social, health, political imagery through the lens of G J Huba PhD © 2012-2021

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Ok, I know, kind of arrogant.

Yes and no. I do not care if you use circus colors, this year’s fashion colors, san serif fonts with kerning, cartoons, photographs, and one word per node.

More than anyone else I have ever encountered, I really give a damn about where the information in your mind map comes from. And data validity and reliability. And peer review of the map principles. And your smarts in putting together a valid and useful summary.

Wow. There needs to be an emperor, not just new clothes.

Without further ado, my self-named laws of mind mapping. It’s don’t mean a thing if the conclusions don’t swing. And, content IS Queen.

Logistic regression and survival analysis.

Logistic regression and survival analysis?

Yup. Logistic regression and its extension into Cox regression (survival analysis).

Wanna know one population mean is significantly higher or lower than that of another population? OK. Go read a different blog post.

Wanna know how much your life expectancy decreases if you smoke cigarettes or use alcohol to excess or are 15% over the medically acceptable weight or some combination of these? Use logistic or Cox regression depending on the type of data you have (time invariant predictors or not, time-censored or not). Don’t tell me that smokers have significantly shorter lifespans than nonsmokers. That is not going to surprise me or shock me into behavior change. Do tell me how much my chances of reaching the age of 70 decrease if I smoke two humps of Camels a day.

Shock me. Make me want to change. Let me see how my behavior affects the odds I will live long, or be happy, or have a well-adjusted family.

Do a logistic regression or survival analysis. I strongly believe that the average member of the general public, press, AND EVEN US Congress Members, can understand these analyses easily if the information is presented in a straight-forward way. Of course, prepare for US politicians to call you an idiot on the daily cable news shows that air during prime time. Personally I do not give a damn what Bill O’Reilly or Chris Matthews thinks (if indeed they do think before shouting at a “guest” on their shows). Or what the scientific “hatchet” professional talking heads say to them.

Oh yeah, my (intuitive) logistic regression tells me that after conducting this statistical research only a small percent will make the necessary behavior changes and live longer, more happily, and have better adjusted families. That’s OK if it has to be that way. Every life is priceless and every small gain is huge.

Plug in the cattle prod and shock me with those results.

Live long and prosper.

I have been mesmerized, as I have been before, by plastic painted cows. There are a bunch of cow statues parked in strategic places on the UNC campus waiting for a charity auction. I am not sure what it is about the cows that are so interesting: the bright colors, the poses, the overall clean design. Perhaps I feel guilty because I have enjoyed many a burger and sirloin and prime rib. But I think not. The bright colors are always a welcome juxtaposition to their environment (whether Manhattan or Chicago or Chapel Hill) and the “wild” designs capture surreal perceptions of the location. I could over analyze this one to death (a problem for my profession) or just say I LIKE PAINTED PLASTIC COWS. I will choose the latter.


What happens when someone over-thinks a scientific study? Sometimes, the study gets too complex because the investigative team gets hung up in the twigs on the branches instead of the tree. Sometimes, the methods take over and become the primary focus of the study. Sometimes, only four specialists in the world will be able to understand (and use) the resulting masterpiece of trivia and big words. Usually, the investigators lose sight of the desirable outcome of the study — that a clear decision can be made from the results answering a question of great importance.

There are a half dozen close up pictures of two of the cows at this page on my web site:

I hope there are no examples of over-thinking on the web site. I have been trying hard to keep them from sneaking into the pasture.

Ross Perot wanted to be POTUS. He had made zillions of $s as the President of a huge company (EDS) that did heavy data crunching for the US government on IBM 360 mainframes in the 1970s and 1980s. So what’s a smart data guy with an interesting personality and a great Texas drawl who looks like Frank Perdue gonna do? Yup, show his great expertise in processing data and making decisions from data by showing his great skills in making PowerPoint presentations.

A few classics.

CSPAN Archive (definitive)

Perot and Vice President Al Gore get into dueling graphics.

He’s back.

Why the heck would anyone sit in front of an Apple Store for a few days to get a silly cell phone? After all, when I was younger and camped out all night, it was for baseball championship series tickets (California Angels) or to go to a Star Wars movie (4, 5, or 6 when first released in the late 70s, 80s). A phone? How can a mere Star Trek communicator wanna-be get the kind of attention received by a pale green Muppet that said everything backwards. Get it, I don’t.

It’s 2012. 140 characters. Info blasting away at my brain. From 1000s of places. People, PC, TV, tweets.

Wanna get my attention before the next person with a shiny penny arrives in 5/3/2 minutes? Help me VISUALIZE so we both can REALIZE.

Remember Ross Perot’s graphs? I still do. Woulda beat Clinton 1-on-1.

You can hold my attention for 5 minutes. Here is how to do it.

One of the more interesting developments in the visualization of evidence-based knowledge is the hybrid mind map/flow chart. A rudimentary example is attached. The flow chart structure would be especially useful for establishing the chain of evidence and a bibliography. The example was generated using the program iMindMap. I see the possibility to generate these hybrid visualizations within a single program to be a big step forward. Wish I had pushed the flow chart button a few months ago when this came out and started using it then.


You are looking at the first blog entry on my new web site Come and read the blog entries, but please stay and view the visualizations. On the site I hope to capture some key things I learned over 35 years in a very visual way. And I will talk about (draw, graph, map) information in ways designed to increase accessibility. George Huba  P.S. This is Beta Version 0.9. Like Microsoft, I will have the bugs figured out by Version 10.9.