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Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the sanity-check-when-the-math-suggests-detroit dept.

Math 214

An anonymous reader writes: Dave Munson was thinking about moving, and had a couple broad requirements for a new home: it must be affordable, and its neighborhood must be walkable. Price is easy to chart, but how do you compare the walkability of hundreds of cities? Simple: use math. A website called Walk Score provides rough walkability ratings, but doesn't tell you much about affordability. Munson downloaded the data that went into a city's Walk Score, weighted the relevant variables, and mapped the top results. Then he looked for overlap with the map of areas in his price range. He says, "Capitol Hill, Seattle led the pack. To be honest, I was expecting something a smaller, affordable Midwest town or something, but it the highest scoring areas were usually just outside of major downtowns. Other top areas included Cambridge and Somerville outside of Boston, and the South End in Boston; Columbia Heights, Washington, DC; The Mission District, Lower Haight, and Russian Hill, San Francisco; Midtown, Atlanta; Greenwood, Dyker Heights, Kensington, and Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, where we used to live; Lake View, Chicago; and Five Points, Denver."

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Check your arithmatic (4, Insightful)

porsche911 (64841) | about 3 months ago | (#47686239)

If Midtown Atlanta made the top 10 list for walkability you need to check your math.

Re:Check your arithmatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686257)

If Midtown Atlanta made the top 10 list for walkability you need to check your math.

If Russian Hill made the Top 10 list for affordability you need to check your math.

Re:Check your arithmatic (2)

kevinatilusa (620125) | about 3 months ago | (#47686283)

Keep in mind that he wasn't looking for affordability overall, but affordability *by him*.

His criteria for "affordable" was "people living there on average make about the same amount of money that I do, so I can probably live there on my income."

Re:Check your arithmatic (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47686445)

His criteria for "affordable" was "people living there on average make about the same amount of money that I do, so I can probably live there on my income."

Then he should also look for recent rapid price increases. People may be living in houses that they bought years ago, but could no longer afford if they were buying at today's prices. This doubly true in California, where long term owners even pay far less in property taxes than recent buyers living in identical houses.

Also, if he wants to walk, then is likely to be a liberal [nypost.com] .

Re:Check your arithmatic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686875)

LOL!!!!!!!! I live in the "aye tee ell." Let me tell you one thing. You will be mugged by crackhead apes if you walk anywhere. And MARTA (moving africans rapidly through atlanta) doesn't go anywhere that you want to go and stops at midnight. That is if you were going to NOT WALK and instead take public transit. But one cool thing might be in Norcross and the next cool thing might be in Decatur. That's going to be a two-hour drive in moderate traffic. Ha ha ha! SUCKERS

MOD PARENT RACIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47687041)

IT IS tyme we get racist MODERATION!!

Re:Check your arithmatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686387)

In Soviet Russia, affordability math Top 10s YOU!

Re:Check your arithmatic (0)

sillybilly (668960) | about 3 months ago | (#47686503)

Hahaha. Seriously, why would anyone sane want to put up with the housing costs in the places listed. Somewhere backwoods in the stix you can get a couple acre lot, with woods to cover your public nuisance issues, so you're sabotage safe as far as your wallet goes, for property tax less than 50/month. You can put 3 cheap mobiles homes on it covered with tarp, at $5/mo property tax each, and have plenty of space, and still be within an hour's driving range from a place of employment. Who wants to live in crowded places, where you drive up into your driveway, and the neighbor can see what you bought for food at the grocery store. Plus if someone smashes your windows in while you're away from home, the neighbors complain if you don't have the money to fix it and just wanna put tarp over it, so you're very public nuisance prone through no fault of your own. Gotta have the forest cover you from the neighbors, or you gotta live in a neighborhood where nobody cares about tarp, and that's dangerous, but you can at least get public transport.

Re:Check your arithmatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686895)

And Cambridge, Somerville, and the South End of Boston. All three are pretty goddamned pricey if you don't want to end up in a 600 sq ft "3 bedroom" condo.

Re:Check your arithmatic (3, Informative)

kevinatilusa (620125) | about 3 months ago | (#47686269)

I'm not so sure about that. I lived in Midtown for 3 years without a car. Grocery store was 4 blocks away, plenty of restaurants within walking distance including a great pub right across the street from me. The Atlanta Symphony, High Museum of Art, Shakespeare Tavern, and Piedmont Park were all within easy walking distance, and if I was willing to walk a bit further Centennial Park and Downtown Atlanta were only about half an hour walk. If I wanted to go further afield, there were two Marta stations within 3 blocks of me.

Compared to other places I've lived (Southern California, New Jersey, Far suburbs of Chicago), Midtown Atlanta was by far the most walkable and livable without a car.

Re:Check your arithmatic (3, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#47686341)

I lived in Atlanta many years ago. Problem with "walkability" wasn't the distances from groceries/restaurants/etc, it was temperature during the summer months. Walking four blocks with groceries at 85+F (30C) would not be fun after a few weeks....

Re:Check your arithmatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686349)

What about *cycling* four blocks, with groceries sitting on the bike?

www.copenhagenize.com

Re:Check your arithmatic (2)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#47686425)

mmm... I use a trailer. Home built, steel framed box extension on a Burley Cub. Twenty feet of bike & trailer with the turning circle of an oil tanker.

