Friday, November 07, 2008

Purple America

clipped from

Here's a graphic illustration of how the presidential election turned out. These are the results by county, with color reflecting the percentage that voted Republican (red) and Democrat (blue).


Here's what it looks like when the counties are scaled by population size; the smear of reds is greatly diminished.

It's striking how the emptiest places in the country are enriched with fervent conservatives. People are always fretting over how conservatives are outbreeding liberals, but it seems to me that that actually works in liberals' favor — as communities become larger and more interdependent, as people grow up aware of social support systems, as their numbers create richer opportunities for education, there's a trend towards embracing liberal values.
Of course, there is the alternative explanation:

Whatever the explanation is, I want more blue in these maps. There are more election cartograms to peruse.

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Oddly enough, people who are not isolated from differences, who have to work with black, gay, Hispanic, lesbian, First Nations persons of various and no religious background end up being far more decent people on average.

Hm. Amusing thought; when Mao Tse Tung sent all the "Counterrevolutionary Intellectuals" to the country to work in the fields, it's quite possible that he was sowing the seeds for the end of Maoist thought.

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