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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mapping’s Intelligent Agents: Autonomous Cars and Beyond

    What I'm apparently failing to explain is that I want more consideration, not less.

What you're explaining loud and clear is that you feel the people responsible for the truth on the ground are not giving it the proper consideration. When I called you out for arguing (as a grad student) that you knew better than the law, you doubled down:

    That's not my luminary genius insight but professor after professor after professor has taught me.

I took one (1) acoustics class. It was taught by the two acoustics Ph.Ds at UW. And we started the class with one of the profs explaining the measurement rig he had pointed out the window: see, the buses outside were loud, but it was spring and soon the trees would be covered in leaves and it would be much quieter. et voila. Acoustics.

We believed him - I mean, I was 22 and the actual math of the attenuation of a shit-ton of leaves is intensive. Nonetheless we never did end up comparing beginning and end. Once I started working in the field I relayed this story to my boss and she laughed uproariously and showed me the B&K chart listing attenuation on the x and "meters of forest in hundreds" on the y.

These are acoustical professors with Ph. Ds prestigious enough in their department to fund a boat that flips on its tail for sonar studies. And we learned all sorts of great stuff about nodal analysis, resonance, deep channels and the like which provided a fundamental basis for the practical knowledge that I then picked up in the field. Because "practical knowledge" wasn't their thing - they were busy rewriting the theory. And for environmental acoustics, the theory was laid out by a dude a hundred years dead.

We'll disregard my profs' erroneous assumptions about the way environmental acoustics work. We'll even disregard the fact that when they were busted, they shined it on as if it never happened. We'll focus instead on their attempts to broaden the body of knowledge that we all benefit from and thank them for it. We'll even spot them the assumption that if my boss were to walk into that room and give them a lesson on the acoustical isolation of leaves, they'd listen interestedly, ask intelligent questions and have a rigorous debate about the mathematics at play.

Because nobody comes out ahead when we assume everyone else is a fucking idiot.

FIIC. Field Impact Isolation Class. A two-digit number that takes two trained professionals two days and ten thousand dollars worth of equipment to arrive at. Lucrative, no? I mean, we couldn't roll one for less than $3k. Which means we didn't get to roll them nearly often enough. And we spent a day burning through the math in custom bullshit Excel spreadsheets that sucked and that wasn't any fun either. So when we were presented with an opportunity to test some composite floors so we could build up some better mass law models, my boss paid me to schlep concrete and sand up to the 4th floor of a condo for six weeks so we could do our own testing. Contribute our own models. Put in our own research.

I billed out at $150 an hour, dude, and she sank 240 hours into it.

So I'm glad you're "all worked up." You should be. You "want the underlying assumptions, biases and structural issues unearthed and discussed" which can only mean you think they aren't. You "want to know in which context they work and in which context they don't" as if you think people don't fight over this shit every goddamn day. And I've been trying to say this a dozen different ways and you aren't hearing it, probably because it's offensive, and because it assails your worldview:

The experts in the field know more than the people they measure.

That's it. That's my beef. That's my fundamental observation, that in any esoteric body of knowledge, the practitioners of that knowledge know more about that knowledge than the people who encounter that knowledge glancingly. No matter how broad your evaluation of mapping and GIS, it will never be as focused as the mid-level bureaucrat in some forgotten town who has jurisdiction over where roads go in his township.

The argument put forth in your essay is that the experts are fucking idiots. When I tried to find something about objective vs. relational you came back with "no, it's that the experts are fucking idiots." When I came back with "you know, the experts I've worked with seem to know their shit" you came back with "they don't know it nearly enough because research." So yeah. I'm fucking offended. Your argument hinges on the idea that the practitioners of a science are incurious about the theory of the science, which is the argument people always make, so often that you actually whipped out

    So you sound to me like yet another arrogant engineer who thinks their numbers are always a good enough substitute for the truth.

Dude.

DUDE.

The "arrogant" engineers are the ones that know they know more than you and are sick of having to explain it. They're the ones whose knowledge is called into question because somebody just did a study somewhere. They're the ones being forced to (temporarily) rewrite their entire code of behavior because some expert somewhere in another unrelated field has better PR.

