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Predicting Election Results With Google

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the future-search dept.

Google 205

destinyland writes "Google announced they've searched for clues about the upcoming US election using their internal tools (as well as its 'Insights for Search' tool, which compares search volume patterns for different regions and timeframes.) 'Looking at the most popular searches on Google News in October, the issues that stand out are the economy,' their official blog reported, adding, 'we continue to see many searches for terms like unemployment and foreclosures, as well as immigration and health care.' But one technology reporter also notes almost perfect correspondence between some candidate's predicted vote totals from FiveThirtyEight and their current search volume on Google, with only a small margin of error for other candidates. 'Oddly enough, the race with a clear link between web interest and expected voting is the unusual three-way contest [in Florida], where the breakdown between candidates should if anything be less clear-cut and predictable.' And Google adds that also they're seeing national interest in one California proposition — which would legalize marijuana."

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first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080076)

first

Re:first (0, Flamebait)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080274)

Google new you will do this shit.

Re:first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080694)

What strikes me as odd is that someone would waste a mod point to say your post was flamebait, but ignore the idiotic off topic post that you were replying to.

Even more odd since yours was on topic and amusing.

Prop 19 (4, Insightful)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080078)

Interesting how the possible state law for legalization of marijuana is getting as much or more attention from American people than the elections of the legislators who actually make our laws.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080160)

What is "prop 19" - it is nowhere on my state's ballot. I suppose this is a micro version of all the non-USA people complaining Slashdot is too USA centric talks. You are too whatever-state-you're-in centric.

Re:Prop 19 (3, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080248)

    It's explained in the summary...

one California proposition -- which would legalize marijuana.

    If California maintains their legalization of marijuana, it likely will extend to other states in subsequent years.

    It's not that I care from a personal standpoint. I don't smoke marijuana. I have no intention of smoking marijuana. From life experience, I see no reason that it shouldn't be legal. I also don't drink tequila. I have no intention to drink tequila. It's legal though. Would I suggest outlawing tequila because I won't drink it? No.

    I did find it interesting that some alcohols [wikipedia.org] are illegal in California, that are available in a variety of other states. But unlike some other states, strong alcohols are sold in regular stores right along with beer and wine.

Re:Prop 19 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080560)

I will personally beat to death the first Stoner that injures one of my family members because they were driving while stoned.

Re:Prop 19 (4, Insightful)

DarthJohn (1160097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080670)

I will personally beat to death the first Stoner that injures one of my family members because they were driving while stoned.

If they were simply drunk, talking on their phone, or otherwise distracted you would let them off with a mild beating?

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081304)

Having a murderous ideology like you is no different from being mentally stoned.

Change your views!

Re:Prop 19 (2, Insightful)

spynode (1377809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080698)

And not a guy who did it while being drunk? Of course driving while being high should be illegal but it is not a logical reason to prohibit it altogether.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080706)

I will personally beat to death the first Stoner that injures one of my family members because they were driving while stoned.

I wanted to do that to the dingbat who t-boned my wife with her big SUV while yakking on her goddamn cell phone.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080764)

If they do it while drunk, will you respond by stern frowning and finger-wagging?

Re:Prop 19 (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080766)

One presumes you would do the same for a Drunk!

Re:Prop 19 (4, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081142)

I will personally beat to death the first Stoner that injures one of my family members because they were driving while stoned.

Yeah, good thing that would never happen unless someone legalizes marijuana!

It's statements like this that make me really shake my head. It's like assuming there aren't any gays in the military because of DADT. Worries about unit cohesion? They're already there! The people already know who is and isn't gay in most cases. There IS no unit cohesion problem.

Marijuana and gays are harmless, already here, and are actually useful in many ways. There are actually things that ARE harmful and already legal that people should be worried about.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081440)

It's easier to wax moralistic about cannabis and gays.
Plus people are already making money on those things that are harmful and already legal.

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081170)

How often does that happen today? Legalized cannabis won't significantly increase the amount of people driving stoned, trust me.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081564)

I will personally beat to death the first Stoner that injures one of my family members because they were driving while stoned.

You seem to be implying that no one drives while stoned right now because marijuana is illegal, and that if it is legalized people will suddenly start driving while stoned (which is illegal right now and would remain so). If you've taken a class in logic I'd ask for a refund. See this. [wikipedia.org] Unless you were trying for this [wikipedia.org] , in which case I missed it.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080960)

If it passes, my next vacation will be to Cali!

Re:Prop 19 (1, Troll)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080280)

What is "prop 19" - it is nowhere on my state's ballot. I suppose this is a micro version of all the non-USA people complaining Slashdot is too USA centric talks. You are too whatever-state-you're-in centric.

