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jerryking : narratives   17

Sree Sreenivasan: The Met ousted one of its top executives, so he used Facebook to show them what they lost — Quartz
June 23, 2016 | QUARTZ| Jenni Avins

(1) Build your network before you need it.“You need an incredible support group, and people who understand.” said Sreenivasan. “You have to build it when you don’t need it.” keep your resumé and LinkedIn profile fresh, maintain your professional contacts, and be generous with your time and advice. “Join LinkedIn today, when you don’t need a job,” said Sreenivasan. “Desperation does not work on LinkedIn.”
(2) Go public as soon as you can. Sreenivasan realized that at his level, offers wouldn’t immediately pile up—especially in the summer. So the same day the Met sent a company-wide memo about Sreenivasan’s departure, he went ahead and posted the aforementioned note on Facebook. be open and free. See what happens. Let the universe help.’”
(3) It’s okay to be vulnerable. be willing to be vulnerable,” said Jarvis. “And you have to trust your friends.”
(4) Control the narrative by setting it free. Sharing vulnerability doesn’t necessarily worsen it, Jarvis explained. Quite the contrary: The benefits of sharing—and thereby controlling—one’s own story far outweigh the risks
(5) Be open to meetings and advice. “I’m meeting everybody,” said Sreenivasan. (Indeed, when I asked him if we could take a walk to discuss his strategy on a Monday afternoon, he was booked through the evening; hence our morning commute through the park.) There’s no shame in taking tons of meetings—especially when one’s calendar is suddenly open. You never know which one might lead somewhere.
Sree_Sreenivasan  job_search  Managing_Your_Career  companywide  lessons_learned  digital_media  museums  meetings  networking  vulnerabilities  narratives 
december 2016 by jerryking
For Putin, Disinformation Is Power - The New York Times
AUG. 5, 2016 | The New York Times | By ARKADY OSTROVSKY.

Vladimir V. Putin told Larry King on CNN that his previous job as a K.G.B. officer had been like that of a journalist. “They have the same purpose of gathering information, synthesizing it and presenting it for the consumption of decision makers,”...During the Cold War, the Kremlin interfered in American politics for decades. The K.G.B.’s so-called active measures — subversion, media manipulations, forgery and the financing of some “peace” organizations — lay at the heart of Soviet intelligence.
disinformation  Vladimir_Putin  history  anti-Americanism  subversion  Donald_Trump  security_&_intelligence  Kremlin  WikiLeaks  propaganda  cyber_warfare  Cold_War  triumphalism  narratives  Dmitri_Medvedev  KGB  information_warfare  destabilization  deception 
august 2016 by jerryking
The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru - The New York Times
By DAVID SAMUELSMAY 5, 2016

Ben Rhodes walks through the room, a half-beat behind a woman in leopard-print heels. He is holding a phone to his ear, repeating his mantra: “I’m not important. You’re important.”....As the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Rhodes writes the president’s speeches, plans his trips abroad and runs communications strategy across the White House, tasks that, taken individually, give little sense of the importance of his role. ...Rhodes strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign, helped negotiate the opening of American relations with Cuba after a hiatus of more than 50 years and has been a co-writer of all of Obama’s major foreign-policy speeches. ...Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. ....Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.....Watching Rhodes work, I remember that he is still, chiefly, a writer, who is using a new set of tools — along with the traditional arts of narrative and spin — to create stories of great consequence on the biggest page imaginable. The narratives he frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points, are the only dots of color in a much larger vision about who Americans are and where we are going that Rhodes and the president have been formulating together over the past seven years. When I asked Jon Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign, and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he or Rhodes or the president had ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the American narrative, he replied, “We saw that as our entire job.”...The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around.....
Ben_Rhodes  U.S.foreign_policy  Communicating_&_Connecting  policy_tools  White_House  writers  strategic_thinking  storytelling  narratives  speechwriters  Obama  PDB  messaging  Syria  Iraq  Middle_East  novelists 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Danger of a Single Story - The New York Times
David Brooks APRIL 19, 2016

