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so…data…i guess.

April 3, 2011

i just failed so hard on the homework front.  you guys have no idea.  epic, epic fail.  a solid four hours of homework failing.  maybe my best (lack of) work yet.  currently still deep in the throes of this failing.  we are in mid-fail right now.  glad you guys are here to be part of it.  so anyway.  data month.  dude, i’m  not gonna lie, i’m scurred.  might be looking to sam to pick up some of my slack on this one.  it’s not that i’m not excited…i am.  but in that, “holy crap, i think i’m in over my head” sort of excited.  i’m not good with data.  dubious.  it’s so maleable and manipulable (i find it weird that that is actually a word…it does not roll off the tongue very nicely).  and yet offers “proof.”  this makes me very nervous and wary.  data is just so sneaky!  and then when you go to map it or put it into some visual form it gets even sneakier!  it’s like sneakiness on top of sneakiness.  like a double agent.  or actually more like a pawn, used and expended in order to do the bidding of the powerful elites.  or something.  it’s just all very confusing and exhausting.  this is going to be a different intro post than usual.  i have in the past taken this opportunity to inform you of what i will be discussing in the coming month…a taster of sorts.  but i have no idea what i’m going to be talking about this month.  fer reals.

this is definitely going to be a big learning month for me i think.  my inclination is going to be to fall back on infographics and gis but i’m really going to make an attempt not to do that.  i’ve got a few things up my sleeve but mostly they’re sharing links and videos with you.  i’m going to do my best though to write insightful and/or interesting things about data, and to share good stuff.  but i apologize in advance if you find this month somewhat lacking on my contribution.  i’ll probably start off by discussing (ranting) about why data makes me so nervous…and then i’ll probably toss some videos up (i have a habit of saying “throw up” in reference to me posting things but i’m trying to quit…you know, for obvious reasons) and then…boy i don’t know.  in all likelihood most of my data related information and critiques will be development related because this is the arena in which i most often come into contact with data, and where i get most riled up about it.  also a place where the problems with data become really clear, of the limitations of data and the ways in which we interpret it and use it to set policy, but also a really great place for us to get better at applying and putting to good use the ridiculous amounts of data we now have access to.  i also might talk about soil data…cause i have been and will continue to be tits deep in that for the few weeks.  but i’d guess all in all this month will be a surprise for all of us.

i am excited to see what happens.  and we’re having our first guest blogger!  so that’s really pretty awesomely exciting.  she’s awesome and also a total data monger professional so you guys are super lucky.  and so are we.  i’m looking forward to seeing what she has to say just as much as you guys are.  okay probably more than you guys are cause i’m nerdy like that but, whatevers.  also it’s math awareness month so i will attempt to pay tribute to that in some (hopefully) cool and interesting way (probably involving algorithms) in at least one post this month.  i’m a science/math nerd at heart.  i don’t watch a lot of tv but it’s stuff like that show “numbers” that always suck me in.  a good mystery (i did grow up on hardy boys after all) mixed in with some applied math and some fbi badassery…that’s how you seduce me.

alright, so…cool, well, i gotta go find some caffeine and do some homework.  i’ll check you guys later then.  on the flip side.  cheers.

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