1348: "Before the Internet"

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Karilyn
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Karilyn » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:57 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Well, there is the thing that the Netherlands are even more densely populated than England, while the US is rather less - and English towns are largely based around pedestrians, with the occasional donkey-cart or horse-drawn conveyance - so even the post-car developments have a cultural background that encourages local corner shops and basic amenities within walking distance...
valar84 wrote:I've calculated the population density of some of your small towns and approximated about 15 000 people per square mile, that's denser than many "urban" neighborhoods in the United States. The densest census tract in Atlanta for instance is only 20 000 people per square mile.


This probably has a TON to do with it.

Let's put some perspective on this for my little Dutch friend.

Amsterdam Metropolitan Area: 219.32 km2
Atlanta Metropolitan Area: 21,694 km2
Amsterdam Metropolitan Population Density: 4,892/km2
Atlanta Metropolitan Population Density: 243/km2

Also for what it's worth over half the population in Georgia lives in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.

Size of Netherlands: 41,543 km2 (or just over twice the size of the Atlanta Metro Area)
Size of Georgia: 153,909 km2
Population of Netherlands: 16,819,595[
Population of Gerogia: 9,992,167 (smaller but still over half the Netherland's population)
Georgia's population density: 65.4/km2
Netherlands Population Density: 405.3/km2

And yet despite that, the population density of THE ENTIRETY OF THE NETHERLANDS is over twice that of Atlanta's Metro Area. The biggest and one of the most important cities in the US, which is not only the economic center of the entire South, we also have the most important international airport in the USA, which happens to be the busiest airport in the ENTIRE WORLD. This isn't some minor city I'm talking about, this is arguably the second most economically important city in the country after New York City. And yet look at how insanely low our density is. Entire nations like Italy, Germany, and England, Netherlands, and Belgium all have higher population densities in their entire country, than my city has. And if Georgia USA itself was a European nation? We'd be ranked 51st for population density as a nation, behind the actual Georgia the country, and Scotland too for that matter.

The only European nations with lower population densities than Georgia, USA? Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Russia, and Iceland. AMERICA WOULD BE FUCKING EMPTY, BUT IT'S NOT, BECAUSE BITCHES SPREAD OUT OVER EVEEEEERRRRRRRYTHING.

Numbers = Perspective.

rmsgrey wrote:That said, what I've picked up from American pop-culture

Please don't pick up things from American pop-culture :( It represents bizarrely idealized situations that aren't actually very representative of reality, which are set up because of plot convenience and a necessity to get characters together to interact with one another.
Last edited by Karilyn on Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:19 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:17 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:Please don't pick up things from American pop-culture :( It represents bizarrely idealized situations that aren't actually very representative of reality, which are set up because of plot convenience and a necessity to get characters together to interact with one another.

Like that a guy with a crappy shoe sales job or a local cable TV show can have a gigantic two-story house and support a stay-at-home wife and 2-3 kids.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:59 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:[Numbers, including Georgia's population density = 65.4 people/km2.]

And Georgia is actually densely populated compared to the country as a whole (34 people/km2).

It's ten times denser than the six emptiest states: Alaska (of course, being nigh-uninhabitable), Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, and New Mexico.

Some of the US can live like Europe does, with everything needed in walking distance. I spent a few years in a place like that, but it was like that only because the whole town was "in walking distance"; only about 1000 people lived there. The school served many surrounding farms, though, whose children had to be driven or bussed in. And that was in the 1970s/80s... today the school serves the whole county, much like Karilyn's. And anything complex required a long drive... we had a simple clinic, hospital, and a dentist, but we had to drive over an hour to get to an orthodontist. Entertainment? A handful of bars, a few restaurants, a tiny library (because Before The Internet, I read pretty much every book I cared about in the place), and a community-owned movie theater (one screen, showing movies that people in New York City saw two years ago. Open one weekend a month.)

So I prefer living in a place where I have a 5-minute drive (on 50mph roads) to the grocery, and a 25-minute drive to work. And the Internet.
Last edited by Mikeski on Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:03 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Platypodes » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:02 am UTC

Honestly, my feel like my life has gotten, on average, a little bit more boring since the internet came along.

Sure, there's some fun and interesting stuff online, but before the internet, there was already so much fun and interesting stuff to choose from that I couldn't possibly do it all, so adding some more doesn't really increase the amount of time I spend having fun.

And since the internet came along, suddenly society expects me to dedicate many, many hours of my time to the tedious task of email. Good lord, the drudgery. And no, it isn't just replacing a similar amount of time previously spent on snail mail and phonecalls. The workload is an order of magnitude more time-consuming.
videogamesizzle wrote:so, uh, seen any good arbitrary, high numbers lately?

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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Whizbang » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:07 pm UTC

Email. Yeah. I checked that last month... Or maybe the previous month. Anyway, It totally sucked going through it so I just deleted everything.

My social interaction is almost entirely through forums like this one and Facebook... And I go on Facebook every couple of days and spend all day with two or three forums like this open.

Email accounts are so you can verify you have an email account when joining social media sites... and online games.

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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby jpvlsmv » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:54 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I find this interesting: Are schools in the US huge factory halls? Is there only one school every couple of towns? I can easily imagine these situations in rural areas, but living with 4 primary schools within three blocks from here it's difficult to imagine from my perspective (combined with the ubiquity of bicycles in the Netherlands allowing children to travel relatively far at a relatively early age). How does this work with supermarkets? Neighbourhood shops? Is this why the legal driving age is so low in the US and why kids expect to get a car for their 16th birthday, is it because they have absolutely no social life without a car?

Sometimes.

In the school district I attended, there were 3 separate school buildings each serving grades 1-6 (6yo - 12yo). These were considered "neighborhood schools" and were within a reasonable walking distance (less than 3km) from just about the whole town. Most kids were dropped of by car in the morning and many walked home after school. The older kids were all consolidated into a single middle/high school building, with the corresponding longer walks.

On the other hand, in the school district my kids attend, there are also 3 buildings, but each one serves all of the town's kids for certain grades (all 1-2 grade kids go to the same building, then move to a different building for grades 3-4, etc.) Buses collect kids from every street in town and bring them to their respective buildings and return them after school.

There's advantages and disadvantagese to either system. The neighborhood schools encourage peer groups based on housing proximity (If Alice and Bob are in class together, they likely live within walking distance of each other) but requires duplication of expertise-- your music teacher has to be able to teach 6-year-olds as well as 12-year-olds effectively, and you have to worry about how age differences play out on playgrounds, cafeterias, etc.

These are both large enough towns to run about 200 kids through each grade each year, (with an average 25 students per classroom, so ~8 teachers at each grade level) so it makes sense to organize this way. In smaller towns or in the more rural areas, the distances get much larger and schools tend to consolidate to become a shopping-mall-sized compex serving hundreds of square km of families, with thousands of kids attending each day.

