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Six Degrees of Voting 80

Posted by michael
from the who's-keven-bacon-voting-for? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Received a link to SixDegreesOfVoting.com that is a new take on the Registration drive concept. From the Manifesto: 'if we make sure everyone we know is voting, and they make sure everyone they know is voting, and so on, wouldn't everyone be voting?' Match it with a nice flash map showing linked signups, it looks pretty cool (albeit leaning solidly to the left right now)."
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Six Degrees of Voting

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  • Oh great... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CodeWanker (534624)
    People who need to be prodded to the polls with a sharp stick aren't going to be well-enough informed to cast their votes meaningfully.

    A lot more is at stake than the presidential election: all the house of representatives, a third of the senate, and lots of state and local elections.

    When you force the ignorant into the polling places, they will most likely vote for every selection, even the ones they know nothing about. So you wind up with candidates getting votes because of their party affiliation or
    • This is not a Troll. It is a legitimate viewpoint held by many people.
    • Re:Oh great... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mcmonkey (96054) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @05:10PM (#10444516) Homepage
      People who need to be prodded to the polls with a sharp stick aren't going to be well-enough informed to cast their votes meaningfully.


      What does that mean? How informed is "well-enough informed to cast their votes meaningfully"?
      How is one vote more meaningful than another?


      The first thing we should be pushing for is for people to get out and vote. The second thing we should be pushing for is for arrogant snobs to STFU. I'll vote straight party line, I'll vote for cool sounding names. I'll vote for women I consider doable or people with an odd number of syllables in their name or whomever else I choice to vote for.


      How someone might vote should never be the litmus test on whether they can or should vote.

      • The purpose of voting is to select the best candidate for the job. If someone doesn't have enough of an opinion to vote for themselves, then their vote only adds noise to the system. I'd rather not have an extra 50 million voters if they all voted for whoever's yard sign they last saw.
        • What is the standard? How informed is informed enough? When is an opinion enough of an opinion? So voting based on the last yard sign I saw isn't enough. Is listening to talk radio? Reading one newspaper a day? Reading slashdot?

          I respond to every time someone presumes to have some standard on who should vote and who is better off staying home. None of the big shots who presume to tell other people they shouldn't vote ever steps up with some specifics.

          How do you decide my vote is only noise? When i
          • Good Lord, will you adolescents sit quietly long enough to actually apply your IQ to this? No one is saying people who don't vote Republican shouldn't vote. No one is saying people who don't Democrat shouldn't vote. If you haven't taken the time to reason through who the candidates are and why you would vote for one and/or vote against another, then stay home. Please. While the noise will probably cancel itself out 1) why risk it and 2) why distort the margin by which a body of ideas wins or loses in t
            • Re:oh yeah? (Score:1, Flamebait)

              by mcmonkey (96054)
              If you haven't taken the time to reason through who the candidates are and why you would vote for one and/or vote against another, then stay home.

              You still haven't come through with specifics. What is 'taking the time to reason'? What is careful reasoning? Can you apply some IQ can come up with an objective standard?

              My concern is someone may read about a campaign to discourage the uninformed from voting or "why distort the margin by which a body of ideas wins or loses," and think 'I'm not happy about

              • Jeepers, mcmonkey. There is no one-size-fits-all time limit. The higher the IQ, the less time it takes to process something. That doesn't mean that a high IQ person will pick someone superior (since his frame of reference may be incorrect) or a low IQ person will pick someone inferior (since his frame of reference may be quite wonderful.) It's not pussy footing, it's individual responsibility. It seems to me you're just screaming and shouting trying to start a fight, or burning off hormones you've accu
                • lol.
                • Obviously anyone you can convince to vote feels confident enough in their decisions to cast the ballot. We're not talking about literally forcing people to vote against their will. We're talking about convincing them to vote by impressing upon them the importance of that vote. Maybe they think about it once they see the names for the first time in the booth. Is that enough thought for you? mcmonkey is completely right -- you haven't offered anything near a reasonable method for determining who should a
  • Great... (Score:3, Funny)

    by brunson (91995) * on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @03:30PM (#10443280) Homepage
    Now I'm going to get this viral link forwarded to me by 8500 people...
  • Since when... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @03:39PM (#10443387)
    Is it my business whether or not my friends vote.

