Links concerning the Internet

  • Building a data culture: „self-service learning program to facilitate fun, creative introductions for the non-technical folks in your organization“
  • verwandt dazu: Data Playbook: „The Data Playbook (Beta) builds on social learning and modularized activities already developed to promote data literacy via workshops“
  • A manifesto for the Internet Age:

  • Immer wieder das gleiche Problem: Wer selbstlernende Algorithmen braucht, muss vorher Daten in guter Qualität haben. Bei der Gesichtserkennung heißt das: Viele, viele, viele Fotos mit Angaben zu Hautfarbe, Alter, Geschlecht und einer Menge anderer Eigenschaften. Und woher bekommen Firmen und Forscherinnen diese Bilder? Zum Beispiel durch Scrapen oder Bulk-Dateien der ehemaligen Foto-Plattform Flickr. Das hat zwei Probleme: Erstens ein Einbruch in die Privatssphäre. Zweitens können die Bilder dafür verwendet werden, Überwachungssoftware zu trainieren. Mehr: Facial recognition’s ‚dirty little secret‘: Millions of online photos scraped without consent

Pros and Cons of a Social Index

Heather Krause writes one of my favorite newsletter. She works at Datassist, a company working with NGOs and data journalists.

Recently, she wrote about social indices:

A social index is a summary of a complex issue (or issues). Generally, social indexes take a large number of variables related to a specific topic or situation and combine them to get one number. It’s often a single number, but can also be a rank (#1 country out of 180) or a category (“high performing”).

Heather Krause

Pros of social indices:

  • attract public interest
  • allow comparisons over time
  • provide a big picture
  • „reduce vast amounts of information to a manageable size“

Cons:

  • „disguise a massive amount of inequality in the data“
  • simplistic interpretations
  • hide emerging problems of some variables

So, should we use them?

Krause says, „yes“, but …

If we’re using an index to understand a trend or situation, we also need to look at the individual elements that make up that index.

Datassist published a list with various indicators here.