Teh Monday morning funny

No kittens were harmed in the making of this funny.  Historiann.com does not condone the execution of tiny creatures.

Heh anyway.  Via Comrade PhysioProf, via Mark Andrew Goetz.  Explanation here.  Tufte’s 1983 book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, was a revelation to me.  I was writing my dissertation in the mid-1990s, and although I wasn’t working with much quantitative data, I learned so much from this book.  (Plus, reading it was an excellent writing procrastination strategy for at least a few afternoons.  I think it was Monocle Man who put me onto it–must have been all those semiotics courses at Brown that made him so smart.) 

I think I need to show you this photo to make up for the bad cat karma the image above might unleash.  (U haz bad case of teh Mundays, too?)  Now, I’m off to deliver my last PowerPoint-enabled lecture of the year.

0 thoughts on “Teh Monday morning funny

  1. Bwa ha haaa! Why, just this weekend, I taught my eldest how to make slideshows since that’s a format she can submit reports in for a few of her high school assignments.

    I tried to impress the rule of few slides, short bits of text and big font sizes but, of course, when you’re making this as a project to submit and never actually present? Well, I can see where the trend toward staggeringly long and overly detailed PowerPoints originates in our students. (Let’s not even talk about how they just READ their slideshows!)


  2. It’s good that she has your expert eye for using PP effectively, Janice. It can be used effectively–but I would urge in every case that the canned presentations Microsoft urges on beginners be ignored, and that people be encouraged to think about WHAT they’re trying to present and HOW they might enlist the technology to do it.

    As I’ve said before, I like the ability to integrate visual sources (as primary sources) with textual information. I still have a slide carousel in my office drawer, but it’s been at least 4-5 years since I’ve hauled it out.


  3. “The visual displays of quantitative information” was briliant, invaluable if for nothing else in refining my bullshit detector when asessing printed information. I picked up a follow up book of his, something to do with how too look at the natural and manmade environment. Way too much “spiritual beauty is in the maker” kind of Mickey Mouse for my taste.


  4. Never a big fan of Edward Tufte.

    We use PP as a launching pad for intensive group discussion and constructive criticism. It worked for us for years.


  5. I just cram my powerpoints full of text-heavy bullet points (with a picture on each!), set the whole thing on a timer, push play, and spend otherwise dull lecture time checking my facebook page.


  6. “We use PP as a launching pad for intensive group discussion and constructive criticism.”

    How does that work? When I’m in an audience subjected to PP, my friends and I sit in the back, crack jokes about the slides, and snigger behind our hands. It’s criticism, but not very constructive–except in improving our moods.

    (As we can all read, we glean the actual information from the slide printout handed out at the beginning. This takes 3-5 minutes. We’re then free to spend the remaining 55-85 minutes making fun of the presentation.)


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