Thursday, 21 April 2011

The 2011 Referendum - Conclusions (also Portal 2)

While my post on the referendum was published this morning, it was actually written late last night, and I scheduled the release of it for a time when I thought more people might actually be awake to see it go up, so this doesn't feel so much like I'm posting twice in one day.

Discussion has been had on Facebook and in various other ways. There have been various links and comments, and I've somewhat come to what I feel is a solid conclusion on the issue.

The crude, somewhat over-simplified argument for AV was summed up in an image posted by Nick:

With stuff like that I always feel like it's perhaps missing some of the subtlety, so I'm always fairly cautious to really live my life the way that internet images tell me to. A slightly more high-brow take on the matter was linked to me by Anna, in the form of a blog post by Tim Gowers. For those who don't know who Tim Gowers is, he has a Fields medal for Mathematics (not far off the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for Mathematics), and is the current Rouse Ball Professor in Cambridge. He's perhaps not an expert authority on the world of politics, but he is pretty much as intelligent as they come, and his blog post is pretty informative, balanced, and well written (and also bloody long). It takes a while to get through, but anyone who hasn't fully made up their mind on the issue should almost certainly check out that post.

My basic final conclusion is that voting yes isn't the perfect solution, but it probably gives a better solution than voting no. It doesn't solve any of the underlying issues I feel are wrong with the way politics work in the UK, but on the other hand I won't be solving any of those problems by voting no either, so it's probably worth going for. If you need to somehow muster £100,000 for something (maybe you're about to get tortured by gangsters or something) then it's probably still not in your best interests to turn someone away who is offering you a free tenner, just because it feels like a drop in the ocean. Putting a sticking plaster on a severed limb might feel horribly useless, but it's still probably better than doing nothing at all.

In general life news, I have a week until the start of exams, so revision is starting to crank up a few notches right now. Except that Portal 2 arrived in the post this morning, and it's a horrifically brilliant game to have to avoid playing. I'm still not particularly far through, but Steve Merchant's voice acting is absolutely quality, and it's thoroughly entertaining and challenging so far. The puzzles feel far more involving and innovative than in the first game, and the new features they've added really do add a lot of interesting level design to the game.

It actually helped me revise today too, because Nick wanted to play it and his laptop is garbage, meaning I let him kick me off my laptop, meaning I got some proper work done instead of being distracted by Facebook/email/imgur/YouTube every time I finished part of a question.

While my blog has been fairly stern with all this politics crap, I've been acquiring a collection of interesting and amusing stuff to talk about, so expect mostly business as usual for the next few posts.


  1. Of course you can vote for Parma violets and smarties but still end up eating doggy do.