A Year of Posts
Third anniversary of this blog and 365th post
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth U.S. President, was born ten score and three years ago today. While the February 22 birthday of George Washington, the first U.S. President, had been a U.S. national holiday since 1880, Lincoln was never so honored. In 1971 the U.S. Congress moved the national holiday to the third Monday in February, which can fall anywhere from the 15th to the 21st. Thus it always falls between their birthdays, and this quantum superposition of George and Abe is called Presidents’ Day by most Americans. The first post on this blog was made three years ago, on Lincoln’s actual 200th birthday.
Today we make the 365th post on this blog, so this completes a year of posts. There are also six items that stay at the top and are classed separately as “Pages” without being numbered as posts. We can think of those as “leap days.”
The best known work by Lincoln is his Gettysburg Address, but the issues that gripped his presidency soar higher in his Second Inaugural Address, which was delivered in March 1865 just a month before his assassination. It set forth a view of the U.S. Civil War that both the North and the soon-to-be-defeated South could agree on, and declared magnanimity toward the South. Amazingly one can read Lincoln’s handwritten original online.
Lincoln is also known for folk wisdom, and one of his lesser-known quotations speaks a motive we have for this blog:
All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.
We want to thank so many people who have made this endeavor so much fun for us, and we hope for you too. Again thanks. The danger in thanking any one person is we may forget someone—make that we will forget someone—we are human. We would if we could thank every reader personally, thank everyone who posted even one comment, and many who have helped us from behind the scenes. The countless people we have called on for advice, for papers, for photos, for help with names—one of GLL’s rules is that we use full names.
We will single out some whom we must thank directly: Scott Aaronson, Noga Alon, Paul Beame, Ibrahim Cahit, Jin-Yi Cai, Richard DeMillo, Neil Dickson, Lance Fortnow, Harvey Friedman, Serge Ganachaud, Bill Gasarch, Tim Gowers, Joshua Grochow, Aram Harrow, Paul Homer, Ørjan Johansen, Gil Kalai, Subruk Kalyanasundaram, Cristopher Moore, Michael Nielsen, Atri Rudra, Alan Selman, John Sidles, Ross Snider, Aaron Sterling, Terence Tao, Luca Trevisan, Robert Tucci, Suresh Venkatasubramanian, Ryan Williams. They have been supportive and helpful in many ways. We want to give a special thanks to John Sidles who has made so many thoughtful comments over the years and also like most of the others has given some useful private suggestions—thanks John.
The main open problem is to reach our next goal of making GLL even better. More fun, more informative, more exciting, and more innovative. Our next major milestone is to reach the next power of two posts or pages: 512. As always, we give a penny for your thoughts.
[changed handwritten Lincoln link]