I was checking out the National Public Radio website today (doesn’t everyone?) and noticed an interview with author David Gilmartin, regarding his new satirical book entitled “The Absolutely Worst Places to Live in America”. It looks like Seattle made it onto his list, which is amusing, but indicative of nothing.
Here’s a picture that I took of the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. Mitchell is also one of Gilmartin’s “Worst Places”. Judge not, lest you be judged.
According to the interview, Gilmartin spent most of his research time in a New York apartment tabulating results from polls and surveys that he posted on craigslist communities across the nation. So, maybe Seattle isn’t bad? Maybe it just has a relatively high proportion of individuals with access to craigslist who feel like disparaging their town. Maybe regular craigslist users are more likely to be job seekers and therefore ambivalent about their city? Wait, are job seekers more ambivalent than the average craigslist user looking for free bricks? Causation, correlation, details, details.
The same can be said for the glut of “Best Of/Worst Of 2006″ articles that will invariably show up in newspapers and magazines for the New Year. Give me hard facts, not a bunch of suggestions bandied about in an office lounge and kickbacks to regular advertisers. If you can prove to me, with the scientific method, that the I-90 floating bridge is the Best Bridge of the Year, we’ll be onto something. Until then, the jury is still out.