PowerPoint in the military

Subject: PowerPoint in the military
From: Michael West <WestM -at- ap -dot- aurecongroup -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 16:56:18 +1000

(Resending this with a proper subject line)

Dan Goldstein wrote:

>> See the article at
>> <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html>

>> But having said that: The offending diagram in the
>> first article isn't actually an indictment of PowerPoint.


Exactly. It is a silly, confused article. The reporter had little
knowledge of the subject matter, and appeared not to know a system
dynamics diagram from a set of bullet points.

And while I am a great admirer of Professor Tufte's other work, I think he
gets it wrong on Powerpoint too.

PowerPoint is a bloody graphics program, fer pete's sake. A set of bullet
points is not a fully developed analysis or strategy or thesis. At best,
it's a convenient outline or summary for people who know the difference.
It doesn't make people dumb. They have to start out that way.

Nor is is a program for professional-quality technical graphics. It's
slideshows for the masses, a few notches up from those blotchy, illegible
b&w transparencies that my college professors used to throw at us.

I reckon anyone who thinks the problem is the tool rather than the user is
off the mark.

A newspaper article can be just as "dumb" as a slide show, but we read the
papers anyway.

--
Mike West







Disclaimer - http://www.aurecongroup.com/apac/disclaimer/




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