Discussion in 'Debate and Discussion' started by Meserach, Nov 7, 2012.
Why would they do that when the system they had worked so well?
I'm mostly amused by the sheer childishness of the naming. They named it ORCA because the orca is the greatest natural predator of the narwhal, and they used all caps because there's no diacritical text marking for REVERB.
I think they should draw the lesson that it was still a fault naming it after a natural predator that really exists. That is far too uncomfortably close to being beholden to fact-checkers. Instead the next system should be named after much more badass predators that don't exist. The ground game advantage given by T-REX WITH MACHINEGUN ARMS or VELOCIRAPTORS WITH FLAMETHROWERS or NINJA MAMMOTHS WITH H-BOMBS are really going to give the other side a shellacking next election!
There was a bit of talk about Democratic systems in this "how Obama's team strove to recover after Denver" article in NYT from last week. (Odd article actually - I remember when reading it that it felt like one of those 13-page magazine-type stories except it just abruptly hacked off after page 3 with a curt ending tacked on.)
Past a certain point I don't think they even really want to give concepts away, but I think the basics are just "suck info out of all contacted potential supporters you can and then have the system actually use the data." One of the real downfalls of this sort of thing is getting the concepts right but not having the manpower/motivation/followthrough to actually even process hte information properly, still less make use of it. Getting hundreds of thousands of hours of data-entry done is no small feat if you're trying to use volunteers and do 500 other super important priority campaign tasks and the outcome is "well we'll be more informed and agile" and nebulous things like that. But it seems like as many things are awful about the Democratic Party, they may be a bit of a world leader in terms of stuff like this. Not that I guess I've heard much about where European parties are about this stuff.
I like that the Romney campaign rolled out ORCA on election day. For the first time. Nobody had even seen a beta, according to the article, and apparently it was just going to work perfectly out of the box and all those volunteers were going to magically glean its ways through conservative intuition and telepathy. This is the baby-Jesus school of software development, where a product just happens out of the blue, immaculately conceived with no real explanation except God says so.
Yeah, campaign folks who were supposed to use ORCA got the manual like the night before, and it was a 60 page PDF they were expected to print themselves. That might be my favorite part of the whole thing. Apparently one team who weren't able to log into ORCA all day just spent the day at an ice cream shop. Cracks me up.
They also sent out the instructions at 6pm the night before the election. Every piece of their ground game was shit, for all their talk about how awesome it was going to be. I know campaigns don't map to business, but the mistakes they made here were all direct business comparisons. The Romney campaign was walking proof that being an awesomely successful business dude does not necessarily map to repeatable business performance. Quite often it's dumb luck that your companies didn't flop.
Rolling your shit out on release day with no fucking testing and a first year ops mistake like not having an https redirect or having any form of fucking fallback.
THIS is why the GOP thinks government can't work: because their idea of how shit works can't work. Everyone else does it fine.
That's not because he was President you dumbfucks. It's because he had an actual plan and followed it while Romney would run five different versions of what he would do with Immigration like he'd never been expecting the question to come up. The reason all of this resonated for Obama was that he had a message and an actionable plan and got it the fuck out there. Was the plan rolled out month by month to keep it in people's minds? Yes. Was the entire reason it was trustworthy because he didn't change his messaging based on what state he was talking to? Yes you thick witted fools!
Well, the inclusion, apparently as a reference to the factual universe, of the GOP's whole "OBAMA GUTS WELFARE WORK REQUIREMENTS" line of baloney does unintentionally speak to another systemic weakness of Republicans, their inability to distinguish between reality and their own kool-aid-fueled political demonology.
Best part of that is "it was like they had a calendar." I'll do you one better, anonymous Romney aide: they did have a calendar. Because a calendar is a pretty effing basic piece of technology and I don't think it's breaking news that it can be useful in mapping out a campaign strategy, dingus.
Caveat: John Dickerson is an *incredible* moron. I've been reading Slate for years, and I've consistently seen stupid fall out of that man's pen. So I would take his analysis with more than a grain of salt.
Well, to quote Romney:
It was ORCA vs. Narwhal, and Narwhal kicked ORCA's ass.
Hey, I hope this wasn't linked to before, but I thought it was a great read:
Letter to a future Republican strategist regarding white people
The WSJ's postgame recap, which basically boils down to "Mitt lost because he spent too much time fundraising when he should have been holding rallys." Also various missteps and problems internal to the Romney campaign.
GO HOME ORCA, YOU'RE DRUNK
And even if it were, that's a stupid, whiny complaint to have. Their entire narrative was using the office of the president against him, so why wouldn't he use it to his benefit?
Hell, in 2004 Bush's motto was practically 'Vote for the president for president because he's the president'. No one complained then. That's just what the incumbent has to do!
Yeah, given the state of the economy the guy in the office of the president should be a decided disadvantage. It's the GOP who decided they should make the campaign about a plethora of other social issues that it turns out do matter to a majority of the electorate, except the GOP is on the minority side of all of them.
I wonder if relying on big donors means you need to have the candidate schmooze a lot more. Obama relied (yes?) on many small donations which could be harvested by an email or phone call - no need for Obama to visit everyone.
Hey, I donated $10. I want at least a Biden handshake.
ETA: Oooooh...could a candidate do a kickstarter?
Although Romney had a huge advantage in SuperPAC money, Obama did have a significant edge in direct contributions. The SuperPACs were able to run a ton of ads for Romney, but the inability to coordinate contributed to the GOTV disaster.
