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Ryan Beck
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Attended Iowa State University
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Ryan Beck

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We did it! We managed to make it to 2017, and now no more celebrities will die ever again!
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Eric Hansen's profile photoRyan Beck's profile photo
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I have no guesses, but if you look up a list of celebs who are 78 (current life expectancy) there's lots of them. So we'll probably have a celebrity death that's a big deal to a good chunk of the population about every other day I would guess. So you won't have to wait long.
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Hillary won the popular vote but lost the election, and I'm seeing a lot of people talking about how we should get rid of the electoral college. It seems counterintuitive that you can win the popular vote and lose the election, which would seem to go against the whole point of democracy. But I think there is more to it than that.

States are awarded electoral votes based on the number of congressional representatives they have. That means each state gets two, because every state gets two senators, plus the number of representatives they have, which is based on the size of the state (DC gets the same amount as the smallest state, which is 3, bringing the total electoral votes to 538). So already you can see that by giving each state two electoral votes, which aren't based on the size of the state, the results are being skewed so that the number of electoral votes a state gets are not proportional to its size.

So what happens if we only gave each state electoral votes based on its size? Well we could see what that looks like by subtracting two electoral votes from each state (I'm going to ignore DC in this). Trump won 30 states (assuming Arizona and Michigan go entirely to him) which would be 306 electoral votes. Subtracting two votes for each state he won is 60 votes, which would give him 246. Clinton won 20 states (assuming New Hampshire is called for her) which would be 232 electoral votes. Subtracting two for each gives you 192 electoral votes. This brings Clinton a little closer to Trump, but barely (she would go from 43.1 to 43.8 percent of the electoral vote). The remaining difference between the electoral votes and the popular vote has to do with the winner take all rules in the states. Even if you win a state with 51% of the vote, you get all of the electoral vote from that state (with the exception of a couple states with different rules).

So should we change it? We could get rid of the electoral votes for senators in each state, but part of the way this country was established was to give states a say in our national government. That's why we have the senate instead of just having the house of representatives. The senate gives the states equal representation in a portion of our government. If you think that our democracy should be run by popular vote only, would you also feel comfortable getting rid of the senate and only having the house of representatives?

Another way it could be changed is to get rid of the winner-take-all rule and distribute electoral votes within a state based on the outcome of smaller districts within that state. But if winner-take-all isn't okay at a statewide level, why is it okay at a district wide level? You're still ignoring the votes of the minority within that district. And if you keep breaking it down further you end up with the same thing as going by the popular vote, so why bother? Winner-take-all seems to be another way that the states receive representation in the federal government.

I think getting rid of the electoral college is more than the simple task people make it out to be. The entire framework of our country is based on a compromise between direct democracy and equal representation of states. This gives rural people living in less populous states a voice, and balances that with the will of the majority. States were given representation in our constitution for a reason, and I think any discussion of getting rid of the electoral college should examine why our country was set up this way and whether changing that is really a good idea.
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Isaac Kuo's profile photoRyan Beck's profile photo
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Good point, even if they were in rural areas they wouldn't have had the numbers.

I see what you're saying about the original reason for state representation in the electoral system being slavery. But I think if you look at the root cause of why states have representation it's because of population differences and the recognition that states should have representation. The concern with the difference in slavery policy was that some states would have larger voting populations than others, and could effectively control the outcome of the elections. The system was set up to balance popular vote with state representation. That's why the Senate was created in the very beginning, because part of the foundation of the country is that states have a say. So yes slavery may have been the catalyst for the way the electoral college is today, but I don't think their argument would have worked if there was no basis for letting states have representation.
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This is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. I don't think anyone could make a movie scene this dramatic if they tried. Watch it until the end.
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There's plenty to criticize him about without making stuff up. Don't stoop to his level just because (unfortunately) misinformation works really well for him.
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump did not say veterans suffering from PTSD are "weak," "unfit," and "can't handle" military service.
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Key points (headline is unnecessarily inflammatory):
-Colin has pledged 1 million dollars of his money to organizations working on these issues
-So have the San Fransisco 49ers
-The protest is spreading and a conversation is happening

