Posts Tagged ‘Recycled Content’

Climate Numbers

Countries such as India and China have traditionally argued that any steps to cut emissions must come first from the West, based on the ponderously phrased idea of “Common but Differentiated Responsibilities”. Regular readers of this blog will instantly recognize this as belonging to the class of descriptions that are suspiciously content-free but that has not stopped the world from making this the centerpiece of years of diplomatic negotiations.

The idea behind common but differentiated responsibilities is that since per capita carbon emissions in the developing world are low, and because historically there has probably been less atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted from within their shores – most of the heavy lifting now should be done by the folks who caused the mess in the first place.

Whatever the merits of this kind of reasoning (and they are not particularly convincing), this also exemplifies how statistics can be made to show anything. Want to make India and China look good? Quote per capita emissions. Desirous of a more balanced point of view? Talk about how China is the largest single emitter today.

An interesting problem to consider is what value function is necessary to assume in order to make each of these statistical measures the appropriate weighting tool to use when figuring out responsibilities? Or should we worry about something like emissions per unit GDP? Cumulative emissions per unit cumulative GDP (after all, while the industrial nations were burning coal, they were also generating global wealth).

A Spoonful of Win will abdicate that larger responsibility. As the Jonas Brothers might say, thats just the way we roll (Embarrassingly topical boy band reference acknowledged). Instead we will point you towards a rather fun visualization. Check out the map. By which we mean click on it.


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Music To My Ears

Weekend nights can be a time of music, dance, reflection. For tonight we leave you with the stock market as piano piece.

CNN takes the vanilla graph of rising trades and unexpected crashes and turns it into a rather new age sounding piano piece. An interesting way of using market data.  Worth a quick listen.

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Before we start, yes I am aware that the title of this post both irrevocably dates me and might well be construed as a telling commentary on my taste in cinema. Fair warning is given to any readers who intend to visit regularly that the B-movie references are probably just going uphill from here.

Moving smoothly on from there however, I recently came across a fascinating bit of data visualization that I assure you will be a pleasant diversion from the more productive tasks you are no doubt busily occupied with.

All of us at here at A Spoonful of Win have discussed how Facebook – the One Page That Binds Us All – is constantly toying with privacy settings. In the cat and mouse game that is our attempt to control social image, Facebook wields the powerful tool known as “Default Settings” with implacable authority. In doing so the social network taps into a hypocrisy at the very core of our being, a sort of unmentionable desire to spy unseen. We want to know about everything and everyone and we want to do so in relative anonymity. Networks can be set up to make one of these tasks easy, but not both, and the 500 million users of Facebook are a powerful endorsement of design choices.

Matt McKeon graphs the evolution of privacy settings on Facebook, year by year, a story in pictures that is most certainly worth a few hundred words. Check it out.

Copyright Matt McKeon

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