The Art of Thinking
Wednesday November 26th 2014

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‘Thinking Things Through’ Archives

Toyota Brings Perfection To Corporate Meltdown

Toyota Brings Perfection To Corporate Meltdown

Edwards Deming would be so proud. The man who endowed the Japanese with a passion for quality after the Second World War might appreciate the level of perfection his protege Toyota now brings to the fine art of corporate self-destruction. At every step of the way Toyota has outperformed all competitors. They have made the Ford Firestone tire [...]

Vet Option Pushes Healthcare Debate in Radical New Direction

Vet Option Pushes Healthcare Debate in Radical New Direction

With the possibility that the health insurance reform bill may be headed for a reconciliation committee, reliable sources in the White House and elsewhere are acknowledging that the rumors about the so-called “vet option” have some basis in fact. The vet option is short for veterinary option, the radical compromise proposal that would [...]

New York Times Leads Call To Illiteracy — Will Shrink Allowable Vocabulary

New York Times Leads Call To Illiteracy — Will Shrink Allowable Vocabulary

Years ago, Fortune magazine ran a powerful advertising campaign using the slogan, “There’s nothing harder to stop than a trend.”  Trends are indeed mighty. But what if things are trending the wrong way? Can a trend be slowed or turned? This country has been on a stupid vector for a long time. It’s hard to tell when being inarticulate [...]

Air Travel In The Idiocracy

Air Travel In The Idiocracy

I’m standing here almost naked at San Francisco Airport security two years from now, trying to check in for a flight to New York. Two TSA staffers have got a Michael Chertoff Special in their hands, trying in the most painful way to explore those hidden places in my body where someone might hide explosives. Once more, I’m thinking that if this [...]

City Lights Becomes A Waxworks

City Lights Becomes A Waxworks

She seemed like what you might call 'a nice person.' He seemed decent enough, too. His voice a tad too loud, but not meaning to be obnoxious. They were just enjoying the days between Christmas and New Years, chatting, flirting, browsing the new non-fiction cases at City Lights. Multitasking ran deep in their veins. They were joking, scanning book [...]

The President’s Serotonin Levels And The Afghan War

The President’s Serotonin Levels And The Afghan War

On August 17, 2009, President Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars: "But we must never forget: This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more [...]

Can We Have A Little Chat About Money?

Can We Have A Little Chat About Money?

If you read the N.Y.Times in its coverage of the disruption of the Kindle, you might think that publishers are losing a fortune from the sudden rise in Kindle sales. Actually, the opposite is true. Amazon is buying Kindle rights from publishers at the same price they're paying for physical books. And Amazon is sticking with its policy to sell [...]

Why Start With The Perfect?

Why Start With The Perfect?

You’re third in line for takeoff, finally ready to depart La Guardia and get to your lunch meeting in Chicago. The pilot comes on the P.A. for a last-minute cheery message: “Thanks for your patience. We hope to make it up one we’re in the air and get you to O’Hare on time. Or at least someplace not too far from there. We're thinking maybe [...]

When It Comes to Healthcare, Be Selfish

When It Comes to Healthcare, Be Selfish

I don’t idealize a great many people that I’ve known, but Richard Maddy is an exception. A violin maker, legendary string instrument rebuilder, WWII paratrooper, and son of the founder of Interlochen Center for the Arts, I met Richard when we were both serving on the alumni board of the organization his father had founded. When the board would [...]

Signs of Intelligent Life

Signs of Intelligent Life

We all know that the world treats you better if you’re good-looking. Tall is helpful, too. Tall men make more money than short men. They are more likely to become CEOs. They are seen as not only more powerful, but more intelligent. Do you care if people see you as intelligent? If you do, then you might want to practice a few simple things [...]

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