Reading ‘100 Diagrams’, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really like a picture with my words…
Maybe it’s the result of blogging; or the changing relationship between photos and text as screens improve and social media goes visual. Perhaps the immediacy of the modern world is best navigated with a picture? Perhaps it always was.
Whatever the future holds, this tour of the great diagrams which changed, captured or encapsulate history, is well worth a look. Not the best written of its type, I have to say – and talking of type why have tiny and grey text; to test the eyesight?
But all the great inventions and diagrams are here – Copernicus, Galileo, the key patents of the industrial revolution, propaganda posters, the world wide web, the first bar chart; right back to schematic maps from ancient civilisations.
My favourite, below, is Sir Isaac Newton’s own sketch of the ‘crucial experiment’ which proves white light is composed of different colours; but those colours themselves cannot be further split. What science (or Natural Philosophy) then thought was fundamental – white light – in fact is a composite. What is fundamental, as so often in science, lies underneath.
Packed with the complex made simple, the pictures more than make up for any shortcomings with the text.