May 2008

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Scott, I read the article about voting, and it just seems so stupid to me. Just because most elections are not decided by one vote means your individual vote doesn't count? Huh?

By that logic you would have to conclude that taking bites of food and swallowing them is irrational, because since no one single bite ever fills you, each bite is meaningless and counts for nothing.

Credibility or not, I'm sorry, this just doesn't pass my sniff test.


James Andrix

That there is economic value to trust and professionalism?

D. Mented

First idea; predictable, but still funny.
Second - need you ask?
OF COURSE nobody wants to massage an attractive woman for free. The payment is sex, not money, and when that's an interesting option, the woman will usually go for it. The rest of the time, paying a proffessional who knows how to break up adhesions, avoid causing nerve jams (hint - always stroke *away* from the spine, never toward it) and actually relieve the tension of restraining the fist of death while hearing the same stupid come-ons all day long, isn't such a bad deal.
Third idea;
That's the first sensible argument I've ever heard against voting (not all that persuasive, but at least not completely whiny and childish)
I still vote - in honor of all the women who fought so hard for my right to do it. But I'd support the kind of alternative our founding fathers promoted. (Removing a corrupt government by force of arms when necessary)
Pattern? Sorry, too sleepy and rattled to even look for one.
D. Mented

Aussie chick

I live in a country where it is compulsory to vote and you get reliably hit with a reasonably large fine if you don't do it. Even if you're out of the country on election day you have to make sure you get your postal vote in on time. In my opinion this is a perfect way to reconcile the tension between needing people to vote in order to have a working democracy and it being (or appearing) irrational for any individual to actually make the effort. If you're going to get fined for not voting, it's entirely rational to vote, end of story.

As it turns out, voting under compulsion is not regarded as an annoying chore. People willingly do their duty as citizens and enjoy a little community spirit, balloons, barbecues, election night parties and whatnot along the way. Most people feel that it's good to have compulsory voting because the alternative is putting up with the kind of nonsense that goes on in the US and other places where idiots can get elected with the support of a tiny minority of citizens and you have to put up with the ridiculous antics (and expense) of politicians trying to get everyone "out to vote" in the run-up to the election.

This begs the question, though, why it would be rational for any citizen of any country except the US to vote, given that the world is effectively governed by the President of the US, backed up by nukes, no matter what the rest of us might think. Maybe if some of you guys don't feel like voting you could let all the other citizens of the world have the right to vote in US elections -- we all care who your elected officials are, even if you don't!

Jason Allen

The attractive woman is most likely paying to not be touched by unattractive people. She wouldn't want to catch ugly cooties, now would she?

Jason Allen

The attractive woman is most likely paying to not be touched by unattractive people. She wouldn't want to catch ugly cooties, now would she?


Most obvious answer is YOU.

Second is that there was no mention of your book...

Keith Wooly

They all fly in the face of reason?

Big Swede

I think it is about knowing what you are actually buying: - When flying with an airliner you buy not only transoprtation but also a sense of security (or possibly image if you go for the cunnilingus one).
- When a beautiful woman buys a massage "she's paying someone to pretend it isn’t"
- When you are voting your effort isn't buying democracy or "change", you're buying yourself a pat on the back.


"A rational individual should abstain from voting."


dogmatic people are by definition non-rational. therefore, the majority of religious people are non-rational. we all know what happens when non-rational people go to the polls. we all know why presidential candidates make fool of themselves in the mainstream to win over non-rational people.

in a society where non-rational people grossly outnumber rational people, one-vote one-person ensures that the non-rationals always win. even if rational people vote.
ergo, voting if for non-rational people. good thing that there's no shortage of non-rational people running around.

and that's why the U.S. will have a woman president or an african american president, way before an atheist president.



Ask Al Gore what happens if a few dozen people don't vote because they think it won't matter.

Pretty women don't pay you to massage them; they pay you to leave.

Conairlingus would still have to worry about tail wind


My first reaction is that you're raising your usual argument that we are all moist robots lining up to vote while hoping to get a chance to get a massage from that most unlikely of creatures: a politician with sex appeal (and yeah, JFK was attractive, but look what they did to HIM).

Either that or you're having a special at your restaurants.
Or selling another book.
Or @#$&ing with our minds.

Oh, wait, this wasn't multiple choice, was it?

Mark, CMT

Why do hot women pay for massages? Because they, like other intelligent people, know that work done by a trained professional is worth paying for. Certified and licensed massage therapists are health care professionals; they do much more than just "rub your body for an hour" (just as doctors do much more than just look at you naked).


An excellent voting theory, but one I will not apply in the upcoming elections in Australia, because here voting is compulsory.
Therefore our incentive is that if we don't turn up, we get fined.

Diana W

On the topic of voting, I have always considered bitching rights as one of the prime motivators for voting. For example, I voted, but not for George Bush, so I can proudly say that the trillions in deficit and thousands of deaths under his watch were not my fault. Those who either voted for this moron or didn't vote at all must bear the blame for the mess we're in.