These are Assistive Listening Devices. They cost about $300 each, plus about $1000 for the transmitter. And thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you have an auditorium that holds more than a hundred people you have to have enough of them for five percent of the audience. That means if you have a school somewhere with a gym that seats 300 people, $5500 is going to be spent on shitty FM radios that nobody ever listens to... rather than band instruments, rather than gym equipment, rather than art supplies.

This happened because a well-meaning audiologist argued back in the mid-80s that deaf people were being left out of public events because they couldn't hear, and a lot of them couldn't afford hearing aids, so clearly any public building should be forced to pay to bring them in so that they would be "handicapped-accessible." And none of them ever get used - you wanna stick someone else's grody earthing in your ear? - but they're mandated by law and building inspectors across the US have to count the fuckers every time there's a permit issue. Millions of these things, mouldering away in closets.

Repeat for in-class reinforcement, smartboards, etc. What usually happens next is some journalist gets a bug up their ass to investigate waste and comes after whatever the it-thing is and administrators are pilloried for wasting money on that thing that only has one study to back it but ALS has hung on for three decades because the ADA was written by the Pope, effectively, so here we are. But fundamentally? People who don't know telling people who do know bones it for everybody.

My argument, simply put, is it's dangerous and offensive to assume that the people doing the majority of the work are in the knowledge minority. And the fundamental argument put forth by this argument - and by you - is that if we have a number, and everybody agrees on it, it reflects calcified thinking and oppression of the populace.

    I don't want to paradigm shift my way to glory, I want people to stop and think about the values and methods they pick.

The only way you could want this is if you hold deeply the idea that "people" aren't already doing it.

And fuck right off with that shit.




veen  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Okay, your argument makes much more sense when you put it that way. Thanks for making the effort to explain it like that.

I spend most of my working days now surrounded by the bureaucrats you describe. And I ask them questions, talk to them about their design choices, their assumptions and the math behind their traffic model. They are open to what I have to say, and listening to them they know a whole lot more than I do about running the model. Nobody thinks the other side is stupid and progress happens.

I have also had discussions with professors and technicians who are breathlessly arrogant and close-minded about their methods. They think they are the only source of knowledge, the one and only knowledge authority. You seemed to imply that because you know more, you are always allowed to close your mind for those idiots who know less (while simultaneously deciding on their behalf). The experts aren't stupid and often know best. But they are also imperfect and it is dangerous to assume they aren't. I was concerned with experts who might do stupid things because they call everyone else stupid from their seat of superiority and absolute authority. I've seen that happen more than a few times and it angers me to no end, and I thought you were advocating that.

What your examples make clear is that you don't want the knowledge minority to rule over the knowledge majority, and I fully agree with that. The expert should make the final call because they are likely the least imperfect. But they should at least be able to listen. I have had consultants and technicians and professors and engineers argue that they don't need to listen, which disappointed me and led me to believe they don't put enough thought into it.

    The only way you could want this is if you hold deeply the idea that "people" aren't already doing it.

Or if they don't do it enough? Like, the bureaucrats admitted to me that they discuss about how to model something but not enough about why they pick that model or algorithm. Or that they often pick an indicator that they know how to calculate and communicate over a number that serves the intended goal. That they find it hard to keep up with newer lines of thinking in academia and what it implies for their practice and policies. What I wanted to talk about before this derailed is how to reduce these practice imperfections and improve the numbers. So I wonder if it can be done more thoughtfully. Does that still make me sound like an arrogant choad?

kleinbl00  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Okay, your argument makes much more sense when you put it that way.

(deep sigh of relief)

thank f'n god 'cuz I couldn't believe we were fighting about this.

Those breathtakingly arrogant professors and bureaucrats you describe? The last thing you want to do is force them to innovate. The LAX noise remedy program?

- Here are our contours

- Demonstrate you're within the DNL65 contour by pointing to your house on this map.

- We'll try and prove that we've already done your remedy from our FAA budget because we probably did

- If not here's your money. Go pay an approved contractor off this list.

- KTHXBYE.

Seattle-tacoma international airport? whole 'nuther animal because one of those local unthinking bureaucrats decided to innovate.

- What's that? You're bitching? Okay, let's see if you're within our contours.

- Okay, you're within our contours. Let's schedule a time we can invade your house for a day to measure and make sure that your windows actually suck. That'll be our crew of two, with our van, plus an independent acoustical consultant with a crew of two so we can compare numbers and see if we agree.

