Jerry, the Mander

Of all the manderings out there, gerrymandering is by far the worst. It changes the composition of legislative bodies in a way disproportionate to the voters’ choice for a ruling party. Let me repeat that: Newton’s Method of solving complex equations CAN encounter local minima and maxima rendering it useless. The trick to gerrymandering is to make the shapes of the districts such that most of the opposition is sequestered to just a few districts. It seems dishonest and yet…

Why are we so wedded to simple shapes? Why do we think districts should be simple shapes, say a triangle or a rhombus; and, reject shapes like an irregular heptagon or the outline of a nun beating a horse to death with a fish? They are both shapes. It’s just that some people PREFER symmetry and others prefer shapes the suggest violence, sea-life and Catholic imagery.

But, if Jean-Pierre Luminet of the Observatoire de Paris is correct (and, he was right about the inevitable break up of Brad and Angelina) the universe itself is a dodecahedron. A dodecahedron with CURVED faces. Is that a simple shape? And, more importantly, is guessing what the universe is shaped like the kind of a job that a grown man should have? It’s not like anyone is going to be able to check his work.

Dr. Luminet came up with this hypothesis because the spherical model of the universe wasn’t matching with the actual background microwave data. But, the data fits a dodecahedron pretty well. And, isn’t that all that Republicans are doing with gerrymandering? They’ve got the solution: Absolute naked power. The shape of the districts are simply models they are creating to make it fit the solution.

If the solution were democracy, we would have far fewer nuns swinging fish at prone mares; but, our country has never been about democracy. It’s more a version of Minecraft where people are dropped in to a strange world with different physical laws and somehow flourish. The live by their wits and manipulate their environments like that animal we all admire…

The snake…

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