SimoleonSense is coming back!

Dear Readers,

I am excited to announce that SimoleonSense is making a comeback. After spending a year traveling, learning new skills, and working on freelance projects, I have (with the help of many of you) come to the conclusion that curating and creating multidisciplinary content is still one of best ways for me to add value to others. As such, I have 2 goals with this letter:

  1. To describe what I’ve been working on outside of SimoleonSense
  2. To describe my vision for the relaunch of SimoleonSense

What I’m Working On Outside of SimoleonSense

Currently, I am prototyping tools for value investors with the hope of improving various aspects of security analysis. Specifically, I am interested in simplifying investigative activities like subsidiary research and channel checking. With some luck I’m hoping to release these ideas as minimum viable products over the next few years.

Also, due to my interest in software startups I am moving to the Bay Area (in May) where I will continue to search for projects, startups, and people operating at the intersection of:

  1. data/tech & journalism
  2. data/tech & finance/investing
  3. data/tech & open government

The New SimoleonSense

My vision is that the new SimoleonSense will still center around “multidisciplinary thinking and discovery” while also providing niche content in several  areas that represent my core interests (see here).  Because it’s still too early to tell what types of content will take hold my plan is to begin curating content several times a week and reorient myself based on traffic and your feedback.  As always, I will choose quality over frequency even if it costs me popularity in the blogosphere.

In 2013 working on SimoleonSense took a back seat to other opportunities that I wanted to pursue. This year my goal is to reinvent the blog. Stay tuned for more updates and as always thanks for taking the time to support my endeavors.

-Miguel Barbosa, Founder & Editor of

P.S. Please email me at miguel @ with your ideas about improving SimoleonSense.

Weekly Wisdom Roundup #202 – July 25th 2013

Navigate: #Activism,#Behavior, #Biz, #Data, #Faves, #Humor, #Imgs, #Music, #Tech

#Music Mix

Here is a music mix put together by Miguel Barbosa for visitors who enjoy listening to music while reading.

Genre(s): NuDisco, House

#Activism, Ethical Issues/Dilemmas

Women making waves in the Muslim worldvia The Center for Investigative Reporting – Malala Yousafzai gave a stirring speech at the U.N. last Friday, her first major appearance since being shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban in October for her efforts to promote girls’ education in the country.

Video: Meet global corruption’s hidden playersvia Video on – When the son of the president of a desperately poor country starts buying mansions and sportscars on an official monthly salary of $7,000, Charmian Gooch suggests, corruption is probably somewhere in the picture. In a blistering, eye-opening talk (and through several specific examples), she details how global corruption trackers follow the money — to some surprisingly familiar faces. Global Witness co-founder Charmian Gooch exposes how a global architecture of corruption is woven into the extraction and exploitation of natural resources.

Video: Why Is There World Povertyvia The Center for Investigative Reporting – “Welcome to the World” travels around the globe to examine the lottery of childbirth. Directed by Brian Hill for the Why Poverty? series, the documentary profiles three impoverished women having babies in the U.S., Cambodia and Sierra Leone and looks at the different options and chances that greet the world’s youngest citizens.

Global Ocean Heat & Salt Content - via – Data distribution figures for temperature and salinity observations, temperature and salinity anomaly fields for depths 0-2000m, heat content and steric sea level (thermosteric, halosteric, total). Temperature anomalies and heat content fields are detailed in World Ocean Heat Content and Thermosteric Sea Level change (0-2000 m), 955-2010. The same calculations have been extended to keep the fields current and include fields of salinity anomalies, and steric sea level components. Explanation of differences in heat content between published work and online values is outlined in the notes.


Atul Gawande: How Do Good Ideas Spread?via – In our era of electronic communications, we’ve come to expect that important innovations will spread quickly. Plenty do: think of in-vitro fertilization, genomics, and communications technologies themselves. But there’s an equally long list of vital innovations that have failed to catch on. The puzzle is why.

The Republic of Choosing: Behavioral Economics In Governmentvia Boston Review – Cass Sunstein went to Washington with the aim of putting some theory into practice. As administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) during President Obama’s first term, he drew on the behavioral economics he helped develop as an academic. In his new book, Simpler, he reports on these efforts and elaborates a larger vision in which they exemplify “the future of government.”

Inside the Miscellaneous Foldervia – In any workflow taxonomy for classifying anything from individual to-d0 lists and desk drawers to countries and large corporations, there are things that require more trouble to classify than they are worth. If you’ve done your job right, you’ll achieve a 80-20 split, where 20% of the taxonomy captures 80% of the action in clean-edged ways, and the remaining 80% that contains the 20% of special cases, outliers, exceptions and so, can all be lumped together under something analogous to a folder marked “miscellaneous.”

Maps Show How Poverty Has Moved To The Suburbs, Become More Racially Diversevia Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation – It’s not your imagination: cities are getting richer, and suburbs are getting poorer. As a recent Brookings Institute report pointed out, more poor inhabitants of the U.S. live in suburbs than in cities and rural areas. That’s evident from even a cursory look at the Urban Institute’s new maps that look at poverty and race in the U.S. between 1980 and 2010.

A new film shows how much we knew about Internet Surveillancevia Columbia Journalism Review – There was a moment in Terms and Conditions May Apply, a new documentary about the dangers of using the Internet, when I started feeling nervous about the iPhone in my bag. The sales rep for a security and surveillance company was in the middle of showing how the gadget he sells can suck data from smartphones, and he stopped for a second and noted that iPhones—to a degree unusual even among data-gathering devices—collects reams of information about their owners. After the movie, as I pulled out my phone to answer a text, find a wine store, and decide whether I should take the subway or a cab to the party I was late for, I felt apprehensive. What was the phone recording about me? What could it tell someone else? Did I have any choice, at this point, but to hand over these details to this sleek black slab?

Cutting Shapes – How House Music Really Hit The UKvia Greg Wilson – During recent times I’ve been intrigued to hear about the growing schism on the House scene here in the UK, brought about by the introduction, primarily by young black dancers, of ‘foot shuffling’ (aka ‘cutting shapes’), an increasingly popular style of dancing that has been met with much hostility in certain quarters, and, somewhat bizarrely, resulted in shufflers being banned from some clubs for dancing in this way. The accusation is that not only do they take up too much dancefloor space, but there’s a general ‘moodiness’ with regards to their attitude.

