The trial of former luminary entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes kicked off last week. Theranos, the company Holmes founded and led until just before it shut down in September, 2018, claimed it was revolutionizing the blood-testing industry. For nearly a decade she was heralded as “the next Steve Jobs,” raising hundreds of millions of dollars, adorning magazine covers, and jet-setting with world leaders. Problem was, she was completely full of crap. If convicted she faces up to 20 years in prison.

For the full story, I’d refer you to Wall…

In April 2020, I could be seen opening my front door each morning donning a fresh pair of chalky rubber gloves (It’s not what you think). I would walk a few steps, pick up the blue New York Times bag lying on my driveway, and bring it inside, arm fully extended. In my kitchen, the bag would be hit with three or four sprays of Method disinfectant and thoroughly wiped. Slowly, I would let the newspaper fall onto the counter for reading. Similarly, when in-person learning resumed, my wife and I required our sons to strip in the mudroom and…

“Fear of Missing Out” is the brain’s natural tendency to avoid making decisions or choices that make us feel less confident or satisfied. When we’re drawn to an alternative that could potentially be “better” we’re experiencing FOMO. A number of cities are taking a “FOMO” approach to increasing vaccination rates. The logic is straightforward: If you’re vaccinated, you are welcome at restaurants and events. If not…you’re going to miss out. Some experts argue this technique could be key to fighting the pandemic.

Pre-pandemic, FOMO was amplified by our ubiquitous, real-time access to information. Social media channels and internal work chat…

Over the weekend, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was in Dan Bailey’s fly fishing shop in Livingston, Montana, undoubtedly looking for the perfect spruce moth or trico with which to land a story-worthy rainbow trout in one of the state’s glistening rivers. According to NBC News, an individual walked into the store and berated the prime-time cable ratings leader, calling him the “worst human being known to man.”

Regardless of your opinions of Mr. Carlson, political or otherwise, I agree with the Fox News spokesperson who said that “ambushing” Carlson while he was shopping at the store was “totally inexcusable.”


Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

1.) VOTE!

2.) Download The Neutral’s iPhone or Android app (it’s free!) for objective, unbiased coverage throughout the night.

3.) Read The Neutral’s Guide to Election Week.

4.) Call someone you don’t see eye to eye with on political issues and tell them we will get though this…together, as fellow Americans. Seriously — make a call.

5.) Prepare your mind for the results to go either way.

6.) Get a good workout in today before settling in for the results.

7.) Stock up on ice, lots of your drink of choice, and plenty of comfort food. …

There is nothing new about the virality and amplification of narratives. This element of human communication has been around nearly as long as biological viruses that spread from person to person. Across history, the spread of human disease and human narratives are driven by an important commonality: humans interacting with each other.

Much has changed over the last 16 years in terms of how information is generated and disseminated. …

I made sure to pick up a copy of The Washington Post before my early flight home from D.C. the morning after the Washington Nationals won the World Series.

I had no intention of opening it, having already read the online edition. The paper is going into a box for safe keeping, with hopes that my children will someday remove it and read the story about a ball club essentially written off in June, only to claw back to win the whole thing in late October, on the road.

Though I’m not sure what they’ll do, perhaps years from now…

The 2016 U.S. Presidential election presented a seminal demonstration of the power of big data and analytics in the modern political campaigns. While the overall spending of nearly $1.6B by campaigns was record-breaking on its own, 2016 was also unique based on the record-breaking spend on social media and the behavioral targeting data used to hone, with laser precision, the targeting and placement of social media ads. By all accounts, the behaviorally-driven, microtargeting strategy worked. So much so that in 2018, the former CEO of an obscure, UK-based behavioral analytics firm called Cambridge Analytica claimed on hidden camera that his…

Instead of defending ourselves, we started a discussion

Photo by Romain V on Unsplash

I was traveling on an East Coast, West Coast business trip last week and arrived home late Thursday. I was eager for a quiet, pre-Memorial Day Friday in the office. My first meeting was a one-on-one with a colleague to review a couple of items and riff on a few ideas.

During the meeting, my colleague paused, and then asked: “Did you happen to see the latest review we received on Glassdoor?”

I hadn’t. “You should take a look,” they said.

I pulled up Glassdoor on my phone and quickly scanned the review. As I consumed it, the words made…

Just about every week, a brand will forward us a campaign, event, or crisis performance report generated by their PR firm or other agency. The purpose of doing so is to have our team review or, in a growing number of cases, audit for accuracy. And over the last year, we’ve noticed some alarming trends.

I won’t mince words. The amount of manipulated and irrelevant data being used to generate campaign performance and crisis reporting is staggering. We’re seeing enough (and clearly brands are, too) to make us believe this is not a not random trend. …

Leigh Fatzinger

Founder/CEO of Turbine Labs. I write about information access, overload, and bias, as well as our AI-powered software. ( / @turbinelabs)

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