The Biggest Secret to Winning the War of Ideas

The secret isn’t an idea at all.

It isn’t how to game LinkedIn’s new algorithm, either.

No, the biggest secret — as Joe Romm puts it in his 2018 book “How to Go Viral and Reach Millions” — is a secret because…nobody reads Aristotle anymore:

The most viral messages have always been stories told with the figures of speech that trigger key emotions and stick in the memory such as metaphor, irony and repetition, but also others such as hyperbole and apophysis (pretended denial), two of Donald Trump’s favorites.

What Pundits Can Teach Us

Nobody likes pundits, although it’s hard to imagine our world now without them.

Which is why we — researchers and research directors and research communicators — should be reading and watching and listening to pundits. A lot.

They’re like the innocuous protoplasm that astronauts brought back from Mars in some horror film, only to watch it take over the planet.…

Your Data Need an Argument

The New York Times published a beautiful interactive earlier this week showing how U.S. greenhouse gas emissions might be reduced if the United States adopted seven of the most ambitious climate policies already in place around the world.

The interactive also beautifully illustrates something else: why researchers who want to make impact on polarized issues can’t just present data or findings. They…

The Problem with Storytelling (and a More Useful Concept)

​We’re awash in the industry of storytelling:

  • Storytelling consultants selling storytelling templates and workshops and webinars and books, all with guidance for the majority of us afflicted with the lack of confidence to tell compelling stories but who conveniently, it turns out, just need a little paid training to unlock and unleash the unique story within us and to recognize the great characters in our lives and turn those, too, into powerful stories, all in order to revolutionize our impact, performance and lives.