Re:Check your arithmatic (1, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47686427)

Problem with "walkability" wasn't the distances from groceries/restaurants/etc, it was temperature during the summer months. Walking four blocks with groceries at 85+F (30C) would not be fun after a few weeks....

Body temperature is 99F degrees, so 85 is nice and cool... You don't even need to sweat.

Humans were designed for desert life, so it's something you can easily get used-to in short order, if you are willing to dress properly, aren't obese and don't have other medical conditions. Taking some cold water along with you should become second nature, but even that's not really necessary for a mere 4 blocks at 85 degrees.

Look-up "Badwater Ultramarathon" or "Persistence hunting" some time to see what the human body is capable of, and how we compare to other animals.

Re:Check your arithmatic (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#47686557)

Nice reference to persistence hunting. Wolves, in the rare instances where they still have territory free of the blight that is the hairless monkeys, are notoriously successful using this method of prey exhaustion. Humans fare even better, having the only brain in nature (I'm aware of) that engineers the carrying of water during the hunt.

For many, many modern humans, the daily struggle to acquire sustenance is a tad less rigorous.

Walkability (what a focking twat word) becomes a concern in urban areas, as the relative uselessness of a personal auto helps one cope with the higher rents and mortgages.

Absurd assertion, you've never lived with humidity (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#47686723)

Body temperature is 99F degrees, so 85 is nice and cool... You don't even need to sweat.

I am sorry but that is simply a retarded statement, anyone who has ever lived in a place with high humidity is laughing at you.

At that temperature walking four blocks means I'll need a shower when I get to where I'm going - too bad for everyone else at the store.

Re:Absurd assertion, you've never lived with humid (2)

geezer nerd (1041858) | about 3 months ago | (#47686803)

The comment that started this chain did not mention humidity, so that is where the opprobrium should lie. Those of us who are aware that Atlanta has very high humidity understand that is the real issue.

Re:Absurd assertion, you've never lived with humid (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#47686821)

I live in a place without any humidity to speak of, I still wouldn't want to carry multiple bags of groceries four blocks in 85+ degree heat with the sun out.

But yes, by far the worst aspect of the exact situation is humidity.

I wouldn't think anyone would state categorically that 85 degrees was not hot without at least a caveat about humidity though... I still think he just has no idea what that is like.

Re:Absurd assertion, you've never lived with humid (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47686879)

I'm well aware of the humidity in Atlanta. That's why I mentioned sweat. 85F is still moderate.

Re:Absurd assertion, you've never lived with humid (0)

geezer nerd (1041858) | about 3 months ago | (#47686909)

Not really worth the energy to reply.

Re:Absurd assertion, you've never lived with humid (0, Flamebait)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47686999)

walking four blocks means I'll need a shower when I get to where I'm going

Try losing 100 lbs first...

Re:Check your arithmatic (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47686831)

Body temperature is 99F degrees, so 85 is nice and cool.

Pretty sure there aren't many people who agree with you that 85 degrees is nice cool walking weather......if you're thinking about bringing cool water with you, then it's not 'nice and cool'. Also, if the thing that comes to mind is Death Valley ultramarathons, that's an indication that it might not be 'nice and cool.'

Re:Check your arithmatic (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47686989)

Pretty sure there aren't many people who agree with you that 85 degrees is nice cool walking weather

Anyone and everyone that has walked in much hotter temperatures, surely would.

Nobody would call 70F degrees nice and warm, either, if they've never experienced colder.

if you're thinking about bringing cool water with you, then it's not 'nice and cool'.

What happened here? Did you read every other line of my comment? How about this part:

"even that's not really necessary for a mere 4 blocks at 85 degrees."

if the thing that comes to mind is Death Valley ultramarathons

So if I'd said "Go to Antarctica if you want to see what real hot weather is" you'd be agreeing with me and not making straw-men?

Re:Check your arithmatic (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47687047)

lol of course, and to a snowman, 33 degrees is warm.

Re:Check your arithmatic (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 months ago | (#47686465)

As an Aussie I have to say 30C is not too bad, as long as it's not too humid. However mormons knocking on my door with suit and tie in 40C+ heat without a bead of sweat on them, is downright spooky.

"arithmatic" - Smelly maths?

Re:Check your arithmatic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686575)

Talk about first world problems huh??

Walking 4 blocks in ANY weather is easy, you fucking lazy bastard!

Re:Check your arithmatic (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 months ago | (#47686717)

"Walking 4 blocks in ANY weather is easy, you fucking lazy bastard!"

Walking even 2 blocks in a thunderstorm can get you absolutly soaked, even if you're wearing a coat.

These days I walk to work 99% of the time unless its raining. It takes about 20 minutes, and 17 minutes to walk home
I thin the distance is about a mile. Leaving work I can use another door which is on the near side of the building.

Re:Check your arithmatic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686753)

I lived in Atlanta many years ago. Problem with "walkability" wasn't the distances from groceries/restaurants/etc, it was temperature during the summer months. Walking four blocks with groceries at 85+F (30C) would not be fun after a few weeks....

