Needles and haystacks and such.

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70 Responses to Needles and haystacks and such.

  1. Nate says:

    Hey, what the hell… the dependent and independent variables are actually on the correct axes.

  2. Rafi says:

    This is perfect.

  3. excellent…
    important to remember the local minimum… not too much not too little

  4. Mandaliet says:

    This is why I should have stopped learning things a long time ago.

  5. tom says:

    Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course and I forgot how to drive?

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  7. Robert de Forest says:

    I would have made two lines. One for ‘data’ looking like log(x+1) and one for ‘information’ looking like 1/e^x.

    With no data there is no confusion. There is nothing to be confused about. Initial date is very confusing. After a while the increase in confusion from more data becomes less significant, but still increases towards infinity.

    With no information there is infinite confusion. More information always reduces confusion, asymptotically approaching an ideal state of zero confusion, but we always have more to learn.

    My point is, more data may add confusion, but more information is never a bad thing.

  8. Robert de Forest says:

    er, that should be 1/(e^x – 1). :)

  9. llewelly says:

    You need a dot labeled “the internet” at the far upper right hand corner of the paper.

  10. Mike says:

    llewelly beat me to it.

  11. Randy Krum says:

    Hey Jessica. Loved this one, and posted a link to it.

  12. Henryk Wistreich says:

    So beautifully put, Jessica – and so true.

    @Robert de Forest: Well, not necessarily; it depends vastly on the context.

    Say, you want to solve a problem. Given no information, chances are you’ll be very confused; I don’t know about you, but me – it usually scares the hell out of me. With a proper amount of info, solving the problem becomes kind of easy. Then, when given even more information, I’d tend to get confused again: my first question would be: “Why on earth do they say it to me?”. The second one would be: “My perfect solution just wasn’t that perfect; back to square N – and the confusion.”

    That based on more 30 years of computer programming, but, IMHO, very valid for all kinds of practical problems as well, speaking out of bitter experience.

    And – based on 6 years of teaching programing – it’s almost more than true.

    But, still, yours is a good shot anyway, thought- and discussion-provoking.

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  14. d d goings says:

    e.e. cummings – all ignorance toboggans into know

    all ignorance toboggans into know
    and trudges up to ignorance again:
    but winter’s not forever,even snow
    melts;and if spring should spoil the game,what then?

    all history’s a winter sport or three:
    but were it five,i’d still insist that all
    history is too small for even me;
    for me and you,exceedingly too small.

    Swoop(shrill collective myth)into thy grave
    merely to toil the scale to shrillerness
    per every madge and mabel dick and dave
    –tomorrow is our permanent address

    and there they’ll scarcely find us(if they do,
    we’ll move away still further:into now

  15. Justin says:

    I think this would fit well under the “faith” label too, haha. (At least in my experience)

  16. Jeff says:

    Cool!
    Neatly sums up my relationship with computers!

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  20. Doug says:

    I would have agreed with Robert de Forest’s (Oct 9) analysis until my oldest child was > 25 yrs. After that there was *way* too much information.

  21. Dan Murray says:

    You should get a royalty for every use of this graphic that will appear in slide decks for the next 5 years.

    Very clever.

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  23. Tyler Tork says:

    A related chart looks upside down from this one; the X axis is labeled “Degree of Certainty” and the Y, “Probability of Being Right.”

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  25. Alexander says:

    “age of information an media”=∞confusion+∞information

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  30. wally says:

    The famous ‘U’ curve, aka sophomore slump… the transition from attention to instinct.

    Very nice.

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  37. Karen says:

    So…this is where the geeks hang out.

  38. Melanie says:

    Can I get this on a shirt? A mug? A billboard? E-mail me if you add this to your store!!!!

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  52. Brilliant! Where would you put Twitter on that graph? :)

  53. Mike says:

    How can a few informations confuse you?

  54. fireflight1 says:

    Gaa! TMI! TMI!

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  58. Betty Weiss says:

    I’m planning to show this graph in my algebra class this week and see what the students think about it.

  59. Damon Hearne says:

    Jessica,
    May I have your permission to use this image in my email footer at work? I love this. Please email permission if granted.

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