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  Monday, May 12, 2003

Cory Doctorow, author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, will be at BayCon at the San Jose Doubletree:

I'll be at BayCon, Memorial Day weekend. If you're in the Bay Area during the Memorial Day weekend (May 23-26), you could do worse than to attend BayCon, the annual science fiction convention in San Jose. I'll be giving a bunch of talks, panels and readings:  Link Discuss [Boing Boing Blog]

And Fan Guest of Honor will be none other than Sun's Janice Gelb, organizer of the Techwhirler's dinner at STC-Con.

9:14:27 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Tufte shreds PowerPoint. Edward "PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely" Tufte has published a monograph called "The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint." Link Discuss (via Kottke) [Boing Boing Blog]

In corporate and government bureaucracies, the standard method for making a presentation is to talk about a list of points organized onto slides projected up on the wall. For many years, overhead projectors lit up transparencies, and slide projectors showed high-resolution 35mm slides. Now "slideware" computer programs for presentations are nearly everywhere. Early in the 21st century, several hundred million copies of Microsoft PowerPoint were turning out trillions of slides each year.

Alas, slideware often reduces the analytical quality of presentations. In particular, the popular PowerPoint templates (ready-made designs) usually weaken verbal and spatial reasoning, and almost always corrupt statistical analysis. What is the problem with PowerPoint? And how can we improve our presentations?

Dang, I just finished reading my copy of Edward Tufte's new booklet, and "shreds" was exactly the verb I wanted to use in my description. Anyone who's attended one of Tufte's day-long seminars has heard of his dislike for PowerPoint. Here he explains exactly what's wrong with it: forced linearity, hierarchy, minimized logic and analysis, simplification ad nihilo, the tyranny of bullet-points. He makes a telling point midway through the presentation, comparing PowerPoint to the corporate, imperial style, contrasting with the more appropriate style of good teaching: "explanation, reasoning, finding things out, questioning, content, evidence, credible authority not patronizing authoritarianism." Tufte even skewers the popular misinterpretation of Miller's "Magical Number Seven Plus or Minus Two."

An employee of Graphics Press (Tufte's own publishing house) told me that they're processing a lot of orders. More power to them (pun intended).

8:55:05 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Good Experience Live writeup. Anil Dash writes up his thoughts on Mark Hurst's Good Experience Live conference.

While I'm hesitant about the dilution inherent in "everything is an experience, so experience design is about everything", innovation thrives at the periphery and at disciplinary intersections. Even without a New York conference, we can still gain a lot from exploring those edges through cross-training - talking with and learning from other disciplines. (thanks Webword) [ia/ - information architecture news]

Now re-read that last paragraph; that's why I'm participating in DUX2003, to "explore those edges through cross-training."

12:55:30 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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