The emerging transformation of print media – whether it journalism, science, business or education – the flat world of human writer crafted text – is moving toward a programmable interface to an immersive and interactive knowledge experience.
This is what McLuhan meant when he noted that when we are confronted with information overload – we must shift to pattern recognition.
Lately, some of the best articles in the NY Times and Bloomberg are 99% code. The end-product is predominantly software, not prose.
Several years ago, this article might have been a few thousand words. There’d be tables and charts. They’d reference academic studies and correlate the data with something like unemployment.
This example is different. It’s a well-designed data dump. It’s raw numbers without any abstractions. There’s no attachment to the news cycle. There’s no traditional thesis. It cannot be made in Photoshop or Illustrator. You must write software.
It represents the present-day revolution within news organizations. Some call it data journalism. Or explorable explanations. Or interactive storytelling. Whatever the label, it’s a huge shift from ledes and infographics.
The story is the code. It depicts the yield curve, an incredibly complex system, in all of its glory. It’s an amazing piece of software (I bet financial companies would even buy it).