As lawyer, lecturer and politician, Obama’s “certain talent for rhetoric” (as he describes it himself in his second, bestselling memoir of 2006 The Audacity of Hope ) has been what propelled his rise. And his speeches are filled, thrillingly, with highly formal rhetoric of the sort that would be recognisable to ancient philosophers and scholars of the medieval trivium – in which rhetoric, along with grammar and logic, formed one third of an education. He absolutely pours it on. What Obama’s doing is as old as Aristotle – whose Rhetoric set out the ground rules for the art of persuasion four centuries before the birth of Christ.
“Ethos” was the name Aristotle gave to that part of rhetoric that establishes the speaker’s bona fides. “Logos” – or the actual argument – was only one among three of the persuasive appeals; “pathos” – manipulating the audience’s emotions – was just as important. Think of it this way. Ethos: “Buy my old car because I’m Jeremy Clarkson.” Logos: “Buy my old car because yours is broken and mine is the only one on sale.” Pathos: “Buy my old car or I’ll twist the head off this kitten.”
Repetition, particularly in the form of anaphora – where a phrase is repeated at the beginning of successive lines – is another of the prime tools of political oratory and one that Obama revels in. His speech at the Iowa caucus on January 3 2008 opened: “You know, they said this time would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided, too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose.”
He went on to declare: “I’ll be a president who finally makes healthcare affordable ... I’ll be a president who ends the tax breaks ... I’ll be a president who harnesses the ingenuity ... I’ll be a president who ends this war in Iraq ... ” Then: “This was the moment when ... this was the moment when ... this was the moment when ... ” And, as his speech built to its climax, “Hope is what I saw ... Hope is what I heard ... Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire.”
Here's Dan Lyons - hack, the man who lied about his identity for so long, pointing out that the media - intentionally or unintentionally - lied about Steve Jobs health. Then he has the audacity to suggest that:
The larger takeaway is what this episode says about how the media covers Apple. It's one thing for PR flacks to tell lies. That is, after all, what they get paid to do. But it's another thing for the media to join in on the action.
Let me get this straight - the media lied about Steve's health based on anonymous sources inside Apple - liers - but not the PR "flacks" who actually didn't lie but in this case are just liers because of his antiquated view of them.
Should Apple have been more transparent - perhaps. But you can't fault them for maintaining the privacy of their CEO until such time as he felt it was impacting the business and chose to take leave.
I’m in a crush in a Dublin pub around New Year’s. Glasses clinking clicking, clashing crashing in Gaelic revelry: swinging doors, sweethearts falling in and out of the season’s blessings, family feuds subsumed or resumed. Malt joy and ginger despair are all in the queue to be served on this, the quarter-of-a-millennium mark since Arthur Guinness first put velvety blackness in a pint glass.
Tomorrow will not be like yesterday. This is no mere recession: it's a tectonic global shift in savings, consumption, and investment. Today's macropocalypse is a rupture in the global economic fabric - and the next half-decade will be spent reweaving it.
20th century business isn't fit for 21st century economics.
Tomorrow's market leaders have new DNA.They are organized and managed according to new rules; and it is those new rules that make the difference between surviving - and thriving in - the macropocalypse, or being vaporized by it.
Then this one from Tim: Work On Stuff That Matters.... I especially like the idea of creating more value than you capture... "At O'Reilly, we always say "Create more value than you capture." All successful companies do this. Once they start capturing more value than they create, their market position erodes, and someone displaces them. It may take a while but it happens eventually."
This is a view I subscribe to unequivocally... to succeed in most instances, you must do less. Focus on the thing you aim to create and that's it. Focus hard.
Whatever you do, don't focus on fixing. Focus on creating. This doesn't mean you don't have to fix anything - it just means you focus your energy on what you are creating. Tim has some terrific tips on how to get this done, giving a big hat tip to the brilliant Zen Habits blog.
Here are Tim's 12 tips with some of my annotations:
12 Key Habits to Start With
Set your 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks) each morning. I write mine on a yellow index card and carry it with me at all times.
Single-task. When you work on a task, don’t switch to other tasks. Multitasking is a result of defocusing. If you think you can do two things at once effectively, you can't.
Process your inbox to empty. This is key - don't leave anything in it. Touch them once - then archive, convert to task requiring more time, delegate, complete...
Check email just twice a day. And let everyone know it.
Exercise 5-10 minutes a day.
Work while disconnected, with no distractions. Close Outlook. Turn-off the notifier. Focus.
Say no to commitments and requests that aren’t on your Short List.
Declutter your house for 15 minutes a day.
Stick to a 5-sentence limit for emails.
If you want to change something, pick one habit to change... Tim suggests no more than one habit a month. This is also supported by research done by BJ Fogg of Stanford University. Want to teach 60-year olds to use an SMS program to help them quit smoking? It won't work. Those are two new behaviors. Choose one behavioral modification at a time.
I have no idea why IBM would put an image of three sheep in this box on their Services home page... bizarre.... made me laugh though... I mean, do the sheep help "solve the tough challenges facing your business"...
Range anxiety, as described by Mr. Weber, is the nagging worry that the electric vehicle you are driving is running out of battery charge.
I wonder how many people experience the same anxiety getting on a plane with their notebook, knowing they have a project or an inbox full of email to get through (or better still, five episodes of Lost to catch-up on). Not me. I've got a Dell XT Tablet with the extended battery. OK, makes my notebook a little thicker and heavier but I rarely run out of juice. It's brilliant.