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The BS Business

Six Ideas That Made Us Think 1. The BS Business Do not miss Lucy Kellaway’s long, magnificent rant against “corporate claptrap.” Drawing on 25 years of listening to self-important, bloated clichés, she gives example after embarrassing example of meaningless business jargon. Among the many gems, former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrends stands out with “the most […] Read More »

The Art of the Protest

Six Ideas That Made Us Think 1. This Is How You Write About Hard Rock On the 30th anniversary of Def Leppard’s monumental hair-metal album, Hysteria, Rob Havilla writes an unforgettable encomium. Is it tribute or parody? Does it even matter? Every sentence is brilliant: If you stacked every stripper pole ever utilized during a […] Read More »

How Friendly are the Skies?

Six Ideas That Made Us Think 1. How Friendly are the Skies? If you are a nervous flyer, skip this article in Harvard Business Review. It argues that automation of the cockpit has introduced new risks: Automation provides massive data-processing capacity and consistency of response. However, it can also interfere with pilots’ basic cycle of […] Read More »

HLG Notebook | April 2016

1. Organic Fiction on the Menu Laura Reiley, a veteran restaurant critic at the Tampa Bay Times, decided to fact-check her own reviews of farm-to-table restaurants. The results are brutal. After hunting down the food sources of more than 50 “local,” “organic,” or “farm-raised” restaurants, she uncovers an epic scam. The result is a muckraking […] Read More »

HLG Notebook | March 2016

1. The Future Is Bleak Evgeny Morozov’s latest takedown of tech futurism is this flawless, must-read evisceration of The Industries of the Future and its narcissistic author Alec Ross. Every paragraph brims with (much-warranted) sarcasm, contempt, and mockery. Early on, Morozov describes his first meeting with Ross when he was working for Secretary Clinton: I […] Read More »

HLG Notebook | February 2016

1. College Pranks Another spectacular academic hoax. Peter Dreier, a professor at Occidental College, tells how he submitted a phony, meaningless abstract to a major international sociology conference. Spoiler: his paper, “On the Absence of Absences,” was accepted: My paper had no point at all. It was filled entirely with non-sequiturs. I didn’t even bother […] Read More »

HLG Notebook | January 2016

1. Can Computers Write Political Speeches? Goodbye Ted Sorenson. So long Peggy Noonan. The MIT Technology Review reports that a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts has created a machine learning algorithm capable of generating complete political speeches after just a few cues on topic, audience, and party affiliation of the speaker. The AI […] Read More »

HLG Notebook | December 2015

1. Year’s Best Business Christmas Card The “Dear Santa” parody letter from Donald Trump we received from Ed Ingle, managing director of Microsoft’s government affairs office, was a runaway winner. An excerpt: Dear Santa: You are a fraud. You are lazy. You are out of shape. And worst of all, you have very low energy. […] Read More »

HLG Notebook | November 2015

1. “Marketing and Advertising Industries Hate Older People” The British blog Ad Contrarian takes aim at the “demographic cleansing” of the marketing and advertising industry, “where there is almost no one over 50 left”: A milestone in marketing stupidity has been reached. According to a September report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, a majority […] Read More »

HLG Notebook | October 2015

1. The Millennials in the Gray Flannel Suit Sorry, Millennials: You’re boring. You are neither restless nor footloose. You are not job-hoppers, but yearn for a life of corporate stability. And despite all the advice we’ve heard about how to keep you employed – from CNBC, Fortune, and inevitably, The Huffington Post – a new […] Read More »