Daniel Kahneman - Why We Contradict Ourselves & Confound Each Other
"Daniel Kahneman: When I ask you about something that you believe in — whether you believe or don’t believe in climate change or whether you believe in some political position or other — as soon as I raise the question why, you have answers. Reasons come to your mind. But the reasons may have very little to do with the real causes of your beliefs. And we take the reasons that people give for their actions and beliefs, and our own reasons for our actions and beliefs, much too seriously."
from instapaper
6 hours ago
Clay Christensen sticks with predictions of massive college closures | Inside Higher Ed
"A degree from Christensen's institution, Harvard Business School, costs nearly $400,000, he said, and that price point has made it such that the only people who can afford it are would-be McKinsey consultants, hedge fund managers and the like. "Our customers need so much money in opening salary to pay off their debt that we have overshot the salaries" that most companies can pay.

The number of prospective students taking the business school entrance exam is "going off the cliff," and the men and women who might have gone to business school are now turning to corporations' own "universities" and other alternative providers.

These alternative providers are doing what too few traditional institutions, as the legacy providers trying to protect their existing business models, are willing to do, Christensen said: "let the students learn when they're ready and how they want to learn, not when and how we're ready to teach them."

Millions of would-be students are in the "periphery," people who "have never been able to get the education they need" -- a certification or other experience to succeed in the work force."
from instapaper
yesterday
In the loop: Jony Ive on Apple’s new HQ and the disappearing iPhone | Design | Wallpaper* Magazine
"‘When I look back over the last 25 years, in some ways what seems most precious is not what we have made but how we have made it and what we have learned as a consequence of that,’ he says. ‘I always think that there are two products at the end of a programme; there is the physical product or the service, the thing that you have managed to make, and then there is all that you have learned. The power of what you have learned enables you to do the next thing and it enables you to do the next thing better."
from instapaper
5 days ago
Is the Retreat from Marriage Due to Cheap Sex, Men’s Waning Job Prospects, or Both?
"Regnerus is right that the ability to have sex with few strings attached is one reason couples in all social classes increasingly delay marriage. But why is the retreat from marriage much steeper for those with low or moderate education? Cheap sex can hardly explain this class divergence because access to sex in early adulthood is just as great for those who become college graduates. For many farther down the class hierarchy, men’s economic woes are also key barriers to getting or staying married."
from instapaper
6 days ago
Is the Retreat from Marriage Due to Cheap Sex, Men’s Waning Job Prospects, or Both?
"The pill is clearly not the whole story of why age at first marriage increased, however, since recent research of mine with Larry Wu and Steven Martin showed that approximately 40 to 50% of women born in the late 1930s and early 1940s had premarital sex, despite coming of age before the birth control pill was widely available. Consistent with the role of the pill facilitating premarital sex is the finding that there was a steep increase in premarital sex between those born in the early 1940s and those born in the next two decades, reaching 80% of those born in the 1960s. Thus, I agree with Regnerus’ claim that the pill’s facilitation of more worry-free sex contributed to delaying marriage. One of the reasons that many of our grandparents married by age 20 was undoubtedly to be able to have sex; with the pill, later marriage became more compelling."
from instapaper
6 days ago
The tension between creativity and productivity
"I was chatting with a friend on the phone today about a talk we’re doing together in a couple weeks and she brought up the same issue, unprompted. She’s a naturally productive person who finds herself with some free time, yet she’s finding it difficult to not stay busy, even though she knows she needs the mind-wandering time to replenish her creative reserves. I struggle with the same thing. I get more done in less time than I ever have, but sometimes I feel like there’s nothing creative about my work anymore. Sure, I make the doughnuts every day but am not inventing the cronut. How do you accomplish your work but also leave ample time for letting your creative mind off the leash?"
from instapaper
6 days ago
The tension between creativity and productivity
"And that means that undertaking new things, speculative things that have no proven value to any of the domains where I work (let alone all of them) has gotten progressively harder, even as I’ve grown more productive. Optimization is a form of calcification."
from instapaper
6 days ago
For irreligious evangelicals, Christianity is about politics—not God
"Consider also the astonishing results of two recent polls by the Public Religion Research Institute. In 2011, the institute asked voters if “an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life.” Only 30% of white evangelical Protestants agreed that a politician’s personal life had no bearing on their public performance.

But by July of 2017, 70% of white evangelicals said they would be willing to separate the public and personal. It was a “head-spinning reversal,” said the PRRI CEO—with white evangelicals flipping from being the least to most likely group to agree that candidates’ personal immorality has no bearing on their public role.

The results suggest that many self-described evangelicals no longer embrace a spirit of humility, sexual fidelity, and care for those whom Jesus called “the least of these.” Rather, God is invoked to justify preserving the social order or, as in the recent evangelical leaders’ Nashville Statement, to condemn same-sex attractions and marriage. As William James wrote a century ago, sometimes, “Piety is the mask.”"
from instapaper
10 days ago
How to Have a Better Relationship
"Here’s the good news: A minority of couples with children — about 20 percent — manage to stay happy in their relationships despite the kids.

What’s their secret? Top three predictors of a happy marriage among parents

Sexual Intimacy
Commitment
Generosity
So there you have it. The secret to surviving parenthood is to have lots of sex, be faithful and be generous toward your partner. In this case, generosity isn’t financial — it’s about the sharing, caring and kind gestures you make toward your partner every day. When you are trying to survive the chaos of raising kids, it’s the little things — like bringing your partner coffee, offering to pick up the dry cleaning or do the dishes, that can make all the difference in the health of your relationship."
from instapaper
10 days ago
How to Have a Better Relationship
"In one important study, Dr. Gottman and his colleagues observed newly married couples in the midst of an argument. He learned that the topic didn’t matter, nor did the duration of the fight. What was most predictive of the couple’s marital health? The researchers found that analyzing just the first three minutes of the couple’s argument could predict their risk for divorce over the next six years."
from instapaper
10 days ago
How to Have a Better Relationship
"Couples were given relationship tests before and after the experiment. Those who had taken part in the challenging activity posted greater increases in love and relationship satisfaction than those who had not experienced victory together.The researchers theorize that couples who explore new places and try new things will tap into feelings of self-expansion, lifting their level of commitment."
from instapaper
10 days ago
How to Have a Better Relationship
"Terry Hatkoff, a California State University sociologist, has created a love scale that identifies six distinct types of love found in our closest relationships.

