One of the most perceptive essays I’ve ever read on celebrity culture and journalism also delivered a number of guffaws. The writer, Stephen Marche, who is a contributing editor to Esquire, holds nothing back.
Here’s his first column paragraph from the NYTimes: I HAVE been attacked pretty much my entire career by Gawker. I made its list of “least important writers” twice, and it put me in 62nd place on its “worst 100 white men” list, which also included...
I kid you not. That’s the actual title of research reported in the Journal of Management Studies. One of the authors, Mats Alvesson, has a long history of ground-breaking research. And this is another feather in his cap. Not quirky, it’s really, really smart and very useful research.
This is one of those studies which tell you more than you want to know about how organizations actually work. The researchers don’t screw around. They nail organizational BS to the wall. What’s unique about the research are...
Identifying African behavior as stereotypical is dangerous stuff. I've learned from experience to issue caveats about most any racial or ethnic stereotype, admit to stereotyping and beg forgiveness--especially before using an ethnic or racial stereotype. Even then, you're liable to have to push through assumptions, in spite of the fact that the use of stereotype can be highly valuable for explaining behavior.
However, one of my young friends recently expressed his frustration at Nigerian and Somali friends who call to say they're in town and want to go out for a drink the same night. After experiencing this behavior on numerous occasions, he asked why they don't ever give him advance notice so that he won't have to reschedule his time to meet with them. They both responded, "It’s just African." In our diverse culture that kind of...
Good thinkers are good questioners. Answers can be helpful but they only have a fixed value. Furthermore, answers tend to become obsolete at an accelerating rate. In addition, analytical thinking is only powerful when it can access a large and accurate base of knowledge--and when one's biases are kept in check.
Do angry blue-collar voters have a point? The losers have been ignored. The evidence reveals that a safety net is going to be needed for companies and workers who have been exposed by policy. Eduardo Porter
Why are high profits a problem for big American companies? Big profits are usually ignored, except by investors.
Profits could be a sign of brilliance or wise investments. But they could be a way to squish competitors. So what, if anything, should be done about them? Economist
Why is learning central to sustained innovation. The key to successful innovation, most think, is all about improving the development process--or adding new tools. But actually, it's skilled people, not processes, that make for great product. MIT Sloan Mgmt Review
Why do both conservatives and liberals thrill to 'populist' politicians? Do they have anything in common besides bluster? NYTimes Magazine
Are college students becoming victims of fear and pain? Some Emory students describe themselves as afraid and in pain after reading "Trump 2016" in chalk around campus. They demanded that the university president take "punitive and positive action." Is this merely political correctness? Or is there another way to understand their demands. Two sociologists argue that there is a new moral order of a victimhood culture, and it is turning students into moral dependents. Heterodox Academy.
How has truth changed for all of us? Google's Larry Page has imagined a society where smartphones are miniaturized and hooked into a person's brain. If you need some facts, the phone will tell you the answer. Jill Lepore writes that in the history of truth, a new chapter begins. For example, An American Presidential debate has a lo more in common with trial by combat than with trial by jury, which is what people are talking about when they say these debates seem 'childish': the outcome is the evidence. Essentially, when we Google facts, we give up our reason, and, in a republic, our citizenship. Lepore has her finger on how truth has changed. A new chapter begins. The New Yorker.
When those wise revolutionaries, the Founding Fathers, created our government, they referred to it as an "experiment," admitting to its potential for chaos and failure. Churchill's comment that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others, applies directly--and significantly to today's conflict regarding Trump within the Republican party.
The reality, however, is that the US, unique among nations, has a long history of self-correction. Indeed, you may be surprised to learn that about every 30 or 40 years we have had similar messes--followed by...
If you've got a jaundiced view on governmental politics, just look at business politics.
I get drawn into a lot of presidential candidate conversations by my friends. Though I often just listen, I'm eventually asked about my perspective. Inevitably, eyes roll and sometimes bring laughter at my sanity response, no matter their party or orientation. Furthermore, if the colleagues are intrigued, I add an inevitable caveat that applies to any candidate's disposition. So how do I maintain political sanity, especially when, like today, I'm not thrilled by...
Are you a flip-flopper? Do you evolve, or just stay the same? “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” wrote George Bernard Shaw.
In career development, it’s usually the little things that derail a manager or exec. Thus, I typically focus on granular career issues. For example, I’ve never quite understood why, even when it’s done rarely, flip-flopping is such an evil. So I was intrigued to read Adam Grant’s recent article on the “virtue of contradicting ourselves.”
Flip-flopping and inconsistency, according to the well-known Wharton prof, can be virtuous. But...
July 4th is a good time to look back at the founding fathers--and especially their attitude toward the Constitution. Many scholars and judges could learn something--especially those who, like Scalia, are fixated on "original intent." What the founders absolutely did not want was to be embalmed, or to have their prescriptions taken as sacred script. That fundamentalism is not only wrong-headed, it's as stupid and dangerous as the religious fundamentalism in Evangelicalism, Judaism and Islam. And, surprisingly for most, Anthony Scalia's "original intent" is the same approach to literature that all fundamentalists take.
But here's what Thomas Jefferson, one of the godfather's of the US Constitution had to say.
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the Ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I know that age well: I belonged to it and labored with it. It deserved well of its country.... But I know also, that laws and constitutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.
Ever been a tourist or a business traveler who wants to get around international data charges? If so, you've learned there's a lot of difference in free, public WiFi speeds. Still, the hotspots are growing fast and that includes cafes, bars, restaurants, etc. And lately, these public WiFi hotspots are popping up everywhere.
But, as you'll find to your chagrin, connectivity and quality..
America’s rule of the globe is coming to an end. Destroyed, we’re told, by China. Fear is a terrific motivator—at least in the short term. So plenty of economists and business people go about earning their stripes with apocalyptic warnings about our soon demise. But, actually, that notion and its underpinnings are all nonsense.
Fear gets to us even when reason suggests otherwise. A few decades ago, the alarmism was all about the Japanese and their booming economy. And you know what happened there. Still the fear is a great vote-getter for some opportunistic politicians.
But Harvard’s Joseph Nye has put a dagger in the hearts of those who like to propagandize about our soon demise. You may not know Nye, but “all roads to understanding American foreign policy run through Nye.” He’s the one who pioneered...