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 
yesterday
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."
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6 days 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 . . ."
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6 days 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"
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7 days 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.)"
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7 days 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."
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7 days 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
7 days 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
7 days 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."
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7 days 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!"
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7 days 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."
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7 days 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
7 days 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
7 days 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."
from instapaper
8 days 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."
from instapaper
8 days 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."
from instapaper
8 days 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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9 days 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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9 days 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."
from instapaper
9 days 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."
from instapaper
12 days 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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13 days 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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13 days 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."
from instapaper
13 days 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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13 days 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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13 days 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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13 days 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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14 days 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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15 days 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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16 days 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."
from instapaper
16 days 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."
from instapaper
16 days 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
17 days 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
17 days 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
17 days 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.""
from instapaper
17 days 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
17 days 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.”"
from instapaper
18 days 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."
from instapaper
18 days 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."
from instapaper
18 days 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
18 days 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."
from instapaper
18 days 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
18 days 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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18 days 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
18 days 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."
from instapaper
18 days 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.)"
from instapaper
18 days 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? |"
from instapaper
18 days 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
18 days 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
18 days 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.”"
from instapaper
18 days 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
18 days ago
We Expect Way Too Much From Our Romantic Partners
"Khazan: That’s the idea of having a diversified social portfolio, right? Can you explain how that would work?

Finkel: There’s a cool study by Elaine Cheung at Northwestern University, where she looked at the extent to which people look to a very small number of people to help them manage their emotions versus an array of different people, to manage different sorts of emotions. So, one person for cheering up sadness, another person for celebrating happiness, and so forth.

It turns out that people who have more diversified social portfolios, that is, a larger number of people that they go to for different sorts of emotions, those people tend to have overall higher-quality life. This is one of the arguments in favor of thinking seriously about looking to other people to help us, or asking less of this one partner.

I think most of us will be kind of shocked by how many expectations and needs we’ve piled on top of this one relationship. I’m not saying that people need to lower their expectations, but it is probably a bad plan to throw all of these expectations on the one relationship and then try to do it on the cheap. That is, to treat time with your spouse as something you try to fit in after you’ve attended to the kids, and after you’ve just finished this one last thing for work. Real, attentive time for our spouse is something that we often don’t schedule, or we schedule insufficient time for it."
from instapaper
18 days ago
We Expect Way Too Much From Our Romantic Partners
"Khazan: So what is “going all-in,” and what are the risks and rewards of that?

Finkel: The question isn’t, “Are you asking too much?” The question is, “Are you asking the appropriate amount, in light of the nature of the relationship right now?” The idea of “going all-in” is, “Hell yes. I want to ask my spouse to help make me feel loved and give me an opportunity to love somebody else and also [be] somebody who’s going to help me grow into an ideal, authentic version of myself. And I’m going do the same for him or her. I recognize that that is a massive ask, and because I recognize that that’s a massive ask I’m going to make sure that we have sufficient time together. That when we’re together we’re paying sufficient attention to each other, that the time that we’re investing in the relationship is well-spent.”"
from instapaper
18 days ago
We Expect Way Too Much From Our Romantic Partners
"Khazan: As in our spouse should, just to give a random example, provide interesting feedback on our articles that we’re writing?

Finkel: That’s obviously a white-collar variation on the theme, but I think up and down the socioeconomic hierarchy, it isn’t totally crazy these days to hear somebody say something like, “He’s a wonderful man and a loving father and I like and respect him, but I feel really stagnant in the relationship. I feel like I’m not growing and I’m not willing to stay in a marriage where I feel stagnant for the next 30 years.”"
from instapaper
18 days ago
Opinion | Speaking Ill of Hugh Hefner
"No doubt what Hefner offered America somebody else would have offered in his place, and the changes he helped hasten would have come rushing in without him.

But in every way that mattered he made those changes worse, our culture coarser and crueler and more sterile than liberalism or feminism or freedom of speech required. And in every way that mattered his life story proved that we were wrong to listen to him, because at the end of the long slide lay only a degraded, priapic senility, or the desperate gaiety of Prince Prospero’s court with the Red Death at the door.

