Thursday, July 20, 2006

Warm Recommendations

Last night I was in the initial test audience for the new feature from National Geographic about the dramatic life cycles of walruses and polar bears that picks up where the surprise hit among the Christian Right March of the Penguins left off.

Here's the interesting twist: it's a picture about global warming. So if you couldn't get conservative friends, neighbors, colleagues, or family members to see An Inconvenient Truth, because they didn't vote for Al Gore, here's one to recommend when it comes out around the holidays. After all, education about climate change shouldn't be a partisan issue; it's only a small elite who keeps it that way. (And perhaps yesterday's Energy and Commerce Hearing shows that even the polar ice cap in Congress is melting just a bit.)

Besides, PowerPoint isn't everyone's choice for cinematic entertainment, even if Gore uses a Mac alternative technology for his electronic slideshow. There's a lot of bad political PowerPoint out there from the current administration, including the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, which Paul Krugman slammed in his "Bullet Points Over Baghdad" editorial, and the more recent National Security Strategy document.

Certainly, Edward Tufte has argued that PowerPoint reinscribes authoritarian rhetoric (when it isn't just plain bad rhetoric, as it would have been in this Microsoft-friendly Lincoln Gettysburg Address). Check out this PowerPoint of Edward Tufte's manifesto again PowerPoint, if you haven't seen it.

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