Philip Zack’s Techdirt Profile


About Philip Zack

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  • Aug 1st, 2014 @ 2:31pm

    'learning lessons'

    Beware when public officials use intentionally empty phrases like 'learning lessons'. The ploy is calculated to induce people to fill in the meaning with what they want to believe. What did they learn? Was it not to commit war crimes, or not to get caught doing it?

    It's far too easy to get caught up in someone's trick narrative. That's why I sow my own in the form of subversive short stories about politics and business issues. Consider it a vaccination, but first you have to read some of them.

  • Aug 21st, 2012 @ 8:09pm

    Boomers' Disposable Income

    I'm curious: has the narrative that boomers have more disposable income than other age groups been validated recently? It was an assumption based on data from a few decades ago, but things have changed. A lot of us who work in IT, for example, are living hand-to-mouth these days because what had been long-term jobs with benefits have been traded in for short-term contracts without benefits because companies thought it would be cheaper to outsource labor. And that's if you're working full-time on a contract. I'm doing database work for 4 companies, and it's still just part time, and not enough to cover expenses. Then there are the unemployed boomers who are 'too old' or 'overqualified'.

  • Aug 2nd, 2012 @ 9:58pm


    Since the posts are usually triggered by something that's happening, it might be interesting to use podcast time to explore the larger context in which the event takes place, as well as a broader history of the context that it plays out in. It could be done as a discussion or roundtable.

    You could also take a page from an old PBS series, "The Constitution: A Delicate Balance" and have a number of participants play the various stakeholders in a situation you're following to explore how a hypothetical might play out, with time to talk about the rationale used by the various stakeholders.

    Fiction can be a powerful tool to explore ideas. That's what I use my own blog for.

  • Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:42pm

    Hiding her real position?

    Really? Perhaps she's more concerned about people realizing that she lied about her positions during the primary campaign in order to get on the ballot. She wouldn't be the first politician to say whatever would garner votes, regardless of whether they supported those positions. The strategy is not much different from how the GOP got the Dems to strip anything beneficial to their *human* constituents from what was supposed to have been health care reform legislation. The compromises they agreed to during negotiations were not compromises they were willing to support when the bill actually came to a vote. And we don't appear to have any recourse for this duplicitous behavior.