Not really. Prop 19 refers specifically to California's prop 19, which would legalize marijuana, but like the article points out, it's received quite a bit of national attention. I know plenty of people who don't know any of the propositions on my own state's ballot but they've heard of prop 19. If you haven't heard of prop 19 it probably has less to do with not being from California than it has to do with you not smoking pot.

btw, it annoys me to no end when some foreigner complains on Slashdot about how some comment is USA-centric. Sure, the internet is international, but when I go to a British website I don't complain about how it's UK-centric. I love that so many foreigners post on Slashdot; I've learned quite a bit from them, especially when the story is about their home country; but don't get annoyed when comments on a political story use the pronoun 'we' to refer to 'the American people.'

Re:Prop 19 (5, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080482)

btw, it annoys me to no end when some foreigner complains on Slashdot about how some comment is USA-centric. Sure, the internet is international, but when I go to a British website I don't complain about how it's UK-centric. I love that so many foreigners post on Slashdot; I've learned quite a bit from them, especially when the story is about their home country; but don't get annoyed when comments on a political story use the pronoun 'we' to refer to 'the American people.'

As a foreigner who posts here and has had stories accepted here I feel somewhat eligible to respond to this comment. I will do so with an example of what I have experienced.

I saw an article in a newspaper in my home country (of which English is the native language), made a submission with a direct quote from the linked text. The submission was accepted and published on /. but the kicker was that spelling in the direct quote was converted to US English.

It is this sort of lack of respect that brings forth the things you are complaining about.

You may say that ./ is a US centric website. Yes I agree it was a US based creation but I suspect that a significant amount of readership is non-US based and a huge number of stories are non US related, so I feel that complaining about foreigners saying what they do is a bit off base.

Re:Prop 19 (2, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080640)

Well, I'd have to agree there's no reason to change the spelling from UK English to U.S. It's not like U.S. book publishers do that sort of editing to UK/Aussie/ect. books. And /. readers should be intelligent enough to realize that the post didn't spell "colour" wrong, it's just non-American English. Shame on the editor in that case.

What I was complaining about is how when commenting on a political story I may say something like "we need to vote for candidate X" and then some snarky foreigner says, "I'm not American you insensitive clod! Who's this 'we' you speak of?"

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081082)

So write your own summary and post it...

Someone writes a summary and they write it how they would normally write and you bitch about it? Seriously? I think my mind just exploded from the seriously stupid thing you just asked for.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081150)

You seem to be missing the point. I wrote my own summary and included a direct quote from the linked article. The "editor" chose to re-write the DIRECT QUOTE and changed it make it US centric but in doing so made it no longer a DIRECT QUOTE

Re:Prop 19 (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080330)

What is "prop 19" - it is nowhere on my state's ballot. I suppose this is a micro version of all the non-USA people complaining Slashdot is too USA centric talks. You are too whatever-state-you're-in centric.

I know this is getting off topic but after having lived in the US for several years I feel that **in general** Americans think of themselves on order of as being members of their local community (and that political affiliation sits around this level), followed by being a resident of their state, followed by being citizens of their country, and finally members of the world community. So that local "issues" take precedence over more encompassing issues, even if those more encompassing issues are more important. This sometimes gives me the impression that the people born here don't think of themselves as being citizens of their country first and foremost, but rather only consider it when it affects other, more closely held beliefs,

Note that this is a generalization and opinion of a foreigner in the US and is meant to be taken with a grain of salt.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080454)

That's mostly a matter of scale. We're the 3rd most populous nation behind India and China. We're also the 3rd or 4th in terms of area depending upon how exactly you measure it.

But it also has to do with the fact that we have states rather than provinces like pretty much all the other nations. They were originally completely autonomous being under a single confederation from becoming independent to about the time that George Washington took office, and a considerable number of issues are still handled at the state level. In fact most of the things that I do are likely to be handled in state law rather than federal law.

Prop 19 is a dumb one because pot is primarily criminal under federal law, and so this isn't going to make much difference. We in Seattle passed a similar ordinance some years back declaring pot to be the lowest priority for the police department. Funny thing is that it already was the lowest priority for them and it didn't change any of the other bits either.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080508)

But it also has to do with the fact that we have states rather than provinces like pretty much all the other nations

And I think that is the key thing - Americans don't believe in their country. To me the squabbles over interstate commerce and the collection of sales tax vs self reporting of use tax are one indication of that.

Re:Prop 19 (4, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080966)

Prop 19 is a dumb one because pot is primarily criminal under federal law, and so this isn't going to make much difference.

I'm going to loose my moderation here but I want to point out something interesting.

There is specific wording in the US constitution that prohibits the US Federal government from interfering with the collection of state taxes.

In so much so that the US gov cannot collect income taxes from income received from interest on state municipal bonds (great way to avoid taxes btw).

