Saturday, November 12, 2022

A few key paragraphs from 'The Art of Insight'

Here's the rough draft of a few key paragraphs from The Art of Insight:

I respect but also disagree with the Tuftean and Bertinian functionalist-realist discourse in visualization. In The infographic, Murray Dick says that the discourse I employ in all my writings—this book isn’t an exception— is pragmatist. He is correct; in fact, such label encapsulates the essence of my ideas beautifully.

Instead of a hierarchical, top-down professional landscape where self-proclaimed “thought leaders” cast their wisdom on the masses, I favor a horizontal world driven by conversations among kind and collegial peers—friends in the ancient philosopher’s sense of such term. I also believe that we must stop thinking about and teaching visualization in terms of “rules”, and more in terms of justification and reasoning.

This reasoning is driven by goals, constraints, trade-offs, and outcomes, informed by ever-imperfect and ever-evolving empirical evidence, conventions, and even personal experience and taste, and aimed at benefitting an intended audience.

I call this the hedonistic shift.

 If you want to read a bit more, I've also shared the draft of the first page of the book exclusively on Mastodon.