Friday, November 02, 2007

Error 414

For those of you that may be wondering, no, I was not the City employee that tried to rig the poll. I have better things to do than to try and finagle some meaningless online poll to the advantage of my current boss. For example... I'm a gardener, an amateur astronomer, a rock climber, a contributor to a nationally syndicated periodical, a musician, a database administrator, a biker, a sometimes architectural student, and Prince of Denmark. This leaves me very little time to do anything other than blog and eat.

To that end, I noticed that this story has gotten some ink in the media, in Pittsburgh and beyond. I think that's kind of curious, actually, considering that (1) the employee didn't seem to do it on company time or at the direction of his superiors and (2) IT'S A FUCKING ONLINE POLL.

Does anyone actually take those online polls seriously? I mean, anyone who's had more than 20 minutes of statistics will tell you that self-selecting respondants are invariably skewed and any poll that doesn't prevent against multiple votes is functionally useless.

Moreover, it's not like the guy hacked into an election machine and overturned thousands of votes for John Kerry in... let's say... Ohio.

But, and here are two quotes from the article:

"As far as I'm concerned, it was all in good fun," the mayor said.
"He did it as a private citizen. He's well within his rights as a person," Ravenstahl spokeswoman Alecia Sirk said.
I think those are reasonable responses to the situation at hand. Now, let us further extrapolate as to whether similar responses would have been engendered if the employee had rigged the poll towards DeSantis?

Or let's say that it wasn't a poll that leaned towards DeSantis, but, perhaps... a blog? Would the Mayor's Office be as reasonable if their Bureaucrats happened to be bloggers, moreover, bloggers critical of Pittsburgh Politics and Policies?

But, surely, those are just all in good fun and well within their rights as a person.

Right? RIGHT?


Half-Baked on the Half Shell said...

Ya, these online polls are worthless. Just like the KQV poll where you're supposed to call in (oi!) and tell your opinion.

But, the guy hacked a website. To say that is good fun is to say breaking into Orr's Jewelers and replacing the diamonds with CZ is in good fun. As far as I can tell, on a city computer/time or not, hacking is illllll-liggle.

What if someone hacked your blog?

Anonymous said...

come on people! Nothing was "hacked". The guy voted, deleted his cookies and voted again. My Grandmother knows how to do that. Jees, get a friggin grip...

Bram Reichbaum said...

In re your capitalized RIGHT? Are you suggesting that our friend was forced out because of his blogging?

And in your list of "right?"s, you forgot about our Councilman friend who Spoke Out.

O said...

No Bram, I'm sure Matt left of his own accord. However, would the mayor's office be as accepting to a blog run by a known (and non anonymous) City employee if it was critical of the Mayor?

And the Motzblog wasn't a real blog... it was a distubing performance art piece.

O said...

"Disturbing"... not distubing.

Anonymous said...

Only thing the Kerry people are pissed about is they didn't get to hack the poll in Ohio first.