God, i should really know better than to open up Metafilter just before i’m ready to put a post to bed. As if there’s not gonna be any interesting links at MeFi. Nope, never happens.
We’ll start with the easy stuff. This map scares the shit out of me. Red areas are concentrations of Democrats, blue of Republicans. It scares me ’cause:
A) Aside from that one odd spot in South Dakota i don’t even see any heavy red marks
B) Good grief, looking at it this way i can see the logic behind thinking that liberals are really a tiny, mostly coastal and urban voice that’s screwing things up for everyone else. Ahhh, bask in the self-loathing.
C) Electoral College results seem almost inevitable if you assume most Americans are partisan voters.
Schelling’s research with artificially constructed societies informs us that like prefers like. Seems elementary, you might think. Yes, it’s elementary if every citizen wants to live somewhere where 80% of their neighbors are similar to themselves — so long as they don’t specify what demographic the other 20% should be made up of, they’re most likely just going to wind up in a big 100% block of homogeneity.
The revelation (for me, at least), is that even if you say “i’ll be happy if just half of my neighbors are similar to me” you will eventually become a part of a stratified neighborhood that looks a lot like the scary map (see figure 2 in the article, via another MeFi thread). Of course, most people think of halfway immersing themselves with a different race, culture, or political viewpoint makes them incredibly open minded. And, furthermore, who doesn’t want to find at least one out of two faces to be sympathetic? Still, it says very significant things about human psychology, the basic nature of discrimination, and maybe even why Democrats can only win certain southern states.
Good lord, that took forever. Maybe we’ll let that be a post all by itself. Yes. The other dozen links soon to follow.