Despite years of evidence showing that PowerPoint can make you stupid, its use continues unabated. Here are some selected slides from a recent military briefing.
If you dare, you can look at the complete set of briefing slides here.
The military hasn’t learned anything from its experience in the Iraq War. During the war, orders were dispatched as copies of PowerPoint slides instead of explicitly written documents. Commanders in the field were not sure exactly what to do. Here’s a slide showing how the occupation of Iraq was supposed to be carried out.
And we have the well-known discourse about the PowerPoint briefing as the space shuttle Columbia disaster unfolded. Buried in a level 6 bullet point among 5 uses of the word “significant(ly)” and in engineering jargon is the fact that the amount of damage the ship incurred at launch had never been researched.
We still use PowerPoint slides extensively in medicine with similar degrees of confusion. Prezi is a new presentation software which to me seems like a spin-off of PowerPoint offering no apparent improvement other than you can zoom. So what?
I see this getting worse. Can anything be done to stop PowerPoint from destroying the world? Here’s the bottom line.