Science

Announcing Bad Chart Thursdays

I know, it’s Wednesday. What a confusing title to post on a Wednesday! But I wanted to give you a heads up that we’ve been inspired by this chart, sent to us by reader Mark H. and originally posted by @altonncf:

Line chart showing correlation between Internet Explorer market share and US murder rate

The Skepchicks enjoyed this so much that we want to make this a regular feature. Every Thursday, we’ll bring you a new bad chart, either created by us just for you, created by you just for us (leave your efforts in the comments), or found elsewhere on the Interwebs.

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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14 Comments

  1. I redid this chart yesterday, when I first saw it, as a scatterplot between the Murder Rate and the IE Market Share. I tossed a trendline on it using linear regression and the r-squared value was like .985 Correlation does not mean causation, but having done plenty of web development in the last 10 years… ;)

      1. Better late than never!
        Just so it’s captured for all of eternity, I grabbed fresh stats from w3schools.com and disastercenter.com and tossed both onto a scatter plot. I added a trendline using linear regression and, for my data, came up with an R squared value of .965. Perhaps the decline of pirates, rise in global climate temperatures, or Manatee populations off the coast of Florida would explain the remaining .035?

        http://5upmushroom.tumblr.com/post/41380940072/i-changed-this-chart-around-a-bit-to-better-show

  2. I believe in it. lol Certainly more than the gun moron argument, “The violent crime rate either went down, or didn’t go up, as more and more guns got bought.” They never seem to note that this is actually “fewer guns in the average person’s hands, but dozens more, instead, in the hands of paranoid freaks, with the net result being more guns in general.” Or, at least, this seems to be the more common result, in many cases.

  3. This feature is a great idea, It reminds me a bit of a game I used to play at work, where I would think up the worst possible solution to a work problem and tell everybody at morning teatime. Not so funny when the hierarchy implemented it! These days I keep my trap shut.

    1. Seems like a valid hypothesis, however, I’d wager that no matter where you get the browser market share data, 18,000 does not correspond to 90% market share..though it would be awesome, if only 18,000 people were using Internet Explorer..
      Also love this new Thursday feature, and just because I immediately thought of it when I saw the chart, the original “Average global temperature vs. number of pirates” chart by Bobby Henderson should at the very least get an honorable mention, lifetime achievement award or something along those lines.

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