With the U.S. Midterm elections less than a week away, we can expect to hear more about the Red State/Blue State dichotomy. Journalist Dante Chinni and political scientist James Gimpel are among those who maintain that it's not that simple. They say we are a patchwork nation and divided U.S. counties into 12 categories: Boom Towns, Campus & Careers, Emptying Nests, Evangelical Epicenters, Immigration Nation, Industrial Metropolis, Military Bastions, Minority Central, Monied 'Burbs, Morman Outposts, Service Worker Centers, and Tractor Country. Find out how they classified your county. [more inside]
David Brooks gets fact-checked by Sasha Issenberg, who finds that Brooks appears to have invented some of his red-state reporting. ... Brooks acknowledges that all he does is present his readers with the familiar and ask them to recognize it. Why, then, has his particular brand of stereotype-peddling met with such success? From April 2004. Via Brad DeLong.
updated red state/blue state map of America with recent poll results in place. Bush still (alarmingly) holding down Utah, Idaho & Wyoming, otherwise, not so great...
Digital Artform is a fascinating resource for those interested in 3D graphics, digital painting, and the like. How about turning 2D stills into 3D animations, the truth about motion blur and colour mixing, or outlines in action? Also, a recipe for making your own Viewmaster reels, and the politics of colour saturation.
Joe Bageant's observations on people and politics in today's America are insightful, savage, and hilarious.
The Urban Archipelago. "It's time to state something that we've felt for a long time but have been too polite to say out loud: Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America. We live on islands of sanity, liberalism, and compassion--New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and on and on. And we live on islands in red states too--a fact obscured by that state-by-state map."
"Red vs. Blue" gets a whole lot worse On Slate.com, Mark Strauss makes a (I hope) sarcastic argument for the secession of the North from the South... or the South from the North, based on perceived intractable divisions between Northern states and Southern states. Basically, his whole thesis is "Those Southern Yahoos like NASCAR and pro wrestling; so we should get rid of them and have an entire society modeled on the way my freelance journalism and fiction-writing friends here in New York think." On this post, my tongue is in my cheek about as far as Strauss' is. Tell me if I'm overreacting on this one.