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  • Arcanist

    Have the protests been effective? I live in Australia and the only protests I know of are when teachers go on strike to get higher pay. This usually gives no more than a few percent more pay every year.

  • Casey Caplowe

    This is the most amazing thing i've seen in a little while.

    First off, it's kind surprising to see how quiet South America is for most of this timeline. At least in comparison to the rest of the world.

    Secondly, some of the data can't quite be right or must be coming from odd sources, because if you zoom in on the constantly blinking dot in the middle of the US, it appears to be northwest of Wichita, Kansas—basically in the middle of nowhere. So that doesn't make much sense.

    Thirdly, it is really important to note that what this is showing is news reports of protests, not actual protests.

    Given all this, the things that jump to mind to me in viewing this are that through digital and social media, protests are clearly being covered more, and may likely be happening more as they allow ideas to spread and people to act in concert with one another as never before.

    And in my opinion (though i feel like i'm stealing this from something i once read): protests speak to something of an society-level immune system reaction. It shows that we're starting to recognize some far-reaching illness afflicting us and these protests are flaring up as a means to react against that and start to fight it back.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Ya it would be great if they categorized each protest as well:

      "The map also shows some of the limits of Big Data -- and trying to reduce major global events to coded variables. Take, for example, the protests across the United States in late 2011: Some are Occupy protests, others are Tea Party protests, but the difference in the political identity of those demonstrations isn't reflected in the map."

      • Casey Caplowe

        I hear you. That would be interesting, but i kind of like that the map doesn't draw those political distinctions. It then reads more as a view of unrest boiling into action. It doesn't matter why people feel unrest. In the case of Occupy and Tea Party, the unrest was caused by the same dissatisfaction in many ways. Its just that each put forth very different models for what to do about things.

        • Alessandra Rizzotti

          Interesting. I feel like protestors protest bec they want you to know why they're unhappy. Maybe that's a whole other infographic/map.


      Casey, what you say is very true. I was curious to see if you could click on the dots and see what the protest was about or maybe some news coverage on it. I think there is a bit more positive than a negative take away from it also.

  • Ben Goldhirsh

    fascinating. I think if you cross reference connectivity the correlation is strong. I agree with your questions. And would add - is this more bad being reacted to, or more effficacy felt in moving the status quo forward?


      Definitely, There is so much to analyze and observe from this from a peculiar anthropological perspective! I think our task is to make sure the positive question, of knowledge and efficacy as you said wins.