Romantic: Based on passion and sexual attraction
Best Friends: Fondness and deep affection
Logical: Practical feelings based on shared values, financial goals, religion etc.
Playful: Feelings evoked by flirtation or feeling challenged
Possessive: Jealousy and obsession
Unselfish: Nurturing, kindness, and sacrifice
Researchers have found that the love we feel in our most committed relationships is typically a combination of two or three different forms of love. But often, two people in the same relationship can have very different versions of how they define love. Dr. Hatkoff gives the example of a man and woman having dinner. The waiter flirts with the woman, but the husband doesn’t seem to notice, and talks about changing the oil in her car. The wife is upset her husband isn’t jealous. The husband feels his extra work isn’t appreciated."
from instapaper
11 days ago
Opinion | Generation Sell
"Affability is a commercial virtue, but it is also the affect of people who feel themselves to be living in a fundamentally agreeable society. Already, the makings of a new youth culture may be locking into place."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Opinion | Generation Sell
"Hipsters and bobos are symbiotic. I should know; I’m a bobo in a hipster-bobo neighborhood — which is pretty much what I was looking for when I moved to Portland in the first place. We’re all into organic food and progressive politics; we just have different relationships to the commodities through which those attitudes are expressed. Hipsters create bobo culture. They make or sell or serve, or simply pioneer, what bobos buy. Try to picture Allen Ginsberg having a chat with Don Draper, across the counter at the local coffeehouse, about the latest Lady Gaga video, and you’ll realize how far we’ve come.

All this is why, unlike those of previous youth cultures, the hipster ethos contains no element of rebellion, rejection or dissent — remarkably so, given that countercultural opposition would seem to be essential to the very idea of youth culture. That may in turn be why the hipster has proved to be so durable. The heyday of the hippies lasted for all of about two years. The punks and slackers held the stage for little more than half a decade each. That’s the nature of rebellion: it needs to keep on happening. The punks rejected the mainstream, but they also rejected the previous rejection, hippiedom itself — which, by the late ’70s, was something that old people (i.e. 28-year-olds) were into. But hipsters, who’ve been around for 15 years or so, appear to have become a durable part of our cultural configuration."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Opinion | Generation Sell
"It’s striking. Forty years ago, even 20 years ago, a young person’s first thought, or even second or third thought, was certainly not to start a business. That was selling out — an idea that has rather tellingly disappeared from our vocabulary. Where did it come from, this change? Less Reaganism, as a former student suggested to me, than Clintonism — the heroic age of dot-com entrepreneurship that emerged during the Millennials’ childhood and youth. Add a distrust of large organizations, including government, as well as the sense, a legacy of the last decade, that it’s every man for himself."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Opinion | Generation Sell
"Today’s ideal social form is not the commune or the movement or even the individual creator as such; it’s the small business. Every artistic or moral aspiration — music, food, good works, what have you — is expressed in those terms.

Call it Generation Sell.

Bands are still bands, but now they’re little businesses, as well: self-produced, self-published, self-managed. When I hear from young people who want to get off the careerist treadmill and do something meaningful, they talk, most often, about opening a restaurant. Nonprofits are still hip, but students don’t dream about joining one, they dream about starting one. In any case, what’s really hip is social entrepreneurship — companies that try to make money responsibly, then give it all away."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Our Education Efforts Are Evolving
"We expect that about 25 percent of our funding in the next five years will focus on big bets – innovations with the potential to change the trajectory of public education over the next 10 to 15 years.

The conditions for developing and spreading new approaches in education, particularly technology-enabled ones, are better than ever. Broadband access in schools is reaching 90 percent. Students and teachers have access to more affordable and more powerful tools for learning. Educators are seeking each other out and sharing ideas in digital communities. And there are promising developments in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics.

But the PreK-12 research, development and translation ecosystem is underfunded and fragmented, with less than 1 percent of total government spending in public education focused on R&D.

Math is one area where we want to generate stronger evidence about what works. What would it take, for example, to get all kids to mastery of Algebra I? What kinds of intelligent tools do teachers and students need to get there? And how might we design these in partnership with the best math teachers in the country?

We are also interested in what role we can play to prepare students for the dramatic changes underway in the workforce. We have to make work-related experiences a consistent part of high schools in ways that build student engagement and relevant skills, and that put young people on a path to credentials with labor market value in our future economy."
from instapaper
12 days ago
The Age of Consent and Its Discontents
"Rather it’s everything else, the failure of ordinary relations between the sexes, that indicts our present order and suggests that we need a different way — either the greater radicalism and utopianism urged by the most rigorous and consistent left-feminists, or else a return to ideas about restraint that were taken for granted in the past not because people were blind or bigoted, but because they made a better fit with human nature and human flourishing than where we’ve ended up."
from instapaper
12 days ago
The Age of Consent and Its Discontents
"This means that conservatives arguing for a different, thicker sexual ethic than just the rule of “consent” need to recognize that any revived code of sexual restraint would need to draw on the insights of feminism as well as those of pre-sexual revolution sources, lest it fall back into the sins of patriarchy once again. And it means that the depredations of Weinstein and his ilk may be suggestive evidence of our system’s flaws, but they aren’t necessarily the best evidence that it’s actively failing and should be reformed or overthrown."
from instapaper
12 days ago
How Word Choice Can Cultivate Optimism and Improve Health
"For example, a doctor whose patient is an initiator personality might frame a discussion about recovery as, “What are you going to do?” But with a responder personality, the doctor might frame the same conversation by saying, “How are you going to respond?”

It’s a subtle but critical difference, Briley says, adding that words matter much more than we realize."
from instapaper
12 days ago
How Word Choice Can Cultivate Optimism and Improve Health
"The paper, titled “Cultivating Optimism: How to Frame Your Future During a Health Challenge,” involved studies using more than 1,300 subjects, including flood victims and patients battling cancer, across different cultures. The results show that optimism can be best nurtured by understanding how a patient thinks about his or her health challenge, and framing that challenge for the patient in a way that increases their chances of being hopeful about the outcome.

A key way to help a patient clearly see a path to recovery is to understand how they view the world. “Are they an ‘initiator,’ the kind of person who focuses on how they will act regardless of the situation, or a ‘responder,’ the kind of person who focuses on how they’ll react to situations they encounter?” Briley says."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Fashion, Maslow and Facebook's control of social
"Hence, one of the ways I describe Facebook is that it is extremely good at surfing user behaviour - it tries to work out where users are going and go with them, whereas Snap tries much more to try to get ahead of this. In different ways both of these are also what a great designer does, and, likewise, Bismarck said that the great statesman listens for the footsteps of god walking through history and tries to grab onto his coat as he passes. Of course, for Facebook that sometimes means creating things (and here the surf metaphor breaks a little, as you can't shape the wave), even things that users say they don't like. Dior's New Look made people angry and so did the original newsfeed itself. But then, fashion designers create looks all the times - that doesn't mean they can make anyone wear it. You can shape things, sometimes. You can ride and channel the trend. But I think we attribute vastly too much power to a handful of product managers in Menlo Park, and vastly too little power to the billions of people who look at their phone screen and wonder which app to open. Facebook writes algorithms, and designers cut the cloth, but that doesn't mean they control what people look at or what people wear."
from instapaper
12 days ago
End of Apartheid in South Africa? Not in Economic Terms
"Underlying the anger are deep-seated disparities in wealth. In the aftermath of apartheid, the government left land and other assets largely in the hands of a predominantly white elite. The government’s resistance to large-scale land transfers reflected its reluctance to rattle international investors.

Today, millions of black South Africans are chronically short of capital needed to start businesses. Less than half of the working age population is officially employed.

The governing party, the African National Congress, built empires of new housing for black South Africans, but concentrated it in the townships, reinforcing the geographic strictures of apartheid. Large swaths of the black population remain hunkered down in squalor, on land they do not legally own. Those with jobs often endure commutes of an hour or more on private minibuses that extract outsize slices of their paychecks."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Why Americans have stopped eating leftovers
"American consumers throw away 27 million tons of food each year, according to the food waste coalition ReFED, clogging landfills, generating greenhouse gasses, and costing the economy an estimated $144 billion.

The solution, however, could be simple: get people to eat leftovers again.

Once the mainstay of weekday lunchboxes and thrifty home cooks, leftovers today constitute the single largest source of edible food waste in U.S. homes, according to a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group."
from instapaper
12 days ago
College Scholarship Tycoon: a game of improving school ranking without discriminating against the poor
"The player's manual

College Scholarship Tycoon is a game where you’re asked to move your college up the rankings — but striking the wrong balance might force you to reject poor kids who really need college to give them a shot at a better life.

Table of contents

There are two primary parts to the game.

Who to accept? You see 10 student applications, with various family incomes and test scores. You can choose to accept students with good test scores who are more likely to have higher incomes, or you can choose to accept lower-scoring students who tend to have lower incomes.

Who to give financial aid? You have a limited about of aid. Do you give it to poor students who need it? Or to more affluent students who you want to attract to the school? A better aid package will attract the high-achieving students who will improve your rankings, but they also don’t need the money as much."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Baltimore is more murderous than Chicago. Can anyone save the city from itself?
"One of the biggest problems remains, however: building trust between Baltimoreans and those supposed to protect them."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Baltimore is more murderous than Chicago. Can anyone save the city from itself?
"In 2017 so far, 297 homicides have been recorded. The city is on a pace to break its record of 353 murders in 1993 when Baltimore, population 614,000, had 113,000 more residents than it does now.

The old port city has become one of the most violent major cities in the US, with twice the per-capita homicide rate of Chicago and more total murders than New York City, which counts 8.5 million residents.

More than 90% of the Baltimore murder victims are black. Most killings are drug- or gang-related, but not all: there’s the mother shot to death in front of her children in June in retaliation for reporting bullying and a stolen bicycle seat, or the 97-year-old man found dead in his East Baltimore home in July. A few weeks before that, Dion Smith, the younger brother of Baltimore police department’s chief spokesman, TJ Smith, was also shot dead."
from instapaper
12 days ago
Is Amazon getting into the pharmacy business? This is what you need to know
"Those who are skeptical of Amazon’s potential pharmacy entry have noted Amazon’s difficulty breaking into highly regulated markets, including alcohol distribution in the U.S.

Industry leaders have brought up similar points. For one, CVS Health Corp. CVS, +0.69% Chief Executive Larry Merlo told Wall Street analysts in August that his industry was “highly regulated, so the barriers to entry are high.”"
from instapaper
15 days ago
'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia
"That would be a remarkable assertion for any early investor in Silicon Valley’s most profitable behemoths. But McNamee, 61, is more than an arms-length money man. Once an adviser to Mark Zuckerberg, 10 years ago McNamee introduced the Facebook CEO to his friend, Sheryl Sandberg, then a Google executive who had overseen the company’s advertising efforts. Sandberg, of course, became chief operating officer at Facebook, transforming the social network into another advertising heavyweight.

McNamee chooses his words carefully. “The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences,” he says. “The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.”"
from instapaper
20 days ago
Twitter
RT : Analizando el ejercicio de negociación con en
from twitter_favs
25 days ago
Read more than you write, live more than you read
Last night I was reading a new book by a writer I admire and a voice in my head kept asking, “How? How is he so good?” and another voice kept replying, “Because, he’s lived longer, thought harder, and written more than you, you buffoon.” (Factoring out in-born talent, of course.)

It reminded me of Junot Diaz, who, when pressed for advice, said, “Read more than you write, live more than you read.”
reading  life 
27 days ago
Don’t Blame Apple For Your Slow iPhone. Blame Apps
"Hue and cry about Apple’s “planned obsolescence” has burbled up for years, at one point gracing even the pages of The New York Times Magazine. But a new look at historic iPhone performance data disproves the notion for good. Does your iPhone run a little slower than it used to, just in time for the iPhone 8? Maybe. If you’re blaming Apple, though, you’re barking up the wrong corporate monolith."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Facts Don't Change People's Minds. Here's What Does
"In my early years in academia, I would tend to get defensive when someone challenged one of my arguments during a presentation. My heart rate would skyrocket, I would tense up, and my answer would reflect the disdain with which I viewed the antagonistic question (and the questioner).

I know I’m not alone here. We all tend to identify with our beliefs and arguments.

This is my business.

This is my article.

This is my idea.

But here’s the problem. When your beliefs are entwined with your identity, changing your mind means changing your identity. That’s a really hard sell.

A possible solution, and one that I’ve adopted in my own life, is to put a healthy separation between you and the products of you. I changed my vocabulary to reflect this mental shift. At conferences, instead of saying, “In this paper, I argue . . .,” I began to say “This paper argues . . ."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
The Power of Anti-Goals
"So, instead of thinking through what we wanted our perfect day to look like, we thought about the worst day imaginable and how to avoid it. We inverted and came up with what we call Anti-Goals.

