Friday, February 23, 2007

The Gettysburg Powerpoint

Not to bite the hand that feeds us; the class does feature an awful lot of ppt. But DOD does a lot of planning via powerpoint; and it's important to keep in mind the limitations of the medium.

Would we be better off if they were communicating plans in actual sentences, rather than this sort of thing?

"Here may be the clearest manifestation of OSD’s contempt for the accumulated wisdom of the military profession and of the assumption among forward thinkers that technology—above all information technology—has rendered obsolete the conventions traditionally governing the preparation and conduct of war," commented retired Army Col. Andrew Bacevich

I get the graphic from some old blog posts, and I haven't read the book quoted; so take it for what it's worth.

We've read the Army's counterinsurgency manual; and though we noted a lot of material that looked like a sociology 101 text, it's a thorough document, with actual ideas contained therein.

But decisionmaking at the political levels learned its lessons from the ppt-rich, communication-poor corporate world.

For all the misgivings sociology profs might have at their work being used in an army manual, isn't it miles better than military decisions made and communicated in incomprehensible gibberish?

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