It was a long journey for me, but a very important one. My introduction began in 1967...I was freshly discharged from 3 years in the U.S.Army ... he back in college beginning my junior year at Montana State University (Bozeman, MT). My instructor was a fellow student from NYC (Queens), had the good fortune of learning about Objectivism while still in high school, and then teaching it to me.
It taught me the importance of learning about and physically exploring the world. [ The rest, as they say, is history. ]
So, if you've read and disgested the open-source nut-shell-history (above), you now understand why those of us who are open-source advocates prefer Google's open-source-based 'Android' OS' and 'Chrome OS', to Apple's 'iOS'. We're NOT claiming Android is functionally better or more popular...but rather we're just paying tribute to the fact that Google continues to make full source code available for their OSes, while Apple continues to engineer their smartphone/tablet "iOS" operating system using closed, proprietary codebases..
Similarly, the open-source nature of the Linux OS continues to benefit serious academics and developers in software engineering. It is the paradigm example of open-source products.
Ok, read this relevant real-world article: a comparison of Apple iOS (closed-source) vs Google Android OS (open-source)Android vs iOS
The concept of open-source software is implemented as a software repository, at the GitHub website. One of it's most recent announcements is here
I hope you took the time to read thru that writeup. This too is all about why open-source software is so important and why the practice of issuing software patents really ought to be discontinued.
The bottom line is that his story shows how easy it is for some over-zealous lawyers to confuse things to the point where a relatively naive and innocent creative person can run afoul of our laws and see only one way out. (Sigh.)
Here's a history lesson summary of the origins of the US Electoral College.
Here's an explanation of battleground / swing states
I agree with Chris, and I have an additional TURNOUT issue. Here's a relevant test question: "How many of the 50 states are NOT ''winner-take-all"? The (surprising?) answer is: Just TWO! (Maine and Nebraska...they apportion the popular vote to their party-voting-members, who will attend and vote to select that party's candidate at the party-convention.)
So, now contemplate the ramifications of this rule! This is what RED and BLUE states are all about...and why the TURNOUT in the national election is so low! The large state of California is quite BLUE. So, say you were planning to vote REPUBLICAN in that DEMOCRAT-leaning state. Or conversely, say you live in Oklahoma, and were thinking of voting for the DEMOCRAT in that REPUBLICAN-leaning state. The research data on this thesis indicate that what happens is that many such voters suddenly realize that all of the votes in their state's electoral college are gonna be cast against their choice, so that they tend to say to themself "F*ck it...I've got better things to do than spend time in the voting line...why bother...my (single vote) preference can't possibly win in this state....I can rest assured that ALL my state's electoral votes are gonna go to the person who I am NOT planning to vote for." [ And, conversly, if you favor the dominant part'sy candidate, you'll conclude that your vote will be superfluous...that your dominant party's marjority is going to win, so your vote can't possible flip the outcome. ]
Bottom line, only the votes from citizens of the 'battleground states' (aka 'swing states') are going to deternine the outcome of the election.
Here's a discussion about how your state may have affected the election outcome in 2016.
If you care about the exact details, the actual data shows that there was a "negative zero-point-five [ -0.5 ] statistical correlation" in the 2016 presidential election, between turnout in the red-est and blue-est states, and turnout in closely-balanced (aka ''swing" / "battleground" / "purple" states). [ Here's a math-statistics review in layman's terms: Correlations can range from negative one-point-zero (-1.0) to positive one-point-zero (+1.0). A 0.0 correlation thus means 'no correlation/no-relationship', whereas a 1.0 means 'exactly-correlated'. When variables are plus/positively correlated, it means the values move in same direction with each other. When variables are minus/negatively- correlated, the values move in opposite directions from each other. ]
Ergo: If we were to get rid of the electoral college (and switch to just having the popular vote of the whole country determine the winner), the voter turnout in America would thus IMPROVE significantly! This idea is a no-brainer...let's go make it happen. (To do this, each state needs to separately vote to drop out of using the electoral college, and three-fourths (38 of 50) of the states would need vote for that, to amend the constitution to declare the electoral college null and void.) [Alas...as a cynic, I doubt this will ever get changed. Sigh.]
For completeness, here is an article and chart, showing the voter turnout percentages among the world's democratic countries: Turnout comparison info
The whitewater came last...which I began at age 52. Long before that, I had acquired both private-pilot and sailplane-pilot licenses, made 380+ skydives (never even needing to deploy that "reserve" parachute), and co-owned a 33-foot racing sailboat, which we sailed in Lake Winnepisaukee, and in the Atlantic, off both the Maine and Florida coasts.
It was the whitewater-kayaking that TRULY resonated. After graduating into class IV water, some sort of Zen-like experience began happening. You can get to a calm state mentally/normal-breath-rate, even while bombing thru big-water rapids.What a dance it is