Was ranked-choice voting in Alaska unfair to Republicans?

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A recent election for a House seat for the state of Alaska was a good test case for ranked-choice voting. Republicans got more first-place votes, but a Democrat won. Was that fair, or was it a travesty? What happened in the Alaska special election for US House Alaska has only a single U.S. House seat. … Continued

Why does the DOJ use so much passive voice in its Mar-a-Lago filing?

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The U.S. Department of Justice filed a response to a recent Donald Trump request regarding the raid of Mar-a-Lago. Its filing is full of passive voice, a means of expression I’ve continually railed against. Why is it passive, and should the DOJ be writing in the active voice instead? Here’s a passage from the DOJ’s … Continued

How older writers stay sharp

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I’ve been writing professionally for 40 years. You can’t write the same way in your sixties as you did in your twenties. But you can take steps to maintain that the quality of what you write and the enjoyment you get from doing it. In this post, I’ll break down the elements of the writing … Continued

How we talk about dying

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People die. They don’t pass away. Here’s why I’m done with that euphemism. I had little opinion on this when I was younger. I was fortunate — other than grandparents who died when I was young, I’d not really experienced losses of people close to me. Since then I’ve had the chance to grieve people … Continued

What does it take to call yourself an author?

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You wrote a book. It got published. Does that make you an author? Oh sure, technically, you can say you’re an author. But when you file your taxes, under occupation, do you write “Author?” I do. And when I meet somebody new and they ask my occupation, I say “author” then, too. To do that, … Continued

New voting systems would benefit moderates, according to this voting simulation

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The average American politician is far more extreme than the average American voter. Our current voting methods encourage these extreme viewpoints. To investigate how new voting systems like ranked choice voting and “jungle primaries” could change this, I created a simulation of different voting systems and tested it on various types of voting districts. How … Continued