Tufte

Why can’t all English classes integrate visual study into them? They just fit so nicely together. Making a convincing observation or argument is always better with a visual supplement. Science seems to go hand in hand with art when you integrate the two together.

I am a sucker for science, particularly physics and astronomy. If there is a diagram relating the masses of our sun compared to the black whole in the center of the milky way, I am going to gobble it down. If there is a simple diagram that demonstrates nuclear fission, I am there.  And if there is a Cut-Away airplane diagram,  I am going to drool over it until I see every nook and cranny of that plane.

I also understand that these diagram-esqe images can be misleading though. I had a cut away star wars vehicle book as a kid too. That didn’t make it any more real. I also had a book that talked about numerology. It was fascinating. I found things in it that I found to be true, and some points that stood on practically no solid foundation at all. One point the book went into, ironically was exactly what was discussed in our Tufte reading. It was basically the same premise as what Ernst Mossel was trying to prove in “Vom Geheimnis der Form und der Urform des Seins”. In short it was trying to show how many works of art held similar astrological symbolism in them. Sadly, I didn’t buy into that one. But an interesting point that the book brought up that does need more study was the character known as the Golden Ratio; Phi.

This point to is also debatable, but held a lot more ground that the claim mentioned previously. You should check it out if you have never heard of it. In summation it basically says that there is a uniform ratio that shows up in a lot of places, such as the proportions of the human body, the spacing of the planets in our solar system, the curvature of ocean waves and the helix of our galaxy. I’ll let you go ahead and play myth busters on that one. For now, I am going to go look at some airplane diagrams.

Image

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/Phi_uc_lc.svg/200px-Phi_uc_lc.svg.png

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2 Responses to Tufte

  1. 6blackholes says:

    I love your post! I, too, am a sucker for astronomical diagrams. The convergence of analytical and creative diagrams gives so much more to the viewer. I think that there can be much more pathos relayed by mapping an image, if done in the right way. For example, in the book it shows the scale of the Earth compared to that of Saturn. Simply by looking at this image I feel a sense of awe, wonder, and humbleness. Without the comparison of the two planets, I don’t think I’d have the same sort of emotional attachment towards the image. This pathos can even be enhanced when numbers, grids, and things of the like are added.

  2. dochigh says:

    Reblogged this on Doc High and commented:
    I fully agree with you that visuals make a better supplementation for ones argument. I too am heavy into science since that is my field of interest for college and with out the visuals, it would be significantly more difficult to understand and grasp the concepts.

    As for the Golden Ratio “Phi”, Yes that is a great point and seems to be a very valid phenomenon in nature. It gives symmetry and a sense of naturalness to everything. I do believe that it is valid and through visuals of almost everything, it is an easy claim to push. Though you can draw a line on just about anything and try to convince others of something its not just as easily.

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