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Pretty Graphs

April 9th, 2017, 11:00 am
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Pokemontrainergigi April 9th, 2017, 2:35 am
Yay Rainbows I love me some graphs, but what's this you might ask? Well it's a sample graph that shows a simulation of the loss of surnames over generations. Probably not what you were expecting, right? (also a reminder that I'm a programmer, haha)

So it makes sense if you think about it, but you really don't hear about it ever. In cultures where married couples take a single last name, or children inherit the last name of one parent...or heck, even is you just never procreate, that name falls out of use. While this isn't a problem for a last name like Smith (in the USA), if you're the last holder of that name there's no getting it back (ignoring cases of people just changing their name to whatever they fancy).

So I wrote up a little program that simulates that. It's pretty basic, it starts off with 1 member of each name then "breeds" them. It does this by taking two names, pairing them off, and giving them two lovely children who only inherit one of the parents names. This does ignore a lot of common cases (being single, having no children, having a-number-that's-not-two children, having children with multiple partners, etc, etc). But trying to implement most of these caused the sample size to die off...so I think what I've learned from that is we're likely to die off before we all share the same name.

But enjoy! I find it fun just to see what the graphs come up with and included a few different options for readability. Be careful though, I haven't fine tuned the code to not freeze the browser when running massive sample sizes!
Reader Comments
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PJSam April 9th, 2017, 12:03 pm
Wow, I didn't know you were into programming.
ReaderWriterNerd&Geek May 14th, 2017, 1:46 pm
How very fascinating :) I never did think about this, but it does make sense. It makes me a little sad to think how many cool last names might just have been lost, though. *suddenly worries about her own, not-very-common last name* XD