Robert L. Peters

26 April 2010

Powerpoint makes us stupid…


Kabul, Afghanistan (from today’s online New York Times)

Gen. 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.

“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 slide has since bounced around the Internet as an example of a military tool that has spun out of control. Like an insurgency, PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession. The amount of time expended on PowerPoint, the Microsoft presentation program of computer-generated charts, graphs and bullet points, has made it a running joke in the Pentagon and in Iraq and Afghanistan. (more here)

While I have my doubts that PowerPoint can actually make you stupid, I’d agree that it’s a great tool—in an arsenal of many others—that can readily help portray your stupidity… although in the case of the USA and the coerced “Coalition” still fighting in Afghanistan, that seems to be a foregone conclusion.

Thanks to friend Marie-Aline Oliver for the link.

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