Friday, October 10, 2014

Better Living, Exponentially

Since Council just approved a contract with Atlas Advertising, LLC to create a strapline "Living Exponentially", perhaps we should actually live by this slogan. I have two suggestions. These might address the flood of sarcastic letters headed to the Los Alamos Daily Post aimed at this $225,000 expenditure and also may remedy the recent upheaval directed at barking dogs.

Indeed, an exponent can be less than one, so living exponentially doesn't necessarily mean living extravagantly but can also mean living with less. Radioactive decay, for example, results in an exponential decrease in the remaining amount of a radionuclide in the future because the decay constant is less than one. The decay constant for Pu-239 for example, is ~0.0000287.

So lets solve two problems of excesses by living exponentially. Decrease the carbon emissions of Los Alamos County and decrease the number of barking dog complaints. Let's agree to set the half life of of the county wide CO2 emissions at 20 years and of county wide dog complaints at 10 years. That results in decay constants of 0.0347 and 0.0693, respectively. So looking 20 years out, this is what Living Exponentially can mean for carbon emissions and dog complaints.  Aren't we feeling better already?

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