Image Test #2
There is a viral tweet by an aspiring YouTuber in Wisconsin is making the rounds on social media claiming that Disney took the story of “Coco” from a family in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Quiroga, Michoacán, Mexico. While the woman pictured in the tweet and the character of Mama Coco is very similar, there is a lot of doubt about the tweet’s accuracy. It seems like the tweet is a good example of not believe everything you hear or see on social media as pure fact.
The two are very similar in appearance, obviously. The viral success of the tweet proves that people are willing to believe that this happened. Many are even sharing their own photos showing that they met the woman in Mexico after traveling there due to the success of “Coco.”
Creatives who worked on “Coco” did exhaustive research to make sure they got the movie right. It is crucial that corporations portray cultures and cultural events right in the 21st century. There is hypersensitivity and a strong expectation for companies to do their due diligence to guarantee that culturally relevant materials are done correctly. In that vein, Disney/Pixar did send people to Mexico to research and study up on the customs surrounding Día de los Muertos.
They did visit places in Mexico and there are moments in the film where you see recreations of structures they encountered on their trip. Disney has never denied visiting places in Mexico to do research and that parts of the film are inspired by things they have seen. However, according to responses to the tweet, there are a lot of people who think Disney did more than just get inspired by these places and the people.
The accusations have really caught fire on Twitter with little to no information backing claims. While the tweet claims the family was not compensated, Disney denies it was based on the family despite the striking similarities. There is also no evidence presented that the family nor people in the town that were interviewed signed contracts for compensation from Disney.
Twitter users responded to Alyssa claiming that it doesn’t matter and that the families should be compensated for the interviews and information obtained.
“For those of you who read my previous post about Coco…here is my abuela,” Brandon Guzman posted on Facebook two years ago. “It was her who they modeled the Abuela with the chancla in the movie after!! I’m a proud grandson!! #Pixar #Disney #Coco #LatinosInHollywood”
There is no denying that some bits of Mexico made it into the movie. However, it can be argued that it was done to further the authenticity of the movie and the storyline for people wanting to see themselves represented.
Despite people who worked on or related to those who worked on denying the story, the rumor of Disney causing harm to a community in Mexico.
There have been multiple instances of people blindly believing things that are posted on social media. The lack of necessary fact-checking before posting has led to misinformation spreading unchecked on social media. It is up to the users to make sure that they do their own research and determine what is true or not. As for this story, it seems the internet will forever be torn over the validity of the claims made.
One of the biggest changes that the so called digital revolution has brought to our lives is the capacity that today’s computer systems have to process huge amounts of data. Processors today are able to run algorithms that bring together millions of data entries to find trends, cluster groups of similar objects and generate visualizations that can help us understand even the most complex aspects of science and culture. This is known popularly as “big data” and has changed the ways in which governments and companies understand reality and make decisions. For example, before high speed processing mathematicians took literally years to make sense of census data and find correlations between factors such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age and literacy levels.
Guess what? This can be done today with a few clicks as computers bring together millions upon millions of data entries and make sense of it all. It all sounds very geeky, but big data is defining how we live our lives, from how traffic lights coordinate to how much tax you gotta pay each year.
So all this geeky, nerdy stuff should be put to good use, o no?
This young scientist is the Chief Data Scientist at a company called Jetty, and he does some pretty groundbreaking research on pressing social issues such as housing and poverty.
His LinkedIn profile is pretty impressive: “Experience in public and private sector with skills to analyze and visualize data related to: commuting, transit, housing, tourism, migration, security, and urban environment. Expert in territorial analysis and passionate about the cartography and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to visualize small and big data”. Wow. hold your horses, Einstein! He is a proud graduate of Mexico’s National University and has Master’s Degree on Demographics and Statistics.
No, it is not a visualization of WiFi points in Mexico. No, it is not a rendition of cartel activity. No, it is not a highlight of the areas in which development runs at a faster pace. It is about something much, much more relevant to everyday life in Mexico lindo y querido. Any guesses?
Just look at that tortilla, a bit crispy, a bit soft… and that perfectly marinated meat…
Baruch called this visualization Taco Universe, and it showcases all the registered taco stands and shops in the country. We can clearly see that there is a high concentration of taco shrines in the capital Mexico City, and that hotspots like Cancun and Cabo are also highlighted, perhaps thanks to gringo tourism craving fish tacos. The scientists used the database Directorio Estadístico Nacional de Unidades Económicas (Denue) (Statistical National Directory of Economic Units) from the federal census agency INEGI. The map highlights how taco culture is primarily based in the center of the country, with local varieties such as Puebla’s tacos arabes (a shawarma like type) increasing the traffic in that area.
Thousands of Mexicans subsist in an informal economy with businesses that are not registered and pay no taxes. Among these businesses, mobile taco stands reign supreme. There are hundreds of taco stands all around the country that are set up informally. Sometimes you can find the most delicious tacos there! You can also find informal vendors selling tacos de canasta, a variety that is literally carried in a basket. This map does not take these informal enterprises into account, even though they are key to Mexico’s taco culinary tradition.
Well, just look at these crispy, sweaty, fat-rich babes. Tacos de canasta are filled with guisados or stews, or with refried beans. We are almost sure that Baruch did not include them in his map, but we can forgive him for making us crave unos taquitos (we bet you are calling your comadres or compas right now to hit the taco stand) and showing us how Mexico is a country that despite its many challenges still finds time to live up to the old adage: barriga llena, corazon contento.