If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 24 August 2009

Information is Beautiful

Here's my website of the week: Information Is Beautiful. It's a site with lots of graphics of statistics, presented in a visually appealing way. Thought-provoking, too - sometimes you need a visualisation to help you understand things the conscious mind finds too abstract. The idea of the billions of pounds being flung around to 'promote recovery', for example. Once the figures get into the hundred billions, my mind goes blank. This graphic helps you see the relative sizes of the figures, and there are some surprises. Check out the size of the Iraq war, compared to feeding every child in the world for a year, for example. (That's not a political point there, by the way, but it makes you think). Click on the image for the full thing.

Or how about this: the Walled World? I had never thought about the world in this way before (well maybe I have, but not at this level of detail). The Israeli wall in Palestine suddenly fits into a much larger picture. It's like we in the West are living in a gated community. Not necessarily a bad thing (living in the West is pretty good, I reckon), but when you see the huge spaces outsidde the 'Wall', you start wondering all sorts of stuff. Like 'I want to go there'. Again, click for a better view.

There, that's something else to gobble up your time. Say thank you.

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