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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Sister cities on: Today at 12:18:37 am
As I mentioned back when I visited SF, San Francisco and DC have way more similarities than either of them would really care to admit.
2  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Ask TNF on: July 22, 2014, 04:00:12 pm
Do you think Poland's very existence is an act of aggression?
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Favourite latest post by previous poster on: July 21, 2014, 09:55:11 pm
No reason for me to apologize. I said celibates are emotionally off-kilter and your responses to me certainly don't have me second guessing that assertion.

How was I supposed to respond? Laugh and pretend to agree? Disagree but not say anything? Make my original, studiously unemotive response, and then ignore your subsequent personal attacks? You haven't, incidentally, given any indication as to how you think I'm 'emotionally off-kilter', other than, apparently, taking it personally when I'm repeatedly insulted by somebody who's never met me. I have no idea what the acceptable range of emotion or emotional expression in King-verse even is, except that sexual activity (or just desire for sexual activity? What is the minimum amount of sex necessary to be well-adjusted in your worldview?--Rhetorical question; I have no interest in knowing the answer to this) is absolutely mandatory for some reason.
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Oklahoma's domino has fallen on: July 21, 2014, 09:36:30 pm
No reason for me to apologize. I said celibates are emotionally off-kilter and your responses to me certainly don't have me second guessing that assertion.

It only seems that way to you because you're viewing Nathan's responses through the lens of your own pre-existing (and obviously doubled-down-upon) prejudice, rather than having any sort of empathy for the idea that maybe people aren't going to take kindly to having their more personal and immutable characteristics be so casually and constantly misunderstood and insulted.

Jeez.  Yes, you do need to apologize.  "Man up", as they say, and just do it.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Bacon King Institute of Comedy on: July 21, 2014, 09:28:19 pm
So it's LARPing as tech-sector yuppies in aviator shades, or...?

It's Google's pathetically transparent attempt to get people to actually use G+, far as I can tell.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Al Realpolitik Institute of Sulfur Mining & Extraction on: July 21, 2014, 09:25:34 pm
Whatever. I hope your nonexistent country becomes a republic.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 21, 2014, 08:04:20 pm
Unlike GA where there were core counties with 40%+ and 50%+ BVAPs, Wayne county MI only reaches 39.2% BVAP and I can't justify keeping it apart with its small population. I also can't see adding only one of the adjacent counties from a CoI view since if either Oakland or Macomb is added, so should the other. With that in mind, I took jimrtex's suggestion of shifting the Lansing UCC to the east to get this map.



Mackinac 3400K
Huron 2620K
St Clair 3864K

Yeah, in the end that's probably the best way to do the Detroit area.  I had forgotten just how small Wayne actually was; remembering that I think this more expansive three-county district would be preferred.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 21, 2014, 07:59:01 pm
Thanks for the comments, since you can see I really do try to integrate good ideas. I went back and forth on Sussex, since my memories from 30 years ago had virtually no NYC exurban area out there. If you think that there's still a good case to keep the Delaware Water Gap with the rest of the new West Jersey (Morris is obviously too much in the Newark metro) I can move it. The fact that the NYC metro is so large and has to be split, along with the fact that the NYC CSA extends into PA, makes it easier to split the western counties from Newark.

As you can see I came to agree with you on Philly. What do you think of the rest of my PA solution? Allentown may not be an ideal fit for the Lower Susquehanna, but I liked it better there since it allowed me to keep the mountain counties together.

I'm in the process of creating another full US map, this time with PVIs for all the districts, so I appreciate the input.

Thanks.

I think I still prefer putting Allentown with Scranton-Wilkes-Barre and the rural Northeast; and south-central PA with the rural Appalachians... but that bothers me a lot less than the Philly split did.  I guess my main pieces of evidence for splitting PA that way would be that Allentown's metro does cross Blue Mountain and include Carbon County, while both Allentown and the Poconos have some extra-peripheral NYC ties; whereas south-central PA and the Alleghenies are (mostly) linked in opposition to those other areas by being Steelers country.  It's not an airtight case, I'll admit; the Steelers connection breaks down in eastern Lancaster and Berks is a plausible connection between Dutch Country and the Lehigh Valley. 