Comedian Aisha Tyler Talks About Flipping Off Failure : Code Switch : NPRvia – “I felt like if I was going to have people sit down and give me a week of their life, it shouldn’t be a waste of their time.” The take-away is to be your authentic self, follow your dreams, and don’t let failure and humiliation hold you back. Tyler tells 33 stories of her own humiliations and failures as proof that you can and will survive, and says she has enough left over to write another book.

#Behavioral Sciences, Decision Making, Economics, & Psychology

How superficial details influence perceptions of what is scientific - via Wiley Online Library – Previous research indicates that superficial details can influence judgments about science. The current research investigated whether the content of research influences judgments about whether research is scientific. In Experiment 1, participants judged topics and equipment associated with natural science to be more scientific than topics and equipment associated with behavioral science. Experiment 2 found that natural science topics combined with natural science equipment were rated as more scientific than all other combinations. Experiment 3 replicated these findings and found that research using natural science topics and natural science equipment was also judged to be more important. Thus, although science is defined by its method, the topic being investigated and the equipment being used influence judgments about what is scientific.

Neuromarketing Hype - via – Slate has got a great article that takes on the newly fashionable field of ‘neuromarketing’ and calls it out as an empty promise.

How do we change behaviour? Make it simplevia EconPolicyBlog – This new report from the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute includes a set of interviews with leading figures from behavioural science and discussions of ongoing work examining the ways that social psychology and behavioural economics can contribute to understanding behaviour change in areas such as health, energy usage, and savings.

I can take the risk, but you should be safe and other diff in situations involving risk and decision makingvia SJDM – Prior research on self-other differences involving risk have found that individuals make riskier decisions for others than for the self in situations where risk taking is valued. We expand this research by examining whether the direction of self-other differences reverses when risk aversion is valued, as predicted by social values theory (Stone and Allgaier, 2008). Two studies tested for self-other differences in physical safety scenarios, a domain where risk aversion is valued. In Study 1, participants read physical safety and romantic relationship scenarios and selected what they would decide for themselves, what they would decide for a friend, or what they would predict their friend would decide. In Study 2, participants read public health scenarios and either decided or predicted for themselves and for a friend. In keeping with social values theory, participants made more risk-averse decisions for others than for themselves in situations where risk aversion is valued (physical safety scenarios) but more risk-taking decisions for others than for themselves in situations where risk taking is valued (relationship scenarios). Further, we show that these self-other differences in decision making do not arise from incorrectly predicting others’ behaviors, as participants predicted that others’ decisions regarding physical safety scenarios would be either similar (Experiment 1) or more risk taking (Experiment 2) than their own decisions.

#Business, Economics, Finance, Investing

Was America’s Economic Prosperity Just a Historical Accident?via – What if everything we’ve come to think of as American is predicated on a freak coincidence of economic history? And what if that coincidence has run its course?

Why Everybody Loves Teslavia Businessweek – That the company has come this far is no small achievement. But the next phase of Tesla’s growth is going to be exponentially more challenging. Tesla’s ambition isn’t merely to win the title of hottest car in Silicon Valley, it’s to simultaneously become the next Ford Motor (F) and ExxonMobil (XOM)—to be a profitable, mass-scale manufacturer and fuel distribution network. Not even Henry Ford tried to pull all that off.

Art as Alternative Investment Creates Storage Business Tax Havenvia SPIEGEL ONLINE – To avoid paying taxes, the rich are emptying their bank accounts in Switzerland and investing in art. This has spawned a new business of storing such works tax- and duty-free in warehouses across the world.

High Noon for film incentives via – The reason filmmakers shot much of Lone Ranger in New Mexico and then dropped in some favorite Utah red rock backdrops, Salt Lake Tribune film critic Seans Means explained recently, is money—specifically, financial incentives, including tax rebates, offered by state governments. In short, New Mexico gave The Lone Ranger a better deal.

#Tech, Tools, Innovation, & Web Dev

Google Databoard for Research Insightsvia VizThinker – Google has entered the custom infographic creation game. They’re new product, Databoard for Research Insights, lets you choose a set of data, select from a set of info nuggets and place them into an infographic. As with most new Google products, they’ve got a short explainer video to introduce it.

WebDev Summer Reading Listvia – Presenting the second annual ALA Summer Reading Issue—a deep pool of editor’s picks from the recent archives of A List Apart, sprinkled with some of our favorite outside links. We’ve become keenly aware the web has moved beyond the desktop: to screens large and small, to data connections both strong and weak. Has our understanding of web design moved along with it? The following articles brilliantly sidestep the dogma—app vs. native! responsive vs. device-centric!—and speak to the why of our new, multi-device discipline.

MIT Is Making A Road Frustration Index To Measure Stresses Of Drivingvia Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation – Getting in the car can be a real hassle. The scientists at MIT are using elements of a lie detector hooked up to drivers to figure exactly how stressful it really is, and which places are the most stressful to drive.

Video: DJ decks made of… papervia Video on – “I love paper, and I love technology,” says physicist and former sheep herder Kate Stone, who’s spent the past decade working to unite the two. Her experiments combine regular paper with conductive inks and tiny circuit boards to offer a unique, magical experience. To date, applications include a newspaper embedded with audio and video, posters that display energy usage in real time, and the extremely nifty paper drumkit and set of DJ decks she demonstrates onstage.

#Data, Data Visualization, Infographics, Statistics

Visualizing uncertainty still unsolved problemvia – Data from an experiment may appear rock solid. Upon further examination, the data may morph into something much less firm. A knee-jerk reaction to this conundrum may be to try and hide uncertain scientific results, which are unloved fellow travelers of science. After all, words can afford ambiguity, but with visuals, “we are damned to be concrete,” says Bang Wong, who is the creative director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The alternative is to face the ambiguity head-on through visual means.

NewBook: Big Data- via Information Society – Covering everything that’s happening today with information technology in one book is a monumental challenge. As if to acknowledge that difficulty, Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier, authors of Big Data, begin by describing the data’s magnitude. They note, for instance, that the amount of data now stored around the world is an estimated 1,200 exabytes (itself an already dated and debatable number), which can be expressed as an equally incomprehensible 1.2 zettabytes. “If it were all printed in books, they would cover the entire surface of the United States some 52 layers thick.”

