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.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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