Radiance Blog

Everything is connected (moreso than usual)

There have been lots of interesting political analyses coming out of the recent election, and since we are rabidly non-partisan at Corona we haven’t spent much time covering them (other than the all important donuts and coffee polls).

But this amazing analysis of how Obama’s victory was created by the sea level and sedimentaton pattern of the late Cretaceous Period (85 Million years ago!) just blew my mind.

It started, as most good things do, with some maps.  The sublime Strange Maps blog posted maps by biologist Allen Gathman showing a general correlation between those areas of the South that in 1860 produced cotton (black dots) and those areas of the South that voted for Obama in 2008 (blue shaded counties).

Then Christian Neal McNeil, at his blog The Vigourous North, produced a tour de force followup, linking 2008 to 85 million B.C. (seriously–go read the post.  It is splendiferous, and I’m only going to give it a quick gloss here).

In the late Cretaceous, most of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and costal Carolina were underwater (85 million B.C. is on the right, 115 million B.C. is on the left).  These shallow seas were full of marine life, which lived, and died, and drifted to the sea floor, creatiging lush soil deposits in the shallows of these transient seas.  That soil was well suited for cotton cultivation, which relied on slavery, leadign to ares of the south where African Americans outnumbered Caucasians.  And this demographic pattern has continued in many of these areas to the present day, contributing to the socio-demographic conditions that created the South’s particular vote pattern.

So in a way, the results of this election have been a looooooooooooooooong time coming.

It reminds me of a mini-episode of James Burke’s TV Show Connections, where historical facts careen against each other creating reality from the gestalt.  I always get a  rush of creative energy reading something like this!  What other amazing correlations have you come across?



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