Ow, Bone Pain

(Context: K. Li was considering documenting instances in songs of the lyric format “from ______ to ______” (for instance, “from Bangkok to Calgary”) to indicate willingness to travel far. I mentioned a potential notable pair of locations to use, and he dared me to write a song using it. Here it is.)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And memories to wane?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
‘Till they scream “Ow, bone pain!”?

Ow, ow, bone pain, ow, ow bone pain
Ow, owie, ow, bone pain!
Ow, owie, ouch, ow, owie, ow,
Ow, owie, ow, bone pain!

We two have paddled in the brook
Whether in sun or rain
But paddling now is very ouch
Because of the bone pain!

Yet pain of bone can’t take one down
Or quench the friendship flame
I’d paddle ‘cross an ocean large
To see you. Ow, bone pain!

From Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­goge-
ry­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­ty-
silio­gogo­goch to Tau-
matawhakatangi-

hangakoauauotama-
tea­turipuka-
kapikimaunga­horonu-
kupokaiwhen­ua-

kitanatahu I would sail
So we’d unite again
And think of all the good ol’ days
When seeking the good pain

So here extends a hand of mine
And there a hand of thain
Extending ‘cross an ocean far
And causing more bone pain.

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American Presidential Primaries: Campaigns

The following is a juxtaposition of the current and the previous three US presidential primary seasons for the Democratic and Republican parties, in days relative to the Iowa caucus. Each + indicates a campaign’s announcement and each – indicates a campaign’s withdrawal.

