Post #100: The Genre of Progress Literature

This is post #100 on Thought Distiller! I’m personally surprised; I had no idea the blog was so far along in terms of post count. Anyway, thanks for being a reader! Here’s a post that, by the end, I hope will lift your spirits. What’s wrong with the news? It often feels as if we’re…

Six Links: Pirates, Moats, Capitalism

Hopefully this edition of Six Links will help you find yet more intriguing content to help you finish January strong. Here goes: The Hijacking of the Brillante Virtuouso by Kit Chellel & Matthew Campbell: Anytime a commercial vessel is lost, the incident is recorded with a quill pen in a leatherbound book at Lloyd’s, a London…

Six Links: Knowledge, Data, Abuse

Here’s the second installment of Six Links! I’ve been neglecting Thought Distiller far too much lately; consulting, unknown to most, is in fact a seasonal business that is light in the summer and heavy in the winter. So with a lot of work in the pipeline for this holiday season, I thought I’d at least carve…

Six Links: Contracts, Options, Brevity

I’ve decided to try a new format of blog post today; I wanted to share some of the more interesting things I’ve been reading, emphasizing those that I believe other people are not likely to be reading. In some sense, I’m trying to curate signal in the midst of all of the overwhelming noise in…

Gaslighting, Conformity, and Lies

The phrase “gaslighting” has come up more and more often after Donald Trump’s election and inauguration. But where does that term come from? What does it really mean? And how does it work in our daily lives? The term “gaslighting” traces its origin to a 1944 film starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, aptly titled Gaslight.…

The Success Myth

As Mark Twain once said in a letter to Helen Keller: “It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite —…

Mediated Knowledge: How Do We Know What We Know?

How do human beings know things? On the surface that seems like a stupid question. We know things because we learn or experience them. For example, I know that Barack Obama was the first African-American president because I was alive for his election. I remember watching the news and reading articles about his victory over…