Craftsperson and tool

Rich Gold on PowerPoint. Christina points to UW’s David Farkas’ course readings in information design as a source of “fine reading”. His syllabus is also worth checking out to see how he’s chunked them into a semester’s worth of work. Since I’ve lately been very interested in the “controversy” related to PowerPoint, I wanted… [IDblog]

A good set of resources in general. Also, Beth points to a fascinating presentation by the late Rich Gold on Powerpoint as a Toy for Thought. As much of a Tufte fan as I am, I think the rhetorical device of blaming the tool, while fun and entertaining, gets in the way.

The relationship between tools, craft, and craftsperson is complex. My wife is a photographer. If you want to annoy her, admire one of her pictures and then ask her what kind of camera she uses. Yes, what the tools can and can’t do matters. But not as much as Tufte would have us believe. Gold widens the perspective to remind us in the hands of a craftsperson the constraints of a tool can be turned to advantage.