Now the only way the US can specifically outlaw pot and prevent California from taxing it is via a constitutional amendment (its what they did for the alcohol prohibition after all) and its really doubtful such a thing would pass in this political environment.

I do believe the DEA will challenge it if it passes, but I think whoever put Prop 19 together was smart in that they specifically made the law to tax it and provide income to the state which historically cannot be legally interfered by the US Federal government.

Had their been no tax clause, the Feds could have shut it down,

Re:Prop 19 (1)

uncqual (836337) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081188)

This argument wouldn't last long in court. The fact that something can be taxed doesn't make it legal IFF it is taxed.

Suppose Montana passed a law making it legal to assassinate IRS auditors but imposed a one cent tax on each such assassination. Would you still think your argument makes sense applied to that case?

Re:Prop 19 (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081040)

When the DEA starts worrying about the pot head with an ounce bag walking down the street, then the federal laws will matter. Until then, the Californian people will not have to worry about getting arrested by the local PD which is usually the origin of most federal charges brought against a pot enthusiast with his/her own plant in the basement.

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080496)

Interesting, I've heard lots of people describe Germans that way in contrast to Americans having a strong national identity. I certainly don't think of myself of North Carolinian or Georgian despite spending years in both. Identification with and focus on local issues though might be more true to some degree in that we actually have the potential to change things at that level where nationally we can't have much affect and internationally, even less.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080582)

Interesting, I've heard lots of people describe Germans that way in contrast to Americans having a strong national identity.

That may be a bias between looking from the inside vs looking from the outside

I certainly don't think of myself of North Carolinian or Georgian despite spending years in both. Identification with and focus on local issues though might be more true to some degree in that we actually have the potential to change things at that level where nationally we can't have much affect and internationally, even less.

That may be true. Opting out of greater things is easier to do. I'll have to ponder that.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080586)

For the most part you're right. There are a lot of historical reasons for this attitude. To quote the tenth amendment of the U.S. constitution, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This is why laws, cultures, and infrastructure vary so much from state to state. While the Commerce Clause ("[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;") has be used to limit the tenth amendment through Supreme Court decisions, local concerns have always trumped national ones.

Another reason for this is the members of the House of Representatives are elected from districts within the states. These representatives' first priority is to their district because those are their only constituents. That's why Nancy Pelosi doesn't care if she's hated throughout the midwest. She only has to worry about the vote in San Francisco (and similarly Midwestern representatives don't concern themselves with coastal politics).

The final reason for this local affinity is geography. A lot of Americans have never even left their home state. It's a big country. Texas is the size of France, Europe's largest country, and it's the second largest state. It's hard for someone in Hawaii to be concerned with what goes on in New York. These geographical differences have been the federal government's greatest challenge. That's what incited the country's only civil war. Urban and rural citizens have vastly different expectations of government. Their fight is to control the state first and the federal government second. Unfortunately, for many, the world community is only a concern if it's a military issue.

Re:Prop 19 (2, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080790)

That's what incited the country's only civil war. Urban and rural citizens have vastly different expectations of government. Their fight is to control the state first and the federal government second.

Sometimes I think that the US needs another civil war. Its so polarised at the moment its almost amazing that it does hang together as a country.

BTW as per HI. If I was Hawaiian I'd be more than indifferent to the mainland, I'd be pissed off. HI didn't choose to become a state. It was annexed due to business interests playing the US government - or perhaps the other way around.

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081192)

Sometimes I think that the US needs another civil war. Its so polarised at the moment its almost amazing that it does hang together as a country.

How did the previous American Civil War depolarize the US? 145 years after it ended there are still Confederate flags and talk of secession.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081240)

Sometimes I think that the US needs another civil war. Its so polarised at the moment its almost amazing that it does hang together as a country.

How did the previous American Civil War depolarize the US? 145 years after it ended there are still Confederate flags and talk of secession.

Well it did vent a lot of feelings! But I was more thinking a civil war used to split the country up into 2 separate countries.

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081422)

Needs to be split into more than 2 countries :P

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080634)

I mostly agree with your analysis -- except perhaps for the community party. I think more residents feel affiliated primarily with their state. It isn't unless that state is conflicted about tolerance, e.g. many of the central states, when people feel tied to community or loyalty to country.

Foreigners overlook this 'allegiance' almost always, referring to Americans as if they are united, for one cause, supporting the other, et cetera, and it always pisses me off. It can't be any more wrong. Some of us truthfully regard Canadians in the same esteem as our other non-local American counterparts.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080738)

I mostly agree with your analysis -- except perhaps for the community party.

Back 10 or 12 years ago I saw an issue raised in Pittsburgh where some local politician was complaining that the city was losing tax dollars because the players of the Pittsburgh Steelers were not choosing to live within the bounds of the city. I have lived in a couple of locations where there was a distinction between city and county and in each place I have seen issues like this raised - and that is part of basis for my community comment.