Now that death has taken him, we should examine our own sins. Liberals should ask why their crusade for freedom and equality found itself with such a captain, and what his legacy says about their cause. Conservatives should ask how their crusade for faith and family and community ended up so Hefnerian itself — with a conservative news network that seems to have been run on Playboy Mansion principles and a conservative party that just elected a playboy as our president."
from instapaper
18 days ago
The Dark Side of Electric Cars: Exploitative Labor Practices
"We have contacted many of the largest companies and, not a single car manufacturer told us they had actually done this.

This could be because cobalt has been overlooked by narrowly drafted “conflict minerals” rules adopted in the United States in 2010 and the European Union earlier this year, meaning it escapes strict regulation. But there is no excuse for some of the richest companies in the world not to undertake proper due diligence."
from instapaper
18 days ago
Where The Money Is In The Electric Vehicle Supply Chain: Part I
"The holy grail for battery makers is the lithium-air, aka, Lithium O2, battery technology. The lithium-air battery eliminates overheating problem and may provide a quantum leap in the specific energy; it has a theoretical specific energy of 3.5 kWh/kg, which is only 1/30 of the present-day Li-ion batteries and right there with gasoline when battery total weight is taken into consideration. It would make it possible to drive EVs for 400 miles on a single charge using a battery pack that weighs barely 1/5 of the cumbersome EV batteries of today, thus posing a real threat to ICE automobiles and jolting EVs to widespread adoption (see here) (Fig. 7)."
from instapaper
18 days ago
Google and Facebook Failed Us
"As news consumers, we can say this: It does not have to be like this. Imagine a newspaper posting unverified rumors about a shooter from a bunch of readers who had been known to perpetuate hoaxes. There would be hell to pay—and for good reason. The standards of journalism are a set of tools for helping to make sense of chaotic situations, in which bad and good information about an event coexist. These technology companies need to borrow our tools—and hire the people to execute on the principles—or stop saying that they care about the quality of information that they deliver to people.

There’s no hiding behind algorithms anymore. The problems cannot be minimized. The machines have shown they are not up to the task of dealing with rare, breaking news events, and it is unlikely that they will be in the near future. More humans must be added to the decision-making process, and the sooner the better."
from instapaper
18 days ago
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: the new sleep science
"How is it possible to tell if a person is sleep-deprived? Walker thinks we should trust our instincts. Those who would sleep on if their alarm clock was turned off are simply not getting enough. Ditto those who need caffeine in the afternoon to stay awake. “I see it all the time,” he says. “I get on a flight at 10am when people should be at peak alert, and I look around, and half of the plane has immediately fallen asleep.”"
from instapaper
18 days ago
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: the new sleep science
"Does his obsession extend to the bedroom? Does he take his own advice when it comes to sleep? “Yes. I give myself a non-negotiable eight-hour sleep opportunity every night, and I keep very regular hours: if there is one thing I tell people, it’s to go to bed and to wake up at the same time every day, no matter what. I take my sleep incredibly seriously because I have seen the evidence. Once you know that after just one night of only four or five hours’ sleep, your natural killer cells – the ones that attack the cancer cells that appear in your body every day – drop by 70%, or that a lack of sleep is linked to cancer of the bowel, prostate and breast, or even just that the World Health Organisation has classed any form of night-time shift work as a probable carcinogen, how could you do anything else?”"
from instapaper
18 days ago
The Empty Stomach: Fasting to Beat Jet Lag | Harper's Magazine
"Fortunately, in the past few years a team from Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston has concocted a more elegant remedy: the anti–jet lag fast. The international traveler, they counsel, can avoid jet lag by simply not eating for twelve to sixteen hours before breakfast time in the new time zone—at which point, as in Ehret’s diet, he should break his fast. Since most of us go twelve to sixteen hours between dinner and breakfast anyway, the abstention is a small hardship.

