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Responsible Rhetoric In The Age of Polarization

America is the most polarized it has been in my lifetime. Even the Covid-19 pandemic, an exogenous threat, has simply reinforced this polarization, and the protests and riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death have pushed opposing sides even further apart. Instead of discussions, nearly every conversation between those disagree has become a debate. … Continue reading Responsible Rhetoric In The Age of Polarization

Does Editorial Independence Exist?

Famous journalist Matt “Vampire Squid” Taibbi recently wrote an editorial excoriating what he perceives as a trend towards journalists and their institutions adopting extreme progressive ideologies rather than focusing on reporting the truth, and attacking journalists for any deviation, however small, from the opinions they consider acceptable. While the editorial itself is interesting and worth … Continue reading Does Editorial Independence Exist?

Guest Opinion: Ron Green, Chief Information Security Officer, MasterCard

Ron Green has lived many lives–Army officer, Secret Service agent, and now corporate executive. I encountered Ron’s words through a friend, a classmate of Ron’s at West Point, and I wanted to share them with you because Ron’s experiences as a black man who has faced and continues to face discrimination (including by the police) … Continue reading Guest Opinion: Ron Green, Chief Information Security Officer, MasterCard

Is Zoom 2020 like Craigslist 1997?

Thought provoking question: Is Zoom 2020 like Craigslist 1997? In 1997, Craigslist was the general-purpose marketplace for everything. Fast-forward to today, and multiple massive businesses have been built around the vertical categories within Craiglist (e.g. Tinder, Zillow, Airbnb–many thanks to my friend Josh Breinlinger who pointed this out). Today, Zoom is how we handle all … Continue reading Is Zoom 2020 like Craigslist 1997?

The Forces Fighting For Facts Need More Help

The incentive structure of social media is broken. Every day, I encounter posts that rely on erroneous journalism, make factual assertions without evidence, or straight up cite made-up numbers. Every day, I laboriously click through links and use Google to find the underlying studies, and correct the errors. But it takes me 10X the amount … Continue reading The Forces Fighting For Facts Need More Help

Trump & McCarthy

Author Tom Nichols points out the dissonance between Donald Trump and the masculine virtues of the Greatest Generation that he ostensibly admires so greatly. While I too find President Trump’s behavior repugnant, I think that concluding that his behavior is only possible because of some kind of flaw in modern culture is an example of … Continue reading Trump & McCarthy

Covid-19 and Hannibal’s Law

For many years, I have advocated what I call Hannibal’s First Law of Leadership: “Never give an order that won’t be obeyed.” Hannibal’s Law recognizes that war is fought in the real world, and that a general who gives orders that aren’t obeyed won’t be a general for much longer. We are now reaching that … Continue reading Covid-19 and Hannibal’s Law

Negativity, Risk, And Why Rugged Individualism Is (Mostly) Bunk

In his book with journalist John Tierney, The Power of Bad, social psychologist Roy Baumeister writes about what he calls the Negativity Effect. For most of humanity’s existence, we lived in dangerous environments where a single careless moment would mean death. Or as The Power of Bad puts it: “To survive, life has to win … Continue reading Negativity, Risk, And Why Rugged Individualism Is (Mostly) Bunk

Scaling and Prevailing Over Covid-19

* * * An exponential threat like Covid-19 requires us to scale up our responses at lightning speed. But how do manage the risks and strain of this effort, while making sure that we mitigate, rather than amplify, the existing structural problems in our society? In a week, Bob Sutton, Laura McBain, Marc Chun, and … Continue reading Scaling and Prevailing Over Covid-19