Everything United Airlines did wrong in the Denver Leggings Incident

When several teenage girls wearing leggings attempted to board a United Airlines flight in Denver, the airline blocked them for “inappropriate dress.” As the airline explained on Twitter, the girls were “pass riders” — dependents of employees using free standby tickets — subject to a more stringent dress code. United’s policy is wrong, and it … Continued

An Unthinkable podcast — clarity in audio storytelling

I’ve done lots of podcasts. Jay Acunzo’s “Unthinkable” stands out. It’s a good example of how structure and some extra work make stories better, whether that’s in words or in recorded sound. The typical podcast I do is an interview. I get on the phone or Skype with somebody, they ask questions, and I respond. They … Continued

Harper’s magazine says I’m a bullshitter. Judge for yourself.

In the March 2017 issue of Harper’s Magazine, Nat Segnit calls me a hypocrite. Now that I’ve studied truth, lies, and bullshit, it’s clear to me that everybody is a hypocrite. So let’s see if he’s got a point. In an article called “Good Plain English: The Problem with Writing Manuals,” Segnit reviews six writing books, including Soul at … Continued

Everything you need to know to write and publish a book

Disruption in the publishing industry is confusing for authors. Getting published in the traditional way is harder now, but there are a lot more ways to get a book done — and a lot more people who can help you. I’ve collected all my book wisdom into this post, with links to more detail. Potential authors … Continued

Join me live at 2 Eastern this Thursday 16 Feb – Learn who is the biggest bullshitter

I spent 2016 cataloguing and critiquing the most egregious bullshit statements of public figures. Somebody had to do it. Hundreds of you spent the last three weeks voting. Thanks. On Thursday I will announce the winners in a live broadcast from Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are 11 categories, including bullshitter of the year (both corporate and political). … Continued

The surprising effectiveness of Trump’s whitehouse.gov

When a U.S. administration changes, so does the president’s website. Under Trump, the new whitehouse.gov addresses six issues, each with a short, simple, direct block of text. Unlike the president, it’s focused, clear, and effective. My social feeds were full of protests when the pages for LGBT rights and climate change disappeared from whitehouse.gov. Were you really … Continued

The analyst’s essential role: engage your emotions about the future

We pay attention to the now. That’s especially true because Facebook spreads it, instantly. But what matters is not the now, it’s the future. The job of the true analyst is make you care as much about that future as the ephemeral distractions of the present. This came into crystal focus for me when I read Austin … Continued