Presentations That Boom

It is a bizzy Friday.  I hope you enjoy this classic piece.

You find yourself in a dark room, dazzled by charts and graphs and pictures that go by just fast enough to lose you.   The speaker at the front is well intentioned and trying desperately to make you as enthusiastic as they are, but it’s no use.  Your mind wanders, desperately trying to find something to daydream about that will keep you from nodding off, drooling on yourself, or both.

Here’s something to think about before you drift off into an embarrassing situation:  Franz von Uchatius, General of the Austrian Artillery – and the Grandfather of PowerPoint.

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Google “craven”

The battle between the US and China is heating up. The stakes are high, having both pride and money on the line. It’s a classic showdown reminiscent of old times.

It looks like 1995, that is, in that a search engine war is just heating up. This one is between google and baidu, the Chinese search engine that rose to dominate the Chinese market after google pulled out in 2010 rather than comply with censorship laws. Google is reversing that decision in a strategic business operation which will leverage …

… oh, who am I kidding. Google is selling out bigtime and crawling back to China. Wow.

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One Giant Factory

This is a post from 2009, updated heavily.  

Canton, Ohio, is a brick and proper kind of town that most people know for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  I was there to visit a customer who was kind enough to give one of the new products I was developing a real-world trial.  That went well enough, but Canton itself was a bit of a mystery.  Why is it there?  What did people do that gave them the scratch to create a decent town that was aging poorly?  One night I had to ask my favorite authority on these kinds of questions, which is a random person in a bar – color is always more important to me than accuracy.  But in Canton, Ohio, there is only one answer to the question as to why they exist:

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Raging Against Rage

When I wrote this piece, the Tea Party was just starting to rise in opposition to Obama’s … well, it certainly wasn’t his being black that was an issue, so it must have been abuse of power or something like that.  But the process that got us to where we are today was just starting.  What was it like?  It was remarkably predictable, sadly.  Here we are, a bit lower than I ever hoped but really on the same path.  Enjoy this trip back in time.

The situations have been coming on strong for years, but they seem to be peaking.  Everywhere you visit on the internet, and sometimes even in public, we all run into someone who can take any subject and make it into a kind of right-wing rant:

“Sure is hot today!”
“That’s not evidence of global warming!”

It wasn’t long ago that characters and attitudes like this were the domain of the other side – those who were against The System, The Man, The Establishment, They.  Has everything flipped, or is this all one big phenomenon?

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The Quality of Leadership

This is a post from ten years ago, back when the United States was at a fork in the road.  Where are we now?  I think that an extreme example of what I was talking about here in 2008 may cause a new generation to rise and finally solve the problem.  Let’s see.

George Washington was known primarily for being fearless. When his men had circled around and were accidentally firing on each other, he drew his sabre and rode between the line of rifles, fiercely cutting them down. When he needed a win badly, he risked freezing to death by crossing the Delaware to surprise the Hessians camped in New Jersey.

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The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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