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Markdoc last won the day on July 19 2018

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About Markdoc

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  1. Markdoc

    What happened to markdoc?

    Oh come now, I have always been the meekest and mildest of men Anyway, nice to see all the comments - Old Man contacted me and mentioned this thread, so I thought I would post. I wasn't actually banned back in the day, but Simon did give me a warning about making rude comments in a political thread during the last US presidential elections. I didn't think the comment was terribly out of line, to be honest, but these are Simon's boards, and I appreciated the effort he goes to in maintaining them, so rather than giving offence I said I'd bow out during the elections and come back when things were quieter. That was actually the plan buuut ... you know how these things go. By the time the election was over, I had a new job in a new country, and I was busy with all kinds of stuff (work, and being a tourist, mostly). Then there came another international move, and then we bought an old house that we are doing up, and I was active on other sites .... basically, I kept meaning to drop in, but never got around to it. I'm still gaming regularly and carrying on much as before: hope everything is cool with you guys. cheers, Mark
  2. If they have pay per view AND it's legal to purchase convention delegate votes they could have a ticker running allowing people to bid in on a vote by SMS for their favoured candidate. You know, the more I think about it, that's a perfect match for today's GOP. Decide the candidate by direct purchase! Let the market decide! cheers, Mark
  3. Markdoc

    In other news...

    I think you mean, "What about when this becomes a sexbot"? I'm not seeing any tasks for "sexy-looking robot" that are ahead of that in the development process. regards, Mark
  4. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    I've been reading that. But I find it unconvincing. Scott Adams has a long track record of making predictions ... which don't come true. However, he is right that Trump is a master persuader - which is a nice way of saying that he's manipulative and media-savvy. Trump's had a long and lucrative career of persuading people to lend him money and them convincing them that they will never see their money again unless they lend him more money. It doesn't mean that everyone (or even a majority of people) will fall into line though. Scott Adams has some pretty weird ideas about how things actually work. But I don't think what's happening now to the GOP is because Trump is a briliiant strategist and an amazing speaker. He is a very effective opportunist, but what I think is what is happening now is a conjunction of a certain kind of candidate + a certain kind of situation ... in this case, a base that strongly, strongly disagrees with its leadership, and a candidate who offers a plausible way for the voters to stick their finger in the leadership's eye. The GOP got Trump, the DNC got Bernie Sanders. Outside the US, France has Marie le Pen, and the UK has Nigel Farange and Jeremey Corbyn doing a slightly left of US version of Trump/Sanders. It seems to be a generalised phenomenon. Trump's very good at attracting media attention - he's been doing it for decades. But far from persuading everybody, he seems to energise people who want to stick it to the GOP's leadership and repulse most everyone else. cheers, Mark
  5. Markdoc

    In other news...

    Thanks for the kind words, guys. I hope after this, they can root the network out entirely. cheers, Mark
  6. Markdoc

    In other news...

