Mark Zuckerberg: The addicter’s lament

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If you had profited from a highly addictive drug that had done great damage to society, what would you do? A trial about this — about Insys and fentanyl — is happening right now in Boston. But I’m not talking about opioids. I’m talking about Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal looks … Continued

Does the Brett Kavanaugh op-ed make its case?

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Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh defended himself in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. He says you can trust him to be impartial. Did he undo the damage he did during his hearing last week? Just a reminder: the purpose of this blog is to reveal what’s really going on with written communications. I’m … Continued

John Bolton’s writing is muddled. Is his thinking as well?

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Clear thinkers are typically clear writers. In fact, the art of writing helps clarify your thinking, or reveals the flaw in it. With this in mind, let’s look at some writing from John Bolton, President Trump’s soon-to-be new National Security Advisor. Bolton was UN Ambassador under George W. Bush. He scares people because of his … Continued

Why all this talk about the “median” income?

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The US Census Bureau released figures yesterday showing that, in 2015, the median annual household income in America increased by 5.2% over a year earlier. That’s an increase of $2,798, to $56,516 per year. Why talk about the “median” and how is that different from an average? I’ll explain. Put simply, when you’re talking about income, the … Continued

Climbing the rickety stack of financial expectations

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The stock market has already priced in anything you read in The Wall Street Journal about stocks. So they fill space with an elaborate passel of theories that’s obscure enough that you might think the market doesn’t understand it yet. That’s fine, so long as you realize it’s for entertainment purposes only. Markets reporters at a paper … Continued

Blame yourself, not the media, for salacious Trump coverage

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Do you think that the news media favor sensation over substance? The evidence shows the opposite. So why does it seem that way? Because sensation is what we, as readers, want, and social algorithms give us what we ask for. The two most newsworthy things that Donald Trump did in the last two days were these: He … Continued

All narratives are biased, as the Benghazi report coverage reveals

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Four Americans died in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Yesterday’s “final” 800-page report about it from the U.S. House Select Committee is biased. So are the response from House Democrats, the coverage from Fox News, the coverage from CNN, and every other article. Why? Because all stories are inherently biased. It’s the nature of the form. Here’s … Continued