Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hollow Point Power Point?

Oh snap!

Is Power Point making Great Satan's military cats -- uh -- more dumber?

Remember the "Afghandyland" Power Point? It was like overlaying 7 "How to get what you want from a guy" flowcharts from Cosmo all at once.

As Afpak Commander McC put it "When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war”

"Dumb Dumb Bullet Points" powerfully points out:

"PowerPoint can be highly effective if used purely to convey information — as in a classroom or general background brief. It is particularly good if strong pictures or charts accompany the discussion of the material.

"But it is poorly suited to be an effective decision aid. Unfortunately, the Pentagon has virtually made a cult of the PowerPoint presentation.


"...An air assault mission involving dozens of aircraft, artillery and hundreds of troops can be collaboratively planned and briefed among the aviators and ground troops using maps, diagrams and satellite imagery e-mailed back and forth among the various actors on PowerPoint slides in order to assist the planning process.

"The graphics used in PowerPoint replace the massive campaign maps and problematic acetate overlays which were used by armies for decades, allowing these documents to be easily produced and mass-distributed with the click of a mouse.

"Indeed, PowerPoint has been the 21st Century’s solution to the age-old requirement for organizations to report information between various levels of bureaucracy—whether it be a sales pitch to board members, or an air crew mission briefing for a flight of Black Hawk helicopters.

"PowerPoint is only as smart as those who are using it. In the military, business and even in NASA, misuse of PowerPoint can cause confusion and frustration. In the hands of a poor communicator, PowerPoint can spread misinformation, leading to bad decision-making.

Aside from all his work at Wings Over Iraq, Small Wars Journal, Wired.com's "Danger Room", Foreign Policy Online, the Guardian, the Defense Department's "Early Bird", and the US Army's "Stand-to" -- GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD"s COIN advisor Captain Burke AKA 'Starbuck' gets the money shot in the New York Times:

“There’s a lot of PowerPoint backlash, but I don’t see it going away anytime soon,” said Capt. Crispin Burke, an Army operations officer at Fort Drum, N.Y., who under the name Starbuck wrote an essay about PowerPoint on the Web site Small Wars Journal.

"In a daytime telephone conversation, he estimated that he spent an hour each day making PowerPoint slides. In an initial e-mail message responding to the request for an interview, he wrote, “I would be free tonight, but unfortunately, I work kind of late (sadly enough, making PPT slides).”

Jet over to WOI and congratulate Starbuck/Captain Burke on his NYT shout out!

Art - "Girl Powerpoint"


Anonymous said...

Linked, Dave D. at SWJ.

J. said...

Don't hate the player, hate the game. It's the singer, not the song.

Render said...

It's not a song, it's an instrument, and it's only as good as the player. Some players are clearly better then others.