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At Taki’s Magazine, the Derb writes the following:

Stupid? The Republican Party’s EEG trace is flatter than Kansas.

Technically, Kansas isn’t actually flat. As a person travels upstream over four hundred miles from the state’s eastern end to its western one, he rises more than half a mile higher as he approaches the great continental divide. There are actually 20 states that exhibit less change in elevation from their lowest points to their highest ones than Kansas does.

To be as annoyingly precise as possible, Florida is the most flat, barely able to raise itself out of the Atlantic or the gulf from the panhandle to Miami. At least it offers plenty of opportunities for alliteration.

Of course, Derb’s intention is to conjure up images of western Kansas, devoid of the woods and hilliness of the state’s eastern end, which, to the south, resembles the Ozarks more than it does the Kansas-Colorado border. That the state’s highest natural point, “Mount Sunflower“, is located less than a mile from Colorado and is indistinguishable from the surrounding terrain, attests to this. The gentle but steady incline across the state measures around 0.1 degree. The Derb’s point is well taken, I promise!

The rank ordering of US states by the change in elevation from each state’s lowest point to its highest:

State Change (ft)
1. Alaska 20320
2. California 14785
3. Washington 14417
4. Hawaii 13803
5. Nevada 12665
6. Arizona 12565
7. Idaho 11955
8. Utah 11338
9. Oregon 11249
10. Colorado 11123
11. Montana 11003
12. Wyoming 10709
13. New Mexico 10323
14. Texas 8751
15. North Carolina 6684
16. Tennessee 6466
17. New Hampshire 6288
18. South Dakota 6276
19. Virginia 5729
20. New York 5343
21. Maine 5270
22. Georgia 4784
23. Oklahoma 4686
24. West Virginia 4623
25. Nebraska 4587
26. Vermont 4300
27. Kentucky 3887
28. South Carolina 3560
29. Massachusetts 3489
30. Kansas 3361
31. Maryland 3360
32. Pennsylvania 3213
33. North Dakota 2757
34. Arkansas 2698
35. Alabama 2413
36. Connecticut 2379
37. New Jersey 1802
38. Minnesota 1700
39. Missouri 1542
40. Michigan 1408
41. Wisconsin 1372
42. Iowa 1191
43. Ohio 1094
44. Illinois 955
45. Indiana 937
46. Rhode Island 811
47. Mississippi 807
48. Louisiana 543
49. Delaware 447
50. Florida 345

As tangential to this post as this post was to the Derb’s article, does this guy’s photo epitomize everything that is wrong with the modern white male or what?

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: For fun, Geography, The states 
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  1. Now now, it's not the poor guy's fault his eyesight is bad. And the choice of glasses over contacts indicates that he may have some sort of hobby where the safety advantages of glasses may come in handy. They guy's probably into shooting, carpentry, and metalwork.

    Naw just kidding.

    (Good post; I too thought Kansas was way flatter than it really is.)

  2. He certainly wouldn't pass for Pat Tillman.

    The file name for the photo is hilarious.

  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Bad hygiene = self-esteem issues or has no social intelligence = Preole.

    The majority of Americans will judge by appearance, hence news anchors/reports are always clean-cut. Even Ivy professors and geniuses are held to a certain level of acceptable presentation.

    Why would one take anything seriously from an individual who can't even take care of themselves. Personally this also applies to obesity, unless the guy works 80 hours as an investment banker or lawyer… no excuse to be overweight.

  4. This also applies to obesity, unless the guy works 80 hours as an investment banker or lawyer… no excuse to be overweight.

    I would be floored if this guy works anything close to that. I pulled up some of his other things, and it is equally snarky and devoid of any thoughtfulness.

  5. Hey, at least the guy doesn't sport a nose-ring and dreads.

    PS–That topography table is a bit deceptive. West Virginia is one of the most mountainous states in the US, but because it has no coast and because none of the mountains are of Himalayan (or even Rocky) stature, one gets the impression from the table that it is fairly flat. But there is a world of difference between flatness and total elevation change.

  6. @Ed

    He probably sports a SpongeBob tramp stamp though…

  7. "But there is a world of difference between flatness and total elevation change."

    I was thinking the same thing when I first read this. The problem is that there is not a good statistical measure that I know of to quantify how "flat" an area is when you get into fractal considerations like this.

  8. Ed,

    Right. Even within the state of Kansas, the eastern end is a lot hillier than the western end, but the western end is where elevation above sea level is the highest. Don't take this post as an attempt at a statistically precise definition of flatness, please!

  9. Here's a view from an elevated tee at Colbert Hills golf course at Kansas State U.:

  10. He's a writer for Gawker, so he's probably into the whole hipster scene.

  11. At first I thought he was Christian Lander.

  12. Steve,

    If you're ever on that course again, I have dibs on being your caddy. You heard it here first, everyone.

  13. He might as well be gay–yuck.

  14. "Why would one take anything seriously from an individual who can't even take care of themselves"

    Did you ever see a picture of Einstein?

  15. I've never played Colbert Hills, but I once told the course's designer Jeff Brauer that he should be proud of creating a golf course that Kansans can be proud of and can't point to as proof that their native state has a lot of interesting terrain.

  16. This guy represents a very small minority of white men in the US and Europe, and the minority is becoming smaller in both absolute and relative terms. If men of color are included, Derb is a vanishingly small fraction of all men.

    What is more important is that the secular humanist phenomenon is passing away. In part because of high immigration rates, it will be replaced in both the US and Europe by a patriarchal model similar to that in Latin America, Asian and Africa.

  17. Reminds me of one of my favorite riddles, for the purposes of listening to people's stupid responses borne of an inability to process nested superlatives:

    "What state has the lowest highest point?"

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