(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘chart

“HERMAN MELVILLE CRAZY”*…

The wharves of Manhattan, 1851: “There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves
as Indian isles by coral reefs.”

I first encountered the work of Peter Gorman via his glorious book Barely Maps (a gift from friend MK). Early in the pandemic, Peter picked up Moby Dick

I read Moby-Dick in April 2020. For weeks afterward, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I started making maps and diagrams as a way to figure it out.

Moby-Dick is infamous for its digressions. Throughout the book, the narrator disrupts the plot with contemplations, calculations, and categorizations. He ruminates on the White Whale, and the ocean, and human psychology, and the night sky, and how it all relates back to the mystery of the unknown. His narration feels like a twisting- turning struggle to explain everything.

Reading Moby-Dick actually made me feel like that—like I’d mentally absorbed its spin-cycle style. I developed a case of “Kaleidoscope Brain.” The maps I was making were obsessive and encyclopedic. They were newer and weirder and they digressed beyond straightforward geography…

Ocean currents, February- U.K. Admiralty Navigation Manual, Volume 1: “There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose
gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.”

Moby Dick, mapped and charted: Kaleidoscope Brain, from @barelymaps. It’s a free pdf download, though one has the opportunity– well-taken– to become a Patreon sponsor.

* Headline in New York Day Book, September 8, 1852

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As we wonder about white whales, we might recall that it was on this date in 2008 that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was first powered up. The world’s largest and highest-energy particle collider, it is devoted to searching for the new particles predicted by supersymmetry theories, and to exploring other unresolved questions in particle physics (e.g. the Higgs boson)… that’s to say, to mapping and charting existence.

A section of the LHC

source

A “map” of a proton-proton collision inside the Large Hadron Collider that has characteristics of a Higgs decaying into two bottom quarks.

source

“When Johnson started singing, he seemed like a guy who could have sprung from the head of Zeus in full armor”*…

 

Studio portrait (circa 1935), one of only three verified photographs of Robert Johnson

source

 

Jon Wilde reports:

Eric Clapton once described Robert Johnson as, “the most important blues singer that ever lived”. The recordings that Johnson made between 1936 and 1937, collected in two volumes entitled King of the Delta Blues Singers, not only mark the apogee of the blues form, they stand among the most influential recordings of all time…

And now, nearly 50 years after Columbia first packaged his work as King of the Delta Blues, we discover that we’ve been listening to these immortal songs at the wrong speed all along. Either the recordings were accidentally speeded up when first committed to 78, or else they were deliberately speeded up to make them sound more exciting. Whatever, the common consensus among musicologists is that we’ve been listening to Johnson at least 20% too fast. Numerous bloggers have helpfully slowed down Johnson’s best-known work and provided samples so that, for the first time, we can hear Johnson as he intended to be heard

Or not.

* Bob Dylan

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As we make our deals with the Devil, we might recall that it was on this date in 1936 that Billboard magazine published the first pop music chart– the “Music Popularity Chart”– based on record sales.  A listing of the ten most popular records, it became a weekly feature in 1940.  It fluctuated in size from ten to 30 records until 1955, when Billboard introduced its first Top 100 chart.  The “Hot 100” chart, now recognized as the definitive singles chart in the US, was first published on August 4th, 1958.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 4, 2016 at 1:01 am

The Annals of Solipsism: Charting Charts…

Readers will have noticed that your correspondent is something of a sucker for information, graphs, and infographics.  Imagine then his delight in discovering this chart comparing the relative effectiveness of different kinds of charts:

From I Love Charts, where much more illumination awaits.

As we resolve not to serve pie unless our readers have lots of time to digest it, we might mark the passing of sociologist, criminologist and social psychologist Gabriel Tarde; he died on this date in 1904.  Tarde conceived sociology as based on small psychological interactions among individuals (much as if it were chemistry), the fundamental forces being imitation and innovation; he conceived “the group mind” (sometimes advanced to explain so-called herd behavior or crowd psychology), and economic psychology (in which he anticipated a number of modern developments… indeed, he may be spinning in his grave to have become, as his work did, an inspiration to the “Chicago School” of economists).  But Tarde’s fame was posthumous; his thinking was overshadowed at the time by Émile Durkheim and his conception of society as a collective unity.

Gabriel Tarde (source)

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