An Internet Poll Result Is an Internet Poll Result Is an Internet Poll Result - Maybe!

Richard Hunkler, PhD.
Water Polo Planet

The first question I had to ask myself is "Would I be writing this article had the results of the WPP poll been more to my liking"? I hope the answer would have been "yes". I do not have a lot of money nor do I have a lot of property but what I do have, besides a fantastic family and extended water polo family, is, I hope, my honesty and creditability.

A rose is a rose is a rose and a rose by any other name is still a rose. But the result of an internet poll is not always what you see. Anybody who knows about computers knows that results of internet polls can be rigged. An internet poll uses a small program called a "cookie" to determine whether a user of the poll has voted or not. This cookie is written on the hard disk of the user of the poll. There are free programs available that can locate and delete the cookie on the user’s hard disk. Thus a user could vote and delete the cookie, vote again and delete the cookie again, and this one user could do this ad infinitum (or at least a large number of times).

Having said that in the above paragraph, do I believe that the survey of the new rules was compromised? It doesn’t take a lot of people and it doesn't take a conspiracy to skew the results of an internet poll. In one of my articles I used an internet poll and an anonymous user wrote me a private message and challenged my results. This person's challenge caused me to read several articles on the subject and it caused me to look into the possibility of internet polls being invalid. I have come to the conclusion that I could not tell one way or the other if the results of an internet poll have been compromised. I would like to believe the results about the new rules were not tampered with and so I will assume that they have not been. Since I have no definitive evidence that the results were or were not compromised, you will have to make up your own mind as to whether you think the results were tampered with or not.

For the most part the discussion on the message board about the new rules was enlightening, friendly, and open minded; however, there were a few posters on the message board who don't have a clue as to the definition of being "open minded". In fact I may have been one of them. The remainder of the article is dedicated to the few, the proud, and the malfeasants of the open mind. Here are some quotes about what it means to be open minded (I hope you learn as much as I did in finding and reading these quotes):

“People are very open-minded about new things as long as they're exactly like the old ones.” by Charles F. Kettering     
“The open-minded see the truth in different things: the narrow-minded see only the differences.” by Anon     

“Where there is an open mind there will always be a frontier.” by Charles F. Kettering             
“An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it” by Anon      
“Tact is the ability to tell a man he has an open mind when he has a hole in his head” by Sarah Orne Jewett

“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief” by Gerry Spense

“If I had my hand full of truth, I would take good care how I opened it.” by Fontenelle

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it” by Terry Pratchett         

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” by Charles F. Kettering

"Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." by George Bernard Shaw

“A problem well stated is a problem half solved” by Charles F. Kettering

"Change of any sort requires courage." by Mary Anne Radmacher

"It is our choices ... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." by J. K. Rowling
"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike." by  Oscar Wilde
"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open." by James Dewar
"Be open to new ways; sometimes newness just knocks on your door; welcome it." by Jonathan Lockwood Huie
"I have no need to conform to the stereotypes others have defined for me." by Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“I try to keep an open mind, but not so open that my brains fall out.” by Harold T. Stone       
“You can have such an open mind that it is too porous to hold a conviction.” by George Crane       

“Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future” by Charles F. Kettering