Tue, 02 Nov 2004

Finished System Of The World last night. Shockingly good- does tend to go into bizarre detail about uninteresting things, and drops a lot of the ‘big idea’ stuff that looked so promising in books 1 and 2 (just wait until you get to the reconciliation…), but it actually wraps up mostly pretty well at the end- loose ends are tied, not much magic is resorted to, etc. I read it because I felt I had to, but in the end, I actually enjoyed it.

I voted absentee; Krissa just got back from voting herself. It is quite depressing that it looks likely that this will be decided in the courts, and/or by machinations on both sides. It is alternately sad and disgusting. The party Robert and I are going to found will have as its motto ‘neither evil nor incompetent’, which will preclude lots of things both sides are doing.

On the plus side, lots of people are going to vote. The voting theorists say that in most elections people don’t vote out of the perfectly rational position that it doesn’t impact their lives that much. It is reassuring (or rather, I hope at the end of the day the numbers will be reassuring) that when the issues are important and do have impact, Americans can be actually roused to vote.

The Economist articles on usability Murray references are sadly not (publicly) online, and I don’t think they were as persuasive as they could have been- in some ways, this KDE guy explained it better than they did. Still, like Murray says, if the Economist is talking about it, it is pretty damn mainstream. I hope it is only a few years before this type of thinking is part of every compsci degree- it’s still too hard to find people who Get It.