Saturday, November 5, 2022

Back to blogging—with some updates

Hi everyone, it's been a while.

I'm back to blogging. How often? I don't know. We'll see how things go.

A few updates:


I was supposed to finish writing The Art of Insight more than a year ago. My editors at Wiley have been extremely patient while I dealt with some serious personal matters.

In my nearly defunct Twitter feed I recently joked that The Art of Insight is my The Winds of Winter: it's not just that it's delayed, or that it's unclear when it'll be finished; it's also that the more I write, the more I think it'll defy expectations. I like that. To give you an idea, a key section is titled 'Data Hedonism'.

The good news is that I've conducted all interviews I had planned —more than twenty,— they are transcribed already, and I'm writing at a fast pace.


I feel that the The Art of Insight will be my last book dealing exclusively with visualization. I'll probably write more books in years to come, but they'll be about adjacent subjects. I want to write about probability and uncertainty, about notions of normality and normativity, and about amalgamation paradoxes and ecological fallacies —yes, I believe that there's an entire book waiting to be written about those.

Instead of writing about visualization myself, I'll keep encouraging other much more interesting voices to do so, coaching them, and even editing their work if they decide to publish it in CRC's AK Peters Visualization Series. I co-edit that series with Tamara Munzner.

If you have an idea for a book, let us know. We're here to help. You'll be in excellent company, sharing shelves with the likes of Neil Richards, Jen Christiansen, Nigel Holmes, Bongshin Lee et al., Samuel Huron et al., and many others.


Simon and I are releasing an episode of The Data Journalism Podcast roughly every three weeks. It's fun.


I've decided to stop traveling for work as much as I used to. If you want me to present at your conference or workshop, by all means contact me; just be aware that I'm being extremely selective with what I accept. If I can't make it, I promise I'll recommend someone better than me for you to invite.

I'm also working on bringing back some my own conferences, such as the Digital Humanities+Data Journalism Symposium. For those of you who miss the Malofiej Infographics conference, there might be news about that soon.


In recent weeks I've published a couple of opinion pieces, one at The Washington Post, another at The Bulwark. I'll be blunt: if nothing changes, the United States will eventually become an illiberal, quasi theocratic country, an American version of Viktor Orbán's kakistocratic Hungary. Some cheer at such prospect; I loathe it, perhaps because I've read too much about late 19th and early 20th century history and political thought.

Writing these articles is emotionally draining, and I can only do it in the spare time left after I take care of my kids, classes, some consulting, and book-writing. However, I also think that it's the best way I can contribute to the fight against the ethical and ideological rot that is metastasizing in this country.


Once The Art of Insight is finished, my next project will likely be a tabletop game that I began developing two years ago.

See you soon.