Answers: US Statistics-Identification Puzzles

This filler text is intended to make it harder to accidentally see answers in post preview applications.
This map charts number of syllables in the name.

This map charts number of distinct main interstate freeways (number <100).

3) [note the posted ERRATUM]
This map charts number of counties of at least a million people.

This map charts number of national parks.

This map charts number of years before 19th Amendment ratification when women were granted suffrage.

This map charts length of the road named after the state in Washington, DC (miles).


6 US State Statistics-Identification Puzzles

ERRATUM: The quantity for California in item 3 should be 9, not 8.

What statistic is presented in each of these 6 maps?



ERRATUM (also at top of post): The quantity for California should be 9, not 8.




Did playing Pokémon Go cause me to memorize the Pokémon type chart?

Pokémon Go has been my first Pokémon game, one in which I wasn’t just watching others play. Today I realized Pokémon Go has caused me to actually seriously absorb and remember type effectivenesses in Pokémon, so I decided to set off to test myself to see how well I could produce the Pokémon type chart from memory.


I made 13 errors among the 18²=324 cells of the chart. You can also notice:

  1. my failure to properly count to 18 when making horizontal rows, and
  2. my subsequent attempt to replicate the order of the types in canonical order, at one point jumping to the end and moving backwards, and eventually resolving the confusion about the extra row.

I got both the row and the column completely correct for Normal, Fighting, Fire, Water, Ice, and Dragon. I made errors in both the row and the column for Bug, Ghost, and Psychic.

Want to contact me? A very quick guide to response speeds of means of communication.

[on average fastest]

1. Telegram (the app)
2. Signal
3. Discord
4. Phone Call (Why would this be slower? Because I may be somewhere I don’t want to take a phone call, that’s why.)
5. Zephyr

[everything above this line is quite fast, almost always at most 3 hours if I’m awake]

6. GChat
7. E-mail
8. Walking to the standard places I am in real life, and physically engaging in conversation, if you live in Cambridge
9. Making field art in Ingress that writes out the message you want to tell me
10. Snail mail
11. Slack
12. Literal telegram

[on average slowest]

What about iMessage? I’m convinced more than half of those don’t successfully arrive or depart.

Failures in Referential Nomenclature

Suppose you heard the term “inaccessible island rail”. What do you think this term refers to? When I heard it, my mind conjured an image of a train line that connected really inaccessible islands.

And that sounds weird. Did someone undertake a project just to create such a rail line? It sounds incredibly costly. And it also sounds like it’d be something cool enough that I would’ve heard about it by now. Nevertheless, what else could this term refer to?

It turns out that a rail is a type of bird. Go figure. So it’s a type of bird that only lives in really remote islands. That makes much more sense than the train situation. Okay.

Except that that isn’t even specifically what this species of bird is. It is a species of rail that only lives on one island, literally named Inaccessible Island. It’s slightly southwest of Tristan da Cunha.

So actually, I slightly lied in the text in the first paragraph, by lowercasing “inaccessible” and “island”. But here’s the thing: you don’t hear capitalization in verbal speech. The uppercase letter hints would not be available to you if someone was orally communicating the term for this bird species to you (and even if you were reading this in text, maybe you would’ve thought the capitalization was probably for other emphasis than to hint that it referred to an island literally named that way). Also note that whereas realizing ‘rail’ probably did not refer to the context of trains could have happened via considering the context of the sentence in which it is used, context would very likely not have helped hint at the ‘Inaccessible Island’ issue.

I claim that ‘Inaccessible Island’ is a poor choice of name for this island. Names should be useful, distinguishing handles, and this name is not that. It was an attempt to reference the island’s inaccessibility, but it decided to do so via a term that would naturally be used anyway to describe islands, thus vastly increasing possibilities of confounding in all terms that refer to it. Calling the sort of bird a ‘rail’ is also unhelpful, but this part is not as problematic, for the reasons stated above.

This sort of naming failure in attempting to make a reference or hint at a metaphor is pervasive in computer science. When looking back at my learning process for many ideas in computer science, I find that this was a massive reason I often got stuck or was confused. People that name tools or ideas relating to computers often try to give them names that refer to parallel entities or processes outside the world of computers, and in doing so make usage of terms often extremely ambiguous.

Continue reading “Failures in Referential Nomenclature”

Pokémon Go: a 0xGG Journey to Level 40

This past February 20 at 1228 Eastern Time, I spun the MIT SIPB PokéStop (the first PokéStop I spun in Pokémon Go) to reach 20000025 XP, thus ending a 543-day journey to Level 40. During this journey, I walked 2690.1 km (as logged by Pokémon Go), caught 36291 Pokémon, won 11487 battles, and obtained the gold gym badge at 13 gyms.