I feel like that's something that would make a good plebiscite; hold SEPA and the West constant, and have people vote on which way to split the other two districts. 
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC approves apartment building with separate entrance for poor people on: July 21, 2014, 07:47:10 pm
What's the problem?

If it's a doorman building, the entrance is an amenity paid for by the renters paying the market rate.  It costs money to pay a doorman and if you're not paying market rate, why should you get a doorman?  The service providing by a doorman is a nice amenity, but it's certainly not the type of thing that the city should necessarily subsidize for affordable housing tenants.

This is true on narrow legal grounds, but not only doesn't honestly address the core optics problem with the building described in the OP, but is sufficiently tone-deaf as to possibly make it worse.

That's New York City buddy.  We have the necessary obnoxiousness that comes with rubbing elbows.  Is it really worse to have a building with separate entrances than it is to have two buildings, one for only poor people and one for only rich people?  Elsewhere in the country you have rich people in gated neighborhoods.  

This just comes down to the fact that a doorman is an expensive luxury service.

Yeah, I don't really see how this is worse than the gated community/crumbling housing projects paradigm that is typical in most of the country. Maybe because this is the "norm", people don't have the energy to be outraged by it. AD actually does have a point.

Yeah, it's not.  Gated communities and "the projects" are even worse, much much worse.  But that's just such a laughably low bar, we can do better.

And, just to forestall this particular line of criticism, I'm very much not suggesting that the affordable units be equal in every way to the market-rate units.  It's totally fine and proper if the subsidized affordable stuff gets worse views, or less space, or Sears for their appliances instead of Sub-Zero.

Having to go in a back alley instead of a front door because folks are paying for the privilege of not having to interact with you (thus being constantly reminded of that lovely dignity-stripping fact)... that's qualitatively different.  It's just not comparable to having less goodies because you have less money/the gov't can only afford to subsidize so much, and saying that those things are equivalent because they're both "amenities" is missing the point.

I guess this might still be better than in Scarsdale or San Francisco, where how dare you ever build tall enough to meet demand, 'cuz blah blah blah historic character (i.e. exclusivity).  I guess I'm not going to throw up all sorts of hypocritical, counterproductive roadblocks like those places would.  That doesn't mean we can't complain about it and hopefully shame developers (and prospective tenants) into not being so openly classist going forward.
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 21, 2014, 06:48:05 pm
Since I abhor dull names for this exercise, I prefer geographic names that would be identifiable by residents of the state even if they are not inclusive of the entire area. Naming the district after a famous person from the district would beat a dull name here. Directional names should only be used when they are part of a specific geographic feature, and city or county names should be reserved for districts that comprise only the city or county in question. My revised GA plan based on the above CoI would be as follows.



Kennesaw Mt: 4253K, Obama 34.7%, McCain 64.4%
King: 2393K, 46.1% BVAP, Obama 68.6%, McCain 30.8%
Ocmulgee: 3041K, Obama 45.6%, McCain 53.8%

I certainly think this would be an acceptable Georgia; and quite possibly preferred if we're taking the VRA into account.

Regarding what I was going to say earlier: I noticed that the Philly, Detroit, and Atlanta metros all were somewhat similar in size- 7th, 11th, and 12th in current rankings, and if you remove the New Jersey portion of Philly they're very close indeed.  All are in between one and two districts at this size, ideally.  And, in addition, all of the three have large black populations that support between 1 and 3 VRA districts at our current 435-district size.

So it would seem to make sense to treat them somewhat similarly on these maps, and either draw them all with expansive borders, or all with close-in borders.  But there are differences as well: Philly's one black-majority district is the result of a much smaller AA population than Georgia's three districts; and there is of course the accident of very different historical political boundaries:

*Philly has the most expansive city boundaries, being a combined city-county; Atlanta is very penned-in and takes up about 10 percent of the metro area; Detroit is in the middle...
*In terms of central county sizes, Wayne is the most expansive, and Fulton again is the smallest, both relatively and absolutely.