    Like religion, it should be an individual decision and like religion, I find people who meddle in the affairs of others in these issues annoying.
    • Re:Since when... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ajrs (186276)
      and yet your vote, unlike your religion, can have an impact on the lives of your fiends and your friends' friends.

      Your religion or lack there of, and how you practice it, will have an impact on who your friends are in the irst place.
    • Re:Since when... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Yokaze (70883) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @04:23PM (#10443957)
      It is the business of friends to meddle in the affairs of their friends. That's the difference between friends and acquaintances. Of course, they should know whether it is prudent in that particular matter or not. That is the difference between friends and "friends".

      In your case, it doesn't seem prudent. But that doesn't mean it is never prudent.

      However, let me point you out a little difference to religion.

      Contrary to religion is not about makeing you choose a certain party.

      Next, wether you like it or not, your life is affected by politics. There are not a lot people that don't care how their life is affected by it and have no particular opinion on anything. But most people say something along the line of: "Well, what I do/say doesn't matter anyway". They have given up.
      • It is the business of friends to meddle in the affairs of their friends. That's the difference between friends and acquaintances. Of course, they should know whether it is prudent in that particular matter or not. That is the difference between friends and "friends".

        Your certainty of social obligation (rolls eyes) leads me to believe you must be a liberal.
    • Re:Since when... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot&castlesteelstone,us> on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @04:23PM (#10443965) Homepage Journal
      Wow. You're 2 for 2.

      Religion, like voting, is a community descision. People who are members of your community (and not in the YMCA/United Way meaning. I mean the folk who are your real kith) have a duty to share their views with you, and you have an opinion to share your views with them. If you don't, then they're not kith.

      It is your busiess that your friends vote because if they don't vote, then the elected officials don't care about them and the government will not bend to assist them.

      It is your business what religion your friends are. Formal or informal, agreeing or disagreeing, knowing how a person relates to the divine is part of knowing a person. At the very least, you need to know if you can invite them to be your kid's godparent or trust them to keep the kid from being brainwashed by organized religion.

      Oh, and that "meddling" you're referring to--that's called DEMOCRACY.
      • Go back and read my post. I never said it wasn't my business what religion my friends are.

        My objection was meddling in other's religious affairs. Perhaps the difference is too subtle for you so I'll spell it out. I know the religion of my friends. I don't nag them to go to church or temple. That would be one instance of the difference.
        As to voters, my personal feeling is that if someone doesn't care to vote, they probably aren't informed and probably should not vote. Just my opinion, but I'm enti
    • Good point, but you're not really meddling, per se. You're not saying, "Go to my church, heathen." It's more like saying, "Go to a church|temple|mosque|wicca circle." You can encourage your friends to vote without encouraging them to vote for someone in particular, if you take my meaning.

      And besides, it's not like knocking on a door, or calling during dinner time. When the topic du jour rolls around to politics in general, just say you hope your soap-box-toting friends are going to back up their wind-

    • Proding someone who they are voting for and why is meddling. Just saying, 'Hey, there's an election coming up. Are you registered?' is not meddling.

      If you were out with a friend and spouse and starting needling them on their choice of birth control--that might be meddling. If your friend starting coughing up blood, saying, 'do you need a doctor?' is not meddling.

      I am a little surprised someone who chose the name HotNeedleOfInquiry is worried about being meddlesome.
    • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @05:48PM (#10444976) Homepage Journal
      People who cannot name their own Senators or Representatives...

      We harp on not having enough people voting but we ignore the bigger problem of having people vote who don't know the issues let alone the players.

    • Re:Since when... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jmccay (70985)
      That depends on how much your beliefs mean to you. Voting for President of the United States is your chance to tell government that you like a particular candidate and where he, maybe she in the future, stands on the issues.

      In this election, a lot is a stake. The candidates are not even close on a lot of issues! Let's take a geek issue in bioscience. Stem Cell research. Kerry is for using stem cells harvested from an aborted human fetus. While Bush banned the harvesting of new cells from an abort
    • Re:Since when... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @08:06PM (#10446150) Homepage Journal
      The Dems may win, for a reason that is not being captured in the polls.

