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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Legal description of Hudson's city boundaries on: May 03, 2016, 08:24:58 am

I think they consider that a location correction. ...

Census tracts are intended to be used for statistical purposes. The first were delineated in New York City in 1910. Local groups could set the boundaries, and the census would enumerate the data based on those boundaries. So you  could get the same level of information for Tract 123 in Brooklyn, as you could for Manchester, Maine. Otherwise you would have the same level of detail for the entire borough of Brooklyn and Manchester, Maine.

Data for census tracts was previously derived from the long form, and now the ACS, and is based on a sample, and the intent is that they can be compared over time.
So I take it my idea of the extension of Warren Street to the Hudson River (what Torie is proposing for a ward boundary in the other Hudson thread) as a census tract boundary (as opposed to a set of block boundaries) would be a no go.  Correct?

Census tracts can be updated by local participants prior to the 2020 Census. I would think that a passed referendum to reform the wards would be a legitimate basis to realign the census tracts. If the Front street block is split, it would be reasonable to adjust the census tract boundary to shift the new northern block of the split to census tract 12 (from 2010).
I don't see any purpose in aligning what are intended to be long-term statistical units with temporary election  boundaries.

The Census believes there are reasons to make updates. The tracts are not immutable, so they have a procedure for adjusting them. They want the statistical data to be meaningful to the local residents. In this case creating a block by splitting one and shifting the split part to a different tract seems to be the sort of update anticipated. It would definitely make the statistical data more meaningful to the local residents.
Mixing data from one one part of a 1970s urban renewal project with the north side of Glenwood Boulevard; and the data from the other part of that 1970s urban renewal project with the south side of Glenwood Boulevard makes the statistical data meaningless.

From a statistical point of view an east-west split would make more sense. Or use the highway through Hudson (South 3rd Street, Columbia Street, Green Street, Fairview Avenue). Or make Hudson a single census tract of 6700 people.

Give me some past examples of census tract changes that you are familiar with.

The census tract is also the basis to award certain federal funds based on the statistics for the tract. In my area there were a great number of census tracts that were split between 2000 and 2010, even in old established neighborhoods with little or no growth. From a local standpoint those splits could aid the application for funds.

When the Census made tract splits they got rid of the old number and created new tract numbers. That made the 2010 tracts more useful locally and avoid any confusion with past data sets. For example in 2000 I lived in 8415.02. There was minimal new construction in the tract during the decade, but it was split into 8415.03 and 8415.04. The old number went out of service for 2010 and beyond.

If Hudson wanted a change, the Census could also assign new numbers to the revised tracts as they did in my area in the last decade.
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Legal description of Hudson's city boundaries on: May 02, 2016, 06:34:10 am

I think they consider that a location correction. ...

Census tracts are intended to be used for statistical purposes. The first were delineated in New York City in 1910. Local groups could set the boundaries, and the census would enumerate the data based on those boundaries. So you  could get the same level of information for Tract 123 in Brooklyn, as you could for Manchester, Maine. Otherwise you would have the same level of detail for the entire borough of Brooklyn and Manchester, Maine.

Data for census tracts was previously derived from the long form, and now the ACS, and is based on a sample, and the intent is that they can be compared over time.
So I take it my idea of the extension of Warren Street to the Hudson River (what Torie is proposing for a ward boundary in the other Hudson thread) as a census tract boundary (as opposed to a set of block boundaries) would be a no go.  Correct?

Census tracts can be updated by local participants prior to the 2020 Census. I would think that a passed referendum to reform the wards would be a legitimate basis to realign the census tracts. If the Front street block is split, it would be reasonable to adjust the census tract boundary to shift the new northern block of the split to census tract 12 (from 2010).
I don't see any purpose in aligning what are intended to be long-term statistical units with temporary election  boundaries.

The Census believes there are reasons to make updates. The tracts are not immutable, so they have a procedure for adjusting them. They want the statistical data to be meaningful to the local residents. In this case creating a block by splitting one and shifting the split part to a different tract seems to be the sort of update anticipated. It would definitely make the statistical data more meaningful to the local residents.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: My Pledge: I'm Gone if Trump Wins the Nomination on: May 01, 2016, 10:54:13 pm
I still don't understand why you're leaving the almighty Atlas if Trump wins the nod?

It was an ill-advised point I was trying to illustrate in January that Trump had no chance at the nomination.  Unfortunately, I'm stuck in the bed I made for myself.

