Join 3,421 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Infographics, Olympics, potentially hot-button issues...what could go wrong?
August 2, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Global issues as depicted by Olympic rings.

Key
Red=Americas
Black=Europe
Blue=Oceania
Green=Asia
Yellow=Africa
posted by phunniemee (20 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
By area or by diameter?
posted by BentFranklin at 7:20 AM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


That a very clever set of infographics. Thanks.
posted by chavenet at 7:20 AM on August 2, 2012


This is uncannily like the national medal count - instinct is to skim past the disasters (swimming? obesity? ) and cheer for the wins ( rowing! homicides lack of homicides! ).
The devil in me wants to see some cross referencing - gun ownership by shooting medals, for example.
posted by Catch at 7:23 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got a weird error: Website not an authorized Olympic sponsor. Page removed. Anyone else get that?
posted by mochapickle at 7:23 AM on August 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


The devil in me wants to see some cross referencing - gun ownership by shooting medals, for example.

I think I love you.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:26 AM on August 2, 2012


What's a prisioner!?
posted by Mooseli at 7:44 AM on August 2, 2012


By "The Americas" I'm assuming the author is lumping every nation in the New World together, which probably explains my reaction to how non-enormous the "Americas" are (in relation to the rest of the world) in the gun ownership, military expenditure, and homes with tv rings. I wonder how things would look if you broke-out the US and added a sixth US-only ring for those metrics?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:02 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how things would look if you broke-out the US and added a sixth US-only ring for those metrics?

If--IF--they add a sixth ring, it should be for Antarctica. I need to know what those penguins are up to.
posted by phunniemee at 8:05 AM on August 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


I was somewhat horrified to note that the only graphic where the Olympic rings look like the original flavor is the graphic for gun ownership. I'm baffled as to how Europe and Asia rank so high on that one (neither being known for high rates of gun ownership); perhaps the rest of the Americas are dragging the US closer to world average? Either way, this was an eye-opening set of infographics.
posted by librarylis at 8:07 AM on August 2, 2012


The CO2 emissions per capita one can't be right...can it? Africa is the only one with lower per capita CO2 emissions that America?

I see, it's Americas so Central and South America must be bringing the average down. Seems like that makes these far less useful but I suppose the rings are supposed to represent the five areas of the world that come together at the games so I guess that's the only way these could work.
posted by VTX at 8:09 AM on August 2, 2012


I want to see one for Spiders Per Capita.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:10 AM on August 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Part of me finds these interesting. The statistician in me, however, is screaming that this is the furthest thing from apples to apples comparison possible, with the exception of the per capita stats. Caveat emptor.
posted by dry white toast at 8:14 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's no handier way to lie with statistics than to either omit per-capita or use it inappropriately.
posted by DU at 8:39 AM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's no handier way to lie with statistics than to either omit per-capita or use it inappropriately.

How to Lie With Olympics
posted by chavenet at 8:47 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Per capita stats aren't always the most important. The important number for CO2 emissions is not how emissions per capita but total emissions period.
posted by straight at 8:51 AM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The important number for CO2 emissions is not how emissions per capita but total emissions period.

But then it's meaningless. Liechtenstein might burn a trillion barrels of oil a day (they don't, obviously; I'm just illustrating a point), but that raw data will look good next to China's figures.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:00 AM on August 2, 2012


Holy cow, AdBlock looks like a Christmas tree of cookies and scripting for this mymodernmet.com site... anyone want to summarize some of the interesting parts of the rings?
posted by crapmatic at 9:11 AM on August 2, 2012


The graphic begins with obesity, an issue that everybody agrees needs addressing (even if we don't agree how). This is the type of thing I expected to see.

The next one seems weird. "Percentage of Worldwide Coca-Cola Sales." Not sugary beverage, not carbonated drinks, not soda...no, we're looking at Coca-Cola specifically. Now I'm wondering about the source of these graphics and her motives. Because one minute we're talking about a global issue and the next, we're targeting a specific company.

Keep scrolling. Population, number of billionaires, HIV statistics...okay, so we're back to generalized global issues, making the Coca-Cola thing seem a little weird but harmless. The next two are asylum seekers and prisoners, and these are interesting enough. Definitely statistics that would be interesting to most people, regardless of beliefs of political bent.

And then suddenly, there it is: "Catholic priests." Sandwiched between "Prisoners" and "Homicides" as if there's nothing odd about that at all.

The overall tenor of the chart is negative. Some of the items are arguably neutral (television ownership, popularity of Coke and McDonald's, etc.) but in the context of this chart (HIV, prisoners, homicides, hazardous waste, child mortality) it seems pretty clear that she isn't singling-out these statistics because she thinks they are net-positive.

I don't see a statistic for doctors or lawyers or plumbers or schoolteachers, nor any for rabbis or Jews or Muslims or mosques or Buddhists or Hindus...just that one, "Catholic priests."
posted by cribcage at 9:55 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


But then it's meaningless. Liechtenstein might burn a trillion barrels of oil a day (they don't, obviously; I'm just illustrating a point), but that raw data will look good next to China's figures.

If that were true, then it would still be more important for the planet to get China to cut back a little bit than to do anything about Liechtenstein, assuming you just meant Liechtenstein was burning lots per capita but not actually more total barrels per day than China (China is about 8-10 million barrels per day -- the entire planet burns less than 100 million barrels per day).
posted by straight at 9:55 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


If that were true, then it would still be more important for the planet to get China to cut back a little bit than to do anything about Liechtenstein, assuming you just meant Liechtenstein was burning lots per capita but not actually more total barrels per day than China (China is about 8-10 million barrels per day -- the entire planet burns less than 100 million barrels per day).

It's important to look at both total and per capita emissions.

Just looking at total emissions lets small nations completely off the hook; and without an international consensus it's much harder to get China on board.

Australia is a good example. Climate change skeptics here constantly hammer the point that reducing Australia's enormous per capita emissions rate will make minimal impact on total emissions. That's true, but it ignores the fact that lagging behind makes it less likely that China will take action, while forging ahead sets an example for the world, delivering policy innovation, potential new clean energy technologies, etc.
posted by dontjumplarry at 2:46 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older The beautiful library of the Abbey of St. Gall in ...  |  The 'About' page of UK music w... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments