“No country can possibly move ahead…”

“No country can possibly move ahead, no free society can possibly be sustained, unless it has an educated citizenry whose qualities of mind and heart permit it to take part in the complicated and increasingly sophisticated decisions that pour not only upon the President and upon the Congress, but upon all the citizens who exercise the ultimate power.”

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John F. Kennedy
Commencement Address
San Diego State College
June 6, 1963

What Brexit Means for Assignment Editors

There is a term among those who study journalism called Afghanistanism that means, roughly, the practice of concentrating on problems in distant parts of the world while ignoring controversial local issues. There also is a term among those who study news websites that focus on writing recency-rich made-for-Google headlines  called, “What time is the Superbowl?” 

“What Brexit means” and its variant, “What does Brexit mean?” is a mix of these two “news value” factors: Attempts to take something remote to most of the world (Brexit} and localize its impact in order to show up in a Google news search.

A small sampling of hundreds of articles appearing in news sources indexed during the past 32 hours by Google News

What Brexit means for savings

What Brexit means for your pensions, mortgages and money

What Brexit means for the Bank of England

What Brexit means for the economy, markets, and business

What Brexit means for U.S, investors

What Brexit means for British tourists travelling to Europe?

What Brexit means for immigration

What Brexit Means for the City of London

What Brexit means for UK nationals living in Europe

What Brexit Means For Tech

What Brexit means for sport

What Brexit means for the Premier League

What Brexit means for Australia

What Brexit means for Northern Ireland

What Brexit means for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

What Brexit means for the 2016 election

What Brexit means for shopping, petrol prices, pensions, house prices, the NHS and crime


Voting Night Coverage Streaming Via the Beeb

Last night, I watched the BBC’s streaming coverage of the UK “leave/remain” referendum.

Some observations:

The vote is similar to what is happening in the U.S. Presidential election: a vote less about party or even traditional viewpoints of conservative vs. liberal. It’s all about big-city vs. little village. (Or “provincial” as they’d call it in the U.K.) As a coping mechanism, I’ve refused to believe that Donald Trump can actually be elected President, but watching the coverage last night gave me pause.

Not having commercials during election coverage is worth whatever tax the UK citizens pay that allows me to watch their coverage for free. Thank you, UK taxpayers.

The ridiculously over-blown 3-D visualization graphic they have developed is a lesson that should teach you: just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it.

Dreamland’s Rhonda Gets the Conversation Started

Netflix is streaming the Australian TV comedy Utopia (due to copyright issues, it is titled Dreamland in the UK, Canada, and US). While it is not a parody documentary (mockumentary), in some ways it is similar to The Office with over-the-top clichéd characters representing the spectrum of incompetence one finds in any bureaucracy of workers — especially within a bureaucracy that is comprised of lots of people who don’t actually know what the goals of the organization are. Shows like this work because there are always a character or two who actually do understand the difference in the substance and the fluff of any organization. It is through their eyes we see the world in which they exist; the world that can, at times, remind us of our own.

Like Silicon Valley, the HBO comedy about a tech startup, the/Dreamland writers are spot-on in capturing the techish-marketing-buzz-speak vocabulary of the mid-2010’s. The creative key to both shows is having the purpose of the organizations be recognizable and somewhat accurate to viewers who work in those fields, while having the personalities and interactions of the characters be recognizable universally.

As you can see from the clip below, Rhonda represents the marketing manager who frequently attends conferences or workshops about various forms of online media. She returns to the office enthusiastically and doggedly drawing priorities away from important projects to superficial online projects.

She is awesome.