Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Future of powerpoint presentations

This Ted talk reminded me of a dream I had.

In that dream, hundreds of soldiers are being shipped into a big empty convention center room, and they are being deployed into lines that are only a meter across from other enemy combatant soldiers. Between these two combatant lines there are some soil bags lined up, but the height of these bag blocks is only waist level. Everyone is so serious, this is war, so they take these deployment instructions very seriously. Nobody wants to make a mistake. After the deployment is finished, the commander is supposed to announce start, and soldiers are supposed to start firing at each other. I wake up before this happens. This is pure madness and terror. I felt disturbed by this very visual image for many days. But if you think about it, this was pretty much how WW1 and WW2 were in abstract.

I think that deployment would make a really good performance art project. It is both abstract and concrete(visual) at the same time. It drives the point home. It is abstract because we are cutting the idea of war to its basic: killing. It is concrete because it gives a better image of war than pages of pages of descriptions.

As computational resources grow quickly due to cloud computing, I predict that in near future (5-10 years) standard powerpoint presentations will have animations of movie quality. Today's movie quality may become the norm for company or lecture presentations soon, who knows. But I am sure that there will still be the same abundance of bad presentations regardless (or maybe due to) the improvements in technology.

There is Prezi taking a small step in that direction now. Check it out, if you haven't discovered it yet.

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