The Joy Of Illustrated Maps In The Era Of Google Earthvia Smashing Magazine – In my career as a freelance illustrator, map-making has become a favorite specialty of mine. With each map assignment, I virtually travel across the globe, visiting places I’ve never been. Most recent was a “trip” to New Zealand for a sampling of local Wellington beer for Draft Magazine. My maps are designed to appear next to magazine stories about trips to faraway places, or about the best restaurants in a nearby neighborhood

Tutorial: Making Choropleth Maps in QGISvia – Geographic information systems, GIS, let you analyze and present geographic data. And visualizing and providing context for geographic patterns is an essential skill for a Graphics Editor. This is the tutorial we run thru in class: the exercise was to make a choropleth map of unemployment rates by county, tho I may have overcomplicated it a bit at the end, trying to make a value-by-alpha map.

Data Viz- Startup Universe – Mapping Connections Between Startup Companies, Founders and Investorsvia – Infothestics points us to a new tool from the folks at called “Start Up Universe“. It’s an interactive visualization of the large Crunchbase database, showing the various connections between startups, founders, and venture capital companies that fund them.

Infographic: Pay for doctors is supposed to depend on the time - via Washington Post Graphics – Pay for doctors is supposed to depend on the time and intensity of the procedures they perform. But the estimated duration of medical procedures used by the American Medical Association and the government are so exaggerated that many doctors averaged more than 24 hours of work in a single day. Records show that 340 doctors at outpatient surgical clinics in Florida performed at least 16 hours of procedures per day, even though most clinics are open for about 10 hours

DataViz- The Incredible Rise of Migrants’ Remittancesvia – Migrants send more than 500 billion dollars to their home countries. After 2000, those remittances have rapidly overtaken official development aid. Explore the trends in this interactive map.

Tips From Leading Design Entrepreneursvia Co.Design: business + innovation + design – For the modern-era business to succeed, design has to be built in from the ground up. It’s a tall order for designers, who now–more than ever–need to nourish their inner CEO. Graphic designers Jessica Karle Heltzel and Tim Hoover set out to anthologize exactly how today’s designers can navigate startup and business culture. The consensus? A textbook understanding of the designer’s role might stifle good work. By embracing the unknown–boardrooms, the language of the Internet, or even tawdry television–along with the principles of graphic or industrial design, designers can create the pathbreaking products with the potential to define an era.


‘Embryo’, a treehouse which helps people reconnect with nature – via Design Taxi


Via Cartoon Church



Weekly Wisdom Roundup #201 – July 8th 2013

Navigate: #Activism, #Behavior, #Creativity, #Data, #Eclectic, #Humor, #Music

#Music Mix

Here is a music mix put together by Miguel Barbosa for visitors who enjoy listening to music while reading.

Sounds/Genre: 80′s remixes, indie house, nudisco, & pop
1. Kolombo – My Own Business –
2. Viceroy – While We’re Alone –
3. Little Boots – Headphones – Dimitri From Paris Remix –
4. Social Disco Club – Good Times –
5. My Donna – Into The Grove Dimitri From Paris Re-Edit –
6. Daft Punk – Get Lucky – Greg Wilson Remix –


Via I Love Charts

#Eclectic Topics

A Massive Collection of Logical Fallaciesvia – A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an “argument” in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support. A deductive fallacy is a deductive argument that is invalid (it is such that it could have all true premises and still have a false conclusion). An inductive fallacy is less formal than a deductive fallacy. They are simply “arguments” which appear to be inductive arguments, but the premises do not provided enough support for the conclusion. In such cases, even if the premises were true, the conclusion would not be more likely to be true.

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science - via – “A man with conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.” So wrote the celebrated Stanford University psychologist Leon Festinger, in a passage that might have been referring to climate change denial—the persistent rejection, on the part of so many Americans today, of what we know about global warming and its human causes. But it was too early for that—this was the 1950s—and Festinger was actually describing a famous case study in psychology.

Financial Bubble Alert: Tesla Motors Might Be OverPriced via Financial Crisis Observatory – The figure shows our Alarm Index Analysis on Tesla Motors Inc.It will be no surprise to see that the steep stock price rise over the last 2 months has been the result of a bubble. The alarm index confirms that there has been a feedback mechanism on the price resulting in a faster-than-exponential growth (the hallmark of a bubble). We are now in the regime shift. The alarm index dropped back to zero and the price shows high volatility. This is a critical situation. Since the Bernanke speech earlier this week, Global Markets are back in a risk-on mode (to say the least). Inflated high-tech stocks like Tesla (or LinkedIn) are particularly vulnerable during a global correction in stock markets

Learning About Meta Data- via – Metadata is information generated as you use technology, and its use has been the subject of controversy since NSA’s secret surveillance program was revealed. Examples include the date and time you called somebody or the location from which you last accessed your email. The data collected generally does not contain personal or content-specific details, but rather transactional information about the user, the device and activities taking place. In some cases you can limit the information that is collected – by turning off location services on your cell phone for instance – but many times you cannot. Below, explore some of the data collected through activities you do every day.

A history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook.via Slate Magazine – Worries about information overload are as old as information itself, with each generation reimagining the dangerous impacts of technology on mind and brain. From a historical perspective, what strikes home is not the evolution of these social concerns, but their similarity from one century to the next, to the point where they arrive anew with little having changed except the label.

Consciousness: An Outside Viewvia – Today we will answer none of these questions. In fact, we won’t even address them. These questions probe what David Chalmers calls, for good reason, the “hard problem” of consciousness. It’s a notion so slippery that some have spent their whole careers misunderstanding it, while others flirt with denying its very existence. But ours is not to get mired in this debate. Instead, we’re going to do an end-run around the hard problem of consciousness by taking the “outside view.” Rather than asking about consciousness in the context of an individual mind, we’re going to step back and take a populations-eye view of it.

Life Advice: How should a 22-year-old invest time?via Quora – Life Advice: How should a 22-year-old invest time?

Understanding Mastery as a Life Long Relationshipvia – When you attempt to master a skill, you are essentially committing yourself to a life long relationship with that skill. And just like a personal relationship, mastery relationships come packed with a wide range of feelings and emotions; from passion and excitement to longing and dissatisfaction.

Happiness vs. Meaningvia – The strong academic emphasis on happiness over meaning suggests that we tend to think of happiness as more what people really want; meaning is more what people pretend to want in far present-a-good-image mode. Of course the crusaders who talk the most about trying to increase the world’s happiness are mostly talking in far mode, and they mainly use that cause to create meaning, not happiness, in their own lives.

