No more PPT for CENTCOM

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“We have met the enemy and he is a bloated Microsoft Office Suite product!” ~ paraphrase of Gen. McChrystal
Some choice quotes from this NYT article all about how “Like an insurgency, PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession” are as follows:

  • “PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander.
  • “It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster
  • “I would be free tonight, but unfortunately, I work kind of late (sadly enough, making PPT slides).” – Lieutenant Nuxol
  • “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable,” General McMaster

You have got to love the pun in the last one in the list. The image below is a PowerPoint diagram meant to portray the complexity of American strategy in Afghanistan which certainly succeeded in that aim.

The article makes me think of my Tufte related post from back in Jan, 2005 about how PowerPoint was incredibly bad for information dissemination and five years later, the game is still the same. Now though, lives are on the line so, let’s say it all together now: PowerPoint is bad, mmmkay?


The Only Way to Combat the Inevitable is to Make it Irrelevant

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I was out to dinner with two political friends of mine this past Saturday night and I wound up codifying a belief that I’ve had since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporate money flowing relatively unchecked into political campaigns: money will always be a part of politics. So, the only way to combat it is to make money itself irrelevant.
The way this can be accomplished is by creating the conditions where it does not matter if one spends one to possibly five billion dollars during a campaign, note that this figure is before the special interests get involved. Through either scheduling, or media restrictions, or other means unknown or unstated at this time, the conditions need to be set so that any ungodly sum of money is taken off the table when it comes to any election.
I manage digital projects for a living and there quickly gets to be a point where throwing more bodies at a problem does not generate positive results. Twelve coders working in parallel cannot complete a relatively short term goal most often. To complete the task, you want two coders to sync and be left alone for a week or so to bang it out. The same must be true for campaigns and their cash – they need to have negative results for throwing more money at the problem. If this happens, then maybe we’ll start to see our political discourse and system reformed in a way that sticks for a good bit of time.


Pixel Perfect

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When you receive a video from two different people who found it on two different sites, you know its probably going to be good. That’s what happened today with the video “Pixels” by Patrick Jean which is embedded below.
First, I received an email from a friend with a subject line that read “Very cool video” but I was too busy to watch. Then, later while at work, I received a company-wide email that was sent by a co-worker which only had a subject line that read “Pixels.” Someone responded a few minutes later with “That was dope” so I watched and agreed – it was dope. After watching the video, I then went back to my buddy’s email and sure enough, it was a link to the same thing.
So, check out the video below and let me know what is your favorite part. Mine is the Tetris scene. ‘Nuff said.

Uploaded by onemoreprod. – Discover more animation and arts videos.
UPDATE: My RSS feed had an article from the NY Daily News about how Pixels is burning up the Net
Via Neu and Erick