Monday, March 23, 2015

Areas of Ireland that have only ever had white male TDs

There is a great map on the mirror website in the article 'The UK map of white male power' of constituencies in the UK that have only ever had white male MPs

I thought it would be interesting to see what the same map would look for Ireland. The wikipedia page for Irish Women TD's is here, from it I took the list of constituencies that have been represented by Female TDs.

Ireland has not had many non white TDs. Moosajee Bhamjee is the first non white TD as far as I know. Leo Varadkar's father is Indian. And I am probably missing many more but historical demographics suggest non white Irish politicians were rare. We had a low immigrant population until recently. To keep the graph comparable to the UK one I keep the same not 'white male' filter. Please correct me with anyone I am missing.

Taking distinct constituencies from the Female TD's wikipedia page. And a map of Irish constituencies now from here. I coloured in the constituencies I could find female TDs for in green.

For some old constituencies, like Cork Mid, I could not work out where they were. One ex-constituency Limerick City–Lmk East had a female deputy, Kathleen O'Callaghan in 1921. I took the map of where this constituency used to cover when she represented it and turned that area in the east part of Limerick-West green.
Map of Limerick City–Lmk East in 1921

Another Dublin North has completely changed its location. When Margaret Collins-O'Driscoll represented it in 1923 it covered what is now Dublin North-East. So this area is also coloured green.

The constituencies I could not find a female TD for were: Cork South-West, Limerick West and Louth. The constituencies wikipedia listed as having had a female TD are Carlow–Kilkenny, Cavan–Monaghan, Clare, Clare–Galway South,  Cork East, Cork Mid, Cork North–Central, Cork North–East, Cork North–West, Cork South–Central, Donegal North–East,   Donegal South–West,   Dublin Ballyfermot, Dublin Central, Dublin County Mid, Dublin Mid, Dublin North, Dublin North–Central,   Dublin North–West,   Dublin South, Dublin South–Central,   Dublin South–East,   Dublin South–West, Dublin St Patrick's, Dublin West, DĂșn Laoghaire, Galway West,   Kildare North,   Laois–Offaly,   Limerick City–Limerick East,   Limerick East, Longford–Westmeath,   Meath East,   Monaghan, Roscommon, Roscommon–Leitrim,   Sligo–Leitrim,   Tipperary North,   Tipperary South, Waterford,   Waterford County,   Westmeath,   Wexford, Wicklow .

This map looks more diverse than the UK one to me. But the proportional representation system Ireland has means we have larger constituencies with a few Members of Parliament in each. This means the same proportion of non white male Members of Parliament should cover a bigger area.
I will update this map with any corrections people give me in the comments.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Pandemics and the Internet

My last point pointed out how many people died in the flu pandemic in Ireland in 1918.

To take the example of Japan according to Gapminder 1918 had a huge drop. The other big drop is the is the second world war with all the bomb dropping and shooting that involved.

David Eagleman has an interesting point here about how the internet can help prevent and reduce epidemics.

"The internet can be our key to survival because the ability to work telepresently can inhibit microbial transmission by reducing human-to-human contact. In the face of an otherwise devastating epidemic, businesses can keep supply chains running with the maximum number of employees working from home. This can reduce host density below the tipping point required for an epidemic. If we are well prepared when an epidemic arrives, we can fluidly shift into a self-quarantined society in which microbes fail due to host scarcity."

Eagleman has a good short video on his thesis

The long term effects of a sudden switch to everyone avoiding each other for a month or two could be huge. These would include

Education: How schools help spread influenza has been studied. 'School closures during the 2009 influenza pandemic: national and local experiences'. If all the schools were closed for a few months and people would move to Khan Academy and other online education sites. After this period a switch back to a fully non online world won't happen

Telecommuting: In a similar way online telecommuting would become much more popular. After a quarantine lite period the use of online project management and other telecommuting tools would become mainstream.

Shopping: If you don't meet people in school or at work you meet them in the shops. Deliveries of shopping would be strongly encouraged in the event of a pandemic. They should probably even be sponsored. Shops would not get as popular again once everyone got used to online shopping.

Banking: No one likes queuing in the banks at the best of times. Even ATMs would become horrible grubby in a pandemic world. Everything including social welfare payments would try and avoid using the fomite that is cash.

Telemedecine: People with the influenza need to be kept away from people who are sick. People with other illnesses will have to be dealt with remotely to avoid them coming into contact with people with influenza.

Public Events: Public events parades, cinemas, bars and museums would be closed. By their nature these involve people. If public events are made cheaper to attend virtually that will reduce the need for people to meet up. By this I mean if Sky Sports is made free for a few months people will be less annoyed no fans are allowed attend the football game.

There are many people without access to the internet that would not be helped by the use of digital technologies. Hopefully the use of digital technologies will help focus more of the traditional public health effort on them.

When the next pandemic happens the internet will reduce the consequences. Many industries will also change but the main thing is to avoid the 50 to 100 million the last pandemic killed.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Tree Rings and Life Expectancy

Andy Kirk here has an interesting blog post on dendrochronology and visualisation literacy.
Here is an example of a tree ring visualisation showing how over time the tree grows and leaves down rings.

I am going to visualise another time series expected lifespan.
Gapminder uses a line graph to visualise life expectancy over time. I downloaded the life expectancy data from gapminder.

The interesting points here are the famine where the life expectancy dropped from an estimated 38.3 to 14.1. Also the 1918 flu epidemic causes an obvious drop from 55.3 in 1917 to 49.68 and back to 55.8 in 1919.
I use this data to create a graph using the code below. The idea is like tree rings except that instead of each line laid down in a particular year each line represents the life expectancy in that year.

The size of each ring should be a good representation on the number of years people could expect to live in that year. However I just multiplied the years given by Gapminder *6 to give the number of pixels each circles radius should be. A proper visualisation has to be more careful not to distort the number than this. Roughly, living twice as long should look like a tree that is twice as big.

The code to create this graph in a canvas element of a webpage if here. So what do you think, does this visualisation show increase in lifespan in the last 200 years well?