How Many Of You Are There, Really?

We’re now accustomed to hearing, “We’re all special in our own unique ways.” But what if we weren’t really aren’t all that unique? Many people think there are no more than two political opinions, maybe a handful of religious beliefs, and certainly no more than one way to characterize a hack. But despite this controversy in other aspects as life, at least we can all rely on the uniqueness of our individual names. Or can you?

You ever thought there were too many people named [insert name here]? Well, [Nicole] thought there were too many people who shared her name in her home country of Belgium and decided to make an art piece out of it.

She was able to find data on the first names of people in Belgium and wrote a Python script…er…used Excel to find the number of Nicoles in each zip code. She then created a 3D map of Belgium divided into each province with the height of each province proportional to the number of Nicoles in that area. A pretty simple print job that any standard 3D printer can probably do these days.

Not much of a “do something” hack, but could make for a cool demotivational ornament that will constantly remind us just how unique we really are.

Happy hacking!

40 thoughts on “How Many Of You Are There, Really?

  1. > Many people think there are no more than two political opinions

    O’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.

    1. I believe that. I used to be a Barry Goldwater Conservative until Kent State happened. That changed it all for me. I am now a Liberal Socialist and support Antifa and The Back Panthers. How’s them apples for ya?

      1. Proselytizing socialism on the black communities and discouraging them from building up private business is a big reason for the wealth disparity between blacks and whites today, and the Antifa can’t even define what they mean by “fascism” these days so they’re just attacking everyone. Did you know that according to the original definition by the German Antifa, social democracy is fascism because it isn’t straight up communism?

        But good for you, I guess.

          1. No, seriously. Ask the people or go and look at their websites and youtube videos. Go ahead.

            Fascism by Antifa is ultimately defined by, “we know it when we see it”. In broad terms, Antifa claims to act against economic and racial injustice, which is apparently what they call fascism. The trouble is that justice here is subjective, the people who are guilty of such disparities are already decided in advance, and the violent mob action is justified simply by putting a really bad label on it. In effect, the whole anti-fascism business acts as a simple excuse to beat people up and break windows.


            >what criteria are used by Antifa to determine who might be deserving of such physical violence?
            >”In our research, we determine someone to be a fascist, Alt Right, White Nationalist, etc. based on which groups they are a part of and endorse,” said a group member.

            Note that the Antifa movement traditionally and commonly defines capitalism and its enablers to be fascist, so just about anyone can technically be classified a “fascist” by being affiliated with or by expressing ideas that aren’t expressly anti-capitalist – which is almost everyone else except the rest of the far left. Centrists and moderates alike, all fascists. They can always excuse themselves by finding some loose association.

          3. @Dude

            You’re wasting your breath.

            It doesn’t matter which type of bigot they claim to be, they are all much the same and nothing anyone says will make any difference to them.

            Oh yes, And be careful not to blow any bubbles where X might see or hear about them.

          4. I believe the leaders of Antifa will eventually be victims of the next “Night of Long Knives”.
            (I’m not threatening any Antifa supporters by writing that, but history does repeat itself.)

      2. Funny, I voted against Barry but now have the opposite political slant. BTW the Bad Orange Man was a Democrat until recently, when he hijacked the Republican Party. There were too many other (better) choices but he had the biggest mouth. —Jim The Archist

      1. No. In the UK sense. The point is that the left is almost universally of the opinion that the public is too ignorant, too stupid, or too misdirected (“alienated”) to understand their own better, so they have a duty to trick people into agreeing to various forms of socialism, piece by piece if necessary. This comes from Lenin’s observation that the working class won’t raise itself to a “consciousness” beyond trade-unionism. The proletariat have to be lead by professional revolutionaries to overthrow the capitalists entirely.

        I say almost universally, because there are some left anarchists, which is an oxymoron if you think about it. An anarchist who believes in positive liberty, which requires the existence of an all-powerful state so the people could use it to boss each other around in the exercise of their “liberty”, but you know, in a non-hierarchical manner…

        The “law” is about the observation that organizations which are not explicitly libertarian will attract left-wing partisans, who will attempt to populate the ruling bodies until every non-partisan organization is made into a partisan organization. For example, the green movement is completely overtaken by left politics, even though it’s a shared concern, because it allows the left the argument that the right is anti-environment. For the same reason, people on the right have become suspicious of anyone expressing environmentalist opinions, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        In effect, there is no center. That’s just people who are either Machiavellian enough to play both sides, picking and choosing arbitrarily, or people who don’t realize there’s a fundamental contradiction between the ideologies they’re trying to mix. A compromise between liberty and servitude is a gilded cage.

          1. On the contrary. There are plenty of humans who directly argue that we are so incompetent as individuals that they’d rather have the state run the whole show. The paradox is that these people would have us elect the leadership out of the public, which can’t make the state any wiser. On the contrary: the centralization of power results in a constriction of information that is to be handled by fewer individuals, and that makes the state dumber than its subjects on the whole. The more centralized the state, the less it even knows what’s going on.

            A variation of the theme is people who believe that other individuals are so incompetent that they need to be patronized, and pose or assume themselves as the rulers. This is the Robespierre style, “I am the people” school of leftism.

            Then there are others who feel that the state should have full hands-on control over some matters through regulation, taxation, nationalization, etc. and keep away from the rest – in particular on and from those things they personally find important. This sounds reasonable – as long as we have a real democratic choice over the matter – until you consider that the size of the state determines whether it will actually succeed in the effort, and the fact that all administrations try to insulate themselves from the effect of voters.

