Sunday, November 27, 2016

Technophobia and fear of hacked elections

So, noted Donald Trump activist Jill Stein is pushing this recount nonsense, and Clinton isn't going to stand in her way, even if most Democratic pols aren't really going to push hard.  As I've said before, they know that this is a pointless endeavor.  Does Stein have buyer's remorse, or is she just as much of a fucking moron as she seems at face value?  Hard to tell, but for today, let's talk about technophobia.

Can computers be hacked?  Yes.  Computer scientists like to freak the fuck out about computerized voting.  Why?  Because they know how to do the hacking.

News flash:  any election can be hacked.  The question-- the real question-- is which type of election is easiest to hack.  We have a grand tradition in this country that includes stuffing ballot boxes the old-fashioned way, going back centuries.  We have done our best to make that as difficult as possible, and we have little evidence of anything like that in recent elections.  Why don't computer scientists freak the fuck out about those methods?  Because they don't think about them, and computers are scaaaaaary.

Any conspiracy theory about hacking elections through computerized voting systems has to address the question of how it was done, given that the machines are off-line.  From a practical standpoint, is that really how someone would go about fixing an election?  No.

It's just what computer scientists fear because it's what they know.

And it's what the public fears because it's what they don't know.

Funny, that.


  1. The machines in the polling places are offline (at least, I think they all are...I haven't heard of anyone being dumb enough to make one that is online, but people are pretty fucking stupid).

    But it's possible that the vote reporting mechanisms from precinct to county or county to state involve online traffic, and given that Russia is like REALLY transparent about trying to hijack our election, a recount seems prudent. Online sleuths already detected errors in 3 WI counties (they reported vote totals higher than the number of registered voters!), so a recount could find other similar errors.

    Would it undo the election? No. Really only has the potential to flip WI, MAYBE MI, but never PA. But, there's no harm in counting the votes accurately (except the harm that has already been done).

    1. With vote totals/registration totals, you know it is often with absentee numbers handled separately, but sure, a recount/audit is harmless as long as nobody deludes themselves.

    2. Those 3 counties it was supposedly a transcription error of some kind.

      Anyway, especially with Stein's fools funding it, I have no objections to spending their money to get a little piece of mind.

    3. Given the silliness, I hadn't been following the details. Still, I see your point about parting fools from their money. Anything that punishes third party advocates is A-OK by me.