Making a Point

Sometimes, you really want to get a point across.

When you want to get a point across, you have several reliable options;

  1. Shout and/or be insulting
  2. Be extremely witty and dazzle your audience
  3. Write a clear and comprehensive guide
  4. Crack a silly joke

Usually I like to avoid number 1), and number 2) isn’t really my strong point (I get distracted too easily to be witty). That leaves two options.

Number three is good, it’s a solid option for anyone who wants to understand your point. But what happens when you’re at work, you’re giving training on your area of expertise – what if your audience might not necessarily want to know what you’re trying to tell them?

The only option left is to crack a joke.

Of course, I’m in this position right now; I’m giving a talk on Thursday about Photon Detection Efficiency and dead time effects. That’s a somewhat dry subject. There’s a very important point that I need to make though, and it might be easily missed and forgotten. So I produced this. It’s not that funny, but it’s silly enough to be remembered – that’s what counts.

So: How bad are dead time effects really? I’m going to ask former Prime Minister John Major to make a guest appearance for me…


About stoove

Steve lives a double life: opinionated Physics student at Surrey University by day ("Steve"), computer games and World of Warcraft nerd by night ("Stoove"). Possibly lives in Guildford for most of the year. It's rumoured that he's a gigantic geek who reads New Scientist for fun. Some people think he's sane but they've been repeatedly proved wrong. His influences probably include such mythical beings as Ben Goldacre, PZ Meyers, Richard Feynman, Jim Al-Khalili, Animal from the Muppets, Ian M Banks, Aron Diaz (AKA Dresden Codak), and the leprechaun he knows only as "Petey". You can follow Steve on twitter but it probably won't help you when he conquers the world.
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