everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. - albert einstein

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Subtle data mining has helped the Obama campaign learn that their supporters often eat at Red Lobster, shop at Burlington Coat Factory and listen to smooth jazz. Romney backers are more likely to drink Samuel Adams beer, eat at Olive Garden and watch college football.

Charles Duhigg of the New York Times on how the campaigns are using detailed personal information to target voters raising privacy concerns in the process.  (via ageofperil)

Consumer brands don’t tend to get free PR opportunities like candidates do (i.e. the Presidential Debates), but in other ways the line between political campaigning and commercial consumer marketing is quickly fading.

(Though, if you read Jill Lepore’s New Yorker piece about the origin of political consulting, you might be persuaded that in the era of modern advertising no such line ever existed.)

(via ageofperil-deactivated20130204)

Carbon map infographic: a new way to see the Earth move


Kiln, a partnership of Guardian writer Duncan Clark and developer Robin Houston has come up with this beautiful new take on the globe. Watch the animated intro or click on the topics and see the map move before your eyes. Adding shading lets you compare two datasets to see how they relate – so you can see clearly how poorest countries have the fastest growing populations but the lowest emissions. (This is the “consumption” view, where country size represents the carbon footprint of all goods and services consumed, including imports and excluding exports.)