The Not-To-Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now
"3. Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time
If the desired outcome is defined clearly with a stated objective and agenda listing topics/questions to cover, no meeting or call should last more than 30 minutes. Request them in advance so you “can best prepare and make good use of the time together.”"
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2 minutes ago
Why Living in a Poor Neighborhood Can Change Your Biology - Issue 61: Coordinates - Nautilus
"Consistent exposure to cortisol may re-wire the brain, for example, shrinking the pre-frontal cortex and bulking up the amygdala, the walnut-sized nodes in the brain that regulate emotions like fear and pleasure. Over time cortisol can increase the risk for depression and mental illness.

And cortisol’s physiological effects could explain the powerful links between stress and metabolic illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. In mice, stress amps up cravings for energy-dense foods; in people, comfort- or stress-eating is a familiar phenomenon.

Persistently elevated cortisol levels have been closely tied to weight gain, increased abdominal fat, and other aspects of metabolic syndrome, a collection of things that includes obesity and pre-diabetes. “Even if you’re not stress-eating, there’s a direct link between cortisol and Type 2 diabetes risk, and cortisol and obesity,” Hasson says."
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4 days ago
Apple's Airpods Are an Omen
"There are some consequences to this scenario, if it plays out. For one, earbuds will cease to perform any social signaling whatsoever. Today, having one’s earbuds in while talking suggests that you are on a phone call, for example. Having them in while silent is a sign of inner focus—a request for privacy. That’s why bothering someone with earbuds in is such a social faux-pas: They act as a do-not-disturb sign for the body. But if AirPods or similar devices become widespread, those cues will vanish. Everyone will exist in an ambiguous state between public engagement with a room or space and private retreat into devices or media."
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4 days ago
David Simon | Tony
"He was always that funny – either dry in his rhetorical savagery, or over-the-top hyperbolic in his foaming rage at vegetarians or micro-beer experts or elitist social or political orders. Everything built to a moment of careful, thoughtful wit. He often spoke as well as he wrote, and given the stylistic command of his prose work, this is saying something. I know a lot of writers. Only a few of us speak as we write. Shit, on a bad day, we can’t even write as we are supposed to write. Tony was never arch or florid; his comic exaggerations and rhetorical provocations were always somehow perfectly measured. He said what he meant and he meant what he said and he landed all of it. As a conversationalist, he simply delivered, moment to moment."
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7 days ago
Opinion | The Strange Failure of the Educated Elite
"The essential point is this: Those dimwitted, stuck up blue bloods in the old establishment had something we meritocrats lack — a civic consciousness, a sense that we live life embedded in community and nation, that we owe a debt to community and nation and that the essence of the admirable life is community before self.

The meritocracy is here to stay, thank goodness, but we probably need a new ethos to reconfigure it — to redefine how people are seen, how applicants are selected, how social roles are understood and how we narrate a common national purpose."
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8 days ago
Yuval Harari Works Less Than You - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
"In his recent book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang argues from historical examples and scientific findings that a four hour “creative work day” is about optimal for producing important new things.

Beyond that, a busy workday consists primarily of busywork.

