• No need to fix the problem, just ban the tool

    19 Mar 2010

    Here’s a great post from my colleague Dave Paradi talking about how a conference is banning presenters from using PowerPoint. It’s an embedded systems conference. So they’re telling these highly-technical people they can’t use PowerPoint to get their messages across!? I suspect the audience will instead be subjected to overhead transparencies and slide rule demonstrations. Sounds like a great show!

    This is just like businesses banning thumb drives and instant messaging on their networks. The ignorant powers that be proclaim “This stuff is too risky so we’re going to ban it.” Instead of fixing the problem at a higher level and putting in the proper controls to minimize such risks they just ban the technologies altogether.

    It’ll be tough for presenters at this conference to “sneak” PowerPoint into their presentations. But what happens when computer users are told they can’t use certain hardware or software? They find a workaround and do it anyway because the problem isn’t addressed at the right level. And thus the cycle continues. Amazing stuff.