There's also the larger philosophical question of how much animosity there is between the (largely AA) central cities, and the (largely white) suburbs, and whether we want to be encouraging the suburbs to identify as a separate unit from the central cities, or as one unified metro area.  Obviously my bias is toward a rapprochement between city and suburb and a recognition that urban areas don't always end at the exact town lines (and that the suburbs need the central city just as much as the city needs the suburbs), which I hope explains my horror at cordoning off Philly in particular- at least, whatever can't be simply explained by the fact that Philadelphia County is really underpopulated, beyond jimrtex's original guidelines.

I guess, when looking at those three areas, I'd say that it's somewhat tricky to figure out how to draw the lines when the metros are obviously too large for one and too small for two districts, so at the end of the day while I'd like to try and be consistent in my principles you have to look at the differences between them, both in terms of their internal composition and their neighbors.  The PA portion of the Philly district is not too overpopulated, and is surrounded by other metros, (especially if you slice off Berks, which is legitimately separate), so I'd go with maximum inclusivity.  I'm more willing to draw tightly around Wayne County, though, because it's a tougher judgment call as to which suburban counties to include, and also in recognition of the sad fact that the city/suburb animosity is particularly keen there. 

As for Georgia, my original map went for a bit of a middle ground (which also happened to minimize deviations) since Fulton/DeKalb/Clayton would be too small and the entire metro would be too large.  Though, Atlanta is also the metro with the highest AA population and thus the one case where the VRA could plausibly be triggered (the Detroit and Philly black populations just aren't quite large enough I think), so upon further reflection your most recent map, with its black-plurality Atlanta & south core, is also a solid option.  At this population size there are very few genuine opportunities for minority districts, so it makes sense to take the opportunity here.  (Where else even is there?  I guess NYC, Chicago, LA, South Texas, and Miami?  And none of those are quite comparable, excepting possibly Miami-Dade.)

Bah, this is all quite a meandering hash.  Hope I made a little bit of sense at least.
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 21, 2014, 06:11:41 pm
The Edison division can become the Jersey Shore district and is within range. To fix the southern district I note that Warren county isn't part of the NY UCC, but is part of the Allentown UCC and like South Jersey is oriented towards PA. Shifting that would be enough, but looking at population, I can move Hunterdon as well which is only loosely connected to the Newark division. If one wanted to further smooth the populations, they could shift Sussex as well. Here's the NJ map I come up with.



Palisades 4003K; 2008 pres: D 60.7%, R 38.5%, O 0.8%
Jersey Shore 2340K; 2008 pres: D 50.2%, R 48.6%, O 1.1%
Delaware (NJ) 2449K; 2008 pres: D 58.7%, R 40.0%, O 1.2%

I quite like this map, FWIW.  The biggest question is of course whether Hunterdon and Warren would like it.  And putting Sussex in the Delaware district, while a little weird by current CoI standards, would do a good job of reconstituting the old West Jersey:

 

Though, while Warren is part of the Allentown metro and thus is nominally oriented toward PA, it's not like the county is entirely separate from the NYC orbit: the eastern portion is more NYC exurbs and the Allentown connection comes in mainly through Phillipsburg; and Allentown is part of the New York CSA after all.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYC approves apartment building with separate entrance for poor people on: July 21, 2014, 03:16:25 pm
What's the problem?

If it's a doorman building, the entrance is an amenity paid for by the renters paying the market rate.  It costs money to pay a doorman and if you're not paying market rate, why should you get a doorman?  The service providing by a doorman is a nice amenity, but it's certainly not the type of thing that the city should necessarily subsidize for affordable housing tenants.

This is true on narrow legal grounds, but not only doesn't honestly address the core optics problem with the building described in the OP, but is sufficiently tone-deaf as to possibly make it worse.
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Ray Goldfield on: July 20, 2014, 10:43:42 pm
Better than Snowstalker.