According to the Harvard team, the fast works because our bodies have, in addition to our circadian clock, a second clock that might be thought of as a food clock or, perhaps better, a master clock. When food is scarce, this master clock suspends the circadian clock and commands the body to sleep much less than normally. Only after the body starts eating again does the master clock switch the circadian clock back on."
from instapaper
19 days ago
Valuable academic research - Career review
"Bias to continue

Within academia the idea of leaving is framed as failing; while continuing to the next stage is the obvious next step (for instance, see this article). Many people within academia are also unclear about their options elsewhere. This creates a bias towards continuing even when you’d be better off elsewhere."
from instapaper
21 days ago
Teaching - Career review
"Working at either a school for highly-disadvantaged students, who will benefit the most from incremental improvements to their skills or income. Common sense and research suggests that this path rewards a high level of grit.
Working in a top-tier school, where one has the potential to influence the capabilities and values of your country’s next generation of leaders in politics, business and research, and so on."
from instapaper
21 days ago
Teaching - Career review
"Better teachers lead to better economic outcomes, higher attendance at better universities and lower teenage birth rates for the students they teach, and the benefits talented teachers provide to society are considerably greater than what is recouped by their salary. This is the common-sense and widely held view, though there are some dissenting voices on the impact of schooling, at least at the tertiary level.

However, we generally do not recommend teaching as the best career path to maximize your social impact: if you’re working in a rich country, the impact you have as a teacher is by improving the lives of people who are almost all going to end up in the richest 15% of the world’s population. Moreover, teaching is an area that is already extremely popular among the socially-motivated, so it’s unlikely that you’ll make as big a difference on the margin within education as you could elsewhere. Further, even the most talented classroom teacher can only impact around 30 students at a time, less than is possible using other approaches.

As with all careers, if you think you could be truly exceptional within this career, but not at others, you should strongly consider it."
from instapaper
21 days ago
Marilynne Robinson on Finding the Right Word
"Writing should always be exploratory. There shouldn’t be the assumption that you know ahead of time what you want to express. When you enter into the dance with language, you’ll begin to find that there’s something before, or behind, or more absolute than the thing you thought you wanted to express. And as you work, other kinds of meaning emerge than what you might have expected. It’s like wrestling with the angel: On the one hand you feel the constraints of what can be said, but on the other hand you feel the infinite potential. There’s nothing more interesting than language and the problem of trying to bend it to your will, which you can never quite do. You can only find what it contains, which is always a surprise."
from instapaper
25 days ago
A Week On The Wrist: The Apple Watch Series 3 Edition
"Ask the average luxury watch consumer how big of an impact Apple has on their world and they might respond with little reaction. But look at more traditional fashion watches – those in the sub-$500 price range – and you'll see a different story. Fossil, a multi-billion-dollar company and maker of entry-level watches had a share price of over $83 the day the Apple watch was announced. It's now below $9. Read the full story here."
from instapaper
26 days ago
Professors Must Now Fear Intimidation From Both Sides
"The bipartisan nature of intimidation is likely to have a chilling effect on speech, and on the quality of teaching. Professors must think twice before trying any provocative teaching exercise or line of questioning. But given the nature of social media and mob mentalities, being careful is not enough. Anything you say can be distorted and misreported, potentially destroying your reputation and your career. So why take chances, why say anything controversial at all? Socrates would not last a month at a modern American university.

Given the dynamics of the larger American culture war, I believe that things are likely to get worse on campus. In future posts and essays, I and other members of Heterodox Academy will write about what can be done to break this cycle of escalation and restore a culture of free and fearless inquiry on campus. For now, I just want to note that many of us at Heterodox Academy are deeply disturbed that so many professors are getting mobbed and threatened and fired in the 6-step process I laid out above."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
This Morning Routine will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week
"For best results: Spend 20% of your energy on your work and 80% of your energy on recovery and self-improvement. When you’re getting high quality recovery, you’re growing. When you’re continually honing your mental model, the quality and impact of your work continually increases. This is what psychologists call, “Deliberate Practice.” It’s not about doing more, but better training. It’s about being strategic and results-focused, not busyness-focused.

In one study, only 16 percent of respondents reported getting creative insight while at work. Ideas generally came while the person was at home, in transportation, or during recreational activity. “The most creative ideas aren’t going to come while sitting in front of your monitor,” says Scott Birnbaum, a vice president of Samsung Semiconductor."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Steve Jobs’ legacy & The iPhone X
"And that brings me back to Apple and FaceID. The reason FaceID works as smoothly as it did in my hands on is because the camera and its wizardry are married to the ability of the A11 chip to use neural networking technology to utilize the facial recognition algorithms and then seamlessly hide them inside the operating system and the device design. One doesn’t need to know any of that— as long as it feels like magic."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
How to Win the Fight Against Information Overload
"How you deal with information overload is subjective. The following approaches, however, offer promising results:

Unify communication on a single platform.
Aggregate content as much as possible.
Use automation to deal with new information, especially with regards to content discovery.
Use the Getting Things Done approach to segregate and deal with information.
Create distraction-free “quiet time” to do deep work.
What are some of your own favorite strategies for dealing with information overload? Share them with us in the comments below!"
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
How to Win the Fight Against Information Overload
"In the James G. Miller paper I shared earlier, Miller notes that there are seven essential strategies for dealing with information overload:

Omission, i.e. instead of consuming all information, intentionally skipping some of it.
Error, i.e. responding quickly without fully taking in all available information.
Queuing, i.e. consuming information later when you have more time.
Filtering, i.e. using a framework or automated processes to filter out unessential information.
Employing multiple channels/delegation, i.e. distributing responsibility for dealing with specific types of information to different people.
Approximation, i.e. skimming through information and arriving at an approximated conclusion.
Escaping, i.e. handing over responsibility to someone else; giving up."
from instapaper
4 weeks ago
Crash course in the nature of mind
"Down the hall, in a section of Griffiths' lab outfitted with comfy couches and embroidered pillows, scores of people have spent some of the most profound hours of their lives. Participants swallow a capsule of psilocybin and plunge into hours of singular intensity, accompanied by specially trained guides who monitor them and help them feel safe and nurtured, Griffiths says. The volunteers report visions of lofty cathedrals and dense jungles and loved ones long dead. They have relived moments from their past, as if unscrewing a series of jars containing forgotten days. The experience ripples through them in the months and years to come. They report feeling more open and creative, more caring toward others, and aware of the interconnectedness of all life.

These are also the gifts of meditation, says Griffiths, who continues to meditate for as long as two hours each day. Meditation enables you to shift your identity, he says, to reshape your sense of self. For him, that has meant letting go of focusing on material accomplishments and professional recognition. A former confirmation class dropout, he has developed a sense of spirituality. After decades spent examining the effects of various substances such as caffeine on the brain, now he wants to delve into the questions of consciousness that most interest him."
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Yes, I’m Dependent on Weed
"My mind, moreover, shifted into a much more nonlinear and creative mood when I was high. I never write when stoned. But I do let my mind wander, revisit my writing in my head, see better its flaws, drill down past my defenses, and allow myself to explore alternative ideas. One more thing: My experience of music changed. For the first time, I was able to turn off the ordeal of consciousness and allow myself to listen properly. It hasn’t really enhanced my appreciation of food (eating still basically bores me) but it has sharpened and deepened my visual capacities. It can make Cape light even more transcendent and transforming.

But my memory? Much worse. My lungs? They’ve taken a hit, even if vaping has helped. Weed may shorten my life by hurting my lungs — but endless insomnia might have shortened it more. Could I go cold turkey? I have from time to time, but it’s not easy, largely because the insomnia always returns. In that sense, I’m busted. By some criteria, I am dependent. Others may find that dependence an impediment to their lives and work, and legalizers don’t need to deny that. We’re all different, and weed most definitely isn’t for everyone. But compared with all the other substances available, and most other avenues to chill and friendship, it remains, it seems to me, a no-brainer to legalize it, and for many sane adults, one of God’s great gifts to humankind"
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Feeling Older? Here’s How to Embrace It
"Dr. Devi said a patient who died at 101 had told her to try to have a friend “from every decade of life.” He had befriended an array of people, including Dr. Devi’s daughter, who was 12 at the time."
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Feeling Older? Here’s How to Embrace It
"Find something to commit to improving, whether it’s tennis or cabinetry. Mr. Ludwig suggested focusing on helping others, especially younger people.

Remember, too, that you are not the only one feeling sore or slowing down, he said.

“There are millions of Americans waking up with those aches and pains,” Mr. Ludwig said. “What is the alternative to aging? It’s dying young.”"
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Angelina Jolie, Unbroken
"She intimated that “First They Killed My Father” might have informed her decision to leave Mr. Pitt. The film centers on Ms. Ung’s family members, some of whom survived, and Ms. Jolie said she thought a lot about what family meant during production, and how they should help each other and take care of one another (the film is adapted from Ms. Ung’s 2000 book of the same name).