In other words, it's working.
On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Marcus Peters held a black-gloved fist aloft during the national anthem, an homage to the 1968 black-power protest o ...
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Someone with money to waste and long-ish hair should go get their hair trimmed a fraction of an inch every other day so that it looks like their hair is growing in reverse. See if anyone mentions it, and if they do, act like you don't know what they're talking about.
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Why are news articles always using the word "slam" instead of criticize? "Senator slams Trump" or "Trump slams media". What is this, the WWE?
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It's definitely the WWE
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I know a lot of people in the country are probably disappointed right now. Judging by the popular vote probably around 50% are. I know I am. But I hope that we can be positive and constructive over these next four years. Please, be the bigger people and do not treat President Trump the way conservative media has treated President Obama. President Trump will not be the cause of all evil in the United States during his presidency. You can criticize or oppose him for what he's directly responsible for, but please don't place every frustration you have with the country at President Trump's feet. Don't fall for hoaxes, fake scandals, and lies. Don't take his words out of context. Make your arguments constructive. If Trump improves something or creates a good policy, recognize it, don't ignore it and point to his other failings. Everyone wants what's best for the country, even if we don't agree on what that is.

I'd also like to address some of the unrealistic expectations I've seen about the upcoming presidential term. I know some of us are distressed right now, and we have reason to be, but unrealistic and exaggerated expectations don't do anyone any favors. I don't think President Trump will lead us into war. I can't guarantee that, but it doesn't seem likely. Even though the house and Senate are in his favor the Republicans still oppose some of his more extreme ideas. Things we don't like will probably happen, like repeal of the ACA, weakening of the EPA and the fight against climate change, and conservative justices on the supreme court. But Trump can not push a magic button and turn the country into an unrecognizable place.

On a similar note, I hope conservatives have realistic expectations of what Trump can accomplish. His own party will oppose a decent chunk of his platform. I predict that Trump will accomplish some of the things he promised, like repealing the ACA, possibly backing out of the Paris climate change agreement, appointing conservative justices, and weakening the EPA. But I also think that many of his promises will go unfulfilled. I'll be a little surprised if the wall happens. He may ban immigration from largely Muslim countries, but I'm a little skeptical of that too. He probably won't bring back manufacturing jobs, he won't hit his GDP goal, the economy will continue its slow recovery that Obama had created, ISIS will continue to be slowly pushed back and Trump will probably try to claim that he has defeated them. If he manages to impose tariffs or renegotiate trade deals it probably won't do anything except increase the prices of the goods we buy more than they would have increased otherwise. Race relations won't improve, because he has no plan to improve them. His tax plans will probably be heavily revised and unrecognizable by the time they get passed. Our national debt will continue to increase. Healthcare costs will too, even without the ACA.

But I hope he can accomplish some common sense things that everyone wants, like increasing infrastructure funding, and if any of his plans do improve the country I'll be happy. I'm pessimistic about the next term, but I hope we can all recognize good things when they happen.