Our worst possible day looked like this:

Full of long meetings
A packed calendar
Dealing with people we don’t like or trust
Owing people things / not being in control / obligations
Having to be at the office
Travel
Tired
Working backwards from there, we made this set of Anti-Goals:

Never schedule an in-person meeting when it can otherwise be accomplished via email or phone (or not at all)
No more than 2 hours of scheduled time per day
No business or obligations with people we don’t like—even just a slight bad vibe and it’s a hard no
Never give up voting control of our businesses, no favors from people who could need something from us (ensure the rule of reciprocity doesn’t kick in)
Work from a cafe across from a beautiful park where we can come and go as we please with nobody to bother us
Video conference or pay for people to come visit us
Never schedule morning meetings, sleep in when needed"
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
the rad-trads and ecumenical hope – Snakes and Ladders
"First, the collapse of liberal Catholicism — which Deneen in the essay takes as a given — has, it’s safe to say, been postponed. I doubt Deneen would see any substantive reason to question his belief that “Liberal Catholicism has no future — like liberal Protestantism, it is fated to become liberalism simpliciter within a generation”; but that leaves unanswered the question of whether “liberalism simpliciter” could come to run the Catholic Church, at least for a while. In any event, that’s an intra-Catholic issue and not one that I’m concerned with here. (Though I have my preferences about how it all falls out.)"
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
What is this a case of? An interview with Jerry Davis
"With Yong Hyun Kim, a doctoral student of mine, we saw this as an opportunity to dig into these reports to see which companies are able to figure out whether they are contributing to conflict in the DRC. And the shocking thing is that of the 1,300 companies that filed these reports the first year, only 1% were able to say, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that they were not inadvertently funding conflict in the DRC. It’s like what the heck? To me this is one of those instances of a bigger thing. Contemporary capitalism has led corporations to disperse their supply chains all over the world. Now, suppose you want to buy products that don’t contribute to genocide, can you do that? Companies had three, four years to figure this out, and a bunch of consultants helping them, they still can’t do it. To me, this is fascinating and it sheds some new light on the nature of contemporary capitalism. That’s an instance of “what is this a case of?” It’s a case of having a portfolio of topics on hand. Then Dodd Frank comes out, data become available and so now, we can actually get some insight into supply chains that wasn’t possible before."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
RW's Training Pace Calculator - Runner's World
"Yasso 800s
Yasso 800s are an invention of Runner's World US writer Bart Yasso, who has run more than 50 marathons and ultramarathons. They're simple: if you want to run a marathon in 2:45, 3:29 or 4:11, you should train to the point where you can run 10 repetitions of 800 metres in the same time: 2:45, 3:29 or 4:11. The only difference is that your marathon time is hours:minutes and your 800 time is minutes:seconds. Bart suggests doing Yasso 800s once a week as part of your marathon training. Start with perhaps 4 x 800 and build up to 10 x 800. Between the 800s, take a recovery jog that lasts as long as your 800s. A good Yasso 800 workout: 6 x 800m at Yasso pace with recovery jogs between the 800s."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
The "Michigan" Workout May Kill You, But You Should Run It Anyway
"When I decided to give the Michigan a shot, I decided to break it down like this: Laps go 4-3-2-1 — the first half at 10K pace, the second at 5K — all interspersed with those tempo miles. To figure out my paces, I used this pace calculator from Runner’s World UK, basing everything on my recent finish time at the Brooklyn Half-Marathon, and factored in my recent times at a biweekly 5K series I love. (Also: 10K paces are said to be 20 seconds per mile slower than 5K paces.) I even made this shareable Google Doc to plan everything out, then printed it and completely forgot to bring it with me on training day."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
There Is No One Way to Live a Good Life - Scientific American Blog Network
"Robert Vallerand and his colleagues have shown quite convincingly that those who change in romantic relationships in ways conducive to growth and health are precisely those who engage in relationships that allow the individual to remain engaged in other spheres of life (i.e., friends, family, hobbies) outside the relationship. This is also consistent with the notion that "role engulfment"-- in which a person's identity is based entirely on one specific role (e.g., helping others), superseding all other roles, sets the stage for role abandonment, or detachment from other things that make life worth living. The same applies to the self. Self engulfment will naturally lead to self abandonment, which is not a healthy state of affairs for one's self or for the world."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
There Is No One Way to Live a Good Life - Scientific American Blog Network
"Maslow was a great admirer of Fromm (as am I), and this essay by Fromm inspired Maslow to write an unpublished essay in which he clearly distinguishes between selfish behaviors and selfish motivations. Not everything that looks like "helping" is healthy, and not everything that appears "selfish" is unhealthy.

In fact, my colleagues and I have been investigating the implications of individual differences in both pathological altruism (the need to give in a way that causes harm to self and/or others) as well as healthy selfishness (engaging in self-care without any damage to others). The data is just starting to come in, and I'm sure I'll write much more about this later, but so far we are seeing that there are serious unhealthy developmental consequences to growing up constantly told that you must put your own needs aside, and "surrender" yourself to others. In fact, we are finding some striking clinical implications, in that high levels of pathological altruism are predicting things like depression and quite vulnerable forms of narcissism very strongly, whereas healthy selfishness is predicting a wide range of growth-related variables, including positive social relationships and greater meaning and purpose in life.

So contrary to Brooks, it appears that the reality is that too much focus on sacrificing your own needs makes it less likely that you will be motivated to help others!"
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Good Vegan, Bad Vegan
"Those choosing a strict vegan diet — one devoid of all foods from animals — face a greater challenge because the protein in plants is not complete and must be balanced by consuming complementary sources, like beans and grains. A sandwich of almond butter or peanut butter on whole-grain bread is totally vegan and an excellent example of balanced protein in a high-quality plant-based diet. Vegans also must supplement their diet with vitamin B-12.

Short of becoming a vegan, you can improve your diet, protect your health and add variety to your meals by a few simple dietary adjustments. For example, as Dr. Hena Patel and Dr. Kim Allan Williams Sr., cardiologists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, suggested in a commentary on the Harvard study, you might choose one day a week to be meatless and gradually add more meatless days while adding one or more new plant-based recipes each week.

I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more delicious and varied your meals will be."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Why Happy People Cheat
"I often say to my patients that if they could bring into their marriage even one-tenth of the boldness, the playfulness, and the verve that they bring to their affair, their home life would feel quite different. Our creative imagination seems to be richer when it comes to our transgressions than to our commitments. Yet while I say this, I also think back to a poignant scene in the movie A Walk on the Moon. Diane Lane’s character has been having an affair with a free-spirited blouse salesman. Her teenage daughter asks, “You love [him] more than all of us?” “No,” the mother replies, but “sometimes it’s easier to be different with a different person.”"
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Push vs. Pull Processes
"Postscript from the Comments: The 7 Wastes of Toyota

Jeffrey K. Liker, author of The Toyota Way, says that Toyota has identified seven primary types of non value-adding waste in its business: over-production, motion (of operator or machine), waiting (of operator or machine), conveyance, processing itself, inventory (raw material), and correction (rework and scrap). Liker included an 8th waste (a personal favorite)—untapped employee creativity.

I have adapted Toyota and Liker’s lists for our purposes. So that they relate, not to a manufacturing process, but to a service business:

• Overstaffing—hiring people for whom there is not enough work.

• Overproduction—producing items (work) for which there are no clients or orders.

• Waiting—for information, resources, supplies, anything that slows down flow and creates waste.

• Over-processing or incorrect processing—activity, conversations, or processes that are not necessary or are incorrectly executed.

