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"Visual Explanations" could've spared some contrivances.
am 16. Mai 1997
Edward Tufte set high standards for himself with his previous books. Consequently the weaknesses of his newest stand out more than they would have otherwise. As usual, his bad examples have more impact than any amount of instruction or philosophizing, especially the "hyped Venus" animation from the Magellan probe. Other topics get a bit confusing.
Tufte's criticism of Richard Feynman's O-ring "experiment" makes sense only because both Tufte and Feynman imprecisely called it that and not what it really was: a demonstration. Was Feynman supposed to do in two minutes what all prior researchers had not?
Tufte goes from critiquing illustrations of magic tricks to equating a lecture with a magic show. His advice to keep things short and sweet, leave the audience wanting more, and the like are off-topic.
The author may be reaching for a grand theory of visual communication, and more power to him. However, the word "confection" is an unfortunate choice. It stinks too much of the disparaging phrase "eye candy" to be taken seriously. I would have preferred a term that might imply a connection with an electronic communications buzzword like "worldbuilding." Calvino's literary archeology, even live theater or filmmaking might have yielded preferable analogies.
Quibbles aside, this is a bargain at any price. It offers much better advice to interface designers than any overlarded, pseudo-psychedelic coffee table book I've seen so far on Website building