Re: Ms. Tobi's overheated rhetoric

From: Edward Cherlin <echerlin_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Nov 08 2007 - 16:46:05 CST

On Nov 3, 2007 3:45 AM, Arlene Montemarano <mikarl@starpower.net> wrote:
>
> (This will tick some people off.)
>
> Bravo! Well said!
>
> As a 'little person', I appreciate recognition that all the computer jargon
> remains very much Greek to me, and very very intimidating to many of us
> without the capacity to understand what it is doing with my very precious
> vote. That does not make me a moron. I believe it makes me typical of
> voters.
>
> Nancy does understand it

Well, you see, that's the problem right there. This turns out not to
be the case. Nancy, however nice and well-intentioned she may be,
utterly fails to understand security of any kind. Paper ballots have
been hacked for as long as they have existed. The relatively recent,
extremely sorry case of "Landslide" Lyndon Johnson and his tame
lawyer, Abe Fortas, is but one of a multitude.

We do not want to complexify voting for the sake of complexity, but we
do want a system with more than one data path, in this case paper and
electronic together. As with double-entry bookeeping, you have to have
two entries for everything in order to have a properly auditable
system. Bookkeeping and accounting are complex, too complex for most
of us to follow in detail, but without them, corporate fraud would be
many times worse than it is. The Enron fraud required collusion
between Enron and its accountants. Public auditing for elections (that
is, auditing done *by* the public, not just *in* public) would make
such collusion far more difficult to get away with.

They do say, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

> and wants to simplify the process for ALL of us
> down to its necessities. Paper ballot, I mark it myself, I watch people
> count it right there in the room, I can keep track of it all and do not have
> to 'trust' and hope and wonder. Can any of the experts in computer
> technology ever understand how empowering that is?
>
> It would be such a relief if we could all of us then become experts in
> voting and our own voting process.

Sorry. Can't happen, won't happen. The universe is not responsive to
my personal will. I just live here and try to make the best of it.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no
simpler."--Attributed to Albert Einstein

-- 
Edward Cherlin
Earth Treasury: End Poverty at a Profit
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Earth_Treasury
Sustainable MBA student
Presidio School of Management
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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:11 2007

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