Like many people, I'm a fan of infographics, but they can get a little silly. Phil Guyford tells us how.

“How much more interesting those infographics could have been if the creators had tried to illuminate some point other than the size of one-dimensional sets of numbers relative to each other and telling us nothing that we couldn't have discovered by seeing a couple of numbers printed in normal text rather than some overblown self-important visualization that gives the talented creators of good, eye-opening infographics a bad name: LOTS.

Formatted as an infographic, naturally.

I don't entirely agree: I think we still do too much of our reasoning anecdotally (biasing us in favor of who can tell the better story rather than in favor of the better cost-benefit tradeoffs in our societal decision making) and that popularizing this kind of numerical comparison can be a good way of countering that, even if it really is only about comparing one-dimensional quantities. But still, he has a point.


Excellent, thanks for that - even though I also don't entirely agree.