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Landslide [Nov. 14th, 2008|10:13 pm]

Disorienting, isn't it?

So we had an election. It was a landslide.

This is not a bad thing, because (Prop 8 aside) I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. But it's left me feeling a bit unsettled. You have to tread carefully on the newly exposed ground, because everything has moved.

President-Elect Barack Obama collects comics, y'all. For serious! Spider-Man and Conan!

I read things like this and every time I'm a little bit surprised. My brain keeps going "Wait, what? Really? I mean, it's beyond awesome, but—how is this real? How did this happen?"

The Newsweek behind the scenes coverage of the election is amazing. If I were more coherent, I'd try to say something insightful about how it shows the conservative McCain candidacy being about individuals, the old-school Clinton candidacy being about hierarchy, and the paradigm-shattering Obama candidacy being about self-organizing crowds. As it is, I'll just point in that general direction and wonder how much of that is How Things Are and how much is a compelling narrative embedded by skilled journalism.

GPS canvassing and comics and Mac laptops and hybrid cars and student loans and Harry Potter and Bach and nuance and uncertainty and and and.

You guys, somehow I think we managed to elect a geek as President of the United States.


From: thetarnishedowl
2008-11-15 06:43 am (UTC)
Awesome video. Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2008-11-15 07:02 am (UTC)
Isn't it? It kinda freaked me out the first time I watched it.
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[User Picture]From: ocschwar
2008-11-15 11:42 pm (UTC)
You must have known the ents would rise one day.
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[User Picture]From: casecob
2008-11-15 12:27 pm (UTC)
Video: Holy crap. I think what strikes me most is like, then sandbags are PERFECTLY placed - i mean, they're soooo close to the action. Does that normally work out to be so predictive?

Content: Yeah, i'm stoked. Hurrah for mac laptops! My advisor is only person in our 20+ lab who does not use a mac laptop. Everyone's a bunch of computer scientists/biologists and she finds it INFURIATING that no one has the appropriate connectors for the overhead projector when she needs to hook up her laptop :-p
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2008-11-15 03:39 pm (UTC)
I think what strikes me most is like, then sandbags are PERFECTLY placed - i mean, they're soooo close to the action. Does that normally work out to be so predictive?

My guess is that those sandbags are probably hiding a crack in the roadway where things started to slip sometime earlier. If there's an existing fault, the earth usually moves along it.
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[User Picture]From: dcseain
2008-11-15 05:11 pm (UTC)
Probably so about the sandbag placement. My brain wrote off the placement to "it's Japan, they do that there".
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[User Picture]From: squirreltot
2008-11-15 03:04 pm (UTC)
Hokey Smokes Rocky, that was AWESOME!
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[User Picture]From: navrins
2008-11-15 03:10 pm (UTC)
We had an election, yes. But it wasn't a landslide. It was a few percentage points of shifting from the last one... all across the country. (I never got around to posting a map I found last week that showed the CHANGE in each county from 2004 to 2008... it was mostly a very faint blue, with a few areas of faint red. And now I can't find it again, of course.)

It's only the superimposed rigidity of the electoral college system that makes it seem like a landslide, because a whole bunch of states went from 49% Democrat to 51% Democrat, and 50% is the magic number that causes a phase change. This isn't a bad thing - arguably that's the electoral college doing just what it was designed to do.

So, if you want to call it by some metaphor based on phase changing, go ahead. But "landslide" implies Obama won by some meaningfully huge majority, which he just plain didn't.

No objections to anything else you said. We got a good one this time, I think. Let's hope he can make good come of it.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2008-11-15 03:36 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean just the presidential election; in Colorado there was a significant shift to the blue at both the federal and state level, and most of the important races went Democrat by nearly a 10% margin. So that's a big change for us.
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[User Picture]From: zalena
2008-11-15 04:46 pm (UTC)
These days I would consider a landslide any election in which the Supreme Court was not involved.

As for your landslide footage, I was watching and thinking, "What the hell? Is this some kind of katamari simulation?" before I read your caption.

And yes, awesome article. This is the part of politics I love: What really happened...

Maybe this will make my political nightmares stop.

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[User Picture]From: navrins
2008-11-15 06:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I see - my misinterpretation.

I think my state could have a 15-20% shift in the electorate and not notice it, so that seems a little weird to me. But in a good way, I think.
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From: detailbear
2008-11-15 06:23 pm (UTC)
A geek who's going to put his weekly chats on YouTube and will be appointing a Chief Technology Officer.

See here. and here.

Edited at 2008-11-15 06:37 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: annlarimer
2008-11-16 04:03 am (UTC)
I like that tree left standing in the middle of the shot. "What the hell was that? Guys? Guys?"
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[User Picture]From: madbodger
2008-11-16 04:24 am (UTC)
How ... tectonic!

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[User Picture]From: portlandpiglet
2008-11-17 09:07 pm (UTC)
You have to tread carefully on the newly exposed ground, because everything has moved.

Good advice for any time of change in our lives. I like the implication to take care with ourselves. Just because it's happy news, doesn't mean it's not new.
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