But Romney wasn't an "awsomely successful business dude" in the traditional sense. He did leveraged buyouts. From everything I've read, he didn't do any of the business things that map to running a campaign (basically, running a large and complex organization).
The inability to coordinate is so irrelevant that it might as well have been thrown in there as a joke (and it is one, frequently, on the Daily Show). When the majority of what you are running are attack ads, the "no connection to the candidate" part arguably becomes more of a benefit than a hindrance.
I had the same thought, and on things like ads I agree it hardly matters. But it seems the campaign and the SuperPACs really did keep their distance on things like election-day organization. I believe I read somewhere that volunteers received multiple lists of people to get to the polls from different groups, with lots of redundancies. My guess is that the Supreme Court could easily just allow unlimited contributions directly to candidates. Barring that, campaigns and SuperPACs will continue to push the coordination envelope and the FEC will do nothing about it.
Are the SuperPACs even involved with actual campaign workers and election day organization, though? I thought they were only allowed to do independent advocacy; getting directly involved with campaign operations seems like it would be a huge violation of the aforementioned separation.
The amount of money that Romney personally makes just from the parts of the day each year where he's taking a shit-break should have been more than enough to fund a working ORCA - assuming proper management. He could have literally shit that system into existence.
Hell, the amount of money the Romneys made off of the auto bailout could have funded it - consider that a direct contribution from every taxpayer to his campaign (only 53% in Romney's mind of course, but that's still a majority everywhere but the Senate).
Don't know for sure, but I imagine independant advocacy could mean GOTV on election day for the issues you are an advocate for (Romney 2012) and people can volunteer to help with said GOTV. The fact that the same people volunteer for both the campaign and the SuperPACs is the opposite of surprising.
They forgot that black votes are worth more than 3/5 these days.
I have a feeling, though, that at the moment it's practically impossible to charge a SuperPAC with virtually any clear violation of the artificial separation between them and their candidates; it would have to be a very careful test-case that highlights a direct contradiction or outright exploitation of the system given the wide latitude the Court granted. I would say post-election it's time to reconsider the purpose of SuperPACs away from their ostensible political goals and into the field of aggressive money laundering.
I hate liking that, but I like it.
This smacks of the third-party contractor mentality of the GOP. Just like every public and military sevice should be handled by "The Market", they probably threw some cash bales at somebody's contractor friend to implement ORCA.
I work within a large IT organization with high security needs (financial institution) and when we build something in-house there are strict requirements for development and testing. By the time we release it to the production environment we are confident and have a very low incidence of rollback.
It's the polar opposite with 3rd party hosted systems where we're at the mercy of our vendors. "Testing before production release? Wha?... But none of our other clients ever ask for that!" I spend a long time meticulously detailing each set of requirements for them. Not because they can then use those requirements to craft the enhancement we are asking for, but so our ass is covered when we invariably have to keep asking them to go back and fix things they did wrong in production.
Microsoft and an unnamed application consulting firm, according to various articles. Oddly enough, the unnamed firm hasn't come forward to discuss how awesome they are.
Interesting. I wonder how involved MS was. For anything development related we usually get referred from MS to a Microsoft Partner which is just a third party contractor, but then we don't have billion-dollar marketing campaigns.
My guess is "not very". Nobody is very specific about it at all, so I suspect the MS involvement is more towards the "they sold us SQL licenses!" end of the spectrum than the "they wrote the whole thing for us in Visual Basic!" end.
I would expect that in a contract such as this MS was providing the platform but the third-party consultants were actually piecing it together. Like if a contractor bought all his supplies at Home Depot and then built a house that collapsed upon itself and murdered the dreams of everybody inside.
This ORCA thing is an amazing pile of fail. Amazing. The buggiest game launches I've ever observed we're better than these stories. It's almost like they subcontracted out the future of the free world based on the lowest bidder b
I once used a windows machine to code an app. That makes MS my vendor, right?
They probably had an MS certified partner doing the code. One of the larger questions I'd have is was the partner the same as the hosting company for the webapp. The lack of a password reset is 100% on the programmers, but the crashing could be either side. And the late documentation and incorrect or unclear instructions are pretty much entirely on the campaign.
Overall, I think this whole project would have worked better if a PE firm came in and replaced all the management.
RedState is pretty pissed over the ORCA debacle. They've got this article written up about it that names some names.
This concept of microtargeted messaging is more than a little distressing. I don't honestly think it has a major impact on the election because the two sides end up cancelling one another out, but I dislike that candidates can hide chunks of their agenda/platform from voters who might disagree with it.
I guess it's the inevitable result of mass media's slow demise but it's still seriously creepy. Like, you're not voting for an actual person, just an idealized representation of that person specifically customized just for you.
Whatever. Between adblock, not watching tv news, and not watching live tv I successfully opted out of all political advertising. Go me!
My understanding is that they had 11 DB servers with a single web server, which is just poor design. They also were using Comcast, who apparently was left unaware of what they up to and for a time blocked the application because they thought it was a DDoS, which from a user end is basically a crash because the entire thing became inaccessible.
They name names, but that line screams that the article is just trying to blame other people for their shit. ORCA was an outsourced failure. Their polling bullshit was systematic failure, because accurate polls were available everywhere. The campaign was willfully purging less than rosy data, and failing to admit that they were doing so is just begging to fail that way again.
Separate names with a comma.