Another reason for it is that politics are carried out at such a local level (ie vote for the local dog catcher - probably a bad example!) so people have to carry divisive political affiliations at that level, and that even though political groups may be nationally based people still carry strong political feelings on a personal basis and feel to be members of a political community (sor of like being members of an online community). I have had a couple of "friends" with conservative leanings stop talking to me because I am not of their political persuasion - even though I can't even vote here!

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080424)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=prop+19 [lmgtfy.com]

Lazy bastard.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081212)

The whole point of states rights and individual states, besides getting people to agree to the new country at all by allowing strong local control of government except where unavoidable is that you have many small test labs to work in. Can California make legal marijuana work? If yes how and should it be copied to other states. Do people support it enough that they would move from their current state to live in a state that supports the law. Prop 19 will signal an acceptance of change in a law that should have been recognized as illegitimate long ago. Your state may be next and will certainly be considering it sooner if California accepts this law.

Re:Prop 19 (5, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080326)

It's because we have politicians running the country, not leaders. They dare not speak the truth because they are not leaders. This country does not elect people who speak the truth, only people who say what we want to hear.

What politicians won't say: want to win the drug war? Lose it! [time.com]

Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal's drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

Ditch the politicians (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080366)

There is a solution to this, you know. We can be completely free of politicians: http://metagovernment.org/ [metagovernment.org]

Re:Ditch the politicians (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081198)

There is a solution to this, you know. We can be completely free of politicians: http://metagovernment.org/ [metagovernment.org]

I read through that and then laughed my head off. Collectives do not scale past the number of people you can personally know. Been there, done that and yes I do have a T-shirt.

Re:Ditch the politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081278)

Really? You've tried collaborative governance using sophisticated Web 2.0 technologies? Even though they are all in alpha or early beta? Do tell.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080428)

Unfortunatly, Prop 19 may end up making Cannabis less legal in California than it is now. Today possession of less than an ounce of Cannabis is not a jailable offense in California. Prop 19 would recriminalize it in some circumstances under the auspices of "regulation". It would restrict legal Cannabis productions to a small number of registered growers, setting the stage for corporate domination of the Cannabis market. It also allows cities to prohibit the sale of legal Cannabis, which will actually reduce the availability of Cannabis.

This law, like so many, has had so many gotchas thrown in it to appease the negative nincompoops that it's worse than nothing.

Re:Prop 19 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080546)

This is all an outright lie. It's not a jaillable offense, but it's still an offense that will cost you a ticket and the marijuana/paraphanalia you have confiscated. After, it will be legal unless an honest to god federal agent catches you.
Any adult can grow 25 square feet legally, so explain how that would mean it'll be restricted to a small number of growers.
Corporations are national entities. If they start trying to produce and sell pot then the federal government will have their ass.
Cities can regulate _recreational_, not medical, sales. Availability can only increase. They also can't stop people from having 25 sq foot gardens.

You, like so many opposed to this law, are completely full of shit. In all likelihood you're making a decent living off of medical marijuana and you just don't want to lose that even for the good of everyone else.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080672)

After, it will be legal unless an honest to god federal agent catches you.

Or if you enjoy a joint in your own home when there are children in the house.

Any adult can grow 25 square feet legally

It's not 25 square feet per person, it's 25 square feet per property. This could be a big problem for multi-home properties.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081106)

Hence the reasons regulation is more effective than making it illegal.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

butalearner (1235200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080464)

Interesting how the possible state law for legalization of marijuana is getting as much or more attention from American people than the elections of the legislators who actually make our laws.

Not to mention it probably won't happen even if it passes. In Arizona we've passed a proposition to legalize medical marijuana three times, and it's on the ballot again this year.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081130)

If it was on the ballot 3 times, then it wasn't passed any time prior unless your constitution allows the legislature to over turn it. In Cali... 51% of voters can pass a proposition and not a single politician can do a damn thing about it.

Re:Prop 19 (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080490)

Prop 19 is getting very little coverage. I'm in Alaska which already has liberal laws on personal marijuana possession, theres no coverage on the local TV news, local papers, hell its a side issue even for the national news.

Prop 19 - The airline stimulus package! (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080814)

Just wait for Prop 19 to get passed and people start failing drug tests for work - "Oh year I forgot to tell you that I flew to CA just before I had this mandatory work drug test"

Re:Prop 19 - The airline stimulus package! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081368)

That argument doesn't work for trips to Amsterdam, so why would it work for trips to California?

The big point that many Prop 19 opponents seem to miss, is that making marijuana legal does NOT force employers to accept its use!

