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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Hamlet in PowerPoint
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0219  Wednesday, 28 January 2004

From:           Al Magary <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Jan 2004 14:32:52 -0800
Subject:        Hamlet in PowerPoint

A couple of the lists I subscribe to have tackled the question, "Does
PowerPoint make us stupid?"  In the affirmative, a case in point:  the
panel investigating the Columbia shuttle disaster found that the
possible danger of a chunk of foam breaking off and smashing into the
wing was known to NASA--known, that is, as a prolix and small-type
subpoint of a subpoint of a point in an extra-long PowerPoint presentation.

A blogger named Daniel Radosh has lightly pointed out similar dangers
(yes, pieces of foam hitting your head) to students of literature by
assembling "The PowerPoint Anthology of Literature."  The Hamlet slide
is at

I recall from Army days that the sergeants would typically begin by
saying what they were going to say, saying it, then saying what they
just said.  The worst PowerPoint presentations follow the same formula
except that the slides are identical to the speech and a printed set of
slide thumbnails is given to every member of the audience.

Are college lecturers using PowerPoint these days to put the freshmen in
8 a.m. classes back to sleep?

Al Magary

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