It would be hard to prove with math, but easy to prove with love

This time the whistle has truly been wet

For the last few weeks there is one question which has utterly consumed my household, and that is this — who has seen the most people? This is not some sort of dating game quiz, I mean it quite literally. Which actual person, dead or alive, has seen the most other people in their entire lifetime?

First let’s address some common objections and clarifications. Each person you see only counts once. You can’t look at a picture or video or something and have that count, you have to be in the physical presence of the actual person. If you’re in a big crowd, you can get full credit for anyone you have line of sight to where you plausibly could have seen/focused on them if you chose to. You can’t get credit for people at the same event as you but where they were like around corners or in other rooms or whatever. You can get credit for seeing people from afar, but only if you are not so far that you could not have made out the individual people (rules out most airplane and space travel from counting, despite the line of sight thing).

Second, while an actual specific person is a nice to have, describing a category of person is also acceptable here. This is a question that clearly does have an answer — but where it seems almost impossible that we can know that answer for certain. These types of questions haunt and delight me.

Some trains of thought and proposals thus far: Genghis Kahn, people who work at museums or sporting events, athletes who travel a lot and play in front of large crowds, bands who play arena tours and their crews, the pope (PJII is the prohibitive pope favorite amongst all popes), random t-shirt vendors or cafe owners who operate next door to the Hajj or Kumbh Mela or other large religious pilgrimages, Mick Jagger, Goodyear blimp photographers, ISS inhabitants (disqualified by the must be able to discern people rule), and so on. Please reflect on this and come up with your own answers.

Analyze the vulnerabilities and find the perfect match

Sometimes I’ll read a story about an up and coming politician or other public person and they’ll be described as a “Favorite Son” of wherever they grew up. The implication here is that this person will likely win the support of their area merely by being from there and not because of their policy views, but also (I guess?) because people in that region also like that person.

I bet there are some people who have been called a favorite son by journalists where if you asked their own parents they’d be like “no, it’s not David, we like Bill better. Dave is fine but not our favorite, thanks”. You could also probably find voters who’d be like “yeah, we pretty much hate that guy, he’s sort of a jerk, we’re definitely going to vote for him”.

It’s a warm scoop of gravel but that doesn’t mean you can eat it

There are some crimes which happen in the moment and for which you are apprehended either in the progress of committing the crime or in it’s immediate aftermath — and then there are those that maybe took decades to commit or maybe for whatever reason you could not be arrested right in the midst of the crime committing. In this latter category it’s generally considered a classy move to “turn yourself in” after the fact.

Like say you’re driving home one night and you are completely sober but just at the exact wrong moment your buddy sends you an SMS text message and you look down at your phone and then your car slams into a bale of hay carelessly left on the side of the road by a farmer. In the moment you panic and flee and continue to drive home. The next morning you awaken, ashamed, and decided to turn yourself in. If you’re super nice maybe you also offer to replace the guy’s hay bale. Or anonymously just put a new hay bale there.

Anyway - maybe you arrange to be picked up, maybe you bring yourself to the station. I think the exact mechanism doesn’t matter, but what does matter is that you turning yourself in demonstrates a generally cooperative posture which presumably is looked upon kindly by THE SYSTEM when it comes time to prosecute your crimes.

I think a real power move would be to show up to a police station with your legal team, and attempt to turn yourself in … but then when the officers of the law start asking about what exactly it is you are turning yourself in for you just clam up and go all quiet and have your lawyers advise you not to answer that question. Maybe someone could even yell about taking the fifth or something. It might be hard to find actual lawyers to go along with this plan so you could probably swap in a few of your buddies willing to wear suits for a couple hours and just continually advise you to not answer that question.

This would probably be super confusing for the police station staff, and frankly a huge waste of everyone’s time, but I really don’t know how it would play out. On the one hand they probably don’t want to get in trouble for letting a guy go who was trying to turn himself in, but on the other hand they’re probably not supposed to just hold people willy nilly without being able to write down why they are doing that.

Waffles for breakfast, waffles for lunch, waffles for a snack, waffles for dinner

Some podcasts are just audio feeds you can download and have no surrounding community or way to connect with the hosts or for the hosts to connect with you. Others have a full forum website or some other feedback loop to supply your thoughts. Most commonly there will be a companion mailing list you can join where in theory the hosts can send you bonus things not found in the episodes. In my experience, for most podcasts most of the time, this basically serves as an announcement list to tell you about the episodes of the show which you were already going to be seeing shortly in your podcast feed. Maybe in the best cases there’s like a 2-4 times per year extra email in there that justifies being on the list.

When I get one of these emails from a podcast host and it’s announcing a new episode for me to go listen to and I have not yet listened to this episode, I fly into a panic and immediately go into my podcast client app and have it download the episode right away. I feel utterly ashamed that it took being proactively notified — and by an email of all things! — to get me caught up on their feed. On the flip side, when I get one of these emails for a podcast episode where I have not only downloaded the episode already, but I have already listened to the entire episode, I feel a sense of utter satisfaction and pure dominance over the podcast and the host(s). Look at you with your cute little emails telling me about this week’s guest … knock it off! I’m already done! This episode is ancient history and it’s already in my trash.