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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Future of Information Design Snark.

So, yesterday I came across the Village Voice's snarky jab at 10 virtuoso guitarists.   Being a guitar fan, I spent a little time browsing through and snickering at some of the selections.  Most of these guys were from the 80’s, or whenever you first heard Van Halen’s Eruption blasting out of someone’s car in the parking lot of your school.  Growing up, I had a friend or two who used to get starry-eyed and jabber about most of the guys on this list:

..and dude, then he made this sound on the fretless guitar, harmonics, you know, it was like  seagulls, or something, while he was blowing through all of these crazy pentatonic scale runs…

Now, I don’t know what exact pain the author of this list was feeling when he wrote it. Someone, somewhere with a double-necked guitar and zebra-striped spandex must of really hurt this guy.   There were one or two stretch (groan) entries in the list though.  I mean, Rick Nielsen?  I liked his style, and besides, anyone who can’t see that his 5-neck guitar (RIP, apparently) was a sight gag is just not thinking it through.  Me, I didn't want to waste my entire afternoon on this, so I just jumped right to the top of the list and gave Steve Vai six minutes of my life.   I wanted a bit of an update from the last time I’d given him a listen, back in his Sex and Religion days when he was getting drowned out by the angry blowback of grunge. 

Eh, I enjoyed it. 

Anyway, I wonder how long it’s going to be before we have the top ten list for information design, inspired by snark-worthy showoffs and general windbags.  It’s coming.  I can feel it.  Maybe it’s already out there.  I’m sure if I check BuzzFeed I’ll find something like it.   Here’s some talking points for the criteria, in the meanwhile.  You know you are...when...

  • If you aren’t getting the data through a Python maneuver, or an API, it’s not real data;
  • You make a squishy face when you bang out an impressive line of code;
  •  Editing is for people less accomplished than you;
  • Don’t bother actually trying to put your work to good use - just share it on social media and use it to prop up your next hackathon appearance.

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