Confessions of a mansplainer

I am a mansplainer. In the hopes of enlightening readers of all genders as they interact in the workplace, I’ll examine how I got that way, why I mansplained, and my path to reform. First off, let me explain my background, because it matters in this discussion. I was raised in a moderately affluent suburb of … Continued

40 years of mob psychology

One day, about 40 years ago, I found myself in a group of people doing something that scared the crap out of me. As I look around me now, I feel the same way I felt then. I went to college at Penn State, a burgeoning mass of 30,000 students sequestered in the heart of the mountains … Continued

A game that trains your writing brain: fictionary

If you are spending time with family over the holidays, as I am, here’s an idea for something fun to do together (that won’t generate political arguments). It’s a game that requires nothing more than a dictionary, some slips of paper, and a desire to play with words, meanings, and people’s minds and prejudices. We … Continued

What’s the headline on your obituary?

Just after Fidel Castro died, The New York Times revealed that 16 different journalists had been working on his obituary . . . since 1959. (They keep these things on file, just in case a famous person dies.) It made me wonder about my own obituary and how it would have changed over the years. If … Continued

Writing Without Bullshit: How I got here

My book publishes tomorrow. This is the first book I’ve written without coauthors and a company behind me. How did I get here? Why a book on  this topic? I received 10,000 press releases in my 20 years at Forrester. I estimate that 2% of those had any relevance at all. In the ones that … Continued

Killing widows and orphans, and other lost skills

I’ve got a long history in the print business. I’ve got detailed knowledge of an obsolescing technology. I can’t help but wonder what that means. Ink is in my blood. My grandfather was a linotype operator for the long-gone Philadelphia Bulletin (an afternoon paper); he worked with hot lead and his hands were so tough he could pick … Continued

The 6 benefits of thinking like a mathematician

When I was young, I was certain I would be a mathematician. I still think like one. You should, too — and you don’t have to learn math to do it. A little background: I was an outstanding math student in high school and college, won an NSF Fellowship, and entered the math Ph.D. program at … Continued