07 August 2006

Like drinking chewing gum

A couple of days ago when I went to HEB, I bought this Sweet Tea "Honey and Mint" flavor, and it's been wreaking havoc on my throat ever since. It's mint flavor, which explains the feeling of drinking chewing gum everytime I sip it.

Yet, I, like an Alzheimer's patient, continually forget it. After taking a sip from my nearly full glass, I must drink the rest, with hopes that I'll acquire a taste sometime before bottoms up. Unlikely.

But that's not the point of today's post. I've lived in a lot of cities - Lucknow, Montreal, Ottawa, Plano, and finally I'm temporarily existing in Austin. Note, I "live" in Plano, but "exist" in Austin, simply to get an education.

I will now compare Austin... and Singapore. Of course, one may complain that there is no comparison, but you mustn't jump the correct conclusion so quickly.

Quick Facts:

Austin: 669.3km²
Singapore: 699km²

Singapore is only marginally bigger! (~4% bigger). To be fair and faithful to being a quantitative sciences disciple, I could normalize the values, but that will prove useless, as you will see in a moment.

Poverty Line:
Austin: 14.4%
Singapore: Not Reported, simply because it's probably not significant enough to measure. Hence, I will be conservative and place it at 2x the unemployment rate: ~6%

Austin: 15947580000
Singapore: 123000000000

Best Education Institution:
Austin: UT
Singapore: NUS.

For the record, UT is probably better. Probably. Except everytime I see that "Time Warner Cable.. it's a winner" commercial, I want to retract that statement, then go on a shooting spree.

If you want to act like a bunch of savages on your own time, whatever. In fact, up the ante and remove those shields, you pussies. Remove each other from the gene pool. But every once in a while, someone says (or implies) when asked "Why'd you come here?".. "UT Football is good".

At that point, the council explodes, and the emergency supression technicians start pumping norepinephrine.

Claim To Fame:
Austin: Leslie, the transvestite running for mayor. (それはちょっと...困りますね.)
Singapore: Changi Airport. Hot. Singapore Airlines. Hot. Singapore Airlines Stewardesses... Hot.

GITRDON Scale (0-10):
Austin: 7
Singapore: N/A. (At this point, even 0 has a value. Asian countries are exempt from this scale.)

Number of Idiots:
Austin: Plenty.
Singapore: N/A

I hate this place. When am I going to leave.. (in a week, then back for 2 weeks). Although I'm very glad I can escape to the Internet, where everything is as civilized as one would like.

You see, this place is.. testing me. To put up with this place and not be changed by it (for the worse) is 133tness.

Today seems like a very unproductive day.

1 comment:

rob said...

Area: Comparable, yes. But irrelevant, as the U.S. simply doesn't compact itself like this. Plus, I thought you liked big, comfortable houses and such.

Poverty line: Well, to start off, poverty line percentages are fairly meaningless. The poverty line is pretty arbitrary - do you set it at a certain value? At a certain percentage? Do you count money only from work? It goes on.

At the same time, extrapolating poverty from unemployment is meaningless. The U.K. has 19% of its population in poverty, but only 4.7% unemployment. At the same time, it has been estimated that China has up to 20% unemployment, but only 10% live below the poverty line. Okay. China has 10% living under the poverty line. Does that sound a little odd to you?

So you say it was too insignificant to measure. Taiwan reports that 0.9% of its population is in poverty. Your assumptions are bunk.

Finally, the reason there's no value listed is that many countries don't even measure this value. Myanmar, Bhutan, Argentina, Angola, the Central African Republic, Albania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan don't have values for those living below the national poverty line. Many of those countries don't have values for people living under the average income, either. Doesn't make sense, does it?

Finally, the U.N.'s HPI-1, which tries to measure countries' poverty (who are not in the OECD, Eastern Europe, or the CIS), puts Singapore at the top of East Asia, but it's only No. 6 among developing nations in the world. It's ranked 4 places behind Uruguay, and 5 behind Barbados. Then again, it's ranked this low primarily due to high rates of illiteracy and underweight children. But then again, underweight children?

GDP: You're comparing a city of 690,252 to a state with about four and a half million. Completely irrelevant, and completely in Austin's favor if you calculate it per capita. (Though taking a "city per capita GDP" is sketchy at best.)

Best Educational Institution: Yes.

Claim to fame: Using Leslie to represent Austin's best as a whole is as absurd as assuming this guy is what others should take as representative of you: http://www.kolster.net/quatsch/bilder/allerlei/stupid_ide.jpg

GITRDON Scale: Austin's GITRDON level honestly isn't very high at all - at least no different from Plano - though you wouldn't know that, because you live in a bubble. Of course, when you take GITRDON levels of anywhere in the U.S., it's going to be in Singapore's favor here. But it's a given, much like saying Mars wins in the contest for having fewer humans.

Number of Idiots: You know how badly I hate idiots. Yet, I have yet to be shown an area of the world lacking idiots. Maybe you're too attracted to the Malay and Filipino migrant workers to notice that some of them, like in all population, are inherently stupid.