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Be wary of your mouse: bullets can kill……….

April 30, 2010

  • A recent article in the New York Times quotes Gen. James Mattis of the Marine Corps as saying, “Powerpoint makes us stupid.”
  •  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html
  • General  H.R. McMaster has banned PowerPoint presentations by likening them to an internal threat.  He says, “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”
  • General McMaster has no problem with the chart shown above. He has a problem with rigid lists of bullet points.


Rocky’s been known to put his “foot(note) in mouth,” and shoot off a few bullet points from time-to-time. However, unlike his computer-savvy daughter, he never uses animation during a Powerpoint presentation.

He suspects that so-called “death by PowerPoint” may be a Communist (or Google) plot to undermine Microsoft.  Rocky suggests that banning PowerPoint is the wrong solution. Instead, he suggests that the meeting should be canceled.

It’s ironic when a General suggests that some problems in the world are not “bullet-izable.”  That’s the sort of language one expects from a dovish politician. Not a military commander. Also, since the word “bullet-izable” is not in the dictionary, their mite be a grane of  trooth to the beleef that Powerpoint makes peeple stoopid.

[Disclosure:  At the time of writing, Rocky owned shares of Microsoft Corporation. He also just purchased a new copy of “Office 2007 Basic”which includes Excel and Word — but lacks Powerpoint. Alas, Rocky already suffers from Powerpoint-induced brain damage. Hopefully, the damage is reversible]

  1. May 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    This is one of my FAVORITE NY Times story ever! It’s funny on several levels that a military general points out the failure of something to be “bullet-izable.”

    I also liked this quote too:

    “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.”

    We live in a world with so many threats! Who knew PowerPoint was one of them! Takes a general…

  2. ld
    May 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Rocky – Great reminder before my meeting tomorrow. 🙂 I like this one in the wiki article “Retired Marine Colonel, Thomas X Hammes, says that this effect, which he calls “hypnotizing chickens”, is useful when the goal is to avoid divulging information, as in military press briefings.” He must be part of the grand conspiracy to keep the population busy hypnotizing each other while those in power push agendas forward. Regardless, I hear some people make quite a bit of money creating slides in this tool all day long (better than betting and taking risks in markets).

    One wonders what Ben Franklin would have said if he came to the future.

    PS. Glad to see you posting again.

  3. Boabdil
    May 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Comedy routine based on Powerpoint http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbSPPFYxx3o

  4. May 4, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Boabdil: that was excellent! I think LD will like it too….

  5. allocator
    May 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Powerpoint is now the most critical application in the Canadian government. When stymied by some daunting bureaucratic challenge “This calls for a whole new deck!” becomes the rallying cry for the troops. Indeed, take away Powerpoint, and Canada implodes … Hang on to those Microsoft shares, Rocky.

  6. ld
    May 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Boabdil: ROFL

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