Robots Finally Turn on Their Human “Masters”

Look at me! I'm cute. Don't worry, I will never screw up your election returns.SIPA Asia via ZUMA

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As near as I can tell, the Iowa caucus meltdown has finally gotten the media mad. For starters, it made them stay up really late when they weren’t expecting to—and with literally nothing to talk about. Second, the Iowa election poobahs refused to talk to them about what went wrong. Quelle horreur! And then, to finish things off, it’s Iowa. They really just wanted to announce the results from this pissy little flyover state and then move on to the East Coast.

Unlike everyone else, I guess, I sort of feel sorry for the Iowa folks. I mean, it’s one thing to screw up the rollout of Obamacare, which was genuinely a massive and intricate computer system. But to screw up the reporting of about a dozen numbers for fewer than 2,000 caucus sites? That’s epic. I know that many of you will think I’m exaggerating here, but this is literally the kind of thing a high school kid could do as a class project these days. The front end is embarrasingly simple, and the back-end database is literally less sophisticated than your average contact manager. Finally, there are the summations and calculations, and that’s sixth-grade arithmetic.

Aside from all that, I suppose I find this more humorous than outrageous. They should have stuck with telephone banks and—maybe—an Excel spreadsheet. I suppose they’re tired of hearing that by now, but it’s true. Not everything has to be computerized, after all.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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