Month: October 2012

How to win an election, part II

Part I of how to win an election covered some of the basics of manipulating voters during an election. But ultimately, you can only manipulate voters so much before an election: a good campaign can sway independent voters, but is unlikely to convert a die hard republican into a democrat or vice versa. So basic manipulation may be enough to win, but what if you really, really want to win, and you’re not a big believer in that whole “one-man, one vote” thing? Well, step 1 is to stop supporters of your opponent from voting. You can do that in any number of ways, as it turns out, as both Democrats and Republicans have amply demonstrated during this campaign. Republicans, for example, have made the news quite a bit for passing (or trying to pass) voter ID laws in the states that they control. Voter ID laws, ostensibly, are designed to prevent voter fraud, by asking voters to present an ID of some sort when voting, and as such should be a Good Thing. In practice, however, they are largely manipulative initiatives designed to suppress a certain type of vote. For one thing, the type of fraud that could be addressed with ID laws is really not an issue in the US. Most proponents of ID laws admit that they don’t know of a single instance of ID fraud...

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Scientology, Part II

A few weeks ago, we started talking about Scientology. If you missed that post, the summary is that Scientology is good at recruiting young actors into its midst, through a number of different techniques. The question, though, is not why anyone joins – at one point or another, it’s pretty easy to manipulate an actor or actress into joining a Cthulhu cult if it gives them a chance to ‘break through’. The more interesting question is, why does anyone stay? Do a quick Google search for Scientology, and out of the top ten results, you have gems like “The...

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