"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Communist Tyrant Josef Stalin

Wonders of the Internet - More on Osborne

 April 16, 2000 NA (Network America) e-wire


Wonders of the Internet - More on Osborne

Our April13 e-wire reported on the 1974 book, "Running Wild" by Adam Osborne in which he said that three areas should never be counted or tracked by computer, one of which was vote-counting. This book and its significance had been called to our attention by Dr. Gary North.

I put out a call for anyone who could track down this book and shed some light on the other two areas Adam Osborne was concerned about. Within 36 hours I had received what follows back by e-mail.

Before reading what's below, consider this: the internet is causing invention and medical advancement to move at lightning speed in our day because of the almost instant exchange of information - a counterpart of this we see below in the political arena with the example of the email someone found and send me, writing by Lauren Wiener in 1994 on Adam Osborne.

Let's reflect further: A few centuries ago, Dr. Louis Pasteur would find out something about microbes or sterilization. He would write it down, and, at best a few weeks later it might make it to the scientists in France with whom he was working most closely. Remember, no quick land mail delivery, no cars, no telephone, no copy machines, no fax machines.

At best, a few months later, Pasteur's new discoveries or theories would make it out of France to Germany or Italy or Great Britain, at which point the letter could be translated and analyzed by the scientists and doctors in those countries. And then those scientists would write back, and so on.

Today information is being exchanged at next to lightning speed thanks to the internet. Therefore, inventions and medical discoveries are being made at an increasingly rapid pace.

Let us take a lesson from this in our quest for accountability and true justice in the public and social arenas! How quickly we will be able to move as soon as we put an organizational structure and plan behind our ability to exchange information. We American people today seem to me like the Elephant in the well-known motivational story. When small, the elephant is tied to a stake in the ground that he is too small to pull out of it's place. The elephant accepts this limitation mentally, which was true at the time. As the Elephant develops into a full grown adult, he still never tries to pull the stake out of the ground to which he is tied, so he stays put where his masters tie him. Why? Because the adult elephant still mentally accepts the limitation, which no longer holds true.

We are not elephants (or donkeys either, I hope) - so let us throw away artificial and outdated limitations and apply our brains and energy to realize the potential now possible for a future for our nation and our people as it was meant to be --- not one stunted and warped by the culture-distorters who have now clawed their way to the top of our government.

Here's the message received from a e-wire reader, as written by Lauren Wiener in 1994:

Modern Discussion of Computer Risks in Old Book

Lauren Wiener <lauren@reed.edu>

Wed, 02 Feb 94 21:47:22 -0800

My uncle was poking around in a used bookstore and found a book entitled "The Naked Computer" (by Jack Rochester & John Gantz, Wm Morrow & Co., NY) which was published in 1983 and intended for a lay audience. It's got some stories I have never heard, such as this one on p. 71:

"David Walonick, a computer programmer and consultant in Minneapolis, found that his new IBM personal computer divided 0.1 by 10 and came up with 0.001 instead of 0.01. IBM told him beginning programmers 'have problems like that.' It wasn't corrected until Walonick told the _New York Times … ."

There follows a somewhat muddy and unsatisfying explanation of the problem, followed by the insightful comment:

"The more serious problem is that most computer users have difficulty discerning when there is an inaccurate sum; computers are generally regarded as correct."

The book also includes an interview by Adam Osborne, in which he says the following on the subject of computer risks:

"Author: In your book, "Running Wild", you say there are places we shouldn't use computers.

"Osborne: Yes. In balloting, for instance, I just feel that the slightest chance of fraud isn't worth it. If we are going to spend a little bit more money for counting or if we have to wait longer, fine. We all know that rigging is possible -- it's very easy to do. It's not just the outsiders I'm worried about, it's the people running it.

"Electronic funds transfer is the next place where I have a lot of problems because the potential for fraud is so great. I've heard of banks that are doing funds transfer on public-access networks. In 1980 I issued a public

challenge to any bank that would guarantee in writing not to prosecute me that I would steal $10 million from them via wire fraud. We weren't actually going to rip off the bank; in fact, we were going to call the bank president and ask him to come and get his money. We'd have a $10 million cashier's check waiting for him. Of course, no bank took me up on the offer.

"As for the stock exchange, my God! There has never been an opportunity like that. Who is going to count the shares? Who really knows who owes who what? I think it's madness." (end of quote from "The Naked Computer")

Wonder what he thinks now? (End of comment from Lauren)

Thanks to the alert reader who sent this along.


Jim Condit Jr.
Director, Citizens for a Fair Vote Count

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