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Concise equals Subjective

September 2, 2010

I read a blog post called On Loving 70 Page PowerPoints by Alison Macleod today, expecting to be horrified by it.  But I wasn’t.  She acknowledges the instinctive horror at the idea but argues that some people need all that detail while others need the three page version.  She also make the perfectly reasonable comment that researchers may feel dismayed about all the time and money spent on a project that is delivered as three pages.

This sparked off a thought for me.  There is a very close link between conciseness and subjectivity surely.  If I have carried out a research project that took me a month and generated many excel spreadsheets, calculations and carefully considered conclusions – I may feel that my findings are properly represented in a ten page report.  The client asked for three.

Slimming it down will necessarily involve removing some of the grey areas will it not?  I will have to be fairly black and white about what I found because I don’t have room to discuss all the nuances and suggested implications.  therefore am I not being forced to put my own interpretation across in order to come to a clear conclusion?

Is this true?  By striving for conciseness, do we lose objectivity?

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