Posts in Musing
CCSearch State Space Algo

While toying with automated Fantasy Sports trading systems, I ended up designing a rapid state search algorithm that was suitable for a variety of constrained knapsack-like problems. Here is a discussion of the algorithm and a link to a reference implementation on github.

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MusingK.M. Halpern
How 22% of the Population can Rewrite the Constitution

This is a scary piece in which I analyze precisely how many voters would be required to trigger a Constitutional Convention and ratify any amendments it proposes. Because the 2/3 and 3/4 requirements in the Constitution refer to the number of States involved, the smaller States have a disproportionate effect. In Congress, the House counterbalances this – but for a Constitutional Convention, there is no such check.

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MusingK.M. Halpern
A Travel-Time Metric

Especially in urban areas, two locations may be quite close geographically but difficult to travel between. I wondered whether one could create a map where, instead of physical distances, points are arranged according to some sort of travel-time between them. This would be useful for many purposes.

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MusingK.M. Halpern
Probabilistic Sentencing

I propose adopting a sentencing mechanism based on a probabilistic assessment of guilt or innocence. This allows jurists to better express their certainty or lack thereof than does our traditional all-or-nothing verdict.

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MusingK.M. Halpern
A System for Fairness in Sentencing

We often hear of cases that offend our sense of fairness – excessive sentences, minor crimes that are punished more severely than serious crimes, or two equivalent crimes that are punished very differently. We consider the question of whether mathematically a well-intentioned individual can assign sentences in a way that seems reasonable and consistent to him.  

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MusingK.M. Halpern
Influence in Voting

Have you ever wondered what really is meant by a “deciding vote” on the Supreme Court or a “swing State” in a presidential election? These terms are bandied about by the media, but their meaning isn’t obvious. After all, every vote is equal, isn’t it?

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MusingK.M. Halpern