19 votes

Colorado is not a rectangle, it’s not even a quadrilateral, in fact it is a hexahectaenneacontakaiheptagon

17 comments

  1. [2]
    AugustusFerdinand
    (edited )
    Link
    Colorado is technically a concave polygon with 697 sides. The 19th century surveyors had to stake these lines every mile thru land occupied by, understandably, hostile natives and couldn’t deviate...

    Colorado is technically a concave polygon with 697 sides. The 19th century surveyors had to stake these lines every mile thru land occupied by, understandably, hostile natives and couldn’t deviate around objects like mountains and gorges. They used celestial observations to determine their latitude and longitude to stake the lines, while using a magnetic compass that was affected by the iron in the mountains and a using metal chain only 66’ long for each segment. The surveyors also had to be literal artists as they were required to draw the maps (the originals used for engraving) using watercolor and ink, and there were specific styles of hillshading, etc. they had to learn; a considerably more nuanced art than just technical drawing.

    10 votes
    1. acdw
      Link Parent
      This is so fascinating! I'd love to read an article/book on these mapmakers from the 1800s, tbh.

      This is so fascinating! I'd love to read an article/book on these mapmakers from the 1800s, tbh.

      3 votes
  2. [4]
    eve
    Link
    I'm gonna need a pronunciation guide for that before I try to impress anyone with this rad new knowledge. In all seriousness, that's actually really fun and interesting to know! As a local to the...

    I'm gonna need a pronunciation guide for that before I try to impress anyone with this rad new knowledge. In all seriousness, that's actually really fun and interesting to know! As a local to the state, I had no clue. I love remnants of the past like this; just things that are slightly deviated in some seemingly small and surprising ways because of someone years and years ago.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      It's at the bottom of the article: hexa+hecta enneaconta kai hepta gon

      I'm gonna need a pronunciation guide

      It's at the bottom of the article:

      hexa+hecta enneaconta kai hepta gon

      5 votes
      1. eve
        Link Parent
        Boy howdy I am absolutely blind, I missed that. Thank you lol

        Boy howdy I am absolutely blind, I missed that. Thank you lol

        2 votes
      2. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        i think you just called someone's brother a turnip in Greek

        i think you just called someone's brother a turnip in Greek

        2 votes
  3. Kuromantis
    Link
    Or if you just don't wanna bother, a 697-gon. Anyway I find it kinda funny how there were people in the 1800s that were essentially trying to treat the world as a sheet of paper in their maps and...

    hexahectaenneacontakaiheptagon

    Or if you just don't wanna bother, a 697-gon.

    Anyway I find it kinda funny how there were people in the 1800s that were essentially trying to treat the world as a sheet of paper in their maps and somehow expecting people to follow through with that technology.

    Anyway, here's a related video on the similar 49th parallel, US-Canada border.

  4. [10]
    KtheC
    Link
    I suppose the article is rooted in exploring the fine details of the generally accepted trope that Colorado is a rectangle. That said, it is pretty easy to fall into pedantry when discussing these...

    I suppose the article is rooted in exploring the fine details of the generally accepted trope that Colorado is a rectangle. That said, it is pretty easy to fall into pedantry when discussing these kinds of topics. Context is key for understanding this.

    The article is from a cartography and maps blog, thus the geometry of Colorado is a relevant (and interesting) topic there. However, if you were in a casual conversation and someone was describing the shape of Colorado as a rectangle, you (probably) ought to ignore the temptation to interrupt them and say "Colorado is actually a hexahectaenneacontakaiheptagon, not a rectangle. At most it is rectangular." In the vast majority of cases, you probably aren't being clever or interesting, you're just being insufferable.

    Of course, if your nerdy math friend or cartography professor would be receptive to such things, then these are delightful facts to know and bring up. Save it for them. Know your audience. Satisfy their interests instead of your own ego.

    7 votes
    1. [9]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      I'm resisting the urge to point out how nitpicky the comment about supposed nitpicking is, quite heavily. You can bring your audience with you about something so fine-grained without sounding like...

      I'm resisting the urge to point out how nitpicky the comment about supposed nitpicking is, quite heavily.

      You can bring your audience with you about something so fine-grained without sounding like a know-it-all. It's about sharing a passion, not "correcting" someone. I find this sort of detail fascinating, and this generally shows: many of us know that one person in their lives that could make seemingly-boring stuff sound quite interesting.

      You can also make impressive things boring by sounding like they're entirely ordinary.

      4 votes
      1. [8]
        KtheC
        Link Parent
        Are you referring to my comment? I didn't really talk about "nitpicking." I think, in general, it is perfectly tenable to say that not every opportunity to lecture some 'interesting' fact needs to...

        I'm resisting the urge to point out how nitpicky the comment about supposed nitpicking is, quite heavily.

        Are you referring to my comment? I didn't really talk about "nitpicking."

        I think, in general, it is perfectly tenable to say that not every opportunity to lecture some 'interesting' fact needs to be acted upon. A contemporary example of this might be Neil deGrasse Tyson. He often misses the context of the conversation and rambles off a series of interesting tidbits. Quite honestly, he is exactly the type of person you are talking about. He is an excellent public speaker with a penchant of taking dry topics and turning them into something fun.

