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

Why I’m not lonely

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For 33 years I worked in an office. For the last year I’ve worked on my own. I never worried about money, but did worry that I’d miss the social side of work. I don’t. I used to be part of something bigger, working with an agenda set, mostly, by my senior managers. Now I have a bigger … Continued

The passive-aggressive furor of Antonin Scalia

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Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court Justice who died Saturday, had a reputation as a fierce, incisive, and sarcastic defender of conservative values. Read his most famous opinions and arguments and you’ll find his rhetorical secret: passive voice statements that obscure the boogiemen he rails against. As my tribute to Justice Scalia, here are some quotes … Continued

A graphical journey of terror

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Tumblr user bisexual-legislature posted an emoji each few moments about their emotions on a flight from Toronto — one that had plenty of turbulence. Text and graphics are no longer distinct. You can “read” this just as easily as any other story — and it transcends language differences. It’s the natural extension of Edward Tufte’s … Continued