On this momentous day, when we can all let our voices be heard and plumb the depths of whatever is left of our republic, I am taking my kids with me to vote. Because it is Important. Because I want to inspire them to take part in our process. And because I have no choice: they're off school today, and Moxie is out canvassing in Royal Oak.
Among the silver linings of our process is that it makes celebrities out of probability geeks like Nate Silver. The latest developments have been encouraging for Obama supporters, to be sure, but Silver did make one important point this morning: Even though his models show a 90% chance of an incumbent victory, that does NOT mean a Democratic victory is assured. The election will be close, and every vote counts. (Unless, of course, you believe in all the trumped-up bullshit the GOP is shoveling about voter fraud.)
Speaking of Silver, I'm reading his new book, The Signal and the Noise, which makes a useful distinction between information and knowledge. We humans can only process a small fraction of the stimuli we see every day, so our defense mechanism is to focus our overtaxed brain cells on the information that reinforces what we already believe. It makes sense, then, that the Internet has polarized us so, but it's not unprecedented when you consider all the turbulence and revolutions and crusades that happened after the arrival of the Gutenberg printing press.
Be strong, America. It's almost over. I hope. Please tell me it will be over tonight, and all the lawyers who are poised in a three-point stance, twitching to go challenge something, will be told to stand down.