I wholeheartedly believe in the principle of federalism: putting government as close as possible to the people it represents in order to be as responsive to their needs as possible. So I also like the idea of letting states elect a president rather than individual citizens.

But why, then, do so many states choose to give all of their votes to someone who might only represent the choice of 51% of that state’s voters?

Maybe states like to see their majority winner swing the national vote as much as possible.

But that seems like a stupid goal to me, because if the voters were represented proportionally by their state’s electoral votes, that state’s influence would not be diminished. Instead, it would be allocated appropriately.

So should the electoral votes of individual states be allocated in proportion to that state’s popular vote? Maybe. maybe not. But I thought it would make an interesting thought experiment, at the very least. So I took the popular vote from each state, allocated each of their electoral votes in proportion (with a few exceptions), and decided I might be onto something.

Before I tell you the result, let me mention the exceptions I used in calculating electoral votes (EVs) this way.

  • In the event that rounding causes the allocation of EVs (by percentage of the popular vote) to leave one EV unallocated, my algorithm assigns that extra EV to the top vote-getter. (I figure they deserve it because they did get more than any other candidate.)
  • In the event that rounding causes one too many EVs to be allocated to a state, my algorithm deducts one EV from the second-place finisher. (Like before, I figure the winner deserves to have at least one more EV than second place.)

Applying this methodology to the 2016 election, the results I got were not objectionable to me at all.

No candidate got 270 EVs. Trump got 263 and Clinton got 264. So the House would have decided the presidency!

And don’t forget, that means another good thing resulted: Johnson got 9 and Stein got 1. So this way would also treat third parties slightly better.

Of course, this assumes that each state is using a traditional, choose-one-candidate ballot — and there are some good alternatives to that, but it should remain the states’ choice as to what kind of ballot they use.

Join me on my quest to become the kind of guy I think I should be – and to discover new ideals. It’s a journey that will last a lifetime, but it will surely be interesting.

Over on the right, in my menu bar, you’ll find things I’m interested in, or my personal reference material. Be sure to let me know if you find anything here useful to you!

In our current economy where services are becoming more and more commoditized, the new economy, even now, has begun to center on experiences – the next evolution of services. And not just any experiences, but those that are perceived to be authentic on some level. So a successful business now pays attention to everything that might affect the customer’s experience (yes, including things in which the ROI isn’t entirely obvious or calculable), as well as openness, transparency, honesty, care, and respect.

The way to grab the vital attention of a consumer is to appeal to their emotion and logic, but emotion first. Reel them in with emotion, and remind them why they’re there with logic – and you’ll create loyalty.

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  1. See if it’s already been done. If it has, continue to the next step if you can devise a way to improve upon whatever exists or offer value to the existing player(s) in that market.
  2. Ask others for feedback on your idea. If you can’t find anyone else who thinks your idea is good, head back to the drawing board.
  3. Develop a Minimum Viable Product to give your idea a real-world test using your little corner of the market. This MVP is something that should be feature-complete only in its core functionality. Continue if it turns out to be useful to people.Continue reading

I’m starting a business, so one big thing I need to succeed is clients. How on earth am I going to get them?

Well, there’s the obvious ways for starters, like knocking on doors, cold calls, cold emails, advertising, etc.

So I started by making some cold calls. Not too many, just a handful – which, as you might expect, didn’t get me much of anywhere.

One business I called told me that for my type of call, they prefer to receive emails instead, and she gave me an address to write to. So I wrote up what I thought was a good email pitch and sent it off to that business and a few others while I was at it.

Then I ran across some blog posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) about how to do that very thing better and realized I had room for improvement, so I am summarizing them here for myself and anyone else who finds this useful. I’ve put them in a relative order that they should be considered.

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In trying to start my own business, I’ll be chronicling everything I do so that maybe a succinct formula can emerge to help me and others in the future.

The first and most important step, to me, is to get down on paper what defines this business idea I have. I need to force myself to look at this idea from every angle to determine if it will work and how.

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I recently ran across a CollegeHumor sketch all about why religious nerds are the biggest nerds in the world and how they’re just like all other types of nerds, but just more intense.
The video makes some valid points which I’ll bring out, but it also contains other more subtle messages that I want to analyze and explain here, alongside another point that relates back to this post’s title.

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Do you trust me? I hope you do, because I would have no motive for giving you false information. I find random tidbits of knowledge on the web, and I figure I might as well share it, because maybe others would find it useful like I did. And I’m just an altruistic kind of person. 🙂

I think the price I charge for this dissemination of information is a fair price, because it costs me nothing but time to find, and costs you nothing but time to read.

And as my guest, I hope you feel that I am caring for you by keeping this blog the way I do.

I welcome all comments here, and my personal policy is not to delete comments that I disagree with, but I will delete those that add nothing to a conversation. I hope you think that is fair treatment.

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A while back, I heard of a new web app that would let cofounders of a startup easily determine how much equity they are owed based on their contributions in the forms of labor and capital. This new website was Accumi.com.

But I found the name of that site extraordinarily hard to remember, so every time I needed it, I would Google whatever terms I could think of that seemed relevant – except for some reason, even that rarely got me the result I was looking for.

So today, when I yet again performed a similar search, after a few query revisions I uncovered a website offering a similar app which it released sometime between July and November of this year, based on what I can see on the Wayback Machine’s archives for that site.

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