Monday, April 16, 2007

CIA World Factbook

Why isn't the data presented in time-series? Why isn't it downloadable as Excel files? Why are government bureaucracies so incompetent?

So I'm doing a project and I need the crude birth rate and the total fertility rate trend for the past thirty years, as well as the average wage of females. (You can guess what the topic is.) As far as I can tell I'll have to access independent archives of each year and piece the thing together myself.

There's something rather fishy about the sheer incompetence of that design. Has no one in the CIA noticed this? Why oh why is it still so hard to get basic information?

By the way -- yes, I've looked through the data on the U.S.Census website and been very disappointed.

UPDATE: This gives me an idea on what to do with my website. Put up reams and reams of statistical data, well-organized.


Anonymous said...

The school doesn't subscribe to the places that organize the data. Might I suggest just using the WDI? If you need older data they're on the second floor of the library.


undergroundman said...

Have you actually looked at that CD? (I have.)

Who are you? If there are people at my school reading this thing then it may be time for me to move.

undergroundman said...

I actually posted on the WDI earlier. It really is quite insane that they organize information by category and not by country. Can you not agree?

It is the same with the CIA World Factbook. It comes up with "public" data every year but it fails to offer its previous data in an organized form. Why? It would be so easy to leave the data up.

Why do you think? They're hiding shit. They want to make our job harder. For the same reason they suppress real news as much as possible and manipulate the public by creating false dilemmas - pesticides don't really hurt things, businesses really are altruistic; global warming, despite its rapid pace and and the fact that carbon dioxide is a warming gas, either does not exist or is caused by the natural cycle.

The sheer dishonesty of people (and the liberals are not blameless) is staggering.

Anonymous said...

Ockham's Razor, my friend, Ockham's Razor.