19 thoughts on “Why Not Fewer Voters?”

    1. Not linking to anything Williamson writes is a great idea.

      Never linking to anything the treasonous NRO puts online is an even better idea.

  1. The usually prolix Curtis Yarvin managed one pithy observation that has stuck with me for years: Just as pornography can stimulate the human sex drive without providing any actual sex, democracy can stimulate the human power drive without providing any actual power.

    1. Is Mr. Yarvin still that chatty now that he commenting as Curtis Yarvin rather than Mencius Moldbug?

      His old blog linked to some “hardcore alt-Right” sites that now accuse him of being a “name-(something related to being a passive partner in an exploitive intimate relationship).”

      The idea is that if you are commenting under your own name, like I am doing here, he won’t speak freely, as I feel restricted from doing here, and your remarks will be “cucked” and of no value to the Alt-Right Movement.

      Moldbug was entertaining in the way he was outrageous but outrageous in the style of the way stand-up comics once used to be, who could comment on people and on life in a way not meant to be taken seriously but had an underlying germ of truth. Yarvin, not so much.

    1. Forget about coaxing.

      If the people complaining about the new Georgia law believe that they cannot “turn out the vote” under its provisions, isn’t this indirect evidence of election fraud?

      It is like the play that Hamlet puts on to “smoke out” his mom as a conspirator in the death of his father. Her line often quoted as “methinks the lady doth PROTEST too much” is better rendered as “doth protest TOO much” meaning yeah, yeah, like me, the lady in the play should go overboard on insisting on here innocence.

      1. I am getting neurological.

        The lady in the play was advised to not call too much attention to herself by vigorously claiming being innocent.

        Wouldn’t the reasonable reaction to the Georgia law would be just lay low and redouble one’s legal voter-coaxing?

  2. Personally I favor Heinlein’s solution – to vote you have to solve a quadratic equation – without a calculator. Each voter gets a new equation auto-generated when they enter the voting booth.

    1. “Personally I favor Heinlein’s solution – to vote you have to solve a quadratic equation – without a calculator. Each voter gets a new equation auto-generated when they enter the voting booth.”

      In the novel Starship Troopers they held that extending the franchise to nearly everyone is what doomed the democracies of the 20th Century. In his future society you had to earn “citizenship” i.e. the right to vote/hold office by volunteering for public service. Likely that said service would be of a military nature if one was especially of the male persuasion. The idea was that you had to demonstrate the willingness of yourself to voluntarily if need be sacrifice yourself for the greater good of society. Being able to solve a “quadratic equation” doesn’t mean you couldn’t be a selfish bastard who doesn’t care one wit about anything other your own immediate gratification, screw your country/society etc.

    2. You mean one admitting a pair of integer, real-value solutions?

      Or will you allow complex numbers?

      Or an answer involving a square-root to, say, 3 decimal places, which can be calculated by hand with two Newton-Raphson iterations?

      I can imagine the vote challenges being something like students asking me more more partial credit on an exam question?

    3. Heinlein also had a second version of the test: solve the quadratic, vote; fail to solve it, the booth reopens empty.

      He was probably kidding.

  3. The problem is education.
    We have get more competition in the education business- the free education, is not free.

  4. One instance where more votes are usually better than few votes would be when only 3% of the populace turns out to vote to raise everyone’s property taxes to build a new multi-million dollar *insert pet project here* on a snowy Tuesday in February, usually when everyone is distracted by talking about the great commercials they just watched two days prior.

    It’s quite entertaining to listen to the usual suspects who are all about voter turnout suddenly make an about-face and scream that too much turnout is what caused their bond vote to fail.

    1. They do that with school levy’s and such where I live. Can’t have them when there is a general election because the turn out is 30-40% higher. Hold a special vote, where turnout is only 30-40% and only the most motivated will be voting, like the people whose increased paychecks are on the line.

      1. Also where I live. Voluntary Curbside Recycling Program with a new Mandatory Fee tacked onto the city utility bill. All passed in mid Spring when the university kids were already starting to pack and leave for parts unknown…

  5. Heinlein understood that being able to solve quadratics was no better a test of general intelligence that anything else, but it is a feel-good snark for people who think STEM is everything. In fact, solving equations is on a par with passing a spelling test, or figuring out the meaning of a kanji you’ve never seen before. If you know the particular codec, you can do it, if not, you can’t and it’s nothing to do with general intelligence.

    English spelling isn’t random. Back about 35 years ago, I wrote an algorithm consisting of 92 rules that could take a word, no matter how badly misspelled, and supply the correct spelling, and do it without an underlying dictionary. I did it that way because it supported both the end-user and information development tools for something called “The Allen & Hanbury’s Athletic Drug Reference,” which was distibuted free to coaches and athletes of the USOC (there was a book, too). Once I was finished with what I was paid to do, I played with it, and used it to drive a speech synthesizer. Eventually, I added some rules to give the speech voice tone inflection for my version of US English (I’m from Boston, but left as a child). And the basis of the original rules is a phonetic spelling system I invented when I was 12.

    Similary, kanji (Chinese logograms) are not random splats of lines, but have a codec that’s not much more complicated than English spelling, just a lot different, conceptually. You can buy books that will teach you the codec, because Chinese and Japanese speakers have to know it as part of learning to read and write.

    Don’t tell any of this to proponents of Whole Language teaching.

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