        That said, he often ends up under a critical lens because he doesn't seem to know the appropriate time to say these things. He also misses the context of the conversation and his information ends up meaning something different than he intended. The most devastating example of this was probably least year when he rattled off death statistics after the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings happened. He thought this was a good, context providing, factoid to share. Instead he ended up embarrassing himself because he didn't "read the room."

        I mean, there are plethora of these kinds of examples. Even if you are talented at taking information and making it interesting, you still need to understand context to know when this information is wanted or helpful.

        1 vote
        1. [7]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          I'm not... sure taking extremes for your examples makes for a good advice point. You started off discontent about an imaginary know-it-all. You're not discontent about a real know-it-all. And I'm...

          I'm not... sure taking extremes for your examples makes for a good advice point.

          You started off discontent about an imaginary know-it-all.

          You're not discontent about a real know-it-all.

          And I'm just here thinking to myself that you could make that comment work if you understood the context.

          The context: a blog about maps, and details of maps, and one particular map not being precisely what most people think of it.

          Your decided context: someone's pointing out inconsistencies for the sake of being pedantic, which doesn't do well in conversations.

          All well and good – thoughts branch out – but when your point is "pedanticity is one bane of social interactions"...

          3 votes
          1. [6]
            KtheC
            Link Parent
            Frankly, most people would say that taking an abstract concept, like an "imaginary know-it-all," and giving a concrete real life example of one isn't something that weakens an argument. My initial...

            I'm not... sure taking extremes for your examples makes for a good advice point.

            You started off discontent about an imaginary know-it-all.

            You're not discontent about a real know-it-all.

            Frankly, most people would say that taking an abstract concept, like an "imaginary know-it-all," and giving a concrete real life example of one isn't something that weakens an argument.

            The context: a blog about maps, and details of maps, and one particular map not being precisely what most people think of it.

            Your decided context: someone's pointing out inconsistencies for the sake of being pedantic, which doesn't do well in conversations.

            My initial comment made this very distinction though. In fact, I even included this sentence:

            "The article is from a cartography and maps blog, thus the geometry of Colorado is a relevant (and interesting) topic there."

            I provided the context of the article and made a comparative analysis by providing a different context as a foil. Maybe you don't find that comparison interesting or don't like my analysis (and that's fine), but the comment is salient and relates to the original post.

            1 vote
            1. [5]
              ThatFanficGuy
              Link Parent
              You then wrestle it away from the context to include a point raised nowhere in the blog post because... you wanted to? As though it was relevant to the conversation at hand, the one about details...

              You then wrestle it away from the context to include a point raised nowhere in the blog post because... you wanted to? As though it was relevant to the conversation at hand, the one about details of a map, rather than one you wanted to raise.

              It's the in-your-face presupposed-correcture attitude of that comment that got to me while the examples tell not to do that.

              1. [4]
                KtheC
                Link Parent
                I don't think context was "wrestled away" in any way. Once again, the context is quite explicitly drawn out in my comment. No matter how many times you ignore this fact, it won't make it untrue....

                You then wrestle it away from the context to include a point raised nowhere in the blog post because... you wanted to?

                I don't think context was "wrestled away" in any way. Once again, the context is quite explicitly drawn out in my comment. No matter how many times you ignore this fact, it won't make it untrue.

                As though it was relevant to the conversation at hand, the one about details of a map, rather than one you wanted to raise.

                Meta-analysis is still an analysis. In fact, it requires the context of the original post in order for it to make sense. Again, you can choose to not like the analysis I made, but that doesn't make it off-topic.

                In my original comment I quite blatantly stated "know your audience." To which, here on Tildes, making a thesis about the social implications of a topic isn't a controversy. Like I said, if your audience is interested in the subject matter, then by all means, talk about it. That's why I made the comment.

                It's the in-your-face presupposed-correcture attitude of that comment that got to me while the examples tell not to do that.

                Of what comment? I'm not correcting the article. I'm not correcting the user who posted the article.

                I postulated that there are people who don't read social situations well and might make a conversation tedious and exasperating by spouting off (mostly) irrelevant facts. Would you like me to apologize to them?

                1. [4]
                  Comment removed by site admin
                  Link Parent
                  1. [3]
                    Deimos
                    (edited )
                    Link Parent
                    Alright, I barely understand why you two are even arguing about this, but it's clearly not going anywhere productive and is just drifting into taking personal swipes at each other. Let's end it here.

                    Alright, I barely understand why you two are even arguing about this, but it's clearly not going anywhere productive and is just drifting into taking personal swipes at each other. Let's end it here.

                    2 votes
                    1. KtheC
                      Link Parent
                      Thank you. Most sensible thing said in this thread. (Myself included.)

                      Thank you. Most sensible thing said in this thread. (Myself included.)

                      1 vote
                    2. ThatFanficGuy
                      Link Parent
                      I think you deleted one of the best comments I've ever made.

                      I think you deleted one of the best comments I've ever made.

                      1 vote