You Say Data, I Say System

What’s the best way to arrange the nearly 3,000 names on a memorial to the victims of 9/11 to maximise the representation of real world connectedness?

Starting with that arresting example, this intriguing essay argues that collection, computation and representation of data all form part of a system, and that it is easy for things to go wrong when the parts of that system are not well integrated. Focus on algorithms and the distortions they can introduce is important – but so is understanding the weaknesses and limitations of the underlying data and the ways in which the consequences can be misunderstood and misrepresented.

Jer Thorp – Medium

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