Then don't leave. I really never saw the point in your pledge, but you said it was ill-advised, so just shelve the idea and move on. I certainly wouldn't fault you for not wanting to stick by a silly thing like this Smiley

I said, off the cuff, that I would baste myself in grease, strip down naked and go jogging along I-95 if Trump wins in November, but I certainly have no intention of doing that Tongue

Exactly. Hyperbole is a perfectly acceptable figure of speech, as long as it is not carried to excess. Your January pledge was hyperbole, and can be treated as no more than that.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Legal description of Hudson's city boundaries on: May 01, 2016, 10:45:08 pm

I think they consider that a location correction. ...

Census tracts are intended to be used for statistical purposes. The first were delineated in New York City in 1910. Local groups could set the boundaries, and the census would enumerate the data based on those boundaries. So you  could get the same level of information for Tract 123 in Brooklyn, as you could for Manchester, Maine. Otherwise you would have the same level of detail for the entire borough of Brooklyn and Manchester, Maine.

Data for census tracts was previously derived from the long form, and now the ACS, and is based on a sample, and the intent is that they can be compared over time.
So I take it my idea of the extension of Warren Street to the Hudson River (what Torie is proposing for a ward boundary in the other Hudson thread) as a census tract boundary (as opposed to a set of block boundaries) would be a no go.  Correct?

Census tracts can be updated by local participants prior to the 2020 Census. I would think that a passed referendum to reform the wards would be a legitimate basis to realign the census tracts. If the Front street block is split, it would be reasonable to adjust the census tract boundary to shift the new northern block of the split to census tract 12 (from 2010).
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When did the WASP population peak in NYC, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia? on: May 01, 2016, 04:10:58 pm
Chicago was permanently settled in 1833 with 200 people and incorporated in 1837. By 1850 it had 30K people and already 1/5 were Irish, 1/6 German, and there was a significant Polish community as well. By 1900 over 3/4 of the city were immigrants or their children. As a percentage the WASP population probably peaked about as soon as the city was settled.
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: It's not a complete sentence, is it? on: May 01, 2016, 08:04:06 am
"This is a historic time for our military and I'm excited for West Point to have its first woman has to hold this position," said Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy.

This is incomplete, too.

I think there's a typo in the quote which I corrected above. This is what I found online. It looks it was based on the same press release that was used for your quote.

“This is a historic time for our military and I’m excited for West Point to have its first woman to hold this position.”

The quote itself isn't the best grammar and the underlined word shouldn't be there. Often when a person is speaking a complex sentence, the phrases strung together so that the phrases don't match properly. That may be the case here. The speaker may be thinking of three separate phrases: "This is a historic time for our military,"  "I'm excited for West Point," and "She is the first woman to hold this position." Each is fine alone, but when combined the last one doesn't fit. If the full quote was spoken, a native listener would hear the phrases separately and understand what is meant.
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: It's not a complete sentence, is it? on: May 01, 2016, 07:44:56 am
Washington (AFP) - US President Barack Obama has nominated a woman to become the United States Military Academy's first female dean in its 216-year history.
He named Cindy Jebb, a graduate of the prestigious institution -- also known as West Point -- who currently heads its Social Sciences department, the school said in a statement Friday.

I think this is ok, though it isn't the way I'd write it. It's a style not uncommon in stories taken from press releases. The underlying sentence is what results from using a sentence structure designed for real quotes. But in this case there is no real quote, just an attribution to the school making the press release.

He named Cindy Jebb, the school said in a statement Friday.

Then there is the clause to describe Cindy Jebb,

He named Cindy Jebb, a graduate of the prestigious institution who currently heads its Social Sciences department, the school said in a statement Friday.

Then there is another clause to name the institution,

He named Cindy Jebb, a graduate of the prestigious institution -- also known as West Point -- who currently heads its Social Sciences department, the school said in a statement Friday.
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Should it be "fewer" instead of “less”? on: May 01, 2016, 07:29:46 am
I'd be more concerned about the use of currency equivalents such as ($11,313). Using a value with five significant figures conveys to the reader that the value is known very precisely. Currency values change daily and what is $11,313 today could easily be $11,257 tomorrow. Such precision is misleading when dealing with a general statement about equivalent currency values.