My favorite quote was from the Chamber of Commerce: "Imagine coming out of surgery, and the nurse caring for you was high, or having to work harder on your job to make up for a coworker who shows up high on pot. ... It could happen in California if Proposition 19 passes."

Yeah right, because hospitals are totally OK with nurses coming to work drunk, right?

Some people JUST DON'T GET IT: Having an impaired ability to function properly is what should be disallowed in the workplace and while driving, regardless of HOW OR WHY you are impaired (be it from alcohol, cannabis, or being distracted by a cellphone while driving)

Re:Prop 19 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081356)

The legislators don't make the laws anymore, the lobbyists do.

Google and Prop 19 (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080080)

Yes Google, but is Prop 19 going to pass??

Re:Google and Prop 19 (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080120)

Yes Google, but is Prop 19 going to pass??

Google is a Search Engine not a Magic 8-Ball (yet) ... though it would be interesting to see what their predictions are if they could be posted before the elections but not accessible until after the results are in (I'd hate for Google to inadvertently affect the outcome of any election).

Re:Google and Prop 19 (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080380)

Google is a Search Engine not a Magic 8-Ball (yet)

In other words: Reply hazy. Search again later.

Re:Google and Prop 19 (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081144)

"search again on Nov 3rd".

Re:Google and Prop 19 (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080378)

If it is going to pass, then everyone could just stay home and avoid the hassle of voting. This could be a really useful tool.

Re:Google and Prop 19 (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080486)

Prop 19 is bad for Californian Medical Marijuana users, it will reduce their allotted amount that they are allowed to posses, it will increase the current price of marijuana, if it is massed produced then the many strains and potency will be flushed down the toilet! Not to mention that CA already has decriminalized an ounce or less making prop 19 useless and for all those idiot morons out there spouting the taxes it will bring in, um if you are allowed to grow your own, what fucking taxes will you be paying? NONE! Oh then there is that beautiful part that allows each county in CA to choose to enforce the law, so if they choose to say no on 19 then it will be illegal for anyone over 21 or medical users in that town, great job!

If prop19 passes it will effectively turn marijuana into cocaine, meaning prices will sky rocket and possession over an ounce will be federal time. Get educated before your throw our futures away!

Google's prediction (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080082)

Dewey wins despite his desire for penis enlargement.

I predict we'll get bastards in office again (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080084)

I predict, with 100% accuracy, that the winners of the election will end up selling us out to the highest bidder, just like everyone before them.

This is an unavoidable facet of representation [metagovernment.org] , because power corrupts.

Re:I predict we'll get bastards in office again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34080200)

It is utter flamebait of you to suggest that that democracy isnt perfect.

Re:I predict we'll get bastards in office again (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080504)

Do you have a better solution? Democracy isn't perfect, the reason why we ended up with the solution we did was because nobody could think of a better one. It's the best solution anybody has come up with for handling that problem. If anything we ought to go and rescind the 19th amendment and go back to having our legislators appoint our senators. Makes it a lot harder to buy senators than under the current system.

One step better would be to allow the states to decide individually whether to make it appointments or direct elections. For states like TX, CA, NY and even WA it would likely be harder to buy a senator than it would in less populous states.

Re:I predict we'll get bastards in office again (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080514)

D'oh, that should've been 17th amendment.

Re:I predict we'll get bastards in office again (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081208)

We should amend it so that we go back to the Governor appointing and state legislators approving, but allow the people to recall them in a statewide vote. We should also allow a Governor to ask the state legislature to recall a senator, but it requires the legislature to have a 2/3 vote.

It will prevent senators from being bought, and allow the people to remove a senator they think is not representing them correctly

Re:I predict we'll get bastards in office again (0, Flamebait)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081158)

Democracy is the best way to remove personal freedoms than any other form of government.

John Adams said that... and he is right.

Yet another instance of the Observer Effect? (5, Insightful)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080192)

Funny how physics principles apply to the socio-political domain. First it was popularity and election polls, now it's Google Predictions. In both cases the 'predictions' tend to become self-fulfilling. With this press release, the mere fact that Google is making these predictions will become a factor now and in future elections, just as it has become a factor in the success or failure of businesses that do or do not successfully manipulate their Google rankings. Politicians, political parties, lobbyists, and astro-turfers will all be scrambling to have Google 'predict' their success.

Make no mistake, Google is a kingmaker in our world. I find that a really scary state of affairs, especially given Eric Schmidt's pompous pronouncements on subjects such as privacy.

No need for elections now (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080408)

Now more cheating or campaigns needed. we'll just google to determine who wins. Much less expensive. Plus people in other parts of the world can help determine our outcome, unlike now where it's just hackers in Norway.

