February 9, 2013

"This Is The Most Depressing Version Of Google Maps I’ve Ever Seen."

What is depressing? That when people get more money they move to the suburbs? That people flock to cities when they are young and at the lower end of the income scale? That childless people often have these 2 characteristics: they aren't making enough money yet and they are comfortable with the housing options in the city? Our easily depressed map viewer assumes he's looking at an image of nothing but racial segregation:
What do you get when you combine Google maps and a bunch of info about household income? Only one of the most fascinating things ever to happen because of the census. Colder colors mean wealthier neighborhoods; warmer colors mean poorer ones. Whoever thought segregation could be this hypnotic, am I right? 
Since you are so fascinated, how about thinking your way out of that hypnosis, which perhaps is something you got put under in college. Wake up. Think of other dimensions. And look up the word "median."

60 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

There is nothing remotely surprising about these maps and nothing that should be depressing.

Peter

chuck said...

I hope he sets a good example and doesn't date college educated secular Democrats. That would really be depressing.

Nonapod said...

Think of other dimensions. And look up the word "median."

That would require mental effort. It's far easier to think just hard enough to reach a conclusion that is congruent with your own self righteous world view and then to stop any further thought.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I wonder about the white chunks in Detroit. Looks like no one lives in them.

Palladian said...

When I visited that page, I got a "pop-up" that read "Congress Needs To Stand Up To The NRA - Agree/Disagree".

I clicked "Disagree", glanced at the page, and clicked it away.

Alex Ignatiev said...

If it comes from Upworthy, it's some variety of insipid.

David said...

His self description: "

"Moved to San Francisco in September of 2009 and haven't looked back. Currently, I'm working for Twitter's User Support team. In the past, I've worked for TED Conferences. Other previous jobs include being an editorial assistant at a literary agency, a production assistant on an independent film and much more. Feel free to ask any questions @mischa"

It's unfair to ask for actual thought from this guy, Althouse. It's above his pay grade.

Bruce Hayden said...

The maps, themselves aren't racist, and, I don't think that they would be if they could portray both race and income at the same time on the maps (maybe by height and color?)

Who, in their right mind, wouldn't want their kids growing up outside the inner city? In suburbs or rural surroundings. Of course, the really rich can afford to live well in the inner cities. Bu,t for the rest of us, there is too much loss of comfort and safety, and esp. in regards to our children. Some of the red areas shown in the maps are some of the most dangerous areas in this country, with murder rates many times that for the rest of us. Violence at a level that the libs are trying to seize guns from everyone else just to reduce it a fraction. Who would want to live there, if you could help it?

ByondPolitics said...

Put down your old-lady baby boomer Kool-Aid and take off your race-tinted glasses.

Nowhere on the link you provided or on the original website is race mentioned. Your tag citing "racial politics" is intellectually dishonest. You owe the author an apology for implying that he introduced race into this analysis when he/she did not.

Wake up. And look up the word "segregation."

EDH said...

Do you think he really felt depressed?

Or just said that because he thinks it should make him feel depressed.

The higher education system has created a bunch of ideological barking seals performing for approval.

Erika said...

Bless his heart. Mischa, the first step in un-Zinnifying yourself is to recognize the problem.

I am delighted that I live in the wealthiest part of my town. My husband and I worked hard to get here and I feel no guilt whatsoever.

Ann Althouse said...

@ByondPolitics If you think "racial" isn't implied, you'll need an alternative theory that explains why this person was depressed. "Segregation" could refer to some other form of segregation, but the post makes even less sense that way.

Explain yourself.

chickelit said...

So odd that the guy is from San Francisco and yet omitted San Francisco (that paragon of unity) from his study. Am I just missing it?

I can already picture it though: a red Marin County, a bluish purple checkerboard for the city, and a blue Oakland.

Ann Althouse said...

I suppose he could mean wealth segregation. But who talks about wealth segregation. Even lefties.

And that would make the ignorance of the word "median" so bad that I might get depressed.

Ann Althouse said...

He also omitted Chicago.

I checked the map for Chicago, and it's got lots of wealth downtown. So... omit it.

Maguro said...

