Monday, December 29, 2008

Another for the Map Archive

An interesting prediction. Clearly the most suspect part of his prediction is that the boundaries would be along state lines. Oh, and that Kentucky and Tennessee would be grouped with the northeast. And well, really, all of it.


Anonymous said...

Why is it at all surprising that the map is broken along state lines? States are very natural, existing political entities. Are you surprised that they broke this way during the (first) civil war?

Anonymous said...

@previous anonymous:

If it would be along state lines, why *those* state lines? As pointed out in the original post, why would TN and KY, on the wrong side of the Appalachians, go the same way as states they have at least some geographical isolation from, and less in common culturally than some of their neighbors (eg, MS and AL if you argue one way, IN, OH, and MO if you argue another)?

Assuming there is a catastrophic collapse at the federal level, it is likely that at least *some* of the state governments would collapse or lose some influence as well. Therefore, why would the extremely artificial boundaries of WY and CO happen to be preserved? There are no rivers/mountains/etc to help define this boundary, so why wouldn't, say, whoever controls ID and UT grab some of that? WY in particular has very low population and very large area... seems a good place to grab some territory on the edges from, especially as the western edge in particular has a relatively low pop and is mostly National Parks and National Forests. If the fed is gone, those are exactly the type of places a state gov or new nation should make a play for: you can either use the relatively unexploited resources, or use it as a sort of mark of national pride that you're the ones w/ Yellowstone/Grand Tetons/whatever. Propaganda or stuff, seems good either way.

I'd find finer-grained splitting plausible, or more coarse-grained, but this way of splitting seems particularly improbable. It implies a combination of extreme disaster and stability that seems to require more justification.

I think that his overall argument makes at least *some* sense, but the improbability of the overall split given, plus some bits like AK going to Russia when Canada is allegedly stable under his scenario (so why would AK not either stay independent or become part of Canada?), just makes it seem like wishful thinking on his part.

If the US collapses, several territorial pieces are likely to remain independent for quite some time (TX and CA, in particular, have pretty significant economies and seem unlikely to go along gently with another country picking them up), and whatever is picked up by the remaining players seems more likely to fall on new arbitrary boundaries or on major physical geographic features. Why are TX and NM going to Mexico (/influence) while CA and AZ are going to China (/influence)? If things are breaking down along ethnic lines, why would we not get a messier map?

sorelle said...

Anon 1 - Actually, I believe that states didn't break along state lines during the civil war... isn't that what caused Virginia to become Virginia and West Virginia?

Katie said...

As someone who is currently commenting from Kentucky, I have to go with you on the Kentucky and Tennessee thing. I think that the eastern midwest and the northern south are more ambiguous areas that are horribly defined by geography. But enough complaining...I should probably go read the full article.