NASA partially blames Power Point for space shuttle crash

From the NY Times (brought to my attention by esteemed colleague Adam Carter earlier today): “... the Columbia Accident Investigation Board at NASA released Volume 1 of its report on why the space shuttle crashed. As expected, the ship's foam insulation was the main cause of the disaster. But the board also fingered another unusual culprit: PowerPoint, Microsoft's well-known ''slideware'' program. “

Apparently NASA uses Power Point too much. I know the feeling. How many times have I sat through internal meetings at Microsoft where a “presenter” simply reads from a Power Point deck for an hour? I've often argued that a better use of everybody's time would be to send the ppt out earlier (although NOT by email of course - posting it up to a Windows Sharepoint teamsite is much better for your bandwidth) for the audience to read and then use the time together to discuss the content as opposed to 'death by power point'.

Comments (3)
  1. Tom Ridgeway says:
    I am a metallurgical engineer and the twenty-year owner of a technical firm in Charleston, SC. I have noticed the same trend as NASA with respect to the PowerPoint "way of thinking".  People today simply do not think or present themselves in any depth.  They rely on pointing out main topics by way of a software package.  It is of my opinion that the fine details of some subjects MUST be presented and discussed to effectively and accurately convey information.  This is especially true with technical and engineering subjects.  Not addressing the details of such matters is a dangerous way of living.  Adding insult to injury, I am referred to as being "old school" when I try to explain this to my accociates.  

    PowerPoint is a great software package, however it is changing our society’s way of processing and presenting information. I agree with NASA, the change is not for the better.

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