Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Iran Safety Net...

What you are looking at here are not enriched Uranium atoms breaking apart in a nuclear reactor. It is a graphic visualization of the political blogosphere and the patterns of blue vs. red blog coverage of the 2004 U.S. Election put together by HP Labs and The goal was to measure the degree of interaction between liberal and conservative blogs, and to study how often they referred to one another and to quantify the overlap in the topics they discussed, both within the liberal and conservative communities, and also across communities. Good graph. Ed Tufte would be proud.

Now that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is stepping up to the world microphone with some very new material (and some very pretty flowers ), it is time for us to rethink our routine. Obviously, the Republicans are going to use the ongoing quagmire in Iraq coupled with the escalating tensions of a nuclear Iran to try and ensure themselves a victory in 2008. (If we get there that is...) Will we be duped into another 8 year regime of inept leadership and time reversal? It's hard to stop a wave.

What is still shocking to me is how silent and ineffective the Democrats are. Their only chance of defeating a an incumbent party mid-war is to vocalize a take-over plan now, and to make it resonate across the nation (and globe). If Hillary Clinton is a "shoe-in" then why is she not stomping that shoe and galvanizing a disillusioned majority of the country? Is she playing the don't-dare-speak-of-an-ambition-before-you-know-you-can-make-it-happen card? I don't pretend to know the intricacies of political strategy, but I suspect that making no move, remaining silent, is not the way towards a better future...

On that note, here's another supercool graphic depicting possible moves on a chess board, as worked out in nanoseconds by the remarkable strategy bot Thinking Machine 4. Thinking Machine 4 in '08? Has a ring to it...



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