25660
Opinion | What Does It Mean to ‘Look Like Me’?
- The New York Times
==================
How did children develop self-worth and an identity before movies and tv? People have to stop looking to mass and social media for self-esteem.
==================
The trouble is that racial and ethnic iconography, including color, eye shape, nose length etc . govern our responses to people the second we see them.
culture  identity_politics  representation  self-identification  self-worth  visible_minorities 
4 hours ago
The concept of probability is not as simple as you think
26 February, 2019 | Aeon Ideas | by Nevin Climenhaga.
is assistant professor at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. His work has been published in the Journal of Philosophy and Mind, among others. He lives in Oakleigh, Victori
logic_&_reasoning  probabilities 
7 hours ago
Weekend Getaway from Toronto: Why Elora is the perfect fall escape - The Globe and Mail
CHRISTY WRIGHT
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 18, 2019
9 COMMENTS
Elora  Ontario  things_to_do 
8 hours ago
We need to be better at predicting bad outcomes
September 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Harford.

A question some of us ask all too often, and some of us not often enough: what if it all [jk: our plan] goes wrong?.....we don’t think about worst-case scenarios in the right way......
The first problem is that our sense of risk is pretty crude. The great psychologist Amos Tversky joked that most of us have three categories when thinking about probabilities: “gonna happen”, “not gonna happen” and “maybe”.....It would be helpful if our sense of risk was a little more refined; intuitively, it is hard to grasp the difference between a risk of one in a billion and that of one in a thousand. Yet, for a gambler — or someone in the closely related business of insurance — there is all the difference in the world.....research by Barbara Mellers, Philip Tetlock and Hal Arkes suggests that making a serious attempt to put probabilities on uncertain future events might help us in other ways: the process makes us more humble, more moderate and better able to discern shades of grey. Trying to forecast is about more than a successful prediction......we can become sidetracked by the question of whether the worst case is likely. Rather than asking “will this happen?”, we should ask “what would we do if it did?”

The phrase “worst-case scenario” probably leads us astray: anyone can dream up nightmare scenarios.....To help us think sensibly about these worst-case possibilities, Gary Klein, psychologist and author of Seeing What Others Don’t, has argued for conducting “pre-mortems” — or hypothetical postmortems. Before embarking on a project, imagine receiving a message from the future: the project failed, and spectacularly. Now ask yourself: why? Risks and snares will quickly suggest themselves — often risks that can be anticipated and prevented.......Contingency planning is not always easy......woes that would result both as the “base case” (the truth) and a “worst-case scenario” (the government sucking in its stomach while posing for a selfie).
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In our increasingly airbrushed world, it becomes ever more necessary to ask the unfashionable questions like ‘what could possibly go wrong?’ - and then plan for it...
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Humanity's survival may well rely on the ability of our imaginations to explore alternative futures in order to begin building the communities that can forestall or endure worst-case catastrophes.
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Amos_Tversky  anticipating  base_rates  beforemath  books  contingency_planning  discernment  failure  forecasting  foresight  frequency_and_severity  humility  nuanced  predictions  preparation  probabilities  risk-assessment  risks  Tim_Harford  uncertainty  worst-case 
yesterday
Stephen Schwarzman: ‘I like to do things that are beautiful’
September 20, 2019 | Financial Times | by Lionel Barber.

Schwarzman’s fortune (net worth about $18bn) has bought him power and influence. He’s graduated from being a mega dealmaker to philanthropist, back channel in US-China relations and “Trump whisperer”. I want to explore these multiple roles, but also pin down why the man who has built one of the most successful financial businesses on the planet has never quite received the credit he believes he deserves......Blackstone started as a boutique advisory firm, with the goal of making enough money to start its own private equity fund. Private equity has attracted controversy because of alleged asset-stripping: buying companies, loading them with debt (“leverage”) and selling them off at a handsome profit, with favourable tax treatment.

Schwarzman casts himself as a long-term investor, not a scavenger in sheep’s clothing. He recounts with gusto the megadeals and the risk-taking involved in picking the right time to buy and sell assets, ranging from US Steel’s railroad network to the Waldorf hotel.

His skill is market timing. Blackstone has expanded into real estate and hedge funds and other “alternative assets”, with $545bn under management today. Blackstone funds are also the largest owner of real estate in the world. The firm’s rise epitomises the “buy side” revolution that favours asset managers at the expense of traditional banks trading liquid securities.

Schwarzman has written a book, which is part memoir, part Blackstone management primer called What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence. (A better title would be Whatever It Takes, I suggest.) ......Blackstone is a meritocracy, he says, where two iron rules apply: no internal politics and do not lose money. “I go from the premise that anybody of talent does not want necessarily to be a private in an army. The lowest they want is to be a lieutenant colonel and preferably they’d all like to be generals.”......We turn to Schwarzman’s generous philanthropy. In recent years, he has donated $100m to the New York Public Library, $150m to Yale, £150m to Oxford university, $350m to MIT. He’s also set up the Schwarzman scholars, a one-year masters programme on global affairs for top international students to study at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Blackstone  books  dealmakers  philanthropy  private_equity  Stephen_Schwarzman 
yesterday
A ‘Grass Roots’ Campaign to Take Down Amazon Is Funded by Amazon’s Biggest Rivals - WSJ
Sept. 20, 2019 | WSJ | By James V. Grimaldi.