Day Obama/McCain election Obama/Romney election Trump/Clinton election This election
Iowa-1100
Iowa-1090
Iowa-1081 +Donald Trump
Iowa-1070
Iowa-1060
Iowa-1050
Iowa-1040
Iowa-1030
Iowa-1020
Iowa-1010
Iowa-1000
Iowa-990
Iowa-980
Iowa-970
Iowa-960
Iowa-950
Iowa-940
Iowa-930
Iowa-920 +John Delaney
Iowa-910
Iowa-900
Iowa-890
Iowa-880
Iowa-870
Iowa-860
Iowa-850
Iowa-840
Iowa-830
Iowa-819 +Andrew Yang
Iowa-810
Iowa-800
Iowa-790
Iowa-780
Iowa-790
Iowa-760
Iowa-750
Iowa-740
Iowa-730
Iowa-720
Iowa-710
Iowa-700
Iowa-690
Iowa-680
Iowa-670
Iowa-660
Iowa-650
Iowa-640
Iowa-626 +Mike Gravel
Iowa-620
Iowa-610
Iowa-600
Iowa-590
Iowa-580
Iowa-570
Iowa-560
Iowa-550
Iowa-540
Iowa-530
Iowa-520
Iowa-510
Iowa-500
Iowa-490
Iowa-480
Iowa-470
Iowa-460
Iowa-449 +Richard Ojeda
Iowa-440
Iowa-430
Iowa-420
Iowa-410
Iowa-400
Iowa-388 +Tulsi Gabbard
Iowa-387 +Dennis Kucinich +Julian Castro
Iowa-378 +Kamala Harris
Iowa-374 -Richard Ojeda
Iowa-373 +John Edwards
Iowa-371 +Marianne Williamson
Iowa-367 +Cory Booker
Iowa-359 +Elizabeth Warren
Iowa-358 +Amy Klobuchar
Iowa-357 +Chris Dodd
Iowa-353 +Bill Weld
Iowa-349 +Bernie Sanders
Iowa-348 +Sam Brownback
Iowa-343 +Hillary Clinton
+Duncan Hunter
Iowa-340 +Mike Huckabee
Iowa-339 +Jay Inslee
Iowa-337 +Joe Biden
Iowa-336 +John Hickenlooper
Iowa-327 +Barack Obama
Iowa-326 +Beto O’Rourke
Iowa-324 +Mitt Romney
Iowa-323 +Kirsten Gillibrand
Iowa-322 +Rudy Giuliani
Iowa-315 +Ted Cruz
Iowa-312 +Wayne Messam
Iowa-305 +Tim Ryan
Iowa-301 +Mike Gravel
+Eric Swalwell
Iowa-300 +Rand Paul
Iowa-298 TODAY
Iowa-297 +Ron Paul
Iowa-295 +Hillary Clinton
Iowa-294 +Marco Rubio
Iowa-277 +Tommy Thompson +Bernie Sanders
Iowa-276 +Tom Tancredo
Iowa-274 +Barack Obama +Ben Carson
Iowa-273 +Carly Fiorina
Iowa-272 +Mike Huckabee
Iowa-257 +Gary Johnson
Iowa-253 +John McCain
Iowa-252 +Jim Gilmore
Iowa-250 +Rick Santorum
Iowa-249 +George Pataki
Iowa-247 +Martin O’Malley
Iowa-245 +Lindsey Graham
Iowa-243 +Lincoln Chafee
Iowa-242 +Rick Perry
Iowa-239 +Newt Gingrich
Iowa-237 +Ron Paul
Iowa-235 +Tim Pawlenty
Iowa-231 +Jeb Bush
Iowa-230 +Donald Trump
Iowa-227 +Bill Richardson +Herman Cain
Iowa-222 +Bobby Jindal
Iowa-216 +Chris Christie
Iowa-215 +Mitt Romney
Iowa-214 +Jim Webb
Iowa-211 +Rick Santorum
Iowa-204 +Michele Bachmann
Iowa-203 +Scott Walker
Iowa-196 +Jon Huntsman
Iowa-195 +John Kasich
Iowa-186 +Thaddeus McCotter +Jim Gilmore
Iowa-180
Iowa-173 -Jim Gilmore
Iowa-160
Iowa-148 +Lawrence Lessig
Iowa-145 -Tommy Thompson
Iowa-143 +Rick Perry -Rick Perry
Iowa-142 -Tim Pawlenty
Iowa-133 -Scott Walker
Iowa-120 +Fred Thompson
Iowa-111 +Alan Keyes
Iowa-104 -Jim Webb
Iowa-103 -Thaddeus McCotter
Iowa-101 -Lincoln Chafee
Iowa-91 -Lawrence Lessig
Iowa-76 -Sam Brownback -Bobby Jindal
Iowa-70
Iowa-60
Iowa-50
Iowa-42 -Lindsey Graham
Iowa-34 -George Pataki
Iowa-31 -Herman Cain
Iowa-20
Iowa-14 -Tom Tancredo
Iowa-6 -Gary Johnson
Iowa Caucus -Chris Dodd
-Joe Biden
-Mike Huckabee
-Martin O’Malley
Iowa+1 -Michele Bachmann
Iowa+2 -Rand Paul
-Rick Santorum
Iowa+7 -Bill Richardson
Iowa+9 -Carly Fiorina
-Chris Christie
Iowa+11 -Jim Gilmore
Iowa+13 -Jon Huntsman
Iowa+13 -Rick Perry
Iowa+16 -Duncan Hunter
Iowa+19 -Fred Thompson -Jeb Bush
Iowa+21 -Dennis Kucinich
Iowa+27 -John Edwards
-Rudy Giuliani
Iowa+32 -Ben Carson
Iowa+35 -Mitt Romney
Iowa+43 -Marco Rubio
Iowa+50
Iowa+61 -Mike Huckabee
Iowa+70
Iowa+83 -Mike Gravel
Iowa+92 -Ted Cruz
Iowa+93 -John Kasich
Iowa+98 -Rick Santorum
Iowa+103 -Alan Keyes
Iowa+110
Iowa+120 -Newt Gingrich
Iowa+130
Iowa+140
Iowa+150
Iowa+156 -Hillary Clinton
Iowa+161 -Ron Paul
Iowa+170
Iowa+180

 

Automation Creating Other Jobs Rather than Just Taking Away Jobs is not a Good Argument Against UBI

It is often argued that robots are not here to take your jobs because robots themselves open new opportunities for jobs while they make certain jobs obsolete. This is often used as an argument against Universal Basic Income (UBI).

One level at which this argument is invalid is that shifting from one job to another is still nowhere near easy, and a Universal Basic Income helps provide a padding for the time spent undergoing this shift and gaining the appropriate skills for the next job.

There’s another problem with using this as an argument against UBI, though: the process of automation creates economic efficiency, providing the owner of the machines massive value from machines’ significant reliability advantages over people. Without the UBI, the owner of the machines, probably someone already quite well off, reaps all the monetary benefit of automation, when the economic benefits of automation should be reaped by all the people. People should be looking forward to the stage in the progress of society when, due to the brilliance of innovators and engineers past, the infrastructure is created to be able to sustain a world where people do not have to work to have a baseline living: with how impressive robots are, this shouldn’t be considered a radical idea. It’ll be a while until we get there, but the people should know how far on the way there we are from how many jobs are fulfilled by robots, and people should demand that they get their fair share of the value created by automation—value added not from the pain of labor of any human—and that as the GDP of a nation climbs up propelled by automation, it isn’t just that the worth of the people who own the machines increases while the rest stay where they are.

