Sunday, September 22, 2013

General Progress

This remarkable map takes all the prejudice of a century's worth of European racial and ethnographic maps, strips them of their biological pretense, and plots it out in the most candid terms imaginable. If you want to know how backwards your region is, just check the map. Spain, Canada and South Carolina appear to be just outside the zone of "very high" progress, while Missouri inexplicably makes the cut.

This map comes from "Mainsprings of Civilization: Heredity, Geography, Climate - A famous scientist argues that they determine a nation's history and shape its culture." The author, Ellsworth Huntington, also tried to identify the relationship between temperature and intelligence through a number of ingenious means. The first chart shows average library borrowing rates from selected cities mapped against daily temperature over the course of a year. The second shows civil service and other exam scores by month.

For a few more dumb things Huntington charted keep reading.