Walmart, Oracle and mall owner Simon Property Group are secret funders behind a nonprofit that has been highly critical of the e-commerce giant

About 18 months ago a new nonprofit group called Free and Fair Markets Initiative launched a national campaign criticizing the business practices of one powerful company: Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -1.50%

Free and Fair Markets accused Amazon of stifling competition and innovation, inhibiting consumer choice, gorging on government subsidies, endangering its warehouse workers and exposing consumer data to privacy breaches. It claimed to have grass-roots support from average citizens across the U.S, citing a labor union, a Boston management professor and a California businessman.

What the group did not say is that it received backing from some of Amazon’s chief corporate rivals. They include shopping mall owner Simon Property Group Inc., SPG 0.27% retailer Walmart Inc. WMT -0.11% and software giant Oracle Corp. ORCL 0.19% , according to people involved with and briefed on the project. Simon Property is fighting to keep shoppers who now prefer to buy what they need on Amazon; Walmart is competing with Amazon over retail sales; and Oracle is battling Amazon over a $10 billion Pentagon cloud-computing contract.

The grass-roots support cited by the group was also not what it appeared to be. The labor union says it was listed as a member of the group without permission and says a document purporting to show that it gave permission has a forged signature. The Boston professor says the group, with his permission, ghost-wrote an op-ed for him about Amazon but that he didn’t know he would be named as a member. The California businessman was dead for months before his name was removed from the group’s website this year.

Free and Fair Markets, or FFMI, declined to reveal its funders or disclose if it has directors or a chief executive.

“The bottom line is that FFMI is focusing on the substantive issues and putting a spotlight on the way companies like Amazon undermine the public good—something that media outlets, activists, and politicians in both parties are also doing with increasing frequency,” it said in a statement in response to questions from The Wall Street Journal. “If Amazon can not take the heat then it should stay out of the kitchen.”

The creation of a group aimed solely at Amazon is an indication of the degree to which competing companies have coalesced to counter the growing and accumulated power of Amazon and how far competitors are increasingly willing to go to counter-strike. Lobbyists that exaggerate the extent of their grass-roots support—a practice known as “AstroTurf lobbying”—are common in Washington, but it is rare for a nonprofit group to be created for the sole purpose of going after a single firm.

Amazon is facing additional opaque opposition as well, with websites and articles popping up portraying the software giant as the Evil Empire. The website Monopolyamazon.com, which does not disclose who is behind it and registered its web address anonymously, includes a handful of articles calling on the Defense Department to reject Amazon’s bid for a $10 billion cloud-computing contract. For months last year, an anti-Amazon dossier circulated in Washington alleging conflicts of interest in the Pentagon procurement process and a chart from the document later reached President Trump before he asked for a review of the Amazon bid.

Free and Fair Markets is run by a strategic communications firm, Marathon Strategies, that works for large corporations, including Amazon rivals. Marathon founder Phil Singer is a veteran political operative who has worked as a top aide to prominent Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and on Hillary Clinton ’s 2008 presidential campaign.

In a statement, Mr. Singer defended the group. “FFMI is not obligated to disclose its donors and it does not,” Mr. Singer said.

Marathon initially asked for a fee of $250,000 per company to fund the anti-Amazon group, according to a person at one of the companies approached. Among those invited to fund the group but declined were a trade association that includes members who compete with Amazon, and International Business Machines Corp. , according to people familiar with the contacts. IBM, which declined to comment, previously was a client of Marathon.

In a statement, Amazon said, “The Free & Fair Markets Initiative appears to be little more than a well-oiled front group run by a high-priced public affairs firm and funded by self-interested parties with the sole objective of spreading misinformation about Amazon.”

Simon Property, the world’s largest mall landlord, declined to comment. Simon does not have any brick-and-mortar Amazon stores in its roughly 200 malls, outlets and open-air centers in the U.S., whereas its peers with smaller portfolios count multiple Amazon stores in theirs. The Indianapolis-based landlord recently launched its own online shopping platform, Shoppremiumoutlets.com.

Walmart funds the organization indirectly by paying an intermediary that pays for Free and Fair Markets, according to sources familiar with the arrangement. Walmart is a client of Marathon.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said, “We are not financial supporters of the FFMI but we share concerns about issues they have raised.” Mr. Hargrove declined to comment further.

The group’s aim is to sully Amazon’s image on competition, data-security and workplace issues, while creating a sense of grass-roots support for increased government regulatory and antitrust enforcement, according to people familiar with the campaign.

Free and Fair Markets has lobbied the government for legislation and investigations of Amazon, sent dozens of letters and reports to Congress and staff, according to congressional staffers, published scores of op-eds in local and online media and tweeted hundreds of social media posts blasting Amazon.

Over the past year, many of the actions advocated by the group have gained traction. Amazon has come under increasing antitrust scrutiny from the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, states attorneys general and the European Union. In New York, Amazon backed out of plans to open a second headquarters in Long Island City after facing political opposition. Free and Fair Markets campaigned against government subsidies to support the site and tweeted more than 300 times on the topic.

