Blog

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 ...

On The Pros and Cons of Brain Uploading September 20th, 2011

First, some definition of terms. When I talk about brain uploading, I mean making a copy of the brain with virtual neurons, virtual chemicals and virtual chemical receptors. I’m also starting with the premise that this virtual copy contains that nebulous quantity I’ll dub “youness”, though obviously that’s up for debate. I ...

What I Want Out of Superman August 08th, 2011

Superman has always bugged me. The idea of dressing up in a special outfit and going to fight crime I can sort of understand, but it makes more sense for Batman than for Superman. Batman devotes nearly his whole life to fighting crime; even those token times spent as Bruce Wayne serve mostly ...

One Sentence Book Reviews, 2011, pt. 2 August 05th, 2011

I’ve gotten through another twenty books since last time. This puts me about a month ahead of schedule in my reading, which means that I might just have time to read Infinite Jest after all. The Magicians by Lev Grossman – Cynical and somehow still wondrous, and offers a nice variety of emotional impacts. Bossypants by ...

When Life Begins July 11th, 2011

Let me be upfront: this whole blog post is about how much I hate the phrase “Life begins at conception”. The problem is twofold. First, it’s incredibly ambiguous. “Life” can mean a whole bunch of things. I believe when pro-life people use the term, they mean it in the sense of “continuity of ...

Scroll to top