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Comments on Monday 22 December 2003:
Three of the best ideas ever; one on politics, and two flavours of reality TV.

On politics: if one must have a democracy, it should be an automated perpetual democracy, not a four-year gamble. Automated computerised voting, wherein your vote is continuous rather than per-election. All votes start out as 'abstain' when the system is implemented, and become 'abstain' again if your candidate stops running. Voters can change their vote whenever they like, and whenever a candidate has a small margin lead (say, 1%) over the current president, senator, or whatever role is being voted for, the replacement happens immediately. Try making unpopular laws with that system in place. Propose a PATRIOT act, and watch your actual real vote popularity drop away before the bill is enacted - a far more convincing demonstration than crummy biased polls will ever be. And if the demonstration isn't convincing enough, but popular opinion is, you lose your political position, and your replacement, presumably, retracts whatever stupid idea got you kicked out. Much closer to a true democracy than the usual four-year "I didn't know he'd be like that" voting system. Whether a democracy is a good thing or not is another matter, of course.

On Reality TV: The Bachelor 2: This Time He's Doomed - the same show as The Bachelor (and its reverse-gender equivalent), but with one in three of the crowded gender being actors or actresses rather than genuine participants. If the chooser-person picks one of the fakes, they get no money and no partner. Ideally they get some sort of punishment too, but I suppose Reality TV isn't allowed to do that.

Also on Reality TV: Iron-ic Chef - similar to Iron Chef, but instead of having professional chefs working with a theme ingredient plus whatever ingredients and assistants they like, it has competing amateurs, working with simulated student kitchens. They have an amount of time in which to make a delicious three course meal, with no assistance, not knowing what ingredients or utensils they have available, with the kitchen starting off scummy with half the utensils in the sink, a fridge with unlabelled tubs of leftovers that may or may not be mouldy, jars of unlabelled herbs and spices, and so on. All contestants start with kitchens modelled exactly alike, for fairness. The winner each episode goes on to the next, with increasing prizes at stake; anyone who wins four in a row is pitted against a professional chef for their fifth return, still in the same "emergency cookery" circumstances, for their final challenge, with a suitably larger prize if they win. The whole thing being done with the same sense of drama as Iron Chef, but geared towards looking squalid as well as dramatic. [05:55]

Nameless
Ooh... I like this. I went to college for three weeks last summer - Duke University, odd program for the smart thirteen-to-sixteen-year-olds. Geeks of the world unite, basically.

Anyway, we had... kitchens. In the loosest sense of the word, that is. And while I could cook to some degree (one word: ramen), my roommate, Kathleen, was sadly inept. The nights we ate what she made... well, let's just say mess hall cuisine looked better and better after the first three days.

Ed
heh, try REAL Mess Hall food, instead of the Fad Names being slapped on everything due to the War-hyped Media... anyways, I'm out.
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