Year: 2016

The new quantitative journalism

Personally I consider this a must read for all in the field of data journalism. Andrew Gelman wonders why there were no skeptical, investigative, quantitative journalists decades ago? A growing lists of professionals answers his question: because of the lack of tools; emerging technologies; or better education that leads to more data literacy. The true gold is to be found in the comments – about the new quantitative journalism.

The Ultimate Guide to Bad Data

An exhaustive reference to problems seen in real-world data along with suggestions on how to resolve them. As a reporter your world is full of data. And those data are full of problems. This guide presents thorough descriptions and suggested solutions to many of the kinds of problems that you will encounter when working with data.

How to use the Feynman technique to refine your bullshit radar

“If someone cannot explain something in plain English, then we should question whether they really do themselves understand what they profess. If the person in question is communicating ostensibly to a non-specialist audience using specialist terms out of context, the first question on our lips should be: “Why?”” In the words the influential theoretical physicist Richard Feynman: “It is possible to follow form and call it science, but that is pseudoscience.”

9 tips for recognising bulshitting politicians

Economist, writer and presenter of Radio 4’s More or Less, Tim Harford, has identified the habit of some politicians as not so much lying – to lie means having some knowledge of the truth – as “bullshitting”: a carefree disregard of whether the number is appropriate or not. The Guardian is happy to present a guide for spotting dodgy statistics.

Over-Politeness Is the Fatal Flaw in the Open Data Movement

As long as significant numbers of transparency advocates are engaged constructively on the business of getting open data releases out, the pace of significant transparency reforms will be slowed. Overly-friendly collaboration between governments and transparency advocates sucks the oxygen out of the room. And we need that oxygen to fuel the fires that can burn down the doors to the state, and to parasitic organizations like anonymous shell companies that are dependent upon inaction by the state.

How Information Graphics Reveal Your Brain’s Blind Spots

Chances are, you probably think your mind works pretty well. But you’d be wrong. Our brains fool us all the time. And we typically have no idea that it’s happening. At Propublica, Lena Groeger explains how graphics, including charts, interactives and other visual tools, can help show us our mind’s shortcomings.