John Bolton’s writing is muddled. Is his thinking as well?

Clear thinkers are typically clear writers. In fact, the art of writing helps clarify your thinking, or reveals the flaw in it. With this in mind, let’s look at some writing from John Bolton, President Trump’s soon-to-be new National Security Advisor. Bolton was UN Ambassador under George W. Bush. He scares people because of his … Continued

Nothing significant will change at Facebook

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear to be in trouble. Zuckerberg published an explanation, participated in an interview with The New York Times, and appeared on CNN. People are upset and some Facebook users are quitting Facebook. But nothing is going to change — Facebook will … Continued

Creative agency jargon at J. Walter Thomson

People leave companies and executives have to write statements. These statements must say everything and nothing at the same time. This is not the place for creativity, but try telling that to J. Walter Thomson. Matt Eastwood, Chief Creative Officer of the agency J. Walter Thomson, is out. They’re not replacing him. This creates a … Continued

The lesson of Cambridge Analytica: Facebook shares your data by design.

Cambridge Analytica, a company funded by Republican backer Robert Mercer, used data from 50 million Facebook users to model the electorate. But this isn’t a data breach. Facebook is a machine designed to encourage people to share their preferences, then exploit it for profit. Despite Facebook’s protests, this is a feature, not a bug. According … Continued

The greatest party and why it was so great

My friend, who used to be a startup CEO, gave a party at her apartment. The party was for her husband and his new book. I don’t know him well, but I do know books, which is one reason I was invited. I have to admit, I have no idea what people mean when they … Continued

Analytical thinking: Unexpected consequences of a single election

A Democrat narrowly won a special election for an open congressional seat in western Pennsylvania. It’s only one election. But as an exercise in analytical thinking, let’s figure out what it could mean. First, the facts. Tim Murphy, the Republican in the 18th congressional district, resigned after his mistress said he’d told her to get … Continued