Trump and JFK: Masters of New Media

I didn’t use Newsweek’s clickbaity headline: “Trump and JFK Are More Alike Than We Like To Think.” They are different in many ways, but JFK was remembered for mastering the new medium of television (people who listened to the Nixon/Kennedy debates on radio were more likely to believe Nixon won, but those who watched the debates on TV were more likely to say Kennedy won), and while I pay more…

Analysis | The fake news is coming from inside the White House

To believe Donald Trump, you must believe two largely contradictory things. | You must believe that there are a slew of leakers in the executive branch who are providing damning details to the press illegally, and who must be rooted out and punished. punished….You must also believe that the press makes up imaginary leakers simply to slowly and incrementally report false stories that are tangentially embarrassing to the president.  —Washington…

How the Midwest went from the idealized to the derided

While Pittsburgh has become more metropolitan in the last generation, the culture here one county to the east still bears witness to its rust belt past. This may sound dull as ditch water to those who believe that the “flyover” states are inhabited largely by clodhoppers, fundamentalist zealots and loudmouthed Babbitts. In fact, Lauck’s aim is to examine “how the Midwest as a region faded from our collective imagination” and…

Computer scientist Leslie Lamport to [Brandeis] grads: If you can’t write, it won’t compute

I like introducing my English majors to coding. Here’s a computer scientist who’s returning the favor, advocating the importance of writing skills. “If you succeed in attaining a position that allows you to do something great, if you do something that really is great, and if you realize that it’s great, there’s still one more hurdle: You have to convince others that it’s great,” he told the graduates. “This will…

1

Survivorship Bias – You Are Not So Smart

Successful people may just be lucky; focusing too much on their successes can silence the honorable failures that we can all stand to learn from. People who consider themselves “lucky” take more risks, and are therefore more likely to discover opportunities. They brush off their failures rather than dwell on them. People who consider themselves unlucky tend to stick to the same safe patterns. Wiseman speculated that what we call…

1

Think Before You Tweet In the Wake of an Attack

Sobering analysis. Would I be able to follow this advice in the unthinkable event I had a personal account to share? Terrorists use social media to recruit, but they also depend on you and the media to use it to amplify their message….  The motivation for terrorism is not mere murder or maiming but the incitement of deep fear in an entire community or nation. To achieve that aim, terrorists…