November 25, 2014

"The Constitution is not a math problem, but..."

The beginning of a NYT article by Adam Liptak titled "In Same-Sex Marriage Calculation, Justices May See Golden Ratio."

From the Wikipedia article "Golden ratio":
In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities.

Do the math!

27 comments:

Henry said...

Ugh. That's a bad use of the word ratio.

Anonymous said...

It's over.

Let's talk about it some more.

lemondog said...

At 3:00 pm today my next day neighbors will become the first gay marriage on the block.

I have some rice ready.... or maybe some dry roasted peanuts so the birds can join the celebration.

Fernandinande said...

Henry said...
Ugh. That's a bad use of the word ratio.


The lawyer/scribbler pretending to know high-school math probably meant Golden Mean but got confused. But it's not worth reading an article with a title like that to find out.

jr565 said...

As the article states:
The decision on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, he said, followed democratic consensus. State legislatures, not judges, had done almost all of the work in driving down the number of bans to 16.

The stunning recent run of victories for same-sex marriage, by contrast, has mostly been the work of judges rather than voters or their elected representatives. In the past two months, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage grew to 35 from 19, as well as the District of Columbia. The surge was entirely the result of court decisions.The decision on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, he said, followed democratic consensus. State legislatures, not judges, had done almost all of the work in driving down the number of bans to 16.

The stunning recent run of victories for same-sex marriage, by contrast, has mostly been the work of judges rather than voters or their elected representatives. In the past two months, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage grew to 35 from 19, as well as the District of Columbia. The surge was entirely the result of court decisions.


judges making the rules becuase they want the result. Not the people nor he legislators. Sounds an awful lot like Obama dictating immigration policy.

Gabriel said...

The Golden Ratio doesn't work here.

If the Golden Ratio correlated with Supreme Court decisions, then the tipping point would be 19states: 19/31 ~ 31/50 ~ 0.618.

mccullough said...

It takes 3/4 of the states to approve a constitutional amendment. The Constitution has been amended 27 times.

Michael K said...

The article, at least until I quit reading it, did not address the inequity of punishing people who, for religious reasons, do not wish to be associated with the ceremonies of 2% of the population.

I could not care less about what gays do privately, I am violently opposed to their totalitarian impulses being enforced by courts.

Bob Ellison said...

Maybe he meant golden something else.

I didn't post this, right?

Oso Negro said...

That's a queer application of mathematics.

Mark said...

Essentially we are asked to hold that A+B=A+A,where A≠B.

Fine. A=B even though A≠B. Whatever.

Even so, what are we to do with A+B, which has the potential of A+B=C, while A+A can never = C. Not even Anthony Kennedy can make that happen.

What to do with the unique nature of A+B, which because of its unique nature, requires special protections? So we no longer call it "marriage." But whatever we call it, A+B needs that special protection, a protection that is irrational as to A+A.

Krumhorn said...

Ann, I'm trying to do the math.

Is the numerator of this fraction the catcher, and the denominator, the pitcher?

Help me out here.

- Krumhorn

MadisonMan said...

Structurally, that's a very odd article. It starts with very short one-sentence paragraphs. One after another. Bizarre. I don't know if I've seen that before in a NYTimes post.

Renee said...

But what if we oppose for nonreligious reasons?

I guess I will always defend the old policies. It was pretty reasonable, and I wasn't homophobic and I'm still not. I didn't need gay marriage to accept same-sex relationships. I do believe we need something that brings an individual's mom and dad together.

It's strange.

wildswan said...

The Golden ratio works because:
.382x/.618x = .618
and
.618x/1 = .618

so
.382x/.618x = .618x/1

Do the math in this case:

.382 times 50 = 19.1
.618 times 50 = 30.9
19.1 divided by 30.9 = .618
30.9 divided by 50 = .618


The number of states in the cases in the article were 16, 13, 15; to be the Golden Ratio the number of states should have been 19 or very close to it. So we are not talking about the Golden Ratio but, as some other commenters said, we are talking about the rising ignorance level at the New York Times. If only the economy rose with the ignorance level we would be doing fine.

SteveR said...

When the answer has been decided, the math is unimportant.

Renee said...

Are human relationships like numbers?

During the Humanum conference, they used the analogy of complementary colors. But people aren't colors, even though I thought it was a good comparison.


There are different forms of relationships, just as colors work differently with one another, and we should be able to acknowledge different needs and obligations.

Henry said...

@wildswan: That's the math. My point is that the article never actually talks about ratios. It talks about simple sums. The headline writer tries some wordplay on the word "Calculation" and falls flat.

The article could have been titled "In Summing Up Same-Sex Marriage, Justices May See Double-Digit Integers" and at least not have been nonsensical.

Henry said...

Or, to be completely parallel:

"In Same-Sex Marriage Sum, Justices May See Integers"

So much for allusion.

ErnieG said...

"It was my understanding that there would be no math."
-Chevy Chase

mccullough said...

Walter Dellinger, the man referenced in the article, lost the Heller second amendment case. He's a progressive who does not believe in enumerated constitutional rights or armed self defense.

Dellinger knows what's best for the citizenry and will throw out the Constitution or have it interpreted in bizarre ways.

He used to be a law professor.

He's a progressive hack who should be ignored.

jacksonjay said...

I need an opinion from Scott Walker's son and that famous number-cruncher, Louis Farrakhan.

Does Smarter Lil Lena do math?

chickelit said...

Sounds like Greek-style reasoning!

Whirred Whacks said...

If you'd like to play with the "golden ratio" (i.e., have a hands-on experience with pieces whose shape is defined by that number), you should check out the amazing "Ball of Whacks."

Tom Gallagher said...

SSM by it's own definition is an outlier; the deviation from conventional behavior places itself into the category of unpredictability, not the order described by the golden ratio.

Carl said...

I guess using math as a metaphor means you're a sophisticate. (The yokels use football.)

Oso Negro said...

@Mark - watch out! That kind of logic is sooooo dead white European male. In all likelihood, you're a hater.