The machinery used in the exchanges in the 70s and early eighties was really basic. Each pulse would physically cause switches to move to route the call through the exchange.
The lifts in our building are similarly operated by a good old-fashioned mechanism. My old office was located in what used to be service-only space, and directly across from me were the lift controllers. Approximately the same size as one of those flash side by side two door fridge-freezers, full of electromagnetic switches. Every time something happens with the life, one or more opens or closes. So in the background the entire time was this pattern of clicking. Could also hear the lift motors to a lesser extent, but mostly the clicking.
(*It also rather resembled the inside of my old pinball machine)
What I find amazing is how few obviously successful people do break free in this way.
But how often are these people publishing with PhD students or earlier career researchers and feel like they can't risk it? I would strongly prefer to go down OA routes, but I am extremely mindful of the potential impact this could have for the people I work with.
The big problem is how to get from where we are now, to any one of these alternative futures. It is a big collective action problem, and researchers are pretty decentralized and governed by career imperatives
I think as long as the Impact Factor (another expensive paid product) of the journal in which you publish is considered an important factor, then the current system will remain.
There are many other issues with Impact Factors, but while we are focussing on cost to the system: Impact Factors also conserve the idea that the merit of a particular piece of research is related to the journal in which it is published. And so as academics we often spend a truly baffling amount of time shopping our research around trying to get it published in the most prestigious possible place, rather than getting on with the next piece of research.
I still think there is something weird going on with people who vote Goff but party vote National. They need to be understood.
I've been toying with the idea that both electorate and party votes are effectively person votes. You vote for the person you like in your electorate, and for the person you like in a prime minister. This seems like a plausible mechanism for a disconnect between electorate and party vote. (With more than a little debt to Daniel Kahneman's What You See Is All There Is principle)
I'll delete this later. Hopefully there is no snow for the walk tomorrow.
2 days old
I have other things I need to be typing today, but note that although advance voting up, enrolment continues to trend down from the previous two elections. I think the spike in advance voting will be mostly made up of people that were going to vote anyway. I'd be super happy to be wrong. And just to add an extra degree of hedge, there may be a little bit of extra engagement this year for a whole variety of reasons.
OK - I'll bite a bit. Though I previously thought this, I've also been reading a lot of the research on non-response in academic research in the last few days. To sum up and over-generalise, personal engagement in research counts, and the more impersonal and anonymous it becomes, the lower the response rate. I think this underlies the dreadful response rates at local body elections, and I don't think that electronic voting will help. Putting people back into the process, having it be a social thing where people go with their neighbours etc. I think are the ways to increase voting. When I worked on Saturdays, my whole workplace en masse voted after we'd closed for the afternoon. With advance voting, you don't know who you need to encourage, and there is less social pressure.
via Andrew Geddis s.168
The voter, having received a ballot paper,—
(a) shall immediately retire into one of the inner compartments provided for the purpose; and
(b) shall there alone and secretly vote—
There is a later bit about being able to take a carer in, but I don’t think you need your children to physically help you to vote…
Perhaps it's a moment to talk to them about the importance of people being able to make their own choices and why we have a secret ballot.
My daughter's first foray outside the maternity ward, at the age of 2 days, was to accompany me down stairs to the ballot box in 2011. I look forward to walking round the corner with her to our local school to vote tomorrow, and continuing to engage her as she grows.
I've walked through a polling booth numerous times in the last fortnight, but I'm saving myself for the big day. I meant to write more about this, but the tl;dr is that making it easier for people to vote at a time that is convenient for them, makes it easier for them to put it off, and then find that there's not a very convenient time, and so not vote. I think the theater of voting on the day is important, and making that in to an institution is important. I even like the idea that choosing not to vote is a choice you should make in the booth by not ticking a box. Not by not going to the booth at all.
Late to the discussion, but two slightly different reasons to vote.
1. For better or worse, we have a representative democracy. This means that we don't directly vote on policy, but vote for people to best represent our views. Even if you could find a person or party who perfectly encapsulated your views, the chances of them being able to enact them all must approximate zero. And if you don't vote, then your views are not represented (in fact probably the inverse).
2. More weakly, a strong democratic process should hopefully protect us from more extreme forms of government.