However, there's a deeper problem with the number in context with the words in the sentence. In this case the text says "about 10,000 euros", which means that the price used in euros is not very accurate, probably not to better than 1,000 euros either way. So if the knowledge about the price is only that is likely to be in the range from 9,000 to 11,000 euros, then the reported dollar amount should also convey the same level of precision. The right way to do that is to round off the number in dollars and write $11,000.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 30, 2016, 09:18:36 pm
Here's a situation involving two chops into a county creating two isolated fragments. As before consider that all contiguous counties are locally connected, the black lines represent state highways, and the connecting path is based on the shortest distance.



The East Agnew fragment is clearly isolated and has no state highways at all. The clear interpretation is that it uses its local connections, and is linked to Dawes, Elbridge and central Agnew.

The West Agnew fragment is more complicated. The state highway from Dawes to West Agnew is not the connecting path and the path from Calhoun to Agnew enters in central Agnew. It qualifies as isolated.

Option A: If state highway connections have priority in determining links to West Agnew, then there are connections to Dawes and Central Agnew, but none to Calhoun. That makes the Calhoun district disconnected from West Agnew and would be disallowed.

Option B: If as an isolated fragment it goes straight to local connections, then the connection to Calhoun would exist as well. That would make the district internally connected and allowable.

As a side note, if the node for Dawes were in the western part of that county, then the Dawes-West Agnew path would be the connecting path and the fragment would not be isolated. It also would not be connected to Calhoun in that case and the district would be disallowed as in option A.

Here's the equivalent graph showing the link in question as a dashed line.

10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you ever post a picture of yourself on Atlas? on: April 30, 2016, 04:35:23 pm
I want to possibly have a career in the future so... No.

I've had a career throughout the existence of Atlas, and I joined rather early. Pictures with other posters have not led to any problems. I'm not sure what type of pic you want to post that would kill a career.
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 30, 2016, 08:21:05 am
The items you added on nodes I treat as definitions, not principles. In principle I could define every census tract as a unit and each census block in the tract as a subunit. In principle I could use contiguity to define connections. The rules would work mathematically, but would not be satisfying since it would ignore the preference to follow existing political subdivisions and highways between them. That's why the principle uses nodes and links only in their broadest sense - a node represents a discrete area on a map and a link represents a connection between two areas in the map that are represented by nodes.

In principle any binary preference can be represented by a 1 or 0. So the principle of small integer values supports preferences. I think my resistance is that your application of preferences in sequence tends to run against the use of the Pareto frontier since it overly winnows the set of choices. I'd rather use the preferences in sum total (once reduced to binary or other values) as it preserves a larger space for a Pareto test

Thinking about it today, there is a modified version of one of your suggested principles worth stating.

Principle: Each complete map is divided into geographic units based on governmental jurisdictions such that every area in the map falls in a unit. Geographic units of large population may be divided into subunits based on governmental jurisdictions such that every area in the geographic unit falls in a subunit. Units and subunits should be identifiable from Census geography.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 30, 2016, 07:33:41 am
Let me add a higher level of statements above definitions and items. These are principles that guide the rules. Then I'll go back to illustrations of planar graphs and open questions about their definitions and applications.

Principle: Values for parameters that describe a plan are based on simple integer measures.

Principle: Each plan can be represented by a planar graph of nodes and links, where each node corresponds to a discrete area in the plan (unit, subunit, or fragment), and each link corresponds to a connection between nodes.

Principle: Each node must have a link to at least one other node in the graph, a pair of nodes may not have more than one link between them, and links may not cross in the plane (ie the nodes and links form a simple connected planar graph).

Principle: Internal connectivity and the shape of districts (erosity) are determined from the graph that represents the plan.

Principle: The effects of scaling in a map from low density to high density areas are represented by the division of nodes due to district lines (chops) and the creation of new links.

Principle: There are qualitative differences in the division of nodes and their grouping in districts, such as differences that reflect quantitative measures of communities of interest, population equality, and political responsiveness.

Principle: An optimal plan is on the Pareto frontier that balances the shape of the districts against the number and quality of node divisions and their grouping.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you ever post a picture of yourself on Atlas? on: April 29, 2016, 08:00:12 pm
I have done so after meet ups with other Atlas posters. Shots of Nym, dead0man, BRTD, and Fuzzybigfoot with me can all be found in the gallery.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What congressional districts/equivalents have you been in in 2016? on: April 28, 2016, 10:28:36 pm
A visit to 3 Floyds in Munster. Smiley


CO=1,6,7
IL-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,13,14,16,17,18
IN-1
IA-1,2

Total: 20 21
15  General Politics / Economics / Re: What can Gen Y specifically do politically to turn their economic futures around on: April 28, 2016, 10:22:50 pm
Jan. 1, 1981-Jan. 1, 2001, IMO. Generations are by the twenties.

