PowerPoint Makes us Stupid!

That is a direct quote from  Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander at a military conference in North Carolina.  He of course spoke without PowerPoint.

Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who banned PowerPoint presentations when he was a Colonel serving in Iraq likened 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.”

Here is the infamous Pentagon PowerPoint slide that prompted a general to say: “If we can understand that slide, we will have won the war.”

I sure hope the high ranking idiot who came up with this slide is now a Private First Class.

6 responses to “PowerPoint Makes us Stupid!

  1. I think it was Napoleon who said “I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!” I suggest that private is too good for that presenter!!

  2. Jim…I LOVE your comment!!! It is sooooo true about people who are stupid and industrious. They are a danger to society.


  3. Unfortunately…or fortunately! the only people I have ever fired were in the eliminate category… I am ashamed to say I hired one of them. so this quote comes from the heart.

  4. When I was working at Heinz, I noticed there were a few (actually more than a few) that fell into the “stupid and industrious” category and yet the bosses who hired them never fired them. Why? To fire them would mean admission that the boss made a mistake in hiring. So the stupid and industrious got job security! I once told one of these bosses to pay a S/I to stay home in order to minimize the damage to the company.

    You didn’t have problem admitting to your hiring mistake. Bravo to you.

  5. I watched this TED talk last week that discusses this very diagram. You might find another point of view rather interesting. =)

    • I watched the TED video. His point is that you can step back and pick a few single nodes from the complex mess and get the message. If that’s the case, then why bother to show the mess to start with. Just show each node as a single slide and verbally elaborate on each one. The mess is a big distraction as with all those bells and whistles in the other slides.

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