Thursday, May 19, 2005


I have, on the screen in front of me, an article I wrote in which I recap and reconcile the major arguments in the PowerPoint debates. The article was written as a class assignment, part of which was to identify a possible publication venue and write the query letter. I did these things; my venue was's Business and Technology section.

So the query letter and the article are all written. Last semester, the article won first prize in the Alan and Gloria Siegal Professional Writing Awards for graduate student submissions. I have an new email message opened, addressed to Salon editorial.

So why am I writing about it in a blog instead of sending it?


Blogger M said...

There's a powerpoint debate?

11:24 PM  
Blogger j. ondioline said...

yes. I dislike PowerPoint myself, but I think Tufte misses the point. He argues that PowerPoint necessarily distorts and trivializes data, but assumes that *all* presentations should convey in-depth analysis, which is rarely the case.

12:31 AM  
Blogger M said...

I think it's cool how PowerPoint let's you can choose different effects, such as swoop.

8:59 AM  
Blogger M said...

oops, i didn't edit that last comment very well.

9:00 AM  
Blogger M said...

I don't know who this Tufte character is - but having reflected on your three line summary of his scholarly work, I think he is focusing on a small subset of PowerPoint presentations. It is true that PP can trivialize important information. But far more frequently, it is used to importantize trivial information. I'm guessing he's never worked in an office setting.

(BTW, Swoop should probably not be used on presentations such as 'Trends in Genocide' or '50 Years of Genital Mutilation in North Africa".)

10:06 AM  
Blogger j. ondioline said...

What is swoop?

10:07 AM  
Blogger M said...

You know - SWOOP.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous odoreida said...

You know, I read a fascinating blog post the other day about how the use of PowerPoint in philosophy presentations reflects different styles and aspirations for philosophy. Relevant to the debate?

12:52 PM  
Blogger j. ondioline said...

"What kind of a man, then, is this Odoreida? We first encounter him hanging about an empty billiards hall with Potter and others of his kind, discussing their sore feet and other such miseries. From there he goes to his club, a sorry figure with torn shoelaces, eating lumps of sugar to give him strength as he practices on his ventriloquist's whistle with which he imitates the voice of an umpire in order to confuse his opponents."

(from "The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship, or The Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating" by Stephen Potter)

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A belated happy birthday, and I hope you've sent it by now. --Matt's mom

3:54 PM  

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