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Drop #353 (2023-10-16): Channel Your Inner Dora
Every Chord; Atlas of Surveillance; Uninhabitable
Things are about to get much worse for even more humans this week. NPR had a decent piece with even more resources on how to help the innocent victims of the ongoing atrocities.
ICYMI: yesterday's Bonus Drop covering the new Deno (TypeScript/JS) Jupyter kernel (usable in Quarto!) is free for all as an Unbirthday 🎁. 🙏🏽 the Drop's sponsors for making that possible.
Today's Drop is less “work” and more “distraction”, since I think we're all going to need to occasionally unplug from the doomscrolling over the coming weeks (though, two of the resources are doomscrolling-adjacent). I'm aiming for “whet the appetite” to actually visit the sites, vs. explaining them all in great detail to give y'all more time to explore.
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This is an AI-generated summary of today's Drop.
Perplexity did an ace job, today.
Here is a concise summary of the three main sections of the blog post:
The first section discusses a project called Every Chord, which analyzed over one million songs to determine the most common chord progressions. The four chords of C, G, Am, and F, highlighted by Axis of Awesome in their “Four Chord Song”, were found to be the most prevalent, appearing in ~8% of songs.
The second section introduces the Atlas of Surveillance project, which aims to create the largest repository of information on law enforcement surveillance technologies. The project, which has collected over 11,500 records on 5,500 jurisdictions, seeks to boost transparency and inform the public, journalists, and academics.
The third section highlights a piece titled 'Uninhabitable' by The Berliner Morgenpost. This interactive data journalism project provides a comprehensive view of the varying impacts and severity of climate change around the world, based on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and research by climate scientists.
Every Chord analyzed over one million songs to determine the most common chord progressions. It finds that the four chords of C, G, Am, and F highlighted by Axis of Awesome1 in their “Four Chord Song” are indeed the most prevalent, appearing in ~8% of songs.
The next six most common progressions are, unsurprisingly, permutations of these same four chords.
Additional analysis indicates that the other frequent progressions begin incorporating other minor chords like Em and Dm. Only after many progressions do chords apart from C, G, Am, F, Em, and Dm start to appear with any significance.
Based on the frequency analysis, the research provides strong evidence that Axis of Awesome was correct about the ubiquity of the C-G-Am-F progression.
To explore the over two thousand progressions, head on over to Every Chord to discover chord patterns and find inspiration for new music.
Atlas of Surveillance
The Atlas of Surveillance project aims to create the “largest repository of information on law enforcement surveillance technologies” by aggregating data on what (U.S.) agencies use drones, body cameras, facial recognition, cell site simulators and other tools. The project seeks to boost transparency and inform the public, journalists, and academics.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and University of Nevada, Reno students have collected over 11,500 records on 5,500 jurisdictions. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Over 1,000 contributors provided data and research assistance (no small feat!). Notably, several university classes contributed by researching real-time crime centers, border surveillance, and conducting Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests.
The Atlas of Surveillance aims to shed more light on how these technologies are spreading nationwide.
You can engage with it interactively, and they regularly update a downloadable dataset (direct link).
Sadly, there are far too many entries for my humble state.
Back in 2022 (so, like a hundred years ago), The Berliner Morgenpost recently dropped a sobering piece titled 'Uninhabitable', and it's a must-read for anyone who's been tracking the climate change narrative.
It's the brilliant work of data journalists Ida Flik, André Pätzold, and Benja Zehr, and is a masterclass in scrollytelling, packed with context and key information.
The central component is an interactive globe that lets us hop around the world to see the varying impacts and severity of climate change. The story and visuals are grounded in hard facts and data, pulled straight from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and a ton of research by climate scientists.
Zero fluff. No hype. Just the raw, practical truth.
As you explore, make sure to tap into the details link on each section, as each breaks down the science behind the findings. This solid fusion of engaging design and hard-hitting data makes it a pretty standout piece. While it's not the first data journalism project to spotlight the climate crisis, it's definitely one of the most impactful I've seen in a few years.
Bonus: it's available in both German and English.
Sending as many good vibes out to all this week. ☮️