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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby valar84 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:33 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:This probably has a TON to do with it.

Let's put some perspective on this for my few Dutch friend.

Amsterdam Metropolitan Area: 219.32 km2
Atlanta Metropolitan Area: 21,694 km2
Amsterdam Metropolitan Population Density: 4,892/km2
Atlanta Metropolitan Population Density: 243/km2

Also for what it's worth over half the population in Georgia lives in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.

Size of Netherlands: 41,543 km2 (or just over twice the size of the Atlanta Metro Area)
Size of Georgia: 153,909 km2
Population of Netherlands: 16,819,595[
Population of Gerogia: 9,992,167 (smaller but still over half the Netherland's population)
Georgia's population density: 65.4/km2
Netherlands Population Density: 405.3/km2

And yet despite that, the population density of THE ENTIRETY OF THE NETHERLANDS is over twice that of Atlanta's Metro Area. The biggest and one of the most important cities in the US, which is not only the economic center of the entire South, we also have the most important international airport in the USA, which happens to be the busiest airport in the ENTIRE WORLD. This isn't some minor city I'm talking about, this is arguably the second most economically important city in the country after New York City. And yet look at how insanely low our density is. Entire nations like Italy, Germany, and England, Netherlands, and Belgium all have higher population densities in their entire country, than my city has. And if Georgia USA itself was a European nation? We'd be ranked 51st for population density as a nation, behind the actual Georgia the country, and Scotland too for that matter.

The only European nations with lower population densities than Georgia, USA? Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Russia, and Iceland. AMERICA WOULD BE FUCKING EMPTY, BUT IT'S NOT, BECAUSE BITCHES SPREAD OUT OVER EVEEEEERRRRRRRYTHING.

Numbers = Perspective.


Careful with those numbers. The population density of a country is a very poor metric to gauge the actual density of their inhabited areas. For instance, if you go just by area and population, New Jersey is more densely populated than Japan. Of course, it would be absurd to claim that New Jersey residents live more densely packed than Japanese people. That's because the population of Japan is much more concentrated in a few areas than that of New Jersey, which is more sprawled out. Likewise, Canada's national "density" is much lower than America's, but Canadian cities actually tend to be much denser than American cities, with the exception of New York.

Even comparing the density with the metro size is not really accurate, as this land area might include industrial zones, parks or otherwise undeveloped land that isn't inhabited. The proper way to compare density is to look at the density of residential areas only, which isn't easy to do. I sometimes use the Planimeter tool with Google Maps (search for it if you want) to find out the area of residential areas to get some proper density measure, that's what I did to come up with the 15 000 people per square mile estimate for Dutch villages. I chose one at random, then used the Planimeter to calculate the residential area, excluding industrial zones, then I got the population estimate of the village, that's how I got the number.

But still, density isn't enough, you need mixed use for a community to be walkable. If you have a bunch of residential towers in a park (towers in the park, AKA Le Corbusier's folly), the population density may be very high, but if by zoning you legally force commercial and industrial uses to be built somewhere else, miles away from residential areas, then you may have density, but you do not have proximity, and people are still forced to drive to do anything. Likewise, some Canadian suburbs don't have a much higher density than American suburbs, but they tend to have small commercial areas in the middle of the suburb, close to at least some residential areas, instead of having all businesses and restaurants well separated from where people live, so some people may walk and bike, even if it may not be the most comfortable way of getting there. City design is as important as actual density in determining if a city allows walking and biking to be actually useful modes of transport.

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby Klear » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:59 pm UTC

valar84 wrote:But still, density isn't enough, you need mixed use for a community to be walkable. If you have a bunch ah residential towers in a park (towers in de park, AKA Le Corbusier's folly), de population density may be very high, but if by zoning you legally force commercial an' industrial uses to be built somewhere else, miles away from residential areas, then you may have density, but you do not have proximity, an' people be still forced to drive to do anything. Likewise, some Canadian suburbs nuh have a many higher density than American suburbs, but dey tend to have squeasey commercial areas in de middle ah de suburb, close to at fewerest some residential areas, instead ah having all businesses an' restaurants well separated from weh people live, so some people may walk an' bike, even if it may not be de most comfortable way ah getting deh. City design be as important as actual density in determining if a city allows walking an' biking to be actually useful modes ah transport.


I see this post coloured in the sim-city colour for residential, commercial, and industrial zones...

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby addams » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:08 pm UTC

I was thinking about 'Before the Internet'.

Before the Internet, friends walked away.
Some came back changed people.
Some never came back.

That can not happen to you.

In the old days, some people greeted and parted with Ritual.
"Where ever you Go; I am with you."
"I love you. Be happy."

Then we had to go on with what ever life we had, not knowing.
That can not happen to you.

Facebook, Twitter, E-Mail and the Forum never let go for a moment.
Of course, Stephane might not have come back with Robin if she had Facebook.

He might have been Down Voted.
Who knows? He could be Snarky.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby valar84 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:48 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
valar84 wrote:But still, density isn't enough, you need mixed use for a community to be walkable. If you have a bunch ah residential towers in a park (towers in de park, AKA Le Corbusier's folly), de population density may be very high, but if by zoning you legally force commercial an' industrial uses to be built somewhere else, miles away from residential areas, then you may have density, but you do not have proximity, an' people be still forced to drive to do anything. Likewise, some Canadian suburbs nuh have a many higher density than American suburbs, but dey tend to have squeasey commercial areas in de middle ah de suburb, close to at fewerest some residential areas, instead ah having all businesses an' restaurants well separated from weh people live, so some people may walk an' bike, even if it may not be de most comfortable way ah getting deh. City design be as important as actual density in determining if a city allows walking an' biking to be actually useful modes ah transport.


I see dis post coloured in de sim-city colour for residential, commercial, an' industrial zones...


Yes, SimCity shows well the paradigm of post-WWII American urban planning. Which is why many urbanists in the US really dislike the game. There is really no way to create any other kind of city, there is no mixed residential-commercial zoning as used to be built a lot in the old days or as is being built in many other countries. For example, one of the most efficient ways of developing a city is to have businesses and stores on the first floor, and residential apartments or condos on the floors above the stores. Someone who owns a family restaurant can live above his restaurant, he has a commute of a few meters only. But this is illegal in most of the US, because of the zoning laws.

BTW, an interesting tidbit about the new SimCity game... they wanted to be realistic, so they went ahead and measured different buildings to be able to have realistically sized models in the games and have a realistic-looking city. But after their measures were done from American cities, they quickly realized there was a major problem: parking lots were WAAYYYY too big. Often taking 66 to 75% of the land, so they decided to reduce the parking lot sizes by 2 or 3 times not to have cities be oceans of parking lots, which players wouldn't like the look of very much.

