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We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint

Interesting article on how powerpoint helps facilitate illusions of control and understanding. The article highlights something I hadn’t really considered before: power powerpoint relieves the briefer of the need to polish writing in order to convey an idea (and, also, reduces the need to think critically).

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.) Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who banned PowerPoint presentations when he led the successful effort to secure the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005, followed up at the same conference by likening PowerPoint to an internal threat.

It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”
Continue Reading in the NYT