Monday , April 12 2021
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Misinformation can be beautiful

Summary:
Chapter nine of “The Data Detective” / “How To Make The World Add Up” is all about data visualisation – its power, and its pitfalls. The overarching story is about how one woman launched a public health revolution, armed with a fancy pie chart. I’m fond of the chapter – but how does it look to audiobook listeners? Ah. Obviously the pictures in the audiobook are… well, nonexistent. So here are links to the graphics in question. First, Nigel Holmes’s famous – infamous? – graphic, ‘Diamonds were a girl’s best friend‘, produced for Time magazine in 1982 and still debated among dataviz geeks today. The New Yorker’s ‘subway inequality’ project is interactive and much better viewed on their site. Andy Cotgreave’s compare-and-contrast exercise with Simon Scarr’s

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Chapter nine of “The Data Detective” / “How To Make The World Add Up” is all about data visualisation – its power, and its pitfalls. The overarching story is about how one woman launched a public health revolution, armed with a fancy pie chart.

I’m fond of the chapter – but how does it look to audiobook listeners? Ah. Obviously the pictures in the audiobook are… well, nonexistent.

So here are links to the graphics in question.

First, Nigel Holmes’s famous – infamous? – graphic, ‘Diamonds were a girl’s best friend‘, produced for Time magazine in 1982 and still debated among dataviz geeks today.

Misinformation can be beautiful

The New Yorker’s ‘subway inequality’ project is interactive and much better viewed on their site.

Andy Cotgreave’s compare-and-contrast exercise with Simon Scarr’s award-winning ‘Iraq’s Blood Toll’ is here as a thumbnail – but go and examine the graphs up close.

Misinformation can be beautiful

Florence Nightingale’s most famous rose diagram – and Hugh Small’s striking replotting of the same data – are best viewed alongside Small’s discussion.

BBD Data Dating: Francis Galton and Florence Nightingale, A Match Made in  Statistical Heaven? | Big Bang Data

My new book, “The Data Detective” was published in the US/Canada on 2nd February.

“Nobody makes the statistics of everyday life more fascinating and enjoyable than Tim Harford.”- Bill Bryson

“This entertaining, engrossing book about the power of numbers, logic and genuine curiosity”- Maria Konnikova

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Tim Harford
Tim is an economist, journalist and broadcaster. He is author of “Messy” and the million-selling “The Undercover Economist”, a senior columnist at the Financial Times, and the presenter of Radio 4’s “More or Less” and the iTunes-topping series “Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy”. Tim has spoken at TED, PopTech and the Sydney Opera House and is a visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.

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