This presentation slide titled “Iraq: Indications and Warnings of Civil Conflict” lists factors that are destabilizing Iraq. This index has been a staple of internal United States Central Command — the military command that oversees the Iraq war — briefings for most of this year.
What are the odds that this mess of a slide makes it into Edward Tufte’s next book?
Some links for Central Command…
PowerPoint Does Rocket Science—and Better Techniques for Technical Reports [Edward Tufte]
The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint [Guy Kawasaki]
What is good PowerPoint design? [Presentation Zen]
Update: Tufte posted this slide at his site and called it “especially lousy.” [tx Bob] And a commenter there offered this analysis:
The slide is largely (enitrely?) data-free: a series of qualitative assertions, that masquerades as quantitative analysis. What is the “Index of Civil Conflict (Assessed)? ” Are “ROUTINE,” “IRREGULAR,” “SIGNIFICANT,” “CRITICAL” parameters on a continuum, or unrelated descriptors? If so, why are they coded in colors that suggest a progression)? What does “I&W” mean? Why is the slide framed with color gradients? Why is everything bold (or all-caps)? Is an up arrow increased sectarian conflict, or less sectarian conflict which indicates an improved situation? What are the numbers behind “unorganized spontaneous mass civil conflict” etc.?