    Sigh. Three bombs have been let off in Brussels - at least one apparently by a suicide bomber. It's not confirmed yet, but suspected to be associates of the terrorist organiser captured last week, getting in an attack in case they have been compromised. So far, at least 21 dead, and dozens injured. This hits close to home, since the metro explosion was literally the next station down from us, on a line we use routinely (we were there yesterday, for example) and I travel through the airport hall where the other explosions were on a regular basis. cheers, Mark
  7. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    Just to take a break from Bernie-bashing here's an ugly line:"We choose the nominee, not the voters". I know we all suspected that the professional politicos felt like this, but it's chilling to see that contempt on open display. On a totally different topic, the focus on the primary has covered up an interesting phenomenon ... the rehabilitation of President Obama. Over the last three years year, his poll numbers have been negative, but this year, they have been slowly but consistently creeping upwards and over the last month have turned consistently positive - meaning that more people think he has done a good job than a bad job.What's interesting is that this is happening across the board - even in polls taken by republican-leaning groups like Rasmussen. It's not just due to the economy or the weather either, since Congress' and the Senate's job approval rating continues to drift downwards. cheers, Mark
  8. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    And to ta And this is kind of what I am hoping will happen - in the process, perhaps focusing Clinton's attention a bit more on middle class voters. Cheers, Mark
  9. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    The media is lying to you! I prove it with these figures .... which I got from the media. To be a little more brutal, while it is disingenuous to describe just the total number of superdelegates and pledged delegates as though they were interchangeable, it is equally (if not more) disingenuous to only look at pledged delegates and pretend that the superdelegates can or will just switch their stated intentions. So this graph actually tells a different picture than the original poster intended. Because to me, it says that with almost half the votes counted, Clinton is ahead in the popular vote by 16% and - when superdelegates are counted in - by 30%. So yeah, Bernie could still win. In theory. But in practice? How - or why - is that going to happen? And yeah, I know, theory and practice are the same thing, in theory, but in practice, they're not. Cheers, Mark
  10. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    Yup. You could summarise things simply by saying that Clinton (overall) has received about 57% of the votes cast and Sanders has received about 43%. (You know, I should have stated it like that before: it makes the gap visible). 43% is pretty damn good (and says a lot about the mood of the voters generally) for a guy with Bernie's record and image. It's a better percentage than Trump has gotten, for example. But it's not as good as 57%. To stand any chance of winning, Bernie has to turn those numbers completely around .... and it's hard to see what can be said to get voters to change their minds that hasn't been said already. So yeah, the tide could turn: there are still more delegates unpledged than pledged. But is it at all likely that it will turn? More important, is it at all likely that it will change by about 20%? That Clinton supporters will start defecting in huge numbers? Because that's what it would take. Even if 100% of undecided primary voters switched to Sanders at this point, that would not be enough to eliminate the gap. In the early days, I think it was completely true that Sanders didn't get the coverage that Clinton did. But it hasn't been true since well before any voting started. Bernie has been crushing it in Google searches for the last 6 months and in media reports, he and Clinton get almost identical numbers of mentions (almost inevitable really, since it is unusual in the last 6 months to find an article discussing one which does not also reference the other). I think any voter who is interested in Sanders can find out everything they need to know with a few minutes on cable news, google or any political news site. So I find the argument at this point that Sanders' campaign is being stifled by media collusion ... unconvincing, to be polite. Let's be honest: pretty much everybody politically active enough to register as a primary voter already knows who Sanders is and has at least a vague idea of his policies. If that's true, what is going to change the tenor of a race that has already been underway for months? I'm pretty sceptical of all these "turn of the tide" arguments, without any reason given as to why the tide is turning. Anybody remember 'Marcomentum'? That was a turn of th tide argument too, with underpinnings that were just as solid. cheers, Mark