In other words, Yuval Harari can sacrifice a non-trivial fraction of his working hours without blunting his impact because the hours he’s sacrificing are not the relatively small number dedicated to cultivating his next big idea."
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9 days ago
Twitter
This we want to think about more. What is other than a 'firm' as the core unit of analysis? Rebecca Henderson an…
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13 days ago
Twitter
Construction has begun in DeWitt! , Tish Boerigter, Shonn Colbrunn, Sibilla Boerigter and George Bo…
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15 days ago
Ira Glass's Commencement Speech at the Columbia Journalism School Graduation - This American Life
"Don’t wait. Make the stuff you want to make now. No excuses. Don’t wait for the perfect job or whatever. Don’t wait. Don’t wait. Don’t wait. One of the advantages of being a journalist is you don’t need permission. You can go and run down the story now and then find a home for it. Pay someone you respect - pay a friend - a little money to be your editor and the person you talk to about your next steps. Don’t wait. You have everything you need. Don’t wait."
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17 days ago
Instagram will soon show users how much time they spend in the app
"Instagram is getting a new “Usage Insights” tool that helps users see how much time they’ve spent in the social media app, according to a discovery from app researcher Jane Manchun Wong who found the feature hidden in the code of Instagram’s Android app (via TechCrunch)."
from instapaper
17 days ago
Under the Banner of New York
"Yes, we “carry on,” after disaster and attack, but that’s not all we do. We also function pretty well day-to-day, with our multiple gods and none, with our graven images, and our Babel of languages. We may not know our neighbors’ names but we know the name of every dog in the dog-run, and that’s OK, too. Despite rarely cooking and often drinking, despite never mowing lawns (but usually recycling), our souls are not uniformly headed to eternal damnation. We can often be found screaming at strangers in the street but we just as frequently pick them up off the floor. And then there’s also the food, art, music, theater, film, literature. But they know all that."
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17 days ago
Under the Banner of New York
"It’s amazing what a narrative can make someone do. We cannot give up on offering alternative stories. Here’s one about the people of New York: we are not scum. We are every variety of human. Some of us voted for a government that caused the destruction of cities far away. Some of us didn’t. Some of us are dopers and junkies. Some of us are preschool teachers and nuns. None of us deserve to be killed in the street. We are a multiplicity of humans in an elastic social arrangement that can be stretched in many directions. It’s not broken yet. I have no idea if it will break soon—but it’s not broken yet. And here comes the rain, clearing the streets, for an hour maybe, even for a whole afternoon. We’ll be back out tomorrow."
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17 days ago
Donald Glover Can’t Save You
"Glover explained his periodic career changes by saying, “Authenticity is the journey of figuring out who you are through what you make.” When he started doing standup, in college, his sets were about being a black guy with nerdy white-guy interests. He maintained his smiling persona over the years, but his material grew increasingly caustic. One bit was about how terrible children are, how they’re “tiny little Hitlers.” “Seriously, that’s why I wear condoms,” he said. “I’d much rather have AIDS than a baby.” I asked Glover how he feels about that bit now, as a father. “I was wrong,” he instantly replied. “Having AIDS is actually way cheaper than having a baby.”"
from instapaper
17 days ago
Donald Glover Can’t Save You
"The biggest innovation was that the narrative never advanced: Earn and Alfred made no headway. The lone moment of arrival felt like a setback. As the season progressed, we realized that Earn secretly wanted one thing very badly: a place to stay. In the final minute of the last episode, we see him for the first time in his only actual home—a cot in a storage unit. “When I saw all the episodes together, I hated the show,” Lakeith Stanfield, who plays Darius, said. “The pacing was strange, there was a lot of space between things, and I didn’t understand Darius. But as I watched it more it began to reveal itself to me.” David Simon said, “I felt like Donald Glover was doing an entire show of the moments we treasured on ‘The Wire’ ”—the asides between drug sellers on the corner, the pop-culture riffs—“where we were stealing one back from television. Watching it felt luxurious.”"
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17 days ago
Donald Glover Can’t Save You
"“That moment is like the hook in music,” Glover said. “It’s what tells you why you’re there.” “Atlanta” is oddly akin to “Black Mirror”: both shows suggest that life is out of control. On “Atlanta,” it’s not technology that’s the catalytic element, the intensifier of our predilection for self-delusion and misery—it’s racism and poverty. The alien power isn’t a watching eye but the absence of a watching eye. Glover and his staff write toward hypnotic images that encapsulate the resulting chaos: a black schoolchild in whiteface, cops swarming an Uber driver and shooting him dead, an invisible car that blasts through a clump of bystanders outside a club. Nick Grad, FX’s president of original programming, said, “When the special effect of the invisible car came in, we watched it, like, twenty times in a row.”"
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17 days ago
The Math of Causation Puzzle | Quanta Magazine
"Although we tend to credit or blame things on a single major cause, in nature and in science there are almost always multiple factors that have to be exactly right for an event to take place. For example, we might attribute a forest fire to the carelessly thrown cigarette butt, but what about the grassy tract leading to the forest, the dryness of the vegetation, the direction of the wind and so on? All of these factors had to be exactly right for the fire to start. Even though many tossed cigarette butts don’t start fires, we zero in on human actions as causes, ignoring other possibilities, such as sparks from branches rubbing together or lightning strikes, or acts of omission, such as failing to trim the grassy path short of the forest. And we tend to focus on things that can be manipulated: We overlook the direction of the wind because it is not something we can control. Our scientifically incomplete intuitive model of causality is nevertheless very useful in practice, and helps us execute remedial actions when causes are clearly defined. In fact, artificial intelligence pioneer Judea Pearl has published a new book about why it is necessary to teach cause and effect to intelligent machines."
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17 days ago
Twitter
My god man this is great. Thank you. and I are spending some time in the Bonica dat…
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18 days ago
Donald Glover Can’t Save You
"As the crew reset, Glover said, “You know what I always wanted to do for an episode?” Just then, that week’s director, Amy Seimetz, called, “O.K., action!” The actors ran the scene again. On “Cut!,” Glover continued his thought: “Yeah, so it’s the exact same thing, only with a bunch of white people who kind of look like us. And in the middle of the episode you realize it’s called ‘Boston.’ ”"
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18 days ago
Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Happiness
"Oettingen developed a tactic called WOOP to overcome hurdles.
First you identify your wish (losing weight) and imagine the outcome (having lost weight). Then you think about a likely obstacle (I love pizza) and make a concrete plan to get around it (avoid all pizzerias). WOOP!"
from instapaper
19 days ago
Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Happiness
"For the next week, write down at least five things for which you’re grateful every day. These can be big things (your kids) or small things (the Twizzlers you bought at the corner deli didn’t taste like they’d been there for eight months). One study found that, in severely depressed patients, taking the time to record just three things daily over 15 days led to a reported increase in well-beingin 94 percent of respondents."
from instapaper
19 days ago
Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Happiness
"Researchers have conclusively linked increased happiness with a meditation practice of even as little as ten minutes per day."
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19 days ago
I Was Told There Would Be More
"Like Sasse, who ends his book with an imagined commencement speech from Theodore Roosevelt, James can sound endearingly old-fashioned. Take, for instance, his anger in The Varieties of Religious Experience over the American fear of poverty:

