Planned Obsolescence Mar 23, 2018

My first real job was a triumphant lesson in unplanned obsolescence. I landed a paid internship at a New York PR firm called Creamer Dickson Basford and was assigned to the Pizza Hut account. It was an auspicious summer for Pizza Hut public relations. Not only was Pizza Hut launching...
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Stonehenge Mar 9, 2018

Of the dozens of brilliant moments in Christopher Guest and Rob Reiner's masterful rock parody Spinal Tap, my favorite is an ambitious plan gone awry. Faced with a case of the drabs on their U.S. tour, lead guitar Nigel Tufnel suggests reviving a number...
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Back On The Chain Gang Feb 23, 2018

Perhaps because college was so consumed with pranks, it wasn't until the relatively mirthless years of law school that I was able to achieve my dream of playing in a rock and roll band. My brother Aaron had always been a drummer...
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President Trump Uses The Wrong Word (As Usual) Feb 9, 2018

By now, most Americans are used to President Trump using words that, if not inappropriate, are quite wrong. It's clear he's a far cry from his idol, the Great Communicator, what with speeches that are varyingly at a 4th grade vocabulary level or read off the teleprompter at a protracted pace.
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Making Apprenticeships Work Feb 4, 2018

It seems like everyone's talking about apprenticeships. Apprenticeships were the Trump Administration's first postsecondary education initiative; in June 2017, President Trump signed an executive order aiming to use apprenticeships to train five million Americans...
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Unsafe At Any Speed? Seatbelts For Online Learning Jan 26, 2018

In early January I received the sad news that a college friend had passed away at the untimely age of 46. Although I've never mentioned him in this Letter, I've been tempted on many occasions.
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Education Dogs Jan 12, 2018

The most surprising thing over Christmas break wasn't that 10 in-laws came to stay at our house, nor even that they stayed for an entire week. Instead, it was something I read...
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Debt-Free in '18 Dec 29, 2017

This song from 1989 always comes to mind during the holidays. First, because I have a strong memory of listening to this album - Blind Man's Zoo - one Christmas break while doing primary research for my college senior thesis in economics (an econometric comparison of the American and Canadian university systems). But more important...
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A Better Lecture Dec 15, 2017

Despite what I sometimes hear in the Bay Area, the set of things that technology makes more useful is not equal to the set of all things. In other words, there are things that don't become more useful simply from digitization.
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Sweep Away The Skills Gap Dec 1, 2017

When I came to the U.S. for college, I was clearly in the minority. Not just because I was Canadian and my roommates made fun of how I pronounced house, mouse and couch. But also a minority among Canadian male students: only a handful of us weren't there principally to play hockey.
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