by timothy. 0 Comments

A recent conversation on the pros and cons of PowerPoint vs. good old fashioned slides promted these selections. On the one hand, PowerPoint is derided for oversimplifying and on the other David Byrne thinks it’s an art form. – Tim


PowerPoint Makes You Dumb | Clive Thompson
“Perhaps PowerPoint is uniquely suited to our modern age of obfuscation — where manipulating facts is as important as presenting them clearly. If you have nothing to say, maybe you need just the right tool to help you not say it.”

Power Point is Evil | Edward Tufte
“In a business setting, a PowerPoint slide typically shows 40 words, which is about eight seconds’ worth of silent reading material. With so little information per slide, many, many slides are needed. Audiences consequently endure a relentless sequentially, one damn slide after another. When information is stacked in time, it is difficult to understand context and evaluate relationships.”

Learning to Love Power Point | David Byrne
“Although I began by making fun of the medium, I soon realized I could actually create things that were beautiful. I could bend the program to my own whim and use it as an artistic agent. The pieces became like short films: Some were sweet, some were scary, and some were mysterioso. I discovered that even without text, I could make works that were “about” something, something beyond themselves, and that they could even have emotional resonance. What had I stumbled upon? Surely some techie or computer artist was already using this dumb program as an artistic medium.”

Turning Heads with PowerPoint | Xeni Jardin
“This is exactly what was intended by the people who developed this program. They hoped that this tool would allow people to bypass the middleman, to communicate without having to work through a gauntlet of graphic designers or AV professionals. Do it yourself. After all, I learned how to do it in only a couple of hours.”

The Epistemology of David Byrne | Brian Braiker
“They all make assumptions about what you want to do with them and what kind of use you’re going to put them to, and therefore how you lead you’re life and what’s important to you. And it comes down to really simple things. Like in address books, it has a slot for your parents and your house and your spouse. That makes assumptions about how you live–and most of them are absolutely true–but what I’m talking about is stuff that’s not visible. It’s about how the architecture of the software makes assumptions about how you do things. This is going to sound high-falutin’, but it’s in the same way that Wittgenstein would say that the limits of our thought are the limits of our language. What we can say, what we can verbalize or write, determines what we can think. ”

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emailed by Timothy on Sunday 25 January 2004 @ 2:54 PM

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