Nichelle Nichols and the integration of the fans and nerds

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Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, died yesterday. Most of what you’ll read about her celebrates her rule as a trailblazer for Black actors on network television, and what that did for America’s perception of Black people. I’d like to talk about what her appearance meant for me, a sheltered … Continued

The Putrid Pivot: Why Facebook and Instagram are about to get much worse

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Meta had an earnings call this week. Revenues and profit are down. The metaverse division lost $2.8 billion in a single quarter. And Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, regarding the payroll, that there are “probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.” Here’s why that’s bad news for people using Facebook … Continued

Hall of shame: Fixing Cooperstown’s disastrous typography

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The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York just added plaques for some new members. And they’re terrible. Here’s the new plaque for David Ortiz, a player I revere. Why this typography is all wrong I’m no designer, but like all real writers, I care enough about type to know what works and what … Continued

What we can learn from 8 New York Times columnists saying they were wrong

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As a person who once made his living making predictions, I’m fascinated by how public figures speak about what they were wrong about. The New York Times created a natural exercise in studying that when it published eight “I was wrong” columns by its regular columnists on Sunday. And we learned that like all humans, … Continued

Six great book titles: yours for the taking

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When I help authors, I often start with a brainstorm to identify a great title and subtitle. But perversely, my brain recently coughed up some titles unconnected to actual book projects. Since there are no books yet, I offer them to you. Steal my title and write the book. All I ask is that you … Continued

The pigeon

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I once had the chance to give a speech in Rome. It was almost a disaster — even if nobody in the room noticed. The client was a large industrial company in Europe. The venue was one of Rome’s fanciest hotels. The audience were a couple dozen senior executives at customers of the industrial client. … Continued

Old fears and failures

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I’d like you to do me a favor today. It may not be easy. But bear with me. I want you to think about something you’ve been afraid of for a long time. Maybe you were embarrassed while speaking in front of your class at school, and you’ve always been afraid of public speaking. Maybe … Continued