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Hilarious and deeply disturbing pamphlet
on 9 March 2004
Edward R. Tufte in a 23 page pamphlet exposes the poverty of thought and outright confusion induced by using PowerPoint templates to present real world ideas. Anyone who has dozed off during or fled from a presentation based on what he calls PowerPointPhluff will recognise "The Dreaded Build Sequence", the arbitrarily small sized data table, the awfull chartjunk graph, the bullet point slide and so on. PowerPoint, he clearly shows was designed for sales pitch presentations. In a sentence he demolishes the most widely used presentation aid in use in commerce and science. "The cognitive syle characteristics of the standard default PP presentation: foreshortening of the evidence and thought, low spatial resolution, a deeply hierarchical single-path structure as the model for organising every type of content, breaking up of the narrative and data into slides and minimal fragments, rapid temporal sequencing of thin information rather than focussed spatial analysis, conspicuous decoration and Phluff, a preoccupation with format not content, and an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch." There are many hilarious illustrations including "The Gettysburg Address" as a PowerPoint Presentation. The deeply disturbing part is where he shows that the use of PP style by Boeing Engineers so obscured the data and its analysis that NASA executives failed to realise the imminent danger to the shuttle Columbia and allowed it to re-enter with resulting loss of the entire crew in the worst space disaster ever. Order directly from Graphics Press. You will never use a PowerPoint template again- ever!