Thursday, January 26, 2012

Writing from Feb '12 Esquire Magazine

Latest issue of Esquire had a number of pieces that didn't necessarily stand out for the flowery prose, but were well written and on interesting topics (or at least contained interesting tidbits).

Lengthiest feature was Counter-Terrorism Is Getting Complicated by Tom Junod on a Federal conspiracy to commit terrorism case against retired Navyman Fred Thomas and three other seventy-somethings in rural Georgia. Detailed what was either a proactive ferreting out of terrorist ambitions or a shady government informant leading disillusioned old people down the path of horrible crimes they would have never committed.

Two other interesting features from this issue involved the topic of information and how it's acquired, used and communicated. The Man Who Knows Everything was written by Ryan D'Agostino and profiles Tibco Software and it's CEO Vivek Ranadive. Tibco provides infrastructure software and goes beyond this to efforts like it's TopCom communications platform for use by world leaders. A second Esquire piece around information was If You Could Master All the Data in the World... penned by Chris Jones. Story is on Jeopardy winner Roger Craig and the work he did to identify knowledge needed to be successful on the show. Out of this, Craig is now attempting to take this idea of learning patterns and attempt to pass it along commercially.

Finally, this Esquire edition also contained two celebrity pieces that contained nuggets of interest. Ricky Gervais: The ESQ+A was done by Scott Raab and had some very cool content from Gervais about staying true to himself in his work. A cynic could say it's easy to do that when already successful, but there's probably also a lot to be said for the idea of this approach helping someone make it in the first place. Also interesting was Mike Sager's Who Doesn't Love Woody Harrelson? which included quite a bit on Harrelson's avoidance of chemicals and processed/artificial food.