• Edward Tufte’s Vision

    by Charles Euchner on September 4, 2014

    It might not seem like much to brag about, a series of “whiskers” and squiggly lines no bigger than these words.
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    Edward Tufte, the da Vinci of visual display of information, has much more to boast about. A former political theorist who has turned his attention to art, he is the best-selling author of independently published books. He speaks to overflow audiences of corporate, publishing, journalism, and government audiences. In these seminars, he explains why PowerPoint “sucks” and why new technologies make a whole new age of communication not only possible but also essential.
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    But he sometimes seems to care most about those whiskers and squiggles. When youy hear him out, you understand that he’s onto something revolutionary.

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    The Surprising New Literacy

    September 4, 2014

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    Show Your Characters Confronting Brick Walls

    December 20, 2012

    An excerpt from the recently updated edition of The Big Book of Writing, available as a comprehensive guide to writing (click right) or in sections (click images below).
    In 2008, a computer science professor at Carnegie-Mellon University named Randy Pausch attracted national acclaim with his “last lecture.” Dying of pancreatic cancer, Pausch spoke with joy about [...]

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    Asking Questions

    December 12, 2012

    An excerpt from the recently updated edition of The Big Book of Writing, available as a comprehensive guide to writing (click right) or in sections (click images below).
    We can ask two kinds of questions, This-or-That questions and W questions.
    This-or-That questions offer specific options. For example: Who was the better writer, Hemingway or Fitzgerald? W questions [...]

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    Make Even Analysis Suspenseful

    November 20, 2012

    An excerpt from the recently updated edition of The Big Book of Writing, available as a comprehensive guide to writing (click right) or in sections (click images below).
    If you can turn an analysis into a suspense story, you’ll own the reader. And you’ll be able to offer a balanced and powerful critique.
    When you pose a [...]

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    Edit By Reading Aloud, Forward and Backwards

    November 7, 2012

    An excerpt from the recently updated edition of The Big Book of Writing, available as a comprehensive guide to writing (click right) or in sections (click images below).
    Until modern times, most people experienced great literature—or even news reports—by listening to others read. This oral tradition, in fact, produced the greatest works of literature. Storytellers would [...]

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    Day 2: The Journey

    November 2, 2012

    “Writing,” Margaret Atwood says, “is a code.”
    The Greeks said: Look to the end.
    Every great story takes the reader on a great trip to some meaningful conclusion.
     
    Today’s NaNoWriMo Exercise

    Look to Your End: Imagine, as vividly as you can, finishing your work for National Novel Writing Month. What does it feel like? What made the experience possible? [...]

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