After much thought and arguments with myself, I’ve decided to quit data. It’s been almost two years writing for FlowingData and almost four years as a statistics graduate student, and data never stops. I think I know what postal employees feel like. Every day is just more and more data. Gimme more. Everyone wants more – but to what end? There’s too much of it. Sometimes I just want to curl up in the fetal position in the corner of my office and cry.
Why do we need data anyways? It just makes life more complicated, and educated decisions are overrated. Guesswork is underrated. So – and it pains me to say this – I’ve decided to quit FlowingData and graduate school. I will be joining a traveling entertainment troupe that eats paper. I just need one of those sticks with the back on the end of it. You know, like the ones that they show on TV… with the hobos. Forget it, I can’t remember. I’ll just get a garbage bag.
I hope you all understand. Like I said, I’ve given this a lot of thought, and this is really the best thing to do at this point of my life. Visualization, design, statistics, or computer science will never be able to handle all the data that are to come, so it’s best I part ways now before it’s too late. Keep an eye out for my paper-eating entertainment troupe. We don’t have a name yet… and it’s really just me, not so much a group. I also don’t have any paper, or actually, I do have a few post-it notes. No, that won’t be enough. Maybe I can be the used-napkin-eating person guy thing. I dunno. Well – keep an eye out. It will be the show to watch. Thanks everyone for reading and all of your support. Please do sign the guest book to stay up to date on the
paper-eating napkin-eating troupe.
All the best,
UPDATE: Just to be clear – happy april 1 :)
Excellent work sir. I made a similar decision myself this morning, but I am going to Southern China to be a cat herder instead. Data and all the visualizations associated with it are truly overrated. All the best in your future endeavors.
So sad! And what a day to do it!
I think you will be great also in this new life ;-)
You might be interested in these graph paper napkins:
Are we looking at an April 1 decision? Or reality ….
I’m hoping this is an April Fools…
I made a similar decision to quit air, having trouble keeping it ….
Nathan, since you’re quitting, is Flowing Data for sale ? Facebook acquired my startup for $150M today, so I’m looking for a new place to blog. WordPress.com is so last year :P
What is the frequency of stops for the troupe? Is their route a random walk, or optimized? I’d like to see a chart of their history similar to the famous graph of Napoleon’s march.
the dataman, the dataman..
“Guesswork is underrated”.
“Data is overrated”
Flowing data is rated PG 13 for humor. :) Happy 1st.
Very nice!! see ya tomorrow
April’s fool aside, I would understand a blogging grad student who thinks about quitting either of those occupations. Keep it up, though! Cheers to you!
Are you serious? I have just begun to follow your posts. This is sad news. I hope it is april’s fool!
Ah, and I quit teaching high school today to join Flowing Data Team. I was just about to upload my first graphic of the frequency vs diversity of the word “F***” in the hallways of my school. Maybe I can still get my job back.
Your mom called me this afternoon. Boy is she pissed. All that money on college and all. She doesn’t “get” flowing data, but she recalls every single tuition check she wrote for you. Muttered something about “flowing cash”.
I talked her off the ledge and told her all would be fine in the morning.
I always knew visual data designers lacked creativity.
I felt very sad when I read this but then realised it was AFD.
How much do you want for the site?
Nice April Fools joke. Now back to data on April 2. You live, breathe and are passionate about data. No way you’d give that up Mr. Data Man.
This site is amazing – yesterday was April fool’s day, not today!
I’m trying to visualize your new career, but I don’t have enough data to do that properly. Could you send me some?
“Visualization, design, statistics, or computer science will never be able to handle all the data” ahah…good one ;)
Dude I was just about to start posting. Love the site. No, really.