Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Random notes

Amid all the chaos in London and Paris, despite heavy police presence (reportedly comparable to what is given to a visiting head of state in Paris), only one official reaction stood out for me:

Embarrassed Chinese organizers cancelled a reception for the torch at Paris city hall at the last minute after a banner supporting human rights was hung from the facade, Paris mayor Bernard Delanoe told reporters.

"The Chinese officials decided they would not stop here because they were put out by Parisian citizens expressing their support for human rights. It is their responsibility," he said.

Next time a Tibetan unfurls a banner -- as happened some time ago at my alma mater -- can one hope for a similar reaction? Last I checked, peaceful protest is legal in India (and violent protest is tolerated far too often): why not allow a few banners near the torch?

From this Rasmussen report comes the following:

In North Carolina, Barack Obama has opened up a twenty-three percentage point lead over Hillary Clinton. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that Obama attracts 56% of the vote while Clinton earns 33%. A month ago, Obama’s lead was just seven percentage points...

Perhaps the only disturbing news for Obama in the survey is that most Clinton voters (56%) say they are not likely to vote for the Illinois Senator in the general election against John McCain. A month ago, 45% of Clinton voters said they were not likely to vote for Obama against McCain.

Is it so disturbing? A month ago, according to Rasmussen, Clinton's support was at 40%. We can safely assume that only those open to Obama switched in the intervening time. Today her support is at 33%, which one assumes includes all those resolutely opposed to Obama. How many are those? A month ago, it was 45% of 40%, or 18%; today it is 56% of 33%, or 18.5%: an insignificant change.

A year ago I complained about audiophile magazines, and others, not understanding basic statistics. But a polling agency?

Posting has been slow, and so has reading (sorry all of you out there, I haven't been keeping up). The reason is that I got tired of my feedreaders: both Liferea and Akregator mysteriously deleted most of my feeds. I tried Google Reader and hated the interface. Any recommendations, especially for a linux user who prefers navigating with a keyboard? I suspect I'll end up by setting up an RSS-to-email thingie and read via my preferred mail client.


km said...

India seems *too* eager to maintain a safe distance from the Free Tibet movement. I can sort of understand their fear but, as you said, they have allowed more violent demonstrations in the past.

Anonymous said...

"both Liferea and Akregator mysteriously deleted most of my feeds"

Mysteriously? Mystery solved

Rahul Siddharthan said...