The Duck of Minerva

Politics and Infographics

19 January 2010

Cliff Kuang at Fast Company points to a short, interesting talk by Alex Lundry of TargetPoint Consulting.

Lundry quickly runs down the importance of infographics and data visualizations in the political realm. Bottom line: people are hard wired to learn through visualization, and infographics can be very powerful tools in political battles over ideas and policy:

It amazes me that we haven’t seen a faster uptake among professional politicians of data visualization, especially considering the sheer number of political operatives, consultants, and strategic communication firms. All it takes is about five minutes watching C-SPAN to realize that these folks are due for a major upgrade in the infographics department.

I also love Lundry’s updating of a famous H.G. Wells quote

Visual Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write.

Personally, I think you need both visual and statistical in there, but in general I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment.

[Cross-posted at bill | petti]