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State of My Various Writing Projects, Pt. 2 May 21st, 2014

That this subject needs a part two is surely proof something – either self-doubt or my inability to stay engaged with something for very long. Here are the other things sitting in my various Google Docs folders: The Time Detectives I love time travel. It’s one of my favorite fictional concepts. The elevator pitch is that in ...

State of My Various Writing Projects May 17th, 2014

I like to write, but I have a problem with starting new projects and not finishing them. It’s not that I lose interest, it’s more that I write and write until my head gets all turned around and I have no idea whether what I’ve just written is any good. Sometimes I’ll know just how ...

Just What the Heck is Non-Monotonicity? February 20th, 2012

I am still working on the remaining analysis of Duluth municipal elections – hold your horses! – but I thought that as a breather I would talk about something that comes up a lot when people are talking about switching over to instant-runoff voting. Normally I would use the term ranked-choice voting, which it the ...

Would Ranked-Choice Voting Make a Difference in Duluth Municipal Elections? Part 2 February 19th, 2012

Last time I looked at single-winner elections, this time I will be looking at the multi-seat elections. Note that what’s actually being proposed is more properly called “single transferable vote”, but I’ll be calling it ranked-choice voting in order to maintain consistency. The multi-winner version does rely on ranking choices, so it’s not a total ...

Would Ranked-Choice Voting Make a Difference in Duluth Municipal Elections? Part 1 February 17th, 2012

There is a fairly good chance that the City Council of Duluth will be putting ranked-choice voting (AKA instant-runoff voting) up for referendum sometime in the next five years. I sat in at one of the City Council meetings last week and listened to a task force Mayor Ness had formed talk about whether ...

Supreme Court Decision a Day: Roe v Wade February 11th, 2012

The vast majority of Supreme Court decisions are actually about pretty boring stuff. There’s case set to be heard in a couple of days, Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific which will determine whether the payment for translation services extends to the payments for translating text documents. The case is over a matter of slightly more than ...

Supreme Court Decision a Day: Brown v Board of Education February 10th, 2012

So I recently started reading Supreme Court opinions. This initially started when I was busy proving someone wrong on the internet, but I was quite surprised to find that they’re (mostly) very human-readable. I suppose I just assumed that SCOTUS opinions were going to be arcane and incomprehensible, and so I had never read one. ...

Books Read 2011 Data Mining January 11th, 2012

Sometimes I wish that I’d taken more stats, so that I could do some better plotting of data. Either way, the sample of books I read in 2011 is probably too small to be meaningful. However, just for kicks, here’s some data in chart form. Authors This graph by nationality is pretty unsurprising, as all of the ...

One Sentence Book Reviews, 2011, pt. 3 January 01st, 2012

This is the third part of a three-part series. Part one, part two are available for perusing. I finished up the last book of the year at 10:20 PM on 12/31/2011, just barely meeting my self-imposed goal of sixty books for the year. I did National Novel Writing Month for November, which slowed me ...

Data-Mining My Reddit Comment History September 26th, 2011

Alright, so I was cruising reddit the other day and found a python script that mines through your comment history and pulls all that information into a text file. I immediately did so. One small downside of this is that only the last three months of comment history are stored for access from ...

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