Geoff Manaugh: While you were making those measurements of different real-world cities, did you discover any surprising patterns or spatial relationships?

Librande: Yes, definitely. I think the biggest one was the parking lots. When I started measuring out our local grocery store, which I don’t think of as being that big, I was blown away by how much more space was parking lot rather than actual store. That was kind of a problem, because we were originally just going to model real cities, but we quickly realized there were way too many parking lots in the real world and that our game was going to be really boring if it was proportional in terms of parking lots.

Manaugh: You would be making SimParkingLot, rather than SimCity.

Librande: (laughs) Exactly. So what we do in the game is that we just imagine they are underground. We do have parking lots in the game, and we do try to scale them—so, if you have a little grocery store, we’ll put six or seven parking spots on the side, and, if you have a big convention center or a big pro stadium, they’ll have what seem like really big lots—but they’re nowhere near what a real grocery store or pro stadium would have. We had to do the best we could do and still make the game look attractive.


Funny how it's important to make digital cities look attractive, but actual cities that people live in? Who cares?

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby addams » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:26 pm UTC

In Reality those Huge parking lots are like Deserts.
Why do the players not want to have large Desert like environments for hunting one another?

Too much like Reality?
People are attempting to escape Reality. right?

Besides; There is no challenge in hunting human in large spaces, today.
Call their cell phone. Ask were they are. Triangulate.

Before the Internet, a person could get Lost at Sea in a Parking Lot.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby Karilyn » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:35 pm UTC

valar84 wrote:Careful wid dose numbers. de population density ah a country be a very poor metric to gauge de actual density ah dey inhabited areas.

That is why I utilized the population density of the cities themselves in my calculations, but for fun, I made this map as well!

Image
And for what it's worth, Georgia is one of the above-average dense states in the US.
http://education.randmcnally.com/images ... lation.png

Of course, that largely depends on what you define as an inhabited area. Having lived in some fairly rural places over my life, including right now (I'm currently in the 100-250 per square mile range), I'm still considered part of the Atlanta Metro area, and I'm still within a very clear and obvious suburb, and within just as short a drive of Atlanta as some of the people in the 2500+ range. I'm not sure where you'd make the breakoff point to call an area uninhabited, but yeah that's a difficult distinction to make. When does the line between low density and uninhabited start? But for good measure, I added a special color category to my revised population map that brings emphasis to areas with less than 10 people per square mile, so you can consider them uninhabited.

valar84 wrote:Even comparing de density wid de metro size be not really accurate, as dis land area might include industrial zones, parks or otherwise undeveloped land dat isn't inhabited.

True that, if you look closely at the map, you'll see a tiny spec of uninhabited in the lower part of Atlanta, which was less than 1 person person per square mile. That's the Atlanta International Airport. It's large enough to show up on the map as uninhabited.


valar84 wrote:But still, density isn't enough, you need mixed use for a community a be walkable. If you have a bunch ah residential towers in a park (towers in de park, AKA Le Corbusier's folly), de population density may be very high, but if by zoning you legally force commercial an' industrial uses a be built somewhere else, miles away from residential areas, den you may have density, but you do not have proximity, an' people dem be still forced to drive a do anyting.

This is true of course, but I have no immediate way on hand to show commercial and residential district densities. Either way, I made the map for fun because yay boredom and photoshop. I'd totally be up for any suggestions you have, as I find aggregating data to be a ton of fun.

valar84 wrote:Yes, SimCity shows well de paradigm ah post-WWII American urban planning. Which be why many urbanists in de ahbe really dislike de game. deh be really no way to create any udder kind ah city, deh be no mixed residential-commercial zoning as used a be built a lot in de old days or as be a be built in many udder country dem. For example, one ah de most efficient ways ah developing a city be a have businesses an' stores pon de first floor, an' residential apartments or condos pon de floors above de stores. Someone who owns a family restaurant kyan live above he restaurant, he has a commute ah a few meters only. But dis be illegal in most ah de ahbe, because ah de zoning laws.

Yeah I really hate this. I can count the number of times I've seen residential stacked on top of restaurants and stores and stuff in America on one hand. In most metro areas, the best you can hope for is restaurants/stores with office building stacked on top. There's virtually nowhere that has residential places on top of restaurants/stores.

valar84 wrote:BTW, an interesting tidbit about de new SimCity game... dey wanted a be realistic, so dey went ahead an' measured different buildings a be able a have realistically sized models in de game dem an' have a realistic-looking city. But after dey measures were done from American city dem, dey quickly realized deh was a major problem: parking lots were WAAYYYY too big. Often a tek 66 to 75% ah de land, so dey decided to reduce de parking lot sizes by 2 or 3 times not a have city dem be oceans ah parking lots, which players wouldn't like de look ah very many.
Librande: (laughs) Exactly. So wa we do in de game be dat we just imagine dey be underground. We do have parking lots in de game, an' we do try to scale dem—so, if you have a few grocery store, we’ll put six or seven parking spots pon de side, an', if you have a big convention center or a big pro stadium, dey’ll have wa seem like really big lots—but dey’re nowhere near wa a real grocery store or pro stadium would have. We had a do de best we could do an' still mek de game look attractive.
Funny how it's important to mek digital city dem look attractive, but actual city dem dat people dem live in? Who cares?

Underground parking lots are wonderful. I can name exactly 2 that I have ever seen in the entire Atlanta area, but they are so awesome. Above ground parking garages are overrated.
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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby elej » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:54 am UTC

woah, I had to comment. Haven't been on the forums in a while but it looks like everything has become hillbilly speak?

Great comic, daytime tv wasn't that great. Where I grew up, if they cut into the cartoons with an 'important report', when it was over you didn't get the show back again. That was the worst, forced to watch the news as a kid, but didn't get to finish your show after.

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:01 am UTC

I like to think that somewhere in the near future, kids will be asking about life before holodecks.
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The virus replaces the bartender and says "Now we do!"

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby addams » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:04 am UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:I like a tink dat somewhere in de near future, kids goin be a ask about life before holodecks.

You, my dear, have an interesting Photo.
What a pretty virus.

Does it have a name?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby Klear » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:16 pm UTC

elej wrote:woah, I had to comment. nuh been pon forum dem in a while but it looks like everything has become hillbilly speak?


It's mod madness, an annual even on this forum. See here: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=108367

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby ManaUser » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:51 pm UTC

The weirdest thing is I was there, and I still can't imagine how people how people spent their time before the internet. I guess it really must have been boring. I can hardly remember it at all.
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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby Klear » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:33 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:de weirdest ting be I was deh, an' I still kyan't imagine how people dem how people dem spent dey time before de internet. I guess it really must have been boring. I kyan hardly remember it at all.


