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View Diary: Fiscal inequality: Godzilla vs. Ants (179 comments)

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  •  Infographic error (2+ / 0-)
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    Words In Action, pgm 01

    Not to nit-pick as I agree with the content and premise of this post, but your graphics falls victim to a typical infographic error when representing data symbolically rather than in a bar graph.

    The way you are displaying "wealth" as a graphic uses the visual area the graphic of the person represents - both height and width. Doubling the height of the graphic actually shows an increase of 400% as you've quadrupled the area by doubling both height AND width.

    That being said, the distribution of wealth in the US is out of whack, but it's important that when we talk about it, we discuss it accurately - both in writing and in graphics.

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

    by michael in chicago on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 07:52:49 AM PST

    •  Yep, yep (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01, michael in chicago

      Ive fessed up several times to making the kind of error usually reserved for those images in USA Today.

      Edward Tufte would whip me with a flail of adding machine tape.

      •  At least you didn't (0+ / 0-)

        make this into a PowerPoint presentation...

        Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

        by michael in chicago on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 08:39:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Please fix it (0+ / 0-)

        I understand why you made this error-- it's a classic graphic error, famously made, for example, by Florence Nightingale in her Crimean War war death graph.

        Nevertheless, right now your graphic doesn't show what you say it shows, and you should fix it. Meanwhile, you should annotate your article. We are the side of facts and data; we need to get such things right. A visual lie is still a lie. We don't need to give Republicans any ammunition.

        The height goes up as the square root of the ratio between the wealth of the poorer person and the wealth of the richer person. So, if the poor person has wealth p and height s, and the rich person has wealth r, then the height of the rich person will be p* sqrt(r/p). (I hope I got that right.)

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