Facebook, AI, evil, and human creativity

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The intersection of human evil and Facebook algorithms has created the evil-amplifying social networks we now share. Facebook says AI can solve the problem. So far, it can’t. If it ever does, heaven help us. The New York Times published a revealing profile of Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s CTO. He’s the man whom Mark Zuckerberg has … Continued

Why getting stuck is part of coming up with great titles and taglines

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I help people with book titles and taglines. It’s not a linear process, and progress is impossible to measure. That’s a feature, not a bug. I had this insight recently when working with a client on a tagline for his business, along with some other language. (A tagline is a short description of what you … Continued

How to build on ideas without being a ripoff artist

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You can write about and extend other people’s ideas. You can come up with your own, independently. But even if you think you thought of it, you’re better off checking first. Because ripoff artists are the worst. This week, Amy Chua is publishing a new book, called Political Tribes. Here’s the cover, along with the … Continued

Is it selfish or smart to do something creative every day?

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I blog here every weekday. I could lie to myself and say I do it for you, my readers. I don’t. Sorry, but I do it for me. Since I became a freelancer, there is no one to tell me which jobs to concentrate on, which deadlines to meet, which directions to head. Sure, there … Continued

Which rules to break and when: a personal disruption guide

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Breaking rules is necessary, because if you follow all the rules to the letter, you’ll never accomplish anything new and original. Ironically, though, every piece of advice on the Internet — including my book and my blog — is setting up new rules  (“Avoid the passive voice! Build your personal brand! Floss!). So should you break the … Continued

How to be creative.

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I became creative in December 1995 at the age of 37. The previous May, Forrester Research had hired me as an analyst to write what were supposed to be groundbreaking research reports. I worked for two very smart people, Mary Modahl and Bill Bluestein. My first report turned out great. I loved the process and the result. … Continued