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It seems like you are complaining about graphics in the article, but I'm not sure. If you read the article, it specifically talks about why those are not good visualizations and gives pointers on developing good ones.

For the 3D one specifically, right under the graphic, the article says: "3D has a time and a place. It can be a really useful way to encode thematic data on the z-axis and make something useful. But extruding Hubei compared to the rest of the areas just doesn’t work. It’s gratuitous and adds nothing. It’s really hard to make any sense of relative amounts and that’s before we even deal with foreshortening and occlusion."


I read the article, thank you. It's you who have misread my comment. I was praising the article for illustrating good principles of visual communication, and lamenting how there are so many people making data visualizations out there that don't understand this stuff.

P.S. From the HN guidelines (https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html):

> Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith... Please don't comment on whether someone read an article.


Hence my first sentence, "It seems like you are complaining about graphics in the article, but I'm not sure."

First you said, "I can't count the number of times I've looked at a data visualization and wished I could sit down with the person who made it and read an Edward Tufte book to them."

I was and am 100% on board with this comment. I think the same thing often.

Then you said "There's just so few good examples out there of data visualizations that respect basic principles of visual communication, like the ones outlined in this article."

I agree, the article does a pretty good job.

Then, "They generally seem to aim more for visual impact (like the useless 3D display in the article, which you've gotta admit is striking) than for clarity, which I guess is understandable but is still too bad."

I was uncertain about this statement. The previous sentence you start by stating "There's just so few good examples..." and end with "...like the ones outline in this article", which made it a little unclear if the one's in the article were good or not, but as I was reading it I was leaning to the good side. Then this sentence started with "They generally seem...", and since the end of the previous sentence ended talking about the "ones outlined in the article", I associated "They" with "the ones in the article". And this sentence that started with "They generally" was negative.

Then I contributed some miscommunication. When I used "you" in the sentence I was thinking in general terms (including myself) and not you personally. I think that might have been better stated as "If one reads the article...".

Anyway, I was initially confused by your statement. Now I see what you were going for.

Edits: grammar, missing words


Your follow-up is quite gracious and helped me understand better where you were coming from. Apologies for being snippy in my earlier response.


As someone who read your comment before reading the article, I took your comment to mean that the article was poor because it had bad graphics. That's not a criticism against you on my part btw, only an observation. So it might be that more people read your comment that same way due to how you phrased it.


The article has bad graphics. The question whether GGGP criticizes the article or not is only resolvable if you know both the comment and the article. If you do, the answer is quite obvious. If not, it is hard to predict. A wonderful example of entropy.


> It's you who have misread my comment.

Like several others, I was also confused by your initial comment. At first I thought you were criticizing the article as an example of bad graphics and useless 3D.

I am no master of communication, but there is one thing that stuck in my mind from a class I took many years ago: If I am talking to someone or writing something they read, and they seem to be misinterpreting or misunderstanding me, who is responsible for that? Is it the reader or listener, or is it me?

The lesson was that I, the person doing the communicating, am responsible, not the person receiving the communication. It's usually not helpful to blame them for misunderstanding. Instead I should realize that I was probably unclear in some way, and do what I can to clear it up.

Of course there are exceptions. Sometimes people are willfully misunderstanding and don't give you a chance to clarify. I remember one friend who delighted in pouncing on me if we were casually brainstorming and I said something that wasn't exactly what I really meant. When I would correct myself they would say "Oh no, you already said XYZ and you can't take it back now!"

But I think those cases are unusual, and I've found it very helpful to avoid blaming the listener and just see how I can be more clear.


> ... lamenting how there are so many people making data visualizations out there that don't understand this stuff.

This point was clear in your top comment.

> I was praising the article for illustrating good principles of visual communication...

This point was completely unclear in your top comment.

I read your top comment three times, and each time made me feel more certain you were complaining about the site as an example of failing to implement good visualizations (until I read this comment).


Don't get so defensive about a communication mistake that you made while talking about communicating effectively. Can't you accept it with grace that your comment could be misinterpreted the way you wrote it? I also juggled in my mind what you meant.


