Random Linkage

  • Pepysdiary.com — A project to put Pepys’ famous diary online one day at a time in blog format. (Thanks to Hot Buttered Death for this.)
  • NY Times: U.S. troops in South Korea encounter increased hostility
  • Thanks go out to Elearnspace.org and HIRSHgarden for linking to my old term paper — The Blogging Phenomenon: An Overview and Theoretical Consideration
  • Utexas.edu: An Exercise in Democracy — Deliberative Polling shows value of informed citizens — An interesting concept, but one that I think is flawed by the information presented to the “polling sample.” This actually is a similiar problem as that of our adversarial justice system. In this system, each side presents facts and persuasion within a set of ground rules to the best of its ability to a jury which is supposed to be impartial. The problem is that lawyers do break the rules (of course the judge is there to prevent that from happening, but all the same forbidden information is often heard by a jury, and a judge’s admonishment to a jury to “disregard the response to that question” only serves to wake up the jury and cause them to consider the forbidden information more fully. And of course, there is also the limiting factor of differing abilities of counsel on each side.

    But I would say that an adversarial method of presenting information to a polling sample (in this case, a “jury” of public opinion) in which advocates of the differing points of view give arguements for their points of view is much better than a supposed impartial expert presenting “balanced” information on a point of contention.

    Overall though, I do think this more deliberate method of polling is much better than that which is currently used.