Thursday, July 20, 2006


Not sure why it didn't occur to me to post this sooner, but better late than never...

Last month (June 16th to be exact), I gave a talk at NYPHPCON. I'm not (yet) important enough to be a keynote speaker or anything, but if you happened to attend the Friday 2:45pm session on the .org track, you saw yours truly pontificate on "Using PHP and SOA for Situational Applications in the Enterprise". If you're dying for more details, check out the speaker's page on the conference website. The session was also written up by International PHP Magazine.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Vote with your pocketbook; spend your franchise

The other day I heard the expression "vote with your pocketbook" for about the zillionth time. For the two people in the world who have never run across this expression, it simply means that if you don't like something you should spend your money elsewhere. Once enough people do this, the entity responsible for the object-non-grata will either get the idea and change or go out of business.

My mind took a weird twist this time, however, and I started wondering what would it be like if the metaphor worked the other way around? That is, instead of likening economics to politics, what would happen if we likened politics to economics?

For example, give everyone 100 "voting dollars" per year. Just like with real money, you could spend all your voting dollars on one candidate in one election or spread it across several candidates in several elections. The candidate that received the most voting dollars wins the election. Some interesting things become possible in this system:

- I can express my political opinions with much finer granularity. I can show EXACTLY how much it means to me that candidate X beats candidate Y.

- If I'm a "think globally, act locally" kinda guy, I can choose to blow all my voting dollars on local or state elections and none on national elections. Or vice versa.

- If I think all the candidates suck (which happens more often than I like), I can save my voting dollars. Then when a candidate comes along that I REALLY believe in, I can give her a much bigger boost. (But should I get interest on my voting dollars?)

- How about extending the concept beyond candidates to issues. E.g. maybe it takes 15 billion voting dollars to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

It won't ever happen, but it's fun to let your mind wander once in awhile...