Archive for March 6th, 2012

March 6, 2012

Seymour Chwast

chwast type

Seymour Chwast (b.1931) an American graphic designer, illustrator, and type designer. Chwast was born in the Bronx, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cooper Union in 1951. With Milton Glaser, Edward Sorel, and Reynold Ruffins, he founded Push Pin Studios in 1954.

The bi-monthly publication ‘The Push Pin Graphic’ was a product of their collaboration. Chwast is famous for his commercial artwork, which includes posters, food packaging, magazine covers, and publicity art. Often referred to as ‘the left-handed designer,’ Chwast’s unique graphic design melded social commentary and a distinctive style of illustration. Today, he continues to work and is principal at The Pushpin Group, Inc. in New York City.

March 6, 2012

Self-licking Ice Cream Cone

self-licking brain freeze by david vallejo

In political jargon, a self-licking ice cream cone is a self-perpetuating system that has no purpose other than to sustain itself. The phrase appears to have been first used in 1992, in ‘On Self-Licking Ice Cream Cones,’ a paper by Pete Worden about NASA’s bureaucracy.

It has come to be used as a metaphor for any similar system, particularly in contexts such as the War on Terror and the military-industrial complex.

March 6, 2012

Amor Fati

ecce homo

que sera

Amor fati‘ is a Latin phrase loosely translating to ‘love of fate.’ It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good. Moreover, it is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in one’s life. The phrase has been linked to the writings of Marcus Aurelius, who did not himself use the words (he wrote in Greek, not Latin), but was popularized in Friedrich Nietzsche’s writings and is representative of the general outlook on life he articulates:

‘I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.’ ‘My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.’

March 6, 2012

Eternal Return


Eternal return is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. The concept, initially inherent in Indian philosophy, was later found in ancient Egypt and was subsequently taken up by the Pythagoreans and Stoics in Greece. With the decline of antiquity and the spread of Christianity, the concept fell into disuse in the western world, though Friedrich Nietzsche resurrected it as a thought experiment to argue for ‘amor fati’ (seeing everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good).

The basic premise proceeds from the assumption that the probability of a world coming into existence exactly like our own is finite. If either time or space are infinite, then mathematics tells us that our existence will recur an infinite number of times. In 1871, Louis Auguste Blanqui, assuming a Newtonian cosmology where time and space are infinite proceeded to show that the eternal recurrence was a mathematical certainty. In the post-Einstein period, there are doubts that time or space is in fact infinite, but many models exist which provide the notion of spatial or temporal infinity required by the eternal return hypothesis.

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March 6, 2012

Poetic Justice

divine comedy by seymour chwast

Poetic justice is a literary device in which virtue is ultimately rewarded or vice punished, often in modern literature by an ironic twist of fate intimately related to the character’s own conduct. English drama critic Thomas Rymer coined the phrase in ‘The Tragedies of the Last Age Considere’d’ (1678) to describe how a work should inspire proper moral behavior in its audience by illustrating the triumph of good over evil.

The demand for poetic justice is consistent in Classical authorities and shows up in Horace, Plutarch, and Quintillian, so Rymer’s phrasing is a reflection of a commonplace. Philip Sidney, in ‘Defense of Poetry,’ argued that poetic justice was, in fact, the reason that fiction should be allowed in a civilized nation.

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March 6, 2012



Karma is the universal principle of cause and effect. Our actions, both good and bad, come back to us in the future, helping us to learn from life’s lessons and become better people. In religions that include reincarnation, karma extends through one’s present life and all past and future lives as well. Karma is basically energy. One person throws out energy through thoughts, words and actions, and it comes back, in time, through other people. Karma is the best teacher, forcing people to face the consequences of their actions and thus improve and refine their behavior, or suffer if they do not. Even harsh karma, when faced in wisdom, can be the greatest spark for spiritual growth. The conquest of karma lies in intelligent action and unemotional response.

The concept of cyclical patterns is very prominent in Indian religions. The wheel of life represents an endless cycle of birth, life, and death from which one seeks liberation. In Tantric Buddhism, a wheel of time concept known as the Kalachakra expresses the idea of an endless cycle of existence and knowledge. However it is to be noted that the cycle of life in Buddhism does not involve a soul passing from one body to another, but the karma of the deceased being carrying on to another being born. To get rid of this cycle the person should get rid of its karma through the attainment of enlightenment.

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March 6, 2012


machiavelli by zachary franzen

Asshole: How I Got Rich and Happy by Not Giving a Shit About You’ is a 2008 spoof self-help book and memoir by American author Martin Kihn. The first line of the book, is ‘I was the nicest guy in the world and it was killing me.’ Kihn, who worked for a marketing company, was told by his boss that unless he started ‘playing hardball,’ they were going to demote him and upgrade a colleague Kihn calls ‘The Nemesis’ to a window office. So to save his career, Kihn decided to turn himself into an asshole, and in telling his story, he describes exactly how the reader can can follow his lead.

