Love in the age of data, without data

Apr 14, 2017

We live in a time when personal data leaves digital traces of what we do, what we like, and who we care about. Quinn Norton makes a concerted effort to not leave behind such traces using layers of security and encryption, which ironically makes for an old-fashioned love story.

My love affair has taught me that the age of data makes time solid in a way that it didn’t used to be. I have a calendar and email archive that nails down the when/where/who of everything I’ve done. I know when my kid was here; the last time I saw a friend in New York; exactly what my last email exchange with my mother was. Not so with my lover. Time is a softer thing for us. Sometimes it seems like he’s always been there, sometimes it seems like we’re a brand new thing. Every other relationship in my life is more nailed down than this one.

Soft time. I like it.

Favorites

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

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.