What’s the Three One One in Two Oh One Eight, Walt Hickey? (Episode 106)


Walt Hickey is a data journalist who launched a newsletter for numeric nerds several months ago. He’s worked for Business Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, currently, Insider (a sister company to BI), often writing about the intersection of culture and data: How we can understand movies, books, and social trends better through a filter of numbers, or how numbers help us understand the world around us better.

Numlock News is an outgrowth of something he did at FiveThirtyEight, giving him a leg up—with that publication’s support—in creating a freemium newsletter with bite-sized nuggets delivered daily to everyone, while paid subscribers get a weekly extra. We talk about his approach and the tools he uses.


This week’s episode sponsorship was donated by Filip to support refugee relief. At a time when tens of millions of people have had to flee their homes, the greatest number since World War II, refugees need your help. To find the best-run groups offering direct aid, consult Charity Navigator. To assist Syrian refugees and others in the region, consider giving to the International Rescue Committee (rescue.org), Oxfam America (oxfamamerica.org), Doctors Without Borders(doctorswithoutborders.org), Save the Children (savethechildren.org), and Mercy Corps (mercycorps.org).

This episode is also brought to you in part by Disruptor-level patrons Philip Borenstein, Rob McNair-Huff, Bryan Clark, Ready Chi, and Patrick Weyer. You can become a patron of the show on a one-time or recurring basis, and get rewards like an exclusive enamel pin and being thanked in this fashion!

Show notes