This past week has not been a happy one for me. On Monday I received an email saying that I had not been selected for campus housing for next year. At that point, I had no idea whether David and Ajay had been awarded campus housing, but I later found out that they had not been selected either. Fortunately, on Thursday, I received another email saying that they had reassessed the housing situation and would be able to provide me with a campus house. Unfortunately, I will probably be stuck with a double with some random person, and I’m just not sure whether I’m interested in risking having another roommate like my current one. I shall ask David what he is planning to do next time I see him.

On Wednesday, a letter arrived at my house saying that I was to register for the Selective Service. I am not interested in fighting in wars or serving on the military ever. I would be more than happy to relinquish my United States citizenship in favor of a United Kingdom citizenship if it would mean that I would not have to participate in a war. At any rate, United States citizenship means nothing to me as far as patriotism goes. Thus becoming a citizen of the United Kingdom has become one of the items on my list of things to do while I am alive. Fittingly enough, it was pouring with rain on Wednesday, so the rest of the people in the area had an opportunity commiserate with my pain.

Besides being inundated with work (as usual), those were the only two bad things that happened to me recently. Nonetheless, I consider it to have been a rather gloomy week.

Now I’ll talk about some more cheerful events. Yesterday was my grandfather’s eightieth birthday. I need to come up with a gift for him soon since he will be coming to visit next week.

Bigelow said some interesting things yesterday in topology. He was discussing universal covering spaces, and then he said that the motivation came from Greek mythology. “Ariadne and Theseus are living in a topological space.” Then one of the other students said “I don’t imagine they’ll live happily ever after.”

Labutin wasn’t there today, so the grader, Gunnar Gunnarsson, taught the class today. He’s a much better lecturer than Labutin is. Everyone seemed very happy that Gunnar was teaching the class instead of Labutin.

Math club is in 15 minutes. Off I go!

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About Simon

Hi. I'm Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo. I'm a mathematics postdoc at Dartmouth College. I'm also a musician; I play piano and cello, and I also sometimes compose music and study musicology. I also like to play chess and write calligraphy. This blog is a catalogue of some of my thoughts. I write them down so that I understand them better. But sometimes other people find them interesting as well, so I happily share them with my small corner of the world.
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14 Responses to

  1. eternalfight says:

    Citizenship and selective service can cause problems if you try to get loans, grants, and things from the government.

  2. mousie1389 says:

    Gunnar Gunnarsson. Cool name. 😀
    And if you decide to be British, you would seem all the more…nerdy 😀

  3. goreism says:

    Provided one of your parents is a British citizen (n.b. not by jus sanguinis), you were automatically a British citizen when you were born. However, you won’t be able to pass that citizenship to your children automatically; you’ll have to register them.
    Since both the UK and the US permit dual citizenship, they aren’t mutually exclusive. The US has some rather unsavoury laws for people who attempt to renounce their US citizenship, based on the idea that they’re doing it to avoid taxes. I’m not an immigration lawyer, but depending on various factors, you may have to pay advance taxes and you might be put on a federal blacklist. Even if you do renounce your US citizenship, as long as you retain permanent residency in the US, you’re still eligible to be drafted. Also, I don’t think it’s necessarily a given that the UK won’t pass a draft itself, as it hasn’t been quite neutral recently.
    In any case, as you seem to regard citizenship as largely symbolic, it might help you to think of the Selective Service in the same way, since the odds are that you won’t be drafted.

  4. confuted says:

    Here you have evidence that you’ve always been a “conscientious objector” regarding war. If you’re ever forced to serve, perhaps you’ll be able to get away with just making coffee for the admirals.

    • Simon says:

      Where do I have evidence? I read the material on conscientious objectors quite carefully, and it seems that you have to “prove” that you have formed your lifestyle around being a conscientious objector. I don’t think that if I say that I do analysis (I don’t think one can use number theory now as Hardy could 90 years ago) because it has no applications to sciences (which is debatable at best) that they will believe that I am a conscientious objector. At any rate, I’ll try not to worry about politics too much now. I have more pressing issues to worry about, such as invariant measures on locally compact groups.

  5. zanem says:

    I looked out of curiousity. Most European countries, but not the UK “at this time” have compulsory military service. I do know hte US was one of the first countries to eliminate the draft. We only have a registration which is only for times when…well, you’d be needed. You can bet your UK citizenship would entail a duty to serve the Queen if called.
    Luckily we live in a time when all of our wars can be settled quickly & easily wihtout the need of a lot of conscripts.
    I loved talking to my Granddad.

  6. falkor27 says:

    Registering for the Selective Service:
    I checked the ACLU’s website for you.
    “Non-registration is a felony (punishable with jail, a fine or both) and can have major repercussions on your future employment, education and eligibility for government benefits. If you are considering non-registration, you should find out as much as you can about the consequences before you make your decision. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may lose your right to naturalization and be deported from the United States.”

    • Simon says:

      Re: Registering for the Selective Service:
      I am registered for it. I just refuse to participate in any inherently evil activitites that may result from my registration.

  7. intrepia says:

    Hmm… I see the significance of my timing in posting that article about the draft now. But I don’t think you really have anything to worry about — can you imagine the political repercussions if the draft were reinstated? No one would want to deal with that.

    • Simon says:

      I suppose you’re right. I didn’t write this in the main article (perhaps I should have, and I certainly meant to), but in Germany in 1939, all Jewish men were forced to register. They were all killed. I can draw several other parallels also. I claimed that the US was attacking countries for no reason. To counter that, my father said that there was a reason, although not a very good one. I then claimed that there was a reason that Germany attacked Austria and Poland and everywhere else, but it wasn’t a very good reason. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I don’t see too much of a difference. Perhaps in this country they will persecute Muslims rather than Jews. It seems that has been the case recently. At any rate, it’s a terrible crime. Nonetheless, some people support it, although I honestly can’t see how they could.

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