Here’s what the top of my Pokémon page looked like:


Here’s what the top of my Gyms page looked like:


This will be a post saturated with charts of relevant statistics, but unlike my previous posts partway along this Pokémon Go adventure, I will first talk a bit about my goals in this Pokémon Go journey, and thoughts and decisions along the way.

Since this post is long, I will give each section a short string that could be used to navigate to the section using Ctrl+f.

I. My Goals and Play Style [gaps]
II. Choices and Thoughts [chat]
III. All the Stats [alts]

I. My Goals and Play Style [gaps]

These were my decisions as to how I’d play Pokémon Go.

  1. Play against the stereotype of Team Instinct as the team that just merrily hatches eggs and doesn’t bother to fight for gym territory; help spread a presence of Team Instinct in gyms. [pats]
  2. Spend $0.00 on the game. [0x$$]
  3. Play at not just a community-accepted standard of ethics, but Niantic’s prescribed standard of ethics; play such as to approximate the experience of an actual Pokémon trainer. [nomap]
  4. Treat my Pokémon as well as I could, as far as possible while still participating in the essentials of Pokémon. [<3<3]
  5. Record ample statistics along the way such that eventually when I reach Level 40, this post would be possible. [++++]

Here’s some elaborations on these.

1. Play against the stereotype of Team Instinct as the team that just merrily hatches eggs and doesn’t bother to fight for gym territory; help spread a presence of Team Instinct in gyms. [pats]

This one’s probably sufficiently self-contained and self-explanatory.

2. Spend $0.00 on the game. [0x$$]

In the spirit of zero-cost gaming, I didn’t spend money towards Pokémon Go that I wouldn’t have wanted to if Pokémon Go did not exist. I decided that that means:

  • I never purchase in-game items with real money. All Pokécoins I ever had I earn through in-game mechanisms.
  • I never purchase a GoPlus.
  • I never purchase a battery pack, as I wouldn’t have spent money on that if I didn’t play Pokémon Go.
  • I don’t increase my data plan from my original 1 GB/month plan I had before starting to play Pokémon Go, and that 1 GB was to be shared with Ingress, as well as the non-gaming functions I perform on my phone.

It turned out that over 50% of my data usage (and over 75% of my battery usage) in many months was Pokémon Go, even when including Ingress. Of course, even though I never purchased a battery pack, I’ve gotten offered one several times; I decided if I actually get offered one I’ll allow myself to use one. Thanks, all you kind trainers.

Until the new gym system, I consistently had barely any Pokécoins, due to the Mystic dominance of my play area. The new system was a great relief for me, after which I consistently earned the ceiling of 50 Pokécoins nearly every day. To be frugal with Pokécoins, I only ever bought the following items:

  • Premium Raid Pass
  • Lucky Egg
  • 8x Lucky Egg
  • 25x Lucky Egg
  • Bag Upgrade
  • Pokémon Storage Upgrade

I prioritized purchasing Pokémon Storage Upgrade for quite a while (see item 4 [<3<3]), and only made my first Bag Upgrade purchase at Level 38. I never spent any Pokécoins on style, although now that I’m Level 40, I plan on eventually purchasing some outfit components. In total, I only ever purchased about 5 Premium Raid Passes.

Luckily, I live in an urban area. Without this, I may have needed to spend Pokécoins on Poké Balls, and I shudder at that thought. I’m pretty sure in such a world my $0.00 run to Level 40 would have been severely hampered, in more ways than one.

Also luckily, as I’ve been a busy MIT student anyway, most of my playing occurred walking from place to place within MIT’s campus, which allowed me to utilize MIT’s WiFi networks instead of data, as much as it was tempting to use the more reliable option. Playing Pokémon Go on campus mainly on WiFi has helped me discover the locations of all the WiFi holes on campus. For instance, there’s a lot of holes around the Cosmic Ray Chandeliers gym. Along with the high drift around that gym, it makes playing there often quite frustrating. Also, Building 36 is nearly always a pain to play while walking through, due to the different main WiFi network, since RLE isn’t happy using the main MIT WiFi network for some reason.

Continue reading “Pokémon Go: a 0xGG Journey to Level 40”

Four Level-Ups in Ingress

I reached Level 15 in Ingress yesterday. As I’ve mentioned before, Ingress is wonderful with the comprehensiveness of the set of statistics they present in profile, which means that where I would usually be processing quite some statistics, Ingress has done that for me, and I just have to take profile-screenshots.

Here are screenshots of my profiles upon my last four level-ups. Yes, I reached the badge requirement for Level 12 after I reached the experience requirement for Level 13.



Continue reading “Four Level-Ups in Ingress”