I recently discovered that the infamous The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation was created by Peter Norvig and enjoyed reading the story of its making.

On the other side of the spectrum, Cliff Atkinson explores using this medium effectively. He recently interviewed Dale Cyphert who suggests that perhaps PowerPoint is a symptom of a cultural transition period from traditional Western “oratory” and a new global “media-age.” I would like to believe that we can blend the old and the new in effective ways, but I question whether PowerPoint will get us there. Nevertheless, I haven’t read Cliff’s book and I have been known to use PowerPoint for presentations myself.

Dale Cyphert notes that corporations “have now discovered ‘stakeholder relationships’ and ‘tacit knowledge’ and ‘narratives to communicate a vision’ and are finding that these rhetorical methods are far more effective in creating viable decision-making communities, or as they like to call them, ‘learning organizations.'” I’m not sure what all this words mean, but its interesting to think that our corporate communications have some cultural significance.

Christophe Bruno brings a different form of narrative, poetry, to a new medium with his Google Ad Words Happening. He has discovered that the “word ‘sex’ is worth $3,837, the word ‘art’ $410, ‘net art’ is only $0.05 (prices on the 11 of April 2002). And the most expensive word is ‘free’!” It seems to me that the notion of “semantic capitalism” could also apply to PowerPoint.

What do you think?