Mass Media Flatlines

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The only reason I'm doing this post is because I happened to be in a waiting room.

I was at my son's optometrist, and the only two selections of reading material were (1) a large-print edition of Reader's Digest; (2) a recent issue of Smart Money. So I had to choose between the reading material of a resident of Iowa with failing vision or a person who considers Jim Cramer a sharp Wall Street insider. I relented and chose the latter.

In it was an article about currencies, and it showed some long-term charts of currency movement. What irked me about their presentation – – and I have seen this in many, many places, including the Wall Street Journal – – is that the editors or graphic designers don't seem to grasp that the amount of space allocated to a y-axis should really be greater than about one centimer. Witnesseth:


Do this yahoos expected anyone at all to be able to draw any conclusions or insight from a graph like this? Good God in heaven, people! You don't have to be an expert! You only have to be SENTIENT!