I am happy to announce that The Little Shop of Stories bookstore in Decatur, GA is awesome for data science! A few blocks away from us, it is such a regional treasure for children’s books and events. Diane has brought game changing books, authors, and programs to Atlanta and environs.
But last week I was ecstatic when I came across a treasure of data visualization on the shelves.
You may be aware of Dr W.E.B. DuBois work in championing and defining civil rights for peoples of the African diaspora during the first half of the twentieth century. You might be aware of his book The Souls of Black Folk , his leadership of the NAACP, and his intellectual nurturing of African independence efforts. But his work at the Atlanta University Center (now Clark Atlanta University) stands the test of time for how to do good data visualization.
Visualizing Black America pulls together the amazing visualizations that he and his AUC students developed for the 1900 Paris Exposition. They are beautiful, innovative, meticulous and tell the story of Black America at the beginning of the 20th century.
that he and his AUC students developed for the 1900 Paris Exposition. They are beautiful, innovative, meticulous and tell the story of Black America at the beginning of the 20th century.
We are so lucky in the Atlanta area to have a bookstore with the vision to stock this treasure. Stop through if you are in the ATL.
Richard Brath, a partner at Uncharted Software and the author of Graph Analysis and Visualization, recently completed his Ph.D. thesis on using text in data visualization. Recently, Richard talked about his thesis with data visualization enthusiasts at Automattic. Before Richard’s talk, it seemed me that text has been treated as a “second-class citizen” in the data visualization world. But even I was surprised about the wealth of visual information that we can offer using text.
Feeling some despair headed back to Georgia, and the U.S. generally after a month in India.
It’s about this question: Will Brian Kemp govern Georgia like Lester Maddox?
Lester Maddox became the governor of Georgia during my childhood. He was openly racist, was famous for selling axe handles with which to beat down civil rights activists, and actively fought a state memorial immediately after Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated.
Until Brian Kemp, I don’t remember any Georgia governor who so actively and openly embraced race based voter suppression and racist immigration messages.
Yet Maddox apparently went on the most aggressive hiring of African Americans in the state’s history.
I’m finding solace knowing that people of color in Georgia nonviolently sacrificed their livelihoods and their lives to end the Maddox mode of governance.
Those sacrifices opened the door for people like Stacey Abrams, Andrew Young, and Jimmy Carter.
Our grandmothers and uncles and neighbors did this with an inner soul power (to quote Dr King) that could not be suppressed by axe handles or tear gas. I find strength knowing that we can call on that soul power to do the same again.
Last weekend we spent a beautiful afternoon with cousins at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Delhi.
There was a lecture going on about the divine inspiration of Calculus — a meditation on how both Newton and Leibniz came to discoveries of infinite series and limits that led to the starting point for advanced maths.
As I pondered the spirit of The Mother, my mind went back to the visit we’d taken to the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur — an astronomical observatory built around the time of Newton’s discovery. Surely, a society that had the capacity to develop highly accurate astronomical predictions had the sophistication to develop the machinery for dealing with infinitesimal rates of change.
Newton — or more likely Leibniz — was indeed late to the game by at least 200 years!
Keralan mathematician Nilakantha Somayaji in the 1400s seems to have worked out machinery for dealing with infinitesimal velocity and converging series.
Blessings to my mother-in-law for treating us to an amazing trip to Jaipur!
The place that I can’t keep thinking about is the Jantar Mantar — the name translates to English as ‘calculating instrument — an astronomical observatory there constructed in the early 1700’s by the Maharajah Sawaii Jai Singh.
It’s more like an astronomer’s playground! To behold the scale of the sundials and other celestial instruments is just — well you need to take a pause
The Samrat Yantra (the largest gnomon sundial above ) is capable of determining the time based on the sun position to within an accuracy of two seconds.
The smaller of the sundials (the Laghu Samrat Yantra) is shown above, it was accurate down to the second when we checked. You can see a time lapse video here
The Jai Prakesh Yantra is capable of tracking Zodiac/Constellation positions measuring altitudes, azimuths, hour angles and declinations.
There is such a rich history of Indian astronomy, so much so that Jai Singh constructed several observatories of similar scale throughout India with no need for the works of Kepler and Galileo.
The deeper tragedy comes when you read between the lines of the U.S. climate assessment. The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw have had to work around legislation that has severely curtailed their ability to develop relocation plans to avoid life threatening climate impact.
Due to restrictions on the funding included within the legislation and the tribe’s lack of federal recognition, the state is managing the resettlement of the entire island community, which limits tribal authority over relocation plans. This arrangement exemplifies one way in which tribes are limited in deploying adaptation strategies when using funds that are not specifically designed to meet the unique needs of tribal communities
Early modern historian. Loves gender, women's, social & royal histories. Ventures elswhere when interest is piqued. Blog may cover above themes or something a little more random. Find me on Twitter @ruthrblair