Tufte Rocks

Apr 16, 2004 04:00 · 229 words · 2 minute read

I saw Edward Tufte in a one-day course today. It was excellent and I highly recommend it for anyone who does software, presentations or works with statistics. If you’re not familiar with him, Tufte is the author of a book on Amazon’s best 100 non-fiction books of the 20th century:


This book also has the interesting distinction of being self-published. All three of his books are beautifully printed. Tufte is a big believer of always providing handouts for a presentation, and he hates PowerPoint. So, the course included his books, and he would point out specific things in the books as his visual aids. It was a great style, and I didn’t have any of the books previously. The books (and PowerPoint paper and Napoleon poster) would have cost about $145, so the $320 price of admission is not unreasonable. That said, Tufte makes a good living being Edward Tufte. There had to have been more than 300 people there (at $320 a pop, you do the math…) That’s not at all a criticism, by the way. Tufte’s earned his position.

Besides, he needs all of that money to buy things like first edition books by Galileo and Newton, which he used as visual aids. Snippets from those books appear in Tufte’s books.

Again, highly recommended. If you get a chance to see him in your town, take it!