But looking at it more pragmatically, there are many examples of where an individual's contribution seems insignificant, but collective contributions are hugely important. It's easy to say that my wastefulness makes no difference to global warming, but collectively this attitude is killing the planet. And just try to tell the IRS that your taxes only amount to a rounding error of the total and are therefore too insignificant to bother paying. Looking at it from the other standpoint, I help one child through Childrens International. Will helping one child grow up healthy and educated change the world? No, but millions of people each helping one child will.


Uhmm... the hot woman would get a massage in a plane that's going down while voting? Or something like that anyway

Gabriel Tellez

When living in New Zealand in 2003, I lived with a woman (beautiful, a little bit fat) and her 3 children (16, 8 & 5). The woman was a professional doing massages in the afternoon to get more money so she could buy a big flat TV.

I was 21, computer systems student, and it was my first time catching a trans-continental flight MEX-LAX-AKL (16 hours in total)...I was scared about crossing all over the Pacific Ocean in a plane with the Frodo image on the outside (Air New Zealand).

In the same year ex-president Vicente Fox was trying to negotiate migration policies between USA-MEX. Those policies were product of a successful marketing-political campaign to give the power to the most stupid president Mexico has had (among other stupid ex-presidents). So when I had the chance to vote on the 2000 elections for president I chose not to vote. After 7 years many people regret their voting choice because Fox's government was a very good chance to change things in Mexico; so that demonstrates not to vote is a good choice when your vote doesn't make any difference in the result.

So, dear Scott in this post you related 3 patterns that were present in my life in the second half of 2003. What relates them is CHOICE...

I usually don't post comments in blogs but your today's post is very interesting (at least for me). By the way, I'm not buying your new book, but I'm buying a Dilbert mini-wall calendar so I can contribute to build a better world for everyone (at least everyone on your surroundings)!


p.s. Migration policies for Mexican illegal aliens will be pending forever unless politicians in Mexico realize that the problem-solution is on the inside (corruption, unemployment, lack of education) instead of negotiating with the US government. On the other hand, legal immigration of lots of specialists is representing a very dangerous situation for Mexico. The country needs them to get a better development, but the vast majority chooses not to stay due to social-political situations.


The idea behind attractive women paying for massages is deeply logical, although it seems the contrary.

Let's put an example: me. I'm not a woman, but being as cute as I am I haven't any problem in getting free massages. My boyfriend likes to rub my naked body, in fact. But, oh yes, there's a but, he DOESN'T KNOW.

I mean, it's a good way to start a good f***, but I won't trust my back (aching due to the efforts I do with the crutches, being with a broken leg at the moment) to anyone. I need to put my back and shoulders in hands of a expert massager, one who knows how to release muscular tension and so on.

The pattern behind the three stories... let me see. You don't want to pay for what you get. You want to pay for the thing you THINK you're going to get.


Scott, if you feel that one person can't make a difference in voting, then you probably don't bother picking up your trash either. Besides, you're only one person, and it would require the cooperation of everyone on earth to ensure we have a clean environment. By your logic, there's absolutely no reason to do our part to keep our planet a clean place to live. One person can't make a difference!


Here is Australia we have to vote, its compulsory with a fine if you cannot come up with a good excuse.

Sooooo, I vote because it's cheaper than staying home.

Its economically rational, just not related to the real world. Kind of like most economic theory really.


for the price of a ticket, you buy the right to fantasize how you'd spend the winnings

That's a better theory than what I could've come up with. As far as voting, it's a lot like posting on your blog lately. There's so many opinions, why would mine matter? But really, it gets you thinking on your own which helps you keep your mind sharp. So it's really a health issue.

What do those three topics have in common? Idk, but it's a neat game.

Keyser Soze

The thing the three topics have in common are illusion.

The illusion that two companies would merge for a funny name
The illusion that her massage ISN'T free and
The illusion that your vote counts.

What do I win?


d'oh. My guess is irrationality, but it looks like "Bob" beat me to it.

To add to his first point though, not only is it irrational to be afraid of plane crashes given the odds, it would also be irrational to be afraid of a plane crashing because of the name of the airline.


You mean I've been voting since 1978 and I've never gotten my keg of whiskey for it????? (They can keep the live pig, unless they can deliver it to me in bacon form)

My wife is a massage therapist. A decent, therapeutic massage is more than just some random rubbing, and an attractive woman is not going to lie mostly naked for an untrained stranger to simply run his/her hands over her. Plus massage therapy doesn't pay real well on a weekly basis, so you can't give away too many freebies and make a living.

Still, what's to stop an unattractive middle-aged man with a separate income from getting the necessary training and running a part-time free massage service for attractive women? That's discrimination -- the older overweight people who probably need the massage a lot more will object to having to pay more for the service.

Plus there's always the chance that Michael Corleone will send one of his hit men in to shoot the guy you're working on in the eye. Quite apart from the ricochet risk, that's bad advertising.



The answer is...


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