Re-districting without gerrymandering

A serious proposal as well as an opportunity for critical thinking: What holes or objections can readers identify?

Proportional representation eliminates gerrymandering by treating the whole state as one district and assigning multiple seats in that state according to the proportion of the vote gained by a given party. But let me put aside that possibility and stay with the traditional subdivision of a state into districts. Here is a way to do re-districting without gerrymandering and to reduce risk that votes for one party will be concentrated into a few districts.
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Moving and motivating given the gaps

(Transcription of a podcast 22 June 2014, in which movement and positioning on the schema is shown visually.)

I came back to the schema below when I was thinking about the question of guidelines for curiosity: in what directions and how far to be curious? Read more of this post

Novels with a “capacity to make me uncomfortable, to unnerve or challenge or confuse me”

Last week, during the day when I should’ve been working and in the wee hours when I was sleepless due to jet lag persisting after my return from a month in Australia, I feasted on Plum Rains and then The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax. I’m now suffering withdrawal–having read Detour and Behave a year or so ago, I have no more of her novels to look ahead to. Anyway, let me use this blog post to convey a few notes of appreciation.
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Democratically elected presidents?

Commentators on the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela describe him as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Presumably, all the elections, governments, politics, and presidents that South Africa had before majority rule did not count as democratic because distinct proportions of the population were disenfranchised. When, Americans should then ask, was the first democratically elected president of their nation? After the 15th amendment in 1870, the 19th in 1920, or the civil rights act of 1964? In any case, with Republican voter restrictions and gerrymandering sanctioned by the Supreme court, when, Americans might also ask, will U.S. again have democratically elected presidents?
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“between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…”

In this tension between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…, I’ve often wondered if there might be a universal “way of being”. A way of being which allows us to see, accept, and embrace one another, for who we are as human beings. Bobby Ricketts, UMass Boston graduation speaker

Video of full speech
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On gaps and belonging

The schema below is adapted from a 2013 post. It adds contour lines for the increasing amount of work needed for an exponent of a non-standard idea (or technology) to get to a place where it is possible to belong and hold onto the idea (or use the technology).
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ThinkTank, a day-and-half model (updated)

An update on an earlier blog post, composed to suggest a way that participants’ interests and energies could be engaged over the day and a half of a ThinkTank on topic X. That post was prepared after looking back at what happened (and didn’t) during a “thinktank” that went from evening of one day to lunchtime a day and a half later. This update follows a similar workshop of the same length and qualities (i.e., ample funding, a diverse group of inspiring participants brought together to move ideas into [further] action,…)
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