195 posts tagged with Information.
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Connecting the dots

Discograph generates an interactive visualization of relationships between nearly 5 million artists, bands and labels, based on data from the Discogs.com database.
Examples: The Beatles | The Fall | Neil Young
posted by porn in the woods on Sep 29, 2015 - 18 comments

I Presume You Mean Computers And So Forth?

"I found this collection of outtakes in my archive. I shot these interviews on the streets of New York in the late 70s when I was doing a documentary on the coming of the information age." - Man on the street interviews with New Yorkers in 1979 about science, technology, corporate influence, computers, and paperwork. (SLYT 5:45)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 23, 2015 - 17 comments

“Our survey data pixelates—it’s a big blur.”

Vanishing Canada: Why we’re all losers in Ottawa’s war on data. [Maclean's Magazine]
Stories about government data and historical records being deleted, burned—even tossed into Dumpsters—have become so common in recent years that many Canadians may feel inured to them. But such accounts are only the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg. A months-long Maclean’s investigation, which includes interviews with dozens of academics, scientists, statisticians, economists and librarians, has found that the federal government’s “austerity” program, which resulted in staff cuts and library closures (16 libraries since 2012)—as well as arbitrary changes to policy, when it comes to data—has led to a systematic erosion of government records far deeper than most realize, with the data and data-gathering capability we do have severely compromised as a result.
posted by Fizz on Sep 19, 2015 - 85 comments

Searching for information, meaning, and an unmicturated-upon rug

[The Big Lebowski's] most important contribution to the study of information seeking behavior is its illustration of how a highly complex information search is not about finding the “answer,” but rather is about an individual's ability to make sense of, and create meaning from, the process of information seeking. . .
“New shit has come to light”: Information seeking behavior in The Big Lebowski (PDF) by Emily Dill and Karen L. Janke. [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year on Sep 8, 2015 - 61 comments

I'm the treasure in the box

The annoying boxes puzzle: There are two boxes on a table, one red and one green. One contains a treasure. The red box is labelled "exactly one of the labels is true". The green box is labelled "the treasure is in this box." Can you figure out which box contains the treasure?
posted by Wolfdog on Sep 2, 2015 - 131 comments

GCHQ and Me

My Life Unmasking British Eavesdroppers. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Aug 20, 2015 - 14 comments

That's intelligent design, not Intelligent Design.

Daniel Dennett, known for having previously explained thinking, religion, and consciousness, recently spoke at the Royal Institution where he did a most excellent job of explaining memes [1-hour video].
posted by sfenders on Aug 17, 2015 - 22 comments

Reinventing Science

Science "explains things" in various ways. You can start with initial conditions, and apply laws of motion (classical kinematics). Or you can predict things via evolving probabilities (quantum mechanics). Or you can find emergent laws (thermodynamics). Or ... - There are many different modes of explanation. Recently, David Deutsch invented a new one: Constructor Theory. [more inside]
posted by andrewcooke on Aug 8, 2015 - 22 comments

Ethereum Launched

In case you missed it Ethereum announced its first developer release a week ago. What is Ethereum? According to the video it's a "planetary scale computer powered by blockchain technology." Given the breathlessness, some skepticism is in order, but what if it purports to do on the tin is true? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 7, 2015 - 57 comments


Since it folds in three dimensions, we could store all of the world’s current data—everyone’s photos, every Facebook status update, all of Wikipedia, everything—using less than an ounce of DNA. And, with its propensity to replicate given the right conditions, millions of copies of DNA can be made in the lab in just a few hours. Such favorable traits make DNA an ideal candidate for storing lots of informations, for a long time, in a small space.
But how stable is DNA? The Reed-Solomon method, long used to error-check data transmission and duplication, is now being explored as an adjunct to the long-term archiving of information encoded in DNA. A post by Alex Riley at the PBS Science blog NOVA/NEXT.
posted by Rumple on Jul 30, 2015 - 35 comments

After Capitalism, Humanism

Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 2, 2015 - 7 comments

China announces it is scoring its citizens using big data

China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 5, 2015 - 77 comments

Short-Termism, Secular Stagnation and Political Decay

Foundation: Public Goods and Options for the Bottom Billions - "Human beings just don't handle the very long run well" and that's where government increasingly comes in... (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2015 - 6 comments

Social Reality

What Russians really think - "Many in the west see Russia as aggressive and brainwashed. But its citizens have a different view." Meanwhile,[1,2] in Moscow and Lviv...
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2015 - 52 comments

Roots of visual mapping

A brief exploration of beautiful historical taxonomy trees, timelines, diagrams and other visual mappings. One of these is from the Codex Amiatinus and could be the oldest mind map in existence.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Feb 15, 2015 - 4 comments

Dealing with the transition to the information age

BIG and BOT Policy Proposals (transcript) - "Many of our current economic policies originated during times of scarcity. But now, says investor Albert Wenger, we live in an era of 'digital abundance', when creating new products costs virtually nothing. To adapt to the resulting economic upheavals, we won't need just more tech, says Wenger, but some strong policies. Here he explores two: basic income guarantee and the right to be represented by a bot." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 23, 2015 - 14 comments

A researcher, a data journalist, and a designer walk into a bar.