Poor baby just found out that there are rich neighborhoods and poor neighborhoods? How old is he?

DADvocate said...

Median? That's the divider between the two sides of a highway. What's that got to do with this?

Maguro said...

East St Louis is admirably equal, as befitting a Democrat-run Progressive utopia.

gadfly said...

The Washington, DC story as written by Andy Ferguson actually supports the Google map thesis.

* Recently Washington passed San Jose ... to become the richest metropolitan area in the U.S. Since the 1990s ... the region has led the nation’s metropolitan areas in overall employment rate. The median household income in the metro area in 2010 was $84,523 ... nearly 70% over the national median household income of 50,046.

* Aside from its wealth, the single defining feature of über-Washington is its youth. Most of the people who have moved to Washington since 2006 have been under 35; the region has the highest ­percentage of 25-to-34-year-olds in the U.S.

* Über-Washington has its own career pattern that is becoming as routinized as that of a 1950s organization man. A student graduates and goes to Washington for an internship, usually unpaid, which qualifies her for another internship, perhaps paid, until an entry-level job is offered, as it almost always will be.

* As national politics makes it impossible to expand government explicitly, these interns—often underpaid, usually ­overworked and frequently subsidized by their parents—have become vital to keeping government going. At the same time, they contribute to a feature of über-­Washington that too often goes un­remarked: the capital has one of the most lopsided distributions of wealth of any major metropolitan area in the U.S. Along with a higher per capita income than any state and one of the nation’s lowest rates of unemployment, Washington has a poverty rate of nearly 20%, above the national average of 15%; a public-school system that is often called the worst in the nation; and a crime rate that remains higher than in any other rich community. In the district, whites enjoy a per capita income nearly three times that of African Americans.

* You can often see the maldistribution of Washington’s riches block by block—even on the same block, row house by row house—as young, well-to-do high achievers move into neighborhoods that real estate agents label hot, buying up properties, planting flower boxes and tending little squares of lawn behind wrought-iron fences, next to an abandoned building or a vacant lot or a home where a fatherless family is just scraping by. Most über-Washingtonians say they like the urban grit. The crime and decay amid the plenty, says local activist Danny Harris, “are the price you pay if you want to live in an urban environment.”

DADvocate said...

Looking up the census tract where I grew up, the maps give a median household income of $43,365.00. But, I happen to know that there is at least one neighborhood in that tract where the median income would be 2-3 times that and where people buy $200,000 houses, tear them down and build nicer ones. The maps can be misleading.

But, that's beside the point. The guy's looking for some way to push the left wing equality but ignore reality meme.

SteveR said...

As depressing as the red/blue maps showing voting results, opposite color patterns.

Michael Haz said...

Race? Mal-distribution of wealth? Good heavens, such knee-jerk leftist conclusions.

Here's a different conclusion:

The colors on the map indicate the residents' average educational attainments. The tan areas are the "I don't give a fuck about school" areas, while the blue areas are the "I need as much education as I can get in order to earn an ok living" areas.

Russell said...

'And look up the word "median." '

Well played Professor Althouse. Well played.

Lem said...

When "equality" and "choice" compete "choice" wins every time... or something.

When I say "or something" at the end of something, I usually mean that I'm not sure I got "something" because at the subatomic level of everything there is nothing.

So... equality, quality, choice, debt, dictatorship and fascism are mirages... or dimly lit conceptions. Like this Google map... or something.

madAsHell said...

I'd like to see an overlay of obesity on top of the income map presented.

Lem said...

Explain..

I just come from outside the house, where I was plowing a lot of "nothing" off the sidewalk and driveways.

EMD said...

If he only knew why it was depressing it would rock his politically preconceived notions to the core.

chickelit said...

Thanks for that post, gadfly. We should all be more particularly concerned with that bubble on the Potomac. It also explains (in a way) the fawning admiration amongst its "journalists" and the heavy price the rest of us pay (and will pay) for their moneyed complacency.

SOJO said...

You're kind of a cold bitch, huh?

You're the one who needs a wake up call.

