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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rex Hammock Will Love/Loathe This 

Freakonomics blogger Stephen J. Dubner points to Swivel, which its founders call the "You Tube" for data. Check it out here.

Basically, anyone can post datasets, view datasets and play with datasets. Data, for example, that may or may not show a correlation between increased wine consumption and the decline in violent crime.

In a previous post, Dubner noted that Swivel "sounds like a godsend—or at least a tremendous way to waste time—for data freaks."

My friend Rex Hammock has often pointed out the danger of mixing reporters and statistics (see ironically relevant post here, for example). The same may hold true for data junkies. But I like the Swivel concept, and I suspect Rex will as well, since theroetically the Swivel community will be able to separate the good data from the bad, and perhaps find interesting connections, much as Freakonomics itself has.

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