Politics: from Quantum to Thermodynamic

In the past, candidates campaigned with a quantum model of the voter. Each voter counts. The candidate needs to convince neighborhoods and each house on a block. It was quantum in the sense that individual action mattered. Every atom/voter needs a packet of energy to transform from one candidate another.

Now the quantum model of the voter can be replaced by a classical thermodynamic model. One thinks in terms of the temperature of groups instead of individuals. Rather than counting individuals, the campaign thinks of percentages.

For many issues, opinions are split nearly evenly. To get the electoral results for a candidate, moving a fraction of voters in the middle is enough. The effect is that, for the majority of the electorate, the candidates don’t need to address them. They won’t matter to the outcome because their votes are free energy to win an election without exerting any work.

Targeted advertising such as what is available with Facebook, YouTube and Google allow candidates to focus their appeals to the subgroups that are in the middle. Adding heat to targeted parts of the pot can be more successful.

Changing the votes of one or two percent in the right demographic can be enough to win the election. Narrow campaigns targeted to subgroups can be more efficient than mass appeals through TV and radio. A campaign’s money can be stretched further when it tries to change the temperature of small groups rather than trying to push individual votes one at a time.

In a quantum model of campaigning, each person matters. When a candidate shifts their efforts to a classical, thermodynamic model, what matters is convincing groups in the margins. People have been reduced from individual human voters into inhuman mathematical abstractions.

Google Slides

I’ve been using Google Slides recently. My impression of it is positive.

I imported a PowerPoint presentation and found that it imported some shapes that it appears unable to create. It can even manipulate them as if they a native shape.

Another feature I found is being able to select more than one shape at time with shift-click. Although the display doesn’t show the extended selection, when I copied them with the Slides menu copy, I could paste them on another slide with Ctrl-V. That allowed me to copy some complex decorations from one slide to the next. The paste put the shapes in the same position on the new slide.

I’m still learning some of the advanced features like themes and master slides.

There’s plenty to explore!

site:google.com surprise

Excited Talk
In searches on google.com and duckduckgo.com, you can add a clause “site:some-domain” to your search.

For example, a duckduckgo search “site:wikipedia.org end-of-life” will offer many articles that the native Wikipedia search can’t find. Some of those titles include Product lifecycle and End of Life Vehicles Directive

I wanted to be a clever and ask the search engines to look at itself to give me an answer. I quickly discovered that asking Google “site:google.com” is incredibly useful.

Most of the results come from feedproxy.google.com. In other words, this style of query searches Google’s vast collection of blogs and news feeds.

It’s an awesome tool!!! It narrows my searches in a very useful manner.

And I’ve only scratched the surface. For example, in an advanced search query “Last update” does what it should. Google will find blog posts from the past year, month, week or 24 hours.