The Noisy Signals


I want to share a few things, now that it’s been a week since the elections. What I want to share are maps and charts. These are maps and charts that are supposed to increase one’s understanding of the election results but, in reality actually increase one’s levels of annoyance and hatred for chart-makers everywhere. First off, this map, which shows one block per electoral vote.

Well, that’s…pointless. Can’t I get the same exact information by looking at a list of what states get how many electoral votes and which party got what? Instead I get something that looks like the worst LEGO set ever invented.

Then there’s this, from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Electoral Results:

I’m not sure why someone felt the need to make the Electoral Skyscraper here, but again, it gives me no useful information. It’s at least slightly interesting on an aesthetic level, however, which puts it miles ahead of this mess:

How does this even remotely help anyone to understand what happened in the election? Gods, what a mess of a chart. You can’t even read the names of most of the counties! But I’ll give it credit. At least it’s better than this eyesore from the 2008 Presidential election.

Aaaah! Aaaah! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

What the hell happened here? It looks like Jackson Pollock threw up after drinking a mix of blue and red Kool Aid. How can one get any even slightly useful information from this? It’s not even lovely to look it! It’s just a god-awful mess.

You know what we need? A nice, simple, clear map that shows which party won what counties. Oh, if only such a map existed.

There, that wasn’t so hard now, was it?

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