Oracle provided financial support as part of an all-out strategy to stop Amazon from getting a $10 billion mega-contract to handle cloud computing for the Defense Department. The Pentagon eliminated Oracle as a bidder in the first round. Kenneth Glueck, who runs Oracle’s office in Washington, confirmed that the computer technology firm has contributed to the effort.

A goal of the organization was achieved in July when President Trump said he wanted to conduct a review of the contract. In August, the secretary of defense said he was investigating conflict-of-interest allegations surrounding the $10 billion contract known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. At the urging of President Trump, the bid award has been put on hold during the review.

Mr. Trump, a frequent critic of Amazon, cited complaints about the project from several of Amazon’s competitors, which in addition to Oracle included IBM and Microsoft Corp. , saying he had heard the contract “wasn’t competitively bid.” The contract has not been awarded and Microsoft remains one of the two remaining bidders.

Though Free and Fair Markets has contacted members of Congress and the administration, it has not registered as a lobbying organization. Such groups are required to file with Congress if more than 20% of their work involves lobbying. Marathon said it complies with lobby disclosure rules.

None of the articles notes that Mr. Engel’s group is funded by rivals of Amazon.

A spokeswoman for The Hill said the publication was unaware of the funding sources and failure to disclose such payments violates a standard written agreement all op-ed writers are required to sign.

Sandy Shea, managing editor of opinion for the Inquirer’s parent company, the Philadelphia Media Network, said, “We aren’t equipped to investigate the makeup or structure of a nonprofit that submits a piece.”

Bill Zeiser, RealClearPolicy editor, said RealClearMedia publishes “commentary on politics and public policy from a wide array of sources. These submissions are assessed on their editorial merits.”

Representatives of the Post-Gazette and Chronicle did not respond to emails.

In an interview earlier this year, Mr. Engel said the motive of the group was not to promote the views of Amazon’s rivals. He said Amazon has been the only target because its business tactics run counter to the group’s goal of free and fair markets. “The one organization that feels it stands above that is Amazon,” Mr. Engel said.

Marathon did not make Mr. Engel available for comment a second time after the Journal determined that rivals were funding the group.

Mr. Engel and his group have been quoted in publications, including once each in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. None said who funded the group.

One article about Free and Fair Markets was commissioned by Marathon.

Last October, an Iowa writer and consultant, Jeff Patch, published an article on RealClearPolicy.com, a news website known for political coverage, about a report by Free and Fair Markets critical of Amazon’s record of hiring and firing women. “Many [women] were fired after Amazon concocted pretexts for their terminations,” Mr. Patch wrote.

Mr. Patch, who has worked as a journalist and a staffer for a Republican congressman and conservative think tanks, did not disclose in his article at the time that he was a paid contractor for Marathon.

Bank statements and invoices reviewed by the Journal show that Mr. Patch billed Marathon, and was paid thousands of dollars… [more]
Amazon  clandestine  contra-Amazon  countermeasures  counternarratives  dark_side  e-commerce  grass-roots  lobbying  lobbyists  nonprofit  Oracle  Simon_Properties  sophisticated  Wal-Mart 
2 days ago
How Britons forgot that history can hurt
September 19, 2019 | | Financial Times| by Simon Kuper.

Centuries of stability have created a country careless about risk... the British mainland has meandered along nicely since Newton’s death in 1727: no conquest, dictatorship, revolution, famine or civil war. The sea prevented invasions; coal made Britain the first industrialised power. Few Britons developed strong ideologies that they were motivated to kill for.

How to square this historical stability with the UK’s newfound instability?......What explains Britain’s transformation? I suspect it’s precisely the country’s historical stability that has made many of today’s Britons insouciant about risk. They have forgotten that history can hurt. Other countries remember....their citizens remember how countries can go horribly wrong (see Uganda, the French in Algeria, etc.)......Britain has no comparable traumas. Terrible things do happen there but chiefly to poor people — which is how the country is supposed to work. Even the losses suffered during two world wars have been reconfigured into proud national moments. The widespread American guilt about slavery is almost absent here.

And so, Britain has a uniquely untroubled relationship with its past, and a suspicion of anything new. No wonder the natural ruling party calls itself “Conservative”.

Britain’s ruling classes are especially nostalgic, because they live amid the glorious past: the family’s country home, then ancient public school, Oxbridge and Westminster. They felt Britain was so secure from constitutional outrages that they never bothered to write a constitution.

But it’s wrong to blame British insouciance (embodied by Johnson) on the elite. It extends across all classes. Most Britons have learnt to be politically unserious. Hence their tolerance for toy newspapers they know to be mendacious — Britons’ ironic relationship with their tabloids puzzles many foreigners.

Postwar Britons — the most shielded generation in this shielded country’s history — voted Brexit not out of fanaticism but in a spirit of “Why not?” Many Leave voters argued additionally that “Things can’t get worse”, which any Ugandan could have told them was mistaken. Some Leavers even seemed to crave a bit of history.
'30s  Argentina  Brexit  carelessness  complacency  constitutions  decay  false_sense_of_security  German  history  historical_amnesia  insouciance  ruling_classes  Simon_Kuper  social_classes  United_Kingdom  worrying 
2 days ago
How to step back and rethink your career goals
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019 | Financial Times | by Elizabeth Uviebinene.

