serious

Bred any good rooks lately?

As I'm still awake, I'll just note that the NY Times is quoting early exit polls in Michigan as giving a huge lead to Clinton and a very respectable one to Romney. But - ha ha - that's based on exactly one county having declared.

The reason I'm still up is that I've been reading Marek Kohn's "A reason for everything", a lovely set of biographical sketches of British (he says English, but Haldane wasn't - English-educated, maybe) evolutionary biologists, with an emphasis on the trend towards adaptationism, the Gould-reviled tendency to regard most features as some sort of adaptation rather than having a similar respect for happenstance. thehumanstomach lent me is copy against my strenuous objections and insisted I read it - and, well, he is very tall . . .

It's very good. Wallace comes off well, a thoroughly good and generous bloke if a bit insecure. Fisher's compared to Kenneth Williams and to Wagner, which is a neat trick. Haldane was, of course, imposing in all senses. I'd forgotten Naomi Mitchison was his sister. She had much better political judgement than he did. I'm trying to work out why I haven't read any of her fiction. Maynard Smith seems to have been very down-to-earth, while Hamilton got rather misanthropic in his old age (but no less energetic). Dawkins only gets one chapter rather than two, presumably for being very familiar, but comes over as rather admirable also. As Chris said, the little things are fascinating - most of them were fairly or completely tone deaf. Haldane had Maynard Smith tell him when a piece of music was the national anthem, so he could be sure he was sitting down. And they all went to Eton. Well, no, but there were some staggeringly posh schools involved.

Recommended.
  • Current Location: the boxroom
  • Current Mood: awake, just about
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Given that Clinton is the only major candidate running in Michigan, any other result would be somewhat surprising...
Given that Clinton is the only major Democratic candidate on the Michigan ballot, a huge win here is meaningless (the MI policy on write-in candidates is somewhat byzantine, and Edwards and Obama had pulled their names off the ballot at party insistence). Besides, the DNC stripped all of Michigan's delegates for defying the party's decrees about primary scheduling.

According to the numbers I just saw, Romney is leading, but only by about 6% with about 6% of precincts reporting in. I have yet to be impressed. I could have it all wrong, but I think Romney will need to end up winning by more than a handful of percentage points to really claim a victory in his real home state.

[ETA: I think the other thing to watch here is Rudy. If he fails, again, to poll in double digits, I think his goose is cooked. So far, that's looking like safe money. And I have no idea why this ended up in the middle of the post the first time.]

Edited at 2008-01-16 02:06 am (UTC)
There's no concrete benefit to her winning, but a good showing will have been helpful - pundits were saying that she really had to get more votes than uncommitted, which she seems to have done my a fair margin. A small moral victory, then.

Romney was 9% clear of McCain, according to the NYT. As you say, whether that's seen as enough isn't entirely clear yet. We'll hvae to see how people react.

Isn't Rudy keeping his powder dry for Florida?
I think Romney actually did manage a proper win once the dust settled. The exit polling numbers I saw around midnight said most of the uncommitted voters who picked a candidate went for McCain, so despite Kos's shenanigans encouraging uncommitted voters to flock to Romney, we can't credit his victory to the Kossacks.

So, three states, three winners (Memo to Wyoming: STFU already). We may have to break out the primer on brokered conventions soon at this rate.

Rudy claims he'll be redeemed in Florida, and maybe he's right. But he's in an awfully deep hole, and increasingly he's looking up at Ron Paul. It's hard to think of Paul as a joke or fad when he's consistently beating the snot out of Rudy, and it's likewise hard to take Rudy seriously when he's polling behind the class clown. He's also a nutter with no actual issues in common with his base, just a single sound clip. I'm not holding my breath until he storms back into the lead.

BUT! If he did storm back and win Florida, that'd be even better for a brokered convention. I'm really rooting for the Republicans to immolate themselves this year, and so far I'm enjoying their primaries immensely.

Oh, and I'm taking suggestions for a userpic/icon to use for politics. I don't like sullying the one I use for bicycle stuff on the politicos.

ETA: These poll numbers seem to consistently show Rudy behind McCain by one or two points over the last few days. Even more than Romney in Michigan, Rudy can't afford a squeaker in Florida.

Edited at 2008-01-16 03:45 pm (UTC)
Well, he's counting on making a splash in Florida, or he's screwed. So going by those figures he's screwed. Still, they've been wrong before. Should be entertaining.
After 7% of the vote, according to the local radio station in Ann Arbor which I am listening to right now, Clinton leads "uncommitted" 62%-36% in the non-event that is the Michigan Dem primary.

Meanwhile at the same early stage, the GOP candidates are polling Romney 37%, McCain 31%, Huckabee 16%, Paul 6%. Where's Rudy?

FURTHER EDIT @ 2.30 am; it appears the answer to Rudy's whereabouts is "nowhere". Running totals, after about 20% of the vote have him on 3%. Fast updates online here.

Edited at 2008-01-16 02:32 am (UTC)
Mitchison's Diaries of a Spacewoman is rude (for its time rather than objectively, I think) and fun - that's the only one I've read of hers, but yes, do read it.
Doesn't surprise me. She seems to have been rather unconventional.
A Reason for Everything
It's a great book, I've been pressing it on people since I read it over the summer. It led me to me calling my new rats Hamilton and Haldane, which I'm sure they'd be suitably impressed by.
Re: A Reason for Everything
Excellent. I was once advocating some friends adopt a polecat from the zoo and call it Norman, but I suppose that's not in the same league.
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I did briefly toy with the idea of how long I could pass myself off as a young blonde woman, but I think sulis minverva might have objected.
Mitchison is one of my favourite authors. Memoirs of a Spacewoman is good and Not By Bread Alone, written ages ago, is very relevant now. There is also one called something like The Corn King and The Spring Queen that is completely different. You can't put her novels into one category.
That last one was singled out in at least one obituary, too. It seems to be particularly well thought of.

I must try to pick some up.
Sadly many are out of print and expensive to get hold of. The library might have some though.
A literary Scottish author - the secondhand bookshops around here are probably better than average prospects too. And if I get another job with the University I'd be laughing - they're bound to have pretty much everything in their library.