Yeah, what you said - the local weather can be a major factor. That also is a relative to what you're used to kind of thing - I moved to Atlanta from Savannah some years ago and really enjoy Atlanta's relatively low humidity and moderate temperatures. Someone from Edmonton might have a different opinion than I about Atlanta summers, and conversely, in what people in Edmonton think is comfortable, well, I would die.

That being said, walkability distances is also relative. I discovered when visiting Manhattan (NYC) that when a local gives you directions to walk, their idea of "just over there" could be a quite a bit further than what most people think is a short walk.

Re:Check your arithmatic (2)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#47686415)

I live in a city suburb. Actually... probably strike the "suburb" bit.

Grocery store is on the same block.
Major hospital with world-leading research facilities (CAT scanners, MRI, electron microscopes, portable defibrillators, you're welcome) is a mile and a half away.
Nearest museum is a mile away.
Nearest (chain) restaurant is 3/4 mile away.
Nearest cineplex is a mile away.
Nearest bowling alley is next door to the cineplex.
Nearest (internationally renowned as in "Torville and Dean, the 2012/13/14 Challenge Cup winners and the TeamGB 2012 practice rink") ice centre is a mile up the road.

Only time I actually leave town is to go to another town to see somebody or the sticks to shoot bunnies.

Re:Check your arithmatic (0)

sillybilly (668960) | about 3 months ago | (#47686567)

I live the same way but I hate it because I cannot afford friends. I'd be a lot happier in the sticks, as I could get a huge income to basic expense ratio, where I could, in one month, make 10 months worth of housing cost surplus, as opposed to 1 to 2 presently, and being ushered with x-rays and gases into a 1/2 to 1/4 housing surplus per month, as others deem appropriate for me. Dude, I hate living in a way where it takes 4 months to save up 1 months rent, and then as soon as I'm out of a job, I'm fucked, I don't have a time frame to work with. If you can cut your monthly housing cost to something like $20, and you can grow some of your food, $1000 saved could last you 2 years, and $5000 for 10 years, as opposed to 2 months and 1 year in most present situations. If you don't have to work for 10 years, you don't have to buy gas either for the daily commute, just sit home, and jerk off, or devote your time to stuff like Isaac Newton did, being a yeoman farmer, with a comfortable income, and low expenses. In fighting the income to basic expense ratio, I could easily go to $20/mo from $200/mo (which is not my housing cost, but let's suppose for sake of argument), a 10x change, compared to getting $100/hr instead of $10/hr. The denominator approaching zero is the true way to fight the cost of living vs. income war, because you can get infinite luxury almost, but as far as income goes, you already don't deserve what you make compared to the global average of the Made in China and Made in Bangladesh stuff that you see for everything at Walmart.

Re:Check your arithmetic: bunnies all the way down (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#47686605)

Only time I actually leave town is to go to another town to see somebody or the sticks to shoot bunnies.

New relationship, eh?

Once your comfortable, you won't even get out of bed to shoot bunnies. Not even when your lady's petting the bunny.

Re:Check your arithmatic (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 months ago | (#47686431)

To be honest, I was expecting something a smaller, affordable Midwest town or something

Rural people have much more need for a car than city people. Back in the early 80's I lived here [google.com.au] , the town has been a ghost town since the mill closed down in the mid-80's, it's not even marked on google maps anymore. Sure I could walk out the front door and be at work, but as the AC/DC song goes, "it's a long way to the shop, if you wanna sausage roll"

Re:Check your arithmatic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686303)

Check your spalling too.

Re:Check your arithmatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686339)

Check your spalling too.

You should be happy that I fired that warning shot into the concrete next to your head rather than just putting it between your eyes. Complaining about the spalling after I showed you mercy? Pffft.

Re:Check your arithmatic (2)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#47686437)

I reckon he's just glad you're a shit shot. Train at Corellia, much?

"Have we ever actually hit anything with these things?"
"I hit a bird, once."
  - Storm troopers complaining about the quality of their rifles after emptying them at the Millennium Falcon and missing.

Re:Check your arithmatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47687117)

Well, he didn't say safe and walkable.

Not being very selective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686267)

Capitol Hill is a giant freak parade with depressing weather.

Re:Not being very selective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686357)

Capitol Hill certainly has freaks, but the weather isn't exactly depressing. Hot and humid in the summer, but hardly the cloudy mess that you'd usually associate with "depressing".

you must not have done well in math class (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686281)

are you fricken serious?
Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, where we used to live
try to walk there unarmed or after dark ...

Cities Suck .. you take your life in your hands for what? a Museum you will never visit? .. Close Proximity to clubs with glory holes? come on man .. serious? .. i mean sure maybe you don't want to live in a one redlight town where you have to drive 30 miles to get to the walmart which is the only store around.. but living in the city is for losers .. the prices are higher.. you can't live a free life because you are always watching for some lunatic.. its just bad news .. unless you are hooked on crack then i guess nothing matters.. and living near UPENN is just asking to die young...

