The Blog of Scott Aaronson If you take just one piece of information from this blog: Quantum computers would not solve hard search problems instantaneously by simply trying all the possible solutions at once.
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Supported by the French, the East Coast radicals in the painting had recently slaughtered King George’s minions in a long, bloody war that few expected them to win. Influenced by the Enlightenment, they were now about to set up one of the only non-theocratic governments in human history.
so, do you think this will have any effect on the survival prospects of the human race?
Possibly. But there’s a further point: even if a Democratic victory doesn’t cause an improvement in humanity’s survival prospects, it might indicate the existence of social trends that would be needed for such an improvement. So I say celebrate, no matter which way the causal arrow points!
Scott, how do you manage to do research when you seem so much hooked on politics? Do you feel it consumes your time?
I’m a computer science grad student who follows politics closely. Frankly, I don’t understand, with all the sh*t going on in the world, how some people can not care about politics. It’s like they’re living in some rosey alternate universe. Its not that politics is interesting – it isn’t – it’s just necessary, so a bit like cleaning your bathroom (or using it).
This is why we have to pay some attention to politics.
From an interview with James Moore, co-author of “The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power.”
MOORE: Well, it’s something I said all along. Compassionate conservatism in Texas is where they ask you if want green Jello or red Jello before they stick the needle in your arm and execute you. That’s compassionate conservatism. But Karl’s method for governance, which he has gotten this President to use very effectively, is completely cynical and it’s based on the whole idea that we are all too busy to pay attention to the details of what’s going on. We’re all running around worrying about our mortgages and our 401Ks, and getting the kids to school or daycare, and picking up the dry cleaning, and planning vacation or retirement, that we don’t read deeply into the story.
He once told a consultant that we interviewed for “Bush’s Brain” that you should run every political campaign as though people are watching television with the sound turned down. And toward that end, you rely heavily on imagery and not very much on substance, knowing that if the President is photographed in a school of minority and ethnic children, and is interested in their future in that particular photo op, that people will trust that image. And they don’t go beyond that image to look at his policy, which is signing the “Leave No Child Behind Act” in a big, high-profile moment with Senator Ted Kennedy, and then gutting the heart out of that bill with the funding that he offers up for it.
Conservatives on why the GOP should lose in November.
essays by Christopher Buckley, Bruce Bartlett, Joe Scarborough, William A. Niskanen, Bruce Fein, Jeffrey Hart, Richard Viguerie
(Washington Monthly, October 2006)
SIEGEL: We are in the home stretch though and many would consider you on the optimistic end of realism about…
ROVE: Not that you would exhibit a bias, you just making a comment.
SIEGEL: I’m looking at all the same polls that you are looking at.
ROVE: No, you are not. I’m looking at 68 polls a week for candidates for the US House and US Senate, and Governor and you may be looking at 4-5 public polls a week that talk attitudes nationally.
SIEGEL: I don’t want to have you to call races…
ROVE: I’m looking at all of these Robert and adding them up. I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I’m entitled to THE math.
SIEGEL: I don’t know if we’re entitled to a different math but your…
The latest Vanity Fair has one of the best pieces on Rove I’ve read. Also see this sad “Talk of the Town” piece in the New Yorker, on Kenneth Adelman and Donald Rumsfeld:
A few days later, Rumsfeld was out. Adelman is, apparently, still in. “I’m heartsick about the whole matter,” he said. He does not know what to make of the disintegration of Rumsfeld’s career and reputation. “How could this happen to someone so good, so competent?” he said. “This war made me doubt the past. Was I wrong all those years, or was he just better back then? The Donald Rumsfeld of today is not the Donald Rumsfeld I knew, but maybe I was wrong about the old Donald Rumsfeld. It’s a terrible way to end a career. It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.”