Saturday, June 21, 2008

Suicide Cities 2008

How Data Can Steer You Badly Wrong Dpt.

Kiplinger's, which is apparently some kind of personal finance thing, offers the following list of the ten "best cities to live, work, and play" in the U.S. They claim that "numbers" were involved in some vague fashion.

No. 1: Houston,Texas
No. 2: Raleigh, N.C.
No. 3: Omaha, Neb.
No. 4: Boise, Idaho
No. 5: Colorado Springs, Colo.
No. 6: Austin, Texas
No. 7: Fayetteville, Ark.
No. 8: Sacramento, Calif.
No. 9: Des Moines, Iowa
No. 10: Provo, Utah

Um. Are you fucking kidding me?

Houston? Houston is the worst place in the world, a sprawling, ugly, traffic-laden, polluted, Republican hellmouth.

Omaha? Have these people never been to Nebraska?

Boise? I spent a couple years working in eastern Oregon, where Boise was the "big town where everyone went to have fun." That town is a pit-monument to the failure of human potential. I remember sitting in the audience for an awards ceremony given by some liberal organization or another in Boise. They gave out an award to a woman who finally got the state to provide kindergarten in all the schools. In 2002. Nobody other than me and the ACLU guy found this at all shocking or amusing.

Most of the others are just as bad. I mean, my god. Anyone who follows the advice from these people is doomed to a life of darkness, misery, tears, pain, and sorrow. The morons must have made their list without sending a single person to visit any of these cities.

And what about the genuinely nice cities? Boston? Portland? Were they excluded because the literacy rates are too high?