Google Research

PowerPoint: Shot with its own bullets

The Lancet, vol. 362(9381) (2003), pp. 343-344

Abstract

Imagine a world with almost no pronouns or punctuation. A world where any complex thought must be broken into seven-word chunks, with colourful blobs between them. It sounds like the futuristic dystopia of Kurt Vonnegut's short story Harrison Bergeron, in which intelligent citizens receive ear-splitting broadcasts over headsets so that they cannot gain an unfair advantage over their less intelligent peers. But this world is no fiction—it is the present-day reality of a PowerPoint presentation, a reality that is repeated an estimated 30 million times a day.

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