A low weasel density makes AirBnB discrimination post credible

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AirBnB CEO Brian Chesky’s latest post responds to accusations from last December that its hosts discriminate based on race. Chesky’s post reads as sincere because of the low density of weasel words, even though he starts off with a huge faux pas. AirBnB’s first response AirBnB first responded to this issue on its blog in May. David … Continued

“Make America Great Again” looks the wrong way

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Donald Trump says “Make America Great Again.” Like his policies, his slogan falls apart if you think about it carefully. It looks in the wrong direction — backwards. Trump harkens back to an earlier time when things were great. When was that time? When America was founded, everyone had a musket, and slaves drove the … Continued

Cotton candy from Marissa Mayer at Yahoo

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Yahoo’s been on a downhill slide for years. Now they’ve sold the company to Verizon/AOL for $4.8 billion, a fraction of what it was once worth. But this is good news – just ask Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. Her email to employees reads like cotton candy — sweet, airy, and puffed up. Unlike the employee email I … Continued

Private email is an oxymoron: lessons from the DNC scandal

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I once had a cool, but ethically questionable business idea. I asked my boss if I should go ahead with it. “Ask yourself this,” he suggested. “How would you feel if everyone, including your mom, knew what you were doing? Then decide.” I decided not go ahead. That’s the same question the Democratic National Committee staff … Continued

Donald Trump convention speech is 8% policy, 92% fluff

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Donald Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention was only 8% specific policy promises. On the other hand, by my word-for-word calculation, 20% of it was criticism of Trump’s opponents, 21% was fearmongering, and the rest was mostly vague generalities and cheerleading. Based on this speech, you really can’t identify what you’ll be getting if … Continued

How to be as clear as Elon Musk

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While others write bullshit-filled press-releases, Elon Musk tells you exactly what he’s planning, in plain language. Here’s what you can learn from Musk: write directly to the reader, be clear, be organized, and be engaging. Elon Musk’s Master Plan, Part Deux Yesterday, Elon Musk posted “Master Plan, Part Deux” on the Tesla site. It begins like this: … Continued

Hanlon’s Razor, not evil intent, explains Melania Trump’s plagiarism

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Melania Trump’s speech just keeps getting more interesting. Now we know how it happened and why some Republicans say it’s as inconsequential as My Little Pony. But no matter how you spin it, this is a disaster, not a nefarious conspiracy to make Trump’s wife sympathetic. The original speechwriters leak that they’re not responsible The New York Times … Continued

Lessons from the plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech

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Parts of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention are strikingly similar to Michelle Obama’s speech from eight years ago. How does this happen? Plagiarism at this level is typically the result of sloppiness, not outright theft. If you don’t want this to happen to you, then you need to change how you work. What … Continued