      They're ALL gonna vote, because of the opposition to the Bushinista clique.

      Republicans, discouraged by their choices will stay home...

  • One good point... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thunderstruck (210399) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @03:48PM (#10443518)
    That is somewhat counter-intuitive:

    When will we see a nationwide campaign encouraging people not to vote if they don't care? Or what about people who just don't have the time to do the homework? I know too many people who vote based purely on party or distant relationship than on merit.
    • by moofdaddy (570503)
      That is somewhat counter-intuitive: When will we see a nationwide campaign encouraging people not to vote if they don't care? Or what about people who just don't have the time to do the homework? I know too many people who vote based purely on party or distant relationship than on merit.

      Voting based on party is not nessasarily a bad thing. A party designation allows the less then informed citizen to have an idea on where a canidate stands on a given set of issues. No, it doesn't give you a detailed i
      • You mean like how republicans are for smaller government and less meddling and dems are for bigger government and more meddling? How republicans are strong on security? Like the way shrub took us from a budget surplus into a deep-ass debt? The way he lied to the nation about the reason for draggin us into a war that has made the world a much more violent place? The way clinton kept the fed cranking dollars until it made the japanese bleed money, thereby reducing our foreign debt? The way we enjoyed more pro
    • Re:One good point... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by KilobyteKnight (91023) <bjm@@@midsouth...rr...com> on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @04:04PM (#10443722) Homepage
      When will we see a nationwide campaign encouraging people not to vote if they don't care? Or what about people who just don't have the time to do the homework?

      I like your ideas. The fewer voters there are, the more my vote counts :)
      • I like your ideas. The fewer voters there are, the more my vote counts :)

        If only they could get a proportional set of people not to vote. Unfortunately, it will be the younger voters who would mostly listen, people who already vote in small numbers. The older set seems to be quite comfortable checking in to the polls every couple of years to fulfill their civic duty.

        For the rest of us, the response is more like, "Does that mean I gotta get up from this chair? But Quake 4 just came out!"
    • When will we see a nationwide campaign encouraging people not to vote if they don't care? Or what about people who just don't have the time to do the homework? I know too many people who vote based purely on party or distant relationship than on merit.

      Tell it brother and/or sister! If the only section of the paper you read is Sports, please stay home on November 2nd. If you can't tell which party a candidate belongs to without the ballot indicating his affiliation, please stay home. If you can't be bother

    • Ah but, the more people who plant to vote, the more people are likely to take interest in the upcoming elections. Take this article for example [reuters.com] it shows that tv ratings for the first debate are up 26%. At the same time new voter registration applications are swamping county/state election workers [usatoday.com]
    • by mcmonkey (96054)
      When will we see a nationwide campaign encouraging people not to vote if they don't care?

      I hope I never live to see that day.

      And what makes you so qualified to judge how other people vote? So you know people who vote purely on party. Why isn't that on merit? What if I disagree with every stand in a party platform. Shouldn't I then vote for candidates of another party?

      What makes someone so friggin' self righteous they think they can decide who should vote and who shouldn't?

      • I agree party is a bad reason to stay home. If you know that one party is more or less closer to your than the others (more than the 2 major ones) vote the party, I don't have a problem with that.

        I do have a problem with people who vote on looks. Who won the debates of 1960? Nixon if you listened to the radio, Kennedy if you watched them on TV. I don't care who you vote for so long as it is an informed decision. I don't want you voting for the best looking person, because that person might not be be

    • Billboards in Minneapolis have sprung up recently, saying "Don't Vote [wcco.com]".

      Some people are concerned because some of the billboards are in areas with high minority concentrations.

      Clear Channel, the owners of the billboards, say that it is a teaser for a "non-product" ad campaign that will be revealed October 11th.

