Re: Pork barrel critiques

From: David Jefferson <d_jefferson_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Fri Mar 05 2004 - 13:50:08 CST

I know I am mostly a lurker here, but FWIW I reacted to the $500
hammer reference the same way David Mertz did.

This illustrates how vital it is to avoid any remotely political
content in the "marketing" of your system. For many people,
especially your customers who are by nature politically attuned,
political content overwhelms technical content for emotional
impact and share of attention. A single reference, even
humerous, to a controversial political subject (other than
voting technology itself) can color your audience's perception
of the entire pitch.

In marketing a voting system, we should stick with images of the
flag and George Washington, and stick traditional electoral
system virtues like fairness, accuracy, privacy, openness,
security, reliability, simplicity, cost effectiveness,
accessibility, etc.


--- David Mertz <> wrote:
> On Friday, March 5, 2004, at 01:38 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:
> > I think a lot of the pork barrel charges are due to
> political
> > grandstanding.
> > But I wouldn't put studies of frog mating habits in the same
> category
> > as the
> > DoD $500 hammer.
> Which of the two do you like more/less? I'm honestly asking,
> since
> neither strikes me as proving what critics want them to.
> I don't really think the DoD $500 hammer is waste narrowly
> (for
> reasons similar to the toilet seat it may really cost that to
> make)--it's the trillion dollar star wars boondoggle that the
> hammer is
> part of that's the problem. What's wrong there is not
> inefficient
> spending at the details, but rather wrong-headed political
> priorities
> to do it in the first place.
> As to the million dollar frog sex: That's 4 Ph.D. biologists
> engaged in
> a three year study. Which seems exactly appropriate,
> actually.
> > Also, keep in mind that while we have a lot of Ph.D s on the
> project,
> > the
> > intended audience for the demo is comprised of people
> with--for the
> > most
> > part--with much less than a Ph.D going for them.
> I know. I just don't like to imply something that I wouldn't
> actually
> endorse, even if the audience isn't smart enough to catch on
> to what
> I'm doing. Free Software gets a lot of that negative
> insinuation from
> its enemies (who can't outright say the implied accusations,
> since
> they're flatly false); I don't want to play at a similar
> level.
> -
> mertz@ | The specter of free information is haunting the
> `Net! All the
> gnosis | powers of IP- and crypto-tyranny have entered into
> an unholy
> .cx | alliance...ideas have nothing to lose but their
> chains. Unite
> | against "intellectual property" and anti-privacy
> regimes!
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:02 2004

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