Talk:1945: Scientific Paper Graph Quality

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What happened circa 2015 that marks the *end* of the PowerPoint/MSPaint era? 16:22, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

More and more journals explicitly forbade the use of powerpoint. Also, more scientists are familiar with software better suited for creating scientific graphs. Thawn (talk) 16:34, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
The problem was never that it was impossible to good quality graphs with those tools. The problem was that people didn't actually do so, in part because the tools made it really easy to produce something superficially good but actually so information-free as to be utterly bad, as well as making it rather more difficult than one would hope for to make camera-ready graphs (journals having higher-resolution print reproduction than most computer screens of the time). But before anyone gets fancy about this, you could commit very similar sins with other tools; merely using a specialist plotting program doesn't automatically make the output truly comprehensible (or relevant). 22:30, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
If, however, creating graph is harder, you are likely to focus on what to put into them and make them only if it makes sense. One reason for decreased quality of graph might be that there was more of them for same amount of data. -- Hkmaly (talk) 01:29, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
With enough effort, it is possible to make a good graph with any tool. However, the point is that with Powerpoint it is much easier to make a superficial graph than a good graph. With other tools such as R, Matlab, Origin etc. it is equally easy to make a good or a bad graph. Therefore, the average quality of graphs created with Powerpoint is much lower than with other tools. Thawn (talk) 09:36, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

An interesting thing to note is that you can see from this chart that even slightly before the paint/powerpoint era the quality started going down. But it could be because this graph is meant to be just like the point it is making and therefore is not 100% accurate. 17:47, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

I came down here to make exactly this point - Randall appears to be deliberately trying to misleadingly imply a conclusion that isn't actually supported by the data. ;o) 09:34, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
actually, the peak of the graph is somewhere around 1990 which is 5 years after the release of paint and close to the release of powerpoint. Assuming that the tools gradually went into widespread use, this is perfectly consistent. Thawn (talk) 09:36, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
Well either they quickly came into common use, in which case the labelling of the 'era' is wrong, or they didn't, in which case it doesn't explain why the decline started so early. 09:43, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
That's a false dichotomy. An era is defined by prominence not existence. There are still gas-lamps, but we are not in the gas-light era

Does anyone have good examples of papers showing this? It would really help the explanation...

You might find amusing. It is the Gettysburg Address done as a PowerPoint presentation. 18:55, 22 January 2018 (UTC) Gene Wirchenko [email protected]
An xkcd PowerPoint presentation by Randall Munroe would be so fantastic! Just... don't let him near Excel: "Why does this field reference a password-protected remote SQL DB entry labeled 'Midnight Protocol' or 'else' show the time of day as a sixteen-bit floating-point decimal value from zero to one?" 'Sorry, can't hear you, headphones; I'm working on the soundtrack for the new collaborative infinitely recursive xkcd AR exhibit at Meow Wolf Ollantaytambo.'
ProphetZarquon (talk) 21:56, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
You monster! I can not delete your horrible suggestion without 1) running afoul of what a wiki stands for or 2) losing the educational value of a warning of what not to do. And then, there is 3) the perverse attraction of seeing a train wreck. 05:09, 24 January 2018 (UTC) Gene Wirchenko [email protected]
I'm just disappointed that nobody noted the 0-to-1 reference. I like trains, & I like views of stuff cutaway or disassembled, therefore a really wicked train wreck is the best of both worlds! ("Some men just want to watch the world burn. I want a soundtrack to go with it." - Me)
ProphetZarquon (talk) 18:53, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

Also amusing is how low quality the image of this comic is. It is only 360*240 pixels, which is fitting for a graph describing low quality graphs. 02:21, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

Something of which I find at least somewhat noteworthy: early xkcd was notorius for these vague, informationless graphs. 09:36, 23 January 2018 (UTC)