Monday, January 7, 2008

Why There're More Lights Where!

I've had this photo set as my computer desktop for a couple weeks now. Today I found a pattern that I'd never seen before, and it's truly amazing. Even from outer space you can see the differences between market centrally planned economies.

Look at North America, see how the lights form a random pattern? There is no logical form, it looks organic, like something out of nature. If this were the beginning of the 19th century, no one person would be able to predict how the west would look like!

Now look at Europe and Asia. Europe looks like North America, but once you hit the iron certain the lights take on a different pattern. You can see the hand of the Soviet engineers. Cities follow a predictable pattern. There are logical hubs and linear transportation networks. It it much more linear and less networked. It would seem this sort of planning would lead to increased efficiency, but it didn't. Before today, whenever I looked at this picture, I focused on which places had the most lights. I never realized you can see WHY these places have the most light!

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