Consider Todd Akin’s comment: "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to just shut that whole thing down." While "legitimate rape" ended up being the colloquial reference that got hammered, what was so utterly offensive was the second part of the sentence. Implying the female body had some sort of magical spermicide. It's not just insensitive, it's scientifically ignorant. There are a lot of reasons why almost 2/3 of college students and recent college grads voted for Obama, and one of them is because of this complete idiocy that Republicans spew.
At the "Family Values Summit" earlier this year, Rick Santorum said, "We're never going to be the party of smart people." If you’re not the smart party, what are you? The party that claims the HPV vaccine causes retardation? The party that considers evolution a myth? Sure, but then you won't be the party with constituents that embrace science and technology.
Sure, they can throw money at the problem. Even if they intellectually objected with the platform, lots of engineers would work for the Republican party if they paid enough. But successful political campaigns are all about connecting a widespread media message to the individual visceral feelings of voters. If your staff has no idea who that voter is because they aren't actually one of them, then you're not going to have the same quality of campaign.
I don't think all is lost for the Republican party. For an example off the top of my head, it would be very easy to philosophically adjust their stances on "economic freedom" to support reforms to copyright and patent law. But until then, Rick Santorum is right. They won't be the party of smart people. Which means they won't be the party that has smart technology talent helping them run campaigns.
I think the moment that epitomized the problems with the Republicans was on election night a few weeks ago, when Fox's own statisticians and analysts were ready to call Ohio for Obama, and Rove refused to accept it. That's them in a nutshell - a refusal to deal with reality. Such an attitude doesn't mesh too well with a scientific/technological approach to things.
However, the current GOP may be doomed by such fuzzy perceptions and slurs. Most media is overwhelmingly sympathetic to the Dem party, and so even when consciously trying to be fair, they're prone to oversimplifying the GOP based on caricatures and headline-grabbing outliers. Actual strongly-partisan Dem campaigners are happy to assist this process.
Among other things, this is an example of "Out-group homogeneity bias" – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out-group_homogeneity – the idea that among 'us' there's variety but 'they' tend to be all alike. Highlighting outliers in key negative dimensions (like Akin and Santorum) as if they were representative, central examples of the whole category is part of that biased process.
A major party's senate candidate is an "outlier" ???/ You'd be hard pressed to find anyone this nuts on the left.
Half of the Repubs members of the congressional committee on science don't believe in evolution. The moderates who you refer to have left: Richard Lugar, Arlen Spector etc., haven't you noticed they've been cast out of the party/defeated in primaries.
Frankly, the media is too "fair." Not all opinions deserve to be treated equally. If media is sympathetic to the Democratic party it's because ours is a party based on reason, evidence and logic, not 2,000 year old myths.
And yes, a major party's Senate candidate can be an 'outlier'.
In the US, the parties don't pick the candidates, voters do through primaries. Only 36% of Missouri Republican primary voters gave Akin a slim plurality in a no-runoff 3-way primary. Two other candidates in that primary, each with a broader base of national Republican support, got a combined 59% of the GOP vote. So Akin is even somewhat of an outlier in his home, conservative Missouri GOP.
An bigger outlier was the 'major party' Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee, Mark Clayton:
Still, Clayton won the primary and got to run as the Democrat, over the protests of the state party, because that's how the system works. A plurality of voters who show up in low-turnout, often unrepresentative primaries pick the candidates, not the parties.
Yes, the GOP has lost a bunch of its moderate candidates, and that's a problem for the GOP and the country. The causes are both internal GOP malfunctions, and the portrayal-biases I've been mentioning from the media and casual poltical observers. (The moderates rarely get their due respect/coverage as equal Republicans, the Republicans don't get due recognition of their internal diversity. So the breadth of the party has decayed compared to the past, before year-round cable-news/internet politi-tainment narrowed and hardened the party identities.)
And the fact that Romney had to tack so far to the right to even win the nomination proves my point yet again.
Look at polls: way too many Republicans believe stupid things like Obama is Muslim, he wasn't born in this country etc..
It's funny, I was going to bring up Mark Clayton as an example of a real outlier: the party completely ignored him (not this Akin stuff, Huckabee supported him, then the SuperPacs poured money in at the last minute when it had cooled down), it was in a state that Democrats have low turnout in since they have no chance of winning anyway, so an idiot managed to make himself the nominee. Every once in a while these things happen, yes, but over the past few years you guys have elected as your candidates Christine O'Donnell ('I'm not a witch'), the legion of legitimate rape morons, and a bunch of other memorable idiots like Bachmann who accused a Clinton staffer of being a highly placed Muslim Brotherhood operative.
You purge your party of anyone who says anything remotely conciliatory or logical/moderate.
If you were talking about one state rep, or even one senator, you would have a point. But the numerous crazies and the fact that you considered people like Bachmann and Santorum legitimate contenders for the presidency does not give you the right to call the crazies the "outliers" in your party: the inmates are now running the asylum.
As far as rape goes, what was sort of surprising is that Akin wasn't even the only outlier among Senate candidates in this election alone in having a "rape-comment scandal": Mourdock in IN also somehow found it necessary to mention that pregnancy from rape is a "gift from God".
Also, all "rape-comment scandals" are not alike. (Fuzzing them together is again deploying 'out-group homogeneity bias' for partisan electoral advantage.) Mourdock's gaffe was clumsy, but a genuine attempt at expressing a philosophically consistent position, common among religiously-motivated abortion opponents, that follows naturally from the idea that all life is a supernatural gift, and all abortion an unjust taking of a life. (I've heard strongly pro-choice people say they respect this position, for its consistency, more than the 'convenient, popular exceptions' pro-life position.)
If Mourdock had said it more artfully -- for example keeping the words 'rape' and 'something god intended' much further apart -- many voters may still have disagreed with his 'no exceptions' approach but it would have been a lot harder to tarnish him with Akin-like ignorance and insensitivity. (Harder, but not impossible: more than ever before partisans and 'outrage farmers' selectively quote and rearrange statements to make them maximally-inflammatory before reporting, to score quick points before the full original context is known.)
Even your word choice that Mourdock "found it necessary to mention" this makes it seem like he was going out of his way to inflame. If you watch the clip yourself -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgDgub8X6DQ -- I think it's pretty clear he was struggling with a dicey issue (especially for those who believe in a 'good' and omnipotent diety who allows evil to happen), and trying to be responsive to a direct question during a debate. And his reward for being honest and engaging (but unpracticed on the exact word choice)? Being lumped together with ignorant Akin, forever.
Toss a coin.
The euphemism used to name this piece of legislation is the National Defense Authorization Act.
Many, perhaps most students care primarily about a job and won't read history on their own time. So in order to get a job they get that technical degree, and receive the humanities content alongside. They never feel the urge to uninstall that humanities content, or to check it against Google Books primary sources. It's just the default.
The default today is heavier on the Nazis than the Gulag, as one example, and this difference in emphasis has many downstream effects. Weimar is less likely to be studied than dependencia theory, for another example.
With MOOCs, this package deal of tech + humanities is going to end soon. People will take classes a la carte, and one might predict that new grads in 5 years time will start shifting to the right. (It is hard to see the smart shifting even further left!). Time will tell.
It really highlights the old-world vs. new you see between the two parties.
That's a bit much. Somebody made the right call infrastructure-wise and somebody made the wrong one. That's it.
If anything, Republicans are more "new-world" regarding tech policy in general, ie copyright/intellectual property.
yes, someone made the wrong call infrastructure wise, but you have to ask: why did they make this call? It's because, in their world, this is how you do it.
The Dems were more open to a different type of campaign that brought tech in house etc.
Writing it off as an infrastructure choice with no relation to how they think is disingenuous.
Isn't Obama the establishment now? I think he's a Democrat.
> the old white guys
Most Republicans aren't old. Some are white, but not all. I'm not. Some aren't even guys ...
If I said something similar about Democrats, like how they're all black or something equally moronic and false ... you'd be jumping up and down, calling me a racist.
> The Dems were more open to a different type of campaign that brought tech in house etc.
I think you understand what I'm talking about.
Re the old white comment, look at the demographics: that was the only demographic republicans won. If you said democrats were just a bunch of black guys, then yes I would be offended. If you said the truth, that democrats were a coalition of young people, single women, and minorities, I would not. I'm a white male, and voted for Obama, so I understand that it is a generalization.
That link is irrelevant, I don't care if Obama doesn't like Xboxs and iphones, doesn't mean his campaign wasn't technologically proficient: whose campaign's tech broke down on election day and outsourced their development to contractors? Romney.
Who had a dedicated team of coders in house and everything worked well? Obama. Most startup guys will tell you that outsourcing their main product never ends well.
