Should brands like Amazon attack their enemies on social media?

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It’s a truism in social media circles: brands should be more human. Of course, humans have a full range of emotions — they can be angry, not just nice or funny. Do we really want angry brands? Brands like Amazon that attack people on social media are going to find out they’re making a mistake. … Continued

The Rationalist Papers (4): Is Joe Biden a socialist?

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Donald Trump has called Joe Biden a “Trojan horse for socialism” and constantly denigrates “Democrats and their socialist agenda.” Socialism, as a political term, is toxic in America — many moderates and conservatives would rather die than vote for a socialist. So let’s examine what socialism actually is, and whether Joe Biden and Kamala Harris … Continued

Cheering for laundry and other reflections on loyalty

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Our team loyalties are unshakable. That’s what makes events like the Super Bowl enjoyable — we know who love, and we know who we hate. But loyalty ought to have limits. As Jerry Seinfeld memorably explained, we’re just rooting for laundry. The players change, the teams move, but we know who we like. Why are … Continued

The Elizabeth Warren surge is a poll illusion

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According to Monday’s Monmouth University poll, there’s now a three-way tie in the Democratic presidential primary: Warren, Sanders, and Biden. This has been reported as a “surge.” In fact, it says more about polls and media than it does about Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden. The Monmouth University poll reports three front-runners: Elizabeth Warren 20%, … Continued

Do bestselling authors become millionaires?

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Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist, explained how he became a millionaire: “I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can become a millionaire, too.” Can you, really? Let’s look at the economics. As you read this, recognize that it comes from working with dozens of nonfiction authors and reviewing their book … Continued

Private email is an oxymoron: lessons from the DNC scandal

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I once had a cool, but ethically questionable business idea. I asked my boss if I should go ahead with it. “Ask yourself this,” he suggested. “How would you feel if everyone, including your mom, knew what you were doing? Then decide.” I decided not go ahead. That’s the same question the Democratic National Committee staff … Continued

How our leaders responded to events of this week

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Yesterday I told you that our leaders’ responses to events of Baton Rouge; Falcon Heights, Minnesota; and Dallas would tell us a lot about them and the years to come. Today, I rate those responses. President Obama and Hillary Clinton rate well; the other candidates rate poorly. I didn’t have high hopes; this is an … Continued

A moment for leadership

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Like any thinking person, I am heartsick about the events of the last few days. Police are killing black men and people are killing police in the nation I love. I want to believe our nation is better than this. And, perhaps in vain, I seek answers and inspiration from our leaders. While these events tear … Continued