Content-Type: text/shitpost

Subject: Blog posts that probably won't make it
Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!gormenghast​!extro​!forbin​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-28T16:20:57
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.graveyard
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Content-Type: text/shitpost

I think I once estimated that around one-third of the blog posts I start writing never see publication, for one reason or another.

(Some do surprise me by flowering years later.)

I commit them to the repo anyway. Recently committed:

  1. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank did a study about racially-restrictive clauses in real estate deeds between 1920 and 1933, and this turned up in the newspaper. The paper tried to suggest that the neighborhoods with the greatest incidence of these rules were still the ones most segregated 100 years later. I spent a lot of time extracting and analyzing data, and eventually ran out of steam because I felt that the original claim was too vague to refute, and the available data wasn't good enough to draw any useful conclusions anyway.

  2. I was thinking about the (not-exactly-a-joke) claim that

    A monad is just a monoid in the category of endofunctors

    and I realized hey, if I try to explain the minimal amount necessary to understand what that means, and not try to drag in all of category theory, I could probably do it clearly and briefly.

    Then I tried and didn't succeed.

  3. This third article is really hard to summarize and all I am going to say about it is that it identifies a commonality between a not-available-in-stores gizmo for improving eyesight, a Jughead comic I read as a child, and the presidential campaign of Michael Bloomberg. I would love to finish this because it might be stupid but gosh, at least you weren't going to read it anywhere else.

  4. My work on designing the most dissonant possible musical scale has stalled in peripheral technical issues.

  5. The saga of Fenchurch the Octopus and Philadelphia Traffic Court, mostly as told by my wife.

  6. Yet another article about what goes wrong when I try to write Haskell programs. Except I think I may have figured this one out at last!

  7. Let !!G(n)!! be the (standard) Gray code for the number !!n!!. This is a permutation of the integers !!0\ldots 2^{n}-1!!. What's the period of this permutation? (Spoiler: extremely short!)

  8. A long article about the seaports on the Great Lakes and how the one on Saginaw Bay is mysteriously missing. Except that it's not, it's called Saginaw.

That's just this month. Also Shreevatsa R. sent me a very significant update to the Kurt Gödel loophole in the U.S. Constitution series, and I really want to write some articles about Milton Street, Willie Singletary, Vanessa Lowery Brown, Movita Johnson-Harrell, and the rest of the Philadelphia local-government-to-prison pipeline, but those aren't incomplete because I haven't started them.