• Unused employee creativity—not enlisting and empowering your team, both intellectually and emotionally, in a continuous process of improvement."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
How to take a nap
"But my favorite nap, the one that really leaves me feeling like a million bucks, is the one described by Philip Roth:

Let me tell you about the nap. It’s absolutely fantastic. When I was a kid, my father was always trying to tell me how to be a man. And he said – I was maybe nine – he said, Philip, whenever you take a nap, take your clothes off and put a blanket over you and you’re going to sleep better. Well, as with everything, he was right. And so I now do that and I come back from the swimming pool I go to and I have my lunch and I read the paper and I take this glorious thing called a nap. And then the best part of it is that when you wake up, for the first 15 seconds you have no idea where you are. You’re just alive. That’s all you know and it’s bliss. It’s absolute bliss."
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4 weeks ago
Why Happy People Cheat
"“I’ve always been good. Good daughter, good wife, good mother. Dutiful. Straight A’s.” Coming from a traditional family of modest means, for Priya, What do I want? has never been separated from What do they want from me? She never partied, drank, or stayed out late, and she smoked her first joint at 22. After college, she married the right guy, and helped to support her family, as so many children of immigrant parents do. Now she is left with a nagging question: If I’m not perfect, will they still love me? A voice in her head wonders what life is like for those who are not so “good.” Are they more lonely? More free? Do they have more fun?

Priya’s affair is neither a symptom nor a pathology; it’s a crisis of identity, an internal rearrangement of her personality. In our sessions, we talk about duty and desire, about age and youth. Her daughters are becoming teenagers and enjoying a freedom she never knew. Priya is at once supportive and envious. As she nears the mid-century mark, she is having her own belated adolescent rebellion."
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5 weeks ago
Why Happy People Cheat
"As I listen to her, I start to suspect that her affair is about neither her husband nor their relationship. Her story echoes a theme that has come up repeatedly in my work: affairs as a form of self-discovery, a quest for a new (or lost) identity. For these seekers, infidelity is less likely to be a symptom of a problem, and more likely an expansive experience that involves growth, exploration, and transformation."
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5 weeks ago
How A Pulitzer-Prize Winning Novelist Thinks About Coffee, Screenplays, And Facebook - Writing Routines
"For The Sympathizer, I had a two-page outline for the novel. I just trusted that, chapter to chapter, I would figure out what I was doing. Whereas with the novel that I’m writing now I had so much time to think about it. I didn’t have a chance to write fiction for two or three years after The Sympathizer, so I took down all these notes. I ended up with like 60 pages of notes on this novel, so it’s a very different place to be starting from."
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5 weeks ago
How A Pulitzer-Prize Winning Novelist Thinks About Coffee, Screenplays, And Facebook - Writing Routines
"What I like to do is edit a chapter before I move onto the next one. So for The Sympathizer I would write 20-25 pages of a chapter in draft form, and the goal would just be to write the pages knowing that they were terrible. Some writers just keep on going, and they write the whole novel that way. But I stopped because I wanted to pay so much attention to the prose so I needed to make the prose as perfect as I could before I moved forward. I would just write the chapter to get the plot down and go back and revise a couple of times before I moved onto the next chapter. By the time I finished The Sympathizer, even though it was technically the first draft, it had already been revised along the way, so I only needed to revise that draft one more time before I turned it over to my agent. Then when my editor got his hands on it we revised it one more time after that."
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5 weeks ago
How A Pulitzer-Prize Winning Novelist Thinks About Coffee, Screenplays, And Facebook - Writing Routines
"One of the best writing tips I ever heard—and multiple writers have said this so I can’t remember who I heard it from—is to stop at a high point in your writing. Stop when you’re still feeling energetic, when you’re still feeling good. Even stop in the middle of a paragraph or sentence so that you can pick up where you left off the next day."
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5 weeks ago
Opinion | When Life Asks for Everything
"In one of his many interesting data points, Finkel reports that starting around 1995, both fathers and mothers began spending a lot more time looking after their children. Today, parents spend almost three times more hours in shared parenting than parents in 1975 did. Finkel says this is an extension of the Maslow/Rogers pursuit of self-actualization.

I’d say it’s evidence of a repudiation of it. I’d say many of today’s parents are moving away from the me-generation ethos and toward covenant, fusion and surrendering love.

None of us lives up to our ideals in marriage or anything else. But at least we can aim high. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs too easily devolves into self-absorption. It’s time to put it away."
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5 weeks ago
Goodbye – and good riddance – to livestock farming | George Monbiot
"Now it is time for a new revolution, almost as profound as those other great shifts: the switch to a plant-based diet. The technology is – depending on how close an approximation to meat you demand (Quorn seems almost indistinguishable from chicken or mince to me) – either here or just around the corner. The ethical switch is happening already: even today, there are half a million vegans in the land of roast beef. It’s time to abandon the excuses, the fake facts and false comforts. It is time to see our moral choices as our descendants will."
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5 weeks ago
Goodbye – and good riddance – to livestock farming | George Monbiot
"The answer, we are told by celebrity chefs and food writers, is to keep livestock outdoors: eat free-range beef or lamb, not battery pork. But all this does is to swap one disaster – mass cruelty – for another: mass destruction. Almost all forms of animal farming cause environmental damage, but none more so than keeping them outdoors. The reason is inefficiency. Grazing is not just slightly inefficient, it is stupendously wasteful. Roughly twice as much of the world’s surface is used for grazing as for growing crops, yet animals fed entirely on pasture produce just one gram out of the 81g of protein consumed per person per day.

A paper in Science of the Total Environment reports that “livestock production is the single largest driver of habitat loss”. Grazing livestock are a fully automated system for ecological destruction: you need only release them on to the land and they do the rest, browsing out tree seedlings, simplifying complex ecosystems. Their keepers augment this assault by slaughtering large predators."
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5 weeks ago
Esther Perel Lets Us Listen In on Couples’ Secrets
"“Where Should We Begin?” is as raw as Perel’s stage appearances are polished. Each episode consists of a recording of a real, unscripted consultation session that she conducted with a real couple in her psychoanalytic practice in New York, edited down from three hours to forty-five minutes. Episodes are released on Fridays; four are already available on Audible. In the first, a Muslim-American man and his Russian Orthodox wife are dealing with the fallout of his cheating, which has revealed a greater rift in their mutual understanding. The lesbian couple in the second is suffering from an imbalance of affection; one partner feels neglected by the other, who focusses all her energy on their two small children. The third episode’s couple, a young man and woman, met in college, where they were both members of a Christian purity movement, and waited until marriage to have sex. At first, the wife thought that she was frigid, but she has since realized that she does want sex—badly—just not with her nice, passive husband."
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5 weeks ago
Putting a Designer’s Polish on Ikea Products
"Ms. Keogh designed the basic shape of the 130-square-foot kitchen online with Ikea’s Home Planner tool, and visited an Ikea store in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to ensure that she had all the necessary components. The order for the cabinet boxes and hardware, including motorized push openers and internal lights, cost about $1,600.

