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1  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.
2  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
3  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.

4  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.
5  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.
6  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?
7  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.
8  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.
9  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
10  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.
11  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.
12  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.
13  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.
14  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Legal description of Hudson's city boundaries on: April 25, 2016, 08:36:35 am
Many of the features you use are not depicted on the census block map, nor appear on google map aerials. So how can they be used?
I'm not sure what you are saying. Can you give me some examples?

See:
2010 Census - Census Block Maps

On right hand side under "Place" select New York, then H, then Hudson to get PDF of census map

Nothing connects from Mill Street to Harry Howard, and yet you drew lines between the two - twice.


I added the lines.

We start with the 2010 lines (2015 actually).

The first part of the Block Boundary Suggestion Project is to propose edits to the current lines.

The census bureau is primarily interested in areas that have been newly developed, or redeveloped, since that is where there will be new streets, or changed streets. The census bureau is mainly interested in associating street addresses with census blocks, so that they can get people placed in the right area.

Second is to eliminate errata. Features that no longer exist (or never existed) or are missing or badly placed.

The third part is to suggest which lines be used as block boundaries.

I am being slightly aggressive in the second part, knowing where I will want to suggest blocks be place.

Mill Street clearly exists to 3rd Street. To change a feature, the old version is deleted, and a new one is added. So what I am really doing is telling the census bureau that their current line for Mill Street is too short.

The bike trail up the Dugway does exist, and what is shown as Mill Street at the top end does not exist. So I am telling the census bureau to eliminate that part of Mill Street and add the bike trail.

Mill Street and the bike trail are visible. Someone who lives in Hudson could verify their existence.

2020 Census Program Phases

PL 94-171

We are implementing PL 94-171, which requires the Census Bureau to consult with bodies responsible for redistricting as to what areas to enumerate. It is reasonable to assume that New York state wants a single set of data to be used for congressional, legislative, and local redistricting, even though it is unlikely that Hudson will be divided by legislative or congressional districts.

I am concerned that if the feature is not on the census map, then you don't have a closed polygon, which is what the Census bureau requires. Maybe it would be willing to add new features, but to try to go there, one would need tp see the feature on some map. You are drawing lines where there might be features (that you inferred are there, or whatever or used some topo map), but they are invisible on aerial maps.

In the case of Mill St, I see a clear path on Google Earth that links the two stubs. The creek from Underhill pond is also visible in spots on GE, so that seems like it could be a legitimate feature, too.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA problem on: April 25, 2016, 08:25:05 am
The new pop est was from a time before the 2010 Census, don't worry about it now. The 2010 Census data is the most recent and you should check it in the dialog box that appears after you select a state. The 113th shapes means you can compare to districts drawn with the 2010 data, uncheked you compare to the 2000 districts.
Okay.
So say I wanted to make a map based on 2015 population estimates. What would I do?
You have to calculate the populations outside of DRA. I use a spreadsheet. Then I use DRA to draw the map based on my spreadsheet.
16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 25, 2016, 08:13:01 am
Here's what I'd ideally like as a definition and implementation. Setting aside macrochops for now, would it cause a serious problem? The most I see is occasional extra erosity for certain isolated fragments that do have both a regional connection to a county in their district and are locally connected to a different county not in the district.

Definition: Isolated Unit. Counties or fragments may exist that have no regional connection, but are locally connected to other contiguous units. Such counties or fragments are isolated units.
  
Item: An isolated unit is connected to another unit if there is a local connection to the unit.

It is very simple to illustrate and judge. It avoids the need for separate county and fragment definitions. No knowledge of the layout of districts is necessary.
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 25, 2016, 07:28:42 am
It's true that isolated counties are very few in number (I'm only certain of one). But completeness requires that I address it. It turns out that the mechanism that makes most sense to address isolated counties also works for isolated fragments without regional connections even in ordinary counties.

So as you see there are two types of isolated fragments. One type has no possible regional connections and must use local connections. The other type can make regional connections using state highways that were not part of the connecting path to the unit containing the fragment. The tricky part is that if the fragment is adjacent to two counties, but there is only a regional connection to the county not in the district, it still isn't connected to its district. Not good.

Using regional connections where available requires the judge to recognize where the district extends into other counties. This tangles chops and connectivity more than is minimally necessary, but the tangle may be desirable. Human brains handle the tangle much better than computers.

