Saturday, November 10, 2012

Data and the Real World ...

As I read today's NYTimes article on computers, data formulas and equations and real world conditions, numbers took on a far greater importance than intuition.  This is akin to what happened to data and presidential poll predictions, even after the majority of the votes had been counted and logged into "maps". The visualizations of data tend to interest me and tend to stick longer in my memory than mere numbers.

Even as a wordsmith, when we went to international icons, I found the visual shorthand more attractive and easier to use than what I might learn of a foreign language.  Early pictographs on the caves of Lascaux, and others, are a constant reminder of visual communication.  Perhaps visual mnemonics are a better form of recognition than words; although, it is helpful to use words in sentences for more concise communication.

HERE is an interesting animated series of data visualizations.

As I indicated earlier, many of the election pundits and politicians seemed to rely more on their theories of poll numbers, rather than the obvious visuals.  So where and when do we exercise our visual recognition and when and where are visualizations a better fit!

An article I read recentlys piqued these ideas and questions.  Keep in mind that the answers are not nearly as intriguing and interesting as the subsequent ??? they engender. 

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