Bullet Points

Bullet Points

“‘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[point]-izable.'”

“We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint,” Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times. 

“Make no mistake, PowerPoint is not a neutral tool — it is actively hostile to thoughtful decision-making. It has fundamentally changed our culture by altering the expectations of who makes decisions, what decisions they make and how they make them.”

“Dumb-dumb bullets,” Thomas X. Hammes, Ph.D. (Colonel, USMC, retired), Armed Forces Journal.

” … the PowerPoint style routinely disrupts, dominates, and trivializes content. Thus PowerPoint presentations too often resemble a school play — very loud, very slow, and very simple.”

“PowerPoint Is Evil,” Edward Tufte, Yale Professor Emeritus, Wired.

Image (“Portrait with PowerPoint, after Pieter Jansz van Asch”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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2 Responses to “Bullet Points”

  1. Tonight: Perfect DC Entertainment « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] But how do we really feel about PowerPoint? Look here, here and here. […]

  2. Will the Swiss Ban PowerPoint? « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] ubiquitous. It’s also evil and makes us stupid. PowerPoint has even played a role in our disastrous military policy. The constraints of its format have shackled our minds, blinkered our perceptions, misdirected […]

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