[extropy-chat] FWD (SK) Something to think about.... [PowerPoint is Evil contd]

Terry W. Colvin fortean1 at mindspring.com
Fri Feb 6 23:57:43 UTC 2004

Robert X. Cringely (the Real Bob at pbs.org, not the pretender at 
InfoWorld) has an IMHO excellent discussion of how PowerPoint has degraded 
our ability to listen:

>Now jump back to my columns of the last couple weeks, where we saw what 
>were bad decisions made in a facile manner that was probably lubricated 
>with a big dose of PowerPoint.
>So what's to be done? Well, we can't ban PowerPoint, which after all 
>exists for the very purpose of making people better informed, not worse. 
>What we can do, however, is lead by example. We can just say no to PowerPoint.
>I give a lot of speeches, taking my biases and bad humor on the road to 
>explain tech reality to all types of groups. And whether I am talking to 
>10 people or 3,700 (my personal best so far), I leave my notebook computer 
>behind. You see it is my belief that people can read your slides or listen 
>to what you are saying, but they can't do both things at the same time. 
>And because it is easier to read than listen if you are age 15 or older, a 
>good PowerPoint artist doesn't really have to say much at all. That's good 
>for him or her, but bad for the audience. So I make them work. I talk too 
>fast, tell too many stories, make too many bald conclusions, and generally 
>put a hurt on the audience that they simply aren't used to. I make them 
>think with me. And you know what happens? They love it. They love the 
>complete sentences. They love having not just the conclusion to work with, 
>but everything leading up to that conclusion. And because I am either so 
>over-prepared or under-prepared that the speech can go off in any 
>direction that we all find to be of interest, no two speeches are ever 
>alike. How unPowerPoint of me.
>My point here is not that I'm God's gift to public speaking, but that what 
>I do is PUBLIC SPEAKING, not public posturing or bustier ripping. I have 
>nothing to sell. My goal is actual communication. How quaint.
>But wait, there's more! I keep getting e-mail messages from people that I 
>literally can't understand. These people went to good schools and 
>presumably know how to write in complete sentences, but instead they send 
>me gibberish. This week, I called a practitioner of this gibberish, and he 
>explained it was "conversational e-mailese."
>Conversational e-mailese is a way to shout without speaking, to draw 
>attention without informing. It is no way to get chicks. But for a 
>PowerPoint, SMS, ICQ generation, I guess it will have to do. No wonder 
>we're making such bad decisions.

Full article at: http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20040205.html



Last week I called in "sick" and vamoosed to Vegas for the 2004 Consumer
Electronics Show. And suddenly it hit me: Las Vegas was created by aliens.
They landed in Area 51 and built the city as a vast experiment in human
excess. Wayne Newton? David Copperfield? Siegfried and Roy? All alien lab
technicians. It's the only answer that makes sense
                 --"Robert X. Cringely(TM)" [infoworld.com] 

"Only a zit on the wart on the heinie of progress." Copyright 1992, Frank Rice

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1 at mindspring.com >
     Alternate: < fortean1 at msn.com >
Home Page: < http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Stargate/8958/index.html >
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