No fair! That's cheating!

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:12 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
ManaUser wrote:de weirdest ting be I was deh, an' I still kyan't imagine how people dem dem how people dem dem spent dey time before de internet. I guess it really must have been boring. I kyan hardly remember it at all.


No fair! dat's cheating!


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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:00 am UTC

addams wrote:
Plasma Mongoose wrote:I like a tink dat somewhere in de near future, kids goin be a ask about life before holodecks.

You, me dear, have an interesting Photo.
wa a pretty virus.

Does it have a name?


Code: Select all

Yes it does, it's called the T4 Bacteriophage.
A virus walks into a bar, the bartender says "We don't serve viruses in here".
The virus replaces the bartender and says "Now we do!"

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby serutan » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:14 am UTC

I s * t h i s * t h r e a d * g o i n g * t o * b e * p e r m a n e n t l y * s c r a m b l e d ?


E D I T : N e v e r * m i n d , J u s t * r e m e m b e r e d * t h e * d a t e
For a sentient herbivore, discretion is the only part of valor. - Larry Niven

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby addams » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:41 am UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:
addams wrote:
Plasma Mongoose wrote:I like a tink dat somewhere in de near future, kids goin be a ask about life before holodecks.

You, me dear, have an interesting Photo.
wa a pretty virus.

Does it have a name?


Code: Select all

Yes it does, it called de T4 Bacteriophage.

Thank you.
Lucky You.

Before the internet, there were no photos of cute little virus.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:57 pm UTC

valar84 wrote:Much ah de ahbe has no safe place to bike, an' even, in a twist dat you, as a Betazoid, might find unconceivable, many schools in de ahbe FORBID kids from a come to school pon bikes, as it be considered "unsafe".

In some places, parents done be threatened wid arrest for letting dey kids bike to school.

I have seen US roads, I get that. I mean, I'd rather take a bicycle through LA than through Jakarta, but a major difference that some people seem to overlook (looking at you NYC mayor) is that Dutch drivers expect there to be a bicycle and pedestrian when turning right, whereas US drivers expect there to be nothing, okay, maybe a pedestrian (although those also seem to be rare in many areas in the US I've visited, though not in NYC). I've just never looked for a place to live in the US, so I've never really looked at distances in neighbourhoods.
valar84 wrote:Dominion Citizens frequently have few or no neighborhood stores widdin a walk distance, everyting be reached by driving. dey goin often buy groceries rarely, but go to big box stores like Wal-Marts built pon major roads well away from residential areas an' buy in very large quantities. For smaller purchases, most ah dese goin be done at gas stations which have squeasey convenience stores integrated wid dem an' which be located in general pon all arterial streets so dat dey're pon de way Bach from wuk. deh be still more walking-friendly places, mostly old urban neighborhoods, but building dese have become fnord illegal tru zoning in many city dem.

I think this is like the hypermarkets in France and Spain, except that I do usually find small stores in most villages there with mostly perishable items and cities there also seem to tend to have smaller supermarkets. I really cannot imagine buying groceries at a gas station, I buy snacks there, or magazines, but not a head of lettuce (although I understand that people in the US just compensate by not eating many perishables unless they refrigerate well).
valar84 wrote:Me explored you Betazoid city dem pon Google Maps an' I must say dat I be impressed. Relatively dense, but very green an' dey look like jammin places a live. I guess it helps dat de Betazed protect dey agricultural lands passionately an' limit how city dem an' even squeasey towns kyan sprawl, so as to preserve fields. Me calculated de population density ah some ah you squeasey towns an' approximated about 15 000 people dem per square mile, dat's denser dan many "urban" neighborhoods in de Dominion. de densest census tract in Atlanta for instance be only 20 000 people dem per square mile.

I think a large part of my confusion is that what is considered suburb in the US is what I consider rural, and what most US people consider rural is what I consider desolate plains (we don't have those here, the nearest to me are probably South of Tripoli or East of Moscow). From a US point of view the Netherlands is probably just a city state, just not as densely populated as Singapore.
jpvlsmv wrote:In smaller towns or in de more rural areas, de distances get much larger an' schools tend to consolidate to become a shopping-mall-sized compex serving hundreds ah square km ah families, wid thousands ah kids attending each day.

This seems like a weird way to do things, why would you make larger schools when the children already need to travel further, while you could reduce their traveltime somewhat by building two schools?
valar84 wrote:Yes, SimCity shows well de paradigm ah post-WWII American urban planning. Which be why many urbanists in de ahbe really dislike de game. deh be really no way to create any udder kind ah city, deh be no mixed residential-commercial zoning as used a be built a lot in de old days or as be a be built in many udder country dem. For example, one ah de most efficient ways ah developing a city be a have businesses an' stores pon de first floor, an' residential apartments or condos pon de floors above de stores. Someone who owns a family restaurant kyan live above he restaurant, he has a commute ah a few meters only. But dis be fnord illegal in most ah de ahbe, because ah de zoning laws.

BTW, an interesting tidbit about de new SimCity game... dey wanted a be realistic, so dey went ahead an' measured different buildings a be able a have realistically sized models in de game dem an' have a realistic-looking city. But after dey measures were done from American city dem, dey quickly realized deh was a major problem: parking lots were WAAYYYY too big. Often a tek 66 to 75% ah de land, so dey decided to reduce de parking lot sizes by 2 or 3 times no a have city dem be oceans ah parking lots, which players wouldn't like de look ah very much.

We also have zoning laws, but I think you can get licenses for certain offices at home (usually a dentist or a doctor) and municipalities often zone 1-3 commercial lots within residential areas (and small shopping centres at reasonable distances in larger towns/cities). It is also common here to have an apartment above a store for the owner, but each municipality can customise their zoning to their own liking, a feature very much missing in SimCity.

Large parking lots are rare here, probably due to land pricing allowing for profitable parking garages or parking decks in town centres. I think if the SimCity makers didn't want this issue they shouldn't use silicon valley as an example (better alternatives would be somewhere in Manhattan, Europe, South-East Asia, most of Africa or East Asia (I'm unsure about the last one, though).
Karilyn wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:I find dis interesting: be schools in de ahbe huge factory halls? be deh only one school every couple ah towns? I kyan easily imagine dese situations in rural areas, but a live wid 4 primary schools widdin tree blocks from here it difficult to imagine from me perspective (combined wid de ubiquity ah bicycles in de Betazed allowing children dem to travel relatively far at a relatively early age). be dis why de legal driving age be so low in de ahbe an' why kids expect a get a cyar for dey 16th birthday, y be because dey have absolutely no social life widdout a cyar?

Yes to literally all ah de above.