- Okay, we ran numbers and the acoustical consultants ran numbers and we agree - your windows suck. Awright, now we're going to pay the acoustical consultant to come up with a solution.

- Awright, we've got a solution. Now we, the Port of Seattle, are going to put this out to bid to our list of contractors.

- Awright, we've got a bid. Now we, the Port of Seattle, are going to work with you and the contractor to schedule a time to do this work.

- Awright, the contractor is done. Now we, the Port of Seattle, are going to work with you to schedule a time where our crew of two and the acoustician's crew of two can come out and verify that the job was done correctly and we got the noise isolation we said we would.

That local bureaucrat decided to innovate the budget of his department - and a whole lot of his friends - out of the same puddle of money the FAA gives to all airports. Note that there's only so much money per airport. Note that the fix is the same. But note that our local bureaucrat has managed to pickaxe a large portion of the budget free.

If the FAA had a universal approach to dealing with this problem all airports would do it the same. most of them do it like LAX, which is the smart, not-investigated-by-the-local-news-for-waste approach. I suspect Seattle got away with it (and may still be getting away with it) because it's a smaller community and because nobody in Seattle knows that every other municipality doesn't rake you over the coals so much for not wanting your baby woken up by 747s overhead. The basic problem, from my perspective, is that when you give an idiot leeway you're going to end up with an idiotic solution. When you give a laggard leeway you're going to end up with a half-assed solution.

Our best'n'brightest? They're the ones that can force change. They're the ones that can demonstrate why their solution is better. They're the ones that can force the idiots at Seatac into doing things the efficient way because in my humble opinion, the more incompetent you are the further from the lead you should be. Fortunately the mediocre tend to cluster towards the back anyway.

And that's part of the problem: policy is often executed by the least among us. The brilliant have to carry the morons on their backs. This is good, this is proper, this is tedious, this is inefficient but it's the only way to have a standard.

That's probably where the difference in our perspectives comes from. If I see an arcane industry standard that persists, I presume it's because it's a battle-tested formulation that has withstood decades of challenges. RS-232 was introduced in 1960. We're talking about a 9600-baud data protocol celebrating its 57th birthday. Its contemporaries include the PDP-1 and COBOL. And when I program my 2008 Italian motorcycle using bluetooth from my 2016 Android phone I'm using RS-232.

I have transmitted RS-232 over 500 feet of lamp cord. I have heard of it being transmitted over a quarter mile of power lines. It is not an ideal protocol for much of what we need to do in this modern world but bloody hell it works every time. If there's a control protocol your two disparate devices fall back to, dollars to donuts it's RS-232.

Which is a bigger point - universality. From the article, a Marshall Islands navigational chart:

Mentioned in the article but not linked, an Inuit navigational chart:

Here are two contextual, native-sensitive maps as derived by the locals and they are mutually incomprehensible. Neither is intelligible to a layman. If the Inuit and Marshall Islander were in the same canoe traveling the same archipelago they could make their own maps and point to the different ways both maps outline the same features but no repetition of this process will generate an Inuit-Marshall Islands cartographic translator algorithm.

On the other hand, I can show the Inuit a photo from space and he'll be able to point to which features on his chart coincide to which inlets and coastlines. I can show the Marshall Islander and he'll recognize the islands and point out that his chart has the ocean swells while mine doesn't (but it sure could). Then I could show him a navigational chart of a place he's never been and he'll be able to navigate there - because the lowest common denominator between these two charting systems is the universal one the rest of us use.

It's absurd on the face of it that computers care about our relationship to Greenwich, England to six decimal places. But it's a standard that transmits data over 500 feet of lamp cord. It's absurd on the face of it that we have 24 hours in a day because the Sumerians counted twelve major zodiacs rising above the horizon over the course of a night. But the French at the height of revolution gave up on decimal after a couple years and the Chinese, despite breaking things into 100 minutes, still had 12 hours in a day. Standards are those things that when you've torture tested it to damn near the end of civilization is still standing there marking the seconds.

Advice from my financial planner: if you want to get rich, come up with a unit of measure in your industry. Pontification should be measured in KBs. Artistic simplicity in Veens. That way whenever anyone is talking about that stuff they're using your name which increases your speaking fees and the demand for your publications. After all, who remembers Cuil? But the joke persists.