Not that that's saying much these days.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask BRTD on: July 18, 2014, 02:44:24 pm
Ingress players:


Just because they're too lazy and cheap to go full cosplay, and skimp with just a t-shirt, doesn't actually change what they're doing.  Tongue
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which genre of music is more popular amongst 30-year olds? on: July 17, 2014, 11:51:42 pm
I mean, I wish more thirty-year-olds were into the squalid realism of Cavalleria rusticana, or the heightened grand guignol that is Tosca, or the panoramic grandeur of Wagner at his best (but not the racist incoherence of Wagner at his worst), but...

Yeah, to be honest even I don't like opera very much and I'm one of the biggest classical fans on here.  I think there's just something about 99% of operatic vocal writing that leaves me cold and listless, though I'll happily listen to plenty of instrumental classical music.

Though, if we're going to turn this into a "post your favorite arias thread" (and really, that's exactly what we should do here), I do love me some John:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fJRoKlCroU
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask BRTD on: July 17, 2014, 10:42:20 pm
yes there are people that use G+

You're using words that, in isolation, look like they came from the English language, but all I can make out here is fantastical word salad that would make Finnegan's Wake blush in modesty.

Oh and about 85% of Ingressers hate LARPers too, especially the LARPers who play Ingress and look completely insane to everyone else.

Uh, dude, Ingress is a LARP.  That's what I was referring toTongue
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: TitD's random thoughts about food and drink thread on: July 17, 2014, 10:06:33 pm
Postulate #2:  This is the best meat substitute known to mankind:

18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask BRTD on: July 17, 2014, 10:03:05 pm
A bunch of my geek friends have all suddenly decided to start playing this weird LARP thing called Ingress in the past couple months, and now my Facebooks and blogspaces are jam-crudded with all sorts of incomprehensible stuff about hosing blue and somesuch.  How do I get them to shut up?
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you wish there were more Update related threads? on: July 17, 2014, 09:54:58 pm
The one good thing about all these AMA threads is that they're crowding out Update spamjunk.
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Weezer on: July 17, 2014, 09:46:52 pm
Their only two albums were great.  The tribute band touring under their name for the past however many years is unfortunate, but so it goes. 

(Sorry Tik. Tongue)
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which poster is closest to you ideologically? on: July 17, 2014, 09:40:01 pm
Probably Averroes Nix, though bedstuy and Antonio V would both be excellent choices as well.  My views could probably be pretty well described as an amalgam of those three.
22  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 07:03:42 pm
As for the example of "congressman" (which seems pretty inelegant as-is), I suppose the distinction is made in terms of concurrent number. I mean, there would be only be the Chairman of X at a given time but there are hundreds of members of Congress at any given time. While it might be technically correct, if we are to consider "-man" gender-neutral (but always, also?), to refer to a mixed group of members of Congress of as "these fine Congressmen", it seems strange.

Of course, this could be avoided simply by calling them "Representatives", but it raises an interesting question. Is it appropriate, for example, to have a "Conference of Chairmen of Foreign Affairs Committees of Parliaments of the European Union". Or should it be a conference of Chairpeople, even if it is correct to call a woman "chairman".

I believe the preferred usage is "congresscritter".
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Goldwater on: July 16, 2014, 06:59:33 pm
Have you ever made a snowman?
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which genre of music is more popular amongst 30-year olds? on: July 16, 2014, 06:58:04 pm
Who says it can't be both at once?

25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: July 16, 2014, 06:52:26 pm
2. Israel is bombing Gaza as to cripple Hamas' ability to bomb them. But why is Hamas bombing Israel, anyway? What exactly is Hamas trying to hit? Or is Hamas really just firing randomly? Because they've apparently been hitting themselves a lot, so you would think they have a goal if they're going to mount such a costly campaign.

I think the theory that the real target of Hamas' bombing is Egyptian public opinion, with an eye towards opening the Rafah crossing into Egypt and getting a chunk of cash to meet payroll, is a pretty compelling one.  Though I don't claim to be an expert, nor do I have any stomach to become one on this issue.

Please do not post that idiot's comics here. We're above that.

Big talk given your last sig. Tongue
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