Powerpoint makes us stupid

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” General James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. General Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was shown a PowerPoint slide in Kabul last summer that was meant to portray the complexity of American military strategy, but looked more like a bowl of spaghetti”, according to an article in the New York Times.

The slide in case was indeed a colorful resemblance of a highway in Rome during rush hour.

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” General McChrystal dryly remarked, one of his advisers recalled, as the room erupted in laughter”, the article continues.

“Despite such tales, “death by PowerPoint,” the phrase used to described the numbing sensation that accompanies a 30-slide briefing, seems here to stay. The program, which first went on sale in 1987 and was acquired by Microsoft soon afterward, is deeply embedded in a military culture that has come to rely on PowerPoint’s hierarchical ordering of a confused world.”

And let’s not forget the closing paragraph: “The news media sessions often last 25 minutes, with 5 minutes left at the end for questions from anyone still awake. Those types of PowerPoint presentations, Dr. Hammes said, are known as “hypnotizing chickens.”

Are you hypnotizing chickens, or are you inspiring?

Full article here.


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