Do you really think you can live there when you are past 60?.. not in any rustbelt city.. heck not in LA not in any city .. you will be easy pray..
and how are you going to let your kids play outside? please .. fricken idiot.. you need to go back to school because your math sucks.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (1, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 3 months ago | (#47686363)

Thank goodness you Americans can carry guns so you're safer. We can't carry guns up here and, hey that's funny, I can walk almost anywhere here any time.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686391)

It's not that people can carry guns, it's that those that aren't allowed to commonly do and use them for nefarious purposes. I hope someone points a gun at you one day, maybe you'll change your snarky assed stance.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 3 months ago | (#47686401)

I hope someone points a gun at you one day, maybe you'll change your snarky assed stance.

Up here in Canada guns are severely restricted. As a result, it's unlikely in the extreme that you'll ever have one pointed at you.

This is something the gun nut anonymous cowards like you refuse to accept: If guns are restricted, *everyone* has less access to them, including the bad guys.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686455)

Yes, extreme, that's always the answer, and in comparing US and Canada, the whole structure of the country just can't have anything to do with crime.

PS. I'm not from US, but another country with high amount of guns and yet i bet we have even lower rate of gun violence than Canada does.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (1)

fche (36607) | about 3 months ago | (#47686865)

" If guns are restricted, *everyone* has less access to them, including the bad guys."

What you refuse to accept is that "less" access to guns by bad guys is still ample for them to shoot good defenceless people. What you also refuse to accept is that bad guys may be armed by other-than-guns and still threaten the lives of good defenceless people.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (1)

Sabbatic (3389965) | about 3 months ago | (#47687005)

And people like you refuse to accept that your foreign opinions are irrelevant. We will do what we like, and you will always have to live with it. All you are doing is trying to make yourself feel superior by mouthing off, but sadly for you true superiority is in being able to ignore the rest of the world and live quite well.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686449)

If people don't agree, point a gun at them until they change their minds. You sure don't sound like a gun nut, not at all.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686419)

What does that have anything to do with guns?

Re:you must not have done well in math class (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47686463)

Thank goodness you Americans can carry guns so you're safer. We can't carry guns up here and, hey that's funny, I can walk almost anywhere here any time.

Actually, the areas with the most relaxed gun laws in the US, *are* the safest. And those areas where they put the most restrictions on guns, have the highest crime rates. It has been a pretty undeniable trend wherever it can be observed. And when the courts force certain cities or states to relax their gun restrictions, crime falls, dramatically.

Also, countries with higher gun ownership rates than the US, have lower crime than many nations where guns are completely banned. In the UK, you're more likely to be stabbed than shot, but that doesn't make it a nice safe place.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (4, Informative)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 3 months ago | (#47686527)

Of the top ten States in terms of strictest gun laws, 7 have the lowest number of gun deaths. Transport of guns across state lines hamper efforts. Most if not all illegal guns in Canada, guns in the hands of criminals, come from America.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686597)

7 have the lowest number of gun deaths.

Total, or per capita? Remember - we're interested in what's going to affect us here, not what sounds good.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (2)

bmajik (96670) | about 3 months ago | (#47686907)

Focusing on gun crimes is the tactic that gun control advocates use.

The problem is that victims don't care if they are stabbed to death or shot to death.

The correct metric is _total_ crimes of bodily threat or assault. Good guys use legally carried weapons to deal with bad guys irrespective of what the bad guys did or didn't bring.

So, don't focus on gun deaths (which, btw, also counts suicides.. which is also totally disingenuous)

Focus on murders. How does Illinois compare to say, North Dakota, in murders?

I'll stay in rural North Dakota, thanks.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (2)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47686943)

Of the top ten States in terms of strictest gun laws, 7 have the lowest number of gun deaths.

Got a source? I can cite plenty to show the opposite:

http://pjmedia.com/blog/states... [pjmedia.com]

http://www.jstor.org/stable/10... [jstor.org]

International:
http://www.law.harvard.edu/stu... [harvard.edu]

Transport of guns across state lines hamper efforts.

That's the talking-point advocates use to defend their failures. But it really doesn't explain why crime rates show a relative increase, and these facts don't stop them from advocating those stronger restrictions, that don't work and keep killing people. It's insanity. They refuse to live in the real world.

Most if not all illegal guns in Canada, guns in the hands of criminals, come from America.

I'm sure plenty of Canadians buy guns from the US, and never use them to commit crimes, too.

I'm betting criminals in Canada buy US-made cars pretty often, too.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686963)

Care to show your work?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

The stats you're presumably quoting are those published by the Brady Campaign - which include *any death by gun* in their assessments - meaning... yes, suicide.

If you compare the 10 lowest "gun murder" rates (i.e., gun used on someone else), that list gets very different:
Vermont
New Hampshire
Hawaii
North Dakota
Iowa
Idaho
Utah
Maine
Wyoming
Oregon

In fact, Wyoming, Idaho, and North Dakota have 3 of the top 10 lowest gun murder rates in the US, and they also have 3 of the top 10 highest % of citizens owning guns.

Here are the dirty little secret the gun control advocates don't want to talk about:
1) Gun MURDER is closely correlated with poverty and low income demographics. That's why it's so shocking that "nice suburban white kids" get shot at a school; there's plenty of poor kids getting shot every day, and we don' bat an eyelash.
2) Gun restrictions largely reduce the portion of "Gun Deaths" that are attributable to suicide - because somebody who doesn't have access to a gun can't kill themselves with a gun. Gun restrictions, however, do very little to reduce the overall suicide rate - so that reduction is pretty much irrelevant.
3) Countries with strict gun control laws still manage to have *shockingly* high violent crime rates (*cough*UK*cough*), so it's also clear that gun restrictions do very little to solve the problem of violent crime, at all. They just make it a hair more likely that you'll survive your traumatic experience with a weapon-wielding maniac.

