A thought for the day:
Our federal income tax law defines the tax y to be paid in terms of the income x; it does so in a clumsy enough way by pasting several linear functions together, each valid in another interval or bracket of income. An archeologist who, five thousand years from now, shall unearth some of our income tax returns together with relics of engineering works and mathematical books, will probably date them a couple of centuries earlier, certainly before Galileo and Vieta.
—Hermann Weyl, “The Mathematical Way of Thinking,” 1940.
Daniel J. Velleman has a suggestion for the Internal Revenue Service (thanks to Barry Cipra for this pointer).