For a while now I have had an interest in information geometry. The maxims that geometry is intuitive maths and information theory is intuitive statistics seem pretty fair to me, so it’s quite surprising to find a lack of easy to understand introductions to information geometry. This is my first attempt, the idea is to get an geometric understanding of the mutual information and to introduce a few select concepts from information geometry.
Looking through the recent petition/vow making against the commercial nature of academic journals (http://thecostofknowledge.com/) I couldn’t help notice a fairly strong subject area bias. So, I scraped the subject area fields of the website and made this pretty graph:
But what does it mean?
I, like lots of people, have a morbid fixation with the state of the nation’s finances at the moment. You often hear arguments about whether it is the debt or the deficit that is the problem. The fact that one is a running total of the other doesn’t mean they are interchangeable. It’s basically the same thing as the difference between your speed and acceleration, over time, one is obviously related to the other, but you can always have one low while the other is high. For many I’m sure it’s not that complicated but some people do seem determine to mix them up.
I was thinking today about the distribution of wealth in the UK. It’s easier to understand small numbers than large ones, so it occurred to me that you could construct a fictional population of 100 people with the same wealth distribution as the UK, and then visualise that by drawing 100 circles with areas proportional to those people’s wealth. I’d never seen that done before, so I thought I’d give it a go. It was something of a failed experiment. This was my first attempt:
For this one I just calculated the figures (using data from HMRC, via Wikipedia) and then drew the circles in a vector art program. Unfortunately it looks kind of ugly.