If you're just going to vomit back the same statistics at us that you read on MSNBC, could you at least... at LEAST... be honest about what the statistics actually say?

Re:you must not have done well in math class (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47687131)

Of the top ten States in terms of strictest gun laws, 7 have the lowest number of gun deaths.

If you come to the US and mouth off with your "I know what's best for you Americans" bullshit,
someone is probably going to kick your sanctimonious Canadian ass for you.

And frankly, it would probably do you some good.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686593)

Also, countries with higher gun ownership rates than the US, have lower crime than many nations where guns are completely banned

Bullshit. Nowhere has higher gun ownership rates than the US. See, f'ex, http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/A-Yearbook/2007/en/Small-Arms-Survey-2007-Chapter-02-annexe-4-EN.pdf [smallarmssurvey.org]

Re:you must not have done well in math class (1, Insightful)

sillybilly (668960) | about 3 months ago | (#47686625)

It's more like where the retards live have the highest violent crime rates, and that's why you wanna take away their guns, not the other way around, that because you take away their guns, they become retarded, and their crime rate goes up. Only retards get upset over being called names, or get upset over being told anything, to where they want hurt each other over what was said.

PS. I did get upset too at a job, but not over what was told to me, but over collecting a lot of income and not being able to do diddly squat for it, even though the boss was like are you done yet, are you done yet. My advice was to take the friggin computer with java/oracle/citrix and put it straight into the dumpster, because it was holding up work too much, and make me not really earn my daily bread by wasting time, and that's what really pissed me off, not whatever they told me personally. There is like nothing you can tell me that upsets me, unless of course you're my supervisor or superior, and order me to do things like killing somebody, or lying or cheating, and such. And if we can't agree on what we do, and how we do it, I'm out of there. Which is why I hate working in teams. Or with stupid mandatory safety rules like metatarsal clown gear for safety equipment, but I would also not work in a place that's not flexible enough to allow for safety, such as bringing your own gloves, or duct tape for gloves that wear too fast, if you want to. But I'm willing to put up with the clown gear if that's what they see fit, as long as the place is productive, in a common sense way, and profitable.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686767)

Correlation does not prove causation. You are suggesting that gun ownership leads to lower crime rates and citizen safety. It's just as likely that highly dangerous regions of the US put in place gun restrictions in an effort to do something about the crime rate.

Also your comment about the UK is completely throwaway; this is very common US argumentation. 'The US is the best place and any other place's experience is irrelevant.' WTF "that doesn't make it a nice safe place"?? Actually the UK is both nice and it's safe. You are BSing so much on this one that your eyes are brown!

In actual point of fact there are virtually no other developed countries with gun ownership rates, or policies like the US. The only ones that come to mind are Switzerland and Israel and they truly have different cultures and political situations than the US. If you don't want to float a canard then make some honest comparisons. Germany, France, UK, Canada, Australia. All have dramatically lower rates of murder, violent crime, and particularly gun-enabled crime. Also accidental shootings are much lower.

Other locations with high rates of gun ownership include Somalia, Iraq, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, etc. None are particularly safe places.

But I don't expect you to learn anything. You long ago made up your mind and the facts are irrelevant, aren't they?

Re:you must not have done well in math class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686903)

Actually, the areas with the most relaxed gun laws in the US, *are* the safest. And those areas where they put the most restrictions on guns, have the highest crime rates. It has been a pretty undeniable trend wherever it can be observed.

Which came first the high crime rates or the strict gun laws?

Re:you must not have done well in math class (2)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47686395)

That was an impressive rant...

Cities Suck .. you take your life in your hands for what? a Museum you will never visit? .. Close Proximity to clubs with glory holes? come on man .. serious?

IMHO, cities suck because of traffic sucking hours of your life, pollution, limited recreation opportunities, and prices an order of magnitude higher than less desirable cities nearby which require sacrificing decades of your life under florescent lights, to pay for... Never mind the noise, the cramped conditions, and the stress as a result of all of the above.

Fear of crime is pretty low on my list. You're plenty likely to have your house/car broken into in a rural area, too. There's less crime in absolute terms, due to fewer people, but per-capita, it's often as bad or worse than stereotypically crime-ridden cities.

i mean sure maybe you don't want to live in a one redlight town where you have to drive 30 miles to get to the walmart which is the only store around

With online stores, you don't need to be close to most shopping. A decent grocery store is still a requirement, but a long drive to it once every few weeks isn't a problem. And a home center sure helps, as the cost of shipping appliances and 10ft 2x4s can multiply the price. But even with furniture, ordering online can work better than local stores, even in the city. The same goes for entertainment, like Netflix.

But one thing you might not think of, is that a decent number of remote areas don't even have mailboxes, but instead require driving to a central post office to check your box. That puts a big hurdle in Netflix's DVDs-by-mail or getting Amazon deliveries.