The good people at Information Is Beautiful took the data from the "75+ classic cocktail recipes from the International Bartender’s Association’s list of drinks every bartender should know" and turned into into a beautiful reference chart. As an added bonus, they converted the ingredients to proportions for easy scaling. Cheers!
posted by Room 641-A on Jan 10, 2015 - 63 comments

what's in a name?

"For any given profession, it turns out that there are certain names that appear more often in that profession than in the general population. Here's a chart with 6 of the names that are the most disproportionately common in 37 professions." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 7, 2015 - 111 comments

hyperconnected: your brain on shrooms

How Tripping On Mushrooms Changes The Brain - "New research [pdf] suggests that psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, sprouts new links across previously disconnected brain regions, temporarily altering the brain's entire organizational framework." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 28, 2014 - 84 comments

(Info?) --> [Y] --> (Beautiful?) --> [Y] --> (Most?) --> [Y] --> /WIN/

The Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2014 celebrate excellence and beauty in data visualizations, infographics and information art.
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 15, 2014 - 14 comments

Family Planning: The short, long and speculative issues

Some interesting recent links on family planning in the short, long and speculative senses.

- Catherine Rampell examines the "information gap" surrounding birth control and family planning amongst young people with lower levels of education.
- Sarah Perry examines the history of fertility transitions over the last 300 years.
- Carl Shulman and Nick Bostrom examine the potential effects of human genetic selection in the next 50 years. [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Oct 19, 2014 - 6 comments

"Mess with the best, Die like the rest!"

JPMorgan Chase Says More Than 76 Million Accounts Compromised in Cyberattack [New York Times]
"The breach is among the largest corporate hacks, and the latest revelations vastly dwarf earlier estimates that hackers had gained access to roughly 1 million customer accounts."
posted by Fizz on Oct 2, 2014 - 122 comments

We Are The Robots

The Vocoder, a short New Yorker video (11:30) about the military origins of the vocoder. The vocoder—the musical instrument that gave Kraftwerk its robotic sound—began as an early telecommunications device and a top-secret military encoding machine.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe on Sep 18, 2014 - 14 comments

human connection with & despite algorithmic curation

I quit liking things on Facebook for two weeks. Here's how it changed my view of humanity [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 18, 2014 - 73 comments

Snowden granted 3-year stay in Russia.

After several days in legal limbo, the world's most notorious whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been granted a three-year stay in Russia. This is amid breaking news of Russia's issuing of a menu of its own sanctions against U.S./E.U. countries, et al. The former NSA employee has been stranded in Russia for more than a year. Recently, new leaks by other, as yet unknown whistle-blower(s) other than Snowden have surfaced, according to U.S. authorities. The leaks detail certain "rules" for targeting of people for surveillance (including merely searching for privacy software), as well as details on the kind of activity or relationships which may put innocent people on terrorist watch lists.
posted by fantodstic on Aug 7, 2014 - 54 comments

A Life In Bits

For the past 105 days, I've been tracking everything about myself.” Anand Sharma shows the progress of his life through a beautifully designed site. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 12, 2014 - 25 comments

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth

“But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind."
posted by 0bvious on Jun 24, 2014 - 5 comments

Presenting Data

A checklist for those making graphs from Stephanie Evergreen and Ann Emery. This is a useful tool for teaching scientists and others some of the rules of data presentation in graph form.
posted by sciencegeek on May 16, 2014 - 23 comments

Abyssmal odds

The depth of the problem - this WaPo infographic hints at the immense challenges that Australian and Chinese search teams will face in recovering the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 black box from its suspected location at the bottom of the Indian Ocean
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 8, 2014 - 188 comments

Snowden To Address Audience in First Live Q&A, Days After EU Testimony

The good news is that there are solutions. The weakness of mass surveillance is that it can very easily be made much more expensive through changes in technical standards: pervasive end-to-end encryption can quickly make indiscriminate surveillance impossible on a cost-effective basis. The result is that governments are likely to fall back to traditional, targeted surveillance founded upon an individualized suspicion. Governments cannot risk the discovery of their exploits by simply throwing attacks at every “endpoint,” or computer processor on the end of a network connection, in the world. Mass surveillance, passive surveillance, relies upon unencrypted or weakly encrypted communications at the global network level.

Edward Snowden submits written testimony to an EU committee investigating mass surveillance, and answers questions. The testimony takes place 3 days ahead of his highly anticipated SXSW appearance, to take place later today. Snowden is expected to speak about privacy, security, mass surveillance programs, free speech and whistle-blowing in a rare remote video appearance before a live audience.
Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo finds this “deeply troubling” in a letter he's sent to the organizers of the conference.

Meanwhile, people who wish to #asksnowden questions can use the hashtag on Twitter. The talk is to take place at 12pm PT, today.
posted by fantodstic on Mar 10, 2014 - 89 comments

Science is beautiful...