Re:Yet another instance of the Observer Effect? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080598)

Could be worse. I found the exit polling during the 2000 Presidential race to be unacceptable meddling. They were making estimates and declaring things before the last polls had closed out west. I'm not really sure who it really favored, but it was obnoxious.

Re:Yet another instance of the Observer Effect? (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080820)

If I were to guess it would be because supporters that have a better outlook get better return on their investment for supporting a winning cause. While supporters of a cause that appears sunk are unlikely to waste their effort. In the end people are still choosing to vote or not and who they vote for on their own accord. The problem actually is that we rely on such easily manipulated people to choose our leaders and laws. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." If you have a better option I would like to hear it though.

Re:Yet another instance of the Observer Effect? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080998)

Google might be good now, but there is no promise they will always remain so when the leadership changes.

Maybe 200 years from now people will curse us for allowing Google into existence. They might wonder how Google could have ever been a benevolent organization rather than the tool of dictators. In fact, they might never know that's how it was at the turn of the 21st century.

since Google's not the government this is benign (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080204)

Google announced they've searched for clues about the upcoming US election using their internal tools

Thank goodness Google has promised not to abuse the information it gathers! I mean, think of the influence and wealth you'd gain by providing the right information to the right powerful people.

Re:since Google's not the government this is benig (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080448)

You do know that there is already a large, well-established, well-funded industry around predicting (influencing? fixing?) elections? Worrying that Google's analysis of search trends to predict election results is going to taint the electoral process is rather like worrying that passengers on the Titanic might have gotten mild food poisoning.

Prop 19 could really use ... (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080208)

Some honesty. If either side was actually honest about their side of the issue, they could gain more traction. But when the pro side of the issue can't be honest about what they want, they shouldn't be surprised when people don't find their argument convincing.

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080396)

Some honesty. If either side was actually honest about their side of the issue, they could gain more traction. But when the pro side of the issue can't be honest about what they want, they shouldn't be surprised when people don't find their argument convincing.

I don't get your argument. This isn't a "medical marijuana" law, it just legalizes marijuana outright. The current system in California is dishonest. You go to some quack doctor and complain about headaches or nervousness or any bullshit symptom that "goes away when I smoke pot" and the quack hands out a prescription.

Prop 19 just legalizes marijuana and the arguments in favor of it are that it would unburden the justice system of the time and money spent arresting, convicting, and imprisoning marijuana sellers/users. It's the same reason alcohol prohibition was ended. Because keeping it illegal doesn't curtail usage as much as it increases crime.

I agree that, in the past, the supporters of "medical marijuana" were for the most part being dishonest. Most just wanted to smoke recreationally. However, marijuana is the best medicine to counteract chemo-therapy side-effects so they weren't actually being dishonest about its medicinal properties, they were just being dishonest about their reasons for supporting it.

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080466)

I'll be honest about what I want. Cannabis should have roughly the same legal status as coffee. As a daily user of each, I can tell you which is more harmful and it sure as hell isn't Cannabis.

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080906)

Drinking a cup of coffee and then driving isn't going to impair you. Driving after using Cannabis is a bigger deal, I've used and driven and it was at least as impairing as drinking alcohol.

Also, you can't tell me that coffee impairs you worse than Cannabis while working.

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081516)

Driving after using Cannabis is a bigger deal, I've used and driven and it was at least as impairing as drinking alcohol.

The DOT has done studies [erowid.org] that show even at the higher range of recreational doses Cannabis is not as impairing as legal doses of alcohol. In fact, cannabis users over estimate their impairment and over compensate for it, which is what I expect you experienced.

Also, you can't tell me that coffee impairs you worse than Cannabis while working.

Depends entirely on the person and the type of work. I don't smoke before work, but I know people who do and they're all good at their jobs. Even high pressure jobs dealing with lots of information and deadlines. Give some of these same people 2 cups of coffee and they may well have a panic attack before lunch.

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081292)

You seem to know a thing or two about it, so question: who do you think it responsible for keeping cannabis illegal? I've heard people accuse the pharma companies, paper companies, fiber companies, and maybe some others, because cannabis is a cheap way of doing things better than some of their business models, but I've always assumed the ones who try to keep anti-cannabis laws on the books are the DEA/criminal 'justice' industry/prison-industrial complex ...people who deal in ruined lives and human misery, sucking up billions of tax dollars in the process. Free money and forced customers, must be a pretty sweet gig. And I guess there'd be a lot of douchebag pig-dogs in law enforcement out of a job if they stopped criminalizing cannabis, and heavens, can't have that (though in all seriousness, dangerous unemployed sociopaths running the streets would be kinda bad...maybe they should be the ones rotting in a federal prison because 'I was only following orders' is not a valid excuse). Know of any evidence to support any of those?

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (3, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080604)

Many people want to smoke pot, prop 19 proponents think they should be allowed to, and they think that creating a (regulated and taxed) legitimate industry to serve that desire would be of greater benefit to society than the prohibition which is current policy.

So far as I know, that's the main thrust of the pro side's arguments... everything I've heard on it basically boils down to one or more of those points.

The opposition's main point seems to be, essentially, pot is bad, smoking pot is bad, and we should continue to prohibit the cultivation, distribution and use of pot because doing so is in the best interests of society.

Again, their arguments seem to pretty consistently fall into these points.

Is there a class of argument that I've not witnessed which is fundamentally dishonest?

As some one who has smoked pot, quite a bit of it in fact, but no longer does and has no intention of ever doing it again (it tends to trigger panic attacks, paranoia, and crippling neurosis... none of which I find enjoyable in the slightest), I feel that the pro side has a much stronger case... if only because it is my general opinion that an activity should only be banned when it poses substantial and immediate danger of real harm to society. I support banning impaired drivers regardless of what impairs them (and yes, pot does impair one's ability to drive in ways similar to but somewhat different from alcohol... much like being high is similar to, but somewhat different from being drunk) based on the danger that they pose to others, but I also view that ban as substantially and obviously separate from an outright ban on consumption etc.

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080856)

Is there a class of argument that I've not witnessed which is fundamentally dishonest?

No, but one of the classes you have witnessed is fundamentally dishonest.

FTFY (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081104)

Allow me to fix that for you:

"Many people want to smoke pot, prop 19 proponents recognize that it is their God given inaliable right, protected by the US constitution's clause regarding the right to the pursuit of happiness

Marijuana is not a drug; it is a plant. It has homeopathic benefits, and Science News recently reported that the medical community is discovering a multitude of uses for it in a medical setting. A simple investigation into the underhanded lies the US government told to the populace is an eye opener, and the only people who are against it being legalized are woefully misinformed in numerous ways. The fact that alcohol is legal while marijuana is illegal is patently absurd. Nobody ever smoked some pot and then woke up in a jail cell and discovered that they killed someone the night before and don't remember it, for example. A law against the marijuana plant is a law against God. I could go on, but I think everyone gets the general idea where I stand on this issue ;-)

Re:FTFY (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081248)

Little nitpick: perhaps you mean therapeutic benefits, which marijuana certainly has, not homeopathic. Nothing has homeopathic benefits because homeopathy is bullshit quackery. Homeopathy is the concept that super dilute concentrations of something have the opposite effect, for example, using poison ivy to cure rashes or using cola nut to help you sleep.

Re:FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081642)

I'm all for legalizing and regulating marijuana use, but THC IS a drug.

The WHO (courtesy of wikipedia) defines it as:

A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function

THC does indeed alter normal bodily function, and therefore is a drug. Cocaine is also natural, and is certainly a drug. Alcohol itself is natural too, as well as DMT, mescaline, and many many other substances. All these occur naturally in nature; we may use certain processes to increase yield or potency, but then again we do the same with marijuana (by breeding and strictly controlling the cultivation process).

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080990)

Both sides dishonest? On one had we've got people saying that cannabis is a just plant (and last time I checked, science is pretty clear that C. sativa is indeed a plant), and that it is immoral to imprison people because they like to grow and consume the wrong plant in the comfort of their own home, and on the other hand we have the people who brought you Reefer Madness [google.com] , who go on and on about freedom then try to squash people's inherent right to said freedom because they disagree with it. Only one side is dishonest, and it ain't the potheads.

Re:Prop 19 could really use ... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081298)

Both sides dishonest?

Yes, both sides are dishonest. The people who support prop 19 (and other legalization initiatives) should say "most users of pot can use it responsibly, and should be able to buy it legally". Instead, they opt for a much more extreme statement of "legalizing pot will solve every problem the world has ever faced, ever, immediately". And being as the supporters of prop 19 need a majority in order to achieve their desired change, they need to present a convincing argument.

Of course, there is plenty of dishonesty from the other side as well. The nonsense about "gateway drugs" and what not is just the tip of the iceberg. However the people who oppose prop 19 don't need to deliver a profound argument for the continued criminalization of pot; they just need to show that the argument for prop 19 has significant holes in it. As long as more people vote against prop 19 than vote for it, the law remains as it is currently written.

Of course, the difference between how it is written, and how it is actually enforced, is another matter.

Only one side is dishonest, and it ain't the potheads.

Wrong. There are dishonest people on both sides. While some of the people in support of prop 19 are honest enough to just come forward and say they want to use pot, others have resorted to lying about the (perceived) benefits of legalization.

Predicting? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080268)

It's not all that difficult. I mean, you currently have a 50% chance of guessing the correct answer. Republican or democrat. Choose the one you think is the most popular! No other parties exist, and if they did, they are evil communists who will ruin this already ruined nation!

