23 September 2008

The Bradley Effect

During the 1990s, UK TV series Spitting Image included a song “Thank You Tory Voters”, listing disasters caused by the Conservative government. One memorable line was “Voting Tory’s like a fart, no-one admits they’ve done it”. This was the point at which opinion pollsters noticed something interesting: Conservatives would routinely lose in every opinion poll, and then win the election. Studies were carried out, and it turned out that a surprisingly large number of people were so embarrassed by their support for the Tories that they would routinely tell opinion pollsters one thing, and then vote differently in the privacy of the voting booth. ... Read more

22 September 2008

Change you can believe in

From: Joe Biden To: Barack Obama Subject: Changes to your positions on key issues I’ve been taking a look at your web site. There are some changes you need to make if we’re ever going to win this thing. Get rid of as many mentions of science as you can. That stuff scares the right-wing Christians. Remove the paragraph about surveillance being conducted under the rule of law. It just looks embarrassing after your FISA vote. ... Read more

22 September 2008

A rare excursion into memetic propagation

Ten books on my bookshelf which almost certainly aren’t on yours. “Threaded Interpretive Languages” by Loeliger. Describes how to build FORTH systems. Published by Byte back when FORTH was mainstream. (Why, yes, I am that old.) A.R.T.H.U.R. by Lawrence Lerner. Poetry from an imaginary AI. Much better than RACTER. “The Third Word War: Apostrophe Theory” by Ian Lee. Starts off as a catalog of grocers’ apostropes, mutates into a collection of photographic meta-references and arch puns. ... Read more

19 September 2008

Palin & McCain: similarities and differences

Sarah Palin can “just put down the BlackBerry and pick up the breast pump”. John McCain invented the BlackBerry. Sarah Palin describes herself as a pit bull with lipstick. John McCain described his wife as plastering on the makeup like a trollop. John McCain has always been very concerned about ‘pork barrel’ spending. Sarah Palin has always been very concerned about obtaining ‘pork barrel’ funds. ... Read more

16 September 2008

Another first

As far as I know, this is the first time I’ve been to a party that has been mentioned in a newspaper afterwards. The build-your-own pizza was delicious. I don’t know whether Ecstatic Cuisine have secret ingredients, but throwing everything that sounded good onto the pizza worked very well for me. I was scared that I would discover I had slipped on my weight loss regimen… But no, today the Wii confirmed that I have continued the same downward trend. ... Read more

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