Speaking for the LA map, which area I know very well, those warm areas are NOT young creative city dwellers. That area is an absolute wasteland. It used to be a thriving industrial area. When the jobs left, the people didn't, and it turned into gang zone. It's frightening and desolate with people weaving through streets filled with nothing but storefront churches and liquor stores. The Latino area (more gold red) is far less depressing, full of small business, but still looks like you simply imported a downtrodden area of Mexico.

It's not the racial mix so much as the money mix - but it's stupid to pretend they aren't related here.

The areas with the people you describe in your post are for the most part lighter blue to yellow, not remotely in the red zone.

But most of all, it shows absolutely no class to hector people who have less than you that they shouldn't be bothered. None. And you do it over and over again in this stern school marm tone. Are you trying to take away their *choices*? Are you trying to tell them they have to right to feel what they may or may not feel? Are you only lecturing the presumably non-white educated guy who is getting depressed about it?

What a creepy, loser bitch you've turned into since the last time I checked in regularly. What happened? It's just been over the last two years or so.

gadfly said...

Ruth Anne Adams said...
I wonder about the white chunks in Detroit. Looks like no one lives in them.

That certainly would seem to be a likely supposition since Detroit city has lost half of its population since 1970 and there are some 200,000 vacant parcels inside the Motor City.

Having said that, the correct answer is that nobody lives in the large manufacturing complexes located at in the white spaces.

Smilin' Jack said...

Depressing? I see from the map that I make over three times the median income of my obnoxious asshole neighbors. This makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smilin' Jack said...

Speaking for the LA map, which area I know very well, those warm areas are NOT young creative city dwellers. That area is an absolute wasteland. It used to be a thriving industrial area. When the jobs left, the people didn't, and it turned into gang zone. It's frightening and desolate with people weaving through streets filled with nothing but storefront churches and liquor stores.

That's called "going green" or "reducing the carbon footprint". Very trendy in CA these days.

The Latino area (more gold red) is far less depressing, full of small business, but still looks like you simply imported a downtrodden area of Mexico.

Well, that's pretty much what you did. Yay diversity!

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Fanatical environmental and social policies induce and motivate converged migration and immigration. Concentrated population centers engender negative anthropogenic effects, including: social strife and environmental disruption (e.g. pollution, local atmospheric change).

Maguro said...

The Latino area (more gold red) is far less depressing, full of small business, but still looks like you simply imported a downtrodden area of Mexico.

Yes, and we have to continue turning more places in the US into downtrodden areas of Mexico because if we don't....racism. Or something.

Also, opposing this process means that you're "stupid". Just FYI.

chickelit said...

SOJO ranted: What a creepy, loser bitch you've turned into since the last time I checked in regularly. What happened? It's just been over the last two years or so.

What was your handle back then, SOJO? Inquiring minds want to know.

edutcher said...

Probably Jeremy or J.

It shows graphically what all the rich, white Lefties hate about anybody who is rich, but not Lefty - how dast thou leave the ghetto and find a nice place to raise your children?

That's what redistribution is really all about - only the the rich Lefty ruling class, people like Choom and that "distinguished educator" and rich white boy of privilege, William Ayers, should get to live in nice places because the "care" about the poor and disadvantaged.

wildswan said...

Comment on SOJO's rant:
Now that Althouse has indicated that in some very limited and unusual circumstances - like the worst depression since 1929 - she might vote for a Republican - after a long and tortured thought process - the hard core lefties are on the attack. Shows what goes on inside their world when someone disagrees.

Bruce Hayden said...

Fanatical environmental and social policies induce and motivate converged migration and immigration. Concentrated population centers engender negative anthropogenic effects, including: social strife and environmental disruption (e.g. pollution, local atmospheric change).

Maybe at the local level, but I think that their argument would be that the anthropogenic effects are less for a large urban area at the national and planet level.

For one thing, you pretty much need your own automobile in the suburbs, in towns, and in rural areas, whereas you can depend on somewhat more efficient mass transit in the densest urban areas. And, I think that on a per capita basis, those living in the densest parts of the big inner cities likely have the lowest number of square feet of living feet, that translates, maybe, into lower heating and cooling resources and costs.

wildswan said...

