Meeting Lewis and Willard

Last week I was introduced to the work of Lewis Hine.

Lewis_Hine_selfportrait

Today I have met Willard Brinton.

Brinton

Both have returned my thoughts to the sociology of knowledge and personal learning journeys.

I met Lewis through a photograph shared by Audrey Watters. My introduction to Willard came through an alert from Stephen Downes to a post by Nathan Yau.

I am indebted to the Wikipedia accounts of their lives as a starting point for my interest in their work.

Lewis’s story has encouraged me to think much more about documentary photography as a way to hook attention and perhaps trigger learning. I found more information about his work in a collection of his photographs at the New York Public Library and at Duke University where there is a fellowship program named after him.

Willard’s two works on the graphical presentation of data (1914 and 1939) have me thinking about some timeless presentation and visualisation issues. Both his books are available from the Internet Archive. A 2012 post provided some additional background information on Willard and noted Willard’s discovery of William Playfair between the publication of both books. The 1939 publication is dedicated to William Playfair. The International Business Communications Standards (IBCS) refer to Willard’s principles in their discussion of perceptual rules for visual design (in the company of William Playfair, Gene Zelazny, Edward Tufte, and Stephen Few).

Meeting both of them has reminded me about the need for present day performance analysts to have a sense of history and their place in the sociology of ideas.

I am sorry it has taken me so long to find them.

Photo Credit

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