Mobile apps: Wunderlist and Trello.
Podcasts on the “back to life” mindset: How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, Better Life Lab and Without Fail
Newsletters: The Roundup by Otegha Uwagba

Autumn now brings a sense of trepidation — it can be an unsettling time for those who are starting new opportunities and a source of anxiety for those who feel stuck in a rut while others move on......I look at autumn a little differently, seeing it as a time to reset and an opportunity to make small changes to my routine without the cynicism that is attached to new year’s resolutions...... a little refresh now can go a long way...... it’s more about making time to check in with them, to realign and reprioritize.......The first step is to check in on your long-term goals, the ones you want to achieve in a few years. Is your current trajectory aligning with those goals? If not, why not? What can you implement today to get you back on track?....write down what you’ve achieved this year and positioning it within the overall business objectives that show your individual impact......journal when it comes to both long-term and weekly career planning. Spending time writing down objectives and reflecting on how best to get there in the coming weeks and months can provide a sense of control......prioritizing is essential to maintaining a healthy work and life balance. Journal five goals for the next four months and then place them in priority order, cross off the bottom three, to leave the two most important ones. That's where to focus one's time and energy......."Find your tribe”. A sense of community is key to battling the loneliness that this time of year can bring. This could be done online by signing up to a newsletter, or via community groups and live events....Attend conferences.....use this time of year to consider making a career change, aiming for the next promotion or starting a side project, ....reflect, plot and plan on how best to get there. Sneaking small changes into our working life can make all the difference.
autumn  conferences  goals  howto  journaling  long-term  Managing_Your_Career  mindsets  mobile_applications  networking  podcasts  priorities  reflections  résumés  self-organization  sense_of_control  tribes  work_life_balance 
3 days ago
Opinion | The Ups and Downs of Life Without Wheels of My Own - The New York Times
By Kara Swisher
Ms. Swisher covers technology and is a contributing opinion writer.

Sept. 17, 2019
Kara_Swisher 
4 days ago
Where will humans live if Earth becomes uninhabitable?
September 12, 2019 | Financial Times Kiran Stacey in Washington
fantasies  space_exploration  space_travel 
4 days ago
The State of AI in the Enterprise - CIO Journal.
Sep 13, 2019 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Tom Davenport, a professor of information technology and management at Babson College in Massachusetts, spoke about this topic a few months ago at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Initiative on the Digital Economy. His speech was based on two recent U.S. surveys conducted by Deloitte LLP. Mr. Davenport was a co-author of both reports.
artificial_intelligence  CIOs  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  Tom_Davenport 
7 days ago
How to prepare yourself for redundancy
SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Adrian Warner.

Don’t think that doing your job well is a guarantee you will keep it. Continuously prepare for losing your job.....always make sure you are ready to be shown the door — practically, psychologically and financially...Seeking advice and networking is a positive way of establishing a safety net. Even if you are happy in your job and have complete faith in your employer, always have a Plan B. You do not need to say you are looking for a move straight away. But keeping your options open and researching your next career move will make you more comfortable in your current job.

At the same time, accumulate enough savings to pay your bills for six months, should you lose your job....Also think about how you might employ your skills and contacts to change career. You might need to do some extra training to change direction completely....There are three stages to planning for redundancy: the first is talking to people about their experiences in other fields and thinking about what else you might want to do. The second is improving your position through extra studying and developing new skills. The third stage is asking people about openings.... if you take these precautions, you should be ready for any turmoil in your career......
I would recommend everybody to work hard on the first stage. You may never move to stage two or three but knowing you have options will make you feel more comfortable.

Five tips for dealing with redundancy
Anger — I was angry at being shown the door but I learnt to control it. Companies don’t hire people with emotional baggage.

Former colleagues — Many colleagues may struggle with what to say and keep their distance at first. Don’t take this personally and give them time.

Fresh start — A career change needs planning. Analyse your skills and think strategically about how you can use them for another role.

Networking — It’s estimated that 70 per cent of jobs are not advertised, so it’s crucial to regularly talk to contacts about openings.

Job hunting in 2019 — You need to get used to rejection. Computers may assess your CV, so beat the “bots” by including keywords in the job specification.
BBC  beforemath  emergency_funds  emotional_mastery  job_search  layoffs  loyalty  Managing_Your_Career  networking  personal_branding  Plan_B  preparation  rejections  safety_nets  the_big_picture  tips 
7 days ago
How to Get a Wider Chest (INNER to OUTER!) - YouTube
(1) The Dip (applying the most tension to the pec that you can by pre-positioning your body the right way, put some extra stretch on it, get away from these rounded shoulders, open the shoulders up, open your chest up, savour the stretch at the bottom--the pause dip.

(2) Bench press with dumbbells. Consciously open your chest up to set up the positioning. At the bottom of the repetition, pause for 1 or 2 seconds. When you come out of that, don't push or lead with the shoulders, instead, lead with your chest (by squeezing the biceps together).

(3) Push-ups. Use a pair of dumbbells to gain a larger range of motion (get the arm a little bit more behind the body). Apply the pause to the bottom of every single repetition. Attack the ground with the chest. Shoulders stay back, chest leads the way down to the ground. Open up and get wide.

