Top posts and reflections on 6 months of daily blogging

I blogged every weekday for 6 months (150 posts). I got lots of advice and didn’t listen to it. I did popular posts on writing, politics, social media, and corporate doubletalk. And damned if I didn’t create an identity for myself. My friends told me that I shouldn’t use bad words. They said daily blogging was … Continued

The Facebook privacy hoax illuminates the viral bullshit machine

A message purporting to preserve your privacy rights on Facebook is making the rounds. It’s a hoax. But it’s a great example of how the current state of the Internet is perfectly suited to spread bullshit. As briefly as possible: the idea behind the hoax is that Facebook is going to charge you for privacy … Continued

Post-John Boehner, New York Times unleashes metaphorical tsunami

How many metaphors can The New York Times pack into one article about the resignation of House Speaker John Boehner? Enough metaphors to choke a . . . c’mon, help me here. To choke a something-or-other. Can you spare a metaphor? Metaphors are a great way to frame a story; knowledgeable people will often supply one in a … Continued

How to judge people

Am I a failure? Let’s look at the evidence. I went to a state university and left after three years. I dropped out of graduate school. My first marriage lasted less than five years and ended in divorce. I was left with nothing. My first job was writing software manuals. I’ve never joined a company … Continued

Volkswagen’s diesel fraud euphemism: It’s an “irregularity.”

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is gone. But on his way out the door, he described the company’s massive, deliberate fraud on his customers and the environment as an “irregularity.” That’s bullshit. Here’s what happened: Volkswagen jiggered the software in 11 million of its diesel cars to conceal how much they polluted. “Clean Diesel” is a pillar of Volkswagen’s marketing. … Continued

Turing CEO Martin Shkreli reveals how passive voice is the last refuge of a scoundrel

Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, announced a huge increase in the cost of his drug for a life-threatening disease. Then he backtracked. By analyzing his passive statements, you see exactly how a scoundrel evades responsibility. After acquiring the drug Daraprim, used to treat the sometimes deadly parasitic infection toxoplasmosis, Turing Pharmaceuticals hiked the price from $13.50 to … Continued

Ben Kunz on the nature of bullshit

The estimable Ben Kunz recently blogged about Modeling the Human Projection of Bullshit. He has a three-part framework, and I think it provides a good way to think about things. Here’s the main idea, from his blog: So why does everyone, including me, craft levels of BS? My suggested framework for bullshit has three vectors: Level … Continued

Review: Why you should read Shel Israel’s “Lethal Generosity”

Shel Israel wrote a followup to his book with Robert Scoble, The Age of Context. Lethal Generosity: Contextual Technology & The Competitive Edge explains what companies need to do now that everything in the world is getting smarter. You really should read it. Shel and I have been on parallel paths for about eight years. He … Continued