“Loung had such horrors in her life but also had so much love, and that is why she’s all right today,” Ms. Jolie said. “That is something I need to remember.”"
marriage  Movies  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule
"I find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. A meeting commonly blows at least half a day, by breaking up a morning or afternoon. But in addition there's sometimes a cascading effect. If I know the afternoon is going to be broken up, I'm slightly less likely to start something ambitious in the morning. I know this may sound oversensitive, but if you're a maker, think of your own case. Don't your spirits rise at the thought of having an entire day free to work, with no appointments at all? Well, that means your spirits are correspondingly depressed when you don't. And ambitious projects are by definition close to the limits of your capacity. A small decrease in morale is enough to kill them off."
productivity  from instapaper
5 weeks ago
America’s Epidemic of Unnecessary Care
"Other people of a more consumerist bent will be troubled not that I gave her the choice but that she paid virtually none of the expenses incurred by it. The nature of her insurance coverage guaranteed that. Her employer had offered her two options. One was a plan with a high deductible and a medical savings account that would have made her pay a substantial portion of the many-thousand-dollar operation. And this might have made her think harder about proceeding (or, at least, encouraged her to find someone cheaper). But, like many people, she didn’t want to be in that situation. So she chose the second option, which provided full coverage for cases like this one. She found it difficult enough to weigh her fears of the cancer against her fears of the operation—with its risks of life-threatening bleeding and voice damage—without having to put finances into the equation."
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
America’s Epidemic of Unnecessary Care
"McAllen, in large part because of changes led by primary-care doctors, has gone from a cautionary tale to something more hopeful. Nationwide, the picture is changing almost as fast. Just five years after the passage of health-care reform, twenty per cent of Medicare payments are being made to physicians who have enrolled in alternative-payment programs, whether through accountable-care organizations like those in McAllen or by accepting Walmart-like packaged-price care—known as bundled payment—for spine surgery, joint surgery, and other high-cost procedures. If government targets are met, these numbers will reach thirty per cent of Medicare payments by 2016. A growing number of businesses are also extending the centers-of-excellence approach to their employees, including Boeing, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, and PepsiCo. And a nonprofit in California, the Pacific Business Group on Health, now offers to provide a similar network to any health-care purchaser in the country.

Could a backlash arrive and halt the trend? It’s a concern. No one has yet invented a payment system that cannot be gamed. If doctors are rewarded for practicing more conservative medicine, some could end up stinting on care. What if Virginia Mason turns away a back-pain patient who should have gone to surgery? What if Dr. Osio fails to send a heart patient to the emergency room when he should have? What if I recommend not operating on a tiny tumor, saying that it is just a turtle, and it turns out to be a rabbit that bounds out of control?"
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
America’s Epidemic of Unnecessary Care
"I spoke to Carlos Hernandez, an internist and the president of WellMed. He explained that the medical group was founded twenty-five years ago, in San Antonio, by a geriatrician who believed that what the oldest and sickest most needed in our hyper-specialized medical system was slower, more dedicated primary care. “Our philosophy is that the primary-care physician and patient should become the hub of the entire health-care-delivery system,” Hernandez said. He viewed the primary-care doctor as a kind of contractor for patients, reining in pointless testing, procedures, and emergency-room visits, coördinating treatment, and helping to find specialists who practice thoughtfully and effectively. Our technology- and specialty-intensive health system has resisted this kind of role, but countries that have higher proportions of general practitioners have better medical outcomes, better patient experiences, and, according to a European study, lower cost growth. WellMed found insurers who saw these advantages and were willing to pay for this model of care. Today, WellMed has more than a hundred clinics, fifteen hundred primary-care doctors, and around a quarter of a million patients across Texas and Florida."
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
America’s Epidemic of Unnecessary Care
"Two years into the program, an unexpected pattern is emerging: the biggest savings and improvements in care are coming from avoiding procedures that shouldn’t be done in the first place. Before the participating hospitals operate, their doctors conduct their own evaluation. And, according to Sally Welborn, the senior vice-president for benefits at Walmart, those doctors are finding that around thirty per cent of the spinal procedures that employees were told they needed are inappropriate. Dr. Charles Nussbaum, until recently the head of neurosurgery at Virginia Mason Medical Center, confirmed that large numbers of the patients sent to his hospital for spine surgery do not meet its criteria."
from instapaper
5 weeks ago
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