Playing chicken on the street and the ultimate battle for power

Posted to Self-surveillance  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

There’s the unspoken agreement between two people who walk directly towards each other. You each shift a little bit to get out of the other’s way, but some people don’t like that agreement.

New York resident Cathy O’Neil noticed a certain pattern in this collision course. So she collected data implicitly by playing chicken with people who weren’t up for shifting.

On the people who didn’t shift:

And, as you might have anticipated, it’s predominantly men. White men. Women, all women, and black and Hispanic men all get out of my way, especially Hispanic men, as do most white men for that matter. But there is a certain subcategory of white men that just don’t seem to know the rule about mutual accommodation, and the result is I’ve bumped into hundreds of white men on the streets of New York over the years. Some of them even turn around and say things like, why didn’t you get out of my way?

I have a similar theory about pickup trucks on the freeway.

Favorites

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

The Changing American Diet

See what we ate on an average day, for the past several decades.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.