Sunday, December 18, 2016

Electoral College: Perform Your Task Wisely

Many people seem confused by the process of selecting a President.

At no point has this country been other than a republic of states, and the US Constitution specifies the means for those states to elect a President. That process is the Electoral College.

No matter what is on your ballot when you vote, you are not voting for a President. You are voting for an elector, a member of the Electoral College.  ALL your voting takes place within your state. There is no vote for a national office.

Tomorrow the Electoral College meets to vote for the next President.

I pray and hope that it exercises this task with utmost care and diligence, and does not merely make its selection because of a misconstrued sense that the "public" voted for one person or another. The public did not vote for anything more than the electors.

Electoral College: this is your opportunity to confirm the wisdom of our Founding Fathers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

No doubt

Every time I think the Donald is an idiot, he opens his mouth and removes all doubt.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Is this news?

The New York Times of November 16 has an article entitled "the Two Americas of 2016", splitting the country in two by counties, based on whether or not they went for Clinton or Trump in the recent elections. (Article here). Why counties? Why not Congressional districts, why not voting districts, why not by elevation? (Who knows! Is height above sea level positively correlated with election results?)

The Times let me down with this article. It said nothing new. Urban areas tended to go democrat and rural areas republican.  Who didn't know this BEFORE the election?

Maybe the times should display a rainbow map where colors indicate percentage of population with Twitter accounts, or maybe Facebook accounts. Maybe show us a colored contour map colored so that height relates to available broadband speed and color to election results.

There are many ways in which creative maps could be used to educate the public about its country. This creation may be unique, but not newsworthy.

What would be newsworthy would be for the Times to show a map that encourages some form of unity between urban and rural areas. Perhaps displaying by creative use of color the average drive time to the nearest supermarket. (Maybe the urban people might realize they have a distinct advantage here. Perhaps the Trump vote's underlying cause was accessibility of grocery stores!)

However a newspaper packages its news, let it first be sure that it is news, and not just beating a dead horse.

PS: I would have written this as a comment on the Times web site, but the article had no such option.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The dream continues

Martin Luther King said
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
It is time for all people to begin to judge all people by the content of their characters.

A small step might be for people to take the oath that for the rest of the day they will talk only about individuals, and make no references to any groups to which those individuals might belong.

Talk about a baseball player's talents without referring to the team they play for.
Talk about a politician without referring to his/her political party.
Talk about a dinner recipe without referring to its ethnic or national origin.
Talk about a person in the news without referring to race or origin.
Talk about a neighborhood without clumping people into categories.

Be they good, bad, or indifferent in your eyes, talk about the individual.
Not about the group.

Note that I use "individual" to mean more than just a person. The individual could be a gas station, a bank, a movie, a book.

Say what you want to say about a TV role without referring to any skin color, ethnicity, or religion.
Wax poetic about your neighbors, just not as a group.

To help as all do this, media could take a proactive step and try it too!

If we can do this for one day, we can then try a second. Then a third and fourth, and so on.

New habits can take over for old habits, but it takes time and effort. The time we all have, the effort we must supply.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Blog Change

Over time most of my mathematical blog postings have found their way into my other blog, so from this day forward I will reserve this site for my non-mathematical tidbits.
Stay tuned!