A few days ago, Cesar A. Hidalgo published a very important article titled, What I Learned From Visualizing Hillary Clinton’s Emails.
So who is Cesar Hidalgo?
César A. Hidalgo is associate professor of media arts and sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the author of Why Information Grows: The evolution of order from atoms to economies. He has also lead the creation of data visualization sites that have received more than 100 million views, including datausa.io, dataviva.info, atlas.media.mit.edu, immersion.media.mit.edu, pantheon.media.mit.edu, streetscore.media.mit.edu, and others (see chidalgo.com for more details).
At this point I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m highlighting this guy’s post two days before the Presidential election. It’s for two reasons. First, the piece offers a very good representation of the sort of peer pressure that can come down upon an academic for being seen having the “wrong” political opinion. Second, and perhaps most important, his email visualization tool taught him that the current state of our government in these United States simply can’t achieve the best outcomes for the public at its current scale (size, geographic and cultural diversity, etc).
With all that out of the way, I’m going to highlight what I found to be the most powerful part of his piece.