Drawing the Party Line: History and Technology

To start off my first update, here’s a picture of what might be the first case of gerrymandering.

A brief apology for the henrymandering joke, which was also made in a WashPo article by interviewee C. Douglas Smith, who once judged my We the People unit group and is a genuinely very nice man. Sorry I stole your joke, Mr. Smith.

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Abstract: The Signals Among the Noise That Will Indicate France’s Exit from the European Union

With the Brexit referendum, the Trump administration and the seemingly more likely Marine Le Pen victory in the upcoming French elections, My research would examine the relationship between France and her involvement in the European Union. More specifically, I will examine all sorts of data about European countries, including economic pressures, immigrant populations, and voting behavior, to determine the risk factors for France to vote, and perhaps even to leave, the European Union. Perhaps I will even be able to calculate the chance of a Frexit.

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Abstract: The effect of viewing political content on Facebook on an individual’s political leanings

The exchange of differing political views is essential to the efficacy of a democratic system. Online social network sites (SNS), such as Facebook, provide a new medium through which political content can be shared and viewed by a large number of individuals. Ideally, this content has the potential to contribute to the exchange of political ideas and perspectives. However, the mere presence of political content on Facebook, or other social media, does not guarantee that political persuasion is taking place. It is possible that viewing political content online simply causes people to entrench further in their pre-existing beliefs, or has no effect at all. While previous literature has drawn correlations between SNS use and political ideology, this study will investigate the relationship experimentally. Participants will log into Facebook on lab computers and spend 10 minutes looking through their timelines for political posts. One group will be tasked to focus on posts concurrent with their beliefs, another will focus on posts dissonant with their beliefs, and the third will look for both. The Facebook session will be followed by a survey assessing political ideology and candidate preference for the 2016 presidential election. If political content on Facebook is persuasive, then the concurrent-post group is expected to give more polarized responses to the survey questions than the dissonant-post group. However, if the content has either a reinforcing effect or no effect, then both groups should give similarly polarized responses.

Blog post #2 – Erasure, Law, Resistance


This will be a common burial-place where all shall meet on terms of common fellowship and brotherhood. Every dear relation in life, severed by death, shall be found restored again in these grounds— husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, shall be reunited here. Friend shall meet friend here; and enemies, too, shall meet, there enmities all forgotten. Yonder city, where, as every where in life, the harmonies of society are apt to be broken by petty feuds, by ungentle rivalries, by disturbing jealousies, by party animosities, by religious dissensions, shall, one after another, as death singles them out, send up her multitudinous population to these grounds, and here they shall take their respective places, in amiable proximity to each other, peaceful, harmonious, undisturbed and undisturbing, the same shadows deepening on them, the same sun-light over them, resting in the same hope…

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