1902: "State Borders"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
somitomi
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:21 pm UTC
Location: can be found in Hungary
Contact:

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby somitomi » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:33 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:When your goal is to put places together because they have a lot in common, rather than to make the lines on a map produce pretty pictures, the work was done for you a couple of decades ago by Joel Garreau in his book "The Nine Nations of North America". Here's the pertinent illustration from that work:

Image

I love how almost half of this map says "nothing interesting here at all".
"It's like he's his own alt account. Saves all the logging in and out."/poxic
they/them/theirs = he/him/his ❖ If you want to use something else out of dadaist spite, I won't mind.
✆ Hello? This is Forum Games Discord, what is your emergency?

sonar1313
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:29 am UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby sonar1313 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:48 pm UTC

RogueCynic wrote: As to the East/West Virginia debate, West Virginia is not a state. One principle of the Civil War was the country is indivisible. The states could not cede from the Union. The US Constitution says what is true on the federal level is also true on the state level, and when a conflict occurs, the federal government takes precedent. Therefore, West Virginia is not a real state.

The Constitution doesn't say that at all, or there would be no such thing as unicameral legislatures. Besides, the 14th Amendment (which is where that rather overly broad statement comes from) wasn't adopted until 1868, several years after West Virginia was admitted to the Union.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25823
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:41 pm UTC

Morgan Wick wrote:Align to grid: in general, I'm less concerned about drawing neat lines than ease of administration and cultural unity. I wonder what Randall's graphic designers would make of Europe
You mean what would happen if someone drew Europe's borders the way Europe drew Africa's?

europemap.png


Regarding states of equal population, this Slate article has some "interesting" suggestions.

Image
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 25707
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:40 pm UTC

Giving the dangly bit of Kentucky to Tennessee is the only way I know to resolve the Fulton County Problem.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

ericgrau
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby ericgrau » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:27 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Morgan Wick wrote:Align to grid: in general, I'm less concerned about drawing neat lines than ease of administration and cultural unity. I wonder what Randall's graphic designers would make of Europe
You mean what would happen if someone drew Europe's borders the way Europe drew Africa's?

europemap.png

Regarding states of equal population, this Slate article has some "interesting" suggestions.

Image

I noticed the least populated areas were in the midwest (around Wyoming-Utah-Colorado and surrounding areas) and wondered why this was. Then I looked at another map and noticed this area was brown while everywhere else was green. On a satellite it was also mountainous. I checked a weather map and this area is cold in the morning while everywhere else is warm. Which makes sense being so dry.

So I thought if people don't want to live there, what about something else like farmland? A map of farmland also shows this to be the least farmed area.

The midwest seems to be barren in every way. If we want to colonize space some day, perhaps we should start with Colorado.

Mikeski
Posts: 876
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:24 am UTC
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:38 pm UTC

ericgrau wrote:I noticed the least populated areas were in the midwest (around Wyoming-Utah-Colorado and surrounding areas) and wondered why this was. Then I looked at another map and noticed this area was brown while everywhere else was green. On a satellite it was also mountainous. I checked a weather map and this area is cold in the morning while everywhere else is warm. Which makes sense being so dry.

That part of the rain-shadow of the Rocky Mountains is mostly "semi-arid", not full-on desert (parts of Utah are desert). The Caribbean island of Aruba, for instance, gets less annual rainfall than Colorado. It's warm all year, though.

Satellite pix from the right time of the year will certainly be brown. Image search for Estes Park, for instance, to see that Colorado is green at least part of the year, or Glacier National Park to see the same in Montana.

So I thought if people don't want to live there, what about something else like farmland? A map of farmland also shows this to be the least farmed area.

Mountains are hard to farm on[citation needed], even when they're wet. You can cut terraces into them, but why bother trying to farm dry moutains with terrible soil when you have zillions of acres of flat land just a bit further east? The eastern sides of Colorado/Wyoming/Montana/etc are mostly cattle ranches... they're still dry and have lousy soil, but they're flat, so they're good enough to grow cow food on. The "Great Plains" east of that gets more rain and has better soil, so ND/SD/NE/KS/MN/WI/IA/etc is the farmland where the USA grows people food.

And, on top of that, the federal government owns about half of the land in the western half of the country. It's easier to farm and ranch when Washington D.C. isn't telling you exactly how to do it... or when to stop doing it.

The midwest seems to be barren in every way. If we want to colonize space some day, perhaps we should start with Colorado.

Colorado is kind of ordinary. Now Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming looks like an alien landscape...

ericgrau
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby ericgrau » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:41 pm UTC

All interesting points, but what caught my eye the most is that you seem to know a lot of nice parks. Perhaps you could offer suggestions for one of my future vacation spots?
Last edited by ericgrau on Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:52 pm UTC, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby pogrmman » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:45 pm UTC

ericgrau wrote:All interesting points, but what caught my eye the most is that you seem to know a lot of nice parks. Perhaps you could offer suggestions for one of my future vacation spots?