American politics has always been prone to single storyism — candidates reducing complex issues to simple fables. This year the problem is acute because Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the giants of Single Storyism. They reduce pretty much all issues to the same single story: the alien invader story....As in life generally, every policy has the vices of its virtues. Aggressive policing cuts crime but increases brutality. There is no escape from trade-offs and tragic situations. The only way forward is to elect people who are capable of holding opposing stories in their heads at the same time, and to reject those who can’t....As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “The test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two diametrically opposed ideas in your head at the same time.”"
David_Brooks  storytelling  public_policy  single_action_bias  critical_thinking  history  philosophy  skepticism  tradeoffs  oversimplification  criminal_justice_system  incarceration  narratives  dual-consciousness  F._Scott_Fitzgerald 
april 2016 by jerryking
To Persuade People, Tell Them a Story - WSJ.com
Nov. 9, 2013 | WSJ | By Dennis Nishi.

"Lead With a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire.

* Use far fewer slides. Use a lot more anecdotes
* Turn presentations into stories that your audience can relate to, instead of lecturing them on what needs changing.
* Judge performance on the quality of questions being asked and the quality of feedback received.
* Being an effective storyteller requires preparation.
* Move beyond facts and figures, which aren't as memorable as narratives, says Cliff Atkinson, author of "Beyond Bullet Points."
* Many people in business think raw data is persuasive. But when you're dealing with people from other departments and in different fields who don't understand how you got that data, you can lose them pretty quickly. * Step back and put yourself into their shoes and take them through the process of understanding," "Distill the most important facts and wrap them in an engaging story."
* Find ways to connect with your audience on an emotional level, Neuroscientists have discovered that most decisions—whether people realize it or not—are informed by emotional responses. Do legwork to find significant events in your audience's lives or your own that you can base your story on or use to reinforce your points.
* Insert anecdotes about taking care of a sick family member or a memorable customer story, says Mr. Smith, author of "Lead With a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire."
* Organize your story into three acts and starting by establishing context. You want to let your audience know who the main characters are, what the background of the story is, and what you'd like to accomplish by telling it, he says. Open, for example, by describing a department that's consistently failed to meet sales goals.
* Move on to how your main character—you or the company—fights to resolve the conflicts that create tension in the story. Success may require the main character to make additional capital investments or take on new training. Provide real-world examples and detail that can anchor the narrative, he advises.
* The ending should inspire a call to action, since you are allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions about your story versus just telling them what to do. Don't be afraid to use your own failures in support of your main points.
* Whatever you do, don't preface your story with an apology or ask permission to tell it. Be confident that your story has enough relevance to be told and just launch into it. Confidence and authority, he says, help to sell the idea to your audience.
storytelling  presentations  Communicating_&_Connecting  persuasion  books  P&G  howto  pitches  buy-in  large_companies  emotional_commitment  narratives  self-confidence  preparation  empathy  seminal_moments  contextual  think_threes  anecdotal 
november 2013 by jerryking
The Family Stories That Bind Us — This Life - NYTimes.com
By BRUCE FEILER
Published: March 15, 2013

The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative..... Psychologists have found that every family has a unifying narrative, he explained, and those narratives take one of three shapes.

First, the ascending family narrative: “Son, when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked. We opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went to college. And now you. ...”

Second is the descending narrative: “Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything.”

