Friday, December 12, 2008

Death, sooner or later -- Taxes now

good god, this is great... you have got to see this

Death & Taxes: a visual guide to where your tax dollars go

A poster of the 2009 federal budget, in gross detail. (really detailed, really gross) You'll need to zoom in a bit, before the click-and-drag function works. This has a list of all the major projects of all the executive departments. Wow.

A statistics paper I was required to read was titled: How to Present Data Badly, Wainer, American Statistician, 1984(?). It's not the calculations of statistics, just how to display data - badly. If you could find a copy and want to see how the media and government are dis-informing you, I recommend it. One of Wainer's recommendations for how to display your data poorly is a metric of 'data density'. Measuring how many data points are presented per square inch. A couple of points of real data swimming in a huge graph with other pretty non-data is a great distraction. This budget picture has a huge data density.

p.s. if you want to read the Wainer article, I'll send you a copy. It's fascinating

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