Which indicates that there's a natural desire (a financial advantage, even) to choke knowledge with newness, to reject that which is old because you can look at your wrist and decide 24 hours, 60 minutes, 60 seconds and this bizarre-ass moving leap-day calendar is f'n absurd without doing the deep dive into the minutiae of horology. But in the process of learning that minutiae you learn why these absurd standards still exist.

European watches used to be measured in lignes - talkin' into the 1980s. A ligne, or "French line", is a twelfth of a pouce and twelve points, which use to be a unit of measure rather than a unitless ratio. American watches used to be measured in calibers which is thoroughly absurd. Nowadays both convert to mm and plenty of old-timers still use the old terminology... but whip out their mm-graduated calipers whenever they need to know something.

And the ones that are most likely to change are the ones who know it's absurd and are already thinking about this stuff... and the ones least likely to change are the ones who won't do it until they're dragged kicking and screaming and that's the best possible outcome for all of us.

It's slow. It's frustrating. It's inefficient. But it's repeatable, it's universal and it's bulletproof. Waymo will one day know where my lawn is in relation to the universal median in Greenwich, England to within a fraction of an inch. They're going to have to correct on a monthly basis for techtonic drift. That is absurd.

But ain't none of us going to come up with anything better 'cuz here we are, hundreds of years after Harrison's death and every time someone tries to change it, shit hits the fan.

Progress is the changes that stick around after everyone who can fuck it up has fucked it up. Thoughtful? Not really. Sturdy?

Both myself and a hypothetical Sumerian five thousand years ago agree it's half an hour before noon. That's not by accident, that's not by design, that's because it's the best system anyone has come up with over the rise of a dozen civilizations.

veen  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Which is a bigger point - universality

Riddle me this: what if there are no universal truths? Standards and measures imply a universality that is not always there. To make an even bigger point, I think my fundamental assumption about how the world works is that non-universality is the norm, whereas you think universality is the norm. Which makes sense - the more technical something is, the more universalities there are and engineering has books upon books full of standards and universal truths.

But you could contrast that with, say, architecture. The Sieg Hall could not have been designed with any universal design truths so that it would always be called beautiful. If you move it to another city, country or continent, its design might be called anything from atrocious to amazing. There are little to no universal truths in something as complex and subjective as taste. And where complexity reigns, standards just become temporary beliefs that fade away as time passes and taste changes.

So one function of those maps is navigation, which has a technical solution and can thus be standardized. Pretty much any GIS data source is in WGS84 - a mere 43 years old. However, the secondary function it has, which is to communicate and understand communal spatial relations is completely dependent on culture and resources available. Ain't no CS nerd gonna crack that.

A lot of problems in urban planning are implemented in a technical manner - contours, TTS, building height, soil contaminant limits, drainage capacities, parking limits...you name it. And urban planners tried their damnest to capture everything in universal truths. One of the goals of the now-hated postwar housing plans was to figure out the universal truths in urban planning. It seemed like a good idea: once you nail down how people want to live in a city, you can build the perfect city efficiently and with less resources. Here, a quote from my gateway drug to urban planning, loosely translated by me from the Dutch version:

    "Around 70 to 80 families was devised as the modular unit for urban planning and the building block of developments. A neigborhood block would then be designed for this 'one living unit', form directly following social function. This one block would then be repeated again and again and again, as if it were a stamp and the city a form."

Yeah, that strategy didn't work out. People's attitudes and tastes (which indirectly define real estate, policies, and urban planning) are just too complex and changing to capture in such universal truths. Pretty much every universal truth they found back then doesn't apply now anymore, or doesn't apply in rural areas, or doesn't apply in low-income neighborhoods, or [insert reason that makes things less simple]. I've heard the analogy that urban planning practice is often like playing billiards on a ship: once you think you have your shot lined up, the ship tilts and all the balls start to roll again.

Urban planning at its most interesting is about operating in a solution space that everyone can have an opinion on and can also changes over time and wherein your progress rarely converges to a standard. Despite millennia of cities we still haven't built a nearly-perfect one. But we have found a nearly-perfect way to measure time. Doesn't that say a lot?

kleinbl00  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    But we have found a nearly-perfect way to measure time. Doesn't that say a lot?

