Sunday, June 20, 2004

Does God Belong on the Stump?
Why Politicians Are Not Mathematicians

There is an interesting article posted at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.  It was first posted in December 2000, but from the content, it sounds as though is was written before the 2000 election.  Yes, it is old, by political standards; but it is not yesterday's newspaper.  It is just as pertinent today as it was before the 2000 election.  I've selected some excerpts of general interest.  I then refer back to another "old" paper,  Mathematical Devices for Getting a Fair Share, first published in July 2000.  The original was in American Scientist, which requires a paid subscription.  Fortunately, the author (Dr. Theodore Hill) posted a copy on his web site.  In this post, I point out a curious connection between religion-in-politics and mathematics-in-politics, show why neither is commonly pursued in a rigorous fashion in political arenas, and show how the two can lead to the same kind of solution to social problems.  Unfortunately, this also demonstrates why the best solution -- whether religious or mathematical -- is rarely feasible in a competitive political process.  Read the rest at The Rest of the Story