In Which xkcd Gets It Right Again

Sometimes it’s easy to lose the plot.

36 Comments on “In Which xkcd Gets It Right Again”

  1. At this time in every election, after relentless battering from horrible ads and endless posturing I am always reminded of a Woody Allen quote:
    “Mankind is facing a crossroad – one road leads to despair and utter hopelessness and the other to total extinction – I sincerely hope you graduates choose the right road”

  2. (As per the hover text) I’ll be casting my vote for Nate Silver on Tuesday by proxy of Barack Obama. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a man about some political prognostications. Who will also, hopefully, be able to tell me if I just used proxy incorrectly.

  3. John, you’re not suggesting that some folks might lose perspective over the next couple days are you?

  4. Ron Mitchell:
    Heh. I know some people who are going to lose their shit if their candidate loses.

  5. Luvvit! I live in England and even I’m going to be glad when all this election stuff is over…

  6. On one hand, if Romney wins, Fox news and Rush will be far less annoying for the next four years. On the other hand, if Obama wins, Daily Show making fun of Fox news and Rush will be more entertaining for next four years. It really is a tough call.

  7. Yeah, you can use all those fancy statistics and stuff, but everyone knows the result of the Washington Redshirts professional football game determines whether the incumbent party maintains control fo the White House.

  8. My daughter (who is seven) has told me several times that she’s sick of the “presidenty election”. When I told her that it would be all over by Wednesday, she was very relieved.

    I’ve started to think that maybe our drawn-out presidential election actually leads to more stability in our society. After suffering through a campaign that has stretched out over almost two years, I think the majority of people just want it *done*. They may not like whoever gets elected, but they’ll accept it because going into the streets to protest or rebel against the results would just make it go on *even longer*. While if they just go along with it, they can just make a quick grumble about the results and get on with other things.

    For two years. At which point it starts up again. Gah!

  9. The 2016 race has already started. If you’re not running down that track tomorrow, you’re not going to be able to compete. Both Spice (D) and i (~R) have been polled in the last month about the 2016 race; she hung up as soon as she heard what it was, I said I wanted Condoleezza Rice (who wasn’t on their list) and hung up.

  10. I am now old enough to have lived through three Presidential elections in which persons who were, from all appearances, allowed to walk the streets unattended have told me that if the incumbent is defeated they will suspend civil liberties, etc, and try to maintain their office through brute force. They will show their true colors, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting the throats of the righteous, Yust like dat!

    What is really honkin’ hilarious to me is that there was no apparent difference in mien or rationality between the ones who told me Clinton was going to do it, the ones who told me that Bush was going to do it, and the ones who told me that Obama was going to do it.

  11. Tim Eisele,

    I just hope it is all over by November 7. But I remember 2000, and there are forces at work in Florida, Ohio, Virginia and elsewhere that mean that any losses there stand a good chance of being challenged in court.

  12. I was able to arrange to work from home tomorrow and Wednesday. I’m one of the twitchy ones, and I didn’t want to subject my coworkers to my neuroses. Hey, at least I’m self-actualized!

  13. What’s really funny is that I was reading in reverse chronological order in Google Reader and your feed and xkcd’s are next to each other. I marked xkcd as “read” and then saw the same cartoon in your feed — color me momentarily flummoxed . . . and then amused. Happy day-before-election-day.

  14. XKCD ftw, again, still.
    Seriously can’t wait to have this over and done with. You know in the UK, their elections only last a matter of weeks? If it wasn’t for the weather, and the awful wigs, I’d envy them.

  15. So what physical technology does Ohio use for voting? Is it punch card by any chance? 538 puts the overall probability of recount at 7.9%.

    Or what if it comes down to chad evaluation in NH? The place is already turned upside down every four years because it has a small population and low travel distances. Are there enough hotel rooms for the army of lawyers and reporters? There could be man-on-the street interviews with cattle before it’s over.

  16. I found it interesting that the public opinion research community wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry at this cartoon. (Most of us laughed a lot)

  17. @ Kilroy:

    I’m not sure why Fox News would change a business model that’s been so successful from their very beginnings.

  18. Perfect. Yeah, way too much noise. Or is the noise in answer to an environment uncomfortable with anything that takes too long to explain? I remember when “Network” first showed out in theaters. We thought it was garishly unrealistic, a world gone batty. Boy, how wrong we were.

  19. I have found myself getting somewhat interested in the polls because it looks like quite a challenge to get them right. A fair number of pundits having been going at it hammer and tongs about how accurate the polls are. They must be concerned that poll results influence voters enough that it matters if the polls are correct. Perhaps they are right. From my point of view, polls really matter to campaign strategists and people considering where to place a contribution, otherwise, the one that matters is Tuesday.

  20. There’s a lot of (I’m not sure it’s good) psychology in releasing poll numbers. One theory is that people want to vote for winners, so you release polls that show your candidate is going to win. Another is that people don’t want to vote for losing candidates; again, you release polls showing you’ll win. A third is that people want to vote for the underdog who’s charging, so that they can feel they’ll put him over the top. … Polls that show ties are both claimed to suppress turnout and help it, so if that’s the result and you want turnout (people are complicated, sometimes.)

    Then there’s “push polling”. The claim is that people who are push polled are more likely to vote in that election, the hope being they’ll vote as pushed. Contrarians, though, might be more inclined to vote against the push (raises hand, but when both sides do this, :hate:)

    And there are the people who answer polls by flipping coins ….

  21. That xkcd cartoon seems to be quite popular today. I saw it in two other blogs I follow pharyngula (PZ Myers) and Why Evolution is True (Jerry Coyne). I wonder what two biologists and a science fiction writer have in common?


  22. My favorite bit is that the stick figure is kneeling in his* chair.

    *If memory serves me correctly, xkcd depicts female characters with hair, but YMMV.

  23. George Martin: They all might be members of a secret society hellbent on world domination, but that would be pure speculation and you would be well-advised not to look into it further.

  24. After this campaign, I’m going to go out and vote as soon as I can, then come home and throw a blanket over my head. Done. Finally!

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