A Study of Early human dietsvia National Academy of Sciences – Cerling and his colleagues use diamond-tipped high-speed drills to extract samples from teeth millions of years old collected by fossil-hunting teams in Kenya for nearly 50 years. These samples include specimens from Homo, the human lineage; Australopithecus, the likely immediate ancestral genus of Homo; Paranthropus, whose massive jaw and huge molars have earned it the mistaken nickname of “Nutcracker Man”; and Theropithecus, baboon-like primates that have long lived beside hominins in East and South Africa.

Archetypes: Left and Right Brain User Personasvia Melting Asphalt – Today: How an understanding of brain lateralization can help us design better software.First let’s clear the air. There’s been a lot of cringe-worthy popular science written about the divided brain. The most nauseating are the articles that ask: Are you a left-brained ‘logical’ person or a right-brained ‘creative’ person?

What we look for in students via Hacker School – One of the surprising things we’ve learned while running Hacker School is that many of our students almost didn’t apply because they thought they wouldn’t get in. This includes people who are exceptional Hacker Schoolers, and who are exactly the type of people we look for.

Is oversharing unethical?via Brainiac – In a paper published earlier this year in the Alabama Law Review, Allen, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, works through the ethical implications of sharing details from your private life over social media. You might think that what you share with whom is matter of personal preference, but Allen appeals to some of western civilization’s most influential philosophers to argue that oversharing might just be unethical.

Nassim Taleb Replies to Brian Eno on Anti-Fragility- via Longplayer Letters – I would like to reply to Brian Eno’s important letter by proposing a methodology to deal with risks to our planet, and I chose you because of your Long Now mission.First let us put forward the Principle of Fragility As Nonlinear (Concave) Response as a central idea that touches about anything.


#Activism, Ethical Issues/Dilemmas

Inequality.Is A Tool for Exploring — Income inequalityvia – The website brings clarity to the national dialogue on wage and income inequality, using interactive tools and videos to tell the story of how we arrived at the state of inequality we find today and what can be done to reverse course and ensure workers get their fair share.

Mexico’s Female Crime Journalists – Via Youtube- We went to Ciudad Juarez to meet the journalists who cover politics and crime for the Diario de Juarez. All of them are women and they have covered more crimes than anyone we can think of. They are also some of the bravest women we’ve ever met. We followed them around the city as they covered political rallies of the ruling party, PAN, and to crime scenes, to try to understand what happened there over the past few years and why the candidates were not fully addressing the most glaring issue in Mexican politics right now.

Getting serious about the new realities of global climate changevia – For two decades, the central challenge facing climate-change policy makers involved efforts to control emissions of carbon dioxide. While diplomats looked at many different global-warming pollutants, they designed rules that mostly focused on carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, those efforts have largely failed, which has created yet another difficult challenge for the global community: how to manage the severe impacts of a warming world. New diplomatic strategies are needed. Diplomats must work harder on pollutants other than carbon dioxide—such as soot—that will be easier to regulate and can help build credibility in the international diplomatic regime. New science shows that soot and short-lived climate pollutants actually cause almost half of current global warming—much more than thought just a few years ago. Fortuitously, these pollutants are also relatively easy to manage, and success on this front will help catalyze the political support needed for the much more difficult, yet essential, task of making deep cuts in carbon dioxide. At the same time, the authors write, new thinking will be needed on how to help societies adapt, such as building networks of experts and local officials who are on the front lines of adaptation.

How The NSA Targeted Germany and EU Buildingsvia SPIEGEL ONLINE – Top secret documents detail the mass scope of efforts by the United States to spy on Germany and Europe. Each month, the NSA monitors a half a billion communications and EU buildings are bugged. The scandal poses a threat to trans-Atlantic relations.

James Hansen: Taking heat for decadesvia – n this interview, outspoken climatologist James E. Hansen reflects on his 30-plus years of studying climate change and warning the public about its dangers. He talks about the most recent developments in climate science and the questions still to be answered. Hansen endorses a gradually rising fee on carbon—with all proceeds refunded to the public—as the most expedient way to stabilize Earth’s climate by the end of the century. A carbon fee would, he says, spur innovation in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency. Hansen talks about the continued constraints on scientific communication under the Obama administration and explains why the Keystone XL pipeline remains a focal point for protesters. Although recently retired as NASA’s top climate scientist, Hansen intends to continue with both his science and his activism. He explains why efforts at geoengineering may soon become inevitable. He shares his concerns about the irreversible effects of continued climate change and the growing fears among many climate experts that it may already be too late to turn things around.

Rupert Murdoch knew about his papers’ bribes culture - via – In a blockbuster report, the UK site ExaroNews obtained a secret recording of Murdoch’s visit to his beleaguered paper at the height of the police investigation into wrongdoing there. It’s fair to say Murdoch is going to have some major headaches from this one.This outs Murdoch lying that he didn’t know about his newspapers bribing public officials for news until an internal investigation in the wake of the Milly Dowling Dowler scandal uncovered it. That’s not shocking. What’s truly stunning is that he would say it to a room full of journalists—each of whom has recording equipment at the ready.

The Drone Strike Push Notifications Apple Doesn’t Want You To Seevia Co.Exist- “We found that your app contains content that many audiences would find objectionable,” Apple wrote Josh Begley in August of 2012. The NYU grad student had designed an iPhone app that would send push notifications after a drone strike killed people overseas, and this was his third rejection notice from Apple. The first two were on technical grounds. The third, not so much.

Conspiracy Theory Visualization: The Bilderberg Group’s Connection To Everything In The World -The Bilderberg Group is 120-140 powerful people who meet each year to discuss policy. The meetings are closed to the public.This graph we found on Facebook shows the members’ connections to a ton of corporations, charities, policy groups and media. Everyone from Eric Schmidt to George Soros is a member. There are tons of conspiracy theories about the group, including that they control the world economy.We took the findings with a grain of salt–after all, it’s easy to trace an individual to a corporation and the graph doesn’t specify what influence the member wielded.

#Behavioral Sciences, Decision Making, Economics, & Psychology

Cartoon: The Scientific Method Vs Creationist Method

Influence of self-esteem, locus of control, and organizational climate on psychological empowerment in a sample of Chinese teachersvia Wiley Online Library – This study examined the effects of locus of control, self-esteem, and organizational climate on psychological empowerment in a sample of Chinese teachers. Participants were 1,272 Chinese teachers (460 men and 821 women) residing in six provinces in China. Results indicated that self-esteem was a positive predictor of psychological empowerment. Several dimensions of organizational climate, namely professional communication, decision-making, appraisal and recognition, supportive leadership, and professional growth, were also positive predictors of teachers’ psychological empowerment. Locus of control, although related to psychological empowerment, had no predictive effects when other factors related to empowerment were considered.

