i'm kinda busy, but here are some links I enjoyed and thought you might enjoy as well!
Mood: cheerful
Posted on 2008-11-20 12:45:00
Tags: politics links
Words: 244

Finally everyone called Missouri for McCain (so long, bellwether state!), and Obama won 1 electoral vote from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district (the one with Omaha in it), so the final electoral total is 365-173, and Obama won the popular vote by around 7% (see CNN's final results), which is a lot for modern elections. This is the largest percentage of popular vote win for a Democrat since LBJ in 1964. He flipped 9 states from red to blue from 2004.

Senatewise, Ted Stevens did in fact end up losing in Alaska, so you Alaskans are off the hook...for now. Georgia senate race goes to a runoff since the Republican won just under 50% of the vote. In Minnesota, there's an ongoing recount between Al Franken(D) and Norm Coleman(R) - Coleman is currently ahead by 172 votes (down from 215 before the recount started). Here's a neat feature where you can see some of the ballots that are being challenged and vote on how you think they should be called. I think #5 is my favorite!

South Park creators to write Broadway musical lampooning Mormons - so many mixed emotions. Angry at Mormon church for funding Yes on Prop 8 in California. Not real comfortable with a musical making fun of someone's religion. Amused it's being co-written by the writer of Avenue Q. Amused the lead role is being played by an openly gay actor.

This Daily WTF is yet another remarkable case of programming without thinking.


Comment from omega697:

Not real comfortable with a musical making fun of someone's religion.

Why? What is special about religion that it shouldn't be made fun of?

Comment from gregstoll:

Because it's something one believes in (and by definition can't be proven) and it seems a bit cruel to do so.

Plus, there's a difference between making fun of something in casual conversation and devoting a musical show on Broadway to it. What if I wrote a Broadway musical making fun of your mom? Or Democrats?

Comment from omega697:

If my mom/Democrats was/were a major reason that people were dying or being made to suffer, then I probably wouldn't have a problem with that.

Don't get me wrong: I think people should be able to believe whatever they want. But when the thing they believe has a powerful effect on billions of other people, I think it becomes fair game.

Comment from omega697:

(Notice that nobody gets on the case of the Jains or the Unitarians in this way)

Comment from gregstoll:

So I assume we're not just talking about Prop 8 here?

I guess the problem I see is that it's hard to separate making fun of the Mormon church and making fun of people who are in the church.

Comment from omega697:

Well, I see Prop 8 as one of those ways that people's unprovable beliefs negatively affect the lives of others, thus opening up those unprovable beliefs to scrutiny (including mockery).

Aren't the two things you talk about the same thing? I mean, if you don't agree with the Mormon church, do you have any business being a Mormon?

Comment from omega697:

Let's think about this in terms of a different issue. I think that if someone wants to subscribe to the tenets of young-earth creationism, that is fine by me. As soon as that person tries to negatively affect my child's education as a result of those beliefs, however, I think that it is my duty to defend my child's education, even if that means making fun of that other person's beliefs. If they had kept them to themselves, that would be another story altogether.

Comment from gregstoll:

So, to be clear, you're talking about evangelizing here?

Comment from omega697:

I'm talking about something more broad than evangelizing.

I'm talking about any action that someone takes as a result (solely) of their religious beliefs that has a negative effect on others.

They could be evangelizing, they could be burning at the stake. Either way.

Comment from gregstoll:

Well, to a point, but you can disagree with some aspects of the Mormon church and still be a member. I don't agree with all of the policies of the Democratic party, yet I consider myself a Democrat.

Comment from omega697:

There's no tenet of the Democratic party that says the party is right on every issue and that every other party is an abomination before God. There's no tenet of the Democratic party that says Howard Dean is the inerrant servant of an infallible being and that every word he utters in the capacity of Chairman of the DNC is the pronouncement of that infallible being. This is the problem with a lot of religions (including Mormonism) - they claim to have a monopoly on truth, so you kinda have to be entirely with them or entirely against them.

Comment from flamingophoenix:

I left the Catholic Church because I realized I didn't agree with most of the theology AND the non-theological bits (anti-gay, etc.) were making me uncomfortable. But it took both of these things for me to up and leave (and the leaving took 7 years). Just throwin' that out there.

Comment from gregstoll:

I also left the Catholic Church after a while of being uncomfortable with various parts of it. But it also took me a while - generally a religion isn't something you just up and leave, especially since for a lot of people you are a particular religion because you were raised that way.

Comment from medryn:

I would pay to attend a Broadway musical making fun of Kurt's mom.

Comment from omega697:

I paid to attend your mom last night.

Comment from tehfanboi:

It will probably be on par with Dogma, which was pretty critical of the Catholic Church. Any institution is fair game to be mocked and satired. If espouse any viewpoint being it factual or opinion in the public forum, you have to be willing to accept the scrutiny of that. And that scrutiny can be peer reviewed academic journals or broadway musical spoofs.

Comment from flamingophoenix:

Yeah, but Dogma was kinda dumb. I'm hoping it's more like Avenue Q.

Comment from amorphousplasma:

Uhh. Off topic from the debate here, here's a link I thought you would like, Greg!


Also, I was wondering, would you think the algorithm could be made more effective if a little bit of personal data could be released (age & sex are what I'm thinking)?

Comment from gregstoll:

Thanks! I did like it :-)

They talk a little bit about this in the article. I think age & sex are a decent first approximation, but considering how well they're doing already it might be more of a red herring than anything, since age & sex are probably less indicative of what movies you'd like than what other movies you like.

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