Some visualisation advice … from 1891

I glimpsed a tweet two days ago. I have tried to find it since to no avail.

It started me on a treasure hunt.

The trigger? A sentence that talked about “extracting sunbeams from cucumbers”.

The source of the sentence is Arthur Farquhar and Henry Farquhar’s Economic and Industrial Delusions: A Discussion of the Case for Protection published in New York 1891. The book is available in its entirety (460 pages) on the Internet Archive.

The quote is on page 55:

This is the chart (on page ii) that prompted these observations:

This is a magnified part of the chart:

The Farquhars discuss the chart on page 61 of their book:

There is a second chart in the book (page 75):

There is this brief guide to the chart:

I am grateful to the now lost tweet that started my journey. The cucumbers arrived as I was reflecting on Edward Shortliffe and his colleagues’ (1975) exposition of how a program can “explain its recommendations when queried”. More recently, Pat Langley, Ben Meadows, Mohan Sridharan & Dongkyu Choi (2017) have discussed the importance of ‘explainable agency’.

Both resonate, I think, with the 1891 attempt to share how data are visualised.

Photo Credit

Cucumber (cthoyes, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Charts and text sections are frame grabs from the Internet Archive.

Arthur Farquhar

Exploring GitHub: Blue Skies and Stormy Seas

The alternative title for this post is ‘When Amber met Stephen … at Kogarah‘.

I am in Kogarah at the moment and have some time to read and contemplate.

Amber is Amber Thomas. I met her work whilst looking for analyses of open source bike data. Amber has a delightful, detailed discussion about Seattle bike data.

By accident, I noticed Amber’s post about making a website using GitHub pages. This is where the blue sky came into my thinking. I was fascinated by her combination of Blogdown (an RStudio package) that runs using “Hugo” on the GitHub platform.

This is the site she created.

As I was exploring Amber’s creative journey, I received an alert to Stephen Downes’ keynote at SUNY on 9 March. Stephen shared his presentation on Open Learning, Open Networks and I found my way to slide 13. This has a link to a presentation he made last year, Disruptive Innovations in Learning.

Slide 39 in the appropriately named ‘Disruptive’ presentation is where Stephen met Amber at Kogarah. This is the slide freshly clipped:

Today, I have spent much of the day connecting Stephen and Amber’s ideas in GitHub. My aim is to share, contribute and co-create.

What started as a blue sky day, has felt in some very powerful learning moments like this:

There is some calm in the ocean pool at Coogee (not far from Kogarah) but there are some big waves out in the ocean.

I have five repositories in GitHub. The focus of my attention today has been my Portfolio repository. I am hopeful this will become my place to share my digital presence.

It is a very long way from Amber’s creativity. It is also an unsuccessful attempt to use Dean Attali’s insights too.

As ever, I am hopeful that my learning journey becomes a resource for others should they (you) choose to share, contribute and co-create.

It has been that kind of day at Kogarah.

Photo Credits

Sky and Sea (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

Slide 39 Disruptive Innovations in Learning (Stephen Downes, CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License)

#SuperRugby 2017: Round 1

The season has started in Super Rugby. Nine games were completed this weekend in Round 1.

I am hoping to monitor the median profiles of winning and losing teams during the season.

After the first 9 games this is the median profile I have created with BoxPlotR. (This application was created by the Tyers and Rappsilber labs.)

These are the numerical values used: