Wasted votes

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I was wasted once while voting... sorry, not while voting—vomiting.

People describe votes that didn't help the winner win as "wasted votes." But here's the thing, "wasted votes" aren't real. Well, maybe they're real, but they don't ever exist until the election results are known.

Before and up to the moment you and everyone else is done voting, there are only two options for your vote: either your candidate loses and your vote was "wasted," or your candidate wins and the vote is whatever the opposite of wasted is... recycled? sober? But you don't know until the election is over; when hindsight kicks in like a Russian dancing burglar and lets you know whether your Schrödinger's vote was dead or alive the whole time. Does that qualify as a mixed metaphor? No, it's a metaphor mixed with a simile, y'all!

But this kind of logic (the kind that only works going backward in time (like a DeLorean stuck in reverse)) is still somewhat flawed. If you can have "wasted votes" (votes that didn't help the winner win), you can have null votes: votes that went to the winner, but an equal number of votes went to another candidate, cancelling out the original votes to the winner. The null votes didn't actually help the candidate win either, so they're wasted.

The only votes left that aren't wasted are those that went to the winner (that weren't cancelled out). If at this point there even are any non-wasted votes left, all but one of those votes were superfluous—the winning candidate didn't need all those extra votes to win. So, they too were "wasted" votes.

Hence, in every election, there can only ever be at most one vote that isn't wasted.

I like to think of that as my vote. You should too!

 

P.S. If you are going to throw your vote away this coming election season, why not throw it in the Green bin?

I don't believe in Flat-Earthers

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Much like how the trolls will chortle and chortle and/or chortle after convincing Billy G to become brunch, "Flat-Earthers" are all agiggle when science minded entities take the bait. On Wednesday, because the eclipse was getting dangerously close to no longer being talked about, IFL Science published an online thingy explaining to these "Flat-Earthers" that the Earth is not flat, that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and that Sailor Moon was sailing that moon-ship right between the two. And, of course, the comment section was all atwitter with the typical how-dumb-are-these-nincompoops? rants.

And the "Flat-Earther" trolls basked in their post goatal-brunch glory and laudded one another, exclaiming, "Huzzah! Behold what we have done!"

They convinced a smart, demi-respectable institution (e-stitution?) to waste valuable webnet space on explaining something that was well known even back in the time when ancient Greco-Roman wrestling was just called wrestling (I just call it man-squishy-fun-time). Everyone knows the Earth is round. It's just that some trolls get off on demonstrating that scientists are condescending enough to think that there are non-scientists dumb enough to think the Earth is flat.

That being said... ya, sure, there are probably one or two Uncle Jimmys out there that can't read between the troll posts and think, ya, I've also never been on a plane or read a book--why not have the Earth be flat! But that's just a gullible uncle, not a flat-Earth advocate producing web content intended to spacebait astronomers and those of us who paid attention in 3rd grade Astrophysics. Flat-Earthers do not really exist. They are trolls. What I'm saying is, I believe in trolls.

Reduce fossil fuel production THEN stop building pipelines

Climate change is like having your kitchen on fire, and being against pipelines is like being against having a direct, flammable connection between your stove and your bookshelf. Obviously you want to preserve the Twilight collection as long as humanly possible, but just removing that connection isn't going to prevent the whole house from burning down. We need to stop throwing gas on the fire.

Stopping pipelines from being built does nothing to actually curtail the production of fossil fuels. So, the problem with halting pipeline production, with no plan in place to reduce fossil fuel production, is that this implicitly favours the transport of oil and gas by rail. Which doesn't leak as much, but does occasionally kill people.

Between 2004 and April 2017, in Canada, there were 1536 reported pipeline "incidents" (including leaks of oil, gas, and other hazardous materials) and zero of them are reported to have caused human fatalities or even serious injuries.

In that same time, in Canada, there were 3106 reported accidents involving trains carrying "dangerous goods". Out of those, 9 led to serious injury and 3 led to a total of 49 fatalities (47 of which were in the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster).

So, if the plan is to just stop pipeline construction, and not actually curtail fossil fuel production, then we're just opting for rail, which is a more immediately dangerous, albeit slower, method of moving fossil fuels.

NOTE: when we do build pipelines, we still need to be careful where they are built. Clearly, it's a problem to build them on sacred land and/or dangerously close to water supplies.