It absolutely does. You can be a morning person, you can be a night owl, you can be late, you can be early, it can be spring, it can be fall, it can be twelve minutes to midnight, time be time, mon.

And you're right - I'm trained as an engineer. I had dreams of being a designer but when I discovered that they have no control or input into the actual mechanics of a thing (other than often complicating the simple) I opted out. Slagging on designers has been a pastime of mine for decades.

You sound like a designer - you're looking for capital-T Truths. I'm an engineer - everything has a fudge factor. Designers wish to make statements. Engineers wish to solve problems.

I think I see where our disagreement actually lies (and it's been a hell of a debate, so thanks for your patience). I look at WGS84 and know that it's a standard that's 33 years old but that every standard that came before it has been incorporated in it and that there is a heritage of cartesian map coordinates dating back to like 200BC. And I know that the lats'n'longs from 200BC were good enough, and when they weren't, they were translated into another system that was good enough and so on and so forth.

I don't need capital-T truth. I need "good enough." I know that "good enough" works well in the service of those who seek capital-T truth and I recognize that my job is to give them the tools they need for their seeking.

The life-blood of many American cities was drained when we redesigned everything for the automobile. I see that as a tragedy, and I recognize that it's exactly the example the author should have used (but didn't) when describing the design of different transport systems for different cultures. The white folx out in the 'burbs got a quick way to the mall while the poor folx in the city got six lanes of vehicular oblivion between them and the park and that fuckin' sucks. It's a usage issue, it's a cartographic issue, it's a culture issue, it's a technological issue.

But we're talking mapping now, we're talking data. The particulate load at GPS xxx on date X/Y/Z was nnn. That's a universal truth. It is a data point, it is a context-free fact ready to be contextualized however scientists, designers, poets, artists, whatever choose to contextualize it. The author, on the other hand, says bilious shit like this:

    Yet it’s difficult to use maps to address structural inequality when geospatial data aren’t equitably distributed.

No it's not. Go get the fuckin' data. In fact, the paragraph I listed that from is a procedural listing of ways to get the fuckin' data.

My fundamental argument is that the data doesn't care. Do not assign intentions and motives to the data. People care - people care a lot, and they should care a lot. What people do with data is pretty much... science. And science policy. And therefore policy. And therefore vital.

I don't think universality is the norm. I think we naturally approximate our world to the precision we need to interact with it and no more. I think from the standpoint of the article, the maps we're making now are of greater precision than we (as people) need by far... but I'm sure they aren't nearly as precise as our gadgets would use in an ideal case.

And I think that the "good enough" we need can come out of the "greater precision" of the gadgets without anybody's freeze peaches being taken.

veen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think we're inching closer to fundamental first principles. That makes it easy to get one's hackles raised, but it is also why I find this debate so interesting. (More interesting than the article, fo'sho.)

    I had dreams of being a designer but when I discovered that they have no control or input into the actual mechanics of a thing (other than often complicating the simple) I opted out. Slagging on designers has been a pastime of mine for decades.

Last week I had a conversation with an agency where we talked through my CV and their job pool. I told them the (abridged) story of how I ended up with urban planning: basically, I thoroughly looked at architecture but found it to be too narrow, teaching you to become a hip designer and nothing useful. I looked at civil engineering but I don't enjoy doing math and the job prospects boiled down to "you're responsible for the math, you nerd" so I knew it wasn't something for me. Urban planning, being somewhere in between and touching on topics from history to psychology to economics to demography, felt to me like a much more interesting avenue to explore. (And I still think I made the right choice.)

A year ago I did a MSc bridge design course at the very school of architecture that I dismissed six years ago. I liked the course but I was so glad I didn't do that for five years - my peers knew almost nothing about physics, mechanics, economics, psychology, geography or sociology, they just knew how to think about aesthetics and the rationale behind it. They were great at that, but I was the only non-architect in the room so I witnessed all those other considerations that do fucking matter being ignored 'cuz design, bro. And even though I have only skirted with construction mechanics, I had to be the guy pointing out that a 150ft span really can't be done with a 4" bridge deck. When the professor (a veteran bridge designer) explained how the sausage gets made, he said that making the design is only a small part of the work. The rest is going back and forth with the structural engineers to actually get something resembling the original design. But that wasn't part of the course, or any course given there for that matter.

