What does lying politicians have in common with rainbow colors?
Apr 04, 2017
Readers in Charlotte, NC: I am coming your way on April 19. Drop by and say hi. More info on my lecture here.
Daily Kos printed this chart about the lies that candidates told: (see original here)
This is an almost great chart. A color make-over improves readability significantly.
What does lying politicians have to do with rainbow colors?
Is there any significance in empty space between Santorum and Walker on revised chart? I am not familiar with US politics.
Posted by: Mirosław Zalewski | Apr 04, 2017 at 03:53 PM
MZ: In this chart, Santorum and above were all lying over 50% of the time. That is dealing with the Q corner of the Trifecta... what might be the question a reader would like to answer using this chart? Once you start thinking about that, several issues arise: for example, the middle category labeled "Half True" (well, "Half Lies") is kind of treated here as neutral but is a half lie not a lie? So in the end, I did not draw attention to that empty space, just left it there for people who are interested.
Posted by: Kaiser | Apr 04, 2017 at 04:32 PM
Do you think red/blue, with Republican/Democrat connotations is the best choice? Perhaps orange/green or something else might be more suitable.
then again, the Dems are down the bottom :)
Posted by: Tom Shanley | Apr 04, 2017 at 04:37 PM
TS: That's a good question. I just followed the cues of the original in picking the two extreme colors. It crossed my mind that they are associated with parties and this is a political chart but I convinced myself that anyone who looks at the vertical axis can see that the colors do not represent parties.
Posted by: Kaiser | Apr 04, 2017 at 05:16 PM
Kaiser, Isn't the whole point to eliminate correlations and improve readability at a glance? I think the red/blue issue is much bigger than you do for any political chart like this.
Posted by: Dan Vargo | Apr 04, 2017 at 07:06 PM
DV: Well, you can make one with different colors, and I will post it.
Posted by: Kaiser | Apr 04, 2017 at 10:09 PM
I agree with Tom about the red and blue notations. There is a hidden bias in the interpretation of the visual. Intuitively, it has blue associated with true, and red associated with false which leads people to associate republicans with lying and democrats with telling the truth. Even if I believe that is the case, I think it is intellectually dishonest to show the visual with these colors.
Posted by: Michael Harris | May 11, 2017 at 11:49 AM