When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion."
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19 days ago
Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Happiness
"“One thing people get wrong about happiness is they focus on the extraordinary instead of the ordinary. We think that happiness comes from big or transformative experiences, but we neglect how we can spend moments in happier ways on a daily basis. All my research says that the best way people can be happier is to spend $40 on a time-saving service. Instead of fighting with your spouse over who should do the laundry, hire a laundry service. Forgo that time fighting to make a meal together or go for a walk with the person you love.” —Ashley Whillans, Harvard Business School"
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19 days ago
I Was Told There Would Be More
"But though James often celebrates a certain kind of willfulness—choosing to believe, choosing to live, choosing to do the hard thing—he disdained, at the same time, what he called "the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS." His desire was for people to stop being so afraid of losing status that they were unwilling to live. His disdain is aimed entirely at the wealthy, who are too frightened of losing what they have to take a risk, build a life, or have a family. And if he were writing now, he might take on a different kind of fear—not of poverty, but of this future without work. What is your adulthood, he might ask, if it can't exist without this prop? Don't you know that there are many people who have never been able to beself-reliant, to work? Can't you live if this is taken away?"
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19 days ago
Want a Divorce in China? You Might Have to Fail a Quiz First.
"The divorce rate in China is rapidly rising, driven largely by working women who feel newly empowered to seek one. But the government is trying to slow the trend, which it sees as a source of social instability.

