Image 01 Image 03

The high cost of low information voters

The high cost of low information voters

You may recall my post, Upworthy — or, How we are losing the internet to lowest of low information young liberals:

… I happened upon a website called Upworthy, which had one its posts run at HuffPo, Elizabeth Warren Asks The Most Obvious Question Ever, Stumps A Bunch Of Bank Regulators.

The post was so wrong on substance, I just had to click over to the source.

And therein I learned what millions of very low-information young liberals already knew — there is this website called Upworthy which is one giant liberal activist social media machine which creates viral social media memes in the cause of liberal political activism….

The Elizabeth Warren post at Upworthy is a prime example of how low information is combined with a political agenda to create a meme which is based on a lack of understanding, but very, very catchy.

Every once in a while I’ll head over there, and they don’t fail to disappoint, if what you are looking for is over-simplified political memes.

This post sums up the high cost of low information, This Future Map Of The United States Is Way Cooler Than Any Current Map Of The United States:

America’s economy could be growing more quickly if we just focused on the right things—like high speed rail, for example. It takes cars off the road, creates thousands of jobs, makes travel easier, etc. One artist decided to draw up his vision of one potential future. We hope people consider it.

This currently is just a designer’s dream. It can become a reality though, if you sign the official White House petition. It needs 100,000 signatures in order to get an official response.

Upworthy High Speed Rail Map 2

Look at the travel time scale.  First it assumes the train will move at 220 mph — quite a feat.  If you ever have taken the Acela train in the Northeast Corridor you know that this is pie in the sky.  Plus, even at that unobtainable speed, the trip from New York to L.A. would take almost a day of actual travel time — as opposed to a few hours on a plane.  Good luck selling those tickets.

And cost?  We have covered the massive cost overruns and time delays just to build a high speed rail from L.A. to San Francisco.  Imagine that on a national scale.

It’s easy to poke fun at low information voters.  Until you realize how much they cost.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


And all we have to do is buy thousands of miles of right of way from private freight railroads, spend billions of dollars to upgrade them to European standards, and grade separate virtually every crossing along those routes. Easy peasy. Alternately, we can create whole new rights of way through urban areas, buying land from thousands of private land owners.

If you ever take high speed rail in Europe, you’ll note that passenger and freight traffic seldom mix. Freight trains (particularly heavy freight trains) destroy the finely engineered rails for high speed.

I think there is a place for high speed rail between city centers under 500 miles apart. Generally the time spent on a train is a wash with air travel at those distances, particularly city center to city center. Unfortunately, we have also suburbanized our cities too much. Getting to the train station then becomes a problem.

Ayn “Cassandra” Rand?

Hmmm …. I see the utopian thinkers have included stops in Monterrey and Tijuana …. no doubt to facilitate the arrival of the next horde of democratic voters.

    pfg in reply to walls. | May 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    High speed rail: the efficiency of the Post Office with the charm and understanding of the IRS.

    Don’t we already have Amtrak?

High speed rail becomes very expensive low speed rail once every politician makes it stop in his state or city.

This map and accompanying post were not created by a low information voter. They were created by an ordinary everyday liberal.

The difference is that low info voters don’t pay enough attention to know the difference between good and bad ideas. Liberals actively ignore anything that contradicts their ideology.

In this case, the ideology demands 1) collectivisation, 2) getting rid of private cars and 3) government control. Nothing that contradicts that can be allowed into the thought processes.

It can be hard to tell the difference between low info and willful blindness. In this case, previous exposure to the agenda helps.

I wonder when the young man will realize that he already has a very large, and growing, share of the $16 trillion national debt, and he’s wanting to add trillions more for this pipe dream.

LukeHandCool | April 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Ummm … by the time something like that got built … having spent trillions of dollars … it would be obsolete.

What is it with lefties and huge outlays for infrastructure? It’s the “Field of Dreams” Theory of Planning …. Build it, and they will come and use it.

Baloney. Self-driving cars are already being tested. Soon you’ll have your own form of private public transportation. Read a book while your car navigates itself to your destination, with no smelly passengers to sit next to. For very long distances, e.g., LA to NY, you’ll take a plane. High-speed rail can’t compete with air travel.

In Japan, high-speed rail tickets are often just as expensive, sometimes more so, than plane tickets. Why buy a high-speed rail ticket to go a long distance when a plane will get you there much faster at the same or cheaper price?

    So we’ll make the trains go three times as fast, and run on solar energy.

    Use green tech. That’s all there is to it.

    (Far worse things can easily be found at Upworthy, which indeed is a horrifying site. The emerging generation, or big swaths of it anyway, truly may be past saving. They may be too far gone to recognize the consequences of their actions as such.)

      LukeHandCool in reply to gs. | April 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      I had a professor in grad school who swore the answer would be “personal rapid transit.” It’s supposed to address what people don’t like about mass transit … the lack of flexibility. You have a special car that goes on a rail for long distances (just like we use freeways) and then leaves the rail and can be driven to go anywhere like other cars for shorter distances. A few small-scale prototypes were built.

      GPS just made that completely obsolete. With personal rapid transit, there still would have been huge infrastructure costs.

      GPS has made it obsolete. With self-driving cars, we’ll use the infrastructure we already have.


nordic_prince | April 30, 2013 at 10:15 pm

As they get rid of the cars, they’ll they coerce everyone into densely populated cities and/or urban centers. Then they’ll make it so you need permission to travel from one city to another, just like in the workers’ paradise known as North Korea.

Stoopid libtards.

