On Sunday last, history was made! Not because some election results were out, another 48 hours remained for that then! Its because I went to the first election campaign of my life! Its quite ironical that 22 years were spent in India, but the first happened in just 3 months here in the USA! That is because Hilary Clinton came to George Mason University to campaign for Obama and for change. Lots of music and excitement before the event, hell many waited there for almost 3 to 4 hours! I first thought it was a rock show on a Sunday evening! When I was returning home, they had blocked the path to the bus stop, and asked me to go round the dorms. When I asked, the nice policeman said “Hilary is here”. I was like, WOW! Seriously?!
So I skipped the plan of going home. Decided to take the last bus; wait and watch for the 1.5 hours that I had till then. My left-brain was screaming saying why do you care! Go home, and relax. Guess my right-brain prevailed here. Hilary came by helicopter, we saw it go past overhead. The democrats started their rants and promises. I had to leave before Hilary got started though. Two days later, Obama was president elect!
I was recently discussing the US elections and related problems on the North Virginia Linux User Group mailing list. America uses high-end Microsoft Windows systems at the polling booths. Their central server is on Windows too. They have touchscreen, for what purpose I do not know, because they still ask voters to mark their votes on paper. Different polling stations scan this vote into the system in a different way, some use OCRs. All the data at the computers are being recorded on a memory stick, not on the hard-drive! Then at the end of the day, the memory stick is sent to the counting station in the city or state. The above information is by no means authentic. This is what I have learned (and perhaps imagined some parts of it!), but at present I believe all of this is true. That means India is way ahead on this front! The Electronic Voting Machine is a work of a genius, as Einstein says, “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Read more on this in my email to NOVALUG.
Obama for change, and change I hope he will bring. I have built a strong support for him over the last few days. Most of it is because of this. I like the idea of America’s first Chief Technology Officer! Obama also believes in transparency, and bringing blogs and web-cast into the government, and getting common man to be able to directly communicate with the people right at the top, including Obama himself! I love the fact that most of the funding for his campaign was brought in from small contributions from random people visiting his website! Its time someone did something about the monopoly in telephone and broadband services, and I see that Barack has that on his mind too! For once, a President is thinking about solving internal problems. For once, someone is not delusional with the false belief that USA is the only developed country in the world, and it needs to fix every other country that exists! Obama also believes in choice and free market philosophy. His all-out support for developing Math and Science in the country is truly astounding! He offers science as the only solution to most of America’s problems, including education, employment and trade! His reform of the patent system by opening it up for citizen review is simply brilliant! Finally companies like Microsoft have someone to check all the junk patents that they keep proposing. If I have interpreted what the coming of Obama really means to the world, and if he really is able to fulfill his promises, I am sure good times are coming!
P.S.: For all those Indians who are telling me Obama is bad for India because he is against the BPO industry, I have only one answer, I am against that industry too! Besides, contrary to popular belief, IT and the BPO is not what India really depends on, certainly not what is running our country. India is a nation ready to become a superpower, and the core industries and the human resource that India generates has much to do with it.