shoot the breeze
Here’s a slide from the talk I gave to the group last Thursday. It went well, and it was probably the most relaxed talk I’ve ever given. I used to be horribly nervous about giving talks, so it’s nice that (after lots of self-inflicted aversion therapy) I don’t have a problem with giving them and indeed winging it. I’ll be giving some variation on the talk to IRL while I’m here, which will hopefully go just as well.
the wrong speed
Jarvis says it better than me.
:It seems quite ironic that at a time when whole departments in radio and TV stations are given over to ‘market research’ and ‘demographic investigations’ that someone who attempted to please nobody but himself ended up forging one of the most profound links with his listeners in the history of broadcasting. Jarvis Cocker, The Guardian.
Well, I thought it was about time I added some new photos to the site. It’s not like I havne been taking gazillions of them recently or anything. Of course, the problem is finding the time to sort out which ones are the good ones and get them ready for uploading. The full set of new pics can be found in the November 2004 gallery. The one off to the right here shows a southernly view from Mt Victoria, and shows my latest rash purchase, a Giant Rincon mountain bike…
upgrades and anti-rants
So, firstly, I feel like I should apologise for the previous political ranting. Yes, I know it’s more complicated than all that, and making out that the Republicans Are Evil doesn’t really help. It all seems weird to outsiders like me, but lots of normal people must have voted for GWB, so there must be some logic to it. There may be a strong religious conservative community, but I can hardly believe they make up 50% of the population…
The whole process did reveal some interesting bits and bobs about the U.S. Like the conspiracy theories by folks over at The Smirking Chimp. There seems to be some correlation between the counties where new Diebold electronic voting machines were in use, and those counties that had unexpectedly swung towards Bush. The statistical analysis is not very convincing, and could well be a consequence of biased sampling (i.e. only focussing on the counties that match your hypothesis, and ignoring the ones that went the other way). However, I do find it fascinating that any democracy would allow the use of voting equipment that make a proper recount absolutely impossible. There is no paper trail - the machine takes the vote...
Testing Email Submissions
I have enabled email submission of pages. This is just a test to see if
it works. It’s not publicly accessible, by the way, so don’t bother trying!
the next four years
I doubt I am alone right now. Just one of millions of non-U.S. citizens pounding various election result webpages (e.g. the BBC and CNN), hoping to find out that Kerry has won. I’ve been following the voting histories, predictions and pre-election polls, and on the basis of that the results so far (Bush ahead 211 to 188, with the important swing states still to declare) are not that surprising - no states have change hands yet. The fact that the outcome depends on so few states is a little depressing, and one wonders what on earth Bush would have had to have done to earn the wrath of the people. Having said that, the relatively high turnout is very welcome indication that perhaps the U.S. public is taking this election as seriously as the rest of the world.
This CNN Exit Poll Survey is quite interesting, breaking down the vote by various social and economic factors. The sample size is admittedly fairly small (11,000-ish) and is probably slightly skewed (do the kind of people who stop to take an exit poll make for an representative sample of the overall population? - I doubt it), but some of...