Do you really think you can live there when you are past 60?.. not in any rustbelt city.. heck not in LA not in any city .. you will be easy pray..

Criminals aren't vampires. Get a LoJack on your car, and carry credit cards with basically no cash.

Scammers can target old people anywhere they might be, via phone and postal mail, so the city is no worse-off there.

and how are you going to let your kids play outside? please ..

Umm... supervised? In a park? Don't act like rural areas don't have child abductions, because they sure do.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 3 months ago | (#47686643)

The only good thing about cities is public transportation, but if you don't have to go anywhere, because your living costs are low and you can afford not to have a job and live off the savings, then you don't really need public transportation that much, and can even rent a car or call a taxi once every blue Moon. Transportation cost is huge, 2nd to housing cost, and food is waaaay lower than either, which is the only thing you really need if you can find a way to live in the sticks, far from everybody else.

Re:you must not have done well in math class (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47686857)

The only good thing about cities is public transportation

Except for all those many cities where the public transportation is awful and useless

Transportation cost is huge, 2nd to housing cost,

A vastly, ridiculously distant second... Or more likely, third behind health insurance for most people. Commuting 100+ miles to/from work, I ballparked my fuel bill as under $250/month. Liability insurance is cheap, as is the price of a decent used car, and parts/maintenance on older vehicles, too.

Zillow has walk ability score for every home (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47686293)

And most of the areas listed in the article are too expensive for mere mortals

And the way to buy a home is to ask how are the schools? Good school districts will keep value long after walk ability and other fads wear out. Problem with cities is too much rentals. Too easy for people to flee once their lifestyle changes

Re:Zillow has walk ability score for every home (2)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 3 months ago | (#47686343)

Walking is only a 'fad' for suburbanites who don't understand you shouldn't need a car to go to the store. City dwellers are increasingly being found to be fitter than suburbanites because they walk more.

Re:Zillow has walk ability score for every home (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 3 months ago | (#47686649)

I don't like to walk, or even ride the unmotorized bicycle, but I do it if I have to.

Re:Zillow has walk ability score for every home (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47686671)

when the millenials start to have kids instead of partying all the time and the kids go to school and they realize their precious snowflake is going to school with kids who bring in guns and curse and are dummer than farm animals and are bussed in from the bad city neighborhoods because of diversity or because the projects are two blocks away then,

the millenials will forget all this walkability and carbon footprint nonsense and move out to places with good schools where precious snowflake who reads 2-3 grades above the average kid in the USA won't be in the same class as the dumb shits who barely know the alphabet in first grade. in the 80's when the baby boomers got tired of their camaros it was called White Flight and the cities with all their rentals became ghost towns. Today it's going to be the same except for more ethnicities doing it

give it another 5-10 years and it will happen. the chicks will wake one day and hear their biological clock ticking louder than ever and dump all the man kids who do nothing but party

Re:Zillow has walk ability score for every home (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 3 months ago | (#47686573)

If walking is a "fad," it's older than the human race itself. I think that makes it one of the longest fads of all time!

Tweak the List and Weighting of Knobs to Taste (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686305)

Some of these "scores" of the best/worst cities for This/That/The Other Thing are amusing, but to call them scientific or mathematical is laughable. Every one of them goes through dozens of formula iterations until the originators decide that the results make sense.

It's all just Internet forum bullshit.

the math is flaky (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47686345)

how do you get Cambridge, the mission district and Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn in the same list?

i know people there and drive there once a month or so. it sucks. the schools suck. parts are close to the subway but large parts are a 30 minute walk. the stores within walking distance suck as well. unless you speak russian or chinese you won't fit in.

with amazon prime it's cheaper to live in a car dependent area, drive to work, buy from amazon and drive grocery shopping once a week

Re:the math is flaky (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about 3 months ago | (#47686383)

The math doesn't have to be flaky, he just may not be factoring in all of the variables.

The fact is that humans are better at this by evaluating it ourselves because we can work out all these variables with our brains a lot better than any program can. We're very good at figuring out what we like and what we don't like. You might say we have instincts for that.

That said, the math may expose places that he might want to target for further investigation. I'd say this would be a worthwhile exercise if he uses the as a way of narrowing down a list, and/or perhaps applying the math more generally to a huge super set of obscure locations to generate some locations he hadn't considered previously for inclusion in his evaluation.

Re:the math is flaky (1)

StormReaver (59959) | about 3 months ago | (#47687115)

His math also obviously did not factor in the odds of getting raped, mugged, or murdered; things which I think are far more important than his other criteria.

Crime ignored? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686347)

I just checked the first couple of locations and crime seems TERRIBLE in those areas.. Finding 'cheap' places to live near supposed high income earning doesn't make for GOOD places to live.

Re:Crime ignored? (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about 3 months ago | (#47686443)

Yes, those are likely what we'd call Section 8 or subsidized housing. That's there to allow minimum wage workers to live close enough to their low paying jobs so they they can wait on the rich people who live in the area. The high crime rate in those areas is not necessarily guaranteed, but given the socio-economic realities, is quite probable.

Math might be a way to find the real gems in the rough, but let's be honest with ourselves and admit that unless the math has a lot of data and a very finely tuned model, it isn't going to expose value that millions of people haven't been able to find on their own via trial and error.

