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26  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Argentina 2011: Presidential election and other stuff on: June 23, 2011, 07:00:04 pm
My poor understanding of Argentine political parties is that most of them are officially Peronist and actually opportunist.  There are ideologically coherent parties on the left and right, but they are in the minority.
27  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Christine O'Donnell will win the General Election for DE-Sen. on: October 23, 2010, 05:21:02 pm
Jefferson being an anti-religious crusader is surprising news to me.

Jefferson was anti miraculous religion, as opposed to philosophical religion. He would have been happy being a Buddhist.

This is totally off-topic, but a bit of a pet peeve of mine.  Westerners often treat 'Buddhism' as a single religion which is somehow more abstract, more philosophical, and less theistic than the Abrahamic religions.  In reality, Buddhism is just as varied as Christianity, and at least as susceptible to being folklorized, acquiring bizarre cosmologies, roadside saint altars, relics you have to pay 1000 yen to see, and so on.  This conception of Buddhism you appear to share (though I suspect you know better) is much as if some culture derived their entire idea of Christianity from some amalgamation of Spinoza and the Quakers.  (After I typed this, I realized Spinoza was Jewish... the analogy might still work, or you might substitute some other highbrow religious philosopher, because I don't know them very well.)
28  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Where can I find the land areas of census block groups? (AND another question) on: September 30, 2010, 08:19:51 am

I'm trying to visualize density profiles: y% of people in this urban area live at density at least x.  I have to run to class in a bit, I might write more later though.
29  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Where can I find which blocks/block groups are contained in an "urban area"? on: September 30, 2010, 12:36:30 am
Another question: can I find a data file that will tell me which census-defined "urban area", if any, contains a given block group (or block, if it has to be that)?  Again, I just can't find this.  It doesn't seem to be contained in any of the geography files; the census website just gives shapefiles and maps of urban areas.
30  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Where can I find the land areas of census block groups? on: September 28, 2010, 11:22:29 pm
Thanks, Jim!

Yeah, bgwah, I would've done that, but the census tables don't include density either, at least for block groups.
31  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Where can I find the land areas of census block groups? (AND another question) on: September 27, 2010, 11:55:51 pm
I've been searching the census website for a couple hours and I can't find this data.  (They do have a nice website for downloading pretty much any other census-related data, http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DownloadDatasetServlet?_lang=en.)  I found a website that displays the area of a single block group when I ask it to (like this) so the data must be somewhere, but I can't find a way I can download all the land areas of census block groups (or any other geographical areas for that matter) for, say, an entire county.

Does anyone know where to find this?  Or, say, has it and can email me a copy?
32  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Venezuelan 2010 Election on: September 27, 2010, 01:55:05 am
So did anyone bother to add everything up and get a total?

The announcers are having a really great time saying 'irrrreversible' every few seconds.
33  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Venezuelan 2010 Election on: September 27, 2010, 01:32:51 am
Saying irrelevant stuff about thanking voters and poll workers and so on...

Turnout 66.45%
34  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: State Migration Trends, 1993-2008: From 'Blue' States to 'Red' States on: September 22, 2010, 11:48:52 pm
Folks with the courage to uproot themselves, and go far away to find work (and in a place with the most unfriendly social safety net perhaps in the nation), are not a random sample of the population.

You mean, they have less conservative personalities?

... Yeah, OK, who knows how this reflects on political ideology (I certainly don't presume to) but that was too easy.

I mean, there are four possible components to this phenomenon that I can think of.  One is that the redder states tend to have more bureaucracy and therefore are more expensive to exist in.  The second is that the bluer states make life cheaper by externalizing problems to their neighbors and into the future.  The third is that the redder states tend to value certain things (e.g. rich culture, open space, social services, catering to NIMBYs) more than they do purely efficient spending.  The fourth is that people in economically depressed states tend to vote for the party that promises more for the poor -- just look at Nevada's swing from '04 to '08.
35  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Effective number of parties on: May 25, 2010, 11:19:53 am
So yeah, the formula calculates essentially the amount of choice voters have.  If you have $n$ parties which each get $1/n$ of the vote, then you get $1/(n(1/n^2))=n$ for the effective number of parties.  If the parties are significantly imbalanced, that decreases the effective number.  E.g. if there are two parties but one wins 2/3 of the vote, the effective number is $1/((2/3)^2+(1/3)^2)=9/5=1.8$.  If anything, this overestimates this effective number, since if one party wins two-thirds of the vote, that's essentially a one-party system.  Or if there are three parties which get 1/2, 1/4, and 1/4, we get $1/(1/4+1/16+1/16)=8/3$, even though that's essentially a two-party system.  But maybe there's some sort of theory that makes this formula meaningful.

