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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 :)

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Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
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