To become an asshole, Kihn builds a team, consisting of an acting coach, life coach and both personal and dog trainer – to help ‘master the art of assholism.’ Kihn then creates a ten-step “assholism’ program which involves ‘ignoring other peoples’ feelings, never saying sorry, dressing in black silk and only eating red meat.’ Other tasks saw Kihn signing up to the National Rifle Association, learning kickboxing, screaming at colleagues and eating garlic bagels on public transport. Additionally, Kihn takes inspiration from famous figures whom he considers ‘assholes’ such as: Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Martha Stewart, David Letterman, Nicole Kidman, Machiavelli, Scarface and Paris Hilton. He also takes inspiration from Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘The Virtue of Selfishness.’

March 6, 2012

Creative Consultant


Creative consultant is a credit that has been given to screenwriters who have ‘doctored’ a movie screenplay. It is often given by producers in lieu of official credit. Those given this credit in the television field work closely with an Executive Producer, Head Writer/showrunner, and Casting Director. They are involved in the writing process (proposing and editing story outlines/scripts), casting roles, and hiring/firing writers, producers, directors, and other crew members.

Sometimes they are given the credit of Executive Consultant. A Story Consultant is strictly involved in the writing process, and has no influence in the hiring and firing of writers or other crew members. A Script Consultant is only involved in the proposal and execution of a script. The Writers Guild of America disapproves of the credit.

March 6, 2012


Buzzword Bingo

A buzzword (also fashion word and vogue word) is a term of art, salesmanship, politics, or technical jargon that is used in the media and wider society outside of its originally narrow technical context. Buzzwords differ from jargon in that jargon is esoteric but precisely defined terminology used for ease of communication between specialists in a given field, whereas a buzzword (which often develops from the appropriation of technical jargon) is often used in a more general way. Buzzwords are used as a form of thought-control via intentional vagueness.

In management, by stating organization goals with opaque words of unclear meaning; their positive connotations prevent questioning of intent, especially when many buzzwords are used. they also are used to inflate the trivial to something of importance and stature, to impress a judge or an examiner by seeming to know a topic, by name-dropping it, or to camouflage chit-chat while saying nothing. Examples include: ‘Going forward,’ ‘Leverage,’ ‘Long tail,’ ‘Next generation,’ ‘Paradigm,’ and ‘Incentivize.’

March 6, 2012

Management Fad



Management fad is a term used to characterize a change in philosophy or operations implemented by a business or institution.The term tends to be used in a pejorative sense, as it implies that such a change is being implemented (often by management on its employees, with little or no input from them) solely because it is (at the time) popular within managerial circles, not due to any real desire for organizational change. The term further implies that once the underlying philosophy is no longer popular, it will be replaced by the newest ‘popular idea, in the same manner and for the same reason as the previous idea.

Several authors have argued that new management ideas should be subject to greater critical analysis, and for the need for greater conceptual awareness of new ideas by managers. A key determinant of whether any management idea is a management fad may be the number and timing of published articles on the idea. If an idea has been discussed for around 3-5 years and the number of articles on the idea in a given year decreases significantly (similar to the right-hand side of a bell curve), then the idea is most likely a ‘management fad.’

March 6, 2012

Management Consulting



Management consulting refers to both the industry and the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and development of plans for improvement.

Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to the consultants’ specialised expertise. As a result of their exposure to and relationships with numerous organizations, consulting firms are also said to be aware of industry ‘best practices,’ although the transferability of such practices from one organization to another may be limited by the specific nature of situation under consideration.

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March 6, 2012

Martin Kihn


Martin Kihn (b. 1950) is an American writer and digital marketer. Martin Kihn was born in Zambia, where his parents met while working in a hospital. His South African-born father is a doctor, and his Scottish mother, a former actress, is now a drama teacher. He grew up in Michigan. He has earned a BA in Theater Studies from Yale, and in the late 1990s was Head Writer for the popular television program ‘Pop-Up Video’ on MTV Networks and was nominated for an Emmy for Writing. He lost to ‘Win Ben Stein’s Money,’ decided to quit writing and got into business school. He received an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Kihn’s first book was an expose of the consulting agencies called ‘House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time’ (2005), based on the three years he spent working for a large consultancy, Booz Allen. It was adapted by Showtime as a series with Don Cheadle playing Marty Kaan, an ‘outside the box’ management consultant, loosely based on Marty Kihn himself. Kihn reemerged a few years later with a satirical memoir called ‘Asshole: How I Got Rich and Happy by Not Giving a Shit About You’ (2008).

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