How do they tell the difference (2, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080328)

Between stuff I'm looking at because I agree with it, and stuff I'm looking at because I want to know what the opposition is up to?

Re:How do they tell the difference (3, Insightful)

PaulMeigh (1277544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080668)

Because nowadays most Americans only watch/read sources that they already agree with.

Hardly surprising Prop 19 is interesting (5, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080358)

Which party is ascendant does not appear to affect the larger sweep of history by all that much. Loads of Democrats voted for the War. Banking deregulation did start under Reagan and Bush I, but continued merrily under Clinton. Obama was supposed to be this big transformation, but all the civil rights slide and the wars continued untouched; banking and health reforms were way more timid than expected.

As for the Stalinist Obama Takeover....they're arguing about whether income over $363,000 should be taxed at 35% or 39.6% ...spare me.

But Prop 19, that's the first crack in a very, very big wall that has stood there for over 75 years, making a crime out of a handful of leaves. Several tens of millions of people know that the underlying assumptions of that law are utterly false, Literally millions of people who work jobs, raise families, pay mortgages fear arrest because of it, and have all their adult lives.

It's a big deal. And enough has happened in recent years (complete decrim in Portugal, popularity for medical use) to make this, well, umm, change we can believe in. For those of us who thought it was surely going to happen in the 80's, before a sudden rightward swing brought stupid arguments (and lying ads based on brainwaves of coma patients) right back to fhe fore when we thought them defeated at last, it's starting to look Really Possible at long, long last.

Insights for Search (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080434)

The problem with using only "insights for search" is that the people who are more likely to vote are less likely to use the internet (especially for researching politics). Now granted, the article says they used other sources as well, so I imagine they may have accounted for that. It's similar to the problem with the old-school random-digit-dialing approach that most polls use (they use other things as well, though). The kind of person who answers their phone without recognizing the number on caller ID is only a certain demographic. You have to figure out who that comprises of and take it into consideration in your measurements. (republicans are typically older, older people typically own a landline and answer the phone to anyone, therefore phone-based polls skew in favor of republicans)

Re:Insights for Search (1)

adamdoyle (1665063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080478)

further, I would imagine that internet-based approaches (like this one with Google) will typically skew toward democrats (at least the raw data - Google likely accounts for this). Democrats are younger and use the internet more (why do you think they are the party of Net Neutrality? it's because Net Neutrality lobbyists know that democrats are younger and are more likely to care about internet stuff).

As Long As O'Donnel Loses (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080566)

I've adjusted to the fact that the Democrats are going to get clobbered ( some of them deserve it ).

I just hope Christine O'Donnell loses the race for Senate in Delaware. I find her to be the most offensive candidate. Watching her lose will be like a preview of watching Sara Palin's demise. They seem very similar. Luckily, her opponent has a solid lead on her in the real polls( not google ).

After that, every TEA party candidate who loses will be a bonus for me.

I think this election cycle will be called the end of the TEA party as a party versus being a fringe faction of the GOP. The TEA candidates are running on GOP tickets, with GOP money and many of them on GOP platforms ( Rand Paul, the turncoat ). Most of the TEA candidates are in tight races, so only a few, not all of them will win. Additionally, the GOP is looking towards 2010 and doesn't want the TEA people buzzing around, for example Karl Rove's recent comments about Sara Palin not being qualified for president.

 

Re:As Long As O'Donnel Loses (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080938)

So who do you want to win. Or is the political process only about loosing no matter who beats the person you want beat.

Seems reasonable (3, Interesting)

gustgr (695173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080616)

Today Brazilians are electing their new President. It is the second turn of our elections so we get to choose between the two candidates for the presidential chair which were most voted in the first turn that occurred one month ago.

The candidates are Jose Serra (current opposition) and Dilma Rousseff (candidate supported by the current President). According to a simple "volumetric" serach on Google, Serra has 47% and Rousseff has 53%. These predictions are somewhat similar to what polls and public opinion surveys have been showing (reckoning only the valid votes). Tonight we will have the final results and I will be amazed if this Google prediction so to speak turns out to be more accurate than official polls.

Re:Seems reasonable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34081294)

BO-RING.

Potential rigging (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080838)

The input potentially is not coming from a representative sample of the voters, but from the people that is willing to search for it, if the voters for one of the options are more probable to do that than the ones for the other option (for direct or indirect reasons).

Oblig (0, Redundant)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34080884)

xkcd [xkcd.com] . Maybe the question is not how much we need math, is how much everything else needs it.

Verification and Science (1)

mysterons (1472839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34081110)

Results from query logs and great, but until the raw data is made public, no-one can verify or reproduce these results. Until that is done they remain a curiosity at best.
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