February 9th, 2004

FC 04

Well, here i am at Financial Cryptography 2004. It's warm, sunny, and beautiful outside. And there's wireless networking inside.

I wore my Dean sweatshirt on the way here (three flights in succession, to Atlanta then Orlando then Key West, overnight). I wondered if people were staring at it. I noticed while waiting in Orlando that i was the only Asian person in the gate area, and then that i was the only non-white person in the gate area.

Figuring i had nothing to lose, i struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to me on the last flight. He was conservative and defended Bush's record, but patient and willing to listen. In the end it came down to us having differing opinions about what is urgent: to him, the overspending was justified by the urgent needs that had to be met. I suggested that health and education were more urgent needs, but he felt there were too many handouts in the country already. He and his sons worked their way through college and were fine, so why shouldn't everyone else?

I found the guy i'm sharing a room with, and he seems interesting. After we met, he noticed my sweatshirt and said he wanted to talk about politics later — i don't know if that means he supports Dean or not. And i caught another graduate student in here reading the Daily Kos during the talks. Over lunch i discovered that she's from a Dean supporter too, though she said she was thinking about switching to Kerry. I asked her why, and she explained that really she liked Dean better. After a little more discussion, she said that actually she would probably vote for Dean in her primary, and only for Kerry if it turned out to be between Kerry and someone else.


I like this conference. The sessions end at 3 pm so we can all go out and do fun stuff. We went kayaking out on the water today and it was beautiful. I liked going under the mangroves and getting up close to the birds and watching them calmly take off and glide overhead.

There is an amazing volunteer effort to produce and air radio ads for Dean in Virginia, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Donate to the cause and spread the word to everyone you know! Because the ads are totally produced by volunteers, these donations do not fall under the same restrictions as donations to an official political campaign -- non-citizens can donate, and there is no $2000 limit.

Even if you think Dean isn't going to win, remember this; the more support Dean has, the better the Democratic position will be in November. Dean leads; the rest follow. He has already done tremendous things for the Democratic party. Your support for him will continue to have a positive effect even if he doesn't win the nomination.