She sent her kitchen drawing to Reform, and selected the company’s most expensive option – the bronze doors by Norm Architects, paired with concrete counters with waterfall edges and an integrated sink. The cabinet fronts, toe kicks and panels for integrated refrigerator drawers and a dishwasher cost about $5,000. Counters for a bank of cabinetry and an island cost about $8,500.

The resulting look stands up to other high-end designer kitchens, Ms. Keogh said, but in terms of price, “it was a massive difference.” Estimates from the other companies had ranged from about $40,000 to $80,000."
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5 weeks ago
Opinion | The Pigs of Liberalism
"First: Some modest limits on how men and women interact professionally are useful checks on predation. Many liberals were horrified by the revelation that for a time Mike Pence avoided one-on-one meetings with women not his wife. But one can find the Pence rules too sweeping and still recognize that life is easier for women if their male bosses don’t feel entitled to see them anywhere, anytime. It would not usher in the Republic of Gilead if it were understood that inviting your female subordinate to your hotel room, Weinstein-style, crosses a line in a way that a restaurant lunch does not.

Second: Consent alone is not a sufficient guide to ethics. Caddishness and predation can be a continuum. If you cheat on your wife you may be more likely to harass subordinates. Promiscuity can encourage predatory entitlement. Older rules of moral restraint were broader for a reason. If your culture’s code is libertine, don’t be surprised that worse things than libertinism flourish.

Third: You can’t ignore moral character when you make decisions about whom to vote for or work with or support. This was something conservatives used to argue in the Clinton years; under Trump, many have conveniently forgotten it. But it remains true. Yes, sometimes you have to work with a bad person or vote for a bad person or hold a fund-raiser with a bad person for the greater good. But not nearly as often as you think."
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5 weeks ago
Opinion | The Pigs of Liberalism
"The answer is yes, at the level of ideological commitment — but not so much in practice. In the real life of liberalism, Hefnerism endures as the effective philosophy of many liberal men, for whom sexual individualism justifies using women because hey, we’re all cool consenting adults here, and caddishness blurs into predation when power differentials permit. Meanwhile, feminism struggles to find norms that check this kind of behavior, swinging between a facile sex-positivity and illiberal attempts to police the hookup scene."
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5 weeks ago
The Lessons of Leonardo: How to Be a Creative Genius
"Leonardo’s primary activity for much of his career was conjuring up pageants, performances and plays for his aristocratic patrons. Just as he blurred the boundaries between art and science, he blurred the line between reality and fantasy. He could envision birds in flight but also angels; lions roaring but also dragons.

His designs for the stage taught him the tricks of accelerated perspective, illusory depth and theatrical gesture—and he deployed this knowledge to create “The Last Supper,” one of history’s most dramatic paintings. For his theatrical productions, he devised ingenious props and mechanisms, some of which he later replicated for the real world.

Many people have seen the famous drawings of his aerial screw contraption, and some think it was a design for a real helicopter. I suspect that it was a piece of fantasy for the theater, intended to propel people’s imaginations rather than their bodies. But eventually it led Leonardo to apply himself to designing human-powered flying machines—work that inspired engineers for the next five centuries."
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5 weeks ago
Dear Jenny – Snakes and Ladders
"Dear Jenny: The way to do a piece of writing is three or four times over, never once. For me, the hardest part comes first, getting something — anything — out in front of me. Sometimes in a nervous frenzy I just fling words as if I were flinging mud at a wall. Blurt out, heave out, babble out something — anything — as a first draft. With that, you have achieved a sort of nucleus. Then, as you work it over and alter it, you begin to shape sentences that score higher with the ear and eye. Edit it again — top to bottom. The chances are that about now you’ll be seeing something that you are sort of eager for others to see. And all that takes time. What I have left out is the interstitial time. You finish that first awful blurting, and then you put the thing aside. You get in your car and drive home. On the way, your mind is still knitting at the words. You think of a better way to say something, a good phrase to correct a certain problem. Without the drafted version — if it did not exist — you obviously would not be thinking of things that would improve it. In short , you may be actually writing only two or three hours a day, but your mind, in one way or another, is working on it twenty-four hours a day — yes , while you sleep — but only if some sort of draft or earlier version already exists. Until it exists, writing has not really begun."
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6 weeks ago
Kazuo Ishiguro: how I wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks
"I should say that by the time I embarked on the Crash, I’d consumed a substantial amount of “research”: books by and about British servants, about politics and foreign policy between the wars, many pamphlets and essays from the time, including one by Harold Laski on “The Dangers of Being a Gentleman”. I’d raided the second-hand shelves of the local bookshop (Kirkdale Books, still a thriving independent) for guides to the English countryside from the 1930s and 50s. The decision when to start the actual writing of a novel – to begin composing the story itself – always seems to me a crucial one. How much should one know before starting on the prose? It’s damaging to start too early, equally so to start too late. I think with Remains I got lucky: the Crash came just at the right point, when I knew just enough."
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6 weeks ago
Kazuo Ishiguro: how I wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks
"So Lorna and I came up with a plan. I would, for a four-week period, ruthlessly clear my diary and go on what we somewhat mysteriously called a “Crash”. During the Crash, I would do nothing but write from 9am to 10.30pm, Monday through Saturday. I’d get one hour off for lunch and two for dinner. I’d not see, let alone answer, any mail, and would not go near the phone. No one would come to the house. Lorna, despite her own busy schedule, would for this period do my share of the cooking and housework. In this way, so we hoped, I’d not only complete more work quantitively, but reach a mental state in which my fictional world was more real to me than the actual one."
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6 weeks ago
Mental Toughness and the "Marathon Monks"
"The Kaihogyo

The Kaihogyo is a 1,000 day challenge that takes place over seven years.

If a monk chooses to undertake this challenge, this is what awaits him…

During Year 1, the monk must run 30 km per day (about 18 miles) for 100 straight days.

During Year 2, the monk must again run 30 km per day for 100 straight days.

During Year 3, the monk must once more run 30 km per day for 100 straight days.

During Year 4, the monk must run 30 km per day. This time for 200 straight days.

During Year 5, the monk must again run 30 km per day for 200 straight days. After completing the fifth year of running, the monk must go 9 consecutive days without food, water, or rest. Two monks stand beside him at all times to ensure that he does not fall asleep.

During Year 6, the monk must run 60 km (about 37 miles) per day for 100 straight days.