One thing may help me understand the scope of your local-connected chop preference. It clearly is in play for simple chops. Is it necessary for macrochops, too? That is do you want to grab a town in a macrochopped county that is not regionally connected to the adjacent county? nb We excluded this in the Detroit metro with no complaints, and I don't recall it popping up anywhere else, unlike your simple chop usage.
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA problem on: April 25, 2016, 06:40:53 am
The new pop est was from a time before the 2010 Census, don't worry about it now. The 2010 Census data is the most recent and you should check it in the dialog box that appears after you select a state. The 113th shapes means you can compare to districts drawn with the 2010 data, uncheked you compare to the 2000 districts.
19  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA problem on: April 25, 2016, 01:51:22 am
Could you be more specific about which state and what browser you are using. By latest population estimate I assume you mean 2010.
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Do you live in a bubble? on: April 24, 2016, 06:12:49 pm
Curiously my score matched my age - 57.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Whatcom County, WA Redistricting and Political Geography on: April 24, 2016, 04:04:02 pm
So it looks like imgur ate all of my images while I was away.  Sad.

Well here is the official district map that was approved a few days ago:

https://wa-whatcomcounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/17269

Should be 4-1 Democrats most of the time, but the coastal and mountain districts have been drawn to include enough GOP farmland area that they might be competitive in a good GOP year.

I don't really like the fact that the farmland district goes all the way to the city.  Pretty sure my old apartment is in it too, though the map isn't detailed enough for me to tell for sure. 

Overall they did a decent job.

With Bellingham proper divided into two districts, there wasn't a lot else they could do with the eastern district.
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 24, 2016, 02:45:09 pm
Actually if I've written my definition correctly, then the fragment you would like to use is an isolated fragment, in that it has no connections to other units, at most a local connection to other fragments in the chopped unit. That leads to rules that favor your preferred chop.

Definition: Isolated County. An isolated county is a county or equivalent that has no regional connections. Example: Pitkin county, CO.
  
Item: An isolated county is connected to a unit if there is a local connection to the unit.

Item: An isolated county fragment that has no regional connections to adjacent units in other counties in the same district is connected to a unit or fragment across county lines if there is a local connection to the unit.

The underlined narrowly defines the connections for your preferred chops. Without the underlined it would treat all isolated fragments the same whether or not there is a regional link to the rest of the district. Without the underlined it is simpler and either way it accommodates your preference. Any thoughts?

Oh, and I do like your signature. What's the source?
23  General Politics / Economics / Re: What can Gen Y specifically do politically to turn their economic futures around on: April 24, 2016, 09:01:00 am
I don't know which age range 'Gen Y' is supposed to be.
I would define it as those born between the early 80s to mid 90s.

The Pew Center uses 1981-1996 (or 97) for the Millennials (what Gen-Y is normally called now that it has a name separate from Gen-X). That compares to 1965-1980 for Gen-X and 1946-1964 for the Boomers.
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Alaska or Hawaii? on: April 24, 2016, 08:37:31 am
They are the only two states I've not been in. Therefore I have no personal preference.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Local vs regional road connections on: April 24, 2016, 08:15:47 am
Setting aside nicks for now, I want to look at a particular type of chop that creates an isolated fragment. Here are the current definitions and rules.

Definition: Connecting Path. There is often more than one possible path to connect two nodes. For both local and regional connections the connecting path between two units is considered to be the path that takes the shortest time as determined by generally available mapping software.

Definition: Fragment. A fragment is a contiguous unit entirely within a district formed by the chop of a political unit. For a fragment that does not contain the node of the whole political unit, the node is that of the most populous subunit in the fragment.

Item: A fragment is connected to another fragment in the same political unit if their nodes are locally connected. A fragment is connected to another unit if the connecting path between the other unit and the unit containing the fragment enters the unit in that fragment.

I italicized my language in the definition of fragment that was questioned. These definitions and associated item allowed us to interpret the following chop as one that reduced erosity, creating a tradeoff between chops and erosity.



Here's an example of what I call an isolated fragment that could use my questioned wording.

Definition: Isolated Fragment. An isolated fragment occurs when a chop creates a fragment that has no connections to other units.



This is certainly a chop we'd like to see as it follows the river in this example. We have agreed that Adlai and Clay are not connected since you have to go through Dewey on the most direct path or Bryan on the more circuitous path. So the path through west Adlai between Clay and Dewey is not a connecting path, so west Adlai has no connections by the existing rules. I think the natural connections for west Adlai are to both Clay and Dewey, and this should be the graph.



Unlike other fragments an isolated fragment cannot rely on the location of the prior connecting paths of its original unit. Here's a rule that resolves this situation to get the result I suggest in the graph.

Item: An isolated fragment has a connection with a unit when there is connecting path with that unit.

This treats the isolated fragment as if it were a new unit for the purposes of making a connection. Note that this requires knowledge of the node of the fragment since it now is treated as if it it were an independent unit. Without a node in the isolated fragment there is no way to define new paths to be used as connections to the isolated fragment. That takes us back to the question of if and how to define a node in a fragment.
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