The youngest need to maybe do two years of community college for some associate degrees. Secure leadership positions to make sure to be able to take advantage of Generation Z, which will likely be mostly professional free lancers.
except the baby boom phenomena ran from roughly 1946 to 1964. (maybe it began *slightly earlier* depending on a few sources but it certainly didn't end earlier.) nobody thinks someone can be both gen-x and a baby boomer now a days.
1941-1961. Then 1961-1981.

You don't honestly think being a "baby boomer" should have anything to do with generational time periods, do you?

The Baby Boom is a well defined event based on real demographics. Artificially fitting it to some two decade span makes no sense.

16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Which states qualify as culturally Southern? on: April 28, 2016, 09:25:37 pm
All but Missouri and Indiana.  I will admit that "culturally Southern" is going away.  I consider Virginia and Florida culturally Southern, at least for historical reasons.  Texas and Louisiana have similar statuses, but are culturally Southern.

There's a huge difference between LA and TX unless you ignore the vast majority of TX west of the Trinity river.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Which states qualify as culturally Southern? on: April 28, 2016, 09:19:16 pm
If you're along or south of U.S. 60, you're in the South, period. If you're along or north of U.S. 50, you're NOT in the South, period. Between U.S. 50 and U.S. 60 is where the North and the South blend, with the culture becoming more Southern closer to U.S. 60, and more Northern closer to U.S. 50. This rule applies as far west as the 96th meridian. Nowhere west of the 96th meridian is in the South.

This seems like a pretty solid definition of the South.

I agree, except it needs a southern cutoff in FL. The I-10 corridor is north of the line and the I-4 corridor is south and outside of the line.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Predict Highest Real Office Achieved by an Atlas User on: April 28, 2016, 08:11:48 pm
No one here will ever be elected to an office at a level where serious campaigns happen. Mike Assad was beaten like a dog despite Tea Party endorsements due to his inherently unpleasant personality.

In contrast, AAD member Roger Stone will, God willing, be elected Senator from Florida.

What is the dollar threshold for a serious campaign these days?
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite non-NYC Acela city on: April 27, 2016, 02:07:13 pm
Easily, Boston.  One of my favorite cities anywhere.

And I met my wife there so that clinches it for me.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Pennsylvania ballot is confusing on: April 26, 2016, 07:59:50 am
It's confusing because it reflects the underlying nature of the convention. The national convention is still a gathering of representatives from the state parties to select a nominee and approve a platform. It's not unlike the way most parties in other countries pick their nominees. It is an inside function of the party with an eye to what balances the desires of the internal factions with the need for a strong standard bearer to convey the party message.

The US started moving strongly away from that in the 70's when the left and right wings both felt excluded by the traditional process. The few states that had democratic primaries for delegates became the model for states trying to open up the process. But none of that changed the underlying nature of the convention. It remains a body of representatives from the states, there to reflect the will of the state parties. The convention isn't designed to reflect the will of the candidates.

The only real way to have the primary process reflect the candidates and not the parties is to have a direct national primary. However that would likely interfere with the state parties as semi-private clubs, an issue that forced WA to change its top-two primary. I'm not sure a true national primary for state party nominees could be imposed on the states without a constitutional amendment.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 25, 2016, 06:23:07 pm
"In crafting a rule to allow for certain local connections across county lines, the rule must function both for connections that are intact and those that are cut."

Why is that? As I say, for example, I want to allow for chops using local highways, in a way that would not be allowed for determining if whole counties are connected. You yourself carve out exceptions.

The model is predicated on the ability to transform a map of connected areas to a graph of nodes and links. I included many of those equivalent graphs with my artificial maps. From the graph one can test that a plan has fully connected districts. The same graph then provides the cut set of links to measure erosity. Thus my obsession with the definition of connections.

Graph theory is a well-developed and still active area in discrete mathematics. It has found its way in research in both hard sciences and social sciences, and is critical to computer networks and algorithm development. I take advantage of some of its results in this model.

Just write the program, so that it has forks in the road. I'm not buying into any of this. Sorry!

We may need another phone call soon. When "techies" tell lawyers it can't be done, it raises the blood pressure of the latter. Tongue

This isn't even about the program, but goes well beyond that. There are theoretical papers about using graph theory to attack redistricting. I saw some old ones that got me thinking about this during the last cycle. Now, like me, the mathematicians have figured out that maps can transform into graphs, and have some nice theorems, too. However, they haven't yet figured out how to get erosity from the transformation or balance erosity against chops. I hope that's where we come in.

