In democracy, machines count for something

Letting machines take over our elections means that people who protest the results will look less crazy and more like John Connor.
Letting machines take over our elections means that people who protest the results will look less crazy and more like John Connor.

Good news, everyone, about the recount in Wisconsin! … No, not that. He probably still won. But! The recount should prove that, when (not “if”) the machines take over, they’re even better at democracy than we are. So, the singularity shouldn’t be a totalitarian dictatorship!

For all the worries about human error in vote counting and machines screwing up, four election experts believe that the Wisconsin recount will prove two things: (1) we’re better at counting votes than we think, and (2) machines are better than us at it and, therefore democracy.

Previous recounts show a 0.28 percent discrepancy in hand-counted votes, while computer-counted votes only had a 0.17 percent discrepancy. And even when the machines screw up, it’s mostly when a human factor interrupts the computer process, like a human logging computer counts incorrectly on a pen and ink form.

So, if we really want a more representative government, then perhaps it’s time to throw out the factor that keeps (minutely) screwing it up: humans.

The McBournie Minute: Get excited for ballot measures

After what seems like a decade, it’s finally here. Americans get to vote tomorrow, and say goodbye to those endless attack ads on TV and those political images with words on them that are always false, but that one friend always shares on Facebook. We made it, everyone!

You’ve known for months who you are voting for, unless you’re an idiot who is somehow still undecided, but do you know how you’re going to vote on the ballot issues? That’s right, folks, ballot measures are back, and they probably will have a more direct and immediate impact on your life.

So let’s take a look at some of the big issues out there. As I did two years ago, I’ll tell you which way you should vote tomorrow. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Get excited for ballot measures

Take it from Snee: Somebody’s gotta do it (but not you)

Update (10/22/2016): As most people are aware, Mike Rowe responded to this post on Wednesday, 10/19/2016. I posted an apology and brief explanation while I digested his response, reread his post, and came to terms with why I could have approached this topic better.

After a few days, I’ve finished collecting my thoughts in a new follow-up post. It’s a long read, but I hope it adequately explains why I wrote the unjustifiable way I did about Mike Rowe, why I owed him an apology, and why I still respectfully disagree with him over encouraging people to vote.

I also wrote it on my own site because, fair warning, it’s probably too boring for SeriouslyGuys.


Yes, yes. You're very well ... watched.
Yes, yes. You’re very well read watched.

For some people, an election boils down to Democrat or Republican.

For others, it’s Vote or Not Vote because, overall, politicians are no prize. They’re more like the price of living in a republic with democratically elected representation: OK, you get someone who will mostly make the decisions you want, but they’ll also be the kind of person who wants to be a decision-maker for everyone else. It’s no surprise that most of these people probably rank high on the psychopath spectrum.

So, I can understand when a common sense guy like Mike Rowe would rather not encourage people to vote. Voting is inspirational in the theoretical, Leonardo-DiCaprio-does-it sense. But when you look at the choices, it looks more like a dirty job — do you ladle out the solid chunks or siphon the ammonia-smelling liquids?

But, when Mike Rowe says that people shouldn’t be encouraged to vote because they’re probably too stupid to do so, that’s not common sense. (Rant also celebrated here, although it bogusly claims he posted it a couple of days ago.) That’s elitism, which seems out of character for the champion of the hard-working American.  Continue reading Take it from Snee: Somebody’s gotta do it (but not you)

The McBournie Minute: Who’s ready for some ballot issues?

If you live in America, and if you’re not getting bombed right now, there’s a good chance you do, tomorrow’s a big day. Not only is it Taco Tuesday, it’s also mid-term election day. That means you get to go to the polls, wait in line, then check off the name of the person whose crazy ads offended you the least–if you feel like going at all.

But honestly, choosing our leaders isn’t as important as the ballot issues that are coming up. These things rarely have the kind of publicity as the people crazy enough to want to hold elected office. Plus, ballot issues don’t have egos they need stroked by public approval every few years. The only time you hear about ballot issues is when some faith group gets involved (read: anything related to abortion or marriage equality).

So to make sure you’re prepared tomorrow, here’s a quick overview of the ballot measures you may see tomorrow, and how to vote on them. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Who’s ready for some ballot issues?

Penises big on the ballot for Los Angeles

It’s a bigger matter than you think. Or depending on your search history, maybe not.

For our readers in Los Angeles, yesterday, you were able to take part in a decision that affects more of your financial situation than you know: putting the condom on the honker in the pron.

Measure B, the code name for the county ordinance that was voted on, was created in part due to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and STD statistics for Los Angeles, of which porn actors there have more STD’s than Nevada (as in the entire state) prostitutes. Measure B could potentially prevent a lot of bumps being on someone’s noggin.

The ordinance doesn’t really affect The Guys, not because we live in Virginia, but because we like our porn with more heffalumps than what you usually find.

I’m voting it

Those that have gone to an accredited school with the intent of learning about administration and such skills learn tons and tons of what to do and what not to do. Not that this should be felt as a statement that takes away from those that haven’t gone to school. There’s so much stuff that a person will have to learn on the job that it can get a little bewildering.

However, one thing that most people can agree on as common sense is subtly threatening your employees with their jobs to vote a certain way is a bad thing and should not be done. This is not information that you acquire in school. This is not information that you can only learn on the job. This is information that you essentially already know since doing so is potentially illegal.

We’d like a Nobel piece of that action

Gorby is taking notes while Ronnie draws ferrets and Chesterfield cigarettes.The big shocking news of the day is that the Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. And, of course, the critics of the president want to know what he’d done in the last ten months to deserve such recognition.

The Committee praised Obama for:

  • Starting nuclear disarmament talks.
  • Consulting with the U.N. and international communities before bombing invading new countries.
  • Inspiring an emotion (hope) without instituting a nonfluctuating color chart.

So, in other words, not only were the current batch of peacemakers kind of inactive, but the last president made this one look so damn good.

We’d like to congratulate the Nobel Committee for reaching such a decision, but what about prizes for the people that elected him? Hope’s pretty shallow in a square office, if you know what we mean. (Obama does.)

But could she even reach the ballot box?

In the wacky world of politics, sometimes mishaps happen with elections. Like letting old people vote down in Florida or letting the dead vote in Chicago. But what about letting 11-year-olds?

We wouldn’t suggest it if it didn’t happen.

The girl in question was handed a ballot and allowed to vote in the election when she accompanied her Dad to the polling station. They didn’t realize she was underage until she had already cast the ballot, thus making it impossible to discern hers from all the other votes cast, so they had no choice but to accept the ballot.

Of course, the thousand dollar question is: did they just hand her the ballot, without even bothering to ask for ID or confirmation that she’s a voter? Now, in their defense, the poll operators did say that she was exceptionally tall for her age and looked like an adult. This is totally understandable and an incredibly valid line of reasoning. Not a successful line of reasoning, mind you, given the number of pedophiles in prisons.