      My guess: this is actually part of a pro-vote campaign. Get people riled up by telling them not to vote, then post new billboards with some consequences of what happens if you don't vote. (Like th
      • revealed October 11th

        Just in time to make sure that most of the voters they've spent the last two weeks telling not to vote won't even be able to register.
        • I thought about that... but it turns out that in Minnesota, you can register on election day [state.mn.us].
          • Ah - Minnesota - encouraging voter fraud since 2004.

            In all seriousness - I hope that they check ID and confirm that voters should be eligble before registering them at the polls.

            • No worse than Oregon, where you have a couple of check boxes to assert that you're legal to vote, but *nobody* is allowed to actually check that you told the truth in those check boxes (due to a public employees law that bans public employees from asking about immigration or citizenship status, from the governor's office all the way down to city government).
              • Speaking of checking boxes, it looks like Florida is disqualifying [palmbeachpost.com] anybody who forgot to check "I am a US Citizen" on their registration form [state.fl.us].

                You have to be a US Citizen to vote, obviously. The thing is, if you look at the form, the oath that you have to sign also says "I am a U.S. Citizen." So by signing, you are swearing that you are a citizen, regardless of what the checkbox says.
                • Um, do we really need more Florida dumbasses this election? What kind of moron forgets to check the box saying he's a US Citizen on a voter registration form? That's rather the whole point of the form, to assert you are a citizen, and inform the government what districts you are in.

                  No, I suspect what's actually happening there is those people are not citizens, and just didn't pay attention to the oath.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The importance of this election makes it necessary to share opinions in meaningful debate, and get others around you excited and educated.

    The site is a web of users that works on referrals at the user's discretion. Let's see how far it could go and if it will impact this election in a meaningful way. Never before has something like this been attempted in a political sense.

    Use this link to sign up under the root of slashdot community:

    http://www.sixdegreesofvoting.com/?ref=296&mac=1c9 7ed8d1c7b [sixdegreesofvoting.com]
    • This election is no more or less important than the last one or the next one. Or any other ones. It might be the "most important one this century" because it's the first one this century. No, 2000 doesn't count, the millenium didn't begin until 2001. There was no "year zero".

      In fact, SOME of "you people" may even say the next election is more important, since it will be the first time a woman receives the presidential nomination from one of the two major parties.

      Bush by 15%, and that's the way the Cli
      • In fact, SOME of "you people" may even say the next election is more important, since it will be the first time a woman receives the presidential nomination from one of the two major parties.

        Or maybe both major parties. Who's to say the Democrats *won't* nominate a woman next time?

        -Brent
        • Brent, I think you may misunderstand me. When I spoke about a woman from a major party, I was referring to the Democrats nominating Hillary Clinton next time.

          You may have assumed that I was referring to the Republicans nominating Condi Rice. I don't believe that will happen, though I do give the best odds for her being nominated as a Veep to Guiliani in '08. I'd rather have that ticket the other way around, myself.

  • If I get everyone I know to register, and they get everyone they know to register, then eventually everyone will be registered. Getting everyone to vote is a totally different matter.
  • Reading a few comments here I understand the feeling of distaste for uninformed voting but here are a couple notes (I'm one of the creators):

    1. Of the people signed up, 65% have left some sort of comment. This means people who are signing up do feel a certain way and aren't signing just to signup.

    2. Unlike rock the vote or those sorts of drives we don't actually DO anything or try to force anyone. We are instead a opinion site aimed at being as middle of the road as we can be. Our goal is to create as man
    • I hope next time you'll think twice before submitting a site driven by a pointless flash app to /. Would it really have been so fucking hard to offer a box that says "what state are you in?"
  • Don't Vote (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shihar (153932) on Tuesday October 05, 2004 @06:01PM (#10445132)
    Honestly, if you don't have the desire to vote, do everyone a favor and don't let your uneducated opinion be heard. More is not better. I would rather have one surgeon performing open heart surgery on me then 100 farms.

    People are under the deluded impression that Democracy is just. It isn't. It is just more likely to be just then other forms of government. However, it is perfectly within a democracies ability for 51% of the population to put the other 49% into slavery. The very reason why this nation has a bill of rights is because the founding fathers recognized that Democracy is less then perfect.

