Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stacking Boxes

The rationale for the "Billion Dollar Gram" on Information Is Beautiful is explained by its creator as an attempt to make comparative judgments possible at extremely large orders of economic magnitude, which speaks to some of the same issues of "scale" that Lev Manovich has argued are essential for digital humanists to grapple with as well. The design statement that accompanies the image reads as follows:

This image arose out of a frustration with the reporting of billion dollar amounts in the media. That is, they’re reported as self-evident facts, when, in fact, they’re mind-boggling and near incomprehensible without context. But they can start to be understood visually and relatively, IMHO.

(This is one of the first images I created for my book. So a lot of the figures are from 2006/07. I’ve also visually cheated slightly here and there to make everything fit)

I hoping this will be a “living image” that I’ll keep updating all the time. So if you find any interesting, juicy or eye-popping billions, please comment below (with a source). Let’s see how high we can make this image!

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