The only way that high speed, (or any mass form of rail transit), would become economically feasible is if somehow vehicular transportation would somehow disappear AND commercial mass transportation options became commercially feasible.

Maybe the O’bammy administration could do the same for gasoline supplies as they did with ammo availability.

Nothing would surprise me these days…

“America’s economy could be growing more quickly if we just focused on the right things—like high speed rail, for example.”


America’s economy could be growing more quickly if we just allow individuals to focus their own energy and capital into private initiatives… like The John Galt Line.

Considering almost half the nation does not know Obamacare is now law, it’s no great feat to sell these same idiots on fantasy trains.

They’re in the process of dropping billions in California on high speed rail whose first route won’t go near any particularly populous area.

Someone did have an attack of sanity and instead of the high speed route between here (Detroit) and Chicago, which would have cost billions, they are redoing at least some of the track bed and signalling. Combine this with right of way accorded to Amtrak, I am told they actually could get city to city travel time down to about three and a half hours.

That might have have some effect on the number of cars on that route, although I don’t think it would be substantial. It probably is worth doing. But Chcago-LA on high speed rail? It would still be slower than an airplane and such a hypothetical system would have to charge comparable fares (at least) in order to have some relationship between costs and income.

But golly, all the cool kids in Europe have these and if we get one we’ll feel all environmental and stuff. Besides, as most of you have noticed, there’s one question that the left never seems to ask: Where is the money coming from?

By the way, for any such system or local rail systems, you will see the proponents projecting ridership figures. This is how they arrive at such figures: They throw a dart at a dartboard and whatever number it hits, they add “million riders.”

2nd Ammendment Mother | April 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Hey – at least I’m still on the map out here in El Paso – The other Texas cities that I frequent most often aren’t considered worthy – Midland, Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene San Angelo and Wichita Falls – plus many more. In case you’re wondering – Amtrak does currently run between El Paso and Houston; the trip takes 23 hours. Its only a 13 hour drive.

So I wonder why they cut off the whole Permian Basin – that’s one of the hottest job markets in the US right now. One of my friends who works for a heavy equipment company was just transferred out there to open a new office with $36 million in assets – and another $100 million ordered. He’s worried he’s not going to have enough equipment to meet the needs out there.

Oregon Mike | May 1, 2013 at 3:27 am

Oh, yeah. Right.

What are these clowns gonna do, start a tunnel north of Redding, CA, under the Siskiyou and Cascade mountains so that they can pop out of the ground magically at the southern end of the Willamette Valley and race to Portland?

“Don’t know much about geography . . . .”

Good grief!

This is what happens when the consequences of being wrong are not painful enough.

Civilization trumps natural selection.

Once upon a time if you were wrong, you didn’t get to eat. Nowadays people can go through life being wrong more or less continuously, and never have to worry that they’ll die as a result.

This is why people like this exist. Western civilization has become a victim of its own success.

Imagine for a moment if the average leftist had to directly deal with the consequences of their ideas in a direct way and on a personal level.

How quickly would they wake up and stop being leftists? How quickly would those who refused die off?

scooterjay | May 1, 2013 at 7:37 am

oh, yes……my bat$#!t-crazy liberal uncle has this posted on his FB page, along with a link to Upworthy. did I mention he is an alcoholic and in love with Islam? The depths that liberals will go to in self-loathing and hate for the hand that feeds them boggles my mind….why don’t you off yourself and be done with your misery? Just because you are unhappy doesn’t mean WE should suffer.

Juba Doobai! | May 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

The amusing and ironic thing is that Warren is a low information voter herself. She lacks the facts to support any of her contentions, yet she votes on them. The papers she writes are shoddily researched, yet she publishes them. Like her master, she’s content to run memes and spit snark.

I think everyone’s missing the point of this post. It’s not about Gov’t funded railroads.

It’s about the Left’s digital media strategy of manufacturing memes through highly portable, bite sized vignettes a la buzzworthy. Which begs the question again and again. How are we countering this?

Ragspierre | May 1, 2013 at 9:18 am

Amazing how retrograde these “visionary” thinkers are!

People rode trains in the 1800s because they were the best transport available.

Trains as people carriers in the US were slapped down by the advent of the automobile and safe, all-weather roads.

THAT was the advance…the train was the old and busted. They will never compete with air travel, which is ALSO an advance and a well-proven superior technology, and STILL more flexible than a train.

Going back in technology is just STOOOOOoooooopid.

moonstone716 | May 1, 2013 at 9:39 am

It’s also a great illustration of what’s so ridiculous about liberals. The map itself is very well done. Great graphic — I certainly couldn’t produce it.

Yet the details are those of a child’s science project. Three routes into Florida? (I live in Florida and love it, but I know even the Port of Miami isn’t THAT important)

Perfect example of an Obama voter who should be working for OFA — great with the computer which makes him think he’s knowledgeable about everything, when he really knows NOTHING.

Okay…. I made my first and last trip to Upworthy. This is what happens when you arrest the emotional and intellectual development of people at age 15.

[…] In·sur·rec·tion –The High Cost Of Low Information Voters submitted by The Mellow […]

[…] at Legal Insurrection, William A Jacobson writes about the costs of low information voters who get their information primarily through liberal-leaning (or sometimes straight partisan […]

[…] William A. Jacobson takes a look at ‘high speed’ rail. […]

[…] In·sur·rec·tion –The High Cost Of Low Information Voterssubmitted by The Mellow […]

[…] a few posts about the role of the leftist site Upworthy in promulgating memes of both sorts, including a post this past Tuesday on the high cost of low-information voters.  And he’s not the only one to recognize the importance of simple-minded memes for the […]