“The most healthful narrative,” Dr. Duke continued, “is the third one. It’s called the oscillating family narrative: ‘Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family.’ ”

Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.... Any number of occasions work to convey this sense of history: holidays, vacations, big family get-togethers, even a ride to the mall. The hokier the family’s tradition, he said, the more likely it is to be passed down. He mentioned his family’s custom of hiding frozen turkeys and canned pumpkin in the bushes during Thanksgiving so grandchildren would have to “hunt for their supper,” like the Pilgrims.
bouncing_back  Communicating_&_Connecting  family  family_breakdown  family_trees  generational_wealth  legacies  mission_statements  narratives  origin_story  resilience  sense-of-belonging  storytelling  the_single_most_important  values 
june 2013 by jerryking
What Data Can’t Do - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 18, 2013

there are many things big data does poorly. Let’s note a few in rapid-fire fashion:

* Data struggles with the social. Your brain is pretty bad at math (quick, what’s the square root of 437), but it’s excellent at social cognition. People are really good at mirroring each other’s emotional states, at detecting uncooperative behavior and at assigning value to things through emotion.
* Data struggles with context. Human decisions are embedded in contexts. The human brain has evolved to account for this reality...Data analysis is pretty bad at narrative and emergent thinking.
* Data creates bigger haystacks. This is a point Nassim Taleb, the author of “Antifragile,” has made. As we acquire more data, we have the ability to find many, many more statistically significant correlations. Most of these correlations are spurious and deceive us when we’re trying to understand a situation.
* Big data has trouble with big (e.g. societal) problems.
* Data favors memes over masterpieces. Data analysis can detect when large numbers of people take an instant liking to some cultural product. But many important (and profitable) products are hated initially because they are unfamiliar. [The unfamiliar has to accomplish behavioural change / bridge cultural divides]
* Data obscures hidden/implicit value judgements. I recently saw an academic book with the excellent title, “ ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron.” One of the points was that data is never raw; it’s always structured according to somebody’s predispositions and values. The end result looks disinterested, but, in reality, there are value choices all the way through, from construction to interpretation.

This is not to argue that big data isn’t a great tool. It’s just that, like any tool, it’s good at some things and not at others. As the Yale professor Edward Tufte has said, “The world is much more interesting than any one discipline.”
massive_data_sets  David_Brooks  data_driven  decision_making  data  Nassim_Taleb  contrarians  skepticism  new_graduates  contextual  risks  social_cognition  self-deception  correlations  value_judgements  haystacks  narratives  memes  unfamiliarity  naivete  hidden  Edward_Tufte  emotions  antifragility  behavioral_change  new_products  cultural_products  masterpieces  EQ  emotional_intelligence 
february 2013 by jerryking
Profile of the Data Journalist: The Storyteller and The Teacher
Around the globe, the bond between data and journalism is growing stronger. In an age of big data, the growing importance of data journalism lies in the ability of its practitioners to provide context, clarity and, perhaps most important, find truth in the expanding amount of digital content in the world. In that context, data journalism has profound importance for society.

To learn more about the people who are doing this work and, in some cases, building the newsroom stack for the 21st century, I conducted in-person and email interviews during the 2012 NICAR Conference and published a series of data journalist profiles here at Radar.

Sarah Cohen (@sarahduke), the Knight professor of the practice of journalism and public policy at Duke University, and Anthony DeBarros (@AnthonyDB), the senior database editor at USA Today, were both important sources of historical perspective for my feature on how data journalism is evolving from "computer-assisted reporting" (CAR) to a powerful Web-enabled practice that uses cloud computing, machine learning and algorithms to make sense of unstructured data.

The latter halves of our interviews, which focused upon their personal and professional experience, follow.

What data journalism project are you the most proud of working on or creating?

DeBarros: "In 2006, my USA TODAY colleague Robert Davis and I built a database of 620 students killed on or near college campuses and mined it to show how freshmen were uniquely vulnerable. It was a heart-breaking but vitally important story to tell. We won the 2007 Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards for the piece, and followed it with an equally wrenching look at student deaths from fires."

Cohen: "I'd have to say the Pulitzer-winning series on child deaths in DC, in which we documented that children were dying in predictable circumstances after key mistakes by people who knew that their
agencies had specific flaws that could let them fall through the cracks.