The end result reminds me of Julia. Enough to make me wonder if there's something like it underneath Julia somewhere, or if that's how it started (unfortunately I don't have time to really dig in to it right now).


Yeah. Depending on the spectrum, the telescope might need to be really big. Not to mention at the moment a telescope in orbit would hard, if not impossible, to service.

Perhaps a review of telescope design is in order: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telescope https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_telescope

Building large telescopes is hard enough. Putting them in orbit just adds to all the costs. Look at the James Webb Telescope (which still hasn't been launched). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope

It seems possible to launch multiple small telescopes and operate them as one large scope using aperture synthesis. I don't know if there are any existing designs or plans for this.

Also: somewhat ninja'd, see other replies as well.


> It seems possible to launch multiple small telescopes and operate them as one large scope using aperture synthesis. I don't know if there are any existing designs or plans for this.

We know how to do that in radio (VLBI), have some experience in IR (ALMA), are doing research on how to do that in optical. But in practice that is much harder than you think. The relative distances of the telescopes have to be known and constant to within a few fractions of the wavelength you are using. Hard when you are using centimeter radiowaves, insanely hard with optical light that has 600 nanometers wavelength.


We've been doing optical interferometry for quite some time. Homodyne techniques (see facilities, CHARA, VLTI, COAST, NPOI, SUSI) in which the light is interfered with itself are quite common. Heterodyne methods (one facility, ISI) in which the incoming light is mixed with a stable laser and downconverted to longer wavelengths are uncommon though.


Launch a bunch of small telescopes, connect them with a rigid structure. Keep it shaded. Shouldn't be impossible. And with no gravity and no atmosphere, even a light structure will keep it all positioned very precisely.


I've been learning and using Julia the last few weeks (coming from an OOP background). I highly recommend it. I mainly write highly mathematical programs and utilities to process some data or another. So far I've knocked out some smaller programs and started translating a larger library to learn about the type system. I haven't dug in to UI bindings yet.


Whew, glad it's not just me. Agree 100%. Although I had some minor underlying issues that seemed to make it worse (better now though).


This reminds me of a saying I picked up from some (very much) older engineer: Segal's Law: A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.

I feel like information overload is like this sometimes. Which is probably why I try to reduce information that shows up automatically on my phone...


Take a cue from what my friends and I do: we generally agree to do whatever in general terms, say, visit a place Saturday after lunch. That's it. We might coordinate on a start time, but after that, it's whatever we feel like, no set schedule. We occasionally do this for longer trips, where we rent a cabin somewhere for a few days and then just do whatever we feel like. There's some planning involved in order to get to the correct area with the correct equipment (whatever is needed for the activity), but there's no strict timeline.

By the way, my wife is a "planner", so this drivers her crazy, not that she is going with us anyway. So a conversation might be like this: Wife:"What time are you going to the brewery?" Me:"Eh, after lunch" Wife:"So what time?" Me:"Maybe 1300?" Wife:"After that?" Me:"We'll get dinner somewhere" Wife:"Where? When?" Me:"Somewhere, whenever we get hungry. We'll decide on-the-fly." Wife:"Arrrggghhh!!" I have to confess I get a lot of amusement out of her reactions.


Normally I try not to contribute useless comments, but I found this to be a particularly hilarious, laughing-out-loud at my desk observation.


Two replies mention licensing, with two different answers (It's easy, people just don't understand! It's hard, people just don't understand!). Personally, I've tried a couple of times to read the license information on the Qt site and sort out how the licensing really works. I still only have a rough understanding. It seems like information on the Qt site is intentionally vague so you'll be more inclined to buy a commercial license just to feel "safe" using it. Unfortunately, any commercial projects I work on can't justify the commercial license price.

Anyway, the point is, people may not want to use Qt without being absolutely certain about how the licensing works and they (like me) probably don't have the time to try to understand the poorly organized information on the Qt site.


> Personally, I've tried a couple of times to read the license information on the Qt site and sort out how the licensing really works.

You could just go to the repo and check the licenses there :

https://github.com/qt/qtbase


Slight typo there: "thousands of km per second", you probably meant "thousands of meters per second". Low orbit is on the order of 7-8 km/s. I did find the typo humorous.


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