April 7, 2009  ·  Lessig

The good souls at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan have come up with a fantastically suggestive way of seeing the relationships between “money and government.” Here for example is contributions to the Senate by industry and sector. Here you can see contributions by entities that received TARP funding. Wonderful work that will feed lots of insight and reflection.

  • http://www.swan.ac.uk/staff/academic/Arts/berryd/ David Berry

    Except the visualisations are not exactly very good. Very cluttered and give too much information simultaneously – they should take a lesson from this neat visualisation that shows where the money goes in US trade.

  • http://www.swan.ac.uk/staff/academic/Arts/berryd/ David Berry

    Really it would be cool to connect this data up to Represent – NY Times

  • http://computationallegalstudies.com/ Michael Bommarito

    Hi David,
    Right, as we acknowledge in the description of these visualizations, they are very cluttered. In one sense, this is a demonstration of an intrinsic property of the underlying data. In another sense, there are very serious and sensitive questions that arise when it comes to “aggregation” and “simplification.” Many rightly wonder whether “aggregation” and “simplification” are really code words for “I tweaked the results until I got the conclusion I desired.” To avoid those issues up front, we provided these.

    We are working on simpler, interactive visualizations and movies, but for the sake of full, honest disclosure, those larger graphs will stay there as they are, just as complicated as the reality of the matter.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  • http://computationallegalstudies.com/ Michael Bommarito

    Hi David,
    Right, as we acknowledge in the description of these visualizations, they are very cluttered. In one sense, this is a demonstration of an intrinsic property of the underlying data. In another sense, there are very sensitive questions when it comes to “aggregation” and “simplification.” Many rightly wonder whether “aggregation” and “simplification” are really code words for “I tweaked the results until I got the conclusion I desired.”

    We are working on simpler, interactive visualizations and movies, but for the sake of full, honest disclosure, those larger graphs will stay online, as-is.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  • Jardinero1

    Maybe they can make a graph of the great, unrepresented mass of citizens who don’t contribute financially and who don’t vote. They could connect them and their non-contributions to the kind of party and kind of candidate who would represent their predilections if they did contribute and did vote. Then we would have a better idea of what kind of candidates and political parties will exist when state funding of elections magically makes these self-selected, non-participants into active participants of the system they, heretofore, have opted out of.

    I would really like that. Because if they did, it might scare the shit out of Prof. Lessig and others who worry about this great unwashed mass, whom they believe are, somehow, zeroed out by the current regime. I run into many of these non-participants on a daily basis. They are, after all, four out of every ten Americans. Every time I meet one of these who don’t participate or vote; I thank my lucky stars they don’t.

  • Terry

    What the hell is your problem Lessig?
    You voted democratic and it is the democrats who want to increase government into every nook and crany of your life, which will require more money. And since the US Constitution, you know what that is right?, guarantes the right to petition government, there will be more corruption.

    Why did you vote democratic if you want money out of politics?
    Why aren’t you a Libertarian?

    BTW: What are you teaching at Harvard law school? (God help us if it’s conlaw)

  • rodander

    Not to worry. The federal gov’t will soon have all our money via taxes and debt. That’ll fix the problem of “relationships between money and government” once and for all.

  • http://thom.blogsite.org Thom

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave…”