What can be done? Upgrade the slideshow!
While the slideshow in its current form has been highly effective, it needs to be developed into an engaging video with animation and music. I can handle the music (electronic music production is a side hobby of mine) and verbiage, but I am not a graphics person! The Shift Happens video is an excellent model. I’m thinking a Flash animation that can be posted in full original quality here on matt.com, and then also posted to YouTube for greater exposure, would make the message much clearer to people.
A well produced video could go a long long way toward grabbing people’s attention long enough to teach them what is happening with money and economics in our world. For example, the Cannot Print Wealth slide, without any detail or elaboration, simply states that doubling the supply of dollars makes every dollar worth half as much. Most people can see this after a moment of reflection, although if you asked them to explain why they would struggle. However, with visual representations of goods, services, consumers, and dollars we could show the number of consumers and the supply of goods held constant, with the supply of dollars being the only thing that changes. By seeing what is happening it would be painfully obvious that the same number of people chasing the same supply of goods and services cannot possibly obtain twice the supply of goods and services. Doubling the supply of dollars doesn’t double the supply of goods and services. Explaining this textually in detail would require a lot for reading, and if we lose the interest of the viewer, we lose the battle.
Many principles in the slideshow that are stated very simply and matter-of-factly could be visually explained very quickly. This way we can help people digest a lot of concepts, and really comprehend them, very quickly.
I’m not thinking of anything terribly sophisticated. I really like the clean simply line-drawing animation in the Shift Happens video. It seems clean and effective to me. (Although I’m not committed to any particular approach; if you have a better idea, let me know.) If you or someone you know is good at Flash and would be interested in working with me to develop something along these lines, please get with me!