Friday, December 18, 2009

Blessing #6: Truth

A few days ago, we posted about truth and the difficulty of determining what's true and what's not ... especially regarding the complex issues of our times.

In my search for online blessings, I came across David McCandless who describes himself as: a London-based author, writer and designer who has written for The Guardian, Wired and others. He states, "I’m into anything strange and interesting. These days I’m an independent visual & data journalist. A passion of mine is for visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words. I’m interested in how designed information can help us understand the world, cut through BS and reveal hidden connections, patterns and stories underneath. Or, failing that, it can just look cool! My pet-hate is pie charts. Love pie. Hate pie-charts."

While I'm not sure anyone can be totally objective, after looking at some of his visualizations, I do believe he has a talent for synthesizing complex information and tries to present it fairly. I was particularly taken with his visualization of the global warming issue. Here's how he described his efforts to find the truth in that tangled web:

"My conclusion is 'what a nightmare'. I was generally shocked and appalled by how difficult it was to source counter arguments. The data was often tucked away on extremely ancient or byzantine websites. The key counter arguments I often found, 16 scrolls down, on comment 342 on a far flung post from three years ago. And even when I found an answer, the answers were excessively jargonized or technical. " If you're trying to sort this one out, click here.

And, if you've ever tried to get a handle on the real differences between conservatives and liberals, check out his "Left vs. Right (US)". It may not have the media drama we seem to have become addicted to but maybe it would help us open a peaceful dialogue.


  1. So, here I was on this quiet Saturday morning as the house sleeps thinking, I'll log in and jot down my blog. And then... I got lost in wonder. I linked up with David McCandless' blog and spent a fascinating while traipsing through his data and images.

    Thanks Joyce! I may be late getting started with my jottings, but I had a fascinating tour of Billion Pound-ograms and other such designs.

    What a find!

  2. Great choice, Joyce. McCandless is something else!

  3. OMG - JOYCE!!! Thanks so much for this; this guy is AMAZING.