Olympic Pictograms: C. Justin Hall & Zack Allen
From the wall paintings of cavemen to the stone carvings of ancient civilizations pictograms have been used as a form of communication since the beginning of recorded history. In fact, it is how history was recorded before the invention of more advanced writing systems such as alphabetic (Latin for example) or logographic (Chinese/Arabic characters).Even with the written language of today pictograms are still being used as a communication tool for everything from bathroom signage to road signage and everything in between, but the images you know today haven’t been around forever, the majority of them originated from Olympic pictograms. “Olympic pictograms are those stick figure pictures that depict each Olympic sport. Today they’re everywhere: at Olympic venues, on tickets and event schedules, on TV. They were simple drawings representing certain events, a bike for cycling, a basket for basketball, a pair of boxing gloves.” (Porzucki)
Statistical Probability of Sickle Cell Anemia: William Carter
Depending whether or not each parent has the disease or the heterozygous condition, known as the Sickle Cell Trait, the child will have various probabilities of being born with the condition, which is why sickle cell probability diagrams as well as further education is important for those who may be at risk (“Diseases and Conditions Sickle Cell Anemia,” Mayo Clinic). Author Edward Tufte explains, “certain methods for displaying and analyzing data are better than others” (Tufte, 27) when it comes reasoning about quantitative evidence. He states that superior methods can lead to findings that have more truth, credibility, and be more precise; differences between an analysis that is skillful and one that is erroneous can produces various, sometimes drastic, consequences (Tufte, 27). Information of this nature needs to be carefully and effectively explained as well as displayed because an essential component of care is the education of patients and their family members. Correcting misinformation or a lack thereof can prevent expectations of unrealistic treatment or cures and avoid guilt or anger of the parents.
Diagrams are often thought of as unbiased displays of data meant to make dense information easier to comprehend. While not always incorrect, this understanding is simplistic. Diagrams are context bound, and often the context surrounding data visualizations creates a rhetorical situation which contains bias. This essay analyzes the different rhetorical contexts that surround the use of a specific diagram. Of particular interest is the way different communities alter the diagram to support different rhetorical stances.