Pants, Nami

Jul 22 2014

Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League

It’s articles like this that make me supremely grateful for my parents — two PhDs who have no illusions about the magic of the academic world, who have always encouraged me to follow my own standards, to think critically about my goals, and to treat my serious life choices not as life-or-death decisions, but as small steps in one of the many narratives I could be constructing about my own life. The many applications I’ve written in my life have always been treated like opportunities that I control. And they’ve been treated as experiences in themselves, from which I could learn, if I chose to. There are a lot of other things for which I am grateful: that I went to a public school where people don’t know what MIT stands for, where teachers in the arts were passionate about keeping everyone engaged— not for college-purposes, but because art and music are awesome and can be incredibly inclusionary/diverse. That I have one side of my family that is totally skeptical about traditional academic paths, that values practical skills like electrical work, and that couldn’t be brought kicking-and-screaming into the performance of sophistication. Even that I went to MIT and ended up in a major enamored of its subject matter and of what I can only describe as “play time,” without stressing about being the hardest, meanest, or most rigorous department.

Jul 16 2014
contemplatingchicken:

thekeri:

misspants:

Points if you can identify this.

I already replied to Pants, but I’m totally convinced it’s a population density map of the midwest with St. Louis in the center. If it’s not, then I want to know what the hell it is, because it is remarkable how geographically similar this picture and that area are.

Ha, yes, I think you’re right, but I didn’t see it until the graphic was minimized. 
I suppose it could be something that’s just…highly correlated to population, like building density or occurrence of thumbs.

Haha. Y’all are basically right. It’s the US Census’s Urban Areas/Urban Clusters shapefile. Definitions are:
Urbanized Areas (UAs)—An urbanized area consists of densely developed territory that contains 50,000 or more people.  The Census Bureau delineates UAs to provide a better separation of urban and rural territory, population, and housing in the vicinity of large places. 
Urban Clusters (UCs)—An urban cluster consists of densely developed territory that has at least 2,500 people but fewer than 50,000 people.  The Census Bureau first introduced the UC concept for Census 2000 to provide a more consistent and accurate measure of urban population, housing, and territory throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas.
Data source: TIGER, US Census.

contemplatingchicken:

thekeri:

misspants:

Points if you can identify this.

I already replied to Pants, but I’m totally convinced it’s a population density map of the midwest with St. Louis in the center. If it’s not, then I want to know what the hell it is, because it is remarkable how geographically similar this picture and that area are.

Ha, yes, I think you’re right, but I didn’t see it until the graphic was minimized. 

I suppose it could be something that’s just…highly correlated to population, like building density or occurrence of thumbs.

Haha. Y’all are basically right. It’s the US Census’s Urban Areas/Urban Clusters shapefile. Definitions are:

  • Urbanized Areas (UAs)—An urbanized area consists of densely developed territory that contains 50,000 or more people.  The Census Bureau delineates UAs to provide a better separation of urban and rural territory, population, and housing in the vicinity of large places.
  • Urban Clusters (UCs)—An urban cluster consists of densely developed territory that has at least 2,500 people but fewer than 50,000 people.  The Census Bureau first introduced the UC concept for Census 2000 to provide a more consistent and accurate measure of urban population, housing, and territory throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas.

Data source: TIGER, US Census.

via contemplatingchicken
Jul 16 2014
Points if you can identify this.

Points if you can identify this.

Jul 16 2014
"In addition, a major beef processor in Green Bay has expanded to offering kosher meat now that I-43 has provided faster access to the Chicago consumer market."
Hah. The universe has connected transportation planning and kosher meat distribution for me.

(Source: fhwa.dot.gov)

Jul 9 2014

http://alexbaca.tumblr.com/post/91223483451/after-an-impossible-climb-through-the-marin

alexbaca:

After an impossible climb through the Marin Headlands to Battery Spencer, I realized why everyone leaves San Francisco on July 4: We were only a few hundred yards from the Golden Gate Bridge, and couldn’t see it through the fog.

Chris’ coworkers were in L.A. Mine were camping somewhere to the…

This post describes why my insides get knotted up every time I think about being required to leave the East Coast for jobs/boy’s job etc.

via alexbaca
Jul 8 2014

Am I a stickler?

Do not write reparations when you mean repairs. Sure, maybe it’s an archaic meaning, but do we really want war-time/slavery connotations in our innocuous transportation report?

Do not write depraved when you mean degraded. Again, do we want to make people think roads are immoral?

Jul 6 2014
"

When it came to data, Kuznets was meticulous. But what, precisely, should be measured? He was inclined to include only activities he believed contributed to society’s wellbeing. Why count things like spending on armaments, he reasoned, when war clearly detracted from human welfare? He also wanted to subtract advertising (useless), financial and speculative activities (dangerous) and government spending (tautological, since it was just recycled taxes). Presumably he wouldn’t have been thrilled with the idea that the more heroin consumed and prostitutes visited, the healthier an economy.

Kuznets lost his battle. Modern national income accounts include both arms sales and investment banking services. They don’t distinguish between social “goods” – say, spending on education – and social “bads” (or necessities) – say, gambling, repairing the damage after hurricane Katrina or preventing crime. (Countries without much crime miss out on related economic activity such as security guards and repairing broken windows.) GDP is amoral. It is defined simply as the total monetary value of everything that has been produced in a given period.

"
David Pilling - Has GDP Outgrown its Use? FT Magazine.

(Source: ft.com)