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What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:30 am UTC
Walking New York

New York City also contains bodies of water, making walking a bit trickier.

If I wanted to place my feet on every bit of ground I could, it would take a lot longer.
Walking through every doorway would ensure I enter every room, but there are many places I'd get in trouble for entering. Many carrying heavier sentences than just unauthorized entry.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:50 am UTC
Randall claims an average 2br apartment is about (10m)2 = 100m2 > 1000sqft. That's over twice the size of my entire home. For twice as many people sure but kitchen and bath are shared implying "average" people have bedrooms and living rooms twice as large as mine. This makes me sad. And I was just starting to feel happy with my new place, buying curtains and shades and decorating and I was gonna get it painted and re-floored soonâ€¦

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:31 am UTC
Pfhorrest wrote:That's over twice the size of my entire home.

Well, "approximation" in What-If world usually means "to within an order of magnitude or two"... so that's pretty close. And anyway, the goal is an overestimate... if (as is the case) real apartments are actually smaller than that, then that only means the task would be more achievable within a lifetime.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:35 am UTC
Pfhorrest wrote:Randall claims an average 2br apartment is about (10m)2 = 100m2 > 1000sqft. That's over twice the size of my entire home. For twice as many people sure but kitchen and bath are shared implying "average" people have bedrooms and living rooms twice as large as mine. This makes me sad. And I was just starting to feel happy with my new place, buying curtains and shades and decorating and I was gonna get it painted and re-floored soonâ€¦

The average American apartment has been within spitting distance of 1000 sq ft for many years. So "about 10m x 10m" is correct, but that is rounding up a bit.

Bedrooms here* are typically 10x10 or so, so I hope yours aren't half-sized... it's hard to walk around a bed in a 7x7 room.

* - in Minnesota, anyway. I can't speak to places with less elbow room, like NYC.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:32 am UTC
I *need* the reference [7].

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:38 am UTC

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:29 am UTC
So... could a person get permission to enter every dwelling in NYC in their lifetime?

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:50 am UTC
I wonder how long it'd take if we counted prison cells as studio apartments...

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:45 am UTC
I think that Randall missed the question a bit. I don't think Asaf was interested in walking around inside apartments. I think he was asking if someone could walk to each address in New York City in their lifetime, including the addresses of apartments which do not have outside-facing doors ("inside apartments").

In this case, the 15,000 postal workers do this in one day. So 1 person would do it an outer-bound limit of 15,000 days, which is roughly 45 years. If you then apply the argument about being able to do this faster than a postal worker, and not all postal workers being delivery persons, then maybe 15-20 years is a good estimate.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:51 am UTC
Vir4030 wrote:I think that Randall missed the question a bit. I don't think Asaf was interested in walking around inside apartments. I think he was asking if someone could walk to each address in New York City in their lifetime, including the addresses of apartments which do not have outside-facing doors ("inside apartments").

In this case, the 15,000 postal workers do this in one day. So 1 person would do it an outer-bound limit of 15,000 days, which is roughly 45 years. If you then apply the argument about being able to do this faster than a postal worker, and not all postal workers being delivery persons, then maybe 15-20 years is a good estimate.

Do apartments in NY have mail slots in their doors? Here in the Netherlands most apartment buildings have all the mail slots in the wall next to the front door. The mailman doesn't usually enter the building.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:06 am UTC
Hey, [8], but..... what? Inquiring minds want to know!

So anyway, let's see.... Let's sing while we walk the city.

And of course if we get tired, we can ride in a hole in the ground.

Me, when I visit, my ... errrr.... Jets are in Gear!

oblig complaint: do we have to walk up and down the stairs of every building?

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:12 am UTC
I'm pretty sure there's a small typo there. It says it takes 100 days to walk 6,074 miles. I think it should be 1000 days, unless someone walks 60 miles a day.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:42 pm UTC
It seems like Randall just kind of sputtered out. He was doing so well, I was educated, I chuckled, I thought of points and he addressed them...then he just coped out on one major area. Maybe it was an assumption, but I took "(including apartments)" to include houses and other rooms in other buildings. Even if the last part is a slight stretch, he totally missed getting to each apartment. Namely all those stairs and hallways for each floor. He only gave 5 seconds per room. That would only work if the person teleported to the front door of each apartment.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:51 pm UTC
Imlekk wrote:I'm pretty sure there's a small typo there. It says it takes 100 days to walk 6,074 miles. I think it should be 1000 days, unless someone walks 60 miles a day.
He's figuring continuous walking (i.e. no sleep breaks).