Do you really expect me to apologize? The impact of status and gender on the effectiveness of an apology in the workplace via Wiley Online Library – We examine the effectiveness of apology following a workplace offense, as influenced by the achieved or ascribed status (i.e., professional status or gender) of the parties involved. A total of 780 undergraduates participated in a scenario experiment. The results demonstrate that apologizing is more effective than not apologizing. Yet apology is most effective when the apologizer is a male, a manager or is a male apologizing to a female. Moreover, apology expectancy mediates the relationships between the apologizer’s status and the apology’s effectiveness: Apologies are less expected from managers and males than from subordinates and females, and the less expected they are, the greater their effectiveness. Apology expectancy has a unique effect unrelated to the apologizer’s sincerity and perceived motive.

Podcast: Animal Mindsvia Lapham’s Quarterly – Talking parrots, empathetic primates, playing dogs, and dolphins who recognize themselves in the mirror. On this episode of the LQ podcast, we talk to scientists and writers who are exploring the frontiers of animals minds. With Jane Goodall, Marc Bekoff, Frans de Waal, Virginia Morell, Irene Pepperberg, and more.

The Man With A ‘Battery Operated Brain’ - via – Andrew Johnson (also known as “Cyber AJ”) a few months ago was a young, 39 year old, early-onset Parkinsonian who tremored constantly. His hands shook. His neck crimped. His body was stiff. He had balance problems, voice problems, trouble speaking. He can make those problems disappear now by hitting a switch. It’s amazing to see. This video begins with him looking totally normal; he talks a bit, then, when he’s ready, he pushes the “off” button, and the disease comes roaring back. Instantly.

Effort Aversion: Job choice and compensation decisions overweight effortvia – The current research proposes that people avoid choosing effortful work even when they predict that it will provide them with a better working experience, a phenomenon we call Effort Aversion. In each of the studies, we presented a choice between an effortless but boring job and an effortful but enjoyable job. Study 1 found that participants were willing to accept lower wages to work at the effortless job, but they preferred the effortful job. This preference reversal is explained by the greater consideration wage setters gave to effort. Study 2 is a consequential lab experiment, in which participants were assigned to work at a job based on the wage they set. Those whose wage demands led them to be assigned to the effortless job experienced lower enjoyment than those who were assigned to the effortful job. Study 3 demonstrates that preference reversal was not attenuated by drawing attention to the hedonic experience afforded by work.


How to design breakthrough inventions via 60 Minutes – Global firm IDEO incorporates human behavior into product design — an innovative approach being taught at Stanford. Charlie Rose reports.

How To Launch Anythingvia Smashing Magazine – Launching a new product — especially your first — can be incredibly daunting. Even knowing where to turn for help can be hard. So many blog posts are full of free advice on how to successfully launch that I almost didn’t write another one. But many of the posts I read for my first product launch didn’t help me very much. The material was too fluffy, the marketing ideas were vague, or the advice didn’t apply to my tiny business.

How To Decide What Ideas To Prototypevia Co.Design: business + innovation + design – At the Google Ventures Design Studio, we have a five-day process for taking a product or feature from design through prototyping and testing. We call it a product design sprint. This is the fifth in a series of seven posts on running your own design sprint. Access pars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

Malcolm Cowley on the Four Stages of Writing: Lessons from the First Five Years of The Paris Reviewvia Brain Pickings – Among his keen insights on the craft, synthesized from the interviews, is a theory of how the creative process works, outlining the four stages of writing:There would seem to be four stages in the composition of a story. First comes the germ of the story, then a period of more or less conscious meditation, then the first draft, and finally the revision, which may be simply ‘pencil work’ as John O’Hara calls it — that is, minor changes in wording — or may lead to writing several drafts and what amounts to a new work.

Gay Talese’s Daily Routine, Plus a Money-Saving Tip from the Godfather of Literary Journalismvia Brain Pickings – When I am writing, each morning at around eight o’clock I am at my desk with a tray of muffins and a thermos filled with hot coffee at my side, and I sit working for about four hours and then leave for a quick lunch at a coffee shop, followed perhaps by a set or two of tennis. By 4:00 p.m. I am back at my desk revising, discarding, or adding to what I had written earlier. At 8:00 p.m. I am contemplating the numbing predinner delight of a dry gin martini.

Ted Talk: Anatomy of a New Yorker cartoon – Via Ted – The New Yorker receives around 1,000 cartoons each week; it only publishes about 17 of them. In this hilarious, fast-paced, and insightful talk, the magazine’s longstanding cartoon editor and self-proclaimed “humor analyst” Bob Mankoff dissects the comedy within just some of the “idea drawings” featured in the magazine, explaining what works, what doesn’t, and why.

#Data, Data Visualization, Infographics, Statistics

A Mega-list of Visualization tutorialsvia Compulsive Data – The tutorials below explain some of my favorites open-source technologies. I created some of them and used the others. I have rated them based on clarity of explanation to the intended audience. A low rating doesn’t necessarily indicate a bad tutorial, but rather how well the content is communicated to a beginner.

NYT Guide to Big Data - via NYT – Collection of articles on big data.

Typical Information Visualization Process:

Via Ben Jones @ DataRemixed Slide from a presentation on Data Visualization

Map Stack: Designing a Map in Easy and Fun Waysvia information aesthetics – Map Stack [] by Stamen Design aims to make it radically simpler for lay people to design completely unique, personalized maps.The online visual map design service provides easy access to the color, opacity and brightness of any map background, road, label, or satellite imagery. Users can also create custom-made image overlays and layer effects, or layers that are used as cut-out masks for other layers.

Mapping The Climate Change Deniers Making Our Lawsvia Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation – This map shows where climate-denying legislators come from–and how many weather-related disasters their states have faced in the past few years.

Infographic on Whale Hunting - via – AlvaroValino – This double-page spread infographic shows the rise and fall of whaling from 1900 to the present. On its second page, today´s captures are arranged by countries and conected to the number of each species caught. The graphic closes a feature article on the last viking whalers, a dying way of life in Norway.

The surprising seeds of a big-data revolution in healthcarevia Video on – Collecting global health data was an imperfect science: Workers tramped through villages to knock on doors and ask questions, wrote the answers on paper forms, then input the data — and from this gappy information, countries would make huge decisions. Data geek Joel Selanikio talks through the sea change in collecting health data in the past decade — starting with the Palm Pilot and Hotmail, and now moving into the cloud.

