A New Kind of Democracy

SeanK — Tuesday, September 19th, 2006 @ 4:07 pm
Filed under: General

Today is Primary Election Day in Redmond, Washington and there is a new kind of Democracy at work. A Democracy where only the technologically savvy are allowed to vote. And the best part is that we have managed to keep the plebs out surreptitiously rather than using any high profile methods that might attract attention to this new world order that is under construction.

Back when I was a kid growing up in suburban San Diego, California, I would often confuse Election Day with Flag day because you would see homes, churches, schools, or libraries absolutely littered with flags and signs that read “Vote Here.” It was exciting, and you could hardly miss it. All you had to do was stop by the Polling place nearest your home and vote, or register to do so in the future. Any old 18 year old, no matter how bright, could easily get involved in the democratic process.

Here is a picture of my polling place today taken from my cellphone across the street.

The polls from the street

No flags, no signs, no nothing! Here is a picture standing right in front of the main entrance.

In front of the polls

The only hint is a tiny litte sign on the inner left pillar that says Vote and then something asian underneath it. To find this polling place I had to search Google for this website and find the link that says ”King County polling places” where I could download a PDF that you must be fairly proficient with Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader to read since the font is microscopic. The PDF contains the locations in order by district. (a 6 digit number with a hyphen between the second and third digit) You can decode this number from the mailing address label on your voters pamphlet if you were luck enough to have kept it.

Isn’t that sneaky? If they had instead asked people to complete a computing and internet competency test before allowing them to vote, there would be a riot. But not this way, no one will ever suspect. I fgiure this makes my vote count more since untold numbers of potential voters will never know or suspect that this day was any different from any other Tuesday.


A Good Read

SeanK — Friday, September 1st, 2006 @ 2:02 pm
Filed under: General,Photos

Reading

I read a lot! I started reading (for pleasure) in College when I had a job working in a gas station booth on the swing shift during the summer with no good Calculus homework to occupy my time. I picked up one of Issac Asimov’s Foundation books to keep from going bonkers. Ever since, you can usually catch me half way through several different books. I’m reading about 5 right now. Consequently, my kids having acquired a love of books and can often be found throughout the house buried in some book. 

Anyway, I just finished reading a really good book. So good that I wanted to recommend it to others. David Bodanis, has written an awesome book titled, Electric Universe – The Shocking True Story of Electricity. David has selected some key discoveries (certainly not all) that have formed what we have come to know about electricity and how to harness it. Then drawing on the research he has done on the details of the people and places behind the events, David presents an extemely engaging narrative that draws you in as the story unfolds. David does a great job of describing the electronic processes involved in simple approachable terms that makes it an easy read for someone who is not an electrical engineer.

Anyway, I went ahead and subscribed to the Amazon Associate program to create the link on the sidebar so you can check it out if want. If enough of you buy it through the link I’ll get a gift certificate from Amazon to help feed my habit.


A Day For Firsts

SeanK — Tuesday, June 6th, 2006 @ 2:01 pm
Filed under: General

Whilst perusing my favorite homepage I came across 2 stories that are really interesting. I feel the ich to post something today, probably because it’is sunny in Seattle and I am trying to avoid work.

First, scientist believe they have discovered the oldest astronomy computer. How cool is that. I’ve often wondered how different life would be for me if I had be born out of time. Would I have been a mediocre farmer with an incredible untapped talent? It’s reassuring to know that computers, in one form or another, have been around for a long, long time.

Second, a different set of scientists believe figs were likely humans’ first crop. Now fig newtons have always been one of my favorite kinds of cookies so this doesn’t really surprise me. However, the article stated:

“These figs, however, do not produce seeds and can’t reproduce on their own. Reproduction can occur only if humans plant shoots. Thus, the existence of the figs means that husbandry was taking place.”

What I really wanted to know was how a plant that can only reproduce with human intervention can exist billions and billions of years while humans evolve to the point of being able assist them in reproducing. Does anyone else worry about these kinds of things?


Hello world!

SeanK — Thursday, May 11th, 2006 @ 10:02 am
Filed under: General

Welcome to the new digs. Stretching myself to learn new things, I’ve changed over from managing my website with my own custom written ASP code against an Access MDB backend to using WordPress’ solution written in PHP against a MySQL backend. So far so good.


Reboot!

SeanK — Wednesday, May 10th, 2006 @ 2:25 pm
Filed under: General,Hacking

On installing IE 7.0 beta, I noticed that all my website’s RSS feeds were broken. Not being one to shy away from desperate measures, I’ve blew away my WordPress installation, killed my databases and started fresh. Unfortunately this didn’t fix the problem. Turns out the RSS feeds were failing because I had an extra carriage return in my wp-config.php file. Apparently this makes the RSS feed unparsable for Microsoft. I have fixed the problem and I am contacting them about it as well.


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