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CheapShots

Some short-cuts are worth taking, to save time or to get an unimportant part of a job out of the way. But more frequently, short-cuts turn into embarrassments. Think of all the clip-art clichés that dominate briefings: ant-people, busy backgrounds, purposeless dissolves, and animated text effects. They're meant to add excitement to a talk --- but instead reveal a lack of content, creativity, and depth. Think of all the boilerplate prose that goes into official memoranda, term papers, business proposals, and legal filings: obvious padding, put there to fill space and give the semblance of serious thought.

What started out as a short-cut turned into a waste of time and energy. Nobody was fooled by the effort, at least not for long.

Now think of all the political advertisements, all the election slogans, all the bumper stickers and lawn signs. How much wisdom do they convey? How much closer do they move us toward understanding and solving complex problems?

Tuesday, March 14, 2000 at 18:43:02 (EST) = Datetag20000314

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