Permissible Arms

This is what would happen if SM Stirling were writing America.

Posted in united states by Karaka on 25 January 2010

Via Yglesias via James Fallows, a Fake is the New Real thought experiment:

This map is by Neil Freeman from It’s based on a division of the country into 50 state units with more-or-less equal population — 5 to 6 million apiece — and preserving existing boundaries where possible. (As with the new state of “Missouri.”) I love many of the other state names — Lincoln, Joaquin, Tombigbee. My childhood home would have been along the border of Coronado and Mojave. In a reapportioned Senate each of these units would have two votes.

So I would go from living in Oregon to living in Willamette, and (I agree with Yglesias) go unpleasantly but not unsurprisingly from a blue to a red state. I’ll admit, the most fascinating thing for me about this map is what the mapmakers decided to name the citizen-proportionate states (Llano Estacado! Bitterroot! Okefenokee!) because at heart I’m a scifi nerd with a serious love of alternate histories. But it’s also worth looking at as the Census 2010 starts ramping up throughout the nation. The Census is simultaneously one of the most powerful expressions of data mining in, I believe, the world; as well as one of the most logistically challenging. I’m very interested to see the white paper at the end of the process. (Me and just about every corporate enterprise in the Western world.)

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