    Just because 51% of the people say something is right, does not make them right. It just means more people believe one thing over another. Pick your favorite philosopher or political figure. No matter how accepted that person might be right now, at one point they articulated an opinion which the vast majority disagreed with. That didn't make that person wrong, just in disagreement with the rest of the world.

    To be perfectly honest, I -don't- want more people to vote. I want less people to vote. As it is now, too many stupid people vote. Too many people vote based upon who has the prettier words, looks the best, or just fills them with a warmer feeling. I don't care if it is the stupid southern house wife you just doesn't trust any liberal because, well, no one in her family ever has since the civil war, or if it is a stupid stoner college student who really has no fucking opinion of his own, but is pretty sure everyone else hates Bush and so he should too. I don't want these people to vote. There input into the system isn't helpful. It is just noise. When they vote, I don't feel any sense of pride that two uneducated idiots made their decision based upon something that has absolutely nothing to do with reality.

    Voting is a mechanism to reach a consensus as to who should rule. When you rule, you have the authority to pass laws that will result in violence on the population. I don't care if you pass a law to stop gumball theft. You just authorized violence against your population. Laws don't work without the threat of someone taking either your property or you freedom and sending you to jail.

    So, when the decision is coming around as to who gets this power, take it fucking seriously. Don't tell idiots to add their input. If they don't want to vote, good, don't encourage them. The fewer idiots that vote, the more that my vote counts, and the more that non-idiots votes count.

    I propose a different solution. Tell your friends not to vote. If they are stupid enough to do as you say, then you are doing the world a favor by keeping them from voting.
  • ...on the page where I can signup and it has a map and asks you to pick your state... I can't for the life of me find either Hawaii or Alaska. NORMALLY the weather channels put 'em near mexico :) but they are nowhere to be found on the map on this site (or at least I couldn't find it).

    Are the designers so lame that they can't even name the 50-nifty-united states?

    No aloha for me I guess :(

    • It looks like that is the number one frequently asked question. :)

      http://www.sixdegreesofvoting.com/faq.php

      Q: Uh, where's Alaska and Hawaii?

      A: Umm, we're working on it, our art department went on strike after finishing the 48 contiguous states. Please choose your second favorite state and it'll be up shortly.
  • ...is wicked cool. Interesting that the clusters are around Seattle, L. A., Chicago, the Twin Cities, NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Raleigh, NC.
  • It is a pyramid scheme! They never work, and are usually designed by greedy cold-blooded individuals to cheat idiots out of their hardearned money.

    Even if this one seems to lack step 2(=??), DONT FALL IT!
    • Pyramid schemes involve money or some other form of consideration. I've seen no advertisements and no begging on the site.

      Seems more like they are trying to "cheat" idiots out of wasting their vote.
  • Ok, the topic has been mentioned bevore, but let me rephrase it a bit:

    Why should I be interested in getting people to vote, regardeless of what they vote?

    If I convince people to vote, who share my political opinion, then the benefit is obvious.

    If I convince people to vote, who would vote for another candidate or party, then I act contrary to my political intentions. The election result I want is less likely to happen as it would be otherwise.

    If I convince people to vote, that have no predetermined opin
    • Dude, I think you have a good point, but maybe you should lay off the hookah for a sec.

      Don't you think your friends will be more likely to share your opinion anyway? If that's the case, it would be in your best interests to give a little shout out to make sure they registered and (more importantly) are gonna follow through on E-day.

      Especially if your friends live in Florida. Ahem.
      • I dont live in florida or anywhere near the US, but I DO talk about politics with my friends.
        (BTW, registering to vote is mandatory here, just not voting. Everyone gets an invitation per mail)

        I just don't get the "convince people to vote just for vote's sake" part

        I mean, talking with friends about why I would vote this and that and what would be the best for this country is all good and fine, but that is not what this site promotes.

        But I do not think the election results will be any better or clearer if
  • Call me an Asshat but I like the fact that many people do not vote. In my mind, the only thing worse than people not voting, is uniformed people voting. I like the fact that you have to put forth at least a little effort to vote... at least then I know people have convictions about what they are voting about.
  • I'd call it "six degrees of apathy and anarchism".

    Except, I can't be bothered, and you can't make me.

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