In 2003, Nicholas Carr, author of the Rough Type blog, asked the provocative question: “Does IT matter?” His article appeared in the prestigious Harvard Business Review. It was a closely argued, well-written article, which triggered what The Economist called “an existentialist debate” in the IT industry.[Read more…] about Does IT still matter? Interview with Nicholas Carr
Procrastination is a big problem for writers. The Economist takes a view, based on research and economic theory: New-year irresolution.
What seems to work is pre-commitment. Homer tells the story of Ulysses. He wanted to hear the sirens’ song but wanted to avoid being lured to his death by it, so he tied himself to the mast of his ship. (The other sailors had wax in their ears.)
But how can we do this in our everyday life?[Read more…] about How to beat procrastination
People have a horrible tendency to use the wrong word in press releases, especially when using scientific terms they don’t understand. Hype words and frankenquotes make them almost unreadable. For example, people often use words like science loanwords ‘quantum leap’ wrongly.
Check out my advice on this blog if you want to write like a hacker.[Read more…] about The wrong word: widely misunderstood scientific terms
Bin man or Environmental Maintenance Officer? Why are job titles getting so ridiculous?
Perhaps I’m sitting in a glass house throwing stones because I call myself CEO and Writer-in-chief but now the BBC has given us a delightful list of ridiculous titles, including:
- Director of first impressions (= Receptionist)
- Environmental maintenance officer (= Bin man)
- Eviction technicians (= Bouncers)
“Academics get paid for being clever, not for being right.”
— Donald Norman
The worst academic papers is notorious for using complicated words, impenetrable theories and name dropping. It makes academia feel like it’s a closed shop or religious cult where you can’t get on unless you know the secret handshake and use the right jargon.[Read more…] about Motherfoucault! How to write better academic papers
Focus equals results. This is an important understanding. ‘Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,’ said Steve Jobs. ‘That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products’. It’s also true for people and work traffic planning.[Read more…] about What to do when you have too much to do