Can you have fun with a GDPR announcement? JibJab did

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Your mailbox is full of GDPR announcements. They’re obligatory, and you’re almost certainly ignoring them. Writing in this context is a challenge — but humor and video site jibjab.com decided to have a little fun with it. On the policy side, though, it’s still legalese all the way down. Here’s the email my friend got … Continued

The Trump Administration’s take on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Over 100 government, academic, business, and technology leaders gathered at the White House recently to discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI). While there may have been intelligence in the room, very little was visible in the resulting document. The summary of the meeting is here. What is the government’s role in AI? While the government can help fund … Continued

How the White House suckered liberals by calling MS-13 gang members “animals”

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The White House web site’s announcement about the MS-13 gang called them “animals” ten times in 439 words. This is master-level trolling — it drove the Web crazy, just as planned. Let’s examine what’s really going on here. Calling people, even gang members, “animals” is provocative to say the least. Dehumanizing people can be a … Continued

Adobe acquires Magento to become “shoppable” — and maximally buzzword-compliant

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Adobe announced yesterday that it would acquire commerce platform Magento for $1.68 billion. It’s clear that an army of lawyers and PR people spent days crafting the 1001-word announcement, with is laden with highly refined, state-of-the-art tech-vendor bullshit. So let’s take the announcement apart. I’ll highlight jargon in bold and meaningless weasel words in italic, and … Continued

How take a compliment — and how to give one

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The New York Times published an absurd article called “How to Accept A Compliment,” by Carolyn Bucior. Like all of us, I have struggled with this question. Here I offer a practical suggestion on what to do about it (which is more than the Times did). The Times article quotes the Center for Advance Research … Continued

School shootings — how could things change?

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So, a 17-year-old shot ten people in a school in Texas. Liberals for gun control are saying the same thing as before about banning assault weapons. Nothing is different, so nothing will change. Donald Trump is saying what he said last time about background checks, no guns until age 21, and arming teachers. Nothing is … Continued

Working on vacation

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I’m on vacation in Vermont right now. And I’m working. I’ll explain how that works out for me. (Your mileage may vary.) It helps to know a few things: I am completely self-employed. Nobody works for me, and I like it that way; I’m accounts receivable, sales, and the main source of talent for my … Continued

Tom Wolfe had the right stuff

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Tom Wolfe died this week. His prose was a revelation. He was 88. Back in 1979, at the height of powers, he published The Right Stuff, a novel about the experimental pilots at the center of the space program. When I taught writing to homeschooled teenagers, I used a passage from this book to jolt … Continued