Thursday, October 30, 2008

Democracy is Overrated part 1

It's that time again to exercise our civic rights and vote for whatever nonsense is on the ballots this year. Whenever I look at my voter pamphlet, I'm always bugged by this question: "Does anyone actually read this crap?" I'm not talking about the half page proponent/opponent summaries, I'm talking about the multipage, small-print legalese stuff in the back. I'd put money down that nearly no one does. It bothers me that people, who aren't fully informed, are allowed to vote on these matters. Doesn't that seem ridiculous to anyone?

I argue that, at a minimum, someone who is contributing to a decision that affects tens of millions of people in a state should at least read the god damn legislation. That's at a minimum. I think in order to make a fully informed decision, one would have to be somewhat informed in relevant current details of the state.

Say, in your household, you're faced with the decision of whether to buy a new car. Would you do that without looking at your complete financial position?How much is the monthly payment and where is the money coming from?

When it comes to deciding whether to fund measure XYZ, shouldn't people be putting in the same amount of research and thought into that? What's the current financial position of the state? What's the current annual revenue? Where's the money to fund this measure coming from?

The reality is, not many put that much thought into this. People tend to vote whatever their party's position is. They read the measure summary and base their decisions on that.

It just seems to me, allowing decisions affecting millions to be decided by people not equiped to make the most informed choice isn't rational.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Practical experience

I've been taking these martial arts classes for the last year. The gym I'm taking the classes at offers a pretty wide range of arts. I've just been taking the panatukan, or philippino boxing, I'm enjoying because it's like dirty boxing. Anyway, even more recently, for the past few months I've also been taking the weaponry class.

The weaponry class is basically a series of drills. It looks freak'n cool when done right, but I've been wondering recently what the practical value of it is. I mean, seriously, when's the last time you heard of two people fighting with sticks or machetes? And if I'm ever in a knife fight, I'm looking to run at the first opportunity.

Maybe I am better off having this little tid bit of extra knowledge compared to your average joe, but I really have no idea where I stand. Maybe there's a weaponry sparring class I can take, or maybe I should be randomly starting knife fights with people...