(4) Peck Flys. Instead: USE THE CABLE MACHINE CROSSOVER (one arm, high to low) Put yourself in the same position as it would have been doing the fly. First step is to open up the chest. Get the chest further back, apply a stretch. Fully adduct. Take the pec through its entire range of motion. Alternative, do a floor fly. Use a half of a foam roller. Allow you to get a little more opening of that chest because you're up and elevated about 3 inches off the ground.
AthleanX  chest  dips  howto  power_of_the_pause  push-ups  strength_training 
7 days ago
Opinion | The Meritocracy Is Ripping America Apart
Sept. 12, 2019 | - The New York Times | By David Brooks.

savage exclusion tears the social fabric.

There are at least two kinds of meritocracy in America right now. Exclusive meritocracy exists at the super-elite universities and at the industries that draw the bulk of their employees from them — Wall Street, Big Law, medicine and tech. And then there is the more open meritocracy that exists almost everywhere else.

In the exclusive meritocracy, prestige is defined by how many people you can reject....The more the exclusivity, the thicker will be the coating of P.C. progressivism to show that we’re all good people.

People in this caste work phenomenally hard to build their wealth......People in this caste are super-skilled and productive.....These highly educated professionals attract vast earnings while everybody else gets left behind......Parents in the exclusive meritocracy raise their kids to be fit fighters within it....affluent parents invest on their kids’ human capital, over and above what middle-class parents can afford to invest......the Kansas Leadership Center. The center teaches people how to create social change and hopes to saturate the state with better leaders. But the center doesn’t focus on traditional “leaders.” Its mantra is: “Leadership is an activity, not a position. Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.” The atmosphere is one of radical inclusion.....People in both the exclusive and open meritocracies focus intensely on increasing skills. But it’s jarring to move from one culture to the other because the values are so different. The exclusive meritocracy is spinning out of control. If the country doesn’t radically expand its institutions and open access to its bounty, the U.S. will continue to rip apart.
Big_Law  caste_systems  Colleges_&_Universities  David_Brooks  elitism  exclusivity  hard_work  human_capital  inequality  law_firms  leadership  medicine  meritocracy  op-ed  parenting  political_correctness  social_classes  social_exclusion  social_fabric  social_impact  social_inclusion  society  technology  values  Wall_Street  winner-take-all 
7 days ago
Goldman taps Amazon executive as new tech boss
September 12, 2019 | Financial Times | Laura Noonan in New York.

Goldman Sachs has hired a senior executive from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to replace departing technology boss Elisha Wiesel, in a move that could accelerate the bank’s migration to cloud services.

Goldman announced the appointment of Marco Argenti, erstwhile vice-president of technology at cloud-technology provider AWS. He will be co-chief information officer, replacing Mr Wiesel, a Goldman veteran who was last week reported to be in talks to leave the bank.

The Wall Street giant, which likes to describe itself as more of a tech company than a bank, has also hired a senior Verizon executive, Atte Lahtiranta, as its new chief technology officer, replacing John Madsen who is leaving the partnership but will continue as chief architect of technology.....Goldman Sachs was an early convert to cloud computing — where processing capability is accessed online rather than through physical machines — and has used it to strip out costs over the past few years.
Amazon  appointments  AWS  C-suite  CIO  cloud_computing  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  Goldman_Sachs 
9 days ago
How to Choose The Right Investment Banker to Sell Your Business
Jay Turo
GUEST WRITER
CEO of Growthink
October 2, 2013

hire an investment bank to purchase a business
the value of middle market investment bankers
investment_banking 
9 days ago
3 reasons why restaurants need mobile, cloud technology | FastCasual
April 14, 2014

Google: "cloud computing" fast food franchises
digital-first restaurants valuations
cloud_computing  mobile_applications  mobile_phones  restaurants  virtual_restaurants 
9 days ago
Opinion | The Trick to Life Is to Keep Moving - The New York Times
By Devi Lockwood
Ms. Lockwood is a fellow in the Times Opinion section.

Sept. 7, 2019
dying  friendships  howto 
9 days ago
Too Little Sleep, or Too Much, May Raise Heart Attack Risk
Sept. 9, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nicholas Bakalar.

Getting less than six hours of sleep a night, or more than nine hours, might increase the risk for heart attack......The effects of sleep could have a significant impact on health and mortality, because while genes cannot be changed, sleep patterns are modifiable.

“I want to tell people that if they prioritize sleep, they can actually do something for heart health,”
cardiovascular  heart_attacks  health_risks  mens'_health  sleep 
11 days ago
Did Burnham err in nationalising sugar and rice? –
Sep 07, 2019 |Kaieteur News | by Peeping Tom.

