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Potential or is dU=delQ-delW all that we will see?

With the US presidential election behind us, one hears people saying they can now focus on "stuff" that had been neglected for months on end. I don't think that is possible, even if the time interval between said neglect and promised focus is very small. I am not trying to get into any philosophical or existentialist discussions here at all. The change that has been the promise of Obama's campaign is something one is waiting for with bated breath. What change are we going to see in science funding? Are we going to see more women in decision making positions? Is the salary gap between women and men going to be a faint memory? Are we going to see extraordinary women who are stuck in the super-postdoc trenches being given their due? But before we move to that realm of discussion, I think it is important to take a moment to think about what change actually means in the context of this most recent ballot process. If the US voter was being more open to change as demonstrated by the election outcome, how is it that one of the most liberal states, California, ended up banning same sex marriages? It does not compute, does it? It tells us that bigotry is rife. That it is breathing easily even as Obama swept the polls. Which makes one want to look at all this even more closely - ratio of popular votes (which is basically every vote cast, and therefore opinion, being counted) Obama:McCain::1.1:1; ratio of electoral votes 2.2:1. So what does that indicate? Hmmm...? You could interpret the popular vote data and say well, change is just infintesimal. And how will that affect the addressing of gender related issues mentioned above?

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