Vote. Just F’ing Vote.

You think it’s a toss-up?
You don’t want to vote?
You think there’s no difference
Or nothing of note?
You’re thinking of sitting it out?

You don’t see a difference
That merits attention
There’s no one to vote for,
Or even to mention
You’d rather just sit home and pout?

You think it’s decided?
Then go, and be vocal,
Make waves where they’re needed
And vote in the local
Elections, for city and state

The national picture
Is one part of many;
The local and state races
Show us that any-
One’s vote could determine our fate

You want to stay silent?
You think you’re not needed?
Your view won’t be counted?
Then they have succeeded,
Convincing you, give up the fight!

The truth is, you matter
In districts and states;
Your vote makes a difference
To so many fates;
So do it…, cos, frankly, it’s right.
[Read more…]

Moneyball, Politics, And Nate Silver’s Bet

The process of crunching each district’s statistics
Makes some people happy, but some people sad
The numbers the polls are reporting, supporting
Obama’s election, make Romney’s team mad
The “quants” find the stats’ inferential potential
A powerful weapon—the greatest one yet—
They’d back its conclusions ‘gainst bunches of hunches,
And unlike the hunchers, they’re willing to bet.

When faced with the Five-Thirty-Eighters, the haters
Will trust in the wisdom of “somebody said”
The confidence placed in some minion’s opinions
Stems largely from favoring blue state or red.
Belief is perception—our bias can pry us
To left, right, or center, in so many ways
But numbers are numbers—they show it; we’ll know it,
And all of it done… in a couple of days

Just search for “Nate Silver’s Bet”, and you’ll find all the context you need. I’ll link to The Atlantic’s take, cos it stands out a bit–Nate Silver is willing to put his money where his mouth is, and maybe political punditry would be better served if more writers had to back up their lip service with cold hard cash.

I Blame Peter Sagal

I have had this going through my head for a day now. Wonderfully.

Oh, yeah, it’s part of a playlist, which I have listened to several times. And which I strongly recommend. Seriously, just clear your schedule and listen. My goodness, this is good.

All because I clicked on a twitter link from Peter Sagal.

Footprints In The Sand…

Red State Jesus and Blue State Jesus
Were walking along, on the beach;
Discussing the issues, the fervent opinions,
And policies favored by each.

Blue State Jesus and Red State Jesus
Had two very different lists
But you won’t find their footsteps at all, in the sand
Because neither one fucking exists.

So CNN has a weird story/survey up, in which you can test whether you believe in Red State Jesus or Blue State Jesus.

If elections are about choices, so is faith. And in Christianity, liberals and conservatives choose to see Jesus in different ways. Some liberals see Jesus as a champion of the poor who would support raising taxes on the wealthy, while some conservatives think Jesus would be more concerned with opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.

and the survey?

Perhaps most Christians follow not one Jesus, but many — including a bit of a red state Jesus and a bit of a blue state Jesus. We consulted several pastors and religion professors to come up with this voter’s guide to Jesus. Answer these questions, click “Submit” and see where you fall on the red state-blue state Jesus scale:

So… how did I do? I didn’t believe in either–I could not, in good conscience, click on either option of any of the ten questions.

Donors Choose… Incentives!

Ok, just got the word–there is a donor who is matching small donations (up to $100), so you can double the effect of your money! Just enter the match code “SCIENCE” (without quotes) in the box labeled “match or gift code”, on the page where you are entering your payment info for paypal or credit card. The matching started this morning, and goes until they hit $50,000 of donations to match. That’s a lot of helped classrooms.

But suppose you want to donate more than that? You see the perfect project that you want to be personally responsible for, and you make a bigger donation; is there an incentive for that? Well… sorta. For my readers who donate in the triple digits (if you are able to donate in more digits than that, please note I have a tip jar, myself!), I want to send you one of my cuttlefish car emblems. If you already donated in the triple digits (and you know who you are–and so do I), let me know if you want a car emblem, and where you want it sent (one reader already has).

I have only a few extras here, but if enough of you donate I am perfectly willing to put in another order, and consider it a big win for the kids.