The data newsletter by @puntofisso.
Hello, regular readers and welcome new ones :) This is Quantum of Sollazzo, the newsletter about all things data. I am Giuseppe Sollazzo, or @puntofisso. I've been sending this newsletter since 2012 to be a summary of all the articles with or about data that captured my attention over the previous week. The newsletter is and will always (well, for as long as I can keep going!) be free, but you're welcome to become a friend via the links below.
I'm writing this issue from a train between Barcelona and Paris, on my way to Switzerland. And when it reaches you, I'll likely be travelling down South, trying to get to Siena. Yes, I've been interrailing since I left my job in the NHS, and been loving it. I've mostly been visiting friends but also with the added perk of a good data and transparency chat.
The most clicked link last week was John Luttig's look at how many AI tropes might not be entirely sound.
'till next week,
Richmond Events Ltd. is thrilled to announce the launch of its 1st forum for Chief Data Officers – The Richmond CDO Forum. With a rich history of delivering impactful gatherings that foster innovation and collaboration, Richmond Events has been at the forefront of connecting industry professionals and thought leaders for over thirty years.
The inaugural Richmond CDO Forum aims to foster collaboration, exchange ideas, and address the challenges faced by CDOs in today's digital landscape. This forum will provide an opportunity for CDOs to connect, learn, and drive transformational initiatives across industries.
The forum will feature sessions led by thought leaders, industry experts, and accomplished CDOs, focusing on key topics such as data governance, privacy and security, AI and machine learning, and data monetization.
With a strong focus on thought leadership, the Richmond CDO Forum promises to deliver captivating keynote speeches, thought-provoking panel discussions, and interactive workshops led by industry visionaries and experts.
Participants will have the opportunity to dive deep into crucial topics such as data governance and ethics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data strategy and innovation, data analytics and visualization, and emerging technologies.
The Richmond CDO Forum will take place on 16th to 17th September 2024 at the Fairmont Windsor Park.
If you are a CDO, or are interested in meeting CDOs, please contact Liam Quinn for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomberg Graphics: "The NHS at 75 is missing most of its own targets. See what health access looks like in your constituency, from ambulance delays to cancer care waits."
I'm not fully sure if I agree with Bloomberg's choice to aggregate the data at a constituency level because it's not the most natural way to think about healthcare, but they have some reasoning behind this in the methodology section.
The chart used in this article by Axios is beautiful. In order to assess how liberal or conservative a justice is, it uses the "Martin-Quinn score," developed by Andrew D. Martin of Washington University in St. Louis and Kevin Quinn of Emory University, which measures the ideology of Supreme Court justices dating back to 1937.
Also, look at the similar analysis ran by FiveThirtyEight.
The Embassy of Sweden in Budapest has launched this website that tells, with a lot of maps and scrollytelling, the story of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews in Hungary during World War II.
An interesting article on the Financial Times, which is also effectively summarised in this Twitter thread by John Burn-Murdoch. As he writes: "France’s riots may be subsiding, but their underlying causes persist. In France, immigrants face social exclusion, faring far worse than the native-born on almost every socio-economic indicator. Far less integration than in UK, Germany even the US"
Deutsche Welle's Ajit Niranjan: "Europe's biggest polluter is ditching targets in its climate law to cut emissions – after mixed progress toward reaching those goals. The transport sector is struggling the most, while waste has already passed its target."
"The Strategy Room is an immersive experience which uses facilitated deliberation, interactive polling and collective intelligence to identify the climate change policies that will best help local areas in the UK to reach net zero emissions. Having recently completed their pilot, Strategy Room data is publicly available to view at strategyroom.uk. The data shows participant preferences for a range of net zero policies. The visualisations can be broken down by age, ethnicity, gender and local authority."
What it says on the tin – a course guiding you through a set of units about AI and audio processing, from manipulating audio data, to building a music genre classifier and working with speech.
"See how fonts change the way you read and write."
This is from the Washington Post.
"Squiggles, scribbles, shapes and... other stuff. A library of over 70 custom-color elements ready to paste into your project."
Speaking of SVG, this is a short tutorial explaining how to create sparkline charts.
"PostgreSQL provides the necessary building blocks for you to combine and create your own search engine for full-text search. Let's see how far we can take it."
It's pretty interesting to see this, especially when it will get to episode 2, with a performance comparison between PostgreSQL and ElasticSearch.
Some of these (and how to find them) might be useful to data wranglers.
"This book collects my writing on principal component analysis. It’s a long-form mathematics book. That means it dives deep into the fundamentals and works out all the relevant details, but it does so in a narrative fashion: it doesn’t just give you a selection of dry and overly brief proofs, it tells a story."
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This article is not quite about data, but it touches upon issues that are tangential to it.
"Musk assumes that transit is an engineering problem, about vehicle design and technology. In fact, providing cost-effective and liberating transportation in cities requires solving a geometry problem. This confusion is very common in transport technology circles."
This is a rather long explainer of how these journalists and researchers used ChatGPT to run a NLP analysis of speeches in the last Greek General Election.
USA Facts looks at airline accessibility: "In March 2023, one in every 65 mobility aids loaded onto airplane cargo holds were mishandled — either lost, damaged, or delayed — during transport. That’s nearly 900 people whose mobility aids were not returned in their expected condition in a single month. In comparison, one in 175 checked bags were reported as mishandled."
"In 1942, South African-American geophysicist and oceanographer Athelstan Spilhaus produced a world map with a unique perspective, presenting the world's oceans as a single body of water."
Visualized with Observable. (h/t Matt Ballantine)
Ted Piotrowski: "I can load LiDAR data to simulate tree shadows for any time of year."
"Training data for artificial intelligence include enormous amounts of images and text gathered from millions of websites. An analysis performed by German public broadcaster BR shows that it frequently contains sensitive and private data – usually without the knowledge of those concerned."
A good article by Elisa Harlan and Katharina Brunner.
quantum of sollazzo is supported by Andy Redwood’s proofreading – if you need high-quality copy editing or proofreading, check out Proof Red. Oh, and he also makes motion graphics animations about climate change.
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