Edward Tufte & Hans Rosling: Scott Drops
Gapminder World Chart Found Here
Often I'll be talking to Scott and he'll drop a name or movement or style and then keep going, assuming I'm as intimately familiar with the reference as he is. Although perhaps flattering, this usually is not the case as I'm not great at holding onto names of people and things I only read about. It hurt me on high school tests and it hurts me now.
Anyway, one of the names that has stuck with me through repeated Scott exposure is Edward Tufte. There is an article on him in the NYT because he has a class called “Edward Tufte: Short Course and Sculpture Tour” at the Ridgefield Playhouse next week. First, if your name is part of a title followed by a colon, as though you are your own dissertation, you know you've hit the big time. Second, Ridgefield Playhouse needs to improve its website because it took me too long to figure out that it's in Connecticut.
Speaking of websites, Edward Tufte has one, and it uses Times New Roman, which is an affront to me for reasons I can't articulate. But it also has amazing posters, like this one, about cyclograms, which is a word I learned when looking at this poster, made by a Russian cosmonaut (another great word). I can't figure out a way to see it larger, but it looks beautiful and apparently shows a schedule for space walks and baths and visits of resupply ships bringing equipment, fresh fruit, and gingerbread. That is so awesome to me. Taking space baths! Eating kiwi among the stars!
Anyway, I saw Tufte's schedule of talks on his website, and asked Scott if this independent scholar who is no longer affiliated with a learning institution had something so extraordinary to say that it would be worth dropping $380. That's when he told me about Hans Rosling and I sat in his office and watched this and learned about Trendalyzer Beta. Not only is he one of my Nordic people and a showman who wears costumes after my own heart (wait for it, at the end of the video, when he unbuttons his shirt) but he adds time to the equation in visually representing information (which Tufte doesn't incorporate). Rosling sold his algorithm to Google, where his son works, and I look at a product of this algorhythm every time I check my blog analytics. Also, I prefer his website to Tufte's, not that it's a competition for my website affection...
So yeah, another post about infographics by "Karen Lauritsen: Mental Cosmonaut and Gingerbread Maker."