Graphics are an important part of the technical communication process. Sometimes one graphic can speak volumes and convey us information that thousands of words can’t.
Here is one such graphic published in the Wall Street Journal to illustrate Carl Bialik‘s article “And the Oscar Goes to… Not Its Voting System.”
It is an astonishing exposition of the way a third most favorite film can beat the most favorite film over three rounds of voting. The crucial concept to understand here is the way the votes of the losing candidate is re-assigned to another candidate.
Here is the original article and here is the graphic:
It’s a powerful illustration that explains the craziness of one particular voting system very well. This illustration looks better online since the printed version did not have the luxury of the different colors shown above. Different shades of gray used in the print edition do not convey the same idea as clearly.