August 2016

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Tuesday October 5, 2013 Ranked Choice Voting was supposed to bewilder Minneapolis voters this year. Not me. I've used versions of what used to be called the Australian Ballot for decades, in two science fiction clubs.

For that matter, this was the second mayoral election using RCV. But in 2009, a popular mayor was running for reelection and had weak opposition. R.T. Rybak got a majority of first place votes.

This time, 35 people ran. Voters were supposed to mark their first, second, and third choices.

The city council race was simpler. My Ward's incumbent (Green Party) is competent. His one opponent belonged to the Socialist Workers Party, and doesn't seem to have campaigned much.

I voted at Van Cleve Park. And answered a survey after I voted.

***As Joseph Lykken, a theorist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and Maria Spiropulu, of the California Institute of Technology, put it in a new paper reviewing the history and future of the Higgs boson:

"Taken at face value, the result implies that eventually (in 10^100 years or so) an unlucky quantum fluctuation will produce a bubble of a different vacuum, which will then expand at the speed of light, destroying everything."

The idea is that the Higgs field could someday twitch and drop to a lower energy state, like water freezing into ice, thereby obliterating the workings of reality as we know it. Naturally, we would have no warning. Just blink and it’s over.