Sans Forgetica – the true font of all knowledge

We’ve talked a lot about how a little cognitive “friction” can aid learning and recall. Now, researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have produced a font designed exactly for that: Sans Forgetica. I think I first came across the research through the Harvard Business Review. Here’s a blog post from 2012. It’s also […]

Our affinity for stories is deep-rooted

This is interesting. Jordan Peterson on perceptions of reality: Scientific truths were made explicit a mere five hundred years ago, with the works of Francis Bacon, René Descartes and Isaac Newton. In whatever manner our forebears viewed the world prior to that, it was not through a scientific lens (any more than they could view […]

Ad, ab … odd. The lasting grip of Latin

The Economist’s Johnson column on the lasting influence of Latin on our language. Ad and ab are workaday prepositions in Latin, the former usually meaning “towards”, or “at” (think of ad hominem) and the latter meaning “from” (think abscond, abdicate and such). Iurare means “to swear”. So in Latin, adiurare meant to swear to do something, and abiurare meant to swear off it—the ab and ad clear as day to your average […]

Jody Sabral

Digital disruption in the sleepy world of publishing – @jodysabral

More than just a digital copy of the printed page. Author Jody Sabral has a fascinating piece on the world of digital publishing (on BBC.co.uk). I was particularly struck by two aspects. Firstly, how the absence of a physical product is driving fresh approaches to marketing – no longer a lonely book-signing in the darkest […]

The Chief Storyteller – @stevecla

We need more storytellers. Here’s a great little interview with Steve Clayton, Chief Storyteller at Microsoft. I know Steve a little from our days at Microsoft UK and, as you’ll read (or see in the videos), he has a great feel for story. Also worth reading is a follow-on article, How to Tell Your Story, […]

A writer is …

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Thomas Mann A great quote, courtesy of Michael Wade at Execupundit. Mann was a German writer famous for Death in Venice (remember the strangely haunting Dirk Bogarde film?) and The Magic Mountain. The latter made me aware of […]

Stories for powerful presentations – Nicholas Bate

As part of his Awesome Presenting 50 series, Nicholas Bate reminds us: More stories. Definitely more stories. Stories are memorable: they have links, flow, drama. They are easy to remember. Bullets are forgettable.   Remember! Read the rest, here.   Photo by Mark Rasmuson on Unsplash

Magicians and neuromarketers – @rogerdooley

Neuromarketing expert Roger Dooley has a great post on the lessons we can  learn from stage magicians For example: The Unexpected Attracts Us When I watch a magician, I’m always trying to pay close attention to spot any shady moves. So is the rest of the audience. It’s rare to spot a skilled magician’s tricks, […]

The power and importance of imagery @TheTimes #Writing

An interesting piece from yesterday’s Times on the power of vivid imagery to engage and influence. Ancient literary critics called this quality enargeia, the ability to instil a scene so powerfully in the reader’s mind that they feel as though they are living through it themselves. Psychologists studying how 402 people responded to classic Japanese haikus […]

The weight of paper

One of my corporate clients is an icon of the virtual world, a pioneer that took a process as old as civilisation itself – the visceral exchange of cold, hard cash – and converted it into a convenience of clicks and bits. The firm’s customers love it and it invests heavily in supportig them with […]

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