How to Talk Politics at Work Without Alienating People

If you’re going to talk about politics—or really anything potentially divisive and emotionally charged—these four suggestions from Harvard Business Review can help:

  • Focus on learning
  • Ask for permission
  • Show respect
  • Focus on common ground

HBR used actors to represent different styles of communication in a study:

The results were remarkable. When the actors used the four simple skills, they were:

  • Five times more likely to be seen as diplomatic
  • Four times more likely to be seen as likeable
  • Three times more likely to be seen as knowledgeable
  • 140% more persuasive
  • 140% more likely to stay in dialogue with others
  • 180% more likely to maintain relationships with others
  • When these same actors didn’t use the four skills, observers labeled them as “abrasive,” “unlikeable,” and “ignorant.”

Who Are Police Killing? — Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Apropos of the aforelinked police shooting:-

The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asian Americans.

Native Americans, 0.8 percent of the population, comprise 1.9 percent of police killings. African Americans, 13 percent of the population, are victims in 26 percent of police shootings. Law enforcement kills African Americans at 2.8 times the rate of white non-Latinos, and 4.3 times the rate of Asians.

“I was never so scared in my life as in that moment right then”

That’s from Betty Shelby, the police officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher last Friday, a man who was walking away from her with his hands raised above his head.

As many people have already noted, you may be in the wrong line of business if a man with his hands in the air scares you.

(Even Donald Trump is “troubled” by this shooting, suggesting you shouldn’t “be doing what they are doing”. I mean, you know you fucked up when Trump has a reasonable position I can agree with.)

I have no doubt the victim’s race (Black) had something to do with the fear, which makes this statement from the officer’s lawyer odder still:

Crutcher did not respond […] so Shelby ordered him again to get his hand out of his pocket. He then pulled his hand away and put his hands up in the air, even though he was not instructed to do so1, which Shelby found strange

Really? A police officer finds it strange that a Black man with a gun trained on him is going to raise his hands, whether asked to or not?

Does she not watch the news? Does “hands up, don’t shoot” have no meaning to her?


  1. Emphasis mine. In one of the earliest statements from the Tulsa Police Department they first said:

    > They asked him to show his hands. 


The Washington Post details a 2007 Trump deposition after he sued a reporter:

For two straight days, they asked Trump question after question that touched on the same theme: Trump’s honesty.

The lawyers confronted the mogul with his past statements — and with his company’s internal documents, which often showed those statements had been incorrect or invented. The lawyers were relentless. Trump, the bigger-than-life mogul, was vulnerable — cornered, out-prepared and under oath.

Thirty times, they caught him.

Thirty times Trump said something that was demonstrably false. Thirty times.

This is the man America wants to be its president? Sweet Jesus.

There’s No Such Thing As A Protest Vote

Cogent rebuttal to anyone thinking about voting for a third-party candidate, or even worse, “not voting”:

But it doesn’t matter what message you think you are sending, because no one will receive it. No one is listening. The system is set up so that every choice other than ‘R’ or ‘D’ boils down to “I defer to the judgement of my fellow citizens.” It’s easy to argue that our system shouldn’t work like that. It’s impossible to argue it doesn’t work like that.

Of course, as in most things, The Simpsons Already Did It™.

Ulysses 2.6 — The Brooks Review

Good overview of the two big new features in this update, Typewriter mode and WordPress integration. It’s the only place I’ve seen that lays out how to use the WordPress feature:

Here’s how Ulysses auto-populates the fields:

Title: the # level heading of the post
Category: the first tag you have placed in Ulysses
Tags: everything after the first tag you used in Ulysses
Slug: URL friendly version of the post title
Excerpt: The first ‘note’ you have attached to the document in Ulysses
Linked list URL: make the title a link, it grabs that link.

The linked list feature is neat, though I had to make changes to my WordPress them to use it (since it uses the “linked-list-url” custom field, rather than the one I use with Postilicious; I’ll have to write that up another time).

#RandomBug: Redfin

I use a lot of apps and I hit random bugs that frustrate me and I usually ignore because they’re not obvious or easily reproduced.

On occasion, I hit one that just makes me shake my head, a “how could they possibly screw this one up!” moment.

Redfin has one of those. I figure this can be the first in an occasional series.

Here’s how you can reproduce the Redfin bug (iOS app on iPad running 9.3.2 tested).

  1. Launch Redfin
  2. Tap “My Redfin”
  3. Tap “Shared Favorites”
  4. Tap in the email field
  5. Switch to another app
  6. Switch back to Redfin

The entry field is missing and you can’t do anything with the app except force quit it.

(Force quit by double-pressing the Home button and swiping up on Redfin.)

Bugs happen. The question is, how does a bug like this happen? What is the app doing that switching out and back breaks it?