Sometime earlier this month, the human population is reckoned to have reached the milestone of 8 billion. So, congratulations to us, I guess? We humans dominate the planet. The majority of Earth's good land has been taken over by us. We've increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 50%. The mass of … Continue reading 8 billion
No voting system is perfect, but one of the worst systems that is even remotely compatible with democracy is the one known as first-past-the-post. In the simplest form of this system, each voter gets one vote per contest. A contest may have more than two candidates. The candidate with the most votes wins, even if … Continue reading How to vote in a late-stage two-party system
The other day, I was browsing some scans of 30-year-old issues of InfoWorld magazine. As one does. And I happened upon one of the very first advertisements for Norton AntiVirus: What a different world it was back then! The ad is from the inside front cover of the March 11, 1991 issue: Internet Archive linkGoogle … Continue reading When a world needs a hero
This post was inspired by me having watched too many flat Earth debunking videos on YouTube. It's my second such post, though I didn't advertise that fact in my first one: How fast does the Sun move? While I'm pretty sure the Earth isn't flat, I sometimes wish the debunkers -- the round Earthers -- … Continue reading Formulas for “drop”
I see that the Cleveland Indians baseball team is finally going to change their nickname. I think that's probably a good thing. For one thing, the word "Indians" is ambiguous, and you wouldn't want to accidentally demean people from South Asia, when you're trying to demean people from North America. They say they haven't chosen … Continue reading The Cleveland baseball team
Certain types of people like to ask the question "Why is a progressive tax fair?" The inevitable answer given is "marginal utility!" The theory is that if a rich person and a poor person both have to pay an extra 50 spacebucks (or whatever currency is used in your realm) in taxes, it doesn't reduce … Continue reading Why is a ______ tax fair?
I always assumed that pretty much everyone knew that the phrase "I could care less" doesn't make literal sense. I assumed it was simply an unfortunate shortened form of "I couldn't care less". I think it's popular because it has better cadence. It might be helped along by the likely element of sarcasm in it. … Continue reading I could care less about your word crimes
Sometimes we can't have nice things, just because the nice thing is difficult to state clearly in words. For example, the record low daily high temperature for this date is arguably just as meaningful as the record high daily high. But the weatherman never tells us the record low high, probably because it would confuse … Continue reading The oldest living former X
I've read a number of lists of frequently misspelled words, and I always end up thinking "Really? That doesn't match my experience at all. If your methodology says that supersede is misspelled more often than its, then I think you need a new methodology." Of course, context matters. Professional writers misspell different words than internet … Continue reading My list of frequently misspelled words
Hello all you happy people.