Can orb unseat cube in the Geometric Solid Power Rankings?
Geometric Solid Power Rankings 02/22/2023
The Read Max Geometric Solid Power Rankings represent the Read Max newsletter’s assessment of the polyhedral state of play at the time of publication, and should not be regarded as investment advice or a guide to magickal ritual. The Geometric Solid Power Rankings are the product of a resource-intensive research and analysis process; needless to say, we could -- and often are encouraged to -- “paywall” the GSPR and market it as a subscription service to investment banks and hedge funds, or even sell the powerful algorithms that generate our rankings outright to a powerful and shady consortium like Blackrock, Blackstone, Blackwater, Bridgestone, and so on, whose interest in such a purchase I can neither confirm nor deny. Nevertheless, Read Max is committed to offering the Geometric Solid Power Rankings as a free service to geometers, algebraists, financiers, gamblers, politicians, alchemists, and all other interested parties. To support our work in three-dimensional Euclidean space, please subscribe to Read Max.
Previous Geometric Solids Power Rankings:
The relegation zone
The big story here at the bottom of the rankings is hyperboloid, which has plummeted from a record-high fifth-place in the last GSPR to ninth, above only perennial loser cylinder. One way to look at this poor showing is to say that for all the hype over hyperboloid over the last few years, it simply hasn’t been able to find a foothold in the hyper-competitive world of geometric solids. This is no doubt true, but we’d also say that Hyperboloid, best known for cell phone screens and futuristic architecture, is a great example of a “ZIRP solid” -- the kind of high-risk, high-reward geometric solid that soars during periods of low interest rates but can’t sustain itself when investors and geometers are looking for more fundamental solids.
The big “winner” in hyperboloid’s fall is octahedron, which climbs up to eighth place less out of any particular accomplishment than simply by not being hyperboloid.
As for cylinder -- what is even left to say? It’s gotten to the point where when you hear that a deadly radioactive object has been lost somewhere in Australia you don’t even need to ask what three-dimensional shape the object takes. Look, the woke Australian federal fire services can call this a “capsule” all they want -- we know what it is:
It’s been a horrible few centuries for such an iconic and architecturally important geometric solid, but it’s hard to see where this changes. Is this a management problem? An image issue? Either way, “radioactive” is absolutely the correct adjective to describe cylinder.
Middle of the pack
There’s been some strong movement in the mid-table here, but these solids are separated from one another by very fine margins. Dodecahedron is riding high thanks to the recent discovery of a fragment of a magical Roman dodecahedron artifact in Flanders, but it should be considered a “soft” fourth place, since it’s not clear that it has the depth or energy to retain its position.
Read Max is particularly bullish on prism, which seems to have weathered recent national-security scandals well enough to be “all upside,” and cone, a formerly forgettable solid whose strong brand recognition and fanatical loyalty among fans has helped push it from 9th to 6th in this more uncertain environment. (See our discussion above of “ZIRP solids.”) “Don’t underestimate cone” has long been a cliché in the geometric-solids community -- to the point of parody -- but clearly we’ve been reminded of its accuracy this year. It’s a reminder that a no-fuss, back-to-basics solid can outperform a flashier one like hyperboloid if it sticks to the plan and shows strong fundamentals.
By the way, have you ever seen such a strong mid-table in its history of the GSPR? More proof that we’re really at a geometric-solid peak.
The world has changed a great deal since the last edition of the Read Max Geometric Solid Power Rankings, but one thing hasn’t changed: Pyramid’s dominance. It’s become almost boring to write about the multi-millennia reign of pyramid atop the GSPR, but it’s remarkable how well it cultivates its superiority. Even as cube bubbled in 2020-2021 (more on this shortly), pyramid was able to maintain its advantage simply by being the shape that all of the crypto schemes took. What is there left to do but applaud?
Cube’s strong showing in 2020 and 2021 -- driven in a large part by its association with the frothy cryptocurrency market -- allowed it to surpass orb and take second place for the first time in living memory. There was even, at the height of “cube fever,” some hope among otherwise serious solids enthusiasts that it could overtake pyramid. (Yeah, right -- call me when the Bass Pro company is trying to build an enormous cube in Memphis.) But even cube heads have to admit that it hasn’t been a great year for the solid, whose performance generally seems to track cryptocurrency and tech stocks.
However, it’s time to admit that even in a bearish environment for cube, orb is simply not stepping up.
Read Max has a number of serious orb bulls among its readership, and we’d certainly hoped to satisfy their desire to see orb retain its long time number-two spot among the geometric solids. But the fact is, we are in cube winter, and the best orb has been able to come up with in response is … this?
While this kind of thing might be a peak moment for a mid-table solid like an icosahedron or a prism, it simply does not cut it for the Big Three of geometric solids. Where’s the flair? The iconic silhouette? The production values?
I can hear the orb fandom complaining now: What about the MSG sphere in Las Vegas?
To me, this just shows how deluded the orb community has become. Oh, you think that a big sphere in Las Vegas built by the Dolan family is going to help orb reclaim its number-two spot? Meanwhile, here’s what cube is up to:
The only thing you can say that orb has going for it is that the solids directly beneath it on the power ranking don’t yet have the resources or plan to overtake it.
Complete Geometric Solid Power Rankings, 02/22/2023
For all the talk of a return to fundamentals and straightforward geodicies, surprising that tetrahedron has not made its long-rumored return. It's the lattice supporting the incomparable strength of Diamond (mineral, not shallow) after all.
Cylinder needs a rebrand in which it's tipped on its side and called "rod." Rods are cool. You can ram them. You can hit people with them. They reinforce buildings. They help you see along with #6 cone. They are the shape of many bacteria. Starships are shaped like rods. Rods are cool.