Mad scientist sees future where we sell our quantified selves on eBay via – The much-publicised Scanadu Scout, which is slated to ship in the first quarter of 2014, is the result of his last two years of work. The puck-like device is a sleek vital-signs recorder — tracking everything from blood pressure, body temperature and heart rhythm via myriad sensors. The gizmo then beams your vital signs to an app loaded on your phone or tablet, where it’s yours to keep forever. De Brouwer designed the Scanadu Scout to be a DIY doctor’s office, minus the frustration, endless waiting, and lack of empowerment that’s often associated with the health care system.

Inside a Startup’s Plan to Turn a Swarm of DIY Satellites Into an All-Seeing Eye - via – Here is the soaring vision that Skybox’s founders have sold the Valley: that kids from Stanford, using inexpensive consumer hardware, can ring Earth with constellations of imaging satellites that are dramatically cheaper to build and maintain than the models currently aloft. By blanketing the exosphere with its cameras, Skybox will quickly shake up the stodgy business (estimated to grow to $4 billion a year by 2018) of commercial space imaging. Even with six small satellites orbiting Earth, Skybox could provide practically real-time images of the same spot twice a day at a fraction of the current cost.

Data Viz Research Paper on Plotting Symbols- via – Choose distinct symbols that overlap without ambiguity and communicate relationships in data.

Mike Bostock’s beautiful visualization examplesvia – I’ve never met Mike Bostock in person, but it seems to me that he belongs to this group. Bostock designed the D3 Javascript library, which is been widely used to create visualizations today. As I mentioned a week ago, I’m trying to learn how to use it myself. I’m relying mostly on Scott Murray’s Interactive Data Visualization for the Web, but the supporting documentation provided by Bostock himself (here, here) seems to be superb. Please watch his talk at Eyeo 2013 above, and read the related article in which you can explore all the examples he showed.

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Announcing: Interviews for Investors + An Interview on Quantitative Investing

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to announce a new venture called Interviews for Investors which will provide sophisticated investors with high quality long form interviews. I created this website to fill the “quality conversation” void perpetuated by mainstream financial news sites.

To kickstart the new website. I present a free interview on Quantitative Value Investing with Toby Carlise & Wes Gray. This interview is approximately 20 pages long and covers:

  • Automating low-risk value strategies.
  • Building a quantitative value models using a checklists.
  • Identifying behavioral factors inhibiting investors from applying quantitative value techniques.
  • Comments on Joel Greenblatt’s Magic Formula


Read Below For More Information About


Types of Interviews/Products:

Free Transcripts – Transcripts where I personally cover the costs of production.

Premium Transcripts – Transcripts purchased by loyal readers to help me cover costs of production.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Business
  • Decision Making
  • Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital
  • Finance & Investing

Typical Guests Include:

  • Entrepreneurs & Business People
  • Gov’t Officials & Regulators
  • Investment Managers
  • Researchers & Scientists

How I pick conversations

From start to finish a typical interview will take about 45-60 hours. Here’s an outline of the process:

  • First, I decide on topics worth exploring.
  • I research these topics. This involves reading encyclopedia entries, periodicals, & textbooks.
  • After researching a topic I pick a theme for the conversation.
  • Next I reach out to people who are working at the intersection of our theme.
  • I research our guest. This involves immersing myself in the guests life and works.
  • I prepare an interview/conversation script.
  • I conduct our conversation and record it.
  • I transcribe and edit the conversation.

Visit Interviews For Investors

Weekly Wisdom Roundup #200 – June 19th 2013

#Weekly Quote

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. -Abraham Lincoln

#Weekly Humor

Via I Love Charts

#Current Affairs

America’s 50 worst charities rake in nearly $1 billion for corporate fundraisers via Tampa Bay Times – The worst charity in America operates from a metal warehouse behind a gas station in Holiday. Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families. Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids.Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity’s operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations.

President Barack Obama on Charlie Rosevia Charlie Rose-President Barack Obama sits down with Charlie Rose for an exclusive 45-minute interview at the White House, the President shares his thoughts on Syria, Iran, the NSA leaks controversy and more.

Understanding The Collapse and Crash of Structures via The New York Review of Books – Henry Petroski would not be startled by that small failure, nor by the larger failure of the entire bridge after eighty years. Indeed, he briefly describes in his engaging book the October 2009 inspection that discovered that the Crown Point Bridge was badly cracked—so badly that a few weeks later it was closed forever, and then demolished with high explosives to make sure it wouldn’t fall on passing boaters. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that no failure surprises Petroski. His classic first book, To Engineer Is Human (1985), whose title sets up twenty-seven years later this book’s pun, also dealt with failure, as do many of his columns in The American Scientist. “A single failure…is a source of knowledge we might not have gained in any other way.” They reveal “weaknesses in reasoning, knowledge, and performance that all the successful designs may not even hint at.” “The best way of achieving lasting success is by more fully understanding failure.”

Manal al-Sharif: A Saudi woman who dared to drivevia Video on – There’s no actual law against women driving in Saudi Arabia. But it’s forbidden. Two years ago, Manal al-Sharif decided to encourage women to drive by doing so — and filming herself for YouTube. Hear her story of what happened next.

Rock and Roll, Economics, and Rebuilding the Middle Class: How the Music Industry Is A Classic Example of Inequalityvia The White House – The music industry is a microcosm of what is happening in the U.S. economy at large. We are increasingly becoming a “winner-take-all economy,” a phenomenon that the music industry has long experienced. Over recent decades, technological change, globalization and an erosion of the institutions and practices that support shared prosperity in the U.S. have put the middle class under increasing stress. The lucky and the talented – and it is often hard to tell the difference – have been doing better and better, while the vast majority has struggled to keep up.

via NPR


What We Didn’t Know by Adam Hochschild and Spyingvia The New York Review of Books – Power begins with surveillance, and the pioneer in American anti-Communist surveillance was Ralph Van Deman, whose elongated hawklike face made him someone a movie director would have cast for the job. A career US Army officer, Van Deman first made his mark keeping a close eye on Filipinos who might have the temerity to resist the long occupation of their country that began with the Spanish-American War. As the military intelligence chief in Manila starting in 1901, he used a web of undercover agents and the newest record-keeping technology—file cards—to track thousands of potential dissidents.

