Remembering algorithms

data-visualisation, diagrams, small-print
13/11/19

Visualising legal and regulatory text is quite a current issue. But it's actually quite an old idea. One of the pioneers was one of my first bosses, Brian LewIs who co-authored pioneering work on this in the 1960s.

Here's an example from a letter sent to taxpayers.

"If the asset consists of stocks or shares which have values quoted or a stock exchange (see also paragraph G below), or unit trust units whose values are regularly quoted, the gain or loss (subject to expenses accruing after 6 April 1965, is the difference between the amount you received on disposal and the market value on 6 April 1965, except that in the case of a gain where the actual cost of the asset was higher than the value at 6 April 1965, the chargeable gain is the excess of the amount you received on disposal over the original cost or acquisition price; and in the case of a loss, where the actual cost of the asset was lower than the value of 6 April 1965, the allowable loss is the excess of the original cost or acquisition price over the amount received on disposal.

If the substitution of original cost for the value at 6 April 1965,  turns a gain into a loss, or a loss into a gain, there is, for the purpose of tax, no chargeable gain or allowable loss."

Brian and his colleagues presented like this:

I've scanned in one of their key publications and written some notes about it. Click here to access Lewis, Horabin and Gane 1967: an information design classic.

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