Sounds like it needs some tweaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686351)

This sounds like it needs some tweaks. Most of San Francisco is walkable; but most of it isn't affordable. I'm familiar with Columbia Heights in DC. It was a bit more affordable than areas further south; but not that much more affordable. It was less walkable to things I wanted. A pure mathematical model can't account for the "feel" of the neighborhood either. I walked up the hill to Columbia Heights a few times, passing through Adams Morgan, a Hispanic neighborhood, and then what seemed like an empty quarter of apartment buildings. It just didn't appeal to me. For just a bit more, you could live in DuPont. You'd be closer to Safeway, Whole Foods, theatres, downtown, etc.

#1 requirement should be steeped in Geology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686375)

Ask yourself does this property lie in a flood plane, mud slide prone area or some other natural disaster related zone.

Re:#1 requirement should be steeped in Geology (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#47686453)

I'd like to live in the Sierra Nevadas in Spain, can someone explain to me why there are entire cities in the foothills that are not only completely deserted, they have never been occupied (or why the highest road in Europe still doesn't go anywhere?)?

Re:#1 requirement should be steeped in Geology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686759)

can someone explain to me why there are entire cities in the foothills that are not only completely deserted, they have never been occupied

[citation needed] The closest thing I can find is that there was temporary housing built for workers then abandoned. [wikipedia.org] That's not the same as building an entire city then leaving it before occupation. It seems more likely that China will do that. In that case, it's caused by bizarre economic incentives not geology.

walkable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686381)

Does this "app" also give an indication of the number of insane, crazy, drug-addled, pan handling and just plain creepy people you will encounter on your walk?

Midwestern Town (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686399)

To be honest, I was expecting something a smaller, affordable Midwest town or something, but it the highest scoring areas were usually just outside of major downtowns.

Yeah, uh, no. In Midwest towns there's an expectation that you have a vehicle because rarely does the town you live in have all you need. Further, the cost of sidewalks is shifted mostly (if not entirely) on the property owner including things like snow removal (not that many people actually follow that)--because taxpayers don't want to have to pay for the miles and miles of sidewalk*. The biggest thing, though, is that as to the first point, the inverse is true in downtown areas--it's more expected you don't have a vehicle because everyone have a vehicle would be an unworkable traffic issue even with shifting start/stop times for work to reduce congestion. Hence it's cheaper and more reasonable to fund sidewalks which can hold many more people during rush hour and don't require a bulky parking space to house a vehicle for 8 hrs/day.

*They also don't like to pay for roads, hence the horrible state of roads as well. But at least the highways are used enough that people tolerate the cost of their repair.

five points? (2)

slew (2918) | about 3 months ago | (#47686409)

It may be affordable and walkable, but would you actually want to walk there?

I've always been weary when I took the RTD to the light rail station there at night and the crime statistics tend to bear this caution [spotcrime.com] . Not to say it might not be some sort of up-and-coming neighborhood (don't live in Denver now so my information is a few years old), but historically, that's been fits-and-starts for that area with little progress since the '90s even though downtown was getting all the ball-park redevelopment...

On the other hand Capitol Hill in Seattle doesn't seem nearly as bad. It isn't the greatest neighborhood and although I don't generally wander around that area at night when I travel to Seattle (although I did occasionally drive by there because I know someone who used to have a restaurant there). I wonder how much crime got factored into this so-called walkability "math"... I'm a bit suspect of this WalkScore anyhow as it yields very unexpected ratings for the last few places that I lived...

No Different (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#47686475)

Five points is NOT a place I would look to live, even today... downtown Denver is booming all over but not as much there at all. Closer to Union Station is where all the action (and walkability) is at.

Internet access sucks in Capitol Hill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47687137)

That alone should disqualify it as a place for /. readers to live. I have 0.192 Mbps DSL at home and Comcast doesn't offer service to my building. A little faster than ISDN BRI access in 2014 is ridiculous. My modem's status page:

http://upstate.net/jen/centurylink_dsl.png

Is it walkable is meaningless (3, Funny)

boligmic (188232) | about 3 months ago | (#47686411)

should be a sign to avoid the place at all costs - cities BLOW. The correct place is to live far out in the burbs or way out in the country. Why would you live in a place that has high taxes on those who work, like a wage tax, and and then have to deal with strong unions (aka people who don't actually work but feel they are owed something).

How about looking for good non-union schools in a school district that has a good football program, and non existent music and art programs because that stuff is for sissies. It should also be a very strong conservative area which should survive any influx of moronic democrats.

Isn't it racist? (2)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 3 months ago | (#47686417)

You know how you're not supposed to notice that there are a lot of people with 23 pairs of chromosomes in certain high crime areas?

what is the score for Sanford, Fl and Ferguson Mo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686467)

or does it not list crime

Data Fusion Confusion (1)

Cbs228 (596164) | about 3 months ago | (#47686493)

I have attempted to use Walkscore for this very task: moving to an area, sight unseen. I have found it incredibly lacking. It computes "nearby" locations using either as-the-crow-flies distance or an automobile driving map; I'm not sure which. While this might be acceptable in a gridded downtown area, which has ample sidewalks and pedestrian signals, it does not work everywhere.