I grew up in one ah de larger counties in Georgia, 2000km2. deh was one, an' exactly one high school. de county's population be 50,000, an' de high school has 3000 students, so it no like it no a radder ridiculously large high school, but it still it was a ridiculous distance for some children dem to ride de bus. Some traveled upwards ah 45 minutes.

If this school density would be applied to the Netherlands, we would have 20 schools in the country and 800 000 people/school (maybe about 30 000 students?). We would have to haul kids around in those road trains Australians use to haul sheep.
Karilyn wrote:Because de school takes so long to navigate, de school adopted a 4 period day, to keep de accumulative time students spend a try to walk from classroom to classroom in de 60-90 minuet range per day. If dey had a 7 or 8 period day, de school would be more a walk from class to class dan it would be actual classes!

Did they deduct this from PE class? It seems like a good way to both save money on PE equipment, rooms and teachers, and still tackle any obesity problems.

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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:09 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
Karilyn wrote:
Aiwendil wrote:de internet be definitely a very jammin ting. But before de internet I did still have books an' an imagination. an' a computer, for dat matter. Life wasn't more fulfilling in some mystical way, but it wasn't all dat boring either.

Books be bwiyan, but dey be a radder inefficient delivery ah knowledge.

As a crotchfruit, most ah de books I wound up reading were fictional, because dey tended a be de only books you could sit an' read tru from beginning to end inbetween trips to de library. wid non-fiction books, you generally wanted to read a section out ah it dat interested you, den you be all like "Well, now wa?" But now I kyan just search for udder reliant articles about a subject, an' wind up spending 2 Curator of Faces non-stop reading about someting or anudder, because I have access to an entire world ah knowledge about wa I wan a find out dat I did no have when I was shackled by books.

I kyan read 20 pages ah someting, look up one ah de citations, an' read 50 more. a go to me library, I'd wind up a find a handful ah pages at best addressing de ting dem I wanted a find out about. Sure, subscribing to ting dem like Science Magazine were great; I pretty much abandoned reading books for information at a very young age in favor ah ting dem like Science Magazine, which I'd read backwards an' forwards, an' I got a new issue every hemifortnight.

But still, Science Magazine be de closest Me ever gotten to wa I get out ah de Internet nowadays. Books, as a learning source, be highly overrated.
pon de udder hand, as a storage medium dey be FAR superior to any digital medium.
How be dey superior to rewritable digital storage? Let ahbe count de ways:
Longer-lasting: check
Ease ah mass manufacture: probably nope
Higher information density: nope
Convenience to carry: nope
Environmental impact: nope
Ease ah copying: nope
Ease ah altering: nope
Ability to store anyting but text an' static images: nope

Books, if dey're well-made, be more durable dan digital media. an' dat's bwiyan important if you be focused pon preserving information long-term. But for pretty much every single udder ting people dem do wid dey stored data dem? no so much.


Can you access your data that is 50+ years old? I've got all sorts of digital tape here in my office that is completely fucking useless, because the equipment to read it no long exists.

On the other hand, papyrus that is 2000-3000 years old, is still legible.
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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:50 pm UTC

Okay, so not only durable but also usable longer even without physical degradation.

But apart from long-term projects where you can't make frequent backup copies, digital is superior for most everyday uses.
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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:55 pm UTC


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Re: 1348: "Before de Internet"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:01 pm UTC

I'm talking about the medium itself, not the corporate decision to make it unusable without their own proprietary products.

The fact that nobody prints books with the publisher's own brand of invisible ink, which can only be read with the publisher's own approved devices, is a result of people's unwillingness to put up with that level of bullshit, not some inherent superiority of paper.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:17 am UTC

Wow, Karilyn, you've done an amazing job of describing what a fucking awful country the US is, without even delving into national-level politics or history. I feel like there should be some kind of prize for that.

I'd like to add one thing: When people talk about "suburbs" in America, 90% of the time, what they mean is rural areas that have turned the former farmland into absurdly spread-out residential space. The word has become the equivalent of "middle class". Nobody wants to admit they live in "the country" in the same way nobody wants to admit they're "lower-class", so the old terms have simply passed out of use. I'm sure there's some sociological term for that. "Prestige creep" or something of the sort.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Klear » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:45 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:Wow, Karilyn, you've done an amazing job of describing what a fucking awful country the US is, without even delving into national-level politics or history. I feel like there should be some kind of prize for that.

I'd like to add one thing: When people talk about "suburbs" in America, 90% of the time, what they mean is rural areas that have turned the former farmland into absurdly spread-out residential space. The word has become the equivalent of "middle class". Nobody wants to admit they live in "the country" in the same way nobody wants to admit they're "lower-class", so the old terms have simply passed out of use. I'm sure there's some sociological term for that. "Prestige creep" or something of the sort.


I think it's also because of he mentality of people there - when Europeans first came to America, it was a basically completely vacant continent (the natives didn't count in their eyes). Owning land in Europe has been historically a very big deal. In America anybody could own as much land as practically possible and then some. That is still ingrained in the US mentality. Everything is big - cars, roads, distances (and distances people are willing to travel/move) Another effect is that since everything is so spread out, hardly anyone walks anywhere (or so I've heard) and they use cars for everything. It's just a completely different situation and can't be well judged by European standards.

(that said, I too find it quite awful)

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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:06 am UTC

In my experience when people think of "suburbs" they are thinking of endless tracts of concrete populated with identical tract housing stretching in every direction from the outskirts of a big city, not rural areas where some farms have become housing.

I used to live in the Santa Barbara area, and when I'd show people downtown SB on Google Maps they'd say "Where is the city? This is all suburbs." Despite that being the dense business part of town, and nothing at all like the suburbs that surround it.

I now live back in my hometown which is a weird mix of rural and suburbs set back a reasonable distance but not too far from more major metropolitan areas. Every day for lunch I walk clear around the perimeter of the suburban tract I live on the edge of: down one street lined with suburban houses on one side and large orchard estates on the other, then down another street lined with a mix of suburban houses and ranches on one side and a riverbottom nature preserve on the other, then along a private drive through an orchard and some oak groves separating the suburban street I used to live on and the suburban neighborhood I went to elementary school in, and finally up another street with suburban housing on one side and a meadow preserve on the other side, to my corner of these 'burbs which is also just about at the border of a national forest.

That whole tract is about one square mile, and down the middle of it is a street full of local businesses sufficient to handle the day-to-day needs of people who live there. (The rest of that square mile is housing). There's another two or three of those kinds of tracts (with bits of nature dotted with houses and businesses separating them) south of here, and another one or two of them east of here (I'm in the northwest corner of an elbow-shaped valley). Further south, it gets more and more consistently suburban and then urban and about 20 miles away you hit the beach and the northernmost edge of the Los Angeles-San Diego conurbation. Further east instead, after the "suburban" tracts in that direction, it becomes orchards and farms for miles that slowly blend into wilderness and then emerges into the outskirts of the LA-SD conurbation again. Due north or west is immediate wilderness, national forest land, until you hit somewhere like Bakersfield or Santa Barbara.

