I can give you myself, but you can never own me

on automated polls: how do we watch the show?

I'm really not into political subjects; I prefer to talk about politics only in the social or economic context, and mostly while half-drunk. But here's a try on a mostly politically-motivated subject:

As the title denotes, this entry is all about the process of our upcoming elections. I will not talk about politicians and their platforms, nor abhor any kind of politicking that is happening each day in an exponential rate. Many have discussed about it openly and at great lengths, by people who are most credible at the field.

However, I think not everything has been talked about this new process that our democracy will undergo. Sure, I read in the news that voting machines have already been delivered amid the three thypoons ravaging our dear country, and that an IT company has already been commissioned to exhaust the capabilities of these machines. Also, there have been much legal debates on the logistical capabilities to accommodate such a change in election process. Public debate has been about how ready (or not) we are to have an automated election. But now that it seems final
and unavoidable, I think we need to shift public scrutiny one step ahead of what is to come.

It is, I believe, more important in this upcoming elections to talk about the process than the people in its forefront. At the very least, automated elections and electoral candidates should be met with the same level of attention. Why do I think so? Because at the dawn of election day, the candidates are just candidates. They may be trapo, pragmatists, liberal or conservatives, member of one (but loyal to several) of among the myriad of political parties, but nothing more different than the ideologies they adhere to. Of course they become more important as they execute their mandated constitutional responsibilities, but at this coming elections, they are just constants in the scientific process.

What we need to prove is that it is the process, not the people, which is at fault in a failed elections, and here's a very good opportunity to redeem that. I'm not saying that automated elections will answer all our perennial election-related problems. What I'm saying is that if we do good using automation, then by cancellation we can remove it as one of the factors if the same problems arise. If we need to improve, as a people and as a democracy, then we should not fail an automated elections. If we fail during this process, then there's just more for us to blame in our already seemingly hopeless cry for a politically-stable republic.

For me, in this election, my measure of success is to be able to get this one step forward ending up with more faith in the good of our election process. A measure which is incalculable in all respects, but is attainable with a more systematic approach.

One main point I want to raise is education about the automation process. This is a matter which I think is way overlooked. There has been much correlation done between computer illiteracy of the voting population and the success of automated elections.I think the matter merits the doubt, but not the clout. I dare ask that if technology can make people walk, talk, hear, and feel with amazing precision, why can't it make the dumbest exercise their right to vote? This, I think is trivial. With regards to the feel and touch of technology, we can always copy from those who already have learned by experience.

What I worry about, most of all, is the education of our poll watchers. This we cannot copy at all, thanks to the dynamism and creative minds of our people. As new technology opens new frontiers in human experience, it is, unfortunately, also a power struggle for information. Those who have more information gets a bigger share of what it can do. If it can increase efficiency by a multiplier, then it does so in all aspects. So if automation can deliver election results in near-light speeds, it will do as expected, but without discretion whether results were tampered or not. This is because, at the point of delivery of election results, it can already do little to verify the information it is about to transmit.

I do not know how impermeable this technology we are going to use. Maybe it was better for congress to have pushed through with the 100-million peso incentive for anyone who can hack these machines. But what I can say, being someone from a related field, that for this scope and level of control of operations, it is not far from possible to be able to jinx the elections. Misuse of the machine may cause havoc already. Corruption of data can also happen, although maybe in about one in a billion chances. However, the point is that even if all bases are covered and have been thought about, there are still corner holes that have not been filled up, and that is almost for sure.

That is why education of our poll watchers is crucial, almost central to the success of the automation process. Being able to identify the corner holes and safeguard them is an invaluable task. Leave them what they are today and they will be deceived right under their nose. Deception and manipulation in this upcoming elections will not be apparent. If there is one thing digitizing does, it translates anything into a representation of 1's and 0's, and changing one or several of it from the original can make all the differenct. Think of it as a light switch: how many states can it have but two (on and off) and they are already exact opposites? At the very basics, that's all that has to be done to make your way to the elections.  Worse is that corruption is hard to detect if there is no concrete counterpart of the data. Just like not having a printout of your thesis and then suddenly your computer file has been corrupted.

It is a dilemma, in fact, to expose these corner holes or to keep them as secret as possible. By theory, either can do the job. I don't know the government's method of approach, but I'm not so reassured of the latter. Blame it on my prejudice, but there's just too much power and resources our politicians and will-be politicians have, that keeping it a secret from them is almost a delusion.

If there is one more important point, a cliche would put it more appropriately: time is of the essence. Any technology needs time to be mastered. I remember, typing on the keyboard without looking took me almost a year to master, I wonder how long it would take for voting machines? If we are to educate our poll watchers, then let's do it now. We may not have enough time, but any progress is worth it.

Maybe, we, the youth can spare this election. We are more savvy than those of our advance-aged counterparts. Maybe we have the capacity and the stock knowledge to be able to cope up with this new technology even in a short notice. We have Facebook, Twitter, and Multiply to show that we have a sense of communication. Maybe we, too, can share the knowledge faster and innovate on more constructive ways on how to give this election a shot with much more vigilance. To own this election, as with the transition from the old ways to the new age of election process. To grow as a nation of democracy with faith in its most basic political process.