During Year 7, the monk must run 84 km (about 52 miles) per day for 100 straight days. (52 miles per day!) And then, he must run 30 km per day for the final 100 days."
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6 weeks ago
No cobalt, no Tesla?
"In November, Albert Yuma Mulimbi, head of the state-controlled Gécamines, passed on to the Financial Times his discontent of partnerships with western companies and, in particular, on the Freeport-McMoRan deal. Left with minority investments in most joint ventures (JV), Mr. Yuma believes that existing deals failed to deliver on dividends. The partnership with China Nonferrous Metal Mining. where Gécamines has a 49 percent stake, is the model he wants to generalize. One more headache for western operators."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
No cobalt, no Tesla?
"Recycling. Cobalt (as opposed to oil, for instance) is fully recyclable. Roughly 15 percent of U.S. cobalt consumption is from recycled scrap today. For many applications, the metal is used but not consumed and so can be recycled. Needless to say that recycling can help reduce the need to hunt for new sources of cobalt. In no circumstances is this a magic solution whereby 100 percent can be recycled indefinitely. Existing processes are energy-consuming and can definitely be improved. But that is also an idea to weigh in the balance."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Best Buy’s Secrets for Thriving in the Amazon Age
"Mr. Joly realized that with some minor changes, each of Best Buy’s 1,000-plus big-box stores could ship packages to customers, serving as a mini warehouse for its surrounding area. Now, when a customer orders a product on Best Buy’s website, the item is sent from the location that can deliver it the fastest — a store down the street, perhaps, or a warehouse five states away. It was a small, subtle change, but it allowed Best Buy to improve its shipping times, and made immediate gratification possible for customers. Now, roughly 40 percent of Best Buy’s online orders are either shipped or picked up from a store."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Exclusive: VW moves to secure cobalt supplies in shift to electric cars
"Demand for cobalt is expected to soar in the coming years due to the electric vehicle revolution as governments around the world crack down on pollution. Volkswagen is under particular pressure as it had been slow to embrace electric cars and self-driving technology until admitting two years ago to cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests.

Battery and auto manufacturers need to sign multi-year deals to secure supplies of raw materials including cobalt and lithium.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) produces roughly 65 percent of global cobalt supplies estimated at around 100,000 tonnes this year. Canada, China, Russia, Australia and Zambia are also major sources.

At the company level, the market is dominated by Glencore , which produced more than 28,000 tonnes last year.

Reuters recently reported that Glencore had signed a major deal to sell up to 20,000 tonnes of cobalt products to a Chinese firm, a move that would help Volkswagen secure car batteries for its shift to electric vehicles."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Why are today's teens putting off sex, driving, dating and drinking?
"According to an evolutionary psychology theory that a person's "life strategy" slows down or speeds up depending on his or her surroundings, exposure to a "harsh and unpredictable" environment leads to faster development, while a more resource-rich and secure environment has the opposite effect, the study said.

In the first scenario, "You'd have a lot of kids and be in survival mode, start having kids young, expect your kids will have kids young, and expect that there will be more diseases and fewer resources," said Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University who is the author of "iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy - and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood."

A century ago, when life expectancy was lower and college education less prevalent, "the goal back then was survival, not violin lessons by 5," Twenge said.

In that model a teenage boy might be thinking more seriously about marriage, and driving a car and working for pay would be important for "establishing mate value based on procurement of resources," the study said.

But America is shifting more toward the slower model, and the change is apparent across the socioeconomic spectrum, Twenge said. "Even in families whose parents didn't have a college education...families are smaller, and the idea that children need to be carefully nurtured has really sunk in.""
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6 weeks ago
The Mind of John McPhee
"For now, on the head of the pin that is our current moment, we have our little lives. Every other day, McPhee rides his bicycle 15 miles. Every spring, he teaches. Twice a year, he goes fishing with three of his New Yorker colleagues: Ian Frazier, Mark Singer and Remnick. The friendship runs deep. When I asked Singer what kind of fisherman McPhee is, he started describing the sight of his friend on the river — “He gets out there in a little canoe and sets up below a rapids, he’s got the fly rod in his left hand, he’ll paddle to sort of maneuver around” — and the description got more and more wistful until, finally, it turned into a pure declaration of love. “You just sort of see him in silhouette,” Singer said, “and it’s just — ” He paused, took a breath and was silent for a moment, and then he actually put his hand over his heart. “You know,” he said, “you just want to tell this guy how much you love him.”"
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6 weeks ago
The Mind of John McPhee
"“Draft No. 4” is essentially McPhee’s writing course at Princeton, which he has been teaching since 1975. This imposes a rigid structure on his life. During a semester when he teaches, McPhee does no writing at all. When he is writing, he does not teach. He thinks of this as “crop rotation” and insists that the alternation gives him more energy for writing than he would otherwise have."
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6 weeks ago
China’s demographic divisions are getting deeper
"Giant cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin have ultra-low fertility and fast-rising dependency ratios yet are still able to attract young workers because China’s highest-paying jobs are clustered there. As a result, their demographic profile is healthier than you would expect. The three cities, which have provincial-level status, are China’s fastest-growing provinces by population, increasing by around 3% a year in 2000-10, thanks largely to migration. Since the migrants are mostly young, the cities’ median ages rose much more slowly than the national average and their dependency ratios remain relatively low. And since the cities are also rich, they have hospitals, social services and schools to cope with their demographic problems.

Provinces with high fertility and outward migration are the opposite. Take Hainan, a tropical island in the far south. It has high fertility (by Chinese standards) and stable dependency. It ought to be doing well. Yet it is one of China’s poorest provinces (23rd out of 31) and is ageing fast, mainly because hundreds of thousands of workers from the freezing north-east are spending their retirement there. Its medical services are collapsing under the strain."
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6 weeks ago
China’s demographic divisions are getting deeper
"The combination of migration and varying fertility means that provinces are ageing at different speeds. The median age nationally rose from 25 in 1990 to 35 in 2010; it had increased to 37 by 2016. But the three north-eastern provinces all aged by even more than average. In Liaoning the median age reached 39.2 in 2010, about the same as Russia. In contrast, the median age in Tibet, the youngest province, is 27.8, about the same as India.

Ageing matters because pension provision is partly a provincial responsibility in China. The value of the basic state pension is fixed nationally, but provinces set their own contribution rates, administer the money collected and distribute the pensions. How heavy a burden this is depends on a province’s demography. As a rule, the lower the fertility rate, the faster the rise in the dependency ratio (the number of pensioners relative to the number of working people). In relatively fecund Guizhou and Yunnan, the ratio is still falling. In Beijing and Shanghai, it rose by more than four percentage points between 2010 and 2015, more than the national average."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
China’s demographic divisions are getting deeper
"The place with the lowest fertility is Beijing, where the rate was 0.71 in 2010. The highest rate that year was in Guangxi, a province in the south bordering Vietnam, where the fertility rate was 1.79. Both rates are below the replacement level. But Guangxi’s fertility is two-and-a-half times higher than Beijing’s, which is a wider spread than the one separating the states with the highest and lowest fertility in Brazil, and only a little less than the equivalent gap in India.