It's interesting that the Washington DC map is the only one showing wealthy people living downtown. My opinion as a former Washingtonian is that the traffic is so bad that workers move back if they work on Capital Hill but they'd be gone if there was way to get there without a long (in terms of time) aggravating commute

Astro said...

The village of Stone Mountain, Georgia,which I'm told was once the location for the headquarters for the KKK, is now a thoroughly integrated, well above median income suburb of Atlanta.
Tour the area. Go to the Yellow Daisy Festival (formerly known as the Confederate Daisy Festival). Then tell me integration hasn't worked in the South.

Quasimodo said...

natural result of democracy where a majority can vote itself the right to pick the pockets of a minority.

David said...

wildswan said...
It's interesting that the Washington DC map is the only one showing wealthy people living downtown.


There's plenty of wealth in the city in SF, LA, Seattle, DC, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Miami, New Orleans (!), Philadelphia. Those are cities I know something about, and I bet there are others.

Look at this guy's job history and the stuff he writes about, and how he writes about it. Is there any evidence that he knows how to think through anything difficult (or even easy?)

So what's the real scandal here? Over half a century of "progressive" educational and social ideas have failed to improve schools in our poorest and blackest neighborhoods in the cities. Teachers unions, the so called neighborhood organizers, liberal universities, dumb ass lefty mayors and the guilt-grievance industry all have a lot to answer for in this failure. Among many others.

The liberal rich don't have to deal with this personally. They just use their money to get their kids to better schools. And to make themselves feel good, they often find schools where some lucky (and usually privileged black kids go). What does the average schmuck, white or black, do? They move to a good school district if they can, saddle up with a big mortgage and hope and pray it turns out all right.

How convenient to be able to blame all these failures on racism.

David said...

wildswan said...
It's interesting that the Washington DC map is the only one showing wealthy people living downtown.


There's plenty of wealth in the city in SF, LA, Seattle, DC, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Miami, New Orleans (!), Philadelphia. Those are cities I know something about, and I bet there are others.

Look at this guy's job history and the stuff he writes about, and how he writes about it. Is there any evidence that he knows how to think through anything difficult (or even easy?)

So what's the real scandal here? Over half a century of "progressive" educational and social ideas have failed to improve schools in our poorest and blackest neighborhoods in the cities. Teachers unions, the so called neighborhood organizers, liberal universities, dumb ass lefty mayors and the guilt-grievance industry all have a lot to answer for in this failure. Among many others.

The liberal rich don't have to deal with this personally. They just use their money to get their kids to better schools. And to make themselves feel good, they often find schools where some lucky (and usually privileged black kids go). What does the average schmuck, white or black, do? They move to a good school district if they can, saddle up with a big mortgage and hope and pray it turns out all right.

How convenient to be able to blame all these failures on racism.

Danno said...

ByondPolitics sure opened his mouth without putting his brain in gear. In reading the link, what could you infer other than racial segregation in his sparse use of words?

Tim said...

I continue to be surprised by how fucking stupid many ostensibly educated people are.

David said...

"His self description: "

"Moved to San Francisco in September of 2009 and haven't looked back. Currently, I'm working for Twitter's User Support team. In the past, I've worked for TED Conferences. Other previous jobs include being an editorial assistant at a literary agency, a production assistant on an independent film and much more. Feel free to ask any questions @mischa""


Right. And how much would anyone want to bet this dull tool of ignorance would NOT be surprised by maps arranged by political orientation/affiliation and, would in fact, defend it as a reflection of people's rational decision making?

Yet, when the maps relate to income and/or race, somehow they are "depressing."

Sam L. said...

Couldn't possibly be any other explanation: Raaaaaacism!

I disagreed with them, too, Palladian.

edutcher said...

wildswan said...

Now that Althouse has indicated that in some very limited and unusual circumstances - like the worst depression since 1929 - she might vote for a Republican - after a long and tortured thought process - the hard core lefties are on the attack. Shows what goes on inside their world when someone disagrees.

You broke the code. Jeremy, J, the Disrespectful Jerk, and many other trolls hate Ann because she was a Liberal, but has gone Conservative on fiscal and foreign policy (maybe, one day, social) issues and has shown considerable integrity in letting Barry have it on Benghazi.

