November 1st, 2003

bankformonument

Polls, both geeky and political

First, let's wrap up last week's "geekiest hobbies" poll. 21 votes, mean 5.10, median 5, sigma 2.56, mode 4, no significant difference in voting patterns from men vs. women, from Potter fans vs. non-fans or from people who have met me vs. those who haven't. I think this is more insightful "how I am perceived" data than the old "sum up your impression of me in one word" routine. 15 votes from men and 6 from women, though - a clearly unrepresentative skew.

Because technicalities must alas count, congratulations to you modal folks - Dan, Mark, Rob, Mike and Carl - who are absolutely correct with your estimate of four. I note that it should be three; after all, I only ever played Pokémon once, and it was with someone else's deck. When it comes to counting your geeky hobbies, gotta catch 'em all.

4/10 is not a lot; it's less than I'd've hoped. I would criticise the original list of ten for being very mainstream and American in its definition of geekiness. A British counterpart list would surely include pastimes such as DIY, home brewing and - yes - transport enthusiasm. It seems that all my geeky games-related overenthusiasms are too small to make an impression. Surely lots of little geekinesses should add up to one great big geekiness? Better luck next time, I guess.


As much as I like the three ladies on my Friends list who are proud supporters of the Conservative Party, as much as I feel that some of their policies might be preferable to those of other parties, as much as I feel tradition and history have a place in politics, I still want to see the Tories implode messily and permanently. I suspect that the probable selection of Michael Howard as leader will represent very little change from the current situation, except removing the Betsy Duncan Smith vulnerability. I am taking an interest in the current party political machinations, though my commentary is mostly here in malachan's journal and behind a friends-locked entry in karen2205's journal. I shall adapt and excerpt the latter. Collapse )

The snappily-named qwghlmBlog points to a very entertaining Guardian column from Wednesday, proposing one B. Johnson Esq. for the Conservative leadership. While much of the article is left-wing haw-hawing at an opposition in trouble, the situation does warrant it just a little and it's written entertainingly. Nevertheless, in the Collapse ) paragraph, a fascinating and disturbingly plausible theory of "narrative politics" is discussed: voters, their minds shaped by television and cinema, are drawn to candidates whose triumph represents the biggest plot-twist or most extraordinary final scene. Could there be something to it? A worrying trend.

While we're on politics, Tom Watson points to London Elects, detailing the city's European, Mayoral and Assembly elections taking place simultaneously on June 10th. Entertainingly, all three have different voting systems. Tom and many others also point to the BBC's iCAN, a site aiming to gather activists for local political campaigns. Putting the two together, I think I know what campaign I want to start: Collapse ) 4/10 indeed. Now that's geekery.

  • LJMaps meme? A poor man's GeoURL. Let's have automatic but overwritable userinfo-quoted-location-to-GeoURL conversion instead as a generalised solution and make our pretty maps based on that instead.

  • Sneaking in just under the wire, a wonderful thirtieth to daweaver! I hope he won't mind me praising the way he wrote a 39,000 word autobiography for keeps in a month, which (word count emphasis aside) is at least a para-NaNoWriMo acheivement in my view. It's his to share (or not) as he will, but it's one of the most ambitious pieces of writing, whether fiction or otherwise, I've seen on LiveJournal yet and fulfils its considerable promise remarkably well.
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