That's what I think of as "suburban". You're somewhere between civilization and wilderness, somewhere between urban and rural. Maybe we need another term for that, to distinguish it from the unending miles and miles of identical tract housing spreading in every direction from the big cities. "Subrural" maybe?
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:40 pm UTC

Klear wrote:I think it's also because of he mentality of people there - when Europeans first came to America, it was a basically completely vacant continent (the natives didn't count in their eyes). Owning land in Europe has been historically a very big deal. In America anybody could own as much land as practically possible and then some. That is still ingrained in the US mentality. Everything is big - cars, roads, distances (and distances people are willing to travel/move) Another effect is that since everything is so spread out, hardly anyone walks anywhere (or so I've heard) and they use cars for everything. It's just a completely different situation and can't be well judged by European standards.


This is true. Owning land is still a big deal. My current neighborhood is about 2/3 of a square mile (1.75 km2) and has just over 900 homes, according to its website. The lots are not square (the roads curve and branch at non-right angles), so they are pretty much all unique in size and shape, but they average nearly half an acre per lot. In the summer, this is equivalent to about an hour of mowing the yard, usually once a week. And this is typical for Americans, or at least is perceived as typical, or is the ideal, or something. Does the typical European have an hour's worth of mowing to do every week? I doubt it.

By the way, the neighborhood has an elementary school in the middle of it, so some of the kids can walk to school, if their parents let them. But the nearest grocery store is 3 miles (5-8 minutes) away, and that is seen as very close.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:55 pm UTC

Klear wrote:hardly anyone walks anywhere (or so I've heard) and they use cars for everything. It's just a completely different situation and can't be well judged by European standards.

(that said, I too find it quite awful)

It really can't. For one, Europe as a whole has a pretty nice public transportation system. Go to any major city and you've got subways and bus routes that make sense, there's regular trains from major city to major city, and you can get from one place to another.. probably in an hour or so, just using public transportation.

We don't have that. Because everything's so spread out, because of the economic push for The American Dream in the early 20th century, because of how people will fill an empty space whenever possible... unless you live in a major city - and by major I mean "American City the average European can point to on a map", the public transportation is probably a joke, you probably work tens of miles away from where you sleep, and - again, outside of something like New York City or maybe.. maybe Chicago, it's difficult and time consuming to get around.

It's not so much that Americans don't walk places - it's that the places Americans need to go are at such distances that walking simply isn't feasible.

I mean, not that Louisville is a gigantic metropolis, but I did grow up rural. (Seriously, my home county has 14,000 people in it. I grew up on a 140ish acre farm) I can point at trips I did as a high school student, riding around with friends in which we would drive upwards of 300 miles in a night (That's 480km, roughly). And that wasn't considered unusual. Not just for the age group and demographic of "Bored kids with nothing better to do", but adults - adults with 9 to 5 jobs - would routinely drive 50 miles to get to work, 20 miles to go to a shopping area, then 40 miles home. 110 miles/176km round trip. While not daily..daily was just 100 miles.. that was a bi-weekly thing.

The times I've been to Europe, it seems you can't go very far without hitting a commercial area - couple of blocks of houses, block of shops, two or three blocks of houses, here's a factory, some shops... things are reasonably spaced for foot traffic. It's hard to find anything like that here.

So, yeah, at this point everything is spread out because everyone has cars because everything is so spread out. Rather than buying up land that exists and revamping it into a shopping center, it's easier to just buy empty space on the edge of town and build a new shopping center there. You don't buy houses here, tear them down and build an apartment building - you just put that on the edge of town. And you don't make it a single tower taking up only a block, you make it a complex of - at most - three stories, and you spread it out over a square mile.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Klear » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:27 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:By the way, the neighborhood has an elementary school in the middle of it, so some of the kids can walk to school, if their parents let them. But the nearest grocery store is 3 miles (5-8 minutes) away, and that is seen as very close.


When I was in elementary school, only a couple of kids didn't walk to school, and that's because I live near the edge of Prague and these guys's homes were on the outskirts.

SecondTalon wrote:It really can't. For one, Europe as a whole has a pretty nice public transportation system. Go to any major city and you've got subways and bus routes that make sense, there's regular trains from major city to major city, and you can get from one place to another.. probably in an hour or so, just using public transportation.

We don't have that. Because everything's so spread out, because of the economic push for The American Dream in the early 20th century, because of how people will fill an empty space whenever possible... unless you live in a major city - and by major I mean "American City the average European can point to on a map", the public transportation is probably a joke, you probably work tens of miles away from where you sleep, and - again, outside of something like New York City or maybe.. maybe Chicago, it's difficult and time consuming to get around.


I think it's basically because in the US people are so used to driving everywhere, public transportation isn't really a big priority. People in the US are used to driving distances which would put you across one or more state borders in Europe. Incidentally, that's one thing the Americans have in common with Russia. Russians have no concept of borders. I mean, the whole archetype of a border, across which there are different people with a different language and customs just doesn't ring any bells, since Russia (and USA) is so large. That's why Russian foreign policy can be quite frightening to us in Eastern Europe. At least Americans have the archetype of borders and foreigners in their subconsciousness since all the people there come from other parts of the world.

Back to walking x driving in the USA, I read somewhere (and by somewhere I mean a random thread on these forums) that in some US cities such as LA there are hardly any pavements and walking around by foot is asking for trouble. Is that correct?

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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:49 pm UTC

Klear wrote:Back to walking x driving in the USA, I read somewhere (and by somewhere I mean a random thread on these forums) that in some US cities such as LA there are hardly any pavements and walking around by foot is asking for trouble. Is that correct?


I've seen Americans use the word "pavement" to mean "decent road surface" (in contrast to "dirt track") while here in the UK, it would mean what an American means by "sidewalk" - a paved footpath along the side of a road - in both cases, a road without pavement is a sign you're away from population centres - though in England, an unsurfaced road would be a sign that you'd strayed onto private property - every public road is surfaced (though maintenance-levels vary)

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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:52 pm UTC

A quick Google Maps search (with the old interface, since I couldn't find satellite view on their "new" crap?) did find a few LA neighborhoods that were fairly dense yet had no or only sporadic sidewalks, so I suspect Klear is at least partly right about that.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby addams » Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:08 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Klear wrote:Back to walking x driving in the USA, I read somewhere (and by somewhere I mean a random thread on these forums) that in some US cities such as LA there are hardly any pavements and walking around by foot is asking for trouble. Is that correct?


