How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid
The Faulty Causality, Sloppy Logic, Decontextualized Data, and Seductive Showmanship That Have Taken Over Our Thinkin
Publication Date: February 2012
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With over 500 million users worldwide, Microsoft’s PowerPoint software has become the ubiquitous tool for nearly all forms of public presentationin schools, government agencies, the military, and, of course, offices everywhere. In this revealing and powerfully argued book, author Franck Frommer shows us that PowerPoint’s celebrated ease and efficiency actually mask a profoundly disturbing but little-understood transformation in human communication.
Using fascinating examples (including the most famous PowerPoint presentation of all: Colin Powell’s indictment of Iraq before the United Nations), Frommer systematically deconstructs the slides, bulleted lists, and flashy graphics we all now take for granted. He shows how PowerPoint has promoted a new, slippery grammar,” where faulty causality, sloppy logic, decontextualized data, and seductive showmanship have replaced the traditional tools of persuasion and argument.
How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid includes a fascinating mini-history of PowerPoint’s emergence, as well as a sobering and surprising account of its reach into the most unsuspecting nooks of work, life, and education. For anyone concerned with the corruption of language, the dumbing-down of society, or the unchecked expansion of efficiency” in our culture, here is a book that will become a rallying cry for turning the tide.
Gonzague Saint Bris, who grew up in the last home of Leonardo Di Vinci, is a novelist, historian, and journalist. his has written acclaimed biographies of Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Balzac, and Flaubert. Gonzangue recently received an honorary degree from the University of california at Berkeley. He lives in Paris.
An original and brilliant study . . . Frommer’s call to resist the powerpointization” of our souls carries in it the lucidity of a new social critique.
To the executive who never dozed off after lunch in an atmosphere subdued by a PowerPoint meeting, who never experienced the desperation of trying to summarize
an entire year’s work in ten slides and fifty bullet points: throw the first projector at
In an in-depth study, Franck Frommer has unearthed a new killer of brain cells.