me

Doctor Who Companion typology

Over the course of watching through the surviving Classic Doctor Who stories in order with evilben and ophiomancer (we're currently about half-way through the Troughton (Second Doctor) era), it's occurred to us that just about all of the Doctor's companions fit the archetypes of the original three companions from the beginning of the show.

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Months, Seasons, and Names

The other day, I posted some vague musings on G+ on the haphazard appropriation of month and season names as personal names. In the names of Science!, I've decided to do some actual data analysis rather than just going off of anecdotal impressions and recollections. I'm looking at the Census names files (a compilation of the frequency of each personal name that shows up in at least 0.001% of the sample for each gender in the 1990 Census post-enumeration survey) and extrapolating the total number of people with each name in the US, based on the most recent Census bureau estimate of 148.5 million men and 152.9 million women total, and rounded to the nearest 500 to avoid implying too much false precision (the precision of my data is 0.001% of the sample, or about 1500).

NameMenWomen
Winter01,500
Spring03,000
Summer026,000
Autumn026,000
Fall00
January01500
February00
March00
April0235,500
May044,500
June0191,000
July00
August22,000 (*)0 (**)
September01,500
October00
November00
December00
Sunday01,500
Monday00
Tuesday00
Wednesday00
Thursday00
Friday00
Saturday00

(*) Plus 10,500 men named Augustine and 7,500 men named Augustus.
(**) But there's 15,000 women named Augusta, 4,500 named Augustina, and 3,000 named Augustine.

There's no doubt other variants (especially if you count "Julie" or "Julius" as variants of "July"), but for simplicity and objectivity I only counted obvious variants that turned up in a string search for the primary form.

For comparison, the 10th most common male name was "Thomas", with an estimated male population of 2,050,000 and an estimated female population of 4,500, and the 10th most common female name was "Dorothy", with an estimated female population of 1,112,000 and an estimated male population of 0.
me

Republic or a Democracy?

It's oft quoted that the United States is a Republic, not a Democracy, which apparently drives some political science professors nuts. Methinks the problem is one of overloaded terms. Dr. Taylor is correct both that 1) in modern political science parlance, the two terms are pretty much interchangeable, and 2) in the writings of Madison and other founding fathers, the distinction is not particularly relevant to modern political discourse. But in other connotations and shades of denotation, I do think there's a meaningful distinction to be drawn.

Backing off a bit, let's look at the origins and literal meanings of the words. Democracy is Greek (used to describe the civic government of Classical Athens before the coup of the 400 Tyrants), meaning "rule of the people" or "rule of the citizens", and Republic is corrupted Latin (used to describe the Roman government before the Caesars), originally "Res Publica" meaning roughly "public affairs" ("res" means thing, object, or affair, and "publica" means shared, open, public, or held in common). The word "commonwealth", although it has now taken on a different meaning (a loose confederation or economic union), started out as a calque of "res publica" into English and was used interchangably with "republic".

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Query on arguments for and against double-taxation of corporate income

I'm toying with some ideas for reform proposals for taxation of income from corporate investment, intended to address the common concerns on both sides of the issue. In order to do a proper job of this, I want to make sure I'm not misunderstanding or misrepresenting what these concerns are. I have a fairly high confidence level in my understanding of the common concerns that conservatives and libertarians have on this issue, but I'm somewhat less well qualified to speak for liberals and progressives. But many of you, my dear readers, are liberals or progressives yourselves, so I ask you to double-check my understanding, and to correct my errors and omissions.

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