Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Friday September 12, 2003. Ever read about an exotic place which isn't exotic to you? I grew up in the Catskills area. At Rainbow Laundry, there was a copy of the August 4th New York Magazine. In it was an article on people who used to live in upscale NYC suburbs, but are now moving to the Catskills. Houses and land cost a good deal less than in the Hamptons.

One way to cut down on sugar: Non-diet colas no longer taste good to me. They taste barely better than diet colas.

From a discussion on Tom Digby's lettercolumn-equivalent mailing list:
Subject: [ss talk] Re: political denominations
From: "Thomas G. Digby"
Date: 12 Sep 2003 19:51:01 -0000

Something I've now and then thought of is to have one house of a
multi-cameral legislature defined by interest rather than geography. In
other words, each member would represent a region in some sort of virtual
"concept space" rather than a region in physical space. [The technical term
for this is "functional constituencies". Hong Kong's Legislative Council
partly consists of such seats. In sf, C.J. Cherryh has given Cyteen a world
legislature elected from functional constituencies. DSG] For example, one
bunch of members might represent Sunnis, another Shiites, still another
all homeowners, with yet another for lower-income workers, and so on for
each set of citizens that's big enough to be represented. Presumably any
citizen who belonged to more than one of the categories (such as a Sunni
homeowner) could decide which was most important to them as an individual
when they registered to vote.

There are several ways to do the mechanics of this. One might have some
kind of commission that interest groups would apply to and which would
allocate seats accordingly. But there's a simpler way that [would] work once
people got accustomed to it.

You would have some set number of seats (such as 100), all numbered.
When you register to vote you would be asked which seat you wanted to be
represented by. You could pick any of the seats, but whatever seat number
you gave, you would be eligible to vote for (and run for) only that seat.
Thus, for example, the person holding Seat 73 would be representing all
the people who registered for Seat 73, regardless of where they lived

The various interest groups then spread the word to their members that
they want certain seats. For example, the Sunni leaders may decide that
they can fill ten seats, so they tell their members to register for seats
10 through 19, perhaps using some additional criteria such as which
congregation you're in to spread the voters out over the group of seats.
Likewise, some homeowners' association that thinks it can fill three seats
may be asking its members to register for seats 33 through 36.

You don't need to worry about some seats having more voters registered for
them than others. If a seat has too few people registered for it, others
will notice and move in to try to take it over, or at least force the
present occupants to accept them as part of a coalition. Likewise, if a
seat gets too popular the leaders of that interest group could try to
expand into a second seat. So population differences should be sort of

My response to someone else's later post:

One possibility: set aside blocks of seats for "unaffiliated". Anyone running for one of these seats pays a deposit;
those who get 20 percent or more of the vote get their deposits back, plus a percentage of what the lower-ranking candidates paid in.

Also have "none of the above" as an option.

Perhaps also "Abolish this evil government, and hang its leaders and the people behind them" seats. Winners of these seats
wouldn't have a vote, but would be allowed to make speeches and to throw pies at the presiding officer or officers of that legislative house.

From http://www.loompanics.com THE LAST FRONTIERS ON EARTH Strange Places Where You Can Live Free by Jon Fisher
If you think there are no more frontiers on Earth -- if you think governments have got all the territory sewed up -- if you think there i
s nowhere you can go to be free of taxes, regulations and restrictions -- then The Last Frontiers on Earth is the book for you!

Jon Fisher (author of Uninhabited Ocean Islands and editor of Vonu) is one of the world's most original thinkers when it
comes to unusual ways of living, and he takes you to many strange places where the "frontier" is still as wide open as
you want to make it! Contents in this amazing book include: Antarctic The Arctic Icecap Floating Icebergs
SubAntarctic Islands Floating Ocean Platforms Living aboard a boat Living as a nomad Deserted Islands Underwater Habitats Submarines Airships Secret Cellars Ghost Towns And much, much more!

This has been going around LiveJournal: http://www.wewantyoursoul.com/quote.php

Public Release: 11-Sep-2003
'Status' decides whether or not a language survives
Cornell University engineers have come up with a mathematical model that for the first time quantifies "language death" and
may offer strategies for those who want to preserve an endangered language. Languages compete based on "status," they say.

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