Which Way Are You Facing?

I found this project very, very interesting.   It provides a way to quantify certain underlying divisions that I've always felt and heard discussed.    Certain states or regions have not only a location in the U.S., but an orientation:   that is, the people there think of themselves as connected with certain other locations.

Here's a link to the big map of new "states", but be sure to check out the interactive map as well.   It lets you see, comparatively, how much time your county spends on the phone with each county in the country.   All sorts of interesting connections emerge.   One I noticed was that on the phone, Alabama is not closely connected with Mississippi.   Over text-messaging, however, it shifts alignment away from Georgia and toward MS.   This fits well with my own anecdotal observations that younger people in Alabama have more interaction with Mississippi (especially the coast) than older people.

Large, publicly-available data-sets are going to start showing us a lot more about ourselves as we go forward.

ht: Strange Maps; Adam Brown

Quote #148

"The cyber-revolution has made it possible for us to deceive ourselves about how close we are [...]"

— Douglas Wilson

Quote #147

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by bureaucracy."

— poster on Slashdot.org

Quote #146

"[...] they will govern you, when their time comes, [...] and they will be just such rulers as you make them."


"Don't the Bible say we must love everybody?"
"Oh, the Bible!   To be sure, it says a great many such things; but, then, nobody ever thinks of doing them [...]"

— Harriet Beecher Stowe

Quote #145

"Surely, if each one saw another’s heart,
There would be no commerce,
No sale or bargain pass: all would disperse.
And live apart."

— George Herbert

SQF Radio #5

Let's try something different for the fifth installment of SQF Radio.   Follow the thread.   As always, the big playlist is here.

  1. Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Up Above My Head.   Sister Tharpe lights up that guitar such that Marvin Berry was seen running for the payphone backstage to call his cousin.   You know that new sound you've been lookin' for?   Well listen to this:

  2. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us.   After listening to a few of Rosetta Tharpe's songs, I realized that the titles sounded familiar.    In fact, they keep showing up in the lyrics of this song, most famously sung by bluegrass ambassador Krauss and Led Zeppelin front-man Plant.   I had no idea who it was about until I made that connection.

  3. Sam Phillips - Five Colors.   While Krauss & Plant sang "Sister Rosetta Comes Before Us" on their album, the song actually belongs to Sam Phillips (T-Bone Burnett's wife, for those diagramming this on a chalkboard at home).    Here's another of her songs (one of my favorites).

  4. Jamey Johnson - Four Walls of Raiford.    C-C-C-Combo Breaker!    I don't know what, if anything, this cover has to do with the previous three items, except that it's awesome.    Doin' Ronnie proud.

Quote #144

"Willpower is insufficient to overcome the natural decay of life. [...]  I believe that “progress” in one area must always come at an overall cost to the system – as long as it comes from within, that is. If I get better in one area, other areas will get worse. [...] If you make a gain through sheer willpower, something else will get worse and offset it."

— Michael Belote

Watch This

Toby Sumpter on men, women, and God's purpose in marriage:
Unity does not rest on uniformity. Unity does not rest on being identical. Rather, unity and life in the world God created actually rests on the goodness of difference: the goodness of the difference between Creator and creation, the difference between heaven and earth, the difference between land and seas, between man and animals, between man and woman. God created the world this way and said it was very good. God created the world and people to share in His glory which did not require a loss of identity on His part, and no true loss of glory at all. Difference is where glory shines. Contrasts light up the world.
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