Duelling useless machines: a metaphor for polarized politics

Here's an amusing metaphor for polarized US politics: take two Useless Machines (a box with a switch: when you press the switch, a hand shoots out of the box and switches it off again) and daisy-chain them so they battle to switch one another off.

Political Machines! (via Neatorama!)


  1. All it lacks is a little, mechanical Jon Stewart pointing out the absurdity of the whole thing, as one of the boxes accuses him of hypocritically taking sides, while the other accuses him of false equivalency.

  2. Way off topic I know, but if anyone’s up right now (12am California time) you can listen to the post game riots live via police scanner: goodradio.org/scanner . Feed courtesy of SomaFM. Some quality mayhem unfolding right now.

  3. Absolutely not useless. It’s an oscillator.(or astable multivibrator) with a complimentary output. If you hook them up in a ring you have a shift register.

  4. Again I say the right-left argument is false and designed to create a balanced opposing electorate who is unable to actually use their franchise to effect change due to useful candidates falling below the noise floor.
    Republicans and Democrats conservatives and liberals are all borrowed terms and often have little to do with the reality of the votes these representatives cast.
    Most decisions are not even ideological, once they have been in office for a few months it becomes clear that their one sane voice can’t change things in a meaningful way so they vote to keep that cushy influential job and promises of consulting and speaking fees should they get voted out for choosing the good of corporations over their constituents.

  5. Amusingly, the YouTube popup ad on the video was a standard “vote the bum out” blurb for our governor’s race.

  6. Yeah, but each needs to switch itself on as it switches the other off for it to keep going.

  7. Hmm I always thought freedom, liberty and rights meant being free from oppression, injustice and living in a fair and just society. I didn’t realize it meant fouling the body with drugs, turning your brain into mush and doing what ever anyone wanted without responsibility or accountability.

    I say NO to any form of legalization of drugs. Certain ideals and standards are worth any price to be paid.

  8. It’s not about who is right or equivalency. It’s about how the balance of power goes back and forth from one party to the other because no one is ever happy. But eventually, something breaks.

  9. The promotion of the idea that politics is futile primarily serves the interests of the moneyed elite.

  10. @A.Lwin – You’re right, that’s exactly what freedom, liberty and rights mean. And if you think current drug policy consitutes either freedom from oppression or any form of justice, you haven’t actually looked at it or the consequences.

    A brief summary of current UK / US drug policy:

    Drug is used entirely by rich white workaholics: legal, prescription only.
    Drug is used mostly by rich white people: legal, taxed.
    Drug is used by everyone, and rich white people get better versions: legal, taxed, heavily used by politicians.
    Drug is used by college students and general population: illegal, mildly (UK) or we-fuck-up-the-rest-of-your-life (US)
    Drug is used mostly by poor people: illegal.
    Drug is used mostly by poor black people: illegal, wreck-your-life (UK) or we-shoot-you-then-frame-your-parents-then-fuck-up-your-life (US).

    Certain ideals and standards are worth any price to be paid. That’s why I will always vote yes to legalize drugs.

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