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Comment: Except... (Score 1) 308

by argStyopa (#48478647) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

"If we really want our elections to reflect the will of the people,"

What "people", though?

Let me be absolutely clear: gerrymandering is bullshit - I'm *all* in favor of algorithmically-determined districts, such that they conform to:
- must have the same population
- must be contiguous ...that's great, as far as it goes, and in reading the article, that seems to be where they stopped. I'd add one further, complicating factor:
- they have to recognize communities

It's easy enough to parcel a state into clumps of districts with the same population, but if they split (for example) a town's two voting precincts into different districts, that's a failed algorithm. I can't tell from the article how they addressed that. It seems like they may have tried.

The other point is that we need to decide that each person gets one vote. Not "one person gets one vote but because we feel sorry for a specific group we need to twist things to make sure that they have a chance". That - whatever the motivation - is intrinsically antithetical to actual democracy.

Comment: Re:Hide your cables (Score 1) 508

by argStyopa (#48466789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

(I'm going to assume you're either European or referring to Europe by your snark; we'll just set aside definitions of developed as something we might fundamentally disagree on.)

Critically: the US has an overall population density 1/10 that of countries like Germany. If you can't understand the impact of that, you're not paying attention. Further, the US doesn't have draconian commmunity laws that compel people to only build new homes within town limits, as some Euro states do. (Making the effective density of populated Europe much much higher.) If you buy land in the US, you can usually build a house on it, whether you're in a town or not. Ergo, the ability to quickly/cheaply stretch power to remote locations has more value here. It's a tradeoff that people make in their home choices, whether they recognize it or not.

In places like cities, where population density warrants it, yes, the power cables do usually go underground.

If, as the op asserts, it's an ongoing problem regarding the major lines that feed the municipality, then eventually the municipality will address it with their local utility. If the OP has such a problem with it, and is sure everyone else does, I'm sure it will provide a firm point for them to be elected to the city council to fix it. Or wait, was he not actually looking to get off his ass to FIX the problem, just whine about it?

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.