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Weekly update

* Small world -- a new friend in Bloomington turns out to be a college friend of the Ai I met in Tokyo.
* Possible sociopath detection
* Texas might be turning Democratic in the future?
* I've LJed before about range voting, and it's still a good system for single-winner stuff. But now I'm more interested in proportional representation legislatures, and in particular a system that seems so obvious: proxy voting. Instead of trying to elect legislators who have equal voting power, given them power equal to the number of votes cast for them. One person, one vote, but you can delegate your proxy to someone, and they can pass it on in turn, to few enough people to fit in a capitol building. And if one person gets 51% of a district vote, they get less power than someone who gets 80% and is thus more genuinely representative. Right now I envision combining existing districts, so the top three proxy-holders (after a stage of negotiation and pledging) go; those who don't go directly from a district can combine forces at large to get over some threshold of representation. This way you have local ballots and campaigning, and firebreaks so someone doesn't sweep the legislature just based on demagoguery or name recognition, but a dispersed 1% can also manage to get a seat.
* David Brooks on the future of the GOP.
* Weekly Standard on the emerging non-Republican majority.
* Unsourced graph on national religion vs. wealth
* US energy per capita use has been constant for some decades, but electricity has gone up. Good resource site and PDF.
* Purple (and green) election maps for 1960-2004
* Military heroes: not for the White House.
* Cheap flying car?
* Narrowing life expectancy gap.
* Senator Lugar (R-IN) on Obama.

* I read The Prefect, Alastair Reynolds' latest Inhibitor book. Pretty good. I was surprised that character A turned out not to be past character B, though on reflection it might be impossible for character B to have arrived yet. I did wonder if character C might be responsible for future disaster D. And if anyone has any clue what I'm talking about we can discuss spoilers in the comments.
* I'm reading a book on SE Asia's history, something I don't know much about. Thailand was never colonialized (affected, but not taken over); "oh, Malaysia isn't an island?"; there were a bunch of Hindu/Buddhist god-kings running around, except in Vietnam which was much like China (the Son of Heaven is not, in fact, divine); the rapacious theft of the colonial period was starkly presented (Europeans really were like orcs, mugging the world); the Muslim Souther Philippines were never really part of the Spanish colony, and the Philippines didn't exist as a unit (like Laos) before colonialism, which may explain the Muslim "separatists": they never felt part of this thing in the first place.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 15th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
The life expectancy data is fascinating and very hopeful.

It's odd, for perhaps the first time in my life I find myself both agreeing with David Brooks and very much hoping he's correct, both because a reformed Republican party would eventually be very useful, and because having the party turn even nuttier will keep continue to drive them out of major offices for the next decade or so, both of which are prospects that have my first support.
Nov. 16th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
proportional representation
reweight range voting and asset voting are good p.r. systems you didn't mention.

Nov. 16th, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
SMALL world. ^_^
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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