Did Forbes Burnham err when he nationalised the commanding heights of the economy and removed foreign involvement from the local financial sector?.....If Forbes Burnham erred, it means that the socialist experiment pursued by the PNC was ill-conceived. The fundamental basis of the socialist experiment was both national ownership and control of the main pillars of the Guyanese economy, namely sugar and bauxite. If it was an error to nationalise, then the socialist experiment was a colossal mistake........In making a decision as to whether Guyana should have nationalised the commanding heights of the economy, Forbes Burnham must have considered the ability of locals to manage the industries. Did Guyana at the time have the capacity to manage the industries? Was it a blunder by Forbes Burnham to have concluded that we did when we did not? Forbes Burnham was never in doubt as to the ability of Guyanese. ......Ownership of the commanding sectors of the economy had to be complemented by the Guyanese managing these enterprises. Burnham believed this and died believing this.
He cannot ever be described as a visionary if he was wrong on this score, because this was the main plank of his economic policies and his political beliefs.......If today, however, the PNCR wishes to concede that Burnham erred when he nationalised the commanding heights of the economy, it should then ask itself whether in a globalised world, where the managerial demands are greater, Guyanese can effectively manage their own affairs, more so considering oil and gas will be a major contributor to economic growth over the next 40 years.
It is posited that if Burnham erred by overestimating the local capacity to manage the bauxite and sugar industries, then is it safe to say that Guyanese will be unable to cope with an oil economy.
economic_development  economic_stagnation  Guyana  Guyanese  history  ineptitude  LFSB  nationalizations  oil_industry  PNC 
14 days ago
The biggest gender divide is in mathematics
September 5, 2019 | | Financial Times| by Carola Hoyos.

Numeracy is vital for everyone. But according to Alain Dehaze, chief executive of Adecco, the world’s biggest recruiting company, the most valuable mathematical skills in a more automated future, especially for those people who can also communicate them to generalists, are the ability to spot patterns; to problem solve logically; and to work with statistics, probability and large data sets to see into the future.
biases  culture  gender_gap  girls  high_schools  mathematics  numeracy  parenting  women 
16 days ago
Letter of Recommendation: Deadlifting
Sept. 3, 2019 |The New York Times | By Bindu Bansinath.

Here was a functional lift with straightforward rules. You set up behind the bar in a hip-width stance, toes pointing forward, hands gripped comfortably around the iron. Keeping a neutral spine, you hinge at the hips, the fulcrum between load and effort, and push the floor away with your legs. You finish standing upright, with your knees locked out and the barbell at mid-thigh. When all goes smoothly, everything has the illusion of happening at once: the metallic clatter of slack as you pull, your hips and chest rising in sync, an impossible load stood all the way up.
CrossFit  deadlifts  functional_strength  gyms  strength_training 
18 days ago
Where Power Stops, by David Runciman
September 2, 2019 | Financial Times Review by Giles Wilkes.

Where Power Stops: The Making and Unmaking of Presidents and Prime Ministers, by David Runciman, Profile, £14.99
biographies  books  book_reviews  character_traits  iconoclastic  impotence  leaders  political_biographies  political_power 
19 days ago
Marty Chavez, once seen as CEO candidate, to leave Goldman Sachs
September 2, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Laura Noonan in New York.
exits  Goldman_Sachs  Martin_Chavez 
19 days ago
Five ways to avoid ever forgetting to pack something again
September 1, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | DOMINI CLARK.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
If you haven’t travelled for some time, turn to the pros – which in this case means apps that help you pack. One to try is Packr, which generates a detailed list once you provide information such as your gender (male or female), whether the trip is for business or leisure, what activities you will be participating in (such as hiking, photography or formal dinner) and accommodation type (including cruise).

DIY LIST
Of course, we all have particular tastes and needs, so investing the time to create your own list might be worth it. If you’re a hard copy sort of person, create a multi-use grid-type version with items in the first column, followed by multiple columns for your “done" checkmarks. This style works particularly well in bullet journals.

NEVER UNPACK
Not completely, at least. If you have duplicates of certain items, simply keep them in your suitcase (after you’ve laundered them, if applicable) so they’re always ready to go. Some suggestions: an old bathing suit, a spare phone charger, basic toiletries, an umbrella, ear plugs and an empty water bottle. (This is an excellent use of all that free branded stuff you get at conferences and trade shows.)

VISUAL CUES
For things you can’t spare to keep stowed away, create visual cues. An eyeglass case reminds contact-lens wearers to pack a backup pair. A shoe bag makes sure you don’t forget heels. Other ideas include a jewellery roll, labelled packing cubes (underwear, shirts, etc) and your camera instruction manual (assuming you’re not using it regularly).

LEARN FROM DOING
Inevitably on some trip you will wish you had brought some item it had never occurred to you to pack before. Nail clippers, for instance, or perhaps a clothespin (great for keeping curtains closed). When that happens update your packing list straight away if possible, or set a reminder task to do so when you return home. Even better, toss one in before the bag goes back in the closest so it’s there for next time.
DIY  lists  lessons_learned  mobile_applications  packing  travel  tips  visual_cues 
20 days ago
Godwin's Law
Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies)[1] is a saying made by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states: "As a discussion on the Internet grows longer, the likelihood of a comparison o...
argumentation  comparisons  disagreements  Godwin's_Law  logic_&_reasoning  Nazis  rhetoric  rules_of_the_game  from notes
20 days ago
Opinion | Can We Slow Down Time in the Age of TikTok?
Aug. 31, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jenny Odell. Ms. Odell is a writer and artist.

"I can’t give my students more time. But I try to change the way they think about and value it."