  11. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    The Democrats don't have winner-takes-all states*. That's exactly the core of Bernie's problem. He's doing really well in some states, poorly in others, but he has underperformed Clinton overall. In other words, more primary voters (both in total numbers and as a percentage) so far have chosen Hillary (for whatever reason). And her lead has slowly grown to the point where that would have to dramatically change around for him to have any chance at all. Basically, as I noted she could lose every single state from here on in, and as long as she didn't do it by large margins, would still win, simply because of the size of her current lead (and that's not not counting superdelegates). I can't think of a US primary election in recent decades that has seen anything like the upheaval that would be required for those numbers to arrive. So Hillary is far better placed for the Democratic nomination at this point than Trump is, on the other side of the aisle. Trump is well ahead of Cruz, primarily because he's grabbed a couple of big winner-take-all states. If the GOP used proportional representation across the board like the Democrats, his lead would be much smaller. But the nature of the GOP caucus process means that his lead - though substantial - could evaporate with a bad performance in a couple-of-winner take all states (Edit: not that I think this will happen, just that the math is much more volatile). Basically, the GOP primary campaign is like the GOP itself right now - a volatile mix of old and new processes, cobbled together with kludges and agreements, that produces a result in the end, but doesn't really work that well or satisfy anybody involved. That's how Rubio got half the votes that Trump did, but ended up with about a fifth as many delegates. As for the media spin, I seen both candidates (all of the candidates, to be honest) routinely being smeared and misrepresented in the media and both getting negative writeups in articles that praise the other candidate. I read a wide variety of both US and foreign media and I'm not seeing anything that looks like an organised smear campaign - although at the same time I do get the distinct feeling that the DNC, at least, is playing favourites, so it's not like there's no bias at play. The DNC, however has repeatedly demonstrated over the last decades that they no longer have huge influence with the media at large. In fact, in general, I am impressed and a little surprised at how positive Bernie's press has been compared to say, Jeremy Corbyn, who ran a similar insurgent-style campaign in the UK: the press basically ran him over with a sewer truck (though to be fair, once actually in power he proved to be as useful as a socket wrench made of live kittens, so they were not entirely wrong). Cheers, Mark *Their delegates are awarded proportionally, but the number of delegates per state is worked out using a formula based on population, plus a modifier based on what proportion of the voters in each state are likely democratic voters (the idea being to choose a candidate that can win in swing states, rather than one that scores big with states that will likely go democratic regardless of the candidate). So that does mean that a primary vote in a deeply blue state is worth very slightly less than a vote in a Red or Purple state. That doesn't change the math here though, since the difference is small.
  12. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    While I make no secret of my dislike of even the idea of another Clinton presidency, I do get very strongly the vibe from the pro-Bernie crowd the feeling that they think the media was/is biased, that Bernie hasn't been given a fair shake, that they are not taking him seriously, that 'the establishment' (whoever they are) was determined to bury his campaign, etc. And yet, I've been seeing a ton of media coverage - most of it pretty positive - about him. True, very few of those articles suggested he had any chance of actually getting the nomination. But is that "anti-Bernie bias"? I'd like to propose another hypothesis. Maybe the reason that most political writers wrote articles saying that Bernie has no realistic chance of getting the nomination is because they actually believed (and still do believe) that ... well, you know ....that he has no realistic chance of getting the nomination. He's had a great run, and has done better than pretty much anyone expected. And personally, I'd vote for him (if I was voting in this race) over any of the other candidates. But right now, his chances of pulling off a win are - not impossible, no, but real longshot stuff. He's gone in the conventional wisdom, from having no chance to having almost no chance. Right now, he's continuing to do better than expected .... and he's continuing to fall ever further behind in both states won, and delegates pledged - even if you ignore the superdelegates. So he's running a great game ... but you don't win by doing less well than your opponent. I'm not writing this because I'm anti-Bernie: far from it. He's the closest of all the candidates to my own positions. It's just stating things as I see it. To put it in rough math, it's more than cool that Bernie won Missouri - it's pretty amazing considering he's an old white socialist from New York Buuuttt ... if every single state from here on in replicated Bernie's win last night in Missouri ... Hillary Clinton gets the nomination. Easily. The existing gap means that from here on in, he has to win pretty much every state by 10% or more. It's possible - he did it in Michigan, for example. But he has to average that across every state, and he's shown no sign so far of even coming close to that - because of course if he had, he wouldn't be behind. So I am glad he's still in the race, because he is pushing Clinton to steal his ideas adopt some of his policies and changing the direction of the political debate. But I'm not expecting more than that. cheers, Mark
  13. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    This pretty much how I see him. The GOP establishment is running around like their pants are on fire and my reaction is "What? Isn't this exactly what you said you wanted?" cheers, Mark
  14. Markdoc

    Lesser Evils 2016: America's Presidental Race

    And in another sign of the coming apocalypse, I just read an article in Forbes that stated that Bernie Sanders' tax plan, while not as good as Ted Cruz's flat-tax proposal, was still better than the status quo (though they did also note that he had about no chance of getting it passed, even if elected). cheers, Mark