Comparing the two's info sys I can't help but draw a lot of similarities between old vs new, "enterprise"/top down/"consultant shops" vs agile/developer driven, monolithic up front vs bit by bit iterative.
I was going to make that observation over on http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4842510 but didn't as it was a generalization and based on reading two articles (that one and the Orca debacle one). Despite that there's truth behind it and this articles puts some numbers behind that truth.
I'm not sure that's indicative of anything, Ron Paul's visit to Google, from what I recall, was a standing room event. I personally just abhor donating money to political causes. It results in negative ads, trivialization of deep issues, omission of important discussion topics, and doesn't benefit Internet industry much - most political spending goes towards TV ads.
> Perhaps a different type of Republican candidate, one whose views on social policy are more in line with the tolerant and multicultural values of the Bay Area, and the youthful cultures of the leading companies here, could gather more support among information technology professionals.
> Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican, raised about $42,000 from Google employees, considerably more than Mr. Romney did.
So Ron Paul getting money is very different from the rest of the GOP getting money.
It's the same with weapons design and scientists, or battlefield medicine and doctors. At some point the challenge overcomes the ethical qualms. Or, in some cases, the need to eat becomes pretty overwhelming. Morally dirty but technically difficult jobs often pay really rather well, partly because many talented people are turned off by the field.
Real example: a good friend of mine was in my physics class at university. He was a pretty peace-loving, anti-establishment, idealist type like all of us at that age, yet he's now a government employee spending his days inventing ways to make ICBM warheads invulnerable to anti-missile systems. It's cutting-edge materials science stuff, and he loves it. (As a cold war kid myself I'm slightly ashamed to say that I found the whole thing deeply cool and I'm quite jealous of his job.)
Re your friend though: I'd chalk it up to a maturation and the pragmatism that comes with it.
More money can replace all the non-money things, in the same way tofu can replace bacon: It's a good enough replacement for some people, it'll never be a good enough replacement for all people.
It might be difficult to attract top tier job candidates if you offer an all-tofu diet. You might have to hire non-top-tier candidates.
Believe me they'll unfortunately adapt.
From my perspective they have many more issues they need to sort out before this one to get themselves back together.
A team of dedicated startup employees who really believe in what they're working on vs. throwing money at consultants 9-to-5er programmers? Pardon me while I place a few long bets.
The argument i should have made in a less pejorative way is, Defense contractors are in the business of selling consulting services.
Fundamentally, government contractors economic incentives are more closely aligned with billable hours than shipping good software. When you sell the artifact itself, it has to be good. when you sell time, customers just have to feel good about how the time was spent.
The campaign may have relied mostly on volunteers, but it would be foolish to think they wouldn't hire a small team of engineers to do the same work if they had to. The benefits to fundraising alone are substantial enough to warrant the cost.
This would be a valid point if there were only enough competent engineers for one party's staff. That isn't the case, though.
I think the point is that Romney's campaign would be able to hire engineers at some cost. This cost may be significantly higher than the cost that Obama would have to pay but nevertheless passionate, dedicated engineers can be obtained to produce high quality infrastructure.
The fact is it doesn't matter how good the engineers are, if they are mismanaged then you will not get good results. The main thing that Silicon Valley has really figured out is the necessity of letting engineers into the board room so to speak. You can't have a bunch of big-shot executives trying to dictate what to do from on high because the technical and operational challenges are just as significant as the political and strategic challenges. If the engineers are outsourced, or don't have autonomy, or aren't given a seat at the table for high-level decisions, then it will be impossible for them to deliver anything as groundbreaking as what the Obama campaign delivered.
What is conventional wisdom in Silicon Valley has been slow to make its way into the political sphere, but I think the cat's out of the bag now, and I'm sure you'll see a lot less hubris and a much more solid effort from the GOP in 2016.
All the GOP has to do is establish a pot of money for political tech and be willing to take a risk on startups looking to service political campaigns.
Think of essentially the SpaceX competition but for political campaign tech for the GOP
It can be difficult to get a gauge on just how well the two parties are leveraging technology. My guess is they are both data mining their voter databases as well as doing some advanced machine learning. If that is the case I would guess recruiting people would be much easier out in the Bay Area.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that computer and mathematical jobs are 2.7% of ALL jobs and 5.5% of jobs in SF. I can't find the percentage of NEW jobs that are tech-related.
And the point of the article is that Democrats have ~5 times more potential to find missionaries than Republicans do.
Anyone who has tried to hire will realize that it is difficult, and a pool of 5x gives you a huge advantage.