Ms. Odell, a writer and artist at Stanford, wishes her students would slow down, be allowed to focus on one thing--particularly in an era where "Time is precious; time is money". Students spend their time responding to their phones and to social media which is a drawback to their capacity to concentrate......The attention economy demands not just consumption but also the production and upkeep of a marketable self. The work of self-promotion fills every spare moment. In the age of the personal brand, when you might be posting not just for friends but potential employers, there’s no such thing as free time.....Odell's students includes many who aren’t art majors, some of whom may never have made art before. She gives them the same advice every quarter: Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all. There is no Soylent version of thought and reflection — creativity is unpredictable, and it simply takes time. .....When Odell is bird watching (a favorite pastime that is, strictly speaking, “unproductive,”), she's noticed that her perception of time slows down. All of her attention is collected into a single focal point, kept there by fascination and genuine, almost unaccountable interest. This is the experience of learning that she want for her students — that she wants for everyone, actually — but it’s a fragile state. It requires maintenance.........That’s why she's built time into her classes for students to sit or wander outside, observing something specific — for example, how people interact with their devices. She takes one of her classes on a hike, using the app iNaturalist to identify plants and animals. Students don’t just need to be brought into contact with new ideas, they also need the time for sustained inquiry, a kind of time outside of time where neither they nor their work is immediately held to the standards of productivity......Odell wants people to make work that is *deliberately useless* in a way that pokes at prevailing notions of usefulness. Art seeks not to resolve or produce, but remains (and, indeed, luxuriates) in the realm of questioning......the attention economy makes time feel contracted into an endless and urgent present. A simple awareness of history can help cultivate a different sense of time.......reading history about the past trials and successes of activism, or taking historical walking tours of a city can counter feelings of despair and distraction.....Taking a longer view can help to stop feelings of being an unmoored producer of work and reaction and all you to see yourself as an actors grounded in real, historical time. This, just as much as the capacity to follow one’s own curiosity at length, might be the best way to fortify yourself against the forces that splinter our attention.....If we want students to be thinkers, then we need to give them time to think....Let's all agree: to just slow down.
advice  art  attention_economy  buffering  Colleges_&_Universities  creativity  focus  idleness  mindfulness  monotasking  noticing  op-ed  personal_branding  reflections  self-promotion  slack_time  Slow_Movement  students  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
21 days ago
Mary Tyler Moore Show star Valerie Harper dies at 80 - The Globe and Mail
JOHN ROGERS
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED 3 HOURS AGO
'70s  obituaries  sitcoms  television  women 
22 days ago
Roasted Bone Marrow Recipe | Leite's Culinaria
DIRECTIONS
1. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water and add 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt per 1 cup water. Add the marrow bones and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, changing the water every 4 hours and replacing the salt each time. Drain and refrigerate until you’re ready to roast the marrow. This removes the blood and any impurities from the marrow. Drain the bones and pat them dry. Be sure to roast the soaked marrow within 24 hours or freeze the drained bones for up to 3 months.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
3. Place the drained and dried marrow bones in a roasting pan. If the bones are cut crosswise, place them standing up; if the bones are cut lengthwise, place them cut side up. Roast for 15 to 25 minutes, until the marrow has puffed slightly and is warm in the center. To test for doneness, insert a metal skewer into the center of the bone, then touch it to your wrist to gauge the marrow’s temperature; the roasted bone marrow should be very hot. There should be no resistance when the skewer is inserted and some of the marrow will have started to leak from the bones. Serve the roasted bone marrow immediately with spoons for scooping.
beef  bones  recipes  roasted  savoury 
23 days ago
Two MIT Economists Share A Bold Plan To Jump-Start The Economy In New Book
April 9, 2019 | Boston Public Radio | By Arjun Singh

On paper, America’s economy seems to be excelling. In March, the economy added 196,000 new jobs while the unemployment rate sat at 3.8 percent. Meanwhile, American startups like Uber and Pinterest are expected to go public with multi-million or higher valuations. But MIT economists Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson believe this hides a darker truth about the American economy: It’s slowly falling behind the rest of the world.

In their new book, “Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream,” Gruber and Johnson lay out their plan for how the United States can reclaim its mantle as a leader in not just gross domestic product, but also innovation and science. The key, they say, is government investment and encouragement in the scientific sector.......The economists are optimistic, however, that the United States can regain its lead and eventually develop a robust economy that sees economic growth and investment in the sciences. And not just in places like Boston or San Francisco, but throughout the rest of the country, where Johnson says there is a wealth of untapped talent and potential. They estimate there are at least 102 potential scientific hubs scattered across the U.S.

“The coastal superstar cities have become extremely expensive, but there’s a tremendous amount of talent spread across the U.S.,” Johnson said. “Good living conditions also matter. People also want to live in a place [with a] good climate, much better commute times than you have in the megacities, and low crime rates. Those are our very simple, transparent criteria.”..... public investments in research and development contribute to what the authors call the “spillover effect.” When the product of the research is not a private firm’s intellectual property, its impact flows across the economy.
books  breakthroughs  coastal  competitiveness_of_nations  economists  industrial_policies  innovation  jump-start  MIT  NSF  public_investments  R&D  science  Simon_Johnson  spillover  superstars  U.S. 
24 days ago
Vas Narasimhan of Novartis: ‘We Are Not at All Prepared for a Pandemic’ - The New York Times
How do you deal with all these stressors?

