Does it matter that Trump can’t spell?

President Trump tweets lots of spelling errors. In the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo says this is just a sign of the times. It’s fine to spell things however you want on social media your friends, but when you’re communicating with people who matter — like, say, the entire citizenry of the United States — … Continued

The sublime prose of Molly Young in the New York Times Magazine

The best way to skewer bullshit is to hold it in contrast with vivid reality. This is the trick Molly Young pulled off in the New York Times Magazine, delicately needling the health potions industry without a single nasty word. I am in awe. The piece is called “How Amanda Chantal Bacon Perfected the Celebrity Wellness … Continued

The New York Times’ remarkable corporate self-criticism

While The New York Times may be the most successful news organization on the planet, it faces the existential threat of digital disruption. This, as Clayton Christensen would say, is a recipe for disaster. But maybe not. The Times’ 2020 Group has published a manifesto for change. The cogent self-criticism in this document is amazing. Learn from it. The Times’ … Continued

The bad faith lesson of Donald Trump at the New York Times

Donald Trump’s latest statements at the New York Times demonstrated an amazing “flexibility” (in other words, he changed long-held positions). If you were scared of Trump’s rhetoric, perhaps this encouraged you. But once you understand the dangers of negotiating in bad faith, your optimism will evaporate. What is bad faith? In a negotiation, each side … Continued

Flummoxed by Trump, The New York Times says “We’re fine, really.”

Trump’s shifting positions, outlandish policies, and tweets criticizing the media that covers him have challenged organizations like The New York Times. After predicting Hillary Clinton would win the election, the Times is having an identity crisis. Now they’ve emailed their subscribers to say “Hey, we’re doing fine.” The letters communicate the exact opposite. The Times asks subscribers … Continued

The Slack letter to Microsoft is built on meaningless platitudes

Slack wrote an open letter to Microsoft, ostensibly welcoming it to the market for workplace collaboration systems. It’s a weird hunk of prose, direct and honest on the surface, but fundamentally insincere. The choice to publish this letter — and to fill it with platitudes — makes me question the judgment of the company. Here’s what happened. … Continued