Powerpoint presentations, key performance indicators and mission statements. Do they make our businesses and institutions run more efficiently, or are they irritating and faddish, not just devoid of meaning, but actually obstructive of clear communication? In his new book, "Bendable Learnings", there is no doubt what Don Watson thinks. In this laugh-out-loud talk at the ANU, he outlines his argument for why we need to avoid the ridiculous confusion of corporate language.
Why does corporate America use silly buzzwords like ‘low-hanging fruit’? Author James Sudakow explains.
One of the key developments of this new century has been the re-emergence of Germany. It had been underway ever since World War Two but just not fully comprehended. It has been evident during this European debt crisis and appears to be returning to its place as a Great Power, achieving far more peacefully than the Wehrmacht ever managed. But what’s behind Germany’s greatness?
Peter Watson, Journalist and cultural historian.
Title: The German Genius: Europe’s third renaissance, the second scientific revolution and the twentieth century
Author: Peter Watson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Wherein Michael meets Sid, the barracks supervisor and learns the upside-down language of the camp.
It’s a good time to be holed up with the supercharged pages of some new thrillers. Here are four: Noir by Olivier Pauvert, Eclipse by Richard North Patterson, Daemon by Daniel Suarez, and Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child.
For the Ariekei, who live on a distant planet in China Miéville’s latest novel Embassytown, speech is thought: “Without language for things that didn’t exist, they could hardly think them.”
In Miéville’s Ariekei language, there is no room for metaphor, no space between the thing – or the idea – and the word. As a result, the Ariekei have no concept of lying. Language is truth, rather than merely standing in for it. Quite the opposite of any human language.
Just over 30 years ago, an Englishman named Christopher Alexander tried to revolutionize architecture. In A Pattern Language, Alexander told architects and planners to design homes on emotional and spiritual principles – not on traffic flow. The revolution didn’t quite come. But the book had a surprising influence on another group of experts: the computer scientists who were just beginning to shape the Internet. Produced by Lu Olkowski. (Originally aired: August 15, 2008)
From http://www.theincomparable.com/2010/11/11-to-be-continued.html Three Hugo winners enter our Book Club. “Spin” by Robert Charles Wilson, “Hyperion” by Dan Simmons, and “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union” by Michael Chabon. Also: Why sequels suck. The Incomparable Participants: Jason Snell, Glenn Fleishman, Dan Moren, Scott McNulty, and Greg Knauss. The Incomparable Theme Song composed by Christopher Breen.
Updated on Thursday evening, November 11, to fix a strange empty spot and add an explanation about what “work me like a ham” means. But you have to listen to the end. And re-download if you missed it.
Spoiler Horn Data
Please note that this episode contains spoilers for the three books mentioned above. The AAC version of the podcast has been demarcated with chapter breaks so you can skip some (or, heck, all!) of the spoilers for those books. Presumably so you can come back later after you’ve read the books, right?
Doug Rushkoff, author of Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back, speaking at SXSW 2010.
Curse words change over time — back in the ninth century you could say the "s" word and no one would be offended. But we always need a set of words that are off-limits, and in her new book, author Melissa Mohr explains how the words that shock us reveal a lot about society’s values.