I’ve been working with a coach on four principles: mind-set, movement, nutrition and recovery. On mind-set, I set intentions every day. I find that trying to be clear about what I want to accomplish in the day, right in the morning, is very important. What’s the impact I want to have?

Nutrition is, Am I eating for performance, or am I eating to enjoy? I’m convinced that your glycemic status impacts your overall ability to make good decisions, handle stress, all of those things.

Movement: I’m a Peloton addict.

And then recovery. I try to sleep seven or eight hours a night. I take all my vacations with my family. I go on walks with my wife, who’s like my life coach, and professional coach, and all of everything in between.
CEOs  glycemic_index  intentionality  pandemics  Novartis  Vas_Narasimhan 
25 days ago
What’s Left After a Family Business Is Sold?
Aug. 9, 2019 | The New York Times | By Paul Sullivan

Having a pile of money after a company is sold, in place of a company, with all of its stress and complications, would seem like a relief. But a company often holds families together by giving members a shared identity and conferring a status in the community established by previous generations.

Without the company, the family’s perception of itself and its purpose can change, and it is often something that members are not prepared for. Their focus was on running the business and then on the sale; little thought went into what comes next......“The key to doing it successfully is how you prepare yourself and how you prepare your family. It’s really a lifestyle choice.”

If families do not do it right, splitting apart is almost inevitable. “A shared business becomes very much a glue,” ....“When the business is sold, what we see in almost every situation is some family member splits away.” .....Most advisers say the sale of a family business should focus on the transition from operating a company to managing a portfolio of money, not on the money itself. Sometimes the magnitude of the sale becomes an issue for a family’s identity, particularly if the acquisition price becomes public......some families focus more on the money than the traits that made the business successful, and fail to grasp the difference between an operating business and financial capital. ....years before the sale, the family had been formulating a plan for its wealth that focused on family values but also held the members accountable. A family scorecard, for example, tracks their progress on 40 items that the family has deemed important, including working hard, investing wisely and the protecting its legacy.
Mr. Deary said the family used the scorecard to objectively answer the question: “Are we constantly trying to get a little bit better every day at what we do?”

As the wealth stretches out and families grow, those values can become a substitute for the company.
.....continuing education about a family’s values, particularly when the company was gone, allowed successive generations to understand where their wealth came from.

Those values often work best when they are broad — honesty, integrity, hard work — and not so specific that family members chafe. “The loose binds bind best,”

Family relationships can suffer when there are no shared values but strong financial connections, like a large trust or partnership that manages the wealth.
accountability  exits  family  family_business  family_office  family_scorecards  family_values  generations  generational_wealth  heirs  liquidiy_events  money_management  purpose  relationships  Second_Acts  self-perception  unprepared  values  wealth_management 
25 days ago
To Power A.I., Start-Up Creates a Giant Computer Chip -
Aug. 19, 2019 The New York Times By Cade Metz.

New A.I. systems rely on neural networks. Loosely based on the network of neurons in the human brain, these complex mathematical systems can learn tasks by analyzing vast amounts of data. By pinpointing patterns in thousands of cat photos, for instance, a neural network can learn to recognize a cat.

That requires a particular kind of computing power. Today, most companies analyze data with help from graphics processing units, or G.P.U.s. These chips were originally designed to render images for games and other software, but they are also good at running the math that drives a neural network.

ADVERTISEMENT

About six years ago, as tech giants like Google, Facebook and Microsoft doubled down on artificial intelligence, they started buying enormous numbers of G.P.U.s from the Silicon Valley chip maker Nvidia. In the year leading up to the summer of 2016, Nvidia sold $143 million in G.P.U.s. That was more than double the year before.

But the companies wanted even more processing power. Google built a chip specifically for neural networks — the tensor processing unit, or T.P.U. — and several other chip makers chased the same goal.
artificial_intelligence  Cerebras  conventional_wisdom  Intel  Qualcomm  semiconductors  start_ups 
25 days ago
How the ultra-high-net-worth investor prepares for a recession
August 27, 2019 | - The Globe and Mail | by TARA DESCHAMPS, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

investment managers thinking more strategically about how to protect their clients’ wealth, which includes everything from traditional stocks and bonds to alternative assets such as real estate, private equity and debt.

Mr. Janson, who still has “deep, long scars” from the 2008 recession, which he spent in Switzerland as a portfolio manager, says his main advice for UHNW individuals is to diversify. By spreading assets around, investors have a better chance of softening the blow to their overall portfolio if one sector is hit harder than others.

“Too many Canadians have too many eggs in one or two baskets, usually stocks and bonds,” Mr. Janson says. “You should be thinking about all asset classes, whether that’s stocks, bonds, private equity, private debt, real estate debt, real estate equity, hedge funds and others.”

Mr. Janson also keeps an eye on real estate investments as an opportunity. Housing prices typically fall during a recession, and more homes hit the market when owners can no longer afford the mortgages or need to shore up cash.

If the UHNW want to be involved in real estate in a recession, Mr. Janson recommends they look for “defensive” pockets in the market.
asset_classes  diversification  high_net_worth  howto  personal_finance  precaution  preparation  recessions 
26 days ago
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