Friday, September 28, 2007

Trend Spotting

It's interesting to me that some of the same people who dismiss elevated planetary temperatures associated with Global Warming as temporary cyclic phenomena are the same ones who are eager to sort data about the security situation in Iraq in ways that indicated that the United States is winning the war. As Information Aesthetics points out, this month's speech by General Petraeus about the status of the violence in Iraq used much of the same PowerPoint politics that have been criticized in this blog and by others who write about information design. For example, one of the things I immediately noticed about these four charts at World Politics Review that seemed to show a decrease in violence and an increase in social stability was that all four data representations used different time slices and increments (10/04-9/07, 5/06-8/07, 11/05-9/07, and 9/07 to the present) that may falsely suggest correlations between the information shown. In this fuller set at Townhall, I thought the fact that there was only one mash-up of data with a map of the region was interesting, given the fact that when violence in one area may be quelled, it may simultaneously be flaring up in another. And, as the Washington Monthly notices, the chart about withdrawal is entirely undefined at a certain point on its temporal axis.

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Blogger bob c said...

it is really no surprise that spin is always slanted in favor of the opinion the spinner (or the spinner's boss) wants to implant in the victim. I am glad someone is watching them since we KNOW they are watching everyone else.

7:18 AM  

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