New Maps of Science Fiction
The first question that naturally comes to mind about stories and authors is "How much do you like them?" Literary critics try to go far beyond this simple query, but it is the one that people ordinarily care most about, and for us it is the most important sociological question. Using modern techniques of analysis we can recover a tremendous amount of hidden information from statistics of people's likes and dislikes.
Analog Yearbook, 1977, pages 277-299. (via
posted by P.o.B.
on Jul 18, 2010 -
CNN.com's 'Home and Away'
initiative honors the lives of U.S. and coalition troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The extensive data visualization project tells the story of where and how the lives of these troops began and ended. The project is a sobering look at the human cost of two wars in the Middle East, and as such is restrained with a sober palette of blacks, whites and greys. [via
] [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Jun 11, 2010 -
The UK Government has published extracts from COINS, the Combined Online Information System
used by the Treasury to track all public spending by the Government. Together, the files
constitute about 11Gb of data in delimited text format containing consolidated financial information for each department and account type. [more inside]
posted by Electric Dragon
on Jun 4, 2010 -
The Data-Driven Life.
"Ubiquitous self-tracking is a dream of engineers. For all their expertise at figuring out how things work, technical people are often painfully aware how much of human behavior is a mystery. People do things for unfathomable reasons. They are opaque even to themselves. A hundred years ago, a bold researcher fascinated by the riddle of human personality might have grabbed onto new psychoanalytic concepts like repression and the unconscious. These ideas were invented by people who loved language. Even as therapeutic concepts of the self spread widely in simplified, easily accessible form, they retained something of the prolix, literary humanism of their inventors. From the languor of the analyst’s couch to the chatty inquisitiveness of a self-help questionnaire, the dominant forms of self-exploration assume that the road to knowledge lies through words. Trackers are exploring an alternate route. Instead of interrogating their inner worlds through talking and writing, they are using numbers. They are constructing a quantified self
posted by homunculus
on Apr 30, 2010 -
Yahoo is releasing a new service: Firehose
, a real-time, searchable index of social content
aggregated from around the web. Accessible via YQL
, Yahoo’s SQL-like query language, the Firehose will gather data from status updates, user ratings and reviews, comment threads, Google Buzz, Flickr, Delicious, Twitter, YouTube, Last.fm and a range of other sites and apps. [via
] [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Apr 12, 2010 -
Mercenary Epidemiology: Data Reanalysis and Reinterpretation for Sponsors With Financial Interest in the Outcome.
(.pdf link) When should scientists be required to release their raw data for (potentially hostile) re-analysis? A letter to the editors of Annals of Epidemiology from David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, public health blogger
, author of the book Doubt Is Their Product
, and, as of December 2009, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA,
unanimously confirmed by the Senate despite the dismay of some
. Michaels interviewed at Science Progress
about Doubt Is Their Product
(podcast, with transcript.)
posted by escabeche
on Feb 11, 2010 -
The Confessions of an NBA Scorekeeper
Gawker's Tommy Craggs talks with an ex-scorekeeper for the Vancouver Grizzlies, and reveals the subjectivity of stat keeping in the NBA.
This guy once gave Nick Van Exel 23 assists just because he felt like it.
posted by reenum
on Dec 11, 2009 -
This morning, Google launched
a new feature called "Google Dashboard
" that lets users view (and in some cases control,) what data is being stored on a range of more than 20 Google services, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, Orkut, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts and Latitude. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Nov 5, 2009 -
Toronto's Open Civic Data.
The city of Toronto has released its data to the world via the new Open Toronto initiative: geographic data for a variety of civic divisions, lists of licensed business, public transit stops, routes & schedules, a SOAP-based geocoding API and more.
posted by GuyZero
on Nov 3, 2009 -
"Death Risk Rankings
calculates your risk of dying in the next year and allows you to compare that risk to others in the world." Fun with mortality data and statistics from Carnegie Mellon University.
posted by OmieWise
on Sep 4, 2009 -
The US Food and Drug Administration
started regulating the labeling of food, beverages, and medicines after the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act
, and added food coloring and cosmetics with the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
. They have just released a new website, the FDA Notices of Judgment Collection, 1906-1963
, containing data from thousands of cases of mislabeled or misadvertised products and drugs, available in multiple forms (text, PDF, metadata XML, .TIF image, etc.), with searchable archives. Poking around in the data will yield information on cases ranging from misbranding methamphetamine tablets
, to quack "Film-O-Sonic" devices
, to bacteria-laden unproven abortifacients sold over the counter
, to purported "4-way" cures for baldness
, to hunks of radium sold for putting in your drinking water
to "stimulate the sex organs" (judged against for stating an unproven use, not for actual danger of product). Organized by the FDA's history office
, the new database is a fascinating resource for historians, public safety advocates, researchers, and librarians.
posted by Asparagirl
on Apr 6, 2009 -