An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions
Garrett Dash Nelson1, Alasdair Rae2*
1 Department of Geography and Society of Fellows, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, United States of America, 2 Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
The emergence in the United States of large-scale “megaregions” centered on major metro- politan areas is a phenomenon often taken for granted in both scholarly studies and popular accounts of contemporary economic geography. This paper uses a data set of more than 4,000,000 commuter flows as the basis for an empirical approach to the identification of such megaregions. We compare a method which uses a visual heuristic for understanding areal aggregation to a method which uses a computational partitioning algorithm, and we reflect upon the strengths and limitations of both. We discuss how choices about input parameters and scale of analysis can lead to different results, and stress the importance of comparing computational results with “common sense” interpretations of geographic coher- ence. The results provide a new perspective on the functional economic geography of the United States from a megaregion perspective, and shed light on the old geographic problem of the division of space into areal units.
I grew up watching more than a few auroral displays. Although often stunning, most of the video these days is time lapse while the real thing unfolds in a much more stately fashion. Improvements in video cameras are providing the sensitivity necessary for real time work Here's a recent example.
Fomenko is a supporter of drastically revising historical chronology. He has created his own revision called New Chronology, based on statistical correlations, dating of zodiacs, and by examining the mathematics and astronomy involved in chronology. Fomenko claims that he has discovered that many historical events do not correspond mathematically with the dates they are supposed to have occurred on. He asserts from this that all of ancient history (including the history of Greece, Rome, and Egypt) is just a reflection of events that occurred in the Middle Ages and that all of Chinese and Arab history are fabrications of 17th and 18th century Jesuits.
He also claims that Jesus lived in the 12th century A.D. and was crucified on Joshua's Hill; that the Trojan War and the Crusades were the same historical event; and that Genghis Khan and the Mongols were actually Russians. As well as disputing written chronologies, Fomenko also disputes more objective dating techniques such as dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating (see here for an examination of the latter criticism). His books include Empirico-statistical Analysis of Narrative Material and Its Applications and History: Fiction or Science?.
Trump will push for change... but it wasn't trade that removed American manufacturing jobs, rather automation erased them.. 80 to 90% by estimates. This Brookings piece uses an 85% estimate. The automation trend will accelerate. It has already moved into white collar sectors and will be huge (sorry for the word) in ten to fifteen years. We saw enormous displacements like this through the Industrial Revolution... it took five or six generations for them to settle down.
Trump is not only vain and incompetent but also, many people have suggested, uninterested in the daily business of governing. In any case, the transition has fallen far behind schedule. Normally, at this time in the cycle, the president-elect’s picks for top posts would already be in the agencies they plan to run, getting carefully prepared briefings from senior staff and taking stock. This is apparently not happening. When Trump haphazardly met the leader of Japan last week at Trump’s own offices in New York, his transition team had yet to even contact the State Department .
Could it be that as long as Trump is not looking, good things could be done, or continue to be done? The State Department could continue to support human-rights groups abroad, until or even after he fills top diplomatic posts with cronies, environmental regulations could somehow continue to be enforced—those that cannot easily be cancelled by executive order—, the National Endowment for the Humanities could continue to fund scholarship at home. Perhaps Trump and his family will be too busy pillaging the country to pay attention to the national bureaucracy.
Perhaps. But what happens when he does start to pay attention and restrictions of the sort that his character and his views suggest are imposed? He has promised to put an end to civil-service tenure and start firing. Then a sister argument will kick in: “If I don’t do this job, someone else will.” In one version of this argument, the imaginary someone would be worse—or there would be no one at all, since Trump has also promised to institute a federal hiring freeze. In another, the someone would be no better or worse, but the job would still get done.
That was the argument my other grandmother used when she became a censor for the Soviet government. Her argument was by no means a moral cop-out. On the contrary, it was a moral choice. She had been trained to be a history teacher, but she decided that she could not engage in the act of active lying, especially to children. She did not want to use her charm, beauty, and kindness to make children think the way Stalin wanted them to think. So she became a censor. Her job was to open personal mail that arrived from abroad, read it, and block it if it contained banned material, such as a copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls or Western natural-science magazines that an émigré kept sending his scientist brother.
For now, the PISA reveals brutal truths about America’s education system: Math, a subject that reliably predicts children’s future earnings, continues to be the United States’ weakest area at every income level. Nearly a third of American 15-year-olds are not meeting a baseline level of ability — the lowest level the O.E.C.D. believes children must reach in order to thrive as adults in the modern world.
And affluence is no guarantee of better results, particularly in science and math: The latest PISA data (which includes private-school students) shows that America’s most advantaged teenagers scored below their well-off peers in science in 20 other countries, including Canada and Britain.
The good news is that a handful of places, including Estonia, Canada, Denmark and Hong Kong, are proving that it is possible to do much better. These places now educate virtually all their children to higher levels of critical thinking in math, reading and science — and do so more equitably than Americans do. (Vietnam and various provinces in China are omitted here because many 15-year-olds are still not enrolled in school systems there, limiting the comparability of PISA results.)
An interesting paper in PLoS ONE on the recognition of conspecifics in social species.
Getting to the Bottom of Face Processing. Species-Specific Inversion Effects for Faces and Behinds in Humans and Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes)
Mariska E. Kret1,2*, Masaki Tomonaga3
1 Leiden University, Institute of Psychology, the Cognitive Psychology Unit, Leiden, the Netherlands, 2 Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), Leiden, the Netherlands, 3 Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Inuyama, Aichi, Japan
For social species such as primates, the recognition of conspecifics is crucial for their sur- vival. As demonstrated by the ‘face inversion effect’, humans are experts in recognizing faces and unlike objects, recognize their identity by processing it configurally. The human face, with its distinct features such as eye-whites, eyebrows, red lips and cheeks signals emotions, intentions, health and sexual attraction and, as we will show here, shares impor- tant features with the primate behind. Chimpanzee females show a swelling and reddening of the anogenital region around the time of ovulation. This provides an important socio-sex- ual signal for group members, who can identify individuals by their behinds. We hypothe- sized that chimpanzees process behinds configurally in a way humans process faces. In four different delayed matching-to-sample tasks with upright and inverted body parts, we show that humans demonstrate a face, but not a behind inversion effect and that chimpan- zees show a behind, but no clear face inversion effect. The findings suggest an evolutionary shift in socio-sexual signalling function from behinds to faces, two hairless, symmetrical and attractive body parts, which might have attuned the human brain to process faces, and the human face to become more behind-like.
Problems. It appears the mitochondrial diseases the technique is supposed to prevent from being passed along may appear...
In attempt to combat this problem, researchers have essentially been—as one doctor described it—taking the “yellow part” of a mother’s egg and inserting it into the “white” of a donor’s egg. Because the child ends up with DNA from its mother, father and a donor, this mitochondrial replacement therapy has been nicknamed the “three-parent baby” technique. An apparently healthy boy was born using the approach in April in Mexico. He carries about 1 percent of his mother’s mitochondria, which if allowed to pass to him in full might have caused Leigh syndrome, a severe neurological disorder that is generally fatal in early childhood. His parents had two previous children who died of the disease, one at age 6 and one at 8 months, New Scientist reported.
But the new laboratory study shows that the mother’s mitochondria can sometimes replicate faster than the donor’s and come to dominate again, potentially bringing disease with it. Still, that effect is likely to be rare, says Shoukhrat Mitalipov, the developmental biologist who led the research and has used the technique on mice and monkeys, reportedly without seeing any health problems. Mitalipov and Paula Amato, a reproductive endocrinologist also at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, said at a news conference that they think mitochondrial replacement therapy should be tested in a clinical trial—despite concerns about the mother’s defective mitochondrial DNA making a comeback. “Because these diseases are so debilitating and often fatal and there are no cures, we think it’s still worth trying to move this research forward to prevent those diseases if we can,” Amato says. Congress currently bans such three-parent procedures for clinical use in the United States, but the United Kingdom has approved a similar technique that would allow even more of the mother’s mitochondria to be passed on to the child and a trial could likely be conducted there, Mitalipov says.
I'm skeptical about fMRI studies, but interesting nonetheless and perhaps an interesting path to test...
The paper mentioned is on Mormons (outside their paywall)
Reward, salience, and attentional networks are activated by religious experience in devout Mormons
Michael A. Fergusona, Jared A. Nielsenb,c, Jace B. Kingd, Li Daie, Danielle M. Giangrassod, Rachel Holmanf, Julie R. Korenbergd,e and Jeffrey S. Anderson a,d,f
aDepartment of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; bDepartment of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; cDepartment of Psychology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA; dInterdepartmental Program in Neuroscience, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; eDepartment of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; fDepartment of Radiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
High-level cognitive and emotional experience arises from brain activity, but the specific brain substrates for religious and spiritual euphoria remain unclear. We demonstrate using functional magnetic resonance imaging scans in 19 devout Mormons that a recognizable feeling central to their devotional practice was reproducibly associated with activation in nucleus accumbens, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and frontal attentional regions. Nucleus accumbens activation preceded peak spiritual feelings by 1–3 s and was replicated in four separate tasks. Attentional activation in the anterior cingulate and frontal eye fields was greater in the right hemisphere. The association of abstract ideas and brain reward circuitry may interact with frontal attentional and emotive salience processing, suggesting a mechanism whereby doctrinal concepts may come to be intrinsically rewarding and motivate behavior in religious individuals.