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[liberationtech] I LOVE technology, but

M. Fioretti mfioretti at
Fri Apr 8 09:24:56 PDT 2011

I have a deadline really close so I haven't time to answer in detail,
but frankly, statements like this really sound bad/weak to me:

On Fri, Apr 08, 2011 08:34:52 AM -0700, Peter Lindener
(lindener.peter at wrote:

> redundant, independently run cross checking computer systems can be
> made more dependable as well as trust worthy than any marginally
> configured, not fully documented group of human beings...

on one level, it sounds like a nuclear power plant sales rep trying to
sell a plant to somebody who only needs a small water-powered
generator. Sure, with enough effort everything can be made etc etc. I
don't (really) need to be convinced about that. The problem is if it's
really worth it.

At another level, any argument like that still forgets/ignores the
basic, original thing that makes me and others dislike the very idea.

"groups of human beings" that do hand counts are self-checking and can
be checked by EVERYBODY ELSE. Just add a 20 USD webcam in front of
them during the whole hand count and they will behave themselves and
get it straight for sure the first time. No need to recount.

Whereas almost every average human being must take every form of
"independently run cross checking computer systems can be made more
dependable as well as trust worthy..." as an article of faith. 

"Hand count" is "I can see by myself that it's being done correctly
and contribute to it, without needing to trust anybody"

"electronic voting and counting" is "software is black magic to me,
but that nice gentleman says I can trust it, so it's OK"

Online Course for Digital Citizens, because your rights depend on
how software is used *around* you:

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