I liked working on the Post's POTUS Tracker and Head Count. Those were Web projects that were geared at accumulating lots of little bits about Obama's schedule and his appointees, respectively, that we could share with our readers while simultaneously building an important dataset for use down the road. Some of the Post's Solyndra and related stories, I have heard, came partly from studying the president's trips in POTUS Tracker.

There was one story, called "Misplaced Trust," on DC's guardianship
system, that created immediate change in Superior Court, which was
gratifying. "Harvesting Cash," our 18-month project on farm subsidies, also helped point out important problems in that system.

The last one, I'll note, is a piece of a project I worked on,
in which the DC water authority refused to release the results of a
massive lead testing effort, which in turn had shown widespread
contamination. We got the survey from a source, but it was on paper.

After scanning, parsing, and geocoding, we sent out a team of reporters to
neighborhoods to spot check the data, and also do some reporting on the
neighborhoods. We ended up with a story about people who didn't know what
was near them.

We also had an interesting experience: the water
authority called our editor to complain that we were going to put all of
the addresses online -- they felt that it was violating peoples' privacy,
even though we weren't identifyng the owners or the residents. It was more
important to them that we keep people in the dark about their blocks. Our
editor at the time, Len Downie, said, "you're right. We shouldn't just put
it on the Web." He also ordered up a special section to put them all in
print.

Where do you turn to keep your skills updated or learn new things?

Cohen: "It's actually a little harder now that I'm out of the newsroom,
surprisingly. Before, I would just dive into learning something when I'd
heard it was possible and I wanted to use it to get to a story. Now I'm
less driven, and I have to force myself a little more. I'm hoping to start
doing more reporting again soon, and that the Reporters' Lab will help
there too.

Lately, I've been spending more time with people from other
disciplines to understand better what's possible, like machine learning
and speech recognition at Carnegie Mellon and MIT, or natural language
processing at Stanford. I can't DO them, but getting a chance to
understand what's out there is useful. NewsFoo, SparkCamp and NICAR are
the three places that had the best bang this year. I wish I could have
gone to Strata, even if I didn't understand it all."

DeBarros: For surveillance, I follow really smart people on Twitter and have several key Google Reader subscriptions.

To learn, I spend a lot of time training after work hours. I've really been pushing myself in the last couple of years to up my game and stay relevant, particularly by learning Python, Linux and web development. Then I bring it back to the office and use it for web scraping and app building.

Why are data journalism and "news apps" important, in the context of the contemporary digital environment for information?

Cohen: "I think anything that gets more leverage out of fewer people is
important in this age, because fewer people are working full time holding
government accountable. The news apps help get more eyes on what the
government is doing by getting more of what we work with and let them see
it. I also think it helps with credibility -- the 'show your work' ethos --
because it forces newsrooms to be more transparent with readers / viewers.

For instance, now, when I'm judging an investigative prize, I am quite
suspicious of any project that doesn't let you see each item, I.e., when
they say, "there were 300 cases that followed this pattern," I want to see
all 300 cases, or all cases with the 300 marked, so I can see whether I
agree.

DeBarros: "They're important because we're living in a data-driven culture. A data-savvy journalist can use the Twitter API or a spreadsheet to find news as readily as he or she can use the telephone to call a source. Not only that, we serve many readers who are accustomed to dealing with data every day -- accountants, educators, researchers, marketers. If we're going to capture their attention, we need to speak the language of data with authority. And they are smart enough to know whether we've done our research correctly or not.

As for news apps, they're important because -- when done right -- they can make large amounts of data easily understood and relevant to each person using them."

These interviews were edited and condensed for clarity.
Data  Gov_2.0  Publishing  dataproduct  datascience  nicarinterview  via:rahuldave  show_your_work  narratives  sense-making  unstructured_data  data_driven  data_journalism  visualization  infographics 
february 2013 by jerryking
What's Your Story?
January 2005 | HBR | by Herminia Ibarra and Kent Lineback.

