Sunday, July 06, 2003
Expert: Romney Exhibited Dementia

Last year, if you asked the Fraud Candidate or his invisible running mate a policy question you would get one of two answers: a blank stare and a stoic "next?", or a quick peek at a pre-packaged PowerPoint presentation, most likely put together by Murphy, Pintak, Gautier, Hudome, Romney's Virginia-based consultants.

Now most of the rubes in the fourth estate thought that Romney's PowerPoint slide shows were pretty slick. Of course, most of the political reporters in Massachusetts also think that Chesterfields are a cool smoke, and Ray Conniff is a hep swinger. So anything not reproduced off a one-color mimeograph machine is bound to blow their white socks clean out of their penny loafers. (Yeah McGrory, we're talking to you!)

So leave it to noted information-design expert Edward Tufte to blow the lid off the Fraud Governor's favorite communication device - other than the pink slip, that is.

Tufte (whose graph of Napolean's retreat from Russia is a piece of art) says PowerPoint has one of the worst formats of any method of written communication - including, we assume, press releases issued by Romney's loathsome $150,000-a-year spokesman. PowerPoint is faux-analytical, and forces presenters to intellectually mangle even the simplest topics. (source: The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint by Tufte, as described in the Boston Globe, 7/6/2003)

In short, PowerPoint is all about the pitch, not the info being pitched. Worse, Tufte says, when using PowerPoint to present statistical data, "the damage levels approach dementia."

Ah-ha! Which explains why Romney is so taken with the communication crutch; he is able to present half the picture without having to fully disclose details that would show his ideas to be fraudulent.

Tufte writes, "PowerPoint allows speakers to pretend that they are giving a real talk, and audiences to pretend that they are listening."

Sounds just like a Romney event.


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