The quizzes — 15 questions, scored on a scale of 100 points — were developed as a way to prevent “impulse divorces,” Liu Chunling, an official in Lianyungang, a city in Jiangsu Province, told the Yangtse Late News. He said the authorities considered a score of 60 points or higher to mean “room for recovery,” and those couples were encouraged to work on their marriages."
from instapaper
19 days ago
Want a Divorce in China? You Might Have to Fail a Quiz First.
"A court in Nibin, a small city in Sichuan Province, refused to grant the couple a divorce in September after citing their stellar test scores, according to local news outlets."
from instapaper
19 days ago
The Risk of Discovery
"But maybe there is a simpler explanation. Maybe the smartness and the craziness were not as separate as we think. Physics seems to us a promising thing to work on, and alchemy and theology obvious wastes of time. But that's because we know how things turned out. In Newton's day the three problems seemed roughly equally promising. No one knew yet what the payoff would be for inventing what we now call physics; if they had, more people would have been working on it. And alchemy and theology were still then in the category Marc Andreessen would describe as "huge, if true.""
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19 days ago
Conversational Disciplines
"Being able to broadly agree on how to evaluate contributions is what allows disciplines to tolerate (and enjoy) substantial, persistent disagreement about this or that “big question” or “core problem”. Thus, you are unlikely to convince your fellow Psychologists of something important (something that’s important to them, I mean) without some fake data good experimental evidence. Similarly, Economists may not pay attention to you if you do not proceed according to some (to them) widely-shared rules of ritualized mathematics model-building supplemented by some nonsense about incentives empirical evidence. Professional Historians will be less likely to take you seriously if your claims are not built on an elegant prose style a demonstrated mastery of a relevant archive. Sociologists may remain unconvinced of your claims if you do not blame neoliberalism blame neoliberalism."
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19 days ago
Atheists Are Sometimes More Religious Than Christians
"The Pew survey shows that 27 percent of Americans call themselves “spiritual but not religious.” Even though they’ve left organized religion behind, many still pray regularly and believe in God. This raises an issue for researchers, because it suggests their traditional measures of religiosity can no longer be trusted to accurately identify religious people. “I think people are doing things that don’t mirror Christianity sufficiently enough for our categories to continue to be as explanatory as they once were,” said Blankholm. “These categories are at their limit—they’re in some ways outmoded.”"
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19 days ago
China’s fast climb up the value chain
"Between 10 and 45 percent of revenue in China’s industries could shift from old business models to new ones enabled by digital by 2030. The transformation is picking up steam: in 2013, industries in the United States were 4.9 times more digitized than ones in China; in 2016, that figure had fallen to 3.7 times."
from instapaper
20 days ago
China’s fast climb up the value chain
"Everything speeds up in the digital economy, and nowhere is that more evident than in China. In little more than a decade, China has come from almost nowhere to become the largest e-commerce market in the world, accounting for more than 40 percent of global e-commerce transactions (exhibit). China’s mobile payments are 11 times the value of those in the United States thanks to consumers’ early embrace of the technology. This flourishing digital culture is paying innovation dividends, as China is home to one in three of the world’s start-up “unicorns,” those with more than $1 billion in market cap. And China now places in the top ranks of global venture-capital investment in virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, robotics, drones, and artificial intelligence."
from instapaper
20 days ago
Opinion | The Baptist Apocalypse
"So the question posed by this age of revelation is simple: Now that you know something new and troubling and even terrible about your leaders or your institutions, what will you do with this knowledge?