Absinthe makes the world go round...

How to make TJ-Mix:
   1 shot of Absinthe
   2 shots of Grenadine
   3 shots of Sprite
   2 shots of Mudslide

* optional:
   1 shot of Arctic

* nice to have:
   over crushed ice

siguradong bibilog ang mundo mo.

Hindi lang nakakawala ng ulirat, 
nakakapaso at nakakadisinfect din.

    TJ: ...
    Nice: sino yung nasa kama? (pero kasama sya sa nag-aalaga at nagpahiga kay TJ kani-kanina lang)
    TJ: ...
    Nice (sobs): *iyak**iyak*
    TJ: ...
    Nice (to Edgie): TJ.. Fatima.. TJ.. Fatima.. picture tayo!


Therefore, let's add Absinthe to our honorary blockmates list:
  Jose Cuervo
  Stolichnaya (elite)
  + Absinthe

sinong candidate for next year?
or meron na bang nominated this Sept sa Bora getaway? si mr. 13 shots daw! haha 

to Nice: wahahahaha!!! yun lang.  Sana hindi mo na ulit ako
tawaging teej or fatima, kasi wala naman akong b**bs, at hindi ko kaya maging 2 tao at the same time.

Belated Happy birthday TJ!

ode to jdramas

Dear elchay,

After 7 months, I still cannot find the stillness.

Sure it's been quiet, independent, and distant from the reality I had to move on from,
and the changes I needed to carry it out didn't seem to be bad at all.

But somehow, until now, I'm still searching for that which I can put my heart onto.

Don't get me wrong, I never wished to turn back.  Keep moving forward, seems
to be the most honest thing I can tell myself from then on.

Maybe it'll just take more time.  I guess it should.

Now I understand. I never thought jdramas can have so much effect on me as it does now. 
But, why is it that--Megumi Noda-Shinichi Chiaki, Mizuki Ashiya-Izumi Sano,
Yoshida Rei-Iwase Ken, Go Eun Chan-Choi Han Kyul, Jiang Meng-Qi Yue,
Izawa Riiko-Tenjo Night,Geum Jan Di-Gu Jun Pyo--
all these wonderful and colorful
characters could not pick the words that I feel?

...or maybe those empty words get me.
only empty things can describe emptiness.

the future haunts me.



like a child again, i'm at a loss for words, how does one define a crush combined with longing?
I don't get it when you've already learned so much on experience, and yet,
you give in to the feelings that make you vulnerable.

Is it the risk, thus, the adventure when you wear your heart on your sleeves?

I usually am a fan of subtlety, of suaveness, and all the lines in between.

Poetry, it seems, is lost. When will this feeling end? This feeling I so
secretly want to prolong. Oh, the irony.

You. Torture. Me.

not for the shallow-teared
I always tell my partner that what matters to me most are the really simple
things that are taken for granted, or not usually taken to heart at all.

Something to that effect I wrote sometime in the past.

This is the perfect video that describes what I feel.  The snoring part, I
dedicate to my recent ex. tsk.

With everything ephemeral in this life, we try to look for an anchor with some sort
of permanence.  A simple indication of that through the five senses,
something attached to its presence: to be able to touch, feel, see, or hear it is enough.
No need for in depth internalization.

I think it's faith to have a sense of comfort and confidence through the day
knowing that we have that stronghold of permanence.  And it is also by faith
that we so painstakingly move on when it is taken all at once.

To remind us that we can only own so much of something or someone; that there's nothing we can hold
onto permanently but the experiences we have with them. And through time, without the presence,
we also forget how they exist. What's left are things to reminisce, which we desperately grasp through the feeble
recesses of our memory. That's how little we have. 

"Singapore's Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports started
airing an ad aimed at reinforcing the importance of families and relationships."

Thanks tim_gogoblog for this one.

Sax me up
Naaalala ko naging theme song ito ng Ohana.

I especially like the part with the sax.  Well, I like jazzed up songs.

Thanks sharkee for the video.


When life changes all of a sudden, do you: look back to things that were,
or look forward to the things that will be?

As a matter of self-preservation, I simply keep things at bay.  I don't usually look too far
beyond on either end.  Planning big is something I don't really think about seriously,
and the same thing goes with blast-from-the-past daydreams. Something like carpe diem. 

It's like leaving home undecided on where to go and when to come back: to reach beyond
horizons, see unfamiliar places, enjoy new things, learn habits that are out of my
idiosyncrasies.  For the free-spirited, it is a way of life, and I agree.

But sometimes, change becomes equally boring as routine.   Permanent change is routinary.
Worse, I am constantly moving but trapped in motion.

This is the moment when I stand still.  I realize, this self-preservation is more for convenience,
really--an escape from past nightmares and from fear for the unknown.  I look around but I'm all alone.
Stuck in this instant.  Nothing to seize.

Now I long to reach back or leap forward.

portrait of the devil
Someone read his birthday tarot card and told me what he saw: the devil with an irresistible offer.

Somehow, he thinks I am the manifestation of that.. haha!

books before boys

a) boy X
b) 2mbps connection

i chose (b)!


Seriously?! Happy Baboy!
I wonder how it feels to know this on your birthday:

more info here.

Happy Birthday!


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