The_Alchemist wrote:It seems like Randall just kind of sputtered out. He was doing so well, I was educated, I chuckled, I thought of points and he addressed them...then he just coped out on one major area. Maybe it was an assumption, but I took "(including apartments)" to include houses and other rooms in other buildings. Even if the last part is a slight stretch, he totally missed getting to each apartment. Namely all those stairs and hallways for each floor. He only gave 5 seconds per room. That would only work if the person teleported to the front door of each apartment.
Was the what-if edited before I saw it, or are you guys just bad at reading?

He assumes 20 seconds per door, which seems quite reasonable as an average given the density of NYC.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:15 pm UTC
gmalivuk wrote:
The_Alchemist wrote:It seems like Randall just kind of sputtered out. He was doing so well, I was educated, I chuckled, I thought of points and he addressed them...then he just coped out on one major area. Maybe it was an assumption, but I took "(including apartments)" to include houses and other rooms in other buildings. Even if the last part is a slight stretch, he totally missed getting to each apartment. Namely all those stairs and hallways for each floor. He only gave 5 seconds per room. That would only work if the person teleported to the front door of each apartment.
Was the what-if edited before I saw it, or are you guys just bad at reading?

He assumes 20 seconds per door, which seems quite reasonable as an average given the density of NYC.

He also explicitly writes, re 20 seconds per door:

"Most of the time it will be much less, but sometimes the next non-visited room is on another floor or down the stairs, so it's good to give ourselves some extra time."

You should really read the what if. It's fun =P

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:15 pm UTC
Winning snake strategy, if you're really fast and extremely patient:
This seems to imply to me that you cover the whole screen horizontally and then switchback on the next line all the way down. That's not a good strategy because when you get to the bottom you've trapped yourself. You have to leave at least a pixel on the edge so that you can go back up to the top.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:16 pm UTC
Moose Anus wrote:
Winning snake strategy, if you're really fast and extremely patient:
This seems to imply to me that you cover the whole screen horizontally and then switchback on the next line all the way down. That's not a good strategy because when you get to the bottom you've trapped yourself. You have to leave at least a pixel on the edge so that you can go back up to the top.

It's worse than that: if you do all the streets first, you must have done bits of avenues to get from one to the next (leaving out certain nasty diagonal roads). Then, going back to do the avenues, you have to repeat bits of streets. It's the Konigsberg Bridge Problem raised to a not-insigificant power

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:25 pm UTC
The second half of this question is relevant to my interests, since I recently moved from a 1 BR apartment with my wife to a 2 BR apartment due to lack of space.

Now for starters, I'm not sure if Randall considers a hallway to be a room in an apartment. Closets too also pose a problem. But I'm going to assume that neither one factors into this equation, because some apartments have 0 hallways, and both the ones I have had only had 1 long hallway between all the rooms.

I'm also not certain if Randall is considering bathrooms and kitchens, or just living space. If we count only living space, I moved from 2 rooms to 3. If we count bathrooms and kitchens, I moved from 4 rooms to 5. So this is a little vague.

I always have trouble remembering how many feet are in a meter, so I usually estimate it to be about half of me (I'm 6'2", so this is a little off but close enough). This means that in Randall's world, an average room of living space should contain about 5 of me end-on-end on the floors. My office area is about the size of one of the living areas I had in both apartments (i am not going to lie down on the floor at work), and while I couldn't quite manage 3 of me in one direction, I might be able to manage a little more than 5 going in another direction, though this still comes out to be a bit smaller than 10mx10m as Randall suggests. Maybe California (Randall lives there, right?) just naturally has more space per room? They do have to build wide due to Earthquakes (that's what you do for earthquakes when constructing a building, right?).

I can also confirm that an apartment for two people in New York City is much smaller, ridiculously smaller, than Randall is suggesting.

Then I read back a bit and realize that Randall is suggestion that 10mx10m is the average size for 2 br apartment, and that most people live in this kind of living space, and I realize that there is a much greater flaw in his logic.

The idea that the average person can afford a 2 br apartment on one salary.

TL;DR: I'm deeply confused by Randall's apartment estimations, which are either way too small, or way too big.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:25 pm UTC
cellocgw wrote:
Moose Anus wrote:
Winning snake strategy, if you're really fast and extremely patient:
This seems to imply to me that you cover the whole screen horizontally and then switchback on the next line all the way down. That's not a good strategy because when you get to the bottom you've trapped yourself. You have to leave at least a pixel on the edge so that you can go back up to the top.

It's worse than that: if you do all the streets first, you must have done bits of avenues to get from one to the next (leaving out certain nasty diagonal roads). Then, going back to do the avenues, you have to repeat bits of streets. It's the Konigsberg Bridge Problem raised to a not-insigificant power
Are we still talking about Snake?