For Baptists as for all of us, the direction of history after Trump will be determined not just by Providence’s challenge, but by our freely chosen answer."
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23 days ago
Twitter
, I’m on the hunt for a database (or even sources) for historical polls of congressional elections,…
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23 days ago
Still Wilderness
"“Joy is the present tense, with the whole emphasis on the present,” writes
Kierkegaard. This is accurate insofar as it accords with the feeling of joy, which can banish all the retrospective and anticipatory mental noise we move through most of the time. But to define joy as present tense is to keep it fastened to time, and that doesn’t feel completely right. It might be truer to say that joy is a flash of eternity that illuminates time, but the word eternity does sit a bit lumpishly there on the page."
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23 days ago
Still Wilderness
"Thus “One of the many days” names and consecrates all of the days, even as it gives form and pledges fidelity to a single one. And just as the frogs are probably not really “considering” the concept of Ben Dorain, so the poet, perhaps, and all of us along for the ride with him, stand in relation to some larger reality that this poem at once implies and denies: yes, there is that word miracles, but it is obvious that they have no existence apart from the actual. These metaphysical resonances are not added to the poem but implicit within it. God is a ghost only to those who haunt their own lives, the poem might be saying. Or: God is a given for those who fully inhabit their own lives (a “joy in which faith / is self-evident,” as the Polish writer Adam Zagajewski says). The word God is both inevitable and extraneous to this poem, as is the word joy."
from instapaper
23 days ago
Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis - Recode
China is catching up as a hub to the world’s biggest internet companies. Currently, China is home to nine of the world’s 20 biggest internet companies by market cap while the U.S. has 11. Five years ago, China had two and the U.S. had nine.
china  VC 
24 days ago
Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Happiness
"By that reasoning, an hour should be much more valuable than a dollar — yet we consistently behave as if the opposite were true. For example: Would you accept a new job with a 20 percent higher salary if it meant a 25 percent longer workweek or a 50 percent longer commute? If so, you are valuing your monetary affluence over your time affluence. You are what Whillans and Dunn would call a “Morgan” — in their studies, they use the figures of “Taylor” (who values time) and “Morgan” (who values money) and ask respondents to identify with one or the other. Interestingly, people are reliably split evenly on whom they identify with. Yet the Taylors of the world report a much higher level of overall happiness in other areas of life."
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24 days ago
Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Happiness
"So what are the true sources of personal happiness? The best way psychologists have found to determine what makes people happy is to reverse-engineer happiness by studying the habits of people who already identify as happy. This is an inexact method, for reasons of correlation versus causation: You may be both happy and tall, but that doesn’t mean being tall is what makes you happy. But there are certain habits that have been shown to be consistent among happy people. Happy people devote time to family and friends. They practice gratitude. They practice optimism. They are physically active. They “savor life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment,” as Lyubomirsky puts it."
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24 days ago
Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Happiness
"As part of the recent anthology This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress, Santos and Tamar Gendler, a philosophy professor at Yale, submitted an essay titled “Knowing Is Half the Battle.” It discusses a phenomenon they’ve dubbed “the G.I. Joe Fallacy,” after the old G.I. Joe cartoon, which used the phrase “Knowing is half the battle” as a kind of tagline. This is a fallacy, they explain, because knowing, it turns out, is not half the battle. It’s not even close. “Recent work in cognitive science has demonstrated that knowing is a shockingly tiny fraction of the battle for most real-world decisions,” they explain. “You may know that $19.99 is pretty much the same as $20.00, but the first still feels like a significantly better deal.”"
from instapaper
24 days ago
Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Happiness
"In her very first lecture, Santos emphasizes to her class that she wants to teach them not just the science of happiness but the practice of happiness. And happiness, it turns out, does take practice. But first you have to learn what exactly happiness is. If previous courses in this field might have been characterized as “Why Happy People Are Happy,” this course could be called “What Is Happiness, Why Aren’t You Happy, and What Can You Do to Change That?”"
from instapaper
24 days ago
A Call to Minimize Distraction & Respect Users' Attention by Tristan Harris
Tristan Harris' call for us to be more thougthful at Google around the attention economy... a document that he said did not get enough support
Power&Politics 
25 days ago
Tina Fey: Confessions of a Juggler
"I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work. The women, though, they’re all “crazy.” I have a suspicion—and hear me out, because this is a rough one—that the definition of “crazy” in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.

The only person I can think of who has escaped the “crazy” moniker is Betty White, which, obviously, is because people still want to have sex with her.

