Matt Taibbi, master of metaphor, vivisects Trump in Rolling Stone

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In the hands of a master, metaphor makes prose vivid and memorable. That’s what Matt Taibbi just did with his deconstruction of Donald Trump in Rolling Stone. I’ve written about how inadvertent metaphor overload destroys the lazily edited 500-word article. But metaphors — even lots of them — can make a longer narration dance in … Continued

The moral vacuum within Donald Trump: a campaign speech by . . .

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I challenge each of the remaining candidates for president. Do you have the courage to make this speech and save America from Donald Trump? My fellow Americans, today’s speech is not about me. It is about you. I speak to you today about the greatest threat to America’s future. It’s not ISIS. It’s not gun violence … Continued

How you and your company can start writing without bullshit

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When I struck out on my own, I vowed to do only work that I found rewarding. If I could do that, I would have an enviable and satisfying work life. So far, I have succeeded. The most rewarding work for me involves spreading the gospel of writing without bullshit. I’ve found two ways to do that. I … Continued

Apple gets half of America to take its side — and it’s not done

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Apple has already convinced half of America that it has a case to defy the FBI. Now Tim Cook has extended the company’s clear, jargon-free communication to its own employees, and to the public with an Answers page. According to a survey of over 1,000 people from the Pew Research Center, 51% of the respondents think Apple … Continued

At LinkedIn and Carrier, videos, jobs, and trust in a crisis

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Recently, the CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, explained the company’s future in the wake of a 45% drop in the company’s shares. At around the same time, an executive at Carrier air-conditioner factory explained that 1,400 people would lose their jobs. It’s clear from the videos that the LinkedIn leader was successful, while the Carrier executive was a failure. … Continued

Talent, skills, and coaching

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I am now a writer and a writing coach. I wanted to reflect on the relationship between those two activities. Is writing unconscious? Does deconstructing it for coaching purposes make you self-conscious? Or does coaching help, not just the person coached, but the person doing the coaching? When people are good at something — standup comedy, tennis, … Continued

Apple’s Tim Cook shows how to communicate in a crisis

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Apple’s in a bind. The FBI wants them to crack the encryption on a San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. Apple believes that’s a dangerous precedent. Apple CEO Tim Cook’s open letter is breathtakingly simple and clear. Learn from it. Here’s Apple’s logic: Breaking encryption creates a “back door.” Any such back door would inevitably get out. Thieves … Continued

A Moneyball analysis of Mitch McConnell’s Supreme Court defiance

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed not to consider any Supreme Court nominee that President Obama makes. My mathematical analysis shows why: by waiting, McConnell gets a 50% chance of a conservative court, and a 35% chance of an extremely conservative court, for many years to come. This decision is even more important than it … Continued