The NY Times Jumps the Shark — Again

UPDATE: Tristero piles on the details that I assumed. And Bloix in comments there makes it clear that the diagram which has the Generals’s panties in twists is relatively straightforward compared to a car’s electrical system (as anyone who has used Erwin or Visio or even Powerpoint to build data flow diagrams can tell you).

Why does Elizabeth Bulmiller have a job? Because she writes nonsense quoting Important Sources:

The slide has since bounced around the Internet as an example of a military tool that has spun out of control. Like an insurgency, PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession. The amount of time expended on PowerPoint, the Microsoft presentation program of computer-generated charts, graphs and bullet points, has made it a running joke in the Pentagon and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina.

Now, some of my best friends live in North Carolina, so I won’t say Gen. Mattis got cause and effect backwards. But if you really believe that the article’s attached graphic is either a bad representation of the situation in Afghanistan or an impediment to understanding, then you shouldn’t be in a position to command hundreds, if not thousands, of military personnel.

In short, you probably thought it was a good idea to invade in the first place because everything would be perfect and you would be greeted with flowers, not putting them on 5,000+ American graves to date.

Because you didn’t understand that countries are both made up of living organisms and that they, in turn, act as if they are living organisms, with interactions that change depending on the conditions, facilities, and income flows (or, as the graphic says, “narcotics”).

If you don’t understand that, then you don’t understand nation-building, and have no excuse to claim that is what you are doing.

It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools, and an even poorer reporter who takes those claims at face-value and presents them in “the paper of record.”