            In a mixed mode economy, a small state has no real power, because the market works around the efforts of the state like water flowing around a rock. Apply equal amounts of state and capitalism, and you get state capitalism. This results in the worst of both worlds when the state effectively fuses with the largest capitalist organizations, but also the best of both worlds when they don’t. The issue is that the two follow one another in cycles and most of the time you’re suffering through some form of crony capitalism anyways. Finally, applying more socialism than capitalism results in a stifled market and all the problems of a command economy.

          1. The “size” of the state doesn’t necessarily describe the number of people involved, but the power of the state. The simple fact is that leftism hinges on the notion of positive liberty. Positive liberty is defined as the possession of the capacity to act upon one’s free will, as opposed to negative liberty, which is freedom from external restraint on one’s actions.

            Positive liberty in society means empowerment through the state – the ability to direct action that is binding to every member of the society, so that the person can actualize their will instead of just being technically free to try. Of course, when you consider all the other individuals in society, you’ll notice this is impossible because everyone else has a will of their own, and some always contradict yours. In aggregate, nobody can really have this kind of liberty equally.

            To bypass that paradox, the left induces the concept of the common good, which is the idea that after all every member of the society has common interest, so we all really want the same things if we think about it. The task for the state organization therefore is to discover what this common interest is, and then make it happen. This is accomplished by logical and scientific examination of the human “species-essence” (Marx), and/or “intuitively” through some other essentialist/idealist notion about human nature. This idea of the common good and mutual interest however is a myth and a practical impossibility. For example, in a world of limited resources, some people would always be better off if some other people didn’t exist.

            This is why quite many leftists societies have employed a tail-wags-dog approach where they purge everyone who has different opinions, so that the remaining society would fit in the mold of positive liberty. Along this goes the notion of social determinism, which is the idea that social interaction is the most important determinant of human behavior. The circle is completed by eliminating all the unfit people, then raising the rest up to want exactly what the society is providing. Everyone is free to do exactly what they’re told to do. A paradise, no?

            The paradoxes of positive liberty aside, in order to achieve such liberty even hypothetically requires an all-powerful state that cannot be thwarted by human action. Another example: the state institutes progressive taxation to level off income disparities, but the rich simply find ways to dodge taxes and hide the money, leading to the same disparity and worse. The people acting as the state would need absolute control to actually DO what they say they’re doing, rather than just pretending to do it to get kickbacks from the rich as it happens in real life. But, a state organization with such power has no need whatsoever to do what the people actually want; not only are they unilaterally determining what the “common good” is, they have the power to disregard it anyways.

            So not only is leftism – as defined here – internally inconsistent and impossible, trying to achieve even parts of it really requires a state of tyranny. I invite you to define a version of leftism that doesn’t start from positive liberty. Could you even call it “left”?

            Whatever you call it though, I can guarantee that the usual suspects will instantly call you a fascist for even suggesting it.

          2. But it’s not like these ideas are new:


            >”Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions: they want to be led, and they wish to remain free. As they cannot destroy either the one or the other of these contrary propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once. They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people. They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of persons, but the people at large who hold the end of his chain.”

            >”By this system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master and then relapse into it again. A great many persons at the present day are quite contented with this sort of compromise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience.”

            — Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

            He then goes to point out that this state of affairs is preferable to some of the other options, as long as it can be maintained that the elected leadership is freely chosen and dependent on the people. Can you name any country where this is actually true?

            In the words of comrade Stalin, “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.”

  2. I had a 50th or so most popular christian name as a kid, way down there, but in my 20s, it suddenly boomed to 4th or 5th most popular, a lot of embarrassing moments ensued when ppl yelled it and weren’t actually yelling for me… took a while to get used to after years of there being only one of me in most classes or groups.

    Wasn’t just like 1 in 50 either, it was some tiny percentage, because there would be a dozen of the popular Johns or Steves etc for every one of me.

  3. In the small world category. Decades ago I had an internet based company and had a couple computers co located at a local ISP. I started getting these charges for blowing over the amount of bandwidth in our agreement. Our service was very low bandwidth so I called and they assured me that it was correct. This went on for a while and we finally got cable based internet service in the area where we lived, so I moved the only part that used more than a bandwidth home, and I still got an overcharge. I finally called them and after a bunch of going around it turned out there was another person with my exact name,first and last, that lived on other end of my street, and who also had a colo at that ISP, and the idiot lady doing the billing just saw my name and charged me. I guess I came up first in her database or whatever. I wound up getting a refund of the overcharges and I wound up bringing the whole operation home. Much nicer to have the machine in your house than in a cage in the basement of a building downtown. Free parking at home if nothing else..

  4. Then you read something like the Gulag Archipelago and realize what these people have planed for you and your family. They have caused the misery of millions of people all at the cost of trying to prove they are right. But they will get it right *this* *time* pinky swear!

  5. “She then created a 3D map of Belgium divided into each providence” Belgium is divided into Providences? Miraculous! And here I thought it was divided into Provinces. Anyway what about an interactive Nicole map tied into the government stat website?

    1. Well if you do that, let’s make it more generic in one go, so you can enter your name and stepper motors raise and lower the columns while an overhead projector displays the matching numbers on top of the state/province column. Hell we could even call it Art at that stage ;).

  6. There is a free gift you can give to your child, that will keep on rewarding them. A simple, generic name. Their friends and teachers will know how ro pronounce it and spell it. When a potential employer does a web search, it won’t be as easy to find reports of their youthful indiscretions.

    Think twice about giving a child a “unique” name. They can never hide online.

    One’s personality can still be unique – you don’t need a silly name to prove it :-)

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