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:44 pm UTC
Moose Anus wrote:
Winning snake strategy, if you're really fast and extremely patient:
This seems to imply to me that you cover the whole screen horizontally and then switchback on the next line all the way down. That's not a good strategy because when you get to the bottom you've trapped yourself. You have to leave at least a pixel on the edge so that you can go back up to the top.

I thought the same thing. Then I thought "I hope the screen has an even number of rows, so that you'd end on the same side you started on, and the same side as your empty column."

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:23 pm UTC
cellocgw wrote:
Moose Anus wrote:
Winning snake strategy, if you're really fast and extremely patient:
This seems to imply to me that you cover the whole screen horizontally and then switchback on the next line all the way down. That's not a good strategy because when you get to the bottom you've trapped yourself. You have to leave at least a pixel on the edge so that you can go back up to the top.

It's worse than that: if you do all the streets first, you must have done bits of avenues to get from one to the next (leaving out certain nasty diagonal roads). Then, going back to do the avenues, you have to repeat bits of streets. It's the Konigsberg Bridge Problem raised to a not-insigificant power

You can't avoid the problems with crossings around the edge - lots of order three nodes that require retraversals to hit every arc.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:50 pm UTC
Introbulus wrote:Maybe California (Randall lives there, right?) just naturally has more space per room? They do have to build wide due to Earthquakes (that's what you do for earthquakes when constructing a building, right?).

Randall lives near Boston. And land in California is ridiculously, insanely expensive, so things tend to be pretty small here too because only the rich can afford anything bigger. (Not enough small enough is available for sale IMO, so you end up having to be filthy rich to own anything at all, grr). And I think you're confusing the "build out, not up" response of city planning to earthquakes with a guide for individual buildings: the buildings themselves don't get built wider for earthquake-proofing, they just can't get very tall, so instead of a few extremely tall buildings in a small area (building up), you get a lot of shorter buildings covering a larger area (building out).

That said, I agree with the rest of your post, both that that seems ridiculously large even for a 2br apartment, and that's it's ridiculous to expect that every individual person could afford that much space all to themselves.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:28 pm UTC
Pfhorrest wrote:And land in California is ridiculously, insanely expensive.

Housing prices may just be high where you WANT to live. But California is a huge state, with a lot of reasonably priced housing (barstow median home sale price is \$70K accordring to redfin) . Sure, it isn't \$45K like some places in Iowa.

Pfhorrest wrote:the buildings themselves don't get built wider for earthquake-proofing, they just can't get very tall, so instead of a few extremely tall buildings in a small area (building up), you get a lot of shorter buildings covering a larger area (building out).

I think you may also be confusing an excess quantity of land with a construction requirement for earthquakes. Generally buildings are not that tall in California because they don't need to be. In most places, there is still lots of land, why build up when you can build out.

Sure, tall buildings are more difficult in earthquake areas, but they are completely doable (ahem Tokyo) and if done right are often much safer than generic residential buildings in earthquakes. The library tower in downtown LA survived the Northridge EQ without many issues, while two story apartments over carports faired miserably. The library tower is also the 11th tallest building in the country and the tallest west of the Mississippi, so tall buildings are completely doable.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:20 pm UTC
krkeegan wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:And land in California is ridiculously, insanely expensive.

Housing prices may just be high where you WANT to live. But California is a huge state, with a lot of reasonably priced housing (barstow median home sale price is \$70K accordring to redfin) . Sure, it isn't \$45K like some places in Iowa.

There are cheaper and more expensive places in California, sure, just like everywhere, but averaged across the entire state, California real estate is ridiculously expensive compared to the average of the whole country.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:45 pm UTC
Pfhorrest wrote:That said, I agree with the rest of your post, both that that seems ridiculously large even for a 2br apartment, and that's it's ridiculous to expect that every individual person could afford that much space all to themselves.
As has already been pointed out to you, the point was to get an overestimate, and then conclude from the fact that even with such generous space allotted to each person it would be possible to walk to all the apartments in NYC, so it is most certainly possible to do it with more modest estimates.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:09 am UTC
bachaddict wrote:If I wanted to place my feet on every bit of ground I could, it would take a lot longer.

Yeah, that's where I thought this was going. By increasing the resolution with which you're trying to "walk New York", you could increase the required amount of time indefinitely. (If you need to walk to/through each 10-meter square, it'd take X time, but if you needed to walk to/through each 1-meter square, it'd take a lot longer, etc.)

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:56 pm UTC
Randall writes "I don't know how many 10 km square swatches it takes to cover New York City, but it's probably not very many." and footnotes it "Turns out it's a little more than 1 to cover the land and water." That's wildly incorrect: NYC's total area is 1,214 km2 and its land area is 789 km2 (per Wikipedia), so it takes almost 8 swatches. Is he restricting his attention to Manhattan (which is a relatively small part of NYC)?

