"Imagine a widely used and expensive prescription drug that claimed to make us beautiful but didn't. Instead the drug had frequent, serious side effects: making us stupid, degrading the quality and credibility of our communication, turning us into bores, wasting our colleagues' time. The side effects, and the resulting unsatisfactory cost/benefit ratio, would rightly lead to a worldwide product recall." - from Edward Tufte's new leaflet, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint, which came in the mail yesterday.
I like Tufte's books in theory. In practice, I have trouble concentrating when I read them. I get overwhelmed. So much data. So dense. So beautiful. (So my mind wanders.) Tufte is Strunk & White for the statistical design set. And as with Strunk & White, the suggestions are easy to agree with but tough to follow. Clarity is hard work, and often underpaid.
The PowerPoint leaflet can be read in one sitting, and at $7 (postpaid) it is a bargain.