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powerpointparlement.jpg"A report tabled in the (US) (Australian) House of Representatives today suggested Parliament should consider allowing politicians to use computer software such as Microsoft's PowerPoint program to illustrate their speeches.
The procedure committee also admits there could be other problems with the proposal. The committee would also need to be alert to the possibility of what might be ultimately less substantial contributions gaining greater attention because of the use of technology, possible even the use of material or approaches prepared by experts in communications."

so it is now dangerous to have slideshows designed by 'experts in communication' ?

the report itself, title "Inquiry into encouraging an interactive chamber", can be found here (thnkx Ed & Steve!).

[link: smh.com.au]


This seems to be from the Australian Parliament, not the US Congress. A report was tabled on the 7th called "Inquiry into encouraging an interactive chamber" which discusses using Powerpoint

Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 2:22 AM

Heh, they need a Schoolmarm to watch each MP to make sure that their aides aren't helping the with writing their speeches too.

Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 3:46 AM

At the least it should increase the entertainment value of parliament... A few years ago, the then-prime minister of The Netherlands was confronted with a modern computer, apparently for the first time. He picked up the mouse and pointed it at the screen trying to make something happen.

Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 5:53 AM

Maybe they mean using digital media in way to manipulate the listeners ?

Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 7:40 AM

Surely, this isn't meant to be a step forward? They might do better with stone tablets and cuneiform. Someone PLEASE mail them a copy of Keynote. Or the noted Edward Tuffte essay on Powerpoint, at least.

Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 10:32 AM
Tom B.

PowerPoint Is Evil
Power Corrupts.
PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely.
By Edward Tufte
Wired Issue 11.09 | September 2003

I have one advice:please read Edward Tufte's essay "They Cognitive Style of PowerPoint" before doing anything too foolish.


Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 2:54 PM

Wow, this is actually a terribly interesting discussion! Let's not forget that images can communicate emotionally and suggestively in a way that is hard to achieve with words. I don't want to say that you cannot be suggestive and lie convincingly in a speech but pictures make way for a completely different sort of irrational communication. Iconoclastic tendencies are important in many religions and and there are points that cannot easily be ignored. Of course, graphic designers (like myself) are a bit scared of the idea of prohibiting pictures. On the other hand we also know how powerful they can be.

Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 7:45 PM

I would argue that Tufte's Powerpoint chapter should be an argument to use this software (but wisely), not to avoid visual communication. not sure whether I understand the fear for the visual, in this television society?

Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 8:46 PM

Report is here. Thanks Ed for the name - was the only way I could find it, even tho on the right website.


Fri 08 Dec 2006 at 9:07 PM

@Tom B.:
I don't think that using Keynote instead of PowerPoint would make any difference from Tufte's perspective. And, I do agree with him.

Sat 16 Dec 2006 at 9:26 AM

Already today media is regularly manipulated by powerful lobby groups. Examples: The US government produces clips for Fox for free, which are shown w/o citation of origin. The INSM produces political clips for German public TV which are shown and the content is claimed scientific fact.

Now, when in future members of parliament will give their presentations, I am certain that the politicians taking the views of the most powerful lobby groups will have the smartest animations.

So, powerpoint in congress is anti-democratic.

Wed 17 Jan 2007 at 3:57 AM

So how would these presentations be incorporated into hansard?

Fri 23 Nov 2007 at 12:47 AM
Admiral T
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