There’s lots of cool stuff out there — especially if you enjoy outdoorsy stuff like camping and hiking. Just in terms of National Parks, there’s a lot to do. I just got back from a few days in Mesa Verde in Colorado — it’s a bunch of ancient ruins. Rocky Mountain National Park is pretty spectacular too. It also has the advantage of not being all that far from Denver. I’ve also been to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, which is pretty great. Wyoming has the Tetons and Yellowstone which are both incredible. Utah has several — the only one I remember going to was when I drove through Capitol Reef. It’s very deserty, but has lots of cool rock formations and the like.

There’s tons to do outside of those parks though — Colorado has loads of mountains and other hikes. You could do one of the 14ers for instance — some of them aren’t all that tough and the view from on top is awesome. If you don’t want to hike, you can do tours of old gold mines, or take the tram to Pikes Peak, or go whitewater rafting. In the winter there’s skiing and sledding all over the state. Utah is full of great places to hike and camp. Same with Wyoming. I don’t have as much about those states as I do for Colorado, as I’ve got family in Colorado.

Going outside of the states you mentioned, Montana (at least the mountains) is a really awesome state. Glacier National Park is one of the coolest places I’ve been. Arizona has lots to offer — desert landscapes, mountains, the Grand Canyon. I love New Mexico — there’s good food, plenty of outdoorsy stuff, and a lot of neat history.

One last note — that region of the US would generally be referred to as the West — the Midwest is usually considered to be states like Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, the Dakotas, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

ericgrau
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby ericgrau » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:53 pm UTC

Thanks, copy pasted to my travel notes for future reference.

I'll move my edit to previous post down here for less confusion:

Outside of the federal owned lands the next least populous and low farm production area is Missouri. It's green on the satellite. At least the average temperature is normal, though I don't know about the extremes. Hmm looking at the satellite map there's a lot of forest. I guess we don't want to cut that down. Next is Texas. Lots of farmland but low production, at least by dollar value. Everywhere except that Northern square. What happened to Texas? I see a lot of orchards. Are they low value?

Looking around in general there actually isn't that much low production area for farming outside of federal lands and forests.

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby pogrmman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:55 am UTC

ericgrau wrote:Next is Texas. Lots of farmland but low production, at least by dollar value. Everywhere except that Northern square. What happened to Texas? I see a lot of orchards. Are they low value?


The vast majority of agricultural land in Texas is just range for grazing. If you look at the acreage devoted to crops, only around 13% is dedicated to crops. Overall agricultural production is around $195 per acre (it’s low compared to lots of places, but that’s because most of the value is in livestock being grazed on land that can’t be used for much else). While a good portion of the state is “agricultural land”, a good portion of the state also has limited water availability and thin soils* — neither of which is conducive to intensive agriculture. Compare that to a state like Iowa — everything is intensively farmed because there is deep soil and ample water. Those practices don’t work in Texas nearly as well. Also, most of the rangeland has been rangeland literally for generations. Why change what isn’t broken?

Having lived in TX for most of my life, I don’t think there are a ton of orchards — the only ones I know of are pecans and peaches, plus the citrus in the Rio Grande Valley. Outside of pecans, they tend to struggle with disease and weather, so I’m not sure how profitable they are.

*NB: This is referring to west of I-35. East of it, the soil is plenty deep. It may be clayey, but there’s lots of it. While my knowledge of North Texas and the Llano Estacado is limited, I can vouch for the Edwards Plateau and the Chihuahuan Desert having thin soil. Even if the Llano Estacado has deeper soil, it’s still severely limited by water availability.

ericgrau
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby ericgrau » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:28 am UTC

Ah I was referring more to southeast texas which had a low dollar value. North texas has the big money and west texas isn't as good but still ok. So I suppose East of the I-35 and a limited distance West of it. I saw a lot of trees in Google Maps satellite view. It was hard to get street view on most but I looked at one area and it looked like an orchard because the trees were all uniform size and evenly spaced. I didn't search very hard though.

jello34543
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:08 pm UTC
Location: Madison, WI

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby jello34543 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:06 pm UTC

ericgrau wrote:All interesting points, but what caught my eye the most is that you seem to know a lot of nice parks. Perhaps you could offer suggestions for one of my future vacation spots?


Olympic NP (in NW Washington (state)) is a great place for camping/hiking. Some of the parks can feel overrun, but Olympic didn't when I was there despite 3+ million visitors/year. I didn't see a lot of North Cascades NP, but what I did see was nice. Crater Lake is also worth visiting.

