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Thread: On Powerpoint

  1. #81
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Finnish or English editions

    charlyjsp,

    Are the Finnish articles the same as those JMM found a week ago?
    Sellin has written a number of pieces for UPI - note the Helsinki and Finland byline on many of them.
    Link:http://www.upi.com/search/?sp=t&s_l=...n%22&s_term=ea
    davidbfpo

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    Default The written INTSUM is still alive

    I just finished our ppt based training meeting that is backed by both written training schedules and a written OSINTSUM. Our S2 shop does it every week to support what they brief @ the training meeting and I have to agree with Niel, it keeps them sharp - and lets the PLs get something from a meeting that is more than a graphic without discussion.

    Scott

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    Default An interesting comment

    From the Finnish post, 15 minuuttia valokeilassa, 31.8.2010 Kirjoittaja: Eversti_L [we'd say "15 mins of fame" - valokeilassa = lit. "in the spotlight"; Kirjoittaja = author; Eversti_L = Colonel L.; end Finglish exercise], this comment:

    M.R. says:
    2.9.2010 klo 15:51
    We brief our lives away… The real significance of the everlasting row of all the meaningless PP presentations is to deter us from seeing what is really happening around us. If not forced to attend to constant meetings strengthening the collective values of the company, we might start questioning too many things. This is one of the definitives of our era, the plague that transforms employees into soldiers for their companies, and soldiers into company-workers having a false sense of influence in their company’s politics.
    Too many extreme Managerial types (i.e., as described in Brian Linn's Echo of Battle) in both the corporate and military worlds ?

    Regards

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    charlyjsp,

    Are the Finnish articles the same as those JMM found a week ago?

    Link:http://www.upi.com/search/?sp=t&s_l=...n%22&s_term=ea
    I looked over the UPI articles and the blog posts. There is overlap, but there seems to be unique material on both sites - makes sense, especially the posts where Col. Sellin is responding to Finnish readers' questions or more directly addressing Finns.

    -Charly

  5. #85
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default COL Larry Sellin's Swan Song Screed

    Warning : clear all liquids from your work station before proceeding and for Heaven's sake, don't have a mouthful of anything. That is all.

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/0...7c999aee45ba,1

    For headquarters staff, war consists largely of the endless tinkering with PowerPoint slides to conform with the idiosyncrasies of cognitively challenged generals in order to spoon-feed them information. Even one tiny flaw in a slide can halt a general’s thought processes as abruptly as a computer system’s blue screen of death.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmjHT5GpAYQ
    Last edited by AdamG; 03-03-2011 at 01:24 PM. Reason: nb : unintended published rants are sort of bloggy, hence the location here
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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    Next month, IJC will attempt a giant leap for mankind. In a first-of-its-kind effort, IJC will embed a new stovepipe into an already existing stovepipe. The rationale for this bold move resides in the fact that an officer, who is currently without one, needs a staff of 35 people to create a big splash before his promotion board
    .

  7. #87
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Default

    That is one of the more unorthodox letters of resignation I've seen.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  8. #88
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    That is one of the more unorthodox letters of resignation I've seen.
    It makes me wonder if the good Colonel broke the teacup too -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRPDO63rI1E

    He'd better hope his plane home doesn't do a left turn into Gitmo.
    "Your new name in Number Six...."
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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  9. #89
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    Default Eversti Sellin's flight

    took a right turn ... to Helsinki.

    That is where one of his op-ed outlets (Ilta-Sanomat) has had much the same content as his UPI columns - source: our Man in Helsinki , charlylsp, Finnish language blog by Col. Sellin.

    His 64 columns for UPI, start 13 Mar 2004 (1st Astan column, 28 Sep 2004). His columns from the month before and the month of the sack (his 2d Astan tour) seem rational enough.

    Afghanistan status check
    KABUL, Afghanistan, July 8 (UPI) -- I have been in-country about one week, enough time for some initial impressions.

    Cynical thoughts about Afghanistan
    KABUL, Afghanistan, July 15 (UPI) -- Will the epitaph of the war in Afghanistan be motion without progress and knowledge without wisdom?

    Afghanistan's tribal trouble
    KABUL, Afghanistan, July 22 (UPI) -- Former CIA Director Richard Helms counseled that when dealing with societies in and around the Middle East, pay attention to the things that are hundreds of years old -- the religious sects, the clans, the tribes.

    Battle of Barg-e-Matal
    KABUL, Afghanistan, July 29 (UPI) -- If the battle of Barg-e-Matal ever goes down in history, I am not sure if it will be treated as a victory or a defeat or a tragedy or a comedy.

    Is Pakistan the enemy in Afghanistan?
    KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Each day between 25 and 50 Afghan civilians, Afghan, coalition and American soldiers are wounded or killed by the Taliban.

    North, the new front in the Afghan war
    KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A recently released U.N. report states that 1,271 Afghans died and 1,997 were injured in the first six months of this year. Three-quarters of these casualties were caused by Taliban forces, mostly from roadside bombings.

    Afghanistan’s last, best hope
    KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The real enemy in Afghanistan is reactionary leadership represented by corrupt politicians, ruthless warlords and the twisted religious extremism of the Taliban.
    Colonel (Eversti) Sellin would not get along well with the detained folks at Gitmo (from the "Battle-of-Barg-e-Matal" piece):

    The immediate task is to destroy the Taliban's capability to wage an insurgency. That means, first and foremost, to defeat them decisively in the field.

    Simultaneously we must isolate them nationalistically, culturally and religiously from the Afghan people. The Taliban are invaders and murderers, who are religious extremists, who don't respect Afghan tribal traditions and who possess foreign pan-Islamic ambitions not in tune with the needs and desires of the Afghan people.
    (and from the "North, the new front in the Afghan war" piece):

    KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A recently released U.N. report states that 1,271 Afghans died and 1,997 were injured in the first six months of this year. Three-quarters of these casualties were caused by Taliban forces, mostly from roadside bombings.

