Our Data, Ourselves
There’s something comforting about cold, hard facts. That which can be counted and measured. Incontrovertible truths. As our collective obsession with data has intensified, so, too, has our faith in numbers. In the digital era, we’re all data-hoarders, armchair statisticians who believe that the more we have, the more accurate our view of the world will be. We’ve come to rely on the data, convinced that they reveal things about us that mere human observation cannot.
And in some cases, that’s true. Our expanded ability to track and quantify has yielded new insights into who we are. But the data alone can’t tell the whole story.
When we search the numbers, we find reflections of ourselves, glimmers of the world we live in and the lives we lead. We may learn immense amounts from this data, but make no mistake: Our search is what gives it meaning.
Graphic Statement: Andrew Kuo narrates his life in infographics, including weekly visual music reviews for The New York Times. Most of his work is about stuff that rarely shows up in the realm of data: “My Ideal Slacker Tuesday,” his feelings about the New York Knicks, “On Second Thought, Please Don’t Text Me Back.” We asked him to make some charts about charts. Yeah, we know how nerdy that is.
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