Blog

Check out my posts (211 and counting) about communications, information, motivation, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, learning, etc. 

Mistrust in media has turned us from skeptics to cynics

Mistrust in media has turned us from skeptics to cynics

When we talk about posts going viral, the term is accurate – especially when it comes to misinformation. A study from USC found that just 15% of the most habitual “news” sharers on Facebook are superspreaders. They’re responsible for disseminating 30%-40% of the fake...

Why we’re all conspiracy theorists

Why we’re all conspiracy theorists

The street I live on has a chat group, which I usually avoid. But last year I was alerted to one exchange. Someone was moving in from another province, and asked about the quality of the tap water here, i.e. whether she should use a filter. Which prompted one of my...

The myth of the $200 chicken

The myth of the $200 chicken

When a friend of mine was on vacation abroad, he ran into some Americans. Learning that he was from Canada, they said they could never live in such a “socialist” country. One where chicken costs $200 at the grocery store. Huh? My friend was understandably puzzled. And...

Beware of weapons of mass distraction

Beware of weapons of mass distraction

When the atomic bomb was being developed during World War II, some scientists wondered if an explosion could ignite the atmosphere. The 2023 movie Oppenheimer highlighted that concern in an exchange between Brigadier General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan...

Sometimes when you blow smoke, the world catches fire

Sometimes when you blow smoke, the world catches fire

Typically in Canada, wildfires consume an average of 2.5 million hectares of land annually. This year, 6,132 blazes burned 16.5 million hectares, according to Natural Resources Canada. The summer of 2023 was by far the worst wildfire season in history. There were a...

Read a banned book today

Read a banned book today

In 212 B.C., the Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti burned almost all of the books in his kingdom, keeping only single copies for the royal library. Those too were destroyed before he died, so that history could be seen to start with him. Previously, Shih Huang Ti is...

Having a chat with ChatGPT about my future

Having a chat with ChatGPT about my future

Will artificial intelligence (AI) take my job? Or yours? In a recent survey, a quarter of workers feared that AI will make their job obsolete. That includes people in creative pursuits, like illustrators, photographers, musicians and designers. And writers. AI is one...

Why did Rick Rubin cry about a board game?

Why did Rick Rubin cry about a board game?

Rick Rubin doesn’t write music. Or lyrics. He says he can “barely” play an instrument. When it comes to recording, “I have no technical ability,” he told an interviewer. Which is remarkable considering he has won nine Grammy Awards, founded Def Jam Recordings,...

X-ing out the bird

X-ing out the bird

It was the early days of a platform that was designed to share short messages with groups, similar to texts. The people building the system were brainstorming company names. They thought of how your phone would react when you received a message, which prompted two...

How one portmanteau fueled double-feature excitement

How one portmanteau fueled double-feature excitement

Have you heard about Barbenheimer? The films Barbie and Oppenheimer open the same day, July 21. Barbie is the first live-action movie based on the Mattel doll, crafted as a comedy-fantasy/journey of self-discovery. Oppenheimer is a dramatic biopic from director...