Sunday, July 19, 2009

Charlotte: an extreme deviation from the mean?

Our fair city -- I had no idea:  “Charlotte's an outlier" -- this from no less an expert than Elizabeth's own Dan Clodfelter, a Democratic state Senator. On occasion I've felt like an outlier in Charlotte, but the city is so plain it's hard to see it outside the norm. What could this mean?

The Queen City: a person who lives away from his place of work?  An extreme deviation from the mean? A portion of stratified rock separated from a main formation by erosion?

Me,  I wanted to think of Dan's comment as a reference to Malcolm Gladwell's book of the same name because I wanted to think the city is full of  "exceptional people, especially those who are smart, rich, and successful, and those who operate at the extreme outer edge of what is statistically possible." Certainly we have our share of smart and rich people, but that doesn't explain Dan's comment.

Unless you recall the Great State of Mecklenburg. You know, the theory that there's Charlotte and there's the rest of North Carolina. Charlotte goes its own way and doesn't care about other areas of the state. And other areas of the state don't care about it. Reckon that's the definition of an outlier.

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