The Expectations Game is gibberish in the Iowa caucuses

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Sometimes the political media gets so tangled up in its own underwear that it’s comical. Musings about expectations don’t qualify as news — they should be marked “for entertainment purposes only.” That’s why I must ridicule Kathie Obradovich’s recent article in the Des Moines Register (also reprinted into the Boston Globe). There are candidate positions. There is … Continued

How it feels to write with the singular “they”

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The American Dialect Society chose the singular “they” as its Word of the Year. Do you think using “they” to refer to one person is weird, informal, and wrong? Well, I’ve been doing it, so you can judge for yourself. If you want  details on the debate on why “they” makes sense, see my post … Continued

Health non-news gives me a headache

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Health news is pretty much an oxymoron. All health articles hedge — the “news” is all provisional. But some are much worse, like this Wall Street Journal article about what to take for a headache. “Advil vs. Tylenol. Which to Use, and When,” doesn’t tell you what to use, or when — it suggests what you … Continued

My visit to Playboy: just like any other content

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So, I get this call (this was a few years ago, when I was Forrester’s TV analyst). The Forrester salesperson wants me to do a strategy session at Playboy Entertainment Group, the parent company of the Playboy Channel, the Spice Channel, and all of Playboy’s video assets. I take it, because I’m the TV expert. … Continued

How to yearn

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Here’s the situation. You’ve been doing the same thing, probably at the same job, for a while now. You’re pretty good at it, but sometimes it’s a pain. It’s become easy; it’s not really challenging. The challenge is keeping yourself motivated, because it’s too familiar. And you’ve begun to yearn for something new. If this … Continued

Talking with Phil Simon, author of “Message Not Received”

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Phil Simon and I are kindred souls. He comes out of tech, has written seven books, and hates jargon and doubletalk with a burning passion. When he’s not appearing in commercials for Breaking Bad,  he’s out there fighting the good fight. Here’s my interview with him. Your main point in the book is that most business communication … Continued

Strategic jiggery-pokery as the Cleveland Browns hire Paul DePodesta

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The NFL’s Cleveland Browns just hired stats guru Paul DePodesta, a baseball guy, as “Chief Strategy Officer.” I’ve read the press release, and I still have no clue what that means. You’ve probably heard of DePodesta. He was the analytics whiz in Moneyball, the one that Billy Beane embraced to turn around the Oakland A’s. (Jonah Hill … Continued

North Korea: H-bomb and bombast

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When it comes to bullshit, nothing is more sublime than communist propaganda. North Korea says it tested an H-bomb this week (US officials say it was only a regular nuclear bomb). That’s terrifying. The official statement from the North Korean government isn’t really helping their cause though. I’d forgotten the loony nature of totalitarian communist Newspeak. The English translation … Continued