« An example of why data will not end debate | Main | Good guys in sports need a dose of reality »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Andy Kirk

Kaiser, just a quick comment because I don't feel you've necessarily captured the essence of my post "Defending the ‘Incredible GDP Map'" which is slowly evolving into "Erecting a lightning rod for disagreements about the 'Incredible GDP Map'" :)

Firstly, I've never asked anyone to stop whining! Not sure where you get that from in this piece. Far from it. Indeed I don't think anyone has yet 'whined' about this graphic to be necessarily asked to stop whining - though I'm starting to feel the sentiment growing...

A correction of the actual main argument I put forward in that piece (signposted by the phrase in the post of 'back to my main argument'): one person’s ‘interesting’ is another person’s ‘knew it’. I wanted to urge recognition that just because something is not surprising to someone doesn't mean to say isn't to another person.

Inevitably there is this unbreakable connection between the claim on the original tweet of 'incredible' and an implied endorsement. I wanted to make the point that something doesn't have to be 'incredible' or 'surprising' to make it resonate/connect/impact on some level. I found the graphic interesting. Nothing more. I looked at it for about 8 seconds and found the contrast between the two areas interesting given my reasonably uninformed non-US perspective on the geographical, population and economic dynamics of the US. So I retweeted it.

I didn't feel it misled me because I didn't feel engaged with it for long enough or deeply enough to necessarily be 'led' anywhere other than basically seeing a quickly thrown together view that (in my mind at the time) probably just acted as a proxy for where people probably lived. I had a very casual acquaintance and expectation of its underlying statistical rigour because, for me, it just about ticked the box 'do I get a gist of the situation?'. That was all I sought and all I came away with.

This is something that I will be covering in a follow up post if I get chance this week.

Andy Kirk

[Submitted and then decided I need to add...]

I do completely recognise a the statistical perspectives you raise though this post and do like the analogy of the true lie.

Any apparent weariness I might now exhibit about discussing the issue is more to do with my frustration at not getting all my points out in the original post which was rushed by a train arriving in its destination :)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Link to Principal Analytics Prep

See our curriculum, instructors. Apply.
Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker. Founder of Principal Analytics Prep, MS Applied Analytics at Columbia. See my full bio.

Next Events

May: 2 New York Marketing Association Big Data Workshop, NYC

May: 5 NYPL Analytics Careers Talk, NYC

May: 8 Data Visualization Seminar, Denver, CO

May: 15 Data Visualization Seminar, Cambridge, MA

May: 17 Data Visualization Seminar, Philadelphia, PA

May: 22 Data Visualization Seminar, San Ramon, CA

Past Events

See here

Future Courses (New York)

Summer: Statistical Reasoning & Numbersense, Principal Analytics Prep (4 weeks)

Summer: Applied Analytics Frameworks & Methods, Columbia (6 weeks)

Junk Charts Blog

Link to junkcharts

Graphics design by Amanda Lee


  • only in Big Data