What I’ve been reading

Not much. I got sucked into playing Civilization V, where a quick games takes about three hours.

But here’s some of it, with commentary.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/american-migration-reaches-record-low/

I don’t have any feelings one way or another about overall migration patterns. No, what really annoyed me about this article was the inclusion and therefore implications of the map at the end. It’s a map showing the general percentages of population living in the state in which they were born.

My problem with this is that it’s in an article about declining migration. So the implication – especially with no other data – is that the people living in the state in which they were born have ALWAYS lived in the state in which they were born. It would be much more appropriate for the article to have the map showing relative migration to, from, and/or within the state.

It’s not that the information isn’t interesting – it is somewhat interesting to me to see what states have higher percentages of people either staying or moving back, or what states have the highest percentages of non-natives. But it’s completely misleading the way it’s presented here. For example, just out of my own circle, both my sister and my best friend are currently living in the states where they were born. Neither of them spent the majority of time of the rest of their lives, especially their childhoods, in those states. If you asked my sister where she was from, I’m 99.99999% sure that the answer would not be the state where she was born/the state where she currently lives. But both of them are included in the percentages of “native” residents on this map. Going back to family history, my great-grandfather was technically born in Mississippi, but their plantation was across the river in Louisiana. Even though he lived there essentially from birth, this map wouldn’t consider him a native of Louisiana. By contrast, my parents have lived in the same town for twenty years – but it happens to be a town that’s not in a state where either of them were born.  They’re not “natives” by the standards of this map.

I’m vaguely interested in migration patterns – that is, I find interesting things in migration patterns. But this map doesn’t work for those. What I would rather know, what would be more relevant to the article as a whole, would be questions like “what states have the highest percentage of residents who have lived there for at least ten years? Twenty years?” “what states have the highest percentage of returning natives – people who were born there, moved away for any non-educational period of time, and then moved back?” “what states have the highest percentage of in-state migration, or the highest percentage of incoming residents from other states?” The map as it is presented here is completely irrelevant to an article about overall migration.

 

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/03/long-lost-fairy-tales.html

Okay, fair enough that some of Schonwerth’s fairy tales are already in various archives outside of Regensburg. But I still can’t get enough of this story, especially as someone who keeps rewriting and restructuring her fairy tale based novel. Especially if there is a cache of prince-based stories rather than princess-based stories….these need to be translated into English or I need to brush up on my 19th century German, because I think I’ve found the new (hopefully last) piece of my puzzle for my book.

 

http://agirlandherfed.com/

The best thing about March Madness is the non-basketball brackets that pop up. The worst thing about March Madness is the non-basketball brackets that pop up – because now my reading list is exponentially larger. This, and http://www.allnewissuescomic.com/ are the two story-based comics that I have found (SO FAR) from a webcomics bracket, so I’ve spent the last couple of days reading allllll the archived strips. All New Issues is fun in a QC kind of way; A Girl and Her Fed is different with lots of sex jokes but also some very real statements about security versus privacy from both an institutional/governmental perspective and a personal perspective. I have to admit, though, that I’m a little bit confused about the machinations of the actual plot – but that doesn’t matter because I’m enjoying the banter and the ghost of Benjamin Franklin.

 

That’s all I’m giving you for now – but there’s still a bunch of tabs up on my browser. There may be more later.

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