Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New book in the Fall; new public talk in 2019

If you follow me on Twitter you know that I have a new book coming in the Fall this year. It'll be my first for the general public and, unfortunately, it's not part of the “art” series —yes, that means you'll need to wait until 2020 or 2021 for the The Insightful Art, the closing of the trilogy. The new book is the reason I've been silent for so long in this blog.

The book is titled How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter About Visual Information, and it'll be launched by W.W. Norton, which also publishes authors I greatly admire such as Michael Lewis (The Fifth Risk) and Charles Wheelan (Naked Statistics). No pressure, I guess. How Charts Lie can't be pre-ordered yet, but I'll let you know as soon as it can. The domain already exists, but I haven't added any content yet.

If you have attended one of the Visual Trumpery public lectures in the past couple of years, be aware that the talk is a concise trailer for How Charts Lie, as it roughly replicates its structure. How Charts Lie teaches general audiences how to read graphs and maps correctly, and how to use them to improve understanding.

Some other authors are reading the draft of How Charts Lie and will blurb it. Here is, for instance, Tim Harford (The Undercover Economist and Messy): “Alberto Cairo has written a wise, witty and utterly beautiful book. You couldn't hope for a better teacher to improve your graphical literacy.” I love Tim's books —go check them out— so his endorsement means a lot.

In 2019 I'm revamping my public talk, and renaming it to match the title of the book. In the first semester this year I'll be presenting in Miami (today!), Mexico DF, Denver, Vancouver, Providence, Knoxville, Detroit, Pamplona, and probably Amsterdam, Milan, and Calgary. I'll continue giving public lectures once the book is launched in the Fall.

The content of the new version of the public talk will likely be organized around the biases I warn against in How Charts Lie —which, by the way, could have been titled “How We Lie To Ourselves With Charts —and How They Can Make Us Smarter Instead”, although that'd be way too clunky. Here you have some draft slides I'm working on right now: