's will do, but there are at least 250 of them that matter: And if they each average $30 million, then the aggregate $7.5 billion will significantly overshadow O&R's pathetic campaign donations. The majority of their donations are corporate, because direct giving to campaigns still has limits.

TV Week says PAC spending might go as high as $9.8 billion.
In all fairness...

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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

I'm laughing at you all.

The polls are all useless. Whenever I see a poll saying " 'Candidate A' guaranteed win in 'State A' " I immediately go to look at how they reached those numbers and can immediately call BS. One poll (which I am only using because it was obviously biased and no one can say I myself am being biased of it's results) said that Obama was guaranteed Ohio.

The poll included 46 Republicans, 19 Democrats, and 35 independents.
The poll had the numbers at 46/52 in favor of Obama.
Conclusion:If every Republican chose Romney and every Democrat chose Obama then 94% of independents had to have voted Obama. Those numbers don't agree with any other poll (but that doesn't matter because the other polls are wrong too) and the balance itself of 46/35/19 isn't an accurate cross section of the population.

Long story short: The only people who are actively polling are the people with a dog in the fight.
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Re: 1130: "Poll Watching"

Postby mathmannix » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:39 pm UTC

fasces349 wrote:I'm actually rather disappointed that nobody realized that my original post was a joke. noone (hopefully) is stupid enough to vote for the underdog in an election just because he is the underdog.


I don't think Romney's really the underdog, because a lot of people expect him to win. I would imagine that the majority of people who will vote for him tomorrow expect him to win, or at least believe that it is possible. However, I bet nobody who will vote for the Prohibition Party candidate, Jack Fellure of West Virginia, tomorrow expect him to win. (Actually, it is technically impossible for him to win, as he only on the ballot in Louisiana, and write-in votes for him in 41 states - including California, Texas, New York, and Florida - will just be thrown out rather than counted - link.)

There are six people who are actually capable of being elected President tomorrow - in decreasing order of how their party's candidates did in 2008, they are Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney, Libertarian Gary Johnson, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and lastly Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson, whose party was just created last year. As Rocky Anderson would have to get a majority of votes in every single state that he can legally get votes in to be elected, he is (IMO) definitely the underdog.
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