Give up bullet points to watch the stars instead

PowerPoint vs Nature – what give the best understanding?

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Global reality today is mostly flat and presented in bullet points, using a software program from 1990 called Microsoft PowerPoint. If it’s science, culture, art, global warming, sustainability, design, innovation or business management, or strategy – the presentation of it, where-ever this take place, can be spelled ppt –  short for PowerPoint

Drawing of a presentation about the amount of powerpoint presentations
PowerPoint about PowerPoint about…

PowerPoint could easily qualify to be the most boring kind of theater ever developed during the last 100.000 years. A form of mono-storytelling, shown in repeat, in endless hours, in endless meeting rooms, dim-lit conference rooms and hotels all over the globe.

Could it be that at any given moment today, more people on this planet look at boring PowerPoint presentations, than at nature, including sunsets, mountains, trees, rivers and drifting clouds?

30.000.000 PowerPoint presentations every day in 2001

In 2001 a conservative estimate by Microsoft itself, calculated the global daily dose of PowerPoint presentations to be around 30 millions. Since then there is good reason to believe that this number has exploded. Because if we look at the accumulated amount of smart-boards, projectors, PowerPoint fancy communication-specialists, and ppt software distributed to everything from kindergartens to universities, to companies,  to community houses… smartphones and tablets, it adds up in a very scary way.

Amount of PowerPoint Presentations in 2017

Today nobody really seems to know, care or have enough guts to estimate a 2017 number of how many or much time we humans spend looking at a PowerPoint based reality. The real reason might be that it will simply be to scary for us to realize how most of the global decisions and understandings today are framed by and into this extremely simplified and distorted flat reality.

Back to the Community Campfire

drawing of a camp fire
The camp fire

But there is an alternative, a very old alternative, using one or more of three magical ingredients: a fireside, a community and storytelling. It is a technique where imagination, twilight and improvisation combine under the stars to make stories come alive in a very different way.

It works, but unfortunately very few places still keep these storytelling traditions alive today. Very few of us can still listen to stories under the stars and even fewer can scramble together and light up a few pieces of wood at night, without either getting busted by the local fire-patrol, because the danger of all engulfing climate-change sparked wildfires, or simply because the cabin’s fireside has been replaced by a microwave oven, for speed, safety and convenience.

“But why – isn’t it better to connect to each other and the planet? ” – Well there is most likely a PowerPoint presentation you can watch close by, that will go over it, step by step, using words like win-win, lean, core competence and performance optimization – explaining it all, till you give up in bullet points.

Replacing bullet points with stars

The solution instead, could simply be to leave the screens and projects, at least sometimes, to go outdoors and replace every bullet point with a star – a real one, many times larger than the sun, ten thousand light years away – and right over our heads.

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