Friday 25 January 2008

Books that make you dumb

One of the things I love most about the web is that if you have a wacky idea it is so easy to get it out there to a potentially huge audience. If it is particularly cool then you will ratchet up the numbers on bookmark sharing sites and maybe even hit the heights of geek cool and get a story on slashdot.
The subgenre I like most is amusing and interesting ways of supplying information, ether useful or facile, in a graphical manner. Today I found these:
Booksthatmakeyoudumb which uses facebook data on book preferences, linked through college attendance to average SAT scores. Given one of the data sources, I wouldn't cite this in any serious way but it is quite amusing, especially given the book that makes it to No.1.
Data Mining in Politics which uses more robust data (the voting patterns of Congress).
Yesterday's gems were the mySociety travel-time maps which I hop can eventually be rolled out for much of the rest of the country and the Telegraph's dynamic political map.

P.S. For a look at similar things down the ages, take a look at strange maps

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