Another example of the power of data visualization

I stumbled upon a great graph that tells a complex story compellingly.

Comparison of two COVID-19 waves in the UK, taken from here.

This graph compares the last two waves of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom and is shows so clearly that the new wave (that is supposedly composed of the Delta variant) is much more infections on the one hand, but on the other hand, causes much less damage. Is the more moderate damage the result of the Delta variant nature of the protective effect of the vaccination is still an open question, but the difference is still striking.

On a person that falls into the water. Or why thinking short-time is a good strategy in times of crisis

Photo by Life Of Pix on

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, I tried to explain to my daughter (and to myself) the rationale behind the draconic measures the governments take to fight with the crisis. One rationalization that I found was an analogy of a person that falls into the water. In this situation, the person needs to act FAST to stabilize the situation. Only than, he or she can start planning their steps.

I have been very vocal criticizing the dramatic measures that many governments took in the beginning of this crisis. It looks like these measures were more-or-less correct, and that the countries that didn’t implement them are now in a much worse situation, compared to the countries that did impose severe limitations. But even if in the retrospective it will turn out that one could do much better without the many “hammers,” I tend to think that those hammers were inevitable.

The conclusion? One day or another, we will all need to act very fast. This means that we need to be prepared, have plan B’s work on resilience, and maybe perform emergency drills.

The quintessence of data visualization usefulness

I have to admit, I was skeptical at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. I started becoming skeptical now when it seems that the crisis didn’t hit my country too hard. But then I saw the graphs in this Financial Times article, and the skepticism disapeared. The graphs are accompanied by hundreds of words, but there is no need for reading the text to understand almost everything.

These graphs are so good, so convincing, so well performed, they don’t leave any place for doubt or misunderstanding of the message the author wants to convey.

If you study data visualization, look at these graphs. Look at the color choice, legend location, and design. Look at the ticks on the X- and Y-axes, how they are spaced and typeset. Note the amount of details on the axes, specifically how sparse these details are.

A super-important read on the COVID-19 situation. I'm finally convinced

Until now I was very sceptical about the COVID-19 measures taken by many the governments around the world, especially the Israeli one. Today, finally, I read a post that addressed the three issues I was pointing to:

  1. This first lockdown will last for months, which seems unacceptable for many people.
  2. A months-long lockdown would destroy the economy.
  3. It wouldn’t even solve the problem, because we would be just postponing the epidemic: later on, once we release the social distancing measures, people will still get infected in the millions and die.
  4. My biggest concern: Either a lot of people die soon and we don’t hurt the economy today, or we hurt the economy today, just to postpone the deaths.

There’s no point rephrasing here the original post, just go and read it. I’m convinced. Thank you, Tomas Pueyo

Go and read. The image is clickable

No signs (yet?) of the COVID-19 pandemic on StackOverflow job postings

I suppose that you knot that THE software developement Q&A site has its own job board. I suspected that the Corona pandemic would lead to a sharp decrease in the number of job postings on that board. I scraped the data, and it looks like for now, there are no drastic changes in the amount of postings published in the last couple of days.