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16 Feb 2024

Dez Reads. Sphere’s Spectacular Surge, Ride-Share Riddles, Kennedy’s Campaign Echo, and more. Substack

Welcome back to Dez Reads, your essential digest of the week’s most subtly influential stories. This week, we explore the surge in revenue following the Sphere Las Vegas opening, the newfound profitability paths for Uber and Lyft, the media’s adaptation to transformative changes, the enduring allure of the Kennedy legacy, the mixed reception of Apple’s […]

13 Feb 2024

How Big Tech Wants You to Think About Big Tech Substack

Did you watch the Super Bowl ads this year? If you did, you might have noticed that three Big Tech companies – Google, Snap, and Microsoft – used their ads to showcase their products and services in a positive light. But why did they do that? And what does it mean for their future? In […]

09 Feb 2024

Dez Reads. Bank Branches, Mickey Mouse Fight, Podcast Palooza, and More Substack

Welcome to Dez Reads, a recap of everything interesting that our team read and discussed amongst ourselves the week of February 9, 2024. The reputation and influence disciplines are extremely complex; understanding and impacting public opinion requires an intense curiosity about the world. We are always reading smart, in-depth reporting and analysis of trends in […]

16 Jan 2024

Boeing and the Taylor Swifting of Crisis Management Substack

I don’t like flying. I’m not a science guy and don’t really believe in aerodynamics. Big things shouldn’t be, you know, Up There. I believe in gravity, the laws that state that heavy things that are Up There will fall Down There if they’re not held up by something. I am not well respected as a physicist.  I have, […]

08 Jan 2024

Pay No Attention to This Money Substack

Former University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees Chairman Scott Bok penned an oped in the Philadelphia Inquirer arguing that wealthy donors should have limited influence in what happens at the schools they give money to. Bok’s piece set off a flurry of emails and calls between friends and acquaintances who attended such schools. The upshot of the […]

14 Dec 2023

Dean Wormer Goes Before Congress Substack

Last week, Harvard’s Claudine Gay, Penn’s Liz Magill and MIT’s Sally Kornbluth went before Congress to talk about free speech and antisemitism, imploded, and unwittingly declared war. It’s not a good thing for the presidents of prestigious universities to be unwitting. Unless, of course, they had their wits entirely about them, as I believe they […]

08 Dec 2023

Brave White House Interns Revolt! Substack

When I was 22, I stomped into the Oval Office one morning; I leaned on the Resolute Desk and said to President Reagan, “Ron. Buddy. You gotta go over to Berlin and tell the Gorbymeister (that’s what we called Gorbachev) to tear down that wall.” I stressed, “You may think I’m at the bottom of […]

17 Nov 2023

Weakness is Strength in Propaganda Wars Substack

I saw an Instagram post of a young woman tearing down posters of Israeli children whom Hamas had kidnapped. She was identified as an attorney who represented abused women and children. I shared it with a few friends, pointing out the irony of an advocate for the vulnerable tearing down reminders babies were being held […]

23 Oct 2023

Pity is Power in PR Wars Substack

When I began writing novels in the 1990s, I studied the different types of stories that have been told throughout history. One of the most famous models is “Overcoming the Monster.” Think Disney films and Jaws. A shark terrorizes a beach community, and a brave but unsure police chief sets out on a high-seas adventure where […]

04 Oct 2023

Everybody’s Talking Substack

The authorities finally arrested a suspect in the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur. Key evidence includes the suspect’s having admitted to his involvement in the murder over the years in his memoir, in discussions with associates, and on YouTube. These things are what are known in the sleuthing trade as clues. Two teenagers were […]