It Will Shock You

There’s a scene in Season 2 of Mad Men, when Don Draper visits Peggy Olson in the hospital. She’s recovering from having given birth to a married man’s child, and is understandably worried about balancing her ascendant career with the responsibilities of parenthood, compounded by the complexity of the baby’s paternity. Don, her only visitor, … Continue reading It Will Shock You

Focus Mode

When I think back to the early-00s, I think of a lot of chunky, single-purpose, monochrome screen devices: a Franklin PDA, a Memorex MP3 player, a Sony DSLR. Now, obviously, things are different. When I survey the devices on my desk now, I’ve got an iPad Pro and an iPhone 12 — both of which … Continue reading Focus Mode

On Finishing the Power Broker

After a full year, I finally finished reading Robert Caro’s The Power Broker. It’s a seriously incredible exploration of the life, achievements, and controversies of Robert Moses – New York City’s “Master Builder” – who singlehandedly reshaped the face of New York City, and the lives of its millions of inhabitants, for generations. The scope … Continue reading On Finishing the Power Broker

A Difference Between Fluent and Mother-Tongue Level Writing

In general, I’m a fan of the Netherland’s flagship airline, KLM. I’ve flown them multiple times and had pleasant flights. And online, they have an aggressive, inventive Facebook presence, and generally have good marketing campaigns. But a recent email they sent caught my eye. You’ll notice a few minor — but still obvious — errors … Continue reading A Difference Between Fluent and Mother-Tongue Level Writing

Born to be Mild

A few weeks ago, the iconically American motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson announced that it would be shifting some production overseas, so as to avoid stiff retaliatory tariffs placed on it by the EU. Much of the coverage of Harley has been centered on its American-ness, and particularly its resonance with folks of a certain age (here’s … Continue reading Born to be Mild

4,000 Miles

The other day, I left the house and went on an invigorating ten-mile run. I log my runs pretty religiously – usually on MapMyRun, though that day I happened to use Strava – and have kept a close watch on my mileage since I started seriously running in 2013. And so I know with certainty that … Continue reading 4,000 Miles

We Have Met the Future, and It Is Messaging

VentureBeat has the story today of Facebook’s new partnership with Dutch airline KLM to integrate boarding passes, flight information, and customer service into Messenger. As I’ve written before, Facebook Messenger has completely embraced the platform approach and integrated everything from mobile payments to Uber booking to customer service, all in one app. And it’s compelling to see … Continue reading We Have Met the Future, and It Is Messaging