By John Hubbuch
Watson is the supercomputer who beat Jeopardy's all-time champ Ken recently. Computers are getting smarter and smarter all the time. It sure would be easier and more efficient if we could load all the data regarding District 97's referendum into Watson and let it decide. Expenditures, tax revenues, teacher performance, comparables for the last 20 years--anything and everything could be loaded in, and Watson would decide. No muss. No fuss.
But the reality of course is that when we vote ,emotion plays a big part in the decision. Often we decide on a complex mix of personal experience,anecdotal evidence, and idiosyncratic philosophy and belief. We then cherry pick the data so that we can present our opinion as rational and analytic--like Watson.
In this referendum there is powerful emotion on both sides. You only have to read the many posts to know that. Parents are fighting for the future of their children. Some opponents are fighting to stay in their homes. The defense of a man's family and his home is deeply embedded in our evolutionary DNA.
On Tuesday we get to vote on whether to raise our taxes. On Wednesday the sun will rise, and life will go on until the next referendum, but we will have decided. Not Watson. That is a good thing.