Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Terrible beauty? Data visualization and random thoughts

Yeah, back to the geeky titles. I can't get away from them--it probably says something about me. But every week--sometimes twice a week, depending on how much time I have, I listen to a TED lecture. And this week (because I subscribe to their updates) there was a lecture on data visualization.

I actually wanted something light, so I tried out the Axis of Evil vid first, but--like some books, some speakers are hard to get through. David McCandless is different. I think (and yeah, I've been thinking about it) that there's a certain "something" to those speakers who know their subject cold--and this guy knows what he's talking about. Data visualization and patterns. What I hate about TED is the comment forum--it used to be interesting and somehow turned into a bunch of people trying to one-up each other with point counts, and thumbs up and down. I guess the idea is trying to get a conversation going. Not always a good thing if there are conversation hogs. And how can you respect comments where some of the members are graded on a negative point scale? Is difference of opinion or getting a thumbs down from the people who want to be on top grounds for being labeled a second class citizen?

The "concept" of TED is cool. Some of the lectures are way beyond cool--but the way it's been adopted, and what it's become as a multi-layered elitist closed door clique is a little hard to stomach. Information should be available to those who want it--and maybe I'm just leaning toward it becoming a little less. Less audience. Fewer power plays. A little less of the ivory tower elitism that the speakers themselves don't project.

If the ideas are worth spreading--maybe there needs to be a lecture on how to spread them in a way that reaches a bigger audience. Uhm...yeah, guess I didn't realize I felt so strongly about it. Love the content, hate the delivery system. But I still like David McCandless. He made me laugh.

3 comments:

jMo said...

I like the blog design. It reminds me of what the inside of ur brain might look like

jodi said...

lol!!!!!! I couldn't stop laughing. Maybe "that's" why I like it. :)

jodi said...

btw, glad I wasn't drinking anything.