I've seen Americans use the word "pavement" to mean "decent road surface" (in contrast to "dirt track") while here in the UK, it would mean what an American means by "sidewalk" - a paved footpath along the side of a road - in both cases, a road without pavement is a sign you're away from population centres - though in England, an unsurfaced road would be a sign that you'd strayed onto private property - every public road is surfaced (though maintenance-levels vary)

Side walks?
There are Loads of Sidewalks in the US.

In cities and in country towns.
There are laws that governed that sort of thing.

Federal and state and local laws.
Do we remember how that worked in the Ideal?

If the local law exceeded the state law, the local law prevailed.
If there was no local law, or the local law did not have rigor, the state law prevailed.
If the state law did not provide for Utilities and Sidewalks the Federal Law did.

A bunch of those Laws were written and made functioning law during Truman's Administration.
He wanted a system of roadways and that is what he got. He was a good General.

Why? What does that have to do with Before the Internet?
Before the internet Twin Sisters could sit with their legs touching and communicate without involving a Satellite.
Before the internet they could not involve a Satellite. Poor them. Personal U-tubes and an open screen for Random Thoughts.

The US is huge. Of course, we have unpaved roads.
Those unpaved roads go some of the most delightful places.
On a good day they come back from there, too.

I remember before the internet.
It might, still, be Before the Internet out there on a dirt road, somewhere.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Karilyn » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:46 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:Wow, Karilyn, you've done an amazing job of describing what a fucking awful country the US is, without even delving into national-level politics or history. I feel like there should be some kind of prize for that.

TBH that's pretty extraordinarily rude. It's generally not nice to talk such high levels of shit about the person a country lives in. I assume we're both still first world countries, and while America is hardly the greatest nation in the world (and people who claim that are out of their minds and unintentionally roadblocking fixing the problems we do have by burying their heads in the sand), it's hardly "fucking awful" either. There's a very very wide range between "greatest nation in the world" and "fucking awful" and America isn't at either end of them, but it's definitely far up on the positive side of things.

Steve the Pocket wrote:I'd like to add one thing: When people talk about "suburbs" in America, 90% of the time, what they mean is rural areas that have turned the former farmland into absurdly spread-out residential space. The word has become the equivalent of "middle class". Nobody wants to admit they live in "the country" in the same way nobody wants to admit they're "lower-class", so the old terms have simply passed out of use. I'm sure there's some sociological term for that. "Prestige creep" or something of the sort.
Not really. Suburb is a highly relative concept. Because America has far far more land to spread out in, the average square-footage and acreage of homes is a lot larger. That doesn't make it suddenly not suburbs because we have the landspace to have homes on 2 acre plots of land for homes instead of half acres in our suburbs.

I've been out in the rural areas, I have friends who have lived in rural areas. I have family that live in rural areas; I have family that are some of the most gawd awful unpleasant redneck hunters deep out in rural country that I'm frankly okay with pretending aren't related to me at all. I know what rural areas look like in America. The suburbs are very very very different. For the most part, Residential Subdivisions are the name of the game, our suburbs are warped around the concept of residential subdivisions; in America, if 90-95% of people in the area are living in apartments or Residential Subdivisions, and it's not an urban center, it's a suburb. If there aren't residential subdivisions and/or apartments, and/or if they are far and few inbetween, and the majority of people are living on individual roads with 20+ acre plots of land, then you're in rural country.

Also, in the future, try not to talk about other nationalities like that; it's just plain bigoted.

Pfhorrest wrote:I used to live in the Santa Barbara area, and when I'd show people downtown SB on Google Maps they'd say "Where is the city? This is all suburbs." Despite that being the dense business part of town, and nothing at all like the suburbs that surround it.
Also, I hate to say "this." But "this."

SecondTalon wrote:You don't buy houses here, tear them down and build an apartment building - you just put that on the edge of town. And you don't make it a single tower taking up only a block, you make it a complex of - at most - three stories, and you spread it out over a square mile.
Oh god this. I see like, on TV, tower apartments, and it's so alien to me. It's hard for me to even imagine. Every apartment I've lived in has been one of those square-mile apartments. And he's not joking. I've literally never seen an apartment building more than three stories tall (They /might/ have a basement floor, maybe). And let's not forget the average apartment size is between 75 m2 to 210 m2. In fact, it's virtually impossible to find an apartment smaller than 65 m2. They just do not exist.

Let's compare that to Europe, where the average HOME, the average HOME, not the average apartment size, in places like the UK, is 76 m[2] about the same size as the absolute bare minimum tiniest apartments sold in America. What's the average square meters on American homes? 214m2.
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/04/ ... 34x274.jpg

Also to my understanding, central A/C and central heating is virtually unheard of in European flats, whereas in American apartments you ALWAYS have it, no exceptions. It's considered a non-negotiable necessity on the same level as things like water or electricity.

Klear wrote:Back to walking x driving in the USA, I read somewhere (and by somewhere I mean a random thread on these forums) that in some US cities such as LA there are hardly any pavements and walking around by foot is asking for trouble. Is that correct?

I'm not certain about LA in particular, and I'm not 100% certain what you mean by pavement. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that's a synonym for sidewalk. In American English, pavement refers to any road made of asphalt itself, the things cars drive on that pedestrians aren't allowed to walk along. Haha same-language language-barriers, it's a beautiful thing :D (I always make a point to try and use non-American vocabulary when talking with non-Americans, as well as use metric units where I would reflexively use customary units, as I figure it eases the language-barrier issue if I swap the words I know, but as I'm not certain in this case, I'll just answer your question as if it was sidewalks, and if I'm wrong, then derp).

Anyway, I'd say around... oh god it's hard to even come up with a number. Sidewalks can vary in rarity a lot. Only talking urban and suburban areas, I'd say that sidewalks are on about 5% of roads total, but on about 40-50% of main roads. That would be my guess on average. In most places, the road just goes from the curb directly into the grass, which goes directly into homes or business parking lots, with nothing in-between. And even where there are sidewalk, unless the place you're going to doesn't have it's own parking lot and you're parking in a parking garage across the block, you basically never see someone on sidewalks, ever. They are the most ridiculously pointlessly empty things, and their sheer lack of use in 99% of locations makes me tend to lift them up as a perfect example of nonsensical government waste. Our cities aren't being designed for sidewalks, why are you throwing away money putting sidewalks in nobody will use just for the sake of being able to say you have sidewalks? Stop using Euclid Zoning, THEN think about spending tax dollars on sidewalks. Despite what you might have heard government, if you build it, that does not guarantee that they will come.
http://collegetri.files.wordpress.com/2 ... a-road.jpg
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:02 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Stop using Euclid Zoning, THEN think about spending tax dollars on sidewalks. Despite what you might have heard government, if you build it, that does not guarantee that they will come.
http://collegetri.files.wordpress.com/2 ... a-road.jpg

Would mixed zoning attract more locals or mostly expats/New Yorkers to a neighbourhood? Do Americans generally like having services within walking distance even if they would be smaller?

