Architecture of Information

A reader emailed me this wicked cool site: A series of graphs, charts, tables — infoporn all — covering various aspects of the United States: Richard Saul Wurman’s Understanding USA.

The data is 10 years old, but the site is a marvel of information communication from the book of the same name:

Understand_usa_business

Source:
Richard Saul Wurman’s Understanding USA
http://www.understandingusa.com/intro.html

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Barry Ritholtz commented on Apr 11

    Totally ! Great stuff — the original infoporn

  2. Rich_Lather commented on Apr 11

    Even on full size I can’t read it. :(

  3. Michel de Nostredame commented on Apr 11

    Just because I refuse back up my assertions with facts, identify myself and post under multiple false aliases is no reason to delete my comments!

    I have every right to post here!

  4. mappo commented on Apr 11

    @ de Nostredame: That’s quite a brass set you’ve got there, coming to someone else’s blog and telling them that they have an obligation to acknowledge your graffiti.

  5. AGG commented on Apr 11

    Nostradame,
    If reality is negative to your economic well being, attacking the person making the information available to the rest of us is your solution? Are you in the perception management business? The tide is going out on people like you and as Warren Buffet says “We are about to find out who is swimming naked”.

  6. Froodish commented on Apr 11

    Whoever did the “mystery meat” navigation for that site should be raked over many pointy charts.

  7. MrWoohoo commented on Apr 11

    Sadly the (linked) site/infoporn is a marvel of illegibility. The fonts all look about 3 pixels high that can’t be resized.

  8. Tarzan commented on Apr 11

    Propaganda is in the eye of the beholder. But mulish behavior is easily spotted by all and sundry.

  9. ef commented on Apr 11

    Brings to mind, two items. (1) At the moment I don’t recall the name of the organization, but they keep track of social trends and provide reports to schools and teachers at the beginning of each new school year (a marketer’s dream on how to sell to kids), in the theory that this information will help them work more successfully with “today’s” children (because all children must be the same :-().

    (2) My favorite Dr. Who quote:
    “You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering.”

    I know trending and number crunching is so vogue, and it definitely has its places, in certain fields. A red flag is raised though when used to manipulate, limit, or pigeonhole living things, often for someone else’s gain.

    From the site link listed: “What is happening as we shift to a service economy” – I had a debate about this topic once. Many services aren’t performed at home, and who is really performing the real work at home. I can hardly think of a company that doesn’t use foreign service centers, whether it is computers, telephones, software, banking. Even many medical diagnoses can be done remotely. Then look at who is performing the labor services here. The lawmakers play games with H-1B/L1/H-2B, etc, favoring some parts of the workforce over others. Our discussion ended with, “what’s after a service economy, a consumer economy?”

    If Thomas Friedman is right, and the world is flat, what do these economic labels for a particular country mean at all. Lester Brown’s books, like Plan B, present interesting global possibilities.

    PS: Wish we could see that chart a little bit better.

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