Political Terror ScaleJune 8, 2005 6:38 AM   Subscribe

The Political Terror Scale (link opens an Excel sheet). There have been several posts about human rights recently and the Political Terror Scale ties them all together. The PTS is an ongoing project which assigns a number from 1-5 (5 is bad) to a country based on its level of political terror (usually human rights abuses committed by the government) based on the yearly Amnesty and U.S. State Department reports according to these criteria (link opens a Word document). Because the PTS was started in 1980, one of its most useful aspects is that it allows changes in political terror to be tracked over time. For example, a nearly worldwide spike in human rights abuses in the years following the 9/11 attacks can be clearly visualized using the information provided by the PTS.
posted by Crushinator (7 comments total)

I assume the nines (9) in the data are null vales?
posted by orthogonality at 6:45 AM on June 8, 2005

>a nearly worldwide spike in human rights abuses in the years following the 9/11 attacks can be clearly visualized using the information provided by the PTS

so... who's gonna graph this out?
posted by gsb at 7:13 AM on June 8, 2005

I assume the nines (9) in the data are null vales?

Yes, the 9s are null values, the scores in an "a" column are based on the Amnesty report for that year, and the scores in an "s" column are based on the State Dept report for the same year. Also, sheet two explains the country abbreviations.
posted by Crushinator at 7:16 AM on June 8, 2005

so... who's gonna graph this out?

Probably someone who cares. Anyone who can use the graph function on Excel could do it. You can see the "spike" just by looking at the numbers if you're interested (it was one of the things I found interesting when I first saw the PTS). I'm not sure I understand your question.
posted by Crushinator at 2:52 PM on June 8, 2005

A visual representation is really good for data, especially the kind of data that is dense. I deal with huge arrays of numbers, it's fine to eyeball them and pick out the trends but a bit of graphism helps show the point of inflection to people.

[and I hate Excel]
posted by gsb at 4:56 PM on June 8, 2005

Ha. One of my friends is an intern for this project. I'm sure she'll be delighted to find her work... on the internet!
posted by LimePi at 6:48 PM on June 8, 2005

Sarah (chainanator) is a co-coder. Last time I checked in with Mark P. Gibney (the man behind pts, basically) he said he wanted to have 2004 posted by the end of June. There's supposed to be a web site in the foreseeable future, also.
posted by mino at 12:47 AM on June 9, 2005

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