An Example of A Poor Chart: Syria v Libya v Iraqvia The Economist – How does the civil war in Syria, which pits rebels armed with light weapons against the tanks and jets of the government, compare with the bombs planted by terrorists in Pakistan or the drug war in Mexico? The Global Peace Index 2013 has masses of data on the cost in lives and money of violence, but the chart below gives the clearest picture of how the conflicts fought in 2012 stack up. The report also contains a fancy index on the cost of containing violence relative to each country’s economic weight. North Korea comes top; America is alarmingly high, sandwiched between Bahrain and the Central African Republic.

A numerical evaluation of recent conflict- Via The Economist

A Giant, Secret Vault Where Rich People Store Their Stuff Taxvia Free : Planet Money : NPR – Freeports are the safe-deposit boxes of the offshore tax-haven world — fancy vaults where rich people store their Picassos and gold bars with maximal safety, minimal scrutiny and special tax exemptions.

A new cross-border taxvia haven database and its significance : Columbia Journalism Review – The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists hit the mother lode when it published the first of its dozens of exposés on the off-shore tax-haven business back in April.Now, the entire database itself has come online. Released over the weekend, it’s an elegantly designed Web application that allows users to look up customers of the off-shore haven business, which sets up shell companies in jurisdictions that allow the real principals to be concealed from the public and, usually, even authorities. The database is relational and allows users to draw the connections between individuals and the entities associated with them, and vice versa.

Albert Einstein—A Visual Geniusvia – As Edmunds points out, this fact is very telling when you understand that Einstein credits his major discovery to visualization: Einstein “… figured out the theory of relativity by imagining a ride on a light beam through space …” and “… saw his ideas in pictures and then found the language to describe them.” “Words do not seem to play any roles,” Einstein said. “[There are] more or less clear images.”

Science prizes: The New Nobels - via – The launch of several science mega-prizes is making some researchers millionaires — but others question whether such awards are the best way to promote their field.

Our Orgastic Futurevia Lapham’s Quarterly – No description, academic or otherwise, can quite do justice to the comedy that is bonobo sex. On a hilarity scale of one to ten, most animal sex trends quickly toward ten. Bonobo sex goes to eleven. Throughout the day, males and females, adolescents and elders alike greet one another sexually for apparently almost any reason—and do so with everything from a quick feel, to porn-style choreographies, to elaborately athletic couplings. This feature—the variety of their easygoing sex life—is what led Duke primatologist Vanessa Woods to cheekily title her book about them Bonobo Handshake. Bonobos have deployed their elaborate sexual toolkit to ease all kinds of social transitions—ranging from saying good morning to giving the blessing before dinner to expressing a hearty welcome to a new member of the group. Females will casually present themselves to males. The male will walk right up to a female without any hesitation. All bonobos frequently have homosexual sex—the males being quite fond of hanging upside down, face to face, from a tree and engaging in what the gay community calls frottage (some primatologists call it “penis fencing”; to most teenagers it’s better known as dry humping.)

History of Spying (on ourselves; 1791-2013)via Chart Porn – A wonderful interactive timeline of legislation, rulings, and events related to domestic surveillance in the United States. You can drill down into each event for an explanation, and links to primary sources (like the full text of legislation, etc).

History of Spying Via CharPorn

An interactive guide to Europe’s arms trade - via – Numbers and PDFs are not the best of friends. So it takes a certain amount of time and commitment to extract valuable data on arms exports from EU portable document formats (PDFs). A campaign group has however dug out the numbers on EU exports of weaponry and other military hardware – and broken it down by source, destination country, year, value, licenses and type of goods. The result is an interactive anyone can use, just click to see the detail

Rising Income Inequality and the Role of Shifting Market-Income Distribution, Tax Burdens, and Tax Ratesvia Economic Policy Institute – This paper reviews empirical trends in pre- and post-tax income inequality since 1979 and summarizes recent empirical and theoretical research on the role of tax policy in exacerbating market-based income inequality. It finds that increasing top marginal tax rates could yield potentially large results in slowing the growth of income inequality, and as shown in Fieldhouse (2013a), do so without substantially reducing productive economic activity

Secret Climate Cost Calculations - via – Also in 2010, the Obama administration released an estimate of “the social cost of carbon”` (SCC) – that is, the value of the damages done by emission of one more ton of carbon dioxide. Calculated by an anonymous task force that held no public hearings and had no office, website, or named participants, the SCC was released without fanfare as, literally, Appendix 15A to a Department of Energy regulation on energy efficiency standards for small motors.This year, the Obama administration updated the SCC calculation. The update was done by an anonymous task force that held no public hearings, and had no office, website, or named participants. It first appeared as – yes! – Appendix 16A to a Department of Energy regulation on energy efficiency standards for microwave ovens. In the bigger picture, what’s missing is any defense of policymaking by anonymous task forces. Once upon a time, democracy was thought to include requirements of public notice of major decisions, sometimes followed by 90-day comment periods, and even agency responses to public comments. But that was so twentieth-century.

More than seven million refugees displaced in 2012via UN – The UN says 7.6 million people became refugees in 2012, with the total number now higher than at any time since 1994.

#Business, Economics, Finance, & Investing

Emanuel Derman’s Latest Piece: Data Mindingvia The Browser – Notes on privacy, curiosity, government. “The older I get the more I want what Isaiah Berlin called negative liberty, freedom from interference. I don’t want to be controlled. I don’t want to be watched. I understand the value of the vote, but I might be willing to give it up in exchange for the right to not be interfered with. There’s something increasingly attractive about anarchy, in the precise sense of no government

Taking down a cartel, Why are glasses expensive?- via CBS News – A behind-the-scenes look at the investigation that took down the most powerful drug trafficking organization in law enforcement history, then, an Italian firm named Luxottica controls a big chunk of the eyewear business a big chunk of the business; and, is Barcelona becoming the world’s best soccer team?

Didier Sornette: How we can predict the next financial crisisvia Video on – The 2007-2008 financial crisis, you might think, was an unpredictable one-time crash. But Didier Sornette and his Financial Crisis Observatory have plotted a set of early warning signs for unstable, growing systems, tracking the moment when any bubble is about to pop. (And he’s seeing it happen again, right now.)

The Gamification of Financial Educationvia Credit Slips – Using competition and rewards to motivate learning and behavior seems well-suited for personal finance, an area where people need both to learn information and skills and to change behavior. A few off-line financial games such as The Stock Market Game have long been a mainstay of financial education in schools, but more recently, computer-based games have proliferated. Websites hawking financial education games target both adults and childrenThey are sometimes called “Financial Entertainment,” which according to the Doorway to Dreams Fund,”leverages the power and popularity of casual video games to engage consumers in a financial education experience that links increases in financial knowledge and confidence to financial actions and real world behavior change.”