Also, I'm disappointed in Hillary for not giving a concession speech, leaving her supporters hanging around. That's something I would have expected out of Trump, not her, and I think that was very poor form. 
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The saving grace is that the democratic process worked. The people have spoken. It's not what better than half the people wanted (i.e., 50% Democrat + x% non-Trump Republicans) but collectively it was enough.
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This obsession with writing arguments and articles as a series of tweets is going to be an embarrassing part of history. Future teenager: "So you're telling me that back in 2016 you had the ability to post as many words as you wanted on tons of websites, but people chose to create long posts in 140 character chunks on Twitter instead? And people actually read it like that?"
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There is a lot to be said for brevity. But yeah it's a poor platform for anything longer than a sentence.
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Kaine's strategy during the debate seems to be to try and do a live fact check of Mike Pence. However, he's interrupting pretty frequently to do so, and I think it is coming off unfavorably. Pence is composed, but he's doing the same thing Trump did during the debate, which is to just deny the things that Kaine is bringing up. For example Kaine said that Pence called Putin a stronger leader than Obama, pointing out the difference between leadership and dictatorship. Pence denied saying that, even though he did say that (see the article). It is unfortunate that Pence and Trump can just deny factual points their opponents make during the debate. They know most people watching won't bother looking into it. So I think Kaine's interrupting will hurt him, but Pence's denial of factual statements probably won't hurt him.
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Story
Tagline
An engineer and a geek
Introduction
I'm a structural engineer who also happens to be a huge nerd. I have a lot of interests and hobbies which I am usually doing in my free time. Here are some of my hobbies and interests, which typically make up the things I post about, in no particular order:

  • Movies and TV: I love all sorts of movies, especially Star Wars and Marvel movies, as well as TV shows like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Agents of Shield.
  • Comics: I'm a big Marvel fan and a big fan of comic books and characters in general.
  • Animation: I really enjoy animating and making videos. This is time consuming so I don't come out with them too often, but I'll post some occasionally and you can check out my previous ones on my YouTube channel.
  • Crafts: I like to make things, whether it be building 3D HeroClix maps or any other random project.
  • Video Games: Assassin's Creed is my favorite series, and I enjoy several other games as well.
  • Programming: I'm a novice programmer but I have a few projects I like to work on for fun.
  • Politics and Environment: I've recently realized that to fix the problems with the government that everyone likes to complain about, we all need to get involved. I'm a big believer in caring for our environment and the power of a few people to make a difference.

I welcome discussion and I love to hear alternative opinions to mine, so don't be afraid to comment and discuss things!
Bragging rights
Way more humble than you are.
Education
  • Iowa State University
    Structural Engineering, 2012 - 2014
  • Iowa State University
    Civil Engineering, 2009 - 2012
Links
YouTube
Other profiles
Work
Occupation
Structural Engineer
Employment
  • HDR
    Bridge EIT, 2015 - present
  • LeMar Industries
    Structural Engineer, 2014 - 2015
  • Iowa State University
    Research Assistant, 2012 - 2014
  • Iowa DOT
    Inspection Intern, 2012 - 2012
  • Council Bluffs Public Works
    Flood Worker, 2011 - 2011
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Ryan Beck's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Boing Boing
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Premieres Sept.24 @ 8/7c on ABC

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‘Thor: The Dark World’ after-credits scenes explained
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Thor: The Dark World after-credit scenes explained and how they lead us into Marvel's next movies.

comiXology
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Creators of the bestselling Comics by comiXology platform for the iOS, Kindle Fire, Android and Web.

Police pursue truck onto Central Campus; shots fired
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UPDATE: 11:59 a.m.: Geoff Huff, investigations commander, said the Division of Criminal Investigation is involved with the investigation wit

vlogbrothers
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As we say in our hometown, DFTBA.

Bernanke's Obfuscation Continues: The Fed's $29 Trillion Bail-Out Of Wal...
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The Fed's bail-out was not $1.2 trillion, $7.77 trillion, $16 trillion, or even $24 trillion. It was $29 trillion. That is, of course, the c

Did Chuck Todd Really Say Media Not Responsible to Correct Obamacare ‘Fa...
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NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd has taken a beating from both sides of the political spectrum thi

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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The Official Page for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC!

Marvel Entertainment
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The House of Ideas and home to the Avengers.

Playful Galapagos sea lions
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The Galápagos sea lion is a species of sea lion found in the waters of the Galápagos Islands. Their loud bark, playful nature, and graceful

Run For Your Lives
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The Original Zombie Infested 5k Obstacle Course Race

33 Years Ago Today, Jimmy Carter Put Solar Panels on the White House
motherboard.vice.com

On this very day, June 20th, 33 years ago, President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House roof. Seven years after that, Ro