This is the infuriating thing that dawns on you one day: even if you would never sleep with or even flirt with anyone to get ahead, you are being sexually adjudicated. Network executives really do say things like “I don’t know. I don’t want to fuck anybody on this show.”"
from instapaper
27 days ago
How Couples Should Divvy Up Financial Decision Making
"This is consistent with the economic concept of comparative advantage, as even if one spouse has an absolute advantage in terms of financial knowledge (i.e., he or she is the most financially knowledgeable spouse), that does not mean he or she will be the individual who can complete those tasks with the most comparative efficiency. In support of this view, the researchers found that relative demands on one’s time outside of the household and relative contributions to nonfinancial tasks were important predictors of financial responsibility (along with age, gender, relative preference for making financial decisions, and confidence in one’s ability to find financial information)."
from instapaper
27 days ago
The Singular Magic of Maira Kalman
"Much as her work for adults isn’t simply whimsy, Kalman’s books for children are not merely slapstick. “I respect my audience. I really do. I have as much respect for children as I do for adults and probably more,” she said.

In Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything, a children’s biography of the statesman, Kalman writes candidly about the man. “It is strongly believed that after his wife died, Jefferson had children with the beautiful Sally Hemings. Some of them were freed and able to pass for white. Passing for white meant that your skin was so light, you could hide the fact that you were partially black. To hide your background is a very sad thing. Perhaps people felt they had no choice in such a prejudiced land.”

“I think that you really can talk to kids about anything,” Kalman says. In Fireboat, she tells of an old ship that played a part in the 9/11 recovery efforts. She does not shy away from illustrating one of Minoru Yamasaki’s towers exploding. This may put off certain readers. But the book succeeds because Kalman is so forthright, the rare adult willing to admit to kids that scary things happen. By giving kids the facts, teasing out of that dreadful day a story of heroism, and telling it in her signature, almost musical style, the book is somehow reassuring rather than frightening."
from instapaper
27 days ago
The Singular Magic of Maira Kalman
"Kalman’s images reward, but when children are at the age they are read aloud to, it’s the sound of a book that matters most. “Bonjour, Monsieur Max, allow me to introduce myself. I am Fritz from the Ritz which I quit in a snit when the chef in a fit threw escargot on my chapeau and hit my head with a stale French bread.” I can’t read Kalman’s books to my kids at bedtime anymore; they make them laugh too hard."
from instapaper
27 days ago
What to Read When You Can’t Talk About God
"How can someone who has been hurt by the church rediscover sacred words?Insert Jonathan Merritt’s new book, Learning to Speak God from Scratch. Jonathan tackles what he calls “spiritual lockjaw” head on. Through a mix of sociological research, personal anecdote and theological reflection, Jonathan unpacks three reasons modern people of faith fail to engage sacred language: indifference, ignorance, and avoidance."
from instapaper
27 days ago
The Singular Magic of Maira Kalman
"It’s worth noting that the initial in M&Co represented Maira. She played an integral role in the firm, but she had a daughter, Lulu, in 1983, and a son, Alex, in 1985; that’s the same year she published her first book, a text for children set to David Byrne’s lyrics for the Talking Heads song “Stay Up Late.” This doesn’t seem coincidental. For so many — particularly women — the arrival of children occasions what Meg Wolitzer termed the “ten-year nap”: a long period in which careers lie fallow while tending to the business of family. For Kalman, that period seems to have given her a new direction, away from advertising and toward books"
from instapaper
27 days ago
Why You Should Learn to Say ‘No’ More Often
"And if you’re worried that your no might seem threatening, don’t be. Research from Columbia University found that our perceptions of our own assertiveness are often unreliable. In mock negotiations, people who thought they were adequately assertive or even over-assertive were seen by others as under-assertive. So if you feel confrontational, there’s a good chance the other party doesn’t see you that way."
from instapaper
27 days ago
Why You Should Learn to Say ‘No’ More Often
"There are a few other ways you can get more comfortable with saying no.

