----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick(a)linuxmafia.com> -----
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2016 22:56:53 -0800
From: Rick Moen <rick(a)linuxmafia.com>
Subject: [skeptic] On the art of becoming an uncarved rock (was: Please
allow me to introduce myself...)
Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already.
Quoting Eva Durant (durant.eva(a)gmail.com):
what can I say? Maybe the unwashed were a tad
disappointed with Obama?
Remember, he was elected twice... Just doing a Futurelearn course on "The
mind is flat" - we are very fickle us humans - maybe in the US even more
never mind. He won't be able to do much either.
Unless that 0.1% really got madly panicky and ready for a 1984.
There's a perceptual bias that people unfortunately labour under, that
says that definitive election results can be expected the same day, and
that whatever's available the same day needs to be considered the
outcome. This attitude of impatience doesn't mislead people 95% of the
time -- the times when the margin of victory is clear, early on.
In the other 5% of cases, there's really no alternative but to wait --
and people really don't want to hear that. They want elections to be
settled on Internet time. When elections are close, or when elections
are atypical and difficult to model, this bias leads people into
adopting early, shaky guesses as if they were fact.
Here in most-placid, Democratic Party-dominated California, it's been
obvious all along that the state's bloc of 55 Electoral College votes
would go to the Democratic Party ticket (which ended up being
Clinton/Kaine). But even here, it's actually not even remotely possible
to fully model and predict the statewide vote on Election Day -- if only
because of the several categories of ballots that are counted only
slowly _after_ Election day: all mailed-in ballots, all provisional
ballots, and all early-voting ballots.
To picked mailed-in ballots as an example: As long as a mail-in ballot
has been postmarked by election day and received within three days, it
must be counted, by state law. However, as it happens, the third day
will be Veterans' Day, a Federal holiday with no mail delivery, with the
effect that mail-in ballots received even by Monday, November 14, 2016
are valid and must be counted. So, California's Secretary of State
cannot even in principle know fully what the results of the election are
until _six days_ after Election Day.
I'm really not familiar with the specific situation in the other 49
states plus District of Columbia, but I'll bet there are similar
problems everywhere else -- and this is not what those of us conditioned
to a 24-hour news cycle and instant Internet-timescale results want to
hear. But it's the cold, hard, unpleasant truth:
In a close election, you just have to wait. Days, maybe even weeks.
It _is_ apparently a close election. The interim results are (mostly,
in many places) all we have yet, and are at best poorly reliable and
subject to upset by later, better data. Maybe the smartest thing to do
is to take go on holiday and wait for futher developments, remembering
that nothing actually need be settled until Monday, December 19th, when
the Electoral College casts its votes.
Meanwhile, I'm going to resume watching 'Borgen', the Danish show about
the story of an effective, powerful, rational, intelligent female head
Catch y'all on the other side.
Cheers, A woman's place is in the House,
Rick Moen the Senate, and the White House.
skeptic mailing list
To reach the listadmin, mail rick(a)linuxmafia.com
----- End forwarded message -----