True or false?

Background: The geometry problem pictured below, which popped up in my Twitter feed, was originally assigned on a seven-year-old’s math homework. For my part, I thought at first that the answer had to be “false,” but after seeing some of the replies in this fascinating thread, a thread which contains many deep mathematical insights, I have changed my answer to “true”!

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 9.29.11 AM
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PSA: vaccine distribution should be FCFS

I agree with the sentiment of my colleague Andrew Fleischman (@ASFleischman), who tweeted the following rhetorical question: “… I wonder how vaccine rollout would have gone if it was just first come, first serve[?]” The answer, of course, is pretty clear: the people who really wanted the vaccines would have received them first. Most of the replies to Fleischman’s tweet, however, are clueless. (At the very least, young ladies won’t have to pretend to be grannies to get a vaccine! See here.)

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Lego Colosseum

The Lego image pictured below is from Dr Abigail Graham (@abby_fecit), an archaeology-minded historian and Romanophile. Her article is titled: “Reconstructing the Past: Lego Colosseum & 8 reasons why Lego is great training for an archaeologist.” Source:

Hat tip: @pickover
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Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate: a cultural history of the punch card

That is the title of this classic paper by Steven Lubar, which was published in 1992 in Volume 15 of The Journal of American Culture. What other arcane or obsolete physical objects are deserving of having their cultural histories told? (hat tip: chad wellmon, @cwellmon)

Punch card
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What is Bitcoin?

Which one?! My “bitcoin prior” is that Bitcoin is insanely-overvalued, that it’s a purely speculative “bubble” akin to the South Sea Bubble of 1720 or the even more famous episode of Tulip mania in 17th-Century Amsterdam. Now that I see this “map of bitcoin forks” (pictured below), in which direction should I update my bitcoin prior? As an aside, I wrote about the taxation of Bitcoin here, and here is a bonus Bitcoin video (starring Remy):

Hat tip: @SimonDeDeo
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Taxonomy of pillar styles

I am considering adding a new “Taxonomy Tuesdays” section as a regular feature on this blog. In the meantime, enjoy …

Hat tip: @pickover
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Taxonomy of dad vibes

This tongue-in-cheek taxonomy is across three dimensions: cartoon avatar, leisure-time activity, and footwear. What other dimensions might be important, e.g. latest-book read, type of car, etc.?

Hat tip: Jared Cook (@jkimballcook)
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Is John Rawls overrated?

Probably–after all, Rawls’ “reflective equilibrium” concept is pure philosophical nonsense, and the inferences he draws from his “original position/veil of ignorance” thought-experiment are unsound. (If you disagree, ask John Harsanyi.) Nevertheless, in honor of what would’ve been Rawls’ 100th birthday (21 Feb. 2021), the Boston Review just published ten new essays to commemorate the occasion. Also, my colleague Larry Solum honors the late Rawls here.

Image credit: The Philosopher’s Shelf
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Two cheers for Cuban surfers

What’s it like to be a surfer in Cuba, a country without a single surf shop? Check out the new documentary film HAVANA LIBRE (trailer below), which premiered on Feb. 19, opening night of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana. More details about this project are available here.

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Black history is our history

The great John Lewis would have been 81 years old today! Here is the speech he gave in August of 1963 immediately before MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech:

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