New IMF FinancesiPad Appvia – The IMF Finances iPad app brings a new way to access information on Fund finances in a format that is highly interactive and easily shared. The app includes key Fund financial indicators and country financial positions, flows and projections data.

A Father Of High Speed Trading Thinks We Should Slow Down- via Planet Money : NPR – Thomas Peterffy’s life story includes a typing robot, a proto-iPad, and a vast fortune he amassed as one of the first guys to use computers in financial markets.On today’s show, Peterffy tells us his story — and he explains why he’s worried about the financial world he helped create.

China in Africa: The New Imperialists? via – The Chinese have managed to accomplish at least one impressive thing in Africa—they have made everyone else uncomfortable. The Americans are uneasy, worried about (and perhaps jealous of) China’s rapid and profitable investments throughout the continent, and the developmental assistance that it has started to provide in some areas. Europeans have only to look at trade figures: the share of Africa’s exports that China receives has shot from one to fifteen per cent over the past decade, while the European Union’s share fell from thirty-six to twenty-three per cent. China is now Africa’s largest trading partner.

What will future jobs look like?via Video on – Economist Andrew McAfee suggests that, yes, probably, droids will take our jobs — or at least the kinds of jobs we know now. In this far-seeing talk, he thinks through what future jobs might look like, and how to educate coming generations to hold them.

#Decision Making, Behavioral Economics, Psychology, & Sciences

Do I Say Yes or Do I Say No? Deciding What’s Worth Doing in Lifevia – The moral of this story is obvious but is worth emphasizing: we must make choices in order to avoid being frozen in endless doubt.

How to master your time – Leading a better lifevia Quora – And so it is with your life. You have things that are most important and things that are most urgent in permanent competition:

Drexler on Engineeringvia – The essence of science is inquiry; the essence of engineering is design. Scientific inquiry expands the scope of human perception and understanding; engineering design expands the scope of human plans and results

Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience- via Book TV – Dr. Satel presents an analysis of what she calls the culture’s obsession with neuroscience, attempting to dispel myths about what brain scans are able to reveal. She talks with USA Today’s Science Reporter Dan Vergano.

Business donations to judges’ campaigns often equal friendly rulingsvia Michael W. Sances – As with legislative campaign contributions, though, the new analysis raises a vexing chicken-and-egg question about whether donations change voting behavior or simply reflect common interests between donor and recipient. Many judicial decisions, moreover, defy any connection to campaign contributions.

Confessions of a Sociopathvia – I suspect nothing in this book can be trusted. Still, it is one of the more stimulating reads of the year, though I have to be careful not to draw serious inferences from it. The author argues that sociopaths can do what two generations of econometricians have only barely managed, namely to defeat the efficient markets hypothesis and earn systematically super-normal returns. What does it say about me that I find this the least plausible claim in the entire book?

The physics of clogged arteries- via National Academy of Sciences – “What we found was just like in rubber tires,” says biomedical engineer Sheldon Weinbaum of the City College of New York, who led the new work. Pairs of closely spaced inclusions in atherosclerotic plaques, he and his colleagues discovered, can produce high enough levels of stress between them to cause a rupture at typical blood pressures.Atherosclerotic plaques are accumulations of fatty molecules and immune cells that accumulate over time in a person’s arteries. Over the core of the plaque, a thin fibrous cap helps contain the build-up. But when this cap ruptures, it can break loose and send the contents of the plaque careening through the blood stream toward the heart or brain, where they can cause a blockage—and a heart attack or stroke.

What makes good people do bad things? The mere smell of moneyvia Mail Online – The mere prospect of cash can make unethical behavior much more likely, found a study released last month.

How observing others’ behavior can increase cooperationvia National Academy of Sciences – The question of how to get people to work together has bedeviled society for millennia. Now a large-scale field experiment testing how to get more than 2,400 participants to prevent blackouts in the real world is supporting theoretical work on how to get people to cooperate that until now was largely tested only with small experiments in the lab, findings detailed in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A radio guide to global mental health - via – The BBC World Service is in the midst of an excellent series on global mental health – called The Truth About Mental Health.

Mass communication, social influence, and consumer behavior via Wiley Journal of Social Psych – The present article connects advertising by means of mass communication with social influence processes. Predictions derived from a theoretical model on the impact of mass communication on consumers who were not directly exposed to the message (distant consumers) were tested with two field experiments (Experiment 1: n = 77 participants, n = 261 peers; Experiment 2: n = 97 participants, n = 289 peers). Both studies addressed consumer behavior in the media sector. The results suggest that mass communication changes the behavior of distant consumers, that recipients’ opinion leadership enhances the indirect impact of mass communication, and that recipients’ consumer behavior mediates the influence of mass communicated messages on distant consumers. The role of word-of-mouth is also examined.

#Data Science, Data Journalism, Design, Infographics, Information Design, Statistics, & Visualization

Towards a unified view of Information Designvia Mapping Complex Information. Theory and Practice – Definitions of information design are varied, but they tend to be too narrow, too broad, too vague, or unclear. An agreed and integrated definition of information design which fully determines its goals, boundaries, processes, skill sets, rationale, and range of problems it can solve, is hard to find. However, in order to evolve, teach and be ‘improved upon by future generations of practitioners’, the information design field needs that definition (Jacobson, 1999).

Capturing my creative process- via Helena Jakoube @ Visual Loop – As a graphic designer I often deal with a fact that people don’t understand what graphic design means, what it is about, and especially how hard work it can sometimes be. Being designers doesn’t mean that we only play or have fun. The creative process can be very painful, and besides it includes many steps and procedures. These initial thoughts gave a basis to my project, and I started to observe my creative activities and collect the related data. After a while I have gathered quite a lot of information and the infographic elaboration seemed as the best possible solution.

Transition times of information designvia Mapping Complex Information. Theory and Practice – Information design is not an emerging field or subject area. This point has been highly discussed in an assortment of online and print articles, conferences and discussion groups. On-going debates defining its boundaries, its commonalities and differences with data visualisation, information architecture, and user-experience design pop up daily. Countless books have been published tackling the different dimensions of information design. To name a few: Tufte, Wurman, Baer, Visocky O’Grady. However, lack of clarity remains around information design (e.g. in terms of the role and tasks of information designers, applications, methodologies, etc.).

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