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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Karilyn » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:43 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
Karilyn wrote:Stop using Euclid Zoning, THEN think about spending tax dollars on sidewalks. Despite what you might have heard government, if you build it, that does not guarantee that they will come.
http://collegetri.files.wordpress.com/2 ... a-road.jpg

Would mixed zoning attract more locals or mostly expats/New Yorkers to a neighbourhood? Do Americans generally like having services within walking distance even if they would be smaller?

Mixed zoning would very likely attract expats, but it should also attract citizens, assuming you don't skimp on the sqftage of living quarters in the process. New Yorkers are largely not a part of the equation... Giant wall of spoiler explaining why, or you can just accept that and ignore the history lesson because it's really irrelivant.

Spoiler:
(In my experience, Europeans strongly overestimate the importance of New York to America as a whole. In most major European countries, there's one really big city, maybe a 2-3 medium size cities, and then everything falls off really rapidly. If you look at America's population-falloff for cities, it comes closer to matching the pattern that you get if you look at the most populated cities in Europe, as opposed to the most populated cities in any single European country (even Russia seems to match that pattern, despite it's really large size). This makes sense to some extent, as if you go back far enough in US history, The United States' relationship with the states was closer to the European Union and it's member states. And during that time the states were largely independent bodies, that was when the roots of now what are the important cities in the country were planted.

Who knows? Maybe 100 years from now, the European Union will have managed to vote itself the level of centralizing power and control over it's member states that the United States figured out how to do? The kneejerk reaction might be to say that it's written into the European Union that they can't do that, but I might helpfully point you to the single most ignored part of the US Constitution: The 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Perhaps the big mistake of the United States, as it being originally a union instead of a country, was the idea that the union should be about having a single military that could defend all of them. People underestimated the ability of a union army to be able to grow the power of the central government through threat of force, which happened, several times in history, ending in the US Civil War (which unfortunately while we like to make it sound like our country was being so noble and that it was about freeing the slaves, it really wasn't, that's just the retroactive meaning assigned to the war; Abraham Lincon first talked about using the war to free the slaves around three and a half years into the war.), which reinforced that the will of the union was absolute, and that state independence no longer existed.
If you actually survived that giant wall of historical and only tangentially related text, the New Yorker question is largely like asking if doing something in another member state of the European Union would attract Londoners to the neighborhood. It's a little silly.

As for the main part of the question: would Americans use services in walking distance even if they were smaller? The answer is largely, yes. You're asking the country, stereotyped as being the laziest country in the world, if we wouldn't just go to the closest place available more often than not, even if they were smaller or the quality wasn't that good? That's the reason McDonalds is so fucking popular here (The CEO describes McDonalds as a real-estate business, not a food business, with emphasis on insuring that they always have the best real-estate to be the most convenient place to purchase food at the shortest distance for people; basically they abuse the Euclid Zoning to still be the most convenient of anybody entering the commercial zone).

So yeah, if mixed zoning allowed you to stick a small grocery store inside an apartment complex (because haha apartment towers will never be widespread in the US with our obsession over having as much sqftage as possible), I can guarantee you enough people within the complex would shop there often enough to easily justify the store's existence, even if people still occasionally drove further to a supermarket to pick up things that weren't available at the smaller store.

The big problem is convincing people that they would want/need/use it. Americans have a very warped sense of acceptable travel distance; like someone said a few posts back, in America, living within 5 minutes by car of the grocery store, is thought of as being extremely close. It's a bit hard, having lived in Euclid zoning your entire life, to conceptualize living 2 minutes by foot from the grocery store. It seems too convenient to be true. Americans have largely spent their entire lives growing up in Euclid zoning, so that driving an hour to work, while considered extremely unpleasant, is also not looked at as something which there's an alternative to. Some people will look at you with authentic surprise if you suggest that they move so that they can be within 10 minutes of their job (because ha-ha getting closer than that in Euclid zoning isn't going to happen), because the way our culture is, most people never even think that could be an option. Then, because of the obsession with sqftage, will look at apartments closer to town, see that they are maybe 10m2 smaller, and go "Why would I ever move into an apartment that small? And then keep suffering through the hour long drive to work because I'm surrounded by idiots who've been taught their entire life that the size of hour house or apartment or land you live on is a measure of your worth as a human being, because CULTURE. Argh.

Ultimately it's just a matter of "If you build it in a lazy enough position, Americans will use it." Stick a small grocery store in the complex, and people will use it because it's there. Screw the stereotype that Americans are lazy; HUMANS are lazy, and most people, American or not, will chose to go to a closer place over a place that's farther away. Of course, then you start having new issues, such as how do you deal with food deserts, and I don't know if American civil engineers know how to deal with that. Blargh. American Zoning is bad, really really bad, some of the worst, if not the worst in the world, and I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that.

The fact that this:
http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/img/photos/2011/03/01/traffic_study_vmed_6a_widec_o.jpg
Exists in Atlanta for 20 unimpeded miles on I85 from exit 115 to past spaghetti junction for 2-3 hours every weekday morning, and 2-3 hours every weekday evening, because it's literally the only way people can get to work because of overly rigid zoning, should tell you how shitty zoning laws in America are. Admittedly that's the worst of the 7 highways going into Atlanta. But still, IF YOU HAVE A 14 LANE HIGHWAY, with 4 additional feeder lanes, WHICH IS BLOCKED UP WITH 4-6 hours of bumper to bumper traffic everyday of people going to-and-from work, because that's literally the only way they could get to work, MAYBE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER TRANSITIONING TO A DIFFERENT ZONING METHOD? Or at least installing some reversible lanes. I know many people in the Atlanta area who sit in traffic for upwards of 15-20 hours a week just going to and from work. Christ man, that's like an entire part-time job.
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Re: 1348: "Before the Internet"

Postby Klear » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:10 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Americans have a very warped sense of acceptable travel distance; like someone said a few posts back, in America, living within 5 minutes by car of the grocery store, is thought of as being extremely close. It's a bit hard, having lived in Euclid zoning your entire life, to conceptualize living 2 minutes by foot from the grocery store. It seems too convenient to be true.


Huh... I've got at least 4 grocery stores within 1 minute by foot. And two supermarkets within 5 minutes. We Czechs went a bit overboard with our supermarkets after the revolution, though the wave is slowly beginning to recede.

Anyway , I just wanted to comment on "within 5 minutes by car". It seems to me quite odd that somebody would use a car on such short distance. It makes sense in the context of shopping, but it still feels just wrong as an estimate of distance.


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