I have a real problem with early voting and think that it is a bad idea - especially when it starts a month before the real election.Elections can take many twists and turn and very often you may find out something about a candidate which was not known early on. You may find this information about candidate X so horrible that you would never vote for X - but WHOOPS - you early voted for X before you found out this information - now you can't get your vote back and you are mad that you have voted for a candidate that had you known these facts you would never have voted for X.That is the problem with early voting - facts may appear about a candidate which could influence your vote but if you have already voted for that candidate you are STUCK and have wasted your vote.This is why I think early voting is a BAD IDEA and we should got back to the tradition of actually voting on Election day. I only vote on election day.
A superb column. I believe its message should be heeded not only by individual candidates, but by our national political parties, which seem to be the real driving forces behind the data-driven approach so well described here.
Thank you DP for this quote from the Scientific American:“You have never lived in Reality. Instead your brain gathers bits and pieces of data from your sensory systems and builds a virtual simulation of the world.”I think that traditional Buddhism will be greatly improved when it incorporates the insights of Western science, such as this one.I am more or less a Buddhist, but some Buddhists would certainly disagree, since I am agnostic about much of the doctrine, including past and future lives. Also I believe that though the phenomenal world is ontologically flaky, by the reasoning above, the physical world behind it is just as real as emptyness.So sometimes I prefer to say that my spiritual teachers have been Buddhists.But although I believe that the philosophical underpinning can and should be improved, I know that it works. Since I began to realize emptyness I have much less suffering and more happiness, and my karma or state of grace or good luck if you prefer is incomparably better.Whether Buddhism is a religion is a semantic matter, but in any case it is essentially about a process of self transformation that is the essence of any real religion. Because it is explicitly centered on self transformation I feel that Buddhism is more transparent than theistic religions.
Thank you. And thanks to Barbara from Annapolis. As a lawyer I have worked with children— form all backgrounds— who were failing in school or committing crimes because they could not get any peace in their brains. The responsibility for whom these drugs are prescribed rests with the physicians, who should not prescribe them unless they now how to. The reaction to the use of these drugs is to me no different then the hyperventilating against vaccines. Twenty or thirty years ago everyone gave up on these kids— now they can sit in a classroom long enough to learn something. Go after the physicians who allow overuse to happen, but let the kids who need these medications have them.
Where I live it's an infraction, which I think is reasonable (I certainly don't want anyone shot for it!) I have a reflexive sympathy for the idea of leaving it up to the pedestrian's judgment for when it's safe, but my real world experience unfortunately keeps arguing against that.
This is a wonderful piece, and the "awards" does a nice job of introducing some people who may be unfamiliar with how "gamification" works to the concept. A fun idea that serves a real, practical benefit!