She's a traitor in their eyes and they hate her with a screeching passion.

David said...

It's interesting that the Washington DC map is the only one showing wealthy people living downtown.

There's plenty of wealth in the city in SF, LA, Seattle, DC, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Miami, New Orleans (!), Philadelphia. Those are cities I know something about, and I bet there are others.


Can't speak to the other places, but there was a big gentrification movement in the 80s in Philadelphia after Frank Rizzo made Center City a pretty safe place.

Penn's Landing and Society Hill really were reborn then (hate to think what it looks like after the Street brothers have been running the place).

Chuck Currie said...

Would the maps look any different in any other developed nation?

Cheers

Bob said...

God DAMN auto-play that can't be shut off!

Chip S. said...

Well, I sure found those maps depressing.

Mostly b/c I found out that, of all the states this idiot looked at, the census tract w/ the highest median household income isn't in CA or TX but in DC.

The degree of segregation that demonstrates b/w the governing class and the governed is horrifying.

Ann Althouse said...

I responded to ByondPolitics and he never showed his face again. Pusillanimous.

Ann Althouse said...

I looked at my neighborhood in that Google map tool, and we were listed as relatively poor, even though you would think the neighborhood was wealthy if you walked around here. Here's the UW chancellor's mansion, there are 2 Louis Sullivan houses and a Frank Lloyd Wright house. But included with us is a street where there are apartment buildings and a street that borders the football stadium lined with student housing. Of course this lower priced housing includes a lot of households packed together, so they bring the median way down. If there are 100 households in the district, you could have 90% of the space filled with rich folk in big houses, but maybe they are only 20% or less of the households. The rest of the people are students. The rich folk would have nothing to do with the median, which would be somewhere in the middle of those students. Suddenly, the nicest neighborhood in town looks poor! In fact, no one is poor, because the low-income people are 20 somethings going to school.

tiger said...

1) Mischa's depression is misplaced
2) Probably because he is using the what is commonly looked at as the feminine version of his first name.


Always wonder about people who think that injustice only happens during their lifetimes instead of understanding that injustice is the state of the world.

Chip S. said...

Where's the injustice in people of similar means living near each other?

n.n said...

Furthermore, "poor" should be defined relative to cost of living, not including luxury products and services, rather than absolute wealth. For example, not everyone will enjoy a beachfront property in Hawaii.

Bruce Hayden:

So, their concern is not for the welfare of people, but of the environment at large? The emergent anthropogenic effects from concentrated population centers originate, but are not contained to the origin. Also, the issue is not necessarily distribution, but concentration.

An analogy is oil (or any and every substance which exhibits toxic effects in quantity and concentration), which is naturally released into the environment, and is readily consumed by bacteria, and catalyzed by natural processes. It does not become an issue for other forms of life in the vicinity until its release and presence exceed a certain rate rate of conversion and distribution. The same principle applies to the health of human population centers.

As for efficient transportation systems, that would depend on individual patterns of movement. We can argue for a public transportation system as part of a mix of locomotive means, but we cannot argue for its universal value. Although, I will agree that mass transportation systems are most cost-effective when serving dense population centers.

elkh1 said...

Why do people who make less than sixty grand work at all? After taxes, they net less than a welfare check + food stamps + various "goodies".

Kit said...

@ByondPolitics If you think "racial" isn't implied, you'll need an alternative theory that explains why this person was depressed. "Segregation" could refer to some other form of segregation, but the post makes even less sense that way.

I don't think that race is implied. This is presented as a map income disparities...and is talked about quite a bit on the left - wasn't that a lot of what the 47% topic during rhe campaign, was about? Race could easily be added to see how that also might correlate, as well as occupation. Your example of your own neighborhood would bear this out.

Also, I'll bet there are also block groups that show the inverse of you situation.

Peter said...

This doesn't work so well in New York City- there's more money in most of Manhattan (with some exceptions) than in the outer boroughts.

Although Long Island (oops, did someone say, "Great Gatsy"?) is pretty well off.