Editor’s Desk: FiveThirtyEight’s Perfect Republican Stump Speech

perfect republican From the Editor

FiveThirtyEight’s emphasis on exploring the use of data led to a recent post by former Republican speechwriter Barton Swaim, who was asked to create the “perfect Republican stump speech” based on commonly available data sources (Pew, Gallup, CBS News, etc). Continue reading

Not Taking Sides Yet

IMG_20150623_093431-2I’m just back from a week South of the Border with 12,000 of my closest friends.  Information and Computer Technology (ICT) was the subject of discussion, and may yet democratize the world if anything can. I’m not a real teacher, but gave it a shot some decades ago in high school, and again in recent times at the university level.  I use the Internet all the time, consider it a blessing. I receive many messages each day showing methodologies and techniques which can meet the challenges and impositions of the digital age.

Latin America is full of brilliant and dedicated people, and as a continent it benefits from having a lingua franca (well, two or three) and no state-to-state conflicts. We should take closer note of how they carry on, the complete ease in conversing across borders, the many friendly rivalries which seem to benefit all. Continue reading

The Speechwriting Reel: The Engineering Mind in Action

Marine-engineeringThis is a glimpse of how the engineering mind works: “I like pop music. Earnestly. Most of the greatest technicians, mix engineers, and players are working in pop music.”
Autre Ne Veut

I don’t mean to pick on engineers but they’re easy to pick on, especially by us creative types who free associate and constantly digress and of course interrupt without compunction.  Nice word, compunction. I consult for big oil companies invariably run by engineers. I wrote something for a higher up, way up, expecting to get his thoughts about the piece’s substance. His note said “You made a typo on page three paragraph three.” I couldn’t find it. Continue reading

Safety in Numbers

Washington-20141009-00083I don’t mean it in a smarmy way:  everything is numbers these days, it just is. Undergraduates looking for a pretty sustainable livelihood should become “M&E” specialists – monitoring and evaluation.  If I were a donor I, too, would want to know what I am getting for my money. Continue reading