I’m a bit tied up here. I was invited to participate in a review of the scientific literature on my subject area, and agreed before finding out that the deadline is October 30th. It requires good copies of graphs and diagrams, some from as far back as 1985. Well, back then graphs and diagrams were all hand drawn and none of them have survived. It’s around the time I drew the cartoons for ‘Drawn Without Power’. I have replicated them as well as is possible and I think they came out pretty well. We’ll soon find out.
We didn’t get really good graph drawing computer programs until about 1990. I remember using one called FigP, but even if I found the files for it they’d be on 3.5-inch disks and modern computers don’t have a slot for them any more. Also, the program has probably dissolved in the mists of time.
Sometimes advancement is a bad thing. I have work I did in the past on 5.25-inch disks, some MS-DOS, some BBC. I had stuff on 3-inch Amstrad PCW disks, in Locoscript. Wordstar, Wordperfect, Lotus-123, all those files are lost to time because even if a modern word processor or database can read them, there is no longer a slot for the disks in a modern computer.
Fortunately I have prints of all my papers so I still exist.
In the UK you can get a postal vote and this is well known to be rife with fraud. Otherwise you turn up on the day and cast your vote in person. One day. Usually 7 am to 10 pm so no matter what shift you work, you can do it. You have a local voting place, the nearest one to here is five miles away but then so is pretty much everything else. If you live in town there’ll be one in walking distance.
I’ve been watching the American presidential election with some interest. It seems they can vote almost a month in advance. Now, I’m not going to say anything about who to vote for. I’m not American, not in America, never been there. It’s up to the rebel colonists which lunatic they want in charge. Besides, here in the proper English speaking land, we have quite enough to deal with with our own lunatics-in-charge without concerning ourselves with yours.
It does look risky though. Especially when both candidates are so old. Without trying to be nasty, what if one of them dies or gets too sick to continue in the month between voting and counting? Does your vote count towards the replacement, even if it’s someone you don’t want to vote for? Can you change it?
In some states it seems you can, but in most states you can’t. So you vote for someone, two weeks later they get sick or die or maybe you find out they’re not who you thought they were… tough. You voted. It’s over.
America also seems, in many places, to have a limited number of voting places. For something as important as voting for who is going to be boss of the entire country, you’d think they’d take it a little more seriously. I mean, we have voting places all over the country and all we get is a prime monster who, no matter which one you pick, is fuck all use anyway. Our chief cretin doesn’t get to issue executive orders or have a veto on what the government decides.
It’s a bizarre system for something so important. Does it work? Well that depends on who wins and on who you want to win. If those match up then it works, if they don’t, then it doesn’t. It’s purely subjective.
I know there are other parties but just like in the UK, realistically it’s between the two big parties. What if one of the candidates dies – even if they were both 30, there could be a car crash – or one drops out after thousands of votes have been cast before election day? What happens then?
Maybe there’s an American reader who knows.