Here in the deep South, we tend to place multi-lane, high-speed highways everywhere and anywhere we can. These roadways are nearly impossible to cross on foot. The result is that many places listed in Walkscore will not be reachable without exposing yourself to considerable danger.

In a perfect world, everything you needed to know about housing would be on the internet. Unfortunately, not everyone lists their rentals on Zillow et. al., and I've had a hard time dealing with realtors over the phone. Other factors like noise, crime, and general ambiance are very difficult to judge. If you have access to just one person who knows the area quite well, suddenly these things become much easier.

While data fusion techniques might help, any results need to be very rigorously cross-checked, by hand, using Street View, aerial photography, online comments, and as many other sources as you can find.

Re:Data Fusion Confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686679)

Other factors like noise, crime, and general ambiance are very difficult to judge. If you have access to just one person who knows the area quite well, suddenly these things become much easier.

Crime, unlike noise and general ambiance, doesn't require access to the area. Crime statistics are going to more accurate and reliable than residents subjective impressions. (See the number of people who think crime is increasing, despite that being false, or who think non-white areas are generally unsafe.)

Noise could also be measured objectively, but no one sticks decibel meters in their house, and posts the results in house listings.

Re:Data Fusion Confusion (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#47686743)

Crime statistics are going to more accurate and reliable

How cute it is you think all crimes are reported and thus present in such statistics!

Re:Data Fusion Confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686859)

No, but they aren't necessarily going to be known by whoever you talk to in the neighborhood either. And unless crime reporting rates vary significantly among the places being considered, it doesn't matter.

I read Where to live Using Meth (2)

robotmankiller (803149) | about 3 months ago | (#47686539)

I swear I read Where to live using meth.

Re:I read Where to live Using Meth (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 months ago | (#47687011)

Ditto. The number of comments saying it needs to be "tweaked" adds to it also.

Capitol Hill is hardly affordable anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686551)

Anyone who says Capitol Hill in Seattle is affordable must not be looking at current figures or have a very high definition of 'affordable'. Outdated apartments are easily going for 2-3$/sqft, and the more 'modern' places go for even more. The prices have increased by about 25% each year for the past 2-3 years. Once the transit station is finished they'll likely shoot up even higher.

For walkability... (4, Informative)

Snufu (1049644) | about 3 months ago | (#47686577)

Every European city >> every U.S. city. Especially if mass transit factors into walkability.

You could extend this to every global city, with possible exceptions of SF and Manhattan if you are a multi-millionaire or rent protected.

Re:For walkability... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686829)

Not if you include crime in the walkability score. Consider Marseille or southern Italy. Perhaps you don't know that Kosovo is in Europe.
Although the OP left it off, crime is a must consider factor in walkability.

On second thought, perhaps he did include low-crime indirectly by limiting his search to a higher income level.

If you really want too. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686595)

To findout where best/safest to live, look at sheriff crime database(online in many cities), it plots where and the type of crime(down to traffic stops and 'suspicious cars'). Then you can look at the sex offender database, you'll see a definite clustering in bad areas. Then if you want to be even less conspicuous, find an area with similar racial/ethnic background and you likely don't be targeted specifically.

It's worked for me a couple of times.
   

Sheldon investigated this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686841)

Bozeman. Bozeman Montana.

Just Hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47686949)

It is trivial to create a cost function that defines being near restaurants is worth say $20 in monthly rent. These cost functions are arbitrary and can be adjusted to give any result one desires. So this is just math mumbo jumbo to disguising fundamentally subjective rankings. I would rather state my subjective opinions openly rather than hiding behind bogus formulas. Automobile magazines use a similar technique; they assign points to criteria like power, interior appearance, handling, etc and pretend that by adding the points up they have meaningful rankings. You are much better off buying a car or selecting a living location by gut feel rather than looking at silly pseudo scientific rankings.

Re:Just Hype (1)

skids (119237) | about 3 months ago | (#47686995)

Not even "math" so much as arithmetic. Not that it isn't a rational approach, minus said flaws in the source data.

Who to live with? (1)

mutherhacker (638199) | about 3 months ago | (#47687027)

Great :) Now can you please figure out using math who to live with?:)

The exact details of the home's location matter. (1)

wherrera (235520) | about 3 months ago | (#47687129)

The topography of the zoning and building layout matter. Consider two neighborhoods which are 2-mile squares in shape. One neighborhood has a commercial district in a single corner, the other neighborhood has two such districts at opposite corners of its square. The second neighborhood may score twice as walkable, but what matters to the home's individual walkableness is how close it sits to one of those districts, since you presumably want to walk to the store and to an office in a corner that has a commercial district.

Choose a place you would like to walk, shop and work, then find a home located within a walking distance from those places, and you may have MANY good options, more than your zone-based averaging will reveal.

He should have included Internet access... (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about 3 months ago | (#47687151)

in his study. I live in Capitol Hill, and many of my friends are still stuck with dial-up due to the age of the phone wiring and very few COs in the area (thus long distances to the CO) so DSL is slow at best or usually not even available. The best access available on my block is 576 kbps DSL from CenturyLink. Comcast, despite having the government-granted monopoly here, doesn't offer service to much of the neighborhood.

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