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LinkedIn Roundup: Economic History and Dumb Cliches
One interesting little article from LinkedIn today: The Atlantic's Economic History of the Last 2000 Years in One Little Graph. It doesn't say anything terribly new or surprising if you know your history, but it vividly illustrates the sudden changes in how wealth *works*, driving home that the economics of the past 200 years are qualitatively different from all of human history before them. It's worth also reading Part II, which goes into a little more depth about the shift that occurred when "productivity" suddenly began to diverge from culture to culture.

And on the lighter but more horrible side, there is Forbes' list of 89 Business Cliches That Will Get Any MBA Promoted to Middle Management and Make Them Totally Useless. This is exactly what it sounds like: a fine collection of cliches, and what they tend to mean when pointy-haired managers spout them. (The frightening part is that I have actually used most of them at one time or another, although I try to at least *mean* something when I do so.)

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22. By way of housekeeping = This makes the boring stuff I’m about to say sound more official

I always thought "By way of housekeeping" was a way to trivialize important decisions I didn't bother asking your opinion on.

I made a Cliche Bingo board. (In Paint, because I don't actually know how to use anything else.)

To play Cliche Bingo: everybody takes a board. Each time you hear one of your co-workers say one of the cliches on the board, you put a marker on it. First to bingo wins. Obviously this works better if players work in different departments or companies, so the cliches won't all the be the same. Cliches don't count if you or another player in the game say them.

That first one -- no surprise but still illuminating to see it in a full-color chart.

The second one has me feeling sad. I've heard some of these from my manager and totally took them at face value. Maybe I need to grow some cynical skin.

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