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View Diary: Republicans STOLE the House! Here's What YOU Can DO to Fight Back! (149 comments)

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  •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Mike Taylor

    As a computer programmer I see no reason why a computer could not draw district lines as well as, if not better than, a human. It also has the benefit of being standardized across all states, and being devoid of political influence.

    Since there are probably many many different valid district maps per state, I'd also like the final map to be randomly chosen from a list of potential candidates. The reason for this is that I don't want the final map to be known with certainty ahead of time. This would force representatives to consider more than just their district since they might have to win reelection from a district with a slightly different constituency in a future election.

    •  I'm not saying this is impossible by any means (1+ / 0-)
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      but every single time I've ever seen someone attempt to draw districts by computer it's a ridiculous mess that doesn't come remotely close to properly representing communities of interest or preserving minority rights.  If someone can write a program that can effectively take those sorts of things into consideration, I would absolutely love to see it.  I'll reiterate though, by merely using single-member districts it's impossible to eliminate all forms of bias and the best solution is to add some form of multi-member districts or better yet proportional representation like nearly every other developed democracy has done.

      NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

      by sawolf on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:39:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no problem with multi-member districts (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sawolf, lgmcp, highacidity

        ...or proportional representation.

        Hmm... So people have really tried and failed at making a redistributing algorithm. I generally underestimate the complexity of these type of things, but I would not have thought that this problem would be so difficult that it would not have been solved if people gave it a shot.

        My curiosity is peaked enough that I'll that I might take a look at solving it. At the very least I'd find out what the major hurdles are. If the algorithm proves too difficult, I can see breaking the problem down into smaller pieces, and then using Amazon's Mechanical Turk to dole out those pieces to many different people to solve. You'd then pick the solutions that the most people selected, and build the districts from them.

        •  straightforward greedy algorithm should do it. (1+ / 0-)
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          Wikipedia: Greedy algorithm

          As long as what you're trying to preserve is actually represented in the data, start with the biggest and clump together from there.  Round it out by forcing city/county/township lines to be the boundaries.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:09:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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