If Steve Jobs’s life were staged as an opera, it would be a tragedy in three acts. And the titles would go something like this: Act I–The Founding of Apple Computer and the Invention of the PC Industry; Act II–The Wilderness Years; and Act III–A Triumphant Return and Tragic Demise. advertisement advertisement The first act would be a piquant comedy about the brashness of genius and the audacity of youth, abruptly turning ominous when our young hero is cast out of his own kingdom. The closing act would plumb the profound irony of a balding and domesticated high-tech rock star coming back to transform Apple far beyond even his own lofty expectations, only to fall mortally ill and then slowly, excruciatingly wither away, even as his original creation miraculously bulks up into the biggest digital dynamo of them all. Both acts are picaresque tales that end with asurge of deep pathos worthy of Shakespeare. But that second act–The Wilderness … [Read more...] about The Lost Steve Jobs Tapes
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In 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the Recovery Act. Billy Fleming had just joined the administration, and describes the legislation as both an exciting moment and a missed opportunity: The bill only funded building projects that were “shovel-ready,” which meant that the money could only be used for existing projects that had been kicking around for ages unbuilt, rather than those that featured innovative, current thinking. advertisement advertisement The next time a bill mandating funding for infrastructure and building projects comes along—perhaps through a Green New Deal—Fleming and his colleagues at University of Pennsylvania’s Ian McHarg Center for Urbanism + Ecology want to be ready, with project proposals that could help decarbonize the building and energy industries well underway. The Green New Deal, a policy framework proposed in early 2019 by Representative Alexandria … [Read more...] about The United States gets a new kind of atlas
“Be yourself. The worst talks are the ones where someone is trying to be someone they aren’t. If you are generally goofy, then be goofy. If you are emotional, then be emotional.” advertisement advertisement You’re much more likely to succeed whether you’re presenting, making a pitch, or interviewing for a job if you follow this great advice on public speaking from Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy. Why authenticity matters Being authentic means being you. No pretense, no acting, no airs, no trying to talk or act like someone else. When we are at ease being ourselves, we communicate more naturally and with more confidence because our brains are not putting in extra effort to act. The audience sees someone who is comfortable being themselves—flaws and all—and is more likely to trust them. But what does it mean to be authentic when giving a speech or presentation? Should you behave the same way in every situation? How can you know … [Read more...] about The secret to being a persuasive speaker
Recently I was told that a TEDx talk I gave was inspiring, courageous, beautiful, funny, but a little unconvincing. Good feedback overall, I thought. But what was most memorable about that review was that it didn’t come from a human. advertisement advertisement In his lab at the University of Tokyo, professor Toshihiko Yamasaki has developed a machine-learning system that runs sentiment analysis on a presenter’s words, voice, and tone. It then gives feedback by scoring the presentation against a database of how viewers have rated videos on TED.com. My speech was evaluated against the TED Talk archive, according to 14 separate categories Yamasaki has pinpointed, including how “courageous,” “long-winded,” and “jaw-dropping” it was. Yamasaki originally developed the system to give speakers an opportunity to receive objective feedback in order to improve their delivery. Though he admits he may have had a personal motive, too. … [Read more...] about Can These AI-Powered Tools Help You Perfect Your Next Presentation?
Sharing emotion-driven narratives that resonate with other people is something humans are quite good at. We’ve been sitting around campfires telling stories for tens of thousands of years, and we still do it. One reason why is because it’s an effective way to communicate: We remember stories. advertisement advertisement But what makes for good storytelling? Mark Magellan, a writer and designer at Ideo U, puts it this way: “To tell a story that someone will remember, it helps to understand his or her needs. The art of storytelling requires creativity, critical-thinking skills, self-awareness, and empathy.” All those traits are fundamentally human, but as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more commonplace, even experts whose jobs depend on them possessing those traits–people like Magellan–foresee it playing a bigger role in what they do. Using AI To Read A Crowd Connecting with an audience has always been something of an art … [Read more...] about Why Google, Ideo, And IBM Are Betting On AI To Make Us Better Storytellers