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:33 pm UTC
... it could take you 2,000 millennia to serve out the resulting prison sentence.

Is anyone else very disappointed that we have no word that means "one million years"? Century for a hundred, millennium for a thousand, aeon / eon for a billion years ...but there's this huge gap right there.

It must be filled. We must fill it.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:42 pm UTC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_of_time

2,000 millennia is apparently two ages, or a fifth of an epoch. But I suggest lakhscore years.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:10 pm UTC
Envelope Generator wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_of_time

2,000 millennia is apparently two ages, or a fifth of an epoch. But I suggest lakhscore years.

Citation needed on these words being defined to mean exact number of year. The Epoch disambiguation page offers various different uses, two of those being a point in time instead of a period, two others being variable time periods and of of them is based on Theosophy...

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:49 pm UTC

While I'm not doubting the necessity of names for large numbers of years (although metric prefixes attached to either "second" or "annum" probably would suffice), are age, epoch, era, and eon historically defined as precise numbers of years as shown, or were they originally just vague terms for large amounts of time * that were later appropriated to mean specific amounts, which apparently people disagree on to some extent?

* - which is how I use them, with the possible exception of epoch (not a word I use/see that often other than in talking about geologic time, as in the Pliocene Epoch; but of course, these terms when used in geologic terms are not specific periods of time, but just used to denote different periods of the past bounded by geologic events, mass extinctions, etc.). But when I think of "era" I think of a much shorter "large amount of time", like a few decades or so, to denote a British monarch's or dynasty's rule or something like that. And when I google "epoch" it gives as examples "The Victorian Epoch" and "The Tudor Epoch" which I would use "era" for, but then google tells me that epoch, era, age, period, span, and eon are all synonyms.

Anyway, it bothers me that these terms seem to be overwhelmingly used in the vague sense, but somebody (scientists?) have appropriated them for astronomical/geological time periods, when the metric system probably works even better, in all languages, and is certainly less ambiguous.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:15 pm UTC
Isn't aeon a unit of strangeness? And when it becomes positive, the possibility of death of death is open.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:01 pm UTC
mathmannix wrote:Anyway, it bothers me that these terms seem to be overwhelmingly used in the vague sense, but somebody (scientists?) have appropriated them for astronomical/geological time periods, when the metric system probably works even better, in all languages, and is certainly less ambiguous.
I'm unaware that anyone has appropriated those words for any specific length of time, so it's unclear what job you think metric would be better for.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:25 am UTC
We have perfectly valid metric units of time: s, ks, Ms, Gs, Ts and so forth.
Practically, for long lengths of time years are more useful, so y, ky, My, Gy, Ty and so forth. Si doesn't technically allow the usage of "year" as a metric but it's at least quite well defined, known and approximately agreed upon.
Aeons and so forth wouldn't even be intuitively clear if everybody agreed upon them. Why would we need them in anything but prose anyway?

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:44 am UTC
You know that we're writing prose now, right?

And what geologists use those words for isn't to measure time but to give names to different-sized chunks of it. Metric would mean something silly like replacing Paleozoic Era with Paleozoic 290-Megayear.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:27 pm UTC
What is the construction rate of additional apartments in NY, and what does that do to the estimated time needed to visit them all?

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:04 pm UTC
Neil_Boekend wrote:We have perfectly valid metric units of time: s, ks, Ms, Gs, Ts and so forth.
Practically, for long lengths of time years are more useful, so y, ky, My, Gy, Ty and so forth. Si doesn't technically allow the usage of "year" as a metric but it's at least quite well defined, known and approximately agreed upon.
Aeons and so forth wouldn't even be intuitively clear if everybody agreed upon them. Why would we need them in anything but prose anyway?

This reminds me that I really need to start using light-nanoseconds in everyday conversations.

gmalivuk wrote:You know that we're writing prose now, right?

You know that a technicality club is a bad idea, right?

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:14 pm UTC
I wasn't pointing out a mere technicality, I meant that that's what the word means so I don't actually know what was being said.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:18 pm UTC
gmalivuk wrote:I wasn't pointing out a mere technicality, I meant that that's what the word means so I don't actually know what was being said.

That's what it technically means, yeah. It's also often used as a shorthand for fiction that is neither poetry, nor drama.

Re: What-If 0110: "Walking New York"

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:32 am UTC
Klear wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:I wasn't pointing out a mere technicality, I meant that that's what the word means so I don't actually know what was being said.

That's what it technically means, yeah. It's also often used as a shorthand for fiction that is neither poetry, nor drama.

If that was the use it still wouldn't make sense. Why would "aeons" and similar be useful in prose, but not in non-fiction or poetry or drama?