(Roughly) Daily

Equality for all!…


This speculative map imagines a world divided into 665 territories of approximately equal population (10-11 million people each). The logic of the map does not entirely discount existing ethnic or national boundaries, but neither is it beholden to them. The particular political rationale behind these divisions is not addressed – whether these are independent nation-states or provinces of a world government is left to the imagination of the viewer. The map is rather meant to provide a visual representative of the radically unequal distribution of the world’s population. For example, one New York City and Long Island = half of Karachi = one Russian Far East = one of every Pacific Island. What does this make you think about the current distribution of the world’s resources, the movement of populations and the arbitrariness of territorial divisions?

Explore this “geography thought experiment” at World of Equal Districts.


As we ponder proximity, we might send hard-boiled birthday greetings to James Myers “Jim” Thompson; he was born on this date in 1906.  Arguably the finest of all pulp-crime writers, Thompson began his career as a “traditional” author, publishing his first two novels, Now and on Earth and Heed the Thunder as hardbacks.  After these books failed to find wide audiences, Thompson found his voice in crime fiction, grinding out hellish tales for paperback mills such as Lion Books and Gold Medal.  While he was quite prolific– Thompson once produced 12 books in 2 years– his crime fiction wasn’t paying the bills; so he turned to screenwriting, working with Stanley Kubrick on The Killing and Paths of Glory, to writing for TV series (Mackenzie’s RaidersCain’s Hundred, and Convoy), and to penning novelizations (e.g., Ironside).

But through it all, Thompson wrote thrillers– noir nuggets that included The Killer Inside MeSavage NightA Hell of a Woman, and Pop. 1280.  Thompson was convinced that recognition would come to him only after his death; and while two of his novels (The Killer Inside Me and The Getaway) were made into films during his lifetime, he was, sadly, largely right.  Since his death in 1977, both those films have been remade (The Getaway, twice, if one counts the first half of the Rodriguez/Tarantino mash-up From Dusk ’til Dawn), and several others adapted:  The Grifters (nominated for four Oscars), After Dark, My Sweet, and This World, Then the Fireworks, among others.  More to the point, Thompson’s writing has increasingly been appreciated for the marvel that it is.

The guy was over the top. The guy was absolutely over the top. Big Jim didn’t know the meaning of the word stop. There are three brave lets inherent in the forgoing: he let himself see everything, he let himself write it down, then he let himself publish it.

– Stephen King

If Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett & Cornell Woolrich could have joined together in some ungodly union & produced a literary offspring, Jim Thompson would be it.

Washington Post



Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 27, 2013 at 1:01 am

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