Saturday, August 27, 2005

The British electoral system is something to behold. In the US, the eletoral office seems not to give two hoots about whether you sign up to vote or not. Yeah, they say they do but it does not seem as if they do much but I could be wrong because of my now old memories of home. It is rather passive about the whole business. Not in the UK, they send you letter after letter about voting even when you are not eligible. Like yesterday, we got a letter from the electoral office talking about how important it was to vote and asking us if there were any eligible voters in the flat. Now, this is what I call service.

If only we were this cool about voting in the US. I bet that they sent that letter to everyone in the city. If we can send junk mail to everyone in the US, we can send them reminders to vote or forms for signing up to vote. We could blanket each state with the letters. I would bet that we would have more eligible voters than ever and if we sent them reminder letters in the mail one month then two weeks then the day before election day. I would bet that we would have at least more people showing up. Although, then again, quantity of voters does not mean quality of voters.

I have been looking into a typesetting program called LaTeX for my PhD. Hard scientists use it for their mathematical works and it is pretty darn standard for the last twenty years or so in those fields and many publishers use it. So it is battle tested. Also, it is free. The only problem is that it has not been adapted for the humanities very well. I am going to play with it a bit while I am writing my PhD to see what I can learn about it. I hope that it will allow me to do things that are just plain frustrating to do in MS Word or Open Office. That and BiBTeX seems pretty darn amazing as a bibliographic tool. We will see how it turns out.

posted by Chris  #9:12 AM | 0 comments |