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Abstract

PowerPoint, the software application developed by engineers at Microsoft Corporation, has become the ubiquitous standard for presentations on topics ranging from business to academia to charity fund-raising.

The structure and features of PowerPoint were designed assuming a specific world view. The software, by making certain actions easier and more convenient than others tells you how to think as it helps you accomplish your task. Not in an obvious way or in an obnoxious way or even in a scheming way. The biases are almost unintentional; they are natural and well integrated. It is possible that the engineers and designers have no intention of guiding and straightening out your thinking; they simply feel that the assumptions upon which they base their design decisions are the most natural and practical. You are thus subtly indoctrinated into a manner of being and behaving, assuming and acting, that grows on you as you use the program.

 

Let us imagine, then, that PowerPoint and its attendant softwares are actually a means to a positive emotional and philosophical end, a path towards a goal that is easy to reach and available to all. The billions of people who use it are on their way to happiness, contentment and a feeling of belonging to a society that thinks and feels the same way and shares their values.

 

“Rather than resist, I decided that I must surrender and learn to use this software myself, for, like everyone, I long to belong. I have along way to go: my presentations are sometimes unclear and confusing. But I have made huge advances and I feel myself more at ease with each new presentation.” – David Byrne

 

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