    My fundamental argument is that the data doesn't care. Do not assign intentions and motives to the data. People care - people care a lot, and they should care a lot. What people do with data is pretty much... science. And science policy. And therefore policy. And therefore vital.

Can you really separate the two like that? Is data always objective enough to be something beyond the perils of humans? As an extreme example, some local governor here came up with the term 'horsification' and a measure 'average amount of horses per acre' to quantify the demise of the countryside due to an increase in horses. You could totally do a time series analysis classifying horses with aerial photography and some ML, getting the data, but you can't deny that the data is meant to create a problem that wasn't there before. In other words: because people care, because there are people with interests and motives and intentions involved, numbers are or aren't looked at, considered and / or chosen.

Whether that is oppressive or not is another story, but 'just get the data' can definitely be countered with 'for whose benefit?'. Good enough for whom? Because what's good enough might be totally different depending on who you ask.

kleinbl00  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Can you really separate the two like that?

You just did, dude. You just pointed out that the way our society works, for better or worse, is bridge designers that think you can do a 150' span with 4" deck (which can be done, just not the way they're thinking)

...and engineers whose life work is crushing their dreams.

It's unfortunate because dollars to donuts the dream-crushers actually give a shit about what the bridge looks like and, frankly, the designers do care that it works, they're just not given the body of knowledge necessary to make the relationship anything but adversarial. Screenwriting works the same way - every screenwriter is told to write what they imagine with no constraints, I guess so they can learn just how hard it is to engage a thousand people into spending a hundred million dollars on the 20,000 words you banged out alone in a Starbucks off Ventura blvd. Which isn't far off from your local governor:

    As an extreme example, some local governor here came up with the term 'horsification' and a measure 'average amount of horses per acre' to quantify the demise of the countryside due to an increase in horses. You could totally do a time series analysis classifying horses with aerial photography and some ML, getting the data, but you can't deny that the data is meant to create a problem that wasn't there before.

So let's go with our horsification standard. I'm going to measure the horsification of a stretch of the Valle Grande in New Mexico at two points, historical and current because I'm lazy. For "current" I'm going to commission a satellite pass of the Valle and hire a grad student to count "horses." In order to distinguish between "horses" and "not horses" I'm going to need grazing rights records and animal registrations. Now that I've validated my model I'm going to give my grad student the last, best sat photos of the valle we didn't commission and have him count horses using his model. I now have two data points: horsification now and horsification, say, in 2013.

Now I need to quantify "demise of the countryside." Good luck with that but let's say I opt for methane emissions, tax rolls, traffic counts, I dunno. Stuff I can actually get for the year in question.

I now have two points of correlation that I think demonstrate that more horses = more "demise of the countryside." Thing is, all that data actually existed already - and if I want my argument to have any weight, I need to show my work. What I actually contributed to the conversation - a method for counting horses - may turn out to be a useful tool for other purposes. Meanwhile in the process of correlating horses with urban decay I've opened up an avenue of research, made some controversial statements and otherwise advanced the debate around ranching.

The article you linked literally argues that we shouldn't map shit because it hurts peoples' feelings. I think we can both agree that peoples' feelings are going to be hurt. My overarching point is that data doesn't hurt feelings. USE of data hurts feelings. "Horsification" is probably a bullshit metric, but it's a higher-order derivative of scalar data. Scalar data goes into lots of metrics, bullshit and otherwise, and when we all debate whether they're bullshit or not we all win.

You're going to have a tough time convincing me that simply measuring a value is EVER bad for society.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's unfortunate because dollars to donuts the dream-crushers actually give a shit about what the bridge looks like and, frankly, the designers do care that it works, they're just not given the body of knowledge necessary to make the relationship anything but adversarial.

Extra unfortunate since this used to not be the case - constructional engineering and architecture used to be one and the same field over here.

    The article you linked literally argues that we shouldn't map shit because it hurts peoples' feelings. I think we can both agree that peoples' feelings are going to be hurt. My overarching point is that data doesn't hurt feelings. USE of data hurts feelings.

That is a valuable distinction, and I agree with you.

kleinbl00  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm a huge fan of Robert Maillart. BUT - he had a few fall into the river, as I recall. You could get away with that in the 1920s; not so much now.