Sketchnote of Outlier talk on Data Viz, the UnEmpathetic Art
Sketchnote of Outlier talk on Data Viz, the UnEmpathetic Art

Mushon Zer-Aviv spoke at Outlier about how data viz is an un-empathetic art.

This was clearly one of the most thought-provoking talk, in which he questioned the role of data viz in building empathy, and the moral implications of this approach.

His talk was filled with amazing quotes, references & prompts to reflect upon.

“If I look at the mass, I will never act.
If I look at the one, I will.”
— Mother Teresa

Mushon’s talk burst my design bubble — obsessed with empathy. Understanding how empathy contributes to violence (!) and reduces our ability to see the bigger picture was an eye-opener.

I look forward to seeing guidelines on when not to leverage it in viz.

You can watch a video of the talk on Youtube :

You can read more in this article summarizing his thoughts, and hear him talk about it in this PolicyViz podcast episode .