Ibarra and Lineback say that few people use storytelling to help them pursue their professional goals, and those who do, do so ineffectively. Tales of transition can easily have the elements of a good drama—a protagonist the listeners cares about, a catalyst inducing action, trials and tribulations, a turning point, and a resolution—but they also bring special challenges. One problem comes from minimizing the discontinuities involved, thereby making the person appear safe, dull, and unremarkable. This is a response to fearing that listeners, hearing about our change of direction, will doubt our commitment to the new professional goal.
HBR  storytelling  Herminia_Ibarra  Communicating_&_Connecting  protagonists  persuasion  discontinuities  narratives  transitions  turning_points 
april 2012 by jerryking
All Writing Tells a Story :: YouPublish
Taken from the January 2005 HBR article titled, "What's Your Story?" by Herminia Ibarra and Kent Lineback. Key Elements of a Classic Story: # A protagonist the listener cares about. # A catalyst compelling the protagonist to take action.
# Trials and tribulations. # A turning point. # A resolution.///If you’re a professional in transition, learn to tell stories about your professional self, advise Herminia Ibarra and Kent Lineback. Explaining to others what’s going on when you’re in the midst of a major career change is risky and typically is done poorly. An effective narrative can boost others’ belief (as well as your own) in your character and ability to move onto something new; it gives meaning to the dry facts of your career history; and it will preserve the value of the past even as you embrace the future.
Communicating_&_Connecting  Herminia_Ibarra  job_search  Managing_Your_Career  narratives  protagonists  storytelling  turning_points 
november 2009 by jerryking
The Gripping Statistic : How to Make Your Data Matter
Mon Aug 10, 2009 | Fast Company | By Dan Heath & Chip
Heath. A good statistic is one that aids a decision or shapes an opinion. For a stat to do either of those, it must be dragged within the everyday (e.g. using ratios or useful analogies). That's your job -- to do the dragging. In our world of billions and trillions, that can be a lot of manual labor. But it's worth it: A number people can grasp is a number that can make a difference.
analogies  base_rates  Cisco  Communicating_&_Connecting  contextual  data  data_journalism  high-impact  mathematics  narratives  numeracy  persuasion  probabilities  ratios  statistics  storytelling  sense-making  value_creation 
september 2009 by jerryking
Let's rebuild the African narrative - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 17, 2009 | Globe & Mail | by Lorna Dueck. “Trade
versus aid” was the explosive choice church leaders were given at this
summit as Ugandan economist Andrew Rugasira relayed his experience in
trying to gain access to world markets. As founder and chairman of Good
African Coffee, he urged the crowd to “see 900 million consumers and a
continent of entrepreneurs waiting to do business.” Western aid, he
said, was undermining Africa's GDP – we must reconstruct our African
narrative.
Africa  Dambisa_Moyo  globalization  trade  foreign_aid  narratives 
august 2009 by jerryking
'Feigned Outrage Based on a False Narrative' - WSJ.com
MAY 22, 2009 | The following are excerpts from a speech
yesterday on U.S. antiterror policies by former Vice President Dick
Cheney at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.
Dick_Cheney  narratives 
may 2009 by jerryking
To fix the economy, tell the right stories
May 14, 2009 | Globe and Mail | by ROBERT SHILLER

World confidence can return if the population's thinking co-ordinates
around some inspiring story beyond that of the price increases
themselves. In Shiller's book with George Akerlof, Animal Spirits, they
describe the ups and downs of a macroeconomy as being substantially
driven by stories. Such narratives, especially those fuelled by
accessible human-interest stories, are the thought viruses whose
contagion drives the economy. The contagion rate of stories depends on
their relation to feedback, but plausible stories have to be there in
the first place. The narratives have substantial persistence in that
they affect our views.
storytelling  economic_downturn  ideas  Communicating_&_Connecting  jck  Robert_Shiller  economics  confidence  macroeconomics  inspiration  ideaviruses  contagions  narratives  economic_dynamism  leaps_of_faith 
may 2009 by jerryking

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