Can machine learning or algorithms be used in an electoral process?

Guided by the “keystroke megaphone” principle, I decided to post this email reply I just sent. An anonymous reader emailed me the following question: Is it possible to use machine learning or algorithms in a campaign or in an electoral process? I wrote the following reply: I don’t have any personal experience with this, but I do know that all kinds of algorithms have been and are still used to influence elections, in the US and in the UK, and probably in other countries.

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Weekly Head Voices #189: All systems green.

The first Weekly Head Voices of 2020 is almost two months late. When there’s any sort of significant WHV hiatus, you can bet your lucrative blogging career that there’s something important afoot in the life of the person owning the head that mostly contains the eponymous voices featuring at the core of this blog’s business. If you prefer that I misuse a pet-related metaphor instead, WHV breaks are almost like dry noses in dog world.

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The 2019 to 2020 transition post.

Welcome to 2020 folks! In retrospect, I really should have written this post during the vacation, when it is substantially easier to wax all optimistic about the year to come. As it stands, we’re slightly more than a week of work into the new year, and most of that vacation naiveté has been brought summarily crashing down to earth as part of a sort of planetary body check. Perhaps it’s better this way after all.

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Weekly Head Voices #188: Exercise Canary.

As I mentioned in the last WHV, I am in the midst of trying to end this year on a strong and especially regular note. So, more on time than the rest of the rest of the year, you are now reading the 188th edition of the Weekly Head Voices. This will most probably be the last WHV of the year 2019, looking back at the week from Monday December 23 to Sunday December 29.

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Weekly Head Voices #187: Checklists everywhere.

Welcome back ANYONE WHO IS READING THIS! Fiery sky in Betty's Bay. I’m not sure about the situation in the Northern hemisphere, but down here in the South it seems as if just about everyone has disconnected for the Christmas period. I decided that I would prefer at least trying to end the year with a few more-or-less on time WHVs, even if they have to slim down a bit to do so.

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Weekly Head Voices #186: Helderberg 20.

Friends, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you back here to the Weekly Head Voices! The passing of time usually seems to be quite a theoretical affair, but at this moment I can really feel the year taking its last few breaths. (People even seem to think of this as the last year of the decade, which makes it all the more dramatic, but not everyone is convinced. If the first day of the first year was January 1, year 1, the end of the first year was December 31, year 1, and the end of that first decade was on December 31, year 10.

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Weekly Head Voices #185: Starship GOU #1.

Welcome back friends! It’s a lovely, laid-back Sunday morning (the 8th, at 11:16 to be slightly more precise) as I sit down to write this paragraph right here. Smatterings of this post were already jotted down in this markdown text file two weeks ago, but then I didn’t see enough that was noteworthy, and then everything suddenly Got Really Busy(tm). In the end, all of that led up to this perfect little moment in space-time right here and right now, and now I am grateful that I can try again to look back at the passage of time from Monday November 18 to Sunday December 8, 2019.

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Weekly Head Voices #184: The tai chi of you.

Welcome travellers of the great and beautiful information universe! (That universe was what we were promised. Thanks to the inherent and fundamental difficulties of our meat-based reality, we have ended up with something… different. I remain hopeful.) Here in this little corner, I’ll be reminiscing about the minuscule thread of personal time stretched taut between Monday, November 11 and Sunday, November 18. pling (that’s me plucking the thread. meat-space issues…)

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Weekly Head Voices #183: Wave functions wearing lycra.

This, the 183d edition of the Weekly Head Voices, looks back at the week from Monday November 4 to Sunday November 10, 2019. In this post we have a BLoM, a story about the conflict between a man and a toy and finally some great quantum mechanics visualizations for your meat-based neural network. On the way home from a compact but enjoyable Sunday party with built-in family gathering at Skilpadvlei near Stellenbosch.

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We now have self-hosted isso comments

As one is prone to do on a Saturday, I decided yesterday to migrate all 2500+ of the comments on this site to isso, an open-source self-hosted commenting system. TL;DR: Comments on this blog are now managed by self-hosted, open-source isso that I control. Commenting should be much faster and more fun, so have at it! Why I recommend strongly against Disqus. You might recall, or you could just check the relevant blog post, that I ported all comments from wordpress to disqus (grrr…) in March of this year, when I upgraded to the Hugo static site generator.

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