Btw, I suspect, Xahar, that you're hobbling yourself by claiming to be unable to do math.

(Edit: oh how fail I at counting!)
36  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which banned/missing troll would you most like to see return? on: May 10, 2010, 10:23:22 pm
What did Straha do to get banned?  I never understood this, probably I was absent from the forum when it happened.  I always thought him abrasive, but amusing and worth having around.
37  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour 2010 vs. Republicans 2006 on: May 09, 2010, 02:42:50 pm
Relative to expectations, Labour did better, of course.  But that just shows how polarized the US is.
38  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / strange how they're so pointed about this on: April 08, 2010, 12:33:59 pm
39  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Dutch general election, 2010 on: April 07, 2010, 10:27:42 pm
Why is D66 losing so much support?  I liked the polls better when GL and D66 together were getting a third of the vote.
40  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: DSM 5 may classify Marijuana as an addictive substance. on: March 15, 2010, 12:20:40 pm
However, I would illegalize a drug called salvia.  This drug is known for inclining teenagers to commit suicide.  Its effects are like LSD or Heroin.  Teenagers buy it because they think it will give them the same effects as Marijuana, but the effects are far worse.  I had a friend who had to be sat for an hour by another friend because he wanted to jump out a third story window.  He was apparently yelling, "Please kill me, please kill me.  I want the pain to stop.  When will this end.  Please kill me."  I've heard this story told many times. 

That is incredibly incoherent.  The pressure to make salvia illegal is largely based on the case of one teenager who wrote about salvia in his journal and several months later committed suicide.  LSD is nothing like heroin, and salvia is nothing like either.  Salvia trips only last about 15 minutes, and yes, the effects are unpredictable and it's wise to have a sober trip-sitter, but as far as we know the drug isn't dangerous physiologically or in terms of long-term psychological effects such as addiction.
41  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Washington 2008 President by Precinct on: March 14, 2010, 08:35:43 pm
where you wrote "loggers", add "Twilight tourism" -- I was stuck in Forks for several hours because I missed a bus, and it was full of women who looked exactly like this and signs like "BLAH HOTEL - TWILIGHT ROOMS."  This may explain why Forks doesn't vote like Port Angeles or even Sequim.  Or maybe I'm overthinking it.
42  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The post per day rates of myself and Mechaman on: February 15, 2010, 02:40:47 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem integrated over time, if BRTD checks this kind of thing a lot
43  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Santa Barbara, California on: February 09, 2010, 12:43:16 am
FC, based on the quality of music that you can hear on the main street on a Thursday night in July.
44  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Obama and his margin of victory in big cities on: February 05, 2010, 04:27:44 pm
45  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: 2010 Costa Rica Presidential Election on: February 04, 2010, 11:15:45 am
Chinchilla!  May I suggest a new theme for Lewis's signature?
46  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Greatest Fictional President on: January 31, 2010, 03:25:38 pm
Obviously Betty Boop:

47  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever been to the previous poster's congressional district? on: January 29, 2010, 01:40:22 am
No to both.

CA-14, CA-29, or IL-1
48  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What percentage of counties in your state are Freedom Counties? on: January 23, 2010, 12:45:10 am
that Joan Baez song that plays with the start of each new episode of Weeds

Malvina Reynolds, sorry.  Though I've only heard it in the Pete Seeger version.  It was actually inspired by the stuff around 280 in Pacifica or thereabouts.

Haha, I think I just out-olded Torie.  Must be all that turning 22 getting to me.
49  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Most Republican County in Each State in 2008 on: January 22, 2010, 04:05:31 pm
I like all those Grant counties there.

3 Grants and 2 Garfields.  Impressive.
50  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Most Democratic County in Each State in 2008 on: January 22, 2010, 12:49:02 am
14. Taos County, New Mexico (Obama 81.82 - McCain 16.97 = D + 64.85)
Majority (57.94%) Hispanic/Latino.
More importantly, though, an artsy/resort community.

30. Silver Bow County, Montana (Obama 68.51 - McCain 28.27 = D + 40.24)
Contains Butte. Is this a liberal city? Universities? Read somewhere about labor unions?
Semi-defunct mining area, IIRC.

46. Summit County, Utah (Obama 56.34 - McCain 41.11 = D + 15.23)
Not too sure on this county, either, but it has the second lowest percentage of Mormons in the state - was also one of two counties that voted against against the gay marriage ban.
Another ski resort area.

As for the Kentucky and West Virginia places, Al will have plenty to say there.
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