First, practice being more aggressive when the stakes are low. For example, when a cashier asks you to sign up for a store credit card you don’t want, try saying “I don’t use store credit cards” instead of a passive “Not today, but thank you,” which implies your decision is up for debate."
from instapaper
27 days ago
Micro-Progress and the Magic of Just Getting Started
"And it’s not just gimmicky phrases and so-called lifehacking: Studies have shown that you can trick your brain into increasing dopamine levels by setting and achieving, you guessed it, micro-goals.

Going even further, success begets success. In a 2011 Harvard Business Review article, researchers reported finding that “ordinary, incremental progress can increase people’s engagement in the work and their happiness during the workday.” That means that once you start that PowerPoint you’re dreading, even if all you’ve done is give it a name, that micro-progress can continue to build on itself until you’ve finally finished that last slide."
from instapaper
27 days ago
Here’s The Technique That Ambitious People Use To Get What They Want – RyanHoliday.net
"The question those questions then provoke is this: What opportunities have we left on the table in our own lives by failing to do the same? I can think of an easy one off the top of my head. In college, I interviewed at a powerhouse music PR firm. I remember very vividly going and buying a suit, taking it to be tailored, asking my parents for money to pay for it all. And as laughable as wearing a suit to that interview was, the most laughable thing was that I thought thatwas what mattered. Preparing for the interview, by actually putting something together to say in the room? I don’t think the thought even occurred to me. I remember another job interview, at the talent agency where I would get my start, when I showed up (thankfully) more casually attired, but also essentially winged it. I ended up getting the job, but what if my future boss had been in a bad mood, what if he had been more skeptical of me than he was, I would have been screwed! I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this to you. Even though it worked out, I cringe now at the stupid risk I took."
from instapaper
28 days ago
David Foster Wallace and the Dangerous Romance of Male Genius
"The genius-bias is a strong one. The male haze is so very hazy. It’s been there with Polanski. And with Junot Díaz. And with Norman Mailer. And with J.D. Salinger. And with so many, many more: writers, athletes, actors, directors, artists, the people who take it upon themselves to tell us who, and what, we are. It is everywhere. It is there in our literature and our businesses and our music and our soft entertainments. It is there in our habits of thought. It is one more thing that is, as has been said, water."
from instapaper
28 days ago
Legalize Pot, But Don’t Normalize It
"It should be possible to visit Colorado without knowing that marijuana is legal there. If someone is determined to ingest it, they can either drive to an industrial zone or order it online, and smoke it at home or up away in the mountains.

You might wonder why we should be so worried about public marijuana use. To put it bluntly, I see intelligence as one of the ultimate scarcities when it comes to making the world a better place, and smoking marijuana does not make people smarter. Even if you think there is no long-term damage, right after smoking a person is less able to perform most IQ-intensive tasks (with improvisational jazz as a possible exception). By having city streets filled with pot, pot stores and the odor of pot, we are sending a signal that our society isn’t so oriented toward the intellect or bourgeois values. Even if that signal is reflecting a good bit of truth, it would be better not to acknowledge it too openly, just as most advocates of legalized prostitution don’t want to allow brothels on Main Street."
from instapaper
28 days ago
I’m 29 and I never learned how money works. It’s time to fix that.
"The most important thing — LET’S USE THE ALL-CAPS KEY HERE — do not mess around with credit card rewards unless you’re paying your bill on time (every month) and in full (every month). Late fees and interest charges will cost you more than you’ll gain from any card reward."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
I’m 29 and I never learned how money works. It’s time to fix that.
"Now, about those percentages. Ten percent is a pretty good number for people in their 20s. And if your employer offers a matching contribution (tossing some money in, up to a certain point), that 10 percent might effectively turn into 12 percent or 14 percent, which is really good."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
3 thoughts on a decade of publishing books
"In my work, problems of output are problems of input. If my work sucks, it’s usually because I’m not being a good enough fan. I need to read, and read voraciously, searching for that thing that’s going to get me back on track. Read books, write books, repeat. That’s the deal.

