READ THE BOOK...THEN SAW THE MOVIE
I greatly enjoyed the C-Span program
last night of Dr. Barnett's PNM brief and subsequent call-in segment. The latter, in true C-span tradition, started with a call from a complete crackpot conspiracy theorist and Tom, to his credit, neither laughed out loud nor gave the guy the credibility a true reaming out would have bestowed.
Much of the material I knew very well having read The Pentagon's New Map and blogged on it frequently but it was a very different experience for me seeing Dr. Barnett's Powerpoint presentation. This is unsurprising, cognitively speaking, because the visual format engages additional areas of the brain
and furthermore, does so at a much higher rate of processing speed than simple lecture or reading text. The retention rate is far higher as well - we remember movies and TV shows far more than we do particular lectures we've heard or passages we have read, unless we are blessed with a photographic memory. To an extent, the presentation highlighted some aspects of PNM in regard to System Administration that I was aware of previously but had not given a whole lot of thought. I'm curious to how people who have not read the book may have responded, since I'm not a typical audience member.
To an extent, the medium is part of the message here and when dealing with geopolitical abstractions any reification that will make them more concrete makes them more comprehensible to a wider audience base. Powerpoint cheaply, quickly and demonstrably fills in that mental gap for non-specialists.
C-Span has the videofile up today on it's homepage( see above link), if you missed the program last night check it out.
Congratulations to Dr. Barnett for a successful appearance !