The Eye of the Beholder is Only Half the Equation

17 03 2008

A New Perspective on Data Through Visualization Tools

The essence of the adage, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is that every individual has a unique perspective. Extending the message, we can safely say that everything is dependent on the perception of the individual; however the individual is only 50% of the equation for not everything is static.

Data in its most basic form is a series of static numbers and observations; however, when parsed through data visualization tools the data can become far more. For geeks like me, it even has a certain beauty to it.

Inspiration, creativity, and eureka moments have a greater chance of occurring when you approach a problem from as many perspectives as possible, and also mold the object being observed.

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VS.

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Keep pushing yourself to explore additional perspectives and check out this list of really cool data visualization tools to spark the next big idea. Also check out this site that hosts a number of damn cool examples.

If this is a topic that is of interest, check out the currently running ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’ exhibit running at MoMA. Phenomenal exhibit across the board, but the data visualization component is hypnotic.

Finally, Hans Rosling is the ultimate data molder, and can do far more justice to this topic than I. Check out this video from TED talks. It will blow you away.





The Pull Out Method: New Inspirations, New Year, New Life

17 01 2008

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The Pull Out Method

This post is not an homage to the band, or the last ditch contraceptive method (not condoned by myself), but rather a post reflecting on the past month spent disconnected… 

Scary isn’t?

For those of you that are unaware I grew up for the most part on the island of Maui, way out in the middle of the Pacific.  Thus, as winter dawned I decided to escape back home, and in the midst of last minute packing I threw Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s masterpiece, Fooled By Randomness into my bag.  For anyone that hasn’t read it or the pseudo-sequel The Black Swan, go buy it NOW! The heart of the book grapples with the illusion we create to trick ourselves into believing that we have even a shred of ability to predict the future.  We live in a world of denial, where we build complex prediction systems to help us sleep at night (They also double as great scape goats when the ^#&* hits the fan). 

I finished the last chapter waiting for my parents to rendezvous with me at the airport and I decided to make a pre-New Year’s resolution: 

Disconnect until I return to New York & rise above the noise.

Noise is the day-to-day chatter, the overblown memes, and the X is the new X killer articles.  I’m an info-maniac, and quite literally went through a tough withdraw, however, as I’m catching up on the 1,000,000 blog posts clogging my Greader, I am beginning to see the larger themes, ideas, and trends.  It’s a fascinating experience.

People on the forefront of any revolution tend to get too caught up in there space, hence the manifestation of bubbles, because they throw themselves into the cyclone of noise.  I understand being able to disconnect for a month is a ridiculous luxury, but try to disconnect whenever you can, and actually sit back and assess all the information you have accumulated.

Dots will start to connect themselves, instead of being swept up in the next info blitz.

That said The Ad-Vocate is up and running again, expect a deluge of new posts.








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