february, 24, 2002 archives

dave doesn't like how google chose to recognize the close of the winter olympics. it's a little goofy, but no more so than their numerous past efforts. and with the ioc being such sticklers about usage of the five-rings logo, i can't blame google for being a little abstract. i think someone put on their cranky pants today.

a new day, a new ballot initiative.

prop. 41 is one of the two the post-2000-election measures on the ballot. but this one is a bond measure, for $200 million, to allow counties to purchase modern voting equipment. again, a very worthy cause, but a bond measure is a poor way to finance it. so i'll be voting no on this one, too.

there's a yes on prop. 41 group (whose website is broken mozilla—white-on-white text!), but once again there's no organization specifically opposed to the measure. the howard jarvis taxpayers association is opposed to both bond measures, though. the la times says to vote yes.

david p. reed (of reed's law) wrote a great article about what he calls middleboxes. pieces of hardware and software that are being inserted into communications pathways that end up crippling those pathways. i think it isn't a stretch to contend that laws like the sssca are intended to create middleboxes inside the boxes on the edge, and make it illegal to tamper with them. they are similarly disastrous for innovation.

from the new york times, this report of how costly democracy can be is very enlightening. it is clear that building a successful democratic government isn't as simple as holding elections. (after all, we're still fumbliing about trying to get it right after a couple of hundred years. i don't think legislation for sale to the highest corporate bidder can be described as an ideal. it's also a shame to not see the benefits of federalism talked about as highly as those of democracy. democracy doesn't scale terribly well.)

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