Monday, December 19, 2011

No Power, No Point

I can't remember if it was Edward Tufte or someone else who first said of electronic slides, "No power, no point." I guess the underlying non-point is that if there is no message to communicate, the medium is as barren as any other.

And hence, remember, the message is the key; the medium is the medium. You don't go to a public lecture and ask for the lecturer's slides in advance, surely. Neither do you go to a concert and ask for an audio recording in advance. That way lies madness. And yet, this is what many people do in other contexts.

To wit, I often get students asking me for my slides both before and after lectures. Weren't they paying attention? Weren't they actively processing material? It would appear not.



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