"SCRUZIA" ... a very infrequently updated weblog ...


QOTY -- 43 Folders

Quote of the Year (2004): "Be careful not to let doodling on your pretty map replace the important business of walking the actual territory. (See the end of Merlin Mann's GTD summary for 2004.)


Sparklines and Edward Tufte

Out of the blue, I was thinking Friday today about those little word-sized graphics that I read about many months or years ago. Had some vague recollection that it related to that guy who "wrote the book" about visualization. Napoleon's march to Moscow -- that guy. Well ... it took more google-power than I thought it would to restore the name "Edward Tufte" to my mind, and even then it took some time to track past that to confirm that my vague recollection was correct -- it was indeed Tufte who wrote about what he calls "Sparklines" or "Wordgraphs". It's related to my weblog table of contents ideas from last year ... which in turn were inspired by the outstandingly unobtrusive navigation system exemplified by Textism's http://www.textism.com/writing/ Evolution of Writing, where what looks like a decorative row of dots along the top is really a navigation mechanism. For weblogs, what I wanted to do is make it a row of dots and bars, like for example .....|.||||.||....|||||....||..|||| where
each bar indicates a day with entries, and each dot is an empty day. That way you get an instant visual clue about how active the weblog has been, in a very small screen-space. And the bars are direct links to the entries, and they should have tooltips that consist of the titles of those entries. Anyway, more experimentation is needed. I think it was the little graph at Mind Hacks today http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2005/01/spike_activity.html that triggered this minor mindstorm. (Posted via email; I'll go back and fix the URLs later.) (Or not. The post-by-email attempt got a weird error message returned from bloggers postfix email processor.)


EDUCATION as tsunami death prevention

It's hard to understand how many reports I've heard on the radio in the past couple of weeks, where survivors say things like "the water went way out to sea, so I brought my children to the beach to see it". Before we spend a shitload of money on technological warning systems, how about a half a shitload of money spent on education? Why is there anyone in the world who doesn't realize that if the ocean goes away, it'll come back, worse? Yes, we need to do a hell of a lot now, for relief and rebuilding, and yes, an eventual global techno warning system will make sense. But before that can be built, it sure makes sense to me to do some serious education, to make sure that EVERYone's first response to seeing the ocean go away, is to run like hell for high ground.