Two experts quit election accountability group over claims it has been endorsing untrustworthy machines (Fast Company)

Richard DeMillo , a Georgia Tech professor who sat on Verified Voting’s advisory board, and UC Berkeley statistics professor and associate dean Philip Stark, a VV board member, have resigned from the advocacy group, stating that they believe that Verified Voting has been giving election officials false confidence in some voting machines and providing cover for the companies that make and sell these machines.

In DeMillo's December 1 resignation letter to Barbara Simons (chair of VV's board of directors), he claimed that "Verified Voting’s policy positions were unpredictable, contradictory, and not aligned with the values I once believed we shared. On more than one occasion, Verified Voting has taken contradictory public stances in the span of a few days, undercutting allies and supporters. The pattern of espousing new positions and making public statements that take local VV stakeholders by surprise is nothing new. Rather than seeking out advice, Verified Voting has gone to great lengths to avoid it."

With respect to VV's involvement in a Risk Limiting Audit (RLA) pilot in Georgia, DeMillo claimed that "Verified Voting’s seal of approval for the security theatrics in Bartow County undermines efforts to make elections more accountable. ... No audit based on an untrustworthy audit trail can confirm the correctness of the outcome. Billing such an exercise as an RLA and touting it as a proof of security plays into the hands of cynics."

Stark, who resigned on November 21, accused VV of being on the "wrong side" saying: "Our message to jurisdictions that buy poorly designed, insecure, universal-use BMD [ballot marking device systems] should be, 'We tried to warn you. You need a better voting system' ... Instead, we’re saying, ‘Don’t worry: VV will teach you to sprinkle magic RLA dust and fantasies about parallel testing on your untrustworthy election. All will be fine; you can use our authority and reputation to silence your critics.'"

News summary by Rebecca Mercuri, PhD.

Ben Brooks on the nature of the advice on how to keep yourself from being distracted.

…There seems to be this idea that tech itself is addicting and that many are handcuffed to tech by way of their phone. And so often the advice, like that advice above, is along the lines of eschewing tech during some part of your life. It’s bad advice, it’s avoiding the hard questions and finding a scapegoat.

the truth is, if that is the route you are going to take, then why have a smartphone? Why not not have a smartphone? Because you can’t function in this world without one, right? Yeah, so then why do all that bullshit above? All of that above is like buying a Ferrari and then stripping away your use of it until it is no better than a golf cart. Like, just get a bicycle at that point.
The Smartphone Isn’t Evil, Chill By Ben Brooks

Writing in the Harvard Business Review,Janna Koretz, asks us to consinder What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity? Some might argue that although they spend a lot of time working, work and career are integrated, and they are not enmeshed. I can't answer for them, but I think the distinction lies in knowing whether your career is just another facet of your life or your life is organised around your career.

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