President Hinson's Re-Election Is Certain, Computer System Claims

28 May 2010

SILICON VALLEY--President Hinson will be re-elected next November with 0% margin of error according to the PoliTrack program that was developed by PoliSci Research Associates here in Silicon Valley. Dr. Norbert Denton, chief scientist in charge of the development of PoliTrack, maintains that the new political trend-tracking software that he has developed is flawless. Dr. Denton explained some of the new technologies that enable PoliTrack to achieve its reputed degree of infallibility. "We gather information about voters on a massive scale that was not possible before the development of the Global Landscape. We are far beyond the old science of statistical sampling. We don't conduct teleview surveys or polls. We collect and analyze data that is being transferred across the Global Landscape." The ability of a company such as PoliSci Research Associates to gather information anonymously from the Global Landscape derives from the Global Landscape Freedom of Information Act, which Congress enacted in 2013. The GL-FIA, as it is called, allows companies to gather information from the Global Landscape by the use of intelligent agents so long as none of that data can be tracked back to individual citizens. Thus, researchers at PoliSci Research Associates can launch an intelligent agent that analyzes electronic messages for their political content, so long as the intelligent agent does not record any information about the sender of the message or its recipient. Dr. Denton explained how this works: "We created an army of intelligent agents that intercepted messages on the Global Landscape, decrypted them by legal means, and extracted their political content. Of course, most messages have very little political content, but the volume of information that we can obtain relating to voter preferences far exceeds the amount of information that could be collected using outdated sampling techniques." Dr. Denton then explained Communications Sampling Theory, a sophisticated statistical theory that involves the processing of large volumes of communications between human beings. "Communications Sampling Theory allows us to reconstruct the beliefs of a population by sampling the communications among the members of that population. Thus, we don't have to ask Mary Jones whether she supports President Hinson or Senator Grumby. All we have to do is intercept a message from Mary Jones that will allow us to infer what her political persuasion is. "Communications Sampling Theory allowed us to ascertain that President Hinson would win 49% of the vote as opposed to Senator Grumby's 51% if the election were held today. That's where the genius of PoliTrack really clicks in. The election is being held in November, not today. So, PoliTrack factors into its prediction almost certain economic developments between now and November. As you undoubtedly know, economic activity is highly predictable in this age of the Global Landscape." Dr. Denton noted that, unlike the Presidential elections of the volatile twentieth century, there is little unpredictability in the modern world. "Foreign relations are basically irrelevant to Presidential elections. Despite the threat of war in the Middle East and in Asia, there is little chance of American involvement. Thus, if we know where people stand in May and where the economy is heading, we can predict the Presidential results in November with absolute certainty." His face beaming, Dr. Denton added, "Now we get to the beauty part! According to our model, President Hinson will receive 48% of the vote as opposed to Senator Grumby's 52% next November. Since the 2028 Presidential election will be the first to be decided by a popular vote, with the abolition of the Electoral College by the thirty-first amendment, these results would seem to presage a Grumby victory. But this tentative study ignores the influence of our prediction on the outcome! You see, PoliTrack is by far the most influential political prediction system. People know that it has no margin of error. It is 100% accurate. Thus, we calculated that if we announce Grumby's victory as being certain, the result would be that many voters would stay home. Why vote if the outcome is certain?" Denton continued, "The ultimate beauty of the PoliTrack system is that we can predict with certainty which voters are going to stay home! Thus, if we announce that Grumby will be the victor, the result will actually be that Hinson will be the victor, by a 51 to 49 margin, because our announcement of Grumby's victory will dissuade more Grumby voters than Hinson voters to stay home. Thus, we really have to announce a Hinson victory, if you follow my reasoning. But, we calculate that if we announce a Hinson victory then that would skew the results further in Hinson's favor, so that the final outcome will be 54% for Hinson and 46% for Grumby, and that is the prediction that we have announced publicly." I asked Denton what would have happened if a prediction of a Hinson victory would have persuaded enough Hinson voters to stay at home so that Grumby would be the winner. In other words, what would PoliSci Research Associates do in a situation in which, if you announce Hinson as the winner, then Grumby would be the winner, and if you announce Grumby as the winner, then Hinson would be the winner? This pleased Denton enormously. "Well, then, the election would be in our hands, wouldn't it?" Original post: