Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flat Florida, acrophilic Alaska

At Taki's Magazine, the Derb writes the following:
Stupid? The Republican Party’s EEG trace is flatter than Kansas.
Technically, Kansas isn't actually flat. As a person travels upstream over four hundred miles from the state's eastern end to its western one, he rises more than half a mile higher as he approaches the great continental divide. There are actually 20 states that exhibit less change in elevation from their lowest points to their highest ones than Kansas does.

To be as annoyingly precise as possible, Florida is the most flat, barely able to raise itself out of the Atlantic or the gulf from the panhandle to Miami. At least it offers plenty of opportunities for alliteration.

Of course, Derb's intention is to conjure up images of western Kansas, devoid of the woods and hilliness of the state's eastern end, which, to the south, resembles the Ozarks more than it does the Kansas-Colorado border. That the state's highest natural point, "Mount Sunflower", is located less than a mile from Colorado and is indistinguishable from the surrounding terrain, attests to this. The gentle but steady incline across the state measures around 0.1 degree. The Derb's point is well taken, I promise!

The rank ordering of US states by the change in elevation from each state's lowest point to its highest:

State
Change (ft)
1. Alaska
20320
2. California
14785
3. Washington
14417
4. Hawaii
13803
5. Nevada
12665
6. Arizona
12565
7. Idaho
11955
8. Utah
11338
9. Oregon
11249
10. Colorado
11123
11. Montana
11003
12. Wyoming
10709
13. New Mexico
10323
14. Texas
8751
15. North Carolina
6684
16. Tennessee
6466
17. New Hampshire
6288
18. South Dakota
6276
19. Virginia
5729
20. New York
5343
21. Maine
5270
22. Georgia
4784
23. Oklahoma
4686
24. West Virginia
4623
25. Nebraska
4587
26. Vermont
4300
27. Kentucky
3887
28. South Carolina
3560
29. Massachusetts
3489
30. Kansas
3361
31. Maryland
3360
32. Pennsylvania
3213
33. North Dakota
2757
34. Arkansas
2698
35. Alabama
2413
36. Connecticut
2379
37. New Jersey
1802
38. Minnesota
1700
39. Missouri
1542
40. Michigan
1408
41. Wisconsin
1372
42. Iowa
1191
43. Ohio
1094
44. Illinois
955
45. Indiana
937
46. Rhode Island
811
47. Mississippi
807
48. Louisiana
543
49. Delaware
447
50. Florida
345

As tangential to this post as this post was to the Derb's article, does this guy's photo epitomize everything that is wrong with the modern white male or what?



17 comments:

Olave d'Estienne said...

Now now, it's not the poor guy's fault his eyesight is bad. And the choice of glasses over contacts indicates that he may have some sort of hobby where the safety advantages of glasses may come in handy. They guy's probably into shooting, carpentry, and metalwork.

Naw just kidding.

(Good post; I too thought Kansas was way flatter than it really is.)

Jokah Macpherson said...

He certainly wouldn't pass for Pat Tillman.

The file name for the photo is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Bad hygiene = self-esteem issues or has no social intelligence = Preole.

The majority of Americans will judge by appearance, hence news anchors/reports are always clean-cut. Even Ivy professors and geniuses are held to a certain level of acceptable presentation.

Why would one take anything seriously from an individual who can't even take care of themselves. Personally this also applies to obesity, unless the guy works 80 hours as an investment banker or lawyer... no excuse to be overweight.

Audacious Epigone said...

This also applies to obesity, unless the guy works 80 hours as an investment banker or lawyer... no excuse to be overweight.

I would be floored if this guy works anything close to that. I pulled up some of his other things, and it is equally snarky and devoid of any thoughtfulness.

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...

Hey, at least the guy doesn't sport a nose-ring and dreads.

PS--That topography table is a bit deceptive. West Virginia is one of the most mountainous states in the US, but because it has no coast and because none of the mountains are of Himalayan (or even Rocky) stature, one gets the impression from the table that it is fairly flat. But there is a world of difference between flatness and total elevation change.

Anonymous said...

@Ed

He probably sports a SpongeBob tramp stamp though...

Jokah Macpherson said...

"But there is a world of difference between flatness and total elevation change."

I was thinking the same thing when I first read this. The problem is that there is not a good statistical measure that I know of to quantify how "flat" an area is when you get into fractal considerations like this.

Audacious Epigone said...

Ed,

Right. Even within the state of Kansas, the eastern end is a lot hillier than the western end, but the western end is where elevation above sea level is the highest. Don't take this post as an attempt at a statistically precise definition of flatness, please!

Steve Sailer said...

Here's a view from an elevated tee at Colbert Hills golf course at Kansas State U.:

http://www.manhattancvb.org/images/pages/N59/Colbert.jpg

Peter said...

He's a writer for Gawker, so he's probably into the whole hipster scene.

Noah172 said...

At first I thought he was Christian Lander.

Audacious Epigone said...

Steve,

If you're ever on that course again, I have dibs on being your caddy. You heard it here first, everyone.

Anonymous said...

He might as well be gay--yuck.

Anonymous said...

"Why would one take anything seriously from an individual who can't even take care of themselves"

Did you ever see a picture of Einstein?

Steve Sailer said...

I've never played Colbert Hills, but I once told the course's designer Jeff Brauer that he should be proud of creating a golf course that Kansans can be proud of and can't point to as proof that their native state has a lot of interesting terrain.

sykes.1 said...

This guy represents a very small minority of white men in the US and Europe, and the minority is becoming smaller in both absolute and relative terms. If men of color are included, Derb is a vanishingly small fraction of all men.

What is more important is that the secular humanist phenomenon is passing away. In part because of high immigration rates, it will be replaced in both the US and Europe by a patriarchal model similar to that in Latin America, Asian and Africa.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of one of my favorite riddles, for the purposes of listening to people's stupid responses borne of an inability to process nested superlatives:

"What state has the lowest highest point?"