Category Archives: Better world

The “I-already-have-this” button

The other day I was listening to episode 590 of the podcast Six Pixels of Separation, in which the host, marketer Mitch Joel (who is always outstanding in selecting guests for this excellent podcast – and even better in coming up with intelligent and insightful questions), was interviewing PR guru David Meerman Scott. And in their conversation they mentioned having experienced multiple times something that is causing a lot of frustration with both the podcast interviewer, the interviewee and myself, and which is linked to the online marketing technique called retargeting (whereby you seem to be followed around when surfing the internet by online ads from a company whose website you recently visited).

As such this marketing technique is quite successfull, but the aspect of it that Mitch Joel mentioned was referring to exactly the scenario that is causing most of the frustration for me: Continue reading

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How I became a fan of Donald Trump

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, you will have to admit: ever since he decided to run for president of the United States, things are moving at a pace that was deemed impossible until that point in time. Whether his decision resulted from a bet, a joke or a could-I-pull-this-off question we will never know. But it has become quite obvious that he did not really consider in any detail what the actual consequences (for himself, the United States, and the world) would be should the crazy endeavour really (perhaps ‘really, really’ instead of just ‘really’ would be more appropriate here, given the context) succeed. Continue reading

Sorry, Watson, but I’m not impressed

When my favourite chat app (used by myself and over a billion other people) figures out all by itself when to use autocomplete and when not to use it, then I will be impressed by machine learning, artificial intelligence, or whatever term you prefer to use. At this moment its performance is nowhere near what I consider to be genuinely intelligent, as it is even unable to figure out which language I am chatting in (although the language of the chat sessions typically depends on the person I am chatting with, so that should be a solid hint for a so-called intelligent system). Obviously I can Continue reading

My address is an email address

Message to the world: if you want to make sure that a message you have might for me reaches me in a proper and timely way… send it by email, not as a letter. Especially if you are a government agency or a supplier of a service or utility and expect some kind of response/action/payment from my side.

The circumstances of my personal and professional life have evolved in such a way that I spend large chunks of time in multiple locations. But that also implies Continue reading

Logical fallacies – download the free poster now!

poster
Please spend a minute or two to have a look at this wonderful initiative from Jesse Richardson, an ad guy who decided to finally use the skills he developed while working in advertising for something useful: a website that lists a number of common logical fallacies in a very user-friendly way. On the site you can also download – for free – the poster you see here. A perfect tool for the development of critical thinking, which will no doubt help to uncover half truths and fake news!

After having downloaded your own copy, please do make an extra effort to point out this initiative to your family and friends, especially if you know people working in education. Both the website and the poster are published under a creative commons license, so all of the material can be used at will.

The website & poster are available in various languages, such as:

Englishhttps://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

Germanhttps://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/de

Frenchhttps://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/fr

Spanishhttps://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/es

And since this week also in Dutch (which is where I got involved, as I made the tranlation into Dutch): https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/nl

Case closed

3309242242_ef330b9887_b-1“Your case has been closed” is a sentence you come across from time to time in the process of interacting with a helpdesk team. And in normal circumstances you feel pretty good when that sentence is presented to you, as it typically implies that your problem has been fixed. If, however, that particular sentence – in a case I have recently experienced myself – is the opening sentence of the very first reply you get after submitting a question, you will agree with me that this is far away from what is commonly understood as normal circumstances. Continue reading