Trump: The Anti-Tufte

Recorded on October 13th, 2016

I guess one of the reasons I bristle when Trump appears in a video, frothing at the mouth, is that he invariably spouts some data-less claim about what a disaster this or that situation is, and then follows it up with a fanciful vision of what the great outcome will be because of him and his genius. He never describes those outcomes in detail, and doesn’t give any path or outline any steps that will get us there. It is strictly a hand-waving exercise. No precision, no complications, no multi-factor problems. All of it can be solved by getting tough, building a wall, hiring the best people, repealing the dumb laws, etc. That’s the extent of it.

Apologies to Edward Tufte for invoking his name, but Trump is like the anti-Tufte. Zero evidence is presented in every case. There’s no room for analysis or compromise. Just lies about statistics and lies about science, all to puff himself up and make his supporters buy what he’s selling. It revulses me the same way that corporate buzz-speak revulses me, because I know there’s no substance, only misdirection. In any workplace, when I hear “leverage” used as a verb, or “synergy” used at all, my bullshit radar turns on and I know that whatever is coming next needs to be looked at with caution and skepticism. Trump is human chartjunk, except he’s not even as good as chartjunk — he’s just crayon scribbles on a paper bag. My bullshit radar goes into the red whenever he starts talking.

It’s going to be a long 26 days.

blog comments powered by Disqus