Degrees of dwindling

The main reason is that, in practice, the one-child policy was never uniform. Ethnic minorities, such as Tibetans or Uighurs (the largest group in the western province of Xinjiang), were never subject to it. Minorities, who account for 8% of the population nationwide, were usually allowed two children in urban areas and three or four in rural ones. In addition, in most rural areas, everyone, including the majority Han group, was allowed two children."
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6 weeks ago
India and China's populations are changing in very different ways. Here's why
"As China struggles with a declining population and a lack of young people, India is expected to takes its place as the most populous country in the world by roughly 2027."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
A Stanford psychologist on the art of avoiding assholes
"Sean Illing

Plato famously argued in The Republic that a tyrant, however powerful, ultimately suffers in the end by corrupting his own soul. You make a similar argument about assholes — that they might win at life but still fail as human beings.

Robert Sutton

Wow, I've never heard the Plato connection. That’s not a question I expect to hear from a journalist, but I guess that’s the former political theorist speaking. I have to say, I love that connection. We know that assholes have a corrosive effect on the people around them. There are longitudinal studies that demonstrate pretty clearly that people who, for example, work under assholes for many years end up being more depressed, more anxious, and less healthy.

So there’s compelling evidence that assholes are terrible human beings who do harm to other people. I think way you described Plato’s analogy is far more elegant than anything I could say.

At the end of the day, if you’re an asshole, you’re a failure as a human being because you promote unnecessary suffering. What else is there to say?"
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6 weeks ago
A Stanford psychologist on the art of avoiding assholes
"One of the simplest — but admittedly hardest — things you can do is simply learn not to give a shit. Not giving a shit takes the wind out of an asshole’s sails. When an asshole’s being nasty to you, ignore him. Think about when you’ll get home later that night and the fact that that asshole won’t be there and won’t matter. Think about how a year from now that asshole won’t be in your life, but he’ll still be the asshole he always was."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
A Stanford psychologist on the art of avoiding assholes
"Before we can talk about surviving assholes, we need a proper definition of assholery. Can you give me one?

Robert Sutton

There are a lot of academic definitions, but here’s how I define it: An asshole is someone who leaves us feeling demeaned, de-energized, disrespected, and/or oppressed. In other words, someone who makes you feel like dirt."
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6 weeks ago
Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Alternatives to Despair
"Indeed, the racial progress in the postwar era offers grist for almost all the different, non-despairing theories that Coates wants to dismiss. For left-populists in the style of Sanders, it suggests that super-high taxes and broadly-shared prosperity can create the preconditions for successful appeals for racial justice. For self-styled Rooseveltian liberals like Lilla, it suggests that government by a consensus-minded and patriotic liberalism (or Rockefeller Republicanism) is entirely compatible with major gains for the marginalized and mistreated. For communitarian, one-nation conservatives like myself, it suggests that appeals to redress racial wrongs are more effective when they’re grounded in religious consensus (the postwar period being a peak for Christian practice and institutional religious strength), disentangled from anxieties about mass immigration (which was then on a four-decade hiatus), and offered against a reassuring backdrop of basic social order (low crime, strong families, etc.)"
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6 weeks ago
Looking Ahead: the 19th Party Congress
"Question 1: Will Xi’s theories on governance be elevated to the same level as former leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping? |

Question 2: Will Xi lay the groundwork for staying on for a third term? |

Question 3: Will Xi succeed in installing a majority of allies in the Politburo and its Standing Committee, thereby ensuring dominance of the policy-making apparatus? |

Section II: Setting the course for the next five years

Question 4. What will the attitude towards economic reform be in Xi’s second term? |

Question 5. Will Xi signal a move away from the growth target? |

Question 6. Will Xi signal the continuation of the current tightening over the financial sector? |"
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6 weeks ago
Bring On the Exercise, Hold the Painkillers
"Anyone who spends time around people who exercise knows that painkiller use is common among them. Some athletes joke about taking “vitamin I,” or ibuprofen, to blunt the pain of strenuous training and competitions. Others rely on naproxen or other NSAIDs to make hard exercise more tolerable.

NSAID use is especially widespread among athletes in strenuous endurance sports like marathon and ultramarathon running. By some estimates, as many as 75 percent of long-distance runners take ibuprofen or other NSAIDs before, during or after training and races.

But in recent years, there have been hints that NSAIDs might not have the effects in athletes that they anticipate. Some studies have found that those who take the painkillers experience just as much muscle soreness as those who do not.

A few case studies also have suggested that NSAIDs might contribute to kidney problems in endurance athletes, and it was this possibility that caught the attention of Dr. Grant S. Lipman, a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford University and the medical director for several ultramarathons."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
Warren Buffett's "2 List" Strategy: How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities
"The Power of Elimination

I believe in minimalism and simplicity. I like getting rid of waste. I think that eliminating the inessential is one of the best ways to make life easier, make good habits more automatic, and make you grateful for what you do have.

That said, getting rid of wasteful items and decisions is relatively easy. It's eliminating things you care about that is difficult. It is hard to prevent using your time on things that are easy to rationalize, but that have little payoff. The tasks that have the greatest likelihood of derailing your progress are the ones you care about, but that aren't truly important.

Every behavior has a cost. Even neutral behaviors aren’t really neutral. They take up time, energy, and space that could be put toward better behaviors or more important tasks. We are often spinning in motion instead of taking action.

This is why Buffett's strategy is particularly brilliant. Items 6 through 25 on your list are things you care about. They are important to you. It is very easy to justify spending your time on them. But when you compare them to your top 5 goals, these items are distractions. Spending time on secondary priorities is the reason you have 20 half-finished projects instead of 5 completed ones.

Eliminate ruthlessly. Force yourself to focus. Complete a task or kill it."
from instapaper
6 weeks ago
The stunning collapse of Colombia’s peace agreement with the FARC, explained
"The public’s main objection to the agreement was that it was far too lenient on the FARC fighters, whose war against the Colombian government has ravaged the country for more than half a century. One Colombian woman told BBC Mundo that Colombians still associated the FARC with “kidnappings, killings and drug trafficking.”

The leading voice of opposition to the peace deal is former President Alvaro Uribe, who is widely credited with having achieved the military gains that forced the rebels to the negotiating table in the first place. “They will spend zero days in prison; they will be awarded with political representation,” Paloma Valencia, a senator in Uribe’s party, was quoted as saying of the rebels. “This deal breaks the rule of law.”"
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6 weeks ago
Ikea has bought TaskRabbit
"“In a fast-changing retail environment, we continuously strive to develop new and improved products and services to make our customers’ lives a little bit easier. Entering the on-demand, sharing economy enables us to support that,” Ikea chief Jesper Brodin said in a statement. “We will be able to learn from TaskRabbit’s digital expertise, while also providing Ikea customers additional ways to access flexible and affordable service solutions to meet the needs of today’s customer.”"
from instapaper
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