I remember sitting in the audience during readings and wanting so badly to be the person on stage. Now I find myself relishing any chance I get to be a fan again. I love pointing to people’s work and sharing the stuff that I love. I love linking to great books in my newsletter. I love sending my agent links to good writers looking for an agent. One of my far-out dreams is to have my own little publishing imprint."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
3 thoughts on a decade of publishing books
"On the one, extremely lucrative end is Edward Tufte. In 1983, after Harvard University Press wouldn’t let him have a hand in the design, he took out a second mortgage on his house to self-publish The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. This led to a stunning second career after retiring from 30 years of teaching at Yale. Tufte has grossed millions of dollars from his books, and every year, he goes on the road like the Grateful Dead, selling out hotel ballrooms in cities around the country, giving his lectures. He’s stayed independent and in control throughout. The amount business he’s done out of his garage is just mind-boggling.

One the other end of the commercial spectrum is cartoonist John Porcellino, who’s been publishing his zine King-Cat for the past 30 years. John has published collections with Drawn & Quarterly, but his constant output is the zine. (He also started Spit and a Half to distribute zines and books by other creators.) Some of Porcellino’s stories have documented his struggles to make a living over the years. Recently, he’s started a Patreon, which he says has allowed him to save for the first time in his career."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
The Most Successful People Are The Ones You’ve Never Heard Of (And Why They Want It That Way) – RyanHoliday.net
"So that’s the recalibration. There is a big difference between having enough that all your needs are met and being a billionaire. Between being Taylor Swift, the global superstar, and Sia. And those differences are not all good. In fact, many of them are objectively not good.

The next time you feel screwed that you haven’t gotten your big break, or watch as some potential life-changing opportunity to level up escapes your grasp, ask yourself if that’s really the case. Is it really bad luck? Or has Fortune done you a kindness?

On the contrary, the life just below that top, the middle class life, the just-enough-success-but-not-too-much? That’s the real blessing."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
The Finance To Value Framework – AVC
"The capital markets are efficient over the very long run but highly inefficient in the moment. So just because investors are willing to throw gobs of money at you and your company, it doesn’t mean that it is smart to take it. And, as I have written numerous times here before, having lots of capital does not derisk your business plan. In many cases, it amplifies the risk of your business plan.

So how do you stay in balance and avoid getting too far out over your skis?

I like this framework that I call “Finance To Value” which means you finance your business to regular valuation targets that are driven by fundamental value analysis.

The first thing you need to know is how your business will be valued by a buyer or the public markets when it is a scaled business. I like to use EBITDA and Revenue multiples for this work. And the best place to get them is from bankers who work in your sector and/or investors who are active in your sector. The key point is these multiples are what you are going to be valued at upon exit or IPO, not currently."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
what rituals are and do
"Even though at this point in the piece Samuel has already quoted a rabbi who questions the legitimacy of separating ritual from religion, she returns here to a framing of the whole endeavor that is simply a mismatch with the character of ritual. (It is of course the same framing that drives Ritual Design Lab.) The assumptions of this framing are:

rituals are designed;
I can either design my own rituals or let “experts” do it for me;
rituals are “solutions” to “problems”;
rituals implicitly endorse what a founder of Ritual Design Lab says explicitly: “the whole premise of design is human-centeredness. It can help people shape their spirituality based on their needs. Institutionalized religions somehow forget this — that at the center of any religion should be the person.”

But all of those notions may be questioned. One might argue, rather, that:

rituals are not designed but rather emerge from the life of a community;
there can be, therefore, no “experts” in ritual-making;
rituals do not solve problems but are rather a mode of communal expression;
the central focus of any genuine ritual is not the human being or even the community but rather the personage, god, or power that the ritual seeks to propitiate, plead with, or worship."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Want to Be Happy? Buy More Takeout and Hire a Maid, Study Suggests
"And it didn’t matter if they were rich or poor: People benefited from buying time regardless of where they fell on the income spectrum. (The authors note, though, that may not hold true for the poorest of the poor.)

“If there’s some task that just thinking about it fills you with dread, then it’s probably worth considering whether you can afford to buy your way out of it,” said Elizabeth Dunn, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and an author of the paper."
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
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