Jobs should exist because things need to get done, not because humans morally must work. If more things are getting done by machines, humans deserve to need to work less.

I now have a third reason to hate π day.

I’d like to start by disclaiming that I am in the camp of people that considers τ the correct circle constant. This does not constitute one of the reasons I hate π day. It’s something that I think is the wrong choice, but it doesn’t make me hate it.

The first reason I hated π day was that it’s a brutal and arbitrary bastardization of a beautiful mathematical construct. Celebrating π on March 14 is like celebrating Labor Day on January 4 because “14” is the 1337ification of “la”, the first letters in ‘Labor Day’. Celebrating π on the 22nd day of the 7th month of some sort of year would at least be celebrating π on numbers that represent a significant rational approximation, and not just an arbitrary cutoff in a string of digits. On top of this, though, π day is conceived on the coincidence of the digits in a decimal approximation of π imposed on a calendar that’s religiously conceived; this imposes non-secularity onto math.

The second reason I hated π day was because of its role in painting nerds in the general public vision. π day has somehow become one of the ways most people are most exposed to what they would see as nerdiness. It has definitely somehow taken an exclusive pedestal as the holiday of nerds. And thus, common traditions of π day easily become what people see as the center of nerd culture. And what are these traditions? Things like memorizing digits of π and obsessing about circles in weirdly fetishistic ways. There are far cooler and more awesome things to be associated with being nerdy that could be the façade of nerdy communities to the general world, but π day puts on display the silliest possible facet.

And now, there is a new third reason: the way π day has become commercialized and appropriated. Walking around on π day is now a rapidfire march of cringe, filled with silly substitutions of π wherever the string ‘pi’ comes up in a word. See, πzza sale! The joke’s that the word ‘pizza’ starts with ‘pi’, get it? Haha, so funny! Seriously, though, these substitutions were funny the first time we saw them. And then they stopped being so. They only ever look forced now. It is so freaking old. Please stop. (I promise I’m not just bitter that I’m allergic to most pizzas and pies.)

Happy birthday to Albert Einstein, everyone.

A Gallery of the Grotesque: America’s Current Most Finely Gerrymandered Districts

It’s almost time for another census, which means it’s only a couple more years until the current congressional districts are gone, so for now, let’s anti-celebrate the most blatantly gerrymandered Congressional districts the United States currently has.

Here’s a Top 20, ranked by the rigorous scientific metric of my subjective opinion. Since one district being gerrymandered typically implies another district (on the other side of an unusually serpentine line) looks so as well, I only include districts that are gerrymandered significantly locally independent of other included districts, optimizing for the most gerrymandered district landing on this list. For instance, if the hypothetical state of Hyperbolicarkansas has borders of clear gerrymandering between district 1 and district 2, as well as between district 2 and district 3, but no other such borders for district 1 and district 3, I’ll include district 2 and not districts 1 and 3. If Hyperbolicarkansas also has such borders between districts 4 and 5, 5 and 6, and 6 and 7, I may choose to include 4 and 6, 5 and 6, or 5 and 7, depending on which is the most incredible pair.

20. Ohio’s 1st
File:Ohio US Congressional District 1 (since 2013).tif
19. Louisiana’s 6th

18. Alabama’s 7th

17. California’s 21st

16. Massachusetts’s 7th
Massachusetts US Congressional District 7 (since 2013).tif
15. Michigan’s 14th

16. Texas’s 14th

13. Texas’s 33rd

12. Texas’s 18th

11. Maryland’s 8th
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Maryland_US_Congressional_District_8_%28since_2013%29.tif/lossless-page1-350px-Maryland_US_Congressional_District_8_%28since_2013%29.tif.png
10. New York’s 10th

9. South Carolina’s 6th

8. Maryland’s 4th
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/36/Maryland_US_Congressional_District_4_%28since_2013%29.tif/lossless-page1-800px-Maryland_US_Congressional_District_4_%28since_2013%29.tif.png
7. Ohio’s 13th

6. Illinois’s 4th

5. Texas’s 2nd

4. Texas’s 35th

3. Ohio’s 3rd

2. Maryland’s 2nd
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/Maryland_US_Congressional_District_2_%28since_2013%29.tif/lossless-page1-800px-Maryland_US_Congressional_District_2_%28since_2013%29.tif.png
1. Maryland’s 3rd
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/28/Maryland_US_Congressional_District_3_%28since_2013%29.tif/lossless-page1-800px-Maryland_US_Congressional_District_3_%28since_2013%29.tif.png