Other parks I liked have already been mentioned: Glacier (prob. my favorite), Yellowstone, Grand Canyon (take the time to visit the north rim. It's worth it). I've not been to Yosemite, but that's at least because it's next to impossible to get a campsite there, which implies that people like it. Great Smokey Mountain NP is overrated IMO (which isn't to say that it's bad exactly, just that I didn't think the park lived up to the fact that it pulls double the visitors of any other park).

ericgrau
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:14 pm UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby ericgrau » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:55 pm UTC

Thanks, also copy pasted saved.

Euphonium
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:17 pm UTC
Location: Inland Empire

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby Euphonium » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:09 am UTC

ericgrau wrote:I noticed the least populated areas were in the midwest (around Wyoming-Utah-Colorado and surrounding areas) and wondered why this was.


So that's definitely not the Midwest...

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby pogrmman » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:34 am UTC

ericgrau wrote:Ah I was referring more to southeast texas which had a low dollar value. North texas has the big money and west texas isn't as good but still ok. So I suppose East of the I-35 and a limited distance West of it. I saw a lot of trees in Google Maps satellite view. It was hard to get street view on most but I looked at one area and it looked like an orchard because the trees were all uniform size and evenly spaced. I didn't search very hard though.


That could be a timber or pulp farm. I don’t know much about that industry though. Most of that part of Texas is covered by pines — that’s where the trees come from. I’m not exactly sure what they use the land for. There’s certainly a lot of private land out there, and I know people hunt for pigs and use ATVs on it, but that’s about all I know about it. I haven’t spent a whole ton of time in rural East Texas.

EngrStudent
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:36 pm UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby EngrStudent » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:05 pm UTC

A very interesting plot is state of the US by area by senators. Each new state had substantially less per-capita or per-area power than the last. It was and is a pyramid scheme giving greatest power to the original 13 colonies.

Stargazer71
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:00 pm UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby Stargazer71 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:40 pm UTC

EngrStudent wrote:A very interesting plot is state of the US by area by senators. Each new state had substantially less per-capita or per-area power than the last. It was and is a pyramid scheme giving greatest power to the original 13 colonies.


Per-AREA power? Since when do we care whether dirt gets a vote? Sounds like a conspiracy theory looking for a problem to explain.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 3979
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:22 pm UTC

Also never mind that they're only looking at the Senate, where every state gets exactly two seats, regardless of size or population, by design. This disadvantaged bigger, more populous states among the original 13 colonies versus the smaller, less populous ones, not just disadvantaging newer, larger states versus the original, smaller states. Again, on purpose, as part of a compromise to protect less-populous states from more-populous ones, balanced against the population-proportional representation in the House. The only thing they're really noting is that newer states have tended to be bigger.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25823
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:54 pm UTC

EngrStudent wrote:A very interesting plot is state of the US by area by senators.

Here's a map of the US with each state scaled according to the average land area per senator.
Image

What's it supposed to demonstrate?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

DanD
Posts: 270
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:42 am UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby DanD » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:57 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
And, on top of that, the federal government owns about half of the land in the western half of the country. It's easier to farm and ranch when Washington D.C. isn't telling you exactly how to do it... or when to stop doing it.



Not exactly. Federal grazing leases are cheaper and less volatile than most state grazing leases. In many cases, they're cheaper than state taxes on the land. And they do tend to result in sustainable grazing, meaning that you're more likely to be able to keep doing the same thing year after year.

xtifr
Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby xtifr » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:55 pm UTC

EngrStudent wrote:A very interesting plot is state of the US by area by senators. Each new state had substantially less per-capita or per-area power than the last. It was and is a pyramid scheme giving greatest power to the original 13 colonies.

Montana has a smaller population than Rhode Island! (1.04M vs. 1.05M.) And it's not even the state with the smallest population. (Though I think it may have the lowest person-per-square-meter ratio--it's big.)

To make any sense of this preposterous theory, you have to entirely ignore the relevant "per-capita" claim and focus entirely on the silly "per-area" claim.

Of the top ten most populous states, four (NY, PA, GA, and NC) are among the original 13. And two more (NJ and VA) round out the top twelve. That's half of the top twelve in population. Or viewed from the other angle, nearly half of the original thirteen are in the top quartile for state population.

ETA: Duh, not sure what I'm thinking. Alaska has a lower population than Montana and more area.
"[T]he author has followed the usual practice of contemporary books on graph theory, namely to use words that are similar but not identical to the terms used in other books on graph theory."
-- Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol I, 3rd ed.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:58 pm UTC

(Indeed. Alaska, then Wyoming, then Montana.)


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Feedfetcher, Yahoo [Bot] and 57 guests