Archive for November, 2004

Blog:Vote for the General Election

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Evolving New Highs and Lows

It’s been a funny few weeks. I’m unemployed at the moment; I’ve just finished my course and have not yet got a job. In theory this should mean I have a lot of free time, in practice it means I spend a surprising amount of time writing presentations for interviews and actually travelling around to the interviews. I’ve had a couple of final interviews and am waiting on results but I don’t want to jinx the ones that have gone well by talking about them.

I have had one rejection already though, Data Connection. They seemed like a good company but I messed each one of their tests up in turn. I’m a bit embarrased about my performance, just glad that I didn’t repeat it everywhere.

Aside from that low it’s generally been good. I like travelling, especially by train where you can read a good book and I also went on a week-end break with my girlfriend to Brighton. We were going to see Ben Folds but he was still recovering from pneumonia and cancelled. It was still a really fun, relaxing weekend though despite inclement weather. High-lights include a wonderful (though expensive) Italian restaurant and, for amusement value, walking along the beach in a drizzle. There was a spontaneous queue of courting couples spaced at 100m intervals all pretending no-one else was present. Maybe we need more originality in our romance?

It’s also been a week of high-brow discussions with people; religion and politics with a friend I stayed with on my travels and briefly about evolution on /.. The latter is probably most interesting to me as I was definately wrong. I assumed that human evolution was over because I am partially-paralysed but have survived long enough to breed and I have a girl-friend. The evolutionary pressures that would, in nature, ensure that only the strongest and fittest mutations survive have (thankfully) been curbed in civilised society. There will be increased genetic diversity but as long as transport remains readily available then the species won’t fragment. This guy pointed out (I’m paraphrasing) that on evolutionary time scales, civilisation is unlikely to exist continously and even if it does there are likely to be catastrophes (plagues etc.) that thin out the population and act as the chlorine for the gene pool.

Female Vote: Update

I emailed Anthony Wells who runs the excellent UK Polling Report which is going to get a lot of traffic come the General Election. He explained that a partial reason for women being more likely than men to vote Conservative is that old people tend to be more likely to be Tory and as men die younger, old women vote Tory when old men are dead.

Anthony didn’t claim it was a complete solution though. I assumed that given a group of people of the same age with the same background in the same social group then voting intention distribution wouldn’t depend on gender. Does it? I’d be fascinated if anyone could shed any more light on the subject.

Women Voters

On the Daily Politics show today, a representative for MORI claimed that if women’s votes weren’t counted then Labour would have won every election since 1945. This really surprised me, if I’d been told that there was a gender split between voters I would have guessed that women would have been more likely to vote for Labour. Why? Because there is a correlation between salary and voting intention which richer people being more likely to vote Tory, at least that seems to be the accepted wisdom. There is still a salary gap with women earning less than men so I would have assumed that they would be less likely to vote for the Conservatives. I guess on reflection, the correlation is probably stronger between house-hold income and voting intention, meaning that ladies with rich partners are more likely to vote Tory but I’m still surprised.

Anyone able to shed any light on the matter?

Slight Blog update

A friend pointed out to me the other day that my blog didn’t have a style-sheet in Internet Explorer. When I looked into the problem, I realised it must have been that way since I updated from WordPress 1.0.2 to 1.2. Sorry!

This does give me a good excuse to say that in my opinion, nobody should using Internet Explorer for surfing the web any more! Firefox has many more useful features and seems to be more secure, making it less likely spy-ware, viruses and other dodgy software should infect your computer. Installing it is very easy so there is no excuse. For more details check out Switch2Firefox.

At the same time as fixing the style sheet I also fiddled with the comments form to help prevent comment spam, installing AuthImage so that users have to jump through the extra hoop of typing in a code before the comment is accepted.