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Tom Alexander's blog

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Scientists are onto your passive aggressive emoticon use at work - Quartz

This is very interesting. I enjoyed this piece a lot. I’m intrigued at them classifying the three types of smileys. Especially the third one — the hedge — where you are basically saying something you shouldn’t say and trying to back it off a bit. Totally passive-aggressive behavior. It’s as if you are saying JKNR.

What’s funny is I probably know 500 people who, if you went up to them and said, are you ever passive-aggressive at the workplace, not only would they say no, they’d be aghast that you even asked that. Totally offended. And yet, I bet plenty of them employee this (or similar) techniques.

Something that I know I’ll be looking at in my own communication in the coming weeks.

Filed under work email smileys emoticons internet business

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The Google Bus Didn't Cause San Francisco to Become Super Expensive, But It May Be Accelerating the Process - Emily Badger - The Atlantic Cities

This is an interesting piece on the effect of public transportation — in this case a very specific type of public transportation — and the resulting and inevitable impact on housing prices, etc.

We’ve seen this a bit in Chicago, particularly along key train routes like the red line, the brown line, and (now) the blue line (think Western Ave. station, Logan Square station, California station to name a few). It will be interesting to see if protected bike lanes in Chicago have a similar effect or not.

Filed under cities san francisco google public transportation chicago

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Review of “MITT”, the new documentary on Mitt Romney from Netflix

Watched the Romney documentary last night. Three conclusions: 

1. He seems like a truly decent man with a very nice and loving family — sort of a “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all type.” They have an oddly Rockwellian quality about them. I think that most families would aspire to be like them in one fashion or another — when they sit around and do pros and cons and he writes them on the notepad, for example. 

2. They spend a lot of time telling him how great he is and making him feel better about what is happening / what just happened. This is not an altogether unusual quality with people dealing with a high-level person but it is evident in spades in the movie. However, I feel that there is also an awful lot of straight talk. There are a number of situations where they just really tell him what’s going on, to his face, and it’s a bit shocking.

3. Politics, especially national big-time politics, seems like a bit of an odd choice for him. He just doesn’t have the je ne sais quois that people want, and it’s evident to him throughout the movie, and yet he continues on pushing the rock up the hill. You hear this sometimes about other people — Remnick even talks about this w/r/t Obama in the recent New Yorker piece — but it is plainly evident in the Romney documentary.

Bonus reflection: Tagg Romney is scary. Not sure what’s going on with that guy but you can tell that he’s going to be back and his motivations may not be pure.

Filed under Mitt Romney Barack obama politics netflix