Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where does our information come from?

I was reading this article on Scienceblogs with an associated graphic on
where info comes from (click to enlarge):



further on in the article there is a more parody-like version of the same chart (click to enlarge):




For what it's worth, the original article is short and easy to read - so you should read it.

Here's my favorite quote from it:

So look at that graph. The X axis is years, which is OK, even if the inconsistency of the intervals is extremely annoying. But what are the units of the Y axis? What's being measured? I have no idea. I presume it's a stacked percentage of something, but that's unclear. Information produced? Absorbed? Thrown at a wall and forgotten? What kind of information? It's all lumped together and unspecified. Could we have some units, please? And can you really categorize a single unit of information that applies appropriately to what comes from a newspaper and what comes from a social networking site?

The other data we're missing is a source and methodology. If it's saying that someone in 2009 is getting 10% of their "information", nebulous as that means in this context, from blogs, how was that determined, and where are the raw data that was used to compile this chart?
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