Author Archives: Freeman Ng

Poetry Pro-Am

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One of my goals this year is to promote more reading and writing of poetry. To that end, I launched Poetry Pro-Am, a weekly online gathering in which I share two model poems and then we all write our own poems inspired by the models. The models and the simple suggestions I offer make it easy even for non-writers of poetry to jump right in, and the sessions involve only reading and writing text, no audio or video, so it's easy to just go to the website and keep half an eye on it while doing other things (like work).… [more]

Twin Monarchs Chess Problems

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I've invented, or maybe just reinvented, a new kind of chess problem that is (I hope) immune to being solved by chess engines. It involves one or both sides having two kings!

Other than that, all the other rules of the game stay the same, so these problems still feel like normal chess problems. They just involve these two extra rules dealing with the new situations that can arise when you have two kings:

  1. The only way to checkmate a player is to checkmate both kings simultaneously.
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What We Can Do, 2021

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I normally post these guides to political action in election years, but the lesson of the last four years is that there are serious problems in this country that require ongoing action. So here are my recommendations for groups to support and — perhaps even more importantly — actions that we can take to continue mending the fabric of our society.… [more]

What We Can Do – Georgia 2021

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As you probably know, the 2020 elections are not over yet. Two contests remain: the two Georgia Senate seats, which will determine which party controls the Senate for the first two years of the Biden/Harris administration. In those two years, we can either witness actual grownups begin to govern this country again for the good of all, or watch Mitch McConnell obstruct everything we need to be doing.… [more]

What We Can Do – 2020 Homestretch

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In a previous post, I listed my recommendations for the most critical campaigns and organizations to donate time or money to in order to affect the 2020 elections, but now we're less than two months away from Election Day, and the priorities have changed. In the current environment, in which both sides are about as motivated to vote as they can be, the airwaves are saturated with political ads, and the GOP is making active plans to bypass the democratic process entirely, the most "bang for the buck" now lies in making sure every vote is counted as early and as securely as possible, to give the GOP the smallest window possible for an autocratic takeover.… [more]

All the USPS petitions (and more)

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This is a list of all the biggest petitions I can find related to saving the Post Office from GOP attacks that Donald Trump recently admitted (in another of those classic blurts that must make his team cringe) are intended specifically to suppress the November 2020 vote.

Please sign them all, and let me know if I missed any.

Another good idea I've seen passed around is to directly support the USPS by buying stamps.… [more]

What We Can Do, 2020

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So what can you do in a case like that?
What can you do except sit on your hat
Or your toothbrush, or your grandmother
Or anything else that's helpless?

— from "The Whale" by Burl Ives

[Update, Sept. 7: See my new post for an updated list of the most critical groups to support in these final two months.]

This is my guide to candidates and organizations worth supporting for the 2020 elections, perhaps the most important election year of our lifetimes.… [more]