16
Jul
2015
12:45 PM

Contribution Footprints

A few months back I did a network visualization on political contributions to political candidates. This network was composed of candidates, incumbents, political action committees (PACs), corporations, trade associations, and more. The network was very dense, and perhaps a bit intimidating to navigate, but filled with a lot of interesting information. I thought it would be interesting to dissect the network a bit, and show a handful of the visual footprints for selected candidates, PACs, corporations, labor unions, and trade associations.

The footprint notion is inspired by a very interesting and informative book written by Cesar Hidalgo and others titled "The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity", found here: Atlas of Economic Complexity. The authors use a single footprint showing hundreds of industries and then overlay each country's footprint on this single global network. The graphs I'm about to share won't be based on one identical network, but will reflect each individual entity and their connections within the larger total network. Once you see the first charts you'll get a clearer picture of the concept.

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05
Jul
2015
11:25 AM

Homicide

Homicide. Guns. Legislation. 2nd Amendment rights. Confederate flags. Once again, people in the United States have worked themselves into a lather over the admittedly awful events that took place in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Aided by preening politicians looking to gain favor (and eternal employment and wealth), there has been nearly nonstop dialogue about guns, flags, and other symbols of alleged evil. It seems we have seen this movie before, and as with its multiple predecessor episodes, there appears to be little in the way of facts amidst the posturing and rhetoric. In this story, we'll take a step back and visit the larger issue of homicide within the United States, and attempt to place it in proper context relative to the world as a whole.

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