Latest Dispatches

30 Nov 2014

Fake news as a tactic in the war on stupid?

Most savvy news consumers are not only familiar with the Onion and it’s brand of satire, but the accompanying phenomenon of mistaking an Onion news article for real news. So familiar that there’s even a subreddit dedicated to real news that sound so outlandish they could be mistaken for real

Special Ops 0
25 Nov 2014

“The food marketers have won.”

That’s the chilling subhead on a recent FastCo article covering research on Americans’ perceptions and understanding of organic foods in the marketplace.       If there was ever a need for a great piece of Stupid-fighting content, this would be a great opportunity to help people understand the current state of

General Knowledge 0
21 Nov 2014

Terms of Service

It’s 2am, do you know where your data are? Do you even care? IF you’re like the majority of people, you probably don’t. But some of that might be due to how that information has been presented to you in the past. Well thanks to journalist Michael Keller and non-fiction

Special Ops 0
20 Nov 2014

Politically Challenged

  Perhaps the most troubling sign of Stupid’s growing influence… “Politically Challenged — Texas Tech Edition,” in which students interview other students, asking difficult questions such as “Who won the Civil War?” with terrifying results. Get the whole story via NPR. Or you can watch in disbelief for yourself below:

General Knowledge 0
18 Nov 2014

XKCD- The Philae Landing

So where were you when mankind landed a probe on a moving comet? While many of us were busy trying to understand the magnitude of what happened, Randall Monroe (of the web comic xkcd) was busy scribbling down accurate depictions of what was happening… for those of us who had

Special Ops 0
15 Nov 2014

Porn Stars Explain Net Neutrality

  Turns out we’ve all been overthinking net neutrality. The best way to have people connect with that particular issue is to have porn stars explain it. Well played, Funny or Die. It’s not about the porn stars though, it’s about properly contextualizing the issue, generating empathy with perhaps our diverse

General Knowledge 0
14 Nov 2014

Confusing Chart Infraction: Librarian Edition

This chart infraction was spotted in the latest issue of American Libraries (the magazine of the American Libraries Association). The chart in question is a part of an article summarizing the findings of a survey of school library supervisors. This one in particular is trying to convey the different properties

Special Ops 0
14 Nov 2014

Explaining or Distracting?

Campaign seasons have become fertile ground for explainer videos and their ilk. The forces of good (well-intentioned media) and the forces of evil (ill-intentioned media, moneyed interests, “social welfare” groups, and so on) each roll out videos and animations and infographics trying to inform or sway the public. 2014’s race

General Knowledge 0
12 Nov 2014

Data Viz in the wild: How much sugar is in your snack food

I recently came across this great attempt at some data visualization at my local YMCA. As you can see, the table display, using sugar packet as the unit of measurement, compares the sugar content of various common snack food items. But the reason why I think this was a good

Special Ops 0
10 Nov 2014

Hero Salute: We the Economy

Tactic: Short form film making. Topic: The ‘Merican economy In another attempt to get us to think differently about topics that we take or granted, Morgan Spurlock has teamed up with Paul G. Allen and 20 film makers to tackle the exciting topic of how an economy works. Varying greatly

Special Ops 0
03 Nov 2014

Political Bias and Media Habits

If the factions in the American political system seem like they’re having two completely separate conversations, it’s because they are. Pew Research digs into the media habits of America’s two least-popular-yet-most-influential political parties’ faithful followers, and what it finds might surprise you — if you’re easily surprised. Those on the

General Knowledge 0
24 Oct 2014

Read: Resonate by Nancy Duarte

  A must-have for any communicator’s library, this book comprehensively breaks down the anatomy of a compelling presentation.  

Special Ops 0
24 Oct 2014

Read: The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia

The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia by David McCandless Already well known for his work on the site Information is Beautiful, McCandless  gives us a sense of what’s possible as far as creative ways to visualize data, no matter how seemingly trivial. You can read

Special Ops 0
17 Jan 2013

Hero Salute: HowToons

  From animation to Robotics, this comic series explains how to make cool stuff in a way that tickles even the most casual Manga fan. From their site, “Our mission is to provide engaging content that teaches kids how to build things, combining instructions with storytelling.” Tactic: comic web series

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