In a new exhibition titled Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight, the British Library pays homage to the important role data visualization plays in the scientific process. The exhibition can be visited from 20 February until 26 May 2014, and contains works ranging from John Snow's plotting of the 1854 London cholera infections on a map to colourful depictions of the Tree of Life. In a Nature Video, curator Johanna Kieniewicz explores some of the beautiful examples of visualizations that are exhibited.
[more inside] posted by infini on Mar 3, 2014 - 1 comment


Estonia, with a population of 1.3 million, might just have the most technologically forward-thinking government around.
posted by gman on Feb 9, 2014 - 31 comments

Not everyone can afford to be blasé

What I think we forget–or worse, never even realized—is the extreme privilege often inherent in “digital literacy.” Yes, much of the Internet is free. But it takes time and energy to develop the skills and habits necessary to successfully derive value from today’s media. Knowing how to tell a troll from a serious thinker, spotting linkbait, understanding a meme, cross checking articles against each other, even posting a comment to disagree with something–these are skills. They might not feel like it, but they are. And they’re easier to acquire the higher your tax bracket. - The New Digital Divide: Privilege, Misinformation and Outright B.S. in Modern Media
posted by beisny on Nov 12, 2013 - 37 comments

Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

A new library for an old city

The new central library of Birmingham (England), the largest public building of its type in Europe, is officially opened tomorrow by Malala Yousafzai. Reviews, pre-opening, have been largely positive [Independent] [Telegraph] [Guardian] [Residents] [Financial Times]. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 2, 2013 - 19 comments

Censorship Doesn’t Just Stifle Speech—It Can Spread Disease

The Saudi Arabian government has been tight-lipped about the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), a disease first discovered in 2012 that has "killed more than half of those who contracted it", "responding slowly to requests for information and preventing outside researchers from publishing their findings about the syndrome. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Aug 24, 2013 - 13 comments

conservation of information

A Black Hole Mystery Wrapped in a Firewall Paradox - "A paradox around matter leaking from black holes puts into question various scientific axioms: Either information can be lost; Einstein's principle of equivalence is wrong; or quantum field theory needs fixing." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 18, 2013 - 36 comments

The Life of an Admin in the IT World

Nine Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin, Network Admin (from InfoWorld via /.)
posted by JoeXIII007 on Jul 18, 2013 - 90 comments

“I’m dismantling the Death Star to build solar ovens for the Ewoks.”

The Merry Pranksters Who Hacked the Afghan War [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 1, 2013 - 14 comments

Important communication skills

Use "Metatalk" skill to discuss communication problems.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 15, 2013 - 46 comments

Intelligence Tests

Is Psychometric g a Myth? - "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2013 - 113 comments

Visualization of Drone Strikes

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: A visualization of drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 26, 2013 - 88 comments

Incommensurable values

Economists and the theory of politics - "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 25, 2013 - 27 comments

The Atlantic - Benj Edwards

The Copyright Rule We Need to Repeal If We Want to Preserve Our Cultural Heritage
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 15, 2013 - 34 comments

Visualization of large scale datasets looks darn pretty

null_sets is a new body of artwork aimed at exploring the gap between data and information. Consisting of a set of images, this project stems from our interest in glitches, code-breaking, and translation. our custom script encodes text files as images, making it possible to visualize both the size and architecture of large-scale data sets through an aesthetic lens. So if you ever wanted to see hamlet as a jpeg and find artistic merit hiding within its code, here's your chance. [more inside]
posted by legweak on Jan 7, 2013 - 10 comments

The Library of Babel in 140 characters (or fewer)

The universe (which others call The Twitter) is composed of every word in the English language; Shakespeare's folios, line-by-line-by-line; the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, exploded; Constantine XI, in 140 character chunks; Sun Tzu's Art of War, in its entirety; the chapter headings of JG Ballard, in abundance; and definitive discographies of Every. Artist. Ever... All this, I repeat, is true, but one hundred forty characters of inalterable wwwtext cannot correspond to any language, no matter how dialectical or rudimentary it may be. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Oct 27, 2012 - 14 comments


HoneyMap is an interesting data visualization project depicting cyberattacks. Details.
posted by lalex on Oct 14, 2012 - 6 comments

use value vs. exchange value

What Is Value? What Is Money? (via via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 1, 2012 - 15 comments

The Internet Archive releases a torrent of torrents

The Internet Archive is now offering over 1,000,000 torrents including our live music concerts, the Prelinger movie collection, the librivox audio book collection, feature films, old time radio, lots and lots of books, and all new uploads from our patrons into Community collections (with more to follow). ... BitTorrent is the now fastest way to download items from the Archive, because the BitTorrent client downloads simultaneously from two different Archive servers located in two different datacenters, and from other Archive users who have downloaded these Torrents already. The distributed nature of BitTorrent swarms and their ability to retrieve Torrents from local peers may be of particular value to patrons with slower access to the Archive, for example those outside the United States or inside institutions with slow connections. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 8, 2012 - 41 comments

Chirp me that will you?

Chirp is an application that allows information such as photos, text or links to be transmitted to devices in earshot. The "chirp" containing the link to the data may be played from a devices or broadcast over radio or PA systems. Unlike many similar system the technology does not require receiving devices to be pre-paired. For now available only as an iPhone application. Discussion and demonstration.
posted by rongorongo on Jul 23, 2012 - 55 comments

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