Monday, June 18, 2012

Never Learning From History Is Like Ignoring Data

By Keith McDonald
Saw some interesting statistics about surviving summer today in the Toronto Sun. In the the paper edition, a number of stats are shown with the article.

What caught my eye in particular is the reference to "Drivers under 25" as a factor in off-road vehicle collisions in Ontario for 2009.  The stat is 37%.

That's huge. I was surprised that "under 25" is actually a category unto itself. But, as an afterthought, it isn't surprising in many ways. "Under 25 and vehicles" is often mentioned and connected in negative stats. It's been so since I can remember.

Thinking about open data, it occurred to me to ask what we are taking from data like this.

cell phone with message: you are about to do something stupid alert

Common Sense
Maybe, like the article says, common sense has a lot to do with it. Another stat that had me contemplating: "Risk factors for boating related drowning deaths. The "standing up in boat (not urinating)" at 9% and, yes, the "Urinating" stat at 3% made me ponder.

When you take all the information presented from the stats, it's quite clear a lot of needless death is caused by being stupid.

Maybe we need an app for alerting you that you are about to embark on doing something stupid? Perhaps an alert that gives you a stat on the likely outcome of your endeavour? Maybe Siri on the iPhone should say: "The likelihood of your drowning from unrinating while standing in this boat is quite high". I don't know ... maybe it would help!

Ironically, you can't teach common sense but you can teach a phone to tell you when you are being stupid - especially if your phone has access to the right data.

Reminder about the coming DATA eh? MapJam this Wednesday, June 21, at Metro Hall. See the previous post.

DATA eh? #26

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
It would be great if you have an email notification for all news on Toronto Open Data.

Best,
Raj