Data pr0n: the demographics of employment and leisure

Paul Raven @ 05-08-2009

Just a quick one: even if you’re not particularly interested in demographic research into how different segments of the population of the United States spend their time each day, the interactive graphical data thingy that the New York Times have produced to illustrate it is pretty sweet, and good for killing ten minutes of idle time… not to mention allowing you to reflect that the idle time in question is theoretically represented in the data you’re observing; how delightfully post-modern! [via MetaFilter]

What other data sets would benefit from this sort of presentation?

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3 Responses to “Data pr0n: the demographics of employment and leisure”

  1. Nancy Jane Moore says:

    Either I’m really weird — a definite possibility — or the computer use stats are wildly off. Of course, I use a computer in my job, so all the time I’m working, I’m pretty much on the computer. Plus I write fiction, and am part of an online publishing collective, so I do a lot there, too. I assume some computer use is also grouped under socializing and shopping. And what about gaming? While I’m sure the big lumps for work and TV and household business are reasonably accurate, I think there are gaps in the data. I wonder if they allowed people to check more than one box, for example.

  2. Paul Raven says:

    I always find myself wondering about the methodologies of these things, too… not least because my particular Imp of the Perverse encourages me to seek out pollsters and give them plausible but deliberately inaccurate answers. Childish, yes, but a person needs a vice.

    Or seven. 🙂

  3. Nancy Jane Moore says:

    Me, I always find that whenever someone asks me to choose between x and y, I always want to answer z. Surveys never seem to get at what’s important to me; I can always see another answer. However, I am usually as truthful as I can be, given that the choices are too limited and any answer I give is therefore incomplete. But I suspect Paul is not alone in this vice — a rather entertaining vice, imho — providing yet another reason to be skeptical of anything anybody asserts they’ve proved about anything.