It's the transformation that's a mathematical certainty, not a techie limitation. Smiley
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 25, 2016, 04:57:28 pm
"In crafting a rule to allow for certain local connections across county lines, the rule must function both for connections that are intact and those that are cut."

Why is that? As I say, for example, I want to allow for chops using local highways, in a way that would not be allowed for determining if whole counties are connected. You yourself carve out exceptions.

The model is predicated on the ability to transform a map of connected areas to a graph of nodes and links. I included many of those equivalent graphs with my artificial maps. From the graph one can test that a plan has fully connected districts. The same graph then provides the cut set of links to measure erosity. Thus my obsession with the definition of connections.

Graph theory is a well-developed and still active area in discrete mathematics. It has found its way in research in both hard sciences and social sciences, and is critical to computer networks and algorithm development. I take advantage of some of its results in this model.
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 25, 2016, 09:48:54 am
I guess a "special rule" means a preference in your mind. Yes, maybe it will be rare as to your example. But if the rule is that a chop using a highway connection is preferred to one that is not, it has a pretty broad application, as opposed to being so limited that it is "special."

Your second comment to me seems to be using a lot of words that basically say that you don't like preferences, as sort of a conclusory statement. It certainly is easy enough to apply a preference regime. You just don't like it based on a rather compelling desire for elegance. On that one, we just disagree. Your approach does not hew to the common sense regime in my judgment.

I intend my second comment to say something quite a bit more than a disdain for preferences that are not part of a scoring rubric. It goes to the fundamental linkage between connections and erosity in my model. The connections used to test for a valid plan are one and the same as the connections used to measure erosity. That has always been the case. A plan with internally disconnected districts is invalid on its face, just as is a plan with discontiguous districts. In crafting a rule to allow for certain local connections across county lines, the rule must function both for connections that are intact and those that are cut.
24  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 25, 2016, 09:18:50 am

Non-isolated fragments only require local connections within a county. That was defined earlier and is consistent with subunits inside a macrochopped county. It doesn't come into play for non-isolated fragments when there is only one chop (since by definition there is a state highway to the county seat interrupted by the fragment), but when there is more than one chop it may. Think about three fragments in a county where two have only a county road connecting them. They are connected in my initial implementation of fragments.

I don't see how the above is responsive to my comments.

I thought I was restating your comment about fragments that did or did not have state highway connections to the node. In my following example I thought echoed the type of precluded chop you said was OK, and I just extended it to a macrochop.

The only place I think my rule precludes one of your locally connected chops is in the following circumstance. There is a large county that is macrochopped between two or more districts. Another district almost entirely outside of the macrochopped county takes a small bite in the form of a town not regionally connected to the rest of the district, but the town does have a state highway connecting it to one of the dominant districts in the macrochopped county. Essentially it would have to have a state highway running parallel to the county border through the town in question, but no fork in the town to cross the border. I think this would be a very rare case, and I'm not sure it's worth a special rule.

I don't follow the "special rule" bit. Any chop creating a fragment without a state highway connection should lose under the preference regime to a map that chops creating a fragment that does have a state highway connection.

I can't using scoring preference on connections. All parts of each district must be connected to be a valid plan. Scoring takes place after a plan is deemed valid. Established connections are the basis for measuring erosity, and they are the only basis for measuring erosity. I won't say a connection is OK for a validity check and then vanishes for erosity scoring.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 25, 2016, 08:46:30 am
Non-isolated fragments only require local connections within a county. That was defined earlier and is consistent with subunits inside a macrochopped county. It doesn't come into play for non-isolated fragments when there is only one chop (since by definition there is a state highway to the county seat interrupted by the fragment), but when there is more than one chop it may. Think about three fragments in a county where two have only a county road connecting them. They are connected in my initial implementation of fragments.

The only place I think my rule precludes one of your locally connected chops is in the following circumstance. There is a large county that is macrochopped between two or more districts. Another district almost entirely outside of the macrochopped county takes a small bite in the form of a town not regionally connected to the rest of the district, but the town does have a state highway connecting it to one of the dominant districts in the macrochopped county. Essentially it would have to have a state highway running parallel to the county border through the town in question, but no fork in the town to cross the border. I think this would be a very rare case, and I'm not sure it's worth a special rule.
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