misce stultitiam consiliis brevem

Every Time You Make A Powerpoint

This happens, although don’t click on that link unless you have some tolerance for dark humor.

Well, I think it’s funny, and I also think Edward Tufte’s stand on PowerPoint is interesting (if not news at this point):

Slideware may help speakers outline their talks, but convenience for the speaker can be punishing to both content and audience. The standard PowerPoint presentation elevates format over content, betraying an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch.

For example, here’s a scathing criticism of PowerPoint use in NASA:

I examine a key slide in the PP reports made while the Columbia was damaged but still flying….In the reports, every single text-slide uses bullet-outlines with 4-6 levels of hierarchy.  Then another multi-level list, another bureaucracy of bullets, starts afresh for a new slide.  How is it that each elaborate architecture of thought always fits exactly on one slide?

Anyway, to my knowledge, no animals were harmed in the creation of the first link.

h/t: Felix Salmon

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Web Site Story

Web Site Story is a parody video from CollegeHumor with some extremely clever lyrics. There’s not much more I can say except to encourage you to check it out!

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Kicking it off with xkcd

The first blog post!

Eventually, I hope this blog will introduce you to lots of neat things you didn’t know of before. But for the first post, I thought I’d begin with a classic: one of my favorite xkcd comics.

In case there’s anyone out there who hasn’t yet discovered xkcd, let this be a wake-up call! The comic, written and drawn by Randall Munroe, describes itself as “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” That’s accurate as far as it goes, but what’s truly noteworthy is Munroe’s wit as he jokes about a wide range of unabashedly geeky topics using relatively simple artwork and few words. The Redwall comic linked to above is no exception, combining fantasy epics with public key cryptography.

Though it doesn’t contain much that regular readers won’t already know, I enjoyed this article about xkcd in the New York Times. It’s great to see a “geek-cult-hero” (as they describe him) getting mainstream publicity.

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