But alas, I am not listening to Dr. Wickham tonight. Stupefying spring pollen counts have grounded my lungs to air conditioned spaces for awhile, therefore this post. We now grow so used to the rapid change of computing infrastructure and progress in software functionality that it is easy to take for granted the power each of us now have to change social outcomes with our keyboards. So listen up, future and present activists. The information in this post was produced with OpenBSD 5.2, R Programming, Gvim, and Gimp; all of this FOSS or Free and Open Source Software: all cross platform and all of it something almost anyone can load on most older hardware and (after some struggle) become proficient. Did I mention that OpenBSD is Canadian and renowned for security?
The R Programming environment is a mathematically rich software that has benefited from long term open source development. Although a bit kludgey to learn at first, the reward for your effort is lighting quick computation. Reputedly, it doesn't scale as well for large data as SQL based technology like PostgresSQL. However it scales well enough for my uses here. These images below are:
- Whatcom County total population (by five age groups) from the census
- A data extraction of voter registration by birth date from Nov. 2012
- An overlap of the previous two images
It took me some time to write the R code for these graphs. I really just started to pick up R Programming in January. But look how illuminating a little programming can be. (Click on these charts to enlarge.) The first pix gives us some idea on how the 205,000 us are grouped by age in Whatcom County. You can clearly see the baby boom/Gen X (Age 45 - 64) bin dominates the over 18 population:
This second graph consists of yearly registration counts grouped by birth year. In it, we see the "boomer/gen X bump" but we also see lots of registrations from younger generations.
the link for the technical part of this post. : -)