    The Taliban has also continued its practice of carrying out brutal atrocities against civilians. They claimed responsibility for killing members of a civilian medical team in the remote, northeastern province of Badakhshan, which has, until recently, been a relatively peaceful area.

    At about the same time, in the northwestern province of Badghis, the Taliban killed a 47-year-old pregnant widow accused of adultery. She was flogged 200 times and then shot in the head. The man responsible for impregnating her was apparently not punished. ... (much more in article)
    Regards

    Mike

  10. #90
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    took a right turn ... to Helsinki.

    Colonel (Eversti) Sellin would not get along well with the detained folks at Gitmo (from the "Battle-of-Barg-e-Matal" piece):
    Obviously not (having first-hand experience with them there detainees), but it was a play on The Village fate of folks who retire with a bout of tea-cup shattering.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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  11. #91
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    Thus proving the old adage of "the truth hurts." It hurt the feelings of the recipients, so they retaliated against the speaker of it. Truth is an absolute defense in a slander case, and there is no slander here.

    This paragraph reminded me of a 6 month sentence I served on the Army CAT preparing twice a day briefs for the Army senior leadership:

    "The commander’s immediate subordinates, usually one- and two-star generals, listen to the CUA in a semi-comatose state. Each briefer has about one or two minutes to impart either information or misinformation. Usually they don’t do either. Fortunately, none of the information provided makes an indelible impact on any of the generals."
    I never ceased to be amazed at how when a slide carrying some incredibly important issue would be interrupted by some star-wearing G-staffer to comment. Rarely was the comment one of substance, but most often one demonstrating amazing skills at ignoring all substantive data to focus on looking for errors in basic math or font pitch.

    "Excuse me, but on slide 24 it showed a total of 67,345 troops in theater, yet on slide 32 it shows 67,348. Which one is it??"

    or

    "The font of the 3rd bullet down appears to be 2 points smaller than the other bullets."

    Such comments were always followed my mummers of approval and congratulation by their peers sitting high above the action officers in their alcoved balcony; and general head-shaking and exchanged glances of "WTF?" between the action officers below.

    Yet build a slide that points out that the decision to concentrate all CASEVAC at Bagram and Kandahar was leaving a vast territory where SOF forces were operating far outside the Golden hour and it is pulled from the brief during rehearsal. "This would embarrass both the aviation and medical generals." By all means, besides, I should have been focusing on checking the math and font pitch on my regular slides...

    I know Larry and he is a very sharp officer who cares deeply about the mission. He is a bit quirky and doesn't play the game very well though. He probably overlooks critical issues like minor math and font errors as well.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  12. #92
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Mr Meek tries to make sense of the Army's dichotomy, while Yossarian continues to fly more missions.

    Ironically, reporters asking about Sellin's sudden status as military folk hero -- for blowing the whistle on what he agrees is fast resembling a permanent war -- have been told by a NATO flack that the colonel didn't have enough "situational awareness" in Kabul's IJC nerve center to [**critique the war**](http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/0...or-powerpoint-...). But as I noted in yesterday story about Sellin's dismissal, he had enough of "situational awareness" to be tasked with briefing a reporter from one of America's largest daily newspapers.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/...to-war-wh.html

    "I had added no value to the war effort," the Special Forces officer and native of Saddle Brook, N.J., lamented after getting booted out of Afghanistan.
    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010...rt-longest-war

    Welcome to the Greek chorus, Colonel. Sign for your helmet, spear and shield behind the stage. Stand next to Hans and take your cues when the fat lady starts singing.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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  13. #93
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Now, though, you can create basic PowerPoint presentations on iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys, as long as you have Documents To Go Premium ($17 on Apple and $15 on BlackBerry; on Android the “Full Version” is $15). Building PowerPoint documents from start to finish had been the last frontier for mobile users of Microsoft Office files, who previously could create and edit only Word documents and Excel spreadsheets on the iPhone.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/t...ref=technology
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011...by-powerpoint/ - Check out one former soldier who is trying to help make PPT better.

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    Danger Room, 22 Jul 11: Army Command Conducts Entire Briefing – In Comic Sans
    You’ve got to nail that briefing for your boss. What better way to get that presentation to pop than to make your points in comic sans, the merry court jester of type faces? If this sounds like a good idea, there’s a senior-level Army position waiting for you.

    Somehow, an aide to Gen. Ann Dunwoody, leader of the Army’s Materiel Command, prepared a staggering 100-slide PowerPoint entirely in comic sans....

  16. #96
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    The Information Sage: Meet Edward Tufte, the graphics guru to the power elite who is revolutionizing how we see data, by Joshua Yaffa. The Washington Monthly, May/June 2011.
    Edward Tufte occupies a revered and solitary place in the world of graphic design. Over the last three decades, he has become a kind of oracle in the growing field of data visualization—the practice of taking the sprawling, messy universe of information that makes up the quantitative backbone of everyday life and turning it into an understandable story. His four books on the subject have sold almost two million copies, and in his crusade against euphemism and gloss, he casts a shadow over the world of graphs and charts similar to the specter of George Orwell over essay and argument.

    Tufte is a philosopher king who reigns over his field largely because he invented it. For years, graphic designers were regarded as decorators, whose primary job was to dress up facts with pretty pictures. Tufte introduced a reverence for math and science to the discipline and, in turn, codified the rules that would create a new one, which has come to be called, alternatively, information design or analytical design. His is often the authoritative word on what makes a good chart or graph, and over the years his influence has changed the way places like the Wall Street Journal and NASA display data.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

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    Nice article, i enjoyed reading it

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