Critical thinking 101

So here’s an interesting data representation. The New York Times invites readers to place a point on the graph below indicating their own emotional response to the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden (on the x-axis; right is positive, left is negative) and their feeling about the significance of the event (on the y-axis, up is more significant, down is less). In addition to plotting a point, readers are invited to leave a comment.

As you move your cursor around the graph, the comment associated with each point appears.

The critical thinking task is to predict the comments associated with the extremes-what did someone say who put his/her point in the upper right? What about the upper left? Each of the other corners? The origin? What about the people whose points are at the ends of each axis?

Caution! The task is harder than it seems.

And after you’ve messed around a bit, consider the profound difference between this rich and intriguing data representation and one I posted recently.

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