Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hilary's moment, finally

On a side note, if you haven't seen Political Animals yet, watch it! So good. Read the Hilary article in Bloomberg. (Thanks, Tom and Alessia)

Sex and the Olympic Village

"The real games in the Olympic Village will not be televised." This article came up in four different settings over the past 24 hours! If you haven't read it yet, here's the ESPN article.

Air Jordan and the 1%

There was a lot more income inequality on the Chicago Bulls roster after Michael Jordan's years with the team, but everyone was better off. Read the WSJ article. (Thanks, Corinne, Tom, and Alessia)

Transcript from lost Steve Jobs article

Interviewer: Are you a hippie or a nerd?

Steve Jobs: I'm clearly a hippie, all the people who I worked with [at apple] were clearly in that category too.

Interviewer: Why? Do you seek out hippies? Are they attracted to you?

SJ: Well ask yourself what is a hippy? This is an old word which has a lot of connotations but to me, ... remember I came of age in the 60s 70s. But the spark of that [era] was that there was something beyond what you see everyday, there is something going on in life beyond a job, a family, 2 cars in the garage, a television, a career. There is something more going on, there is another side of the coin that we don't talk about much. We experience it when there are gaps, when everything is not ordered and perfect... You experience this in-rush of something and a lot of people have set out throughout history to find out what that was, whether it's Thoreau or whether it's some kind of Indian mystic. The hippy movement got a little bit of that, they wanted to find out what that [rush] was about... Of course the pendulum swung too far the other way and it was crazy but there was a germ of something there. It's the same thing that causes people to want to be poets rather than bankers ... and that's a wonderful thing. And that same spirit can be put into products and those products can be manufactured and given to people and they can sense that spirit .... so I don't think that the most of the best people have worked with computers for the sake of working with computers. They've worked with computers because those are the medium which are best capable of transmitting  some feeling that you have, that you want to share with other people.

(Thanks, Claire)

Call Me Maybe by 2012 USA Olympic Swimming Team!!

(Thanks, Claire)

HBR Daily Stat: Thoughts of Organic Food Reduce Your Desire to Be Helpful

People who viewed images of food labeled "organic" made harsher moral judgments about others' behavior and volunteered 6 minutes less of their time to help someone out, compared with people who viewed nonorganic foods, says Kendall J. Eskine of Loyola University New Orleans. The findings suggest that morality and "ethical" foods occupy the same conceptual "space" in people's minds, with the result that exposure to organic foods helps people affirm their moral identities and reduces their desire to be altruistic, Eskine says.

Read more at Sage Pub.

Why Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals

WHO is happier about life — liberals or conservatives? The answer might seem straightforward. After all, there is an entire academic literature in the social sciences dedicated to showing conservatives as naturally authoritarian, dogmatic, intolerant of ambiguity, fearful of threat and loss, low in self-esteem and uncomfortable with complex modes of thinking. And it was the candidate Barack Obama in 2008 who infamously labeled blue-collar voters “bitter,” as they “cling to guns or religion.” Obviously, liberals must be happier, right?

Read the answer in the NYT. (Thanks, Alessia)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why There's No Such Thing as 'Having It All'—and There Never Will Be

Women can't have everything they want all of the time. Neither can men. Who ever thought otherwise?

Read more in the Atlantic. (Thanks, Claire!)

Why Families Can't "Have It All"

This excerpt has a similar theme to what we've been reading the paper:

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the first woman director of Policy Planning in the State Department, sent Internet sparks flying when her recent Atlantic cover story told women that, yes, she’d tried to have it all—an elite career and a happy family—but, she couldn’t do it. And, she told readers, neither can any other woman. In the midst of the ensuing firestorm, a simple reality emerged: men can’t have it all, either. The solution to work-life balance lies not in the battle of the sexes, but in the policy fixes that have stalled for decades in the United States while we have watched the rest of the world, including developing countries, pass us in the race to make life better for working families.
Paid leave sounds like an expensive idea to many American businesses. Why then, is some form of paid maternity leave the law in every country except Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia and the United States?

That's not a group of countries the US normally finds itself compared to! Read more in Common Dreams. (Thanks, Claire)

Melinda Gates challenges Vatican by vowing to improve contraception


Catholic philanthropist predicts women in Africa and Asia will soon ignore church teaching on birth control. Read more in the Guardian(Thanks, Claire)

The 21 Absolute Worst Things In The World



 ... read more at BuzzFeed. (Thanks, Jamie)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Creative Monopoly

David Brook's writes about entrepreneur Peter Thiel's philosophy. Best line: Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, it’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it.

Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Claire)

Happy 4th of July!

Check out DuoW's new video starring Arianna Warsaw-Fan (violin) and Meta Weiss (cello). It's a lovely great arrangement of Stars and Stripes, and it's fun and seasonally appropriate.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Don't Trust Companies Who Put Customers First

Here's an excerpt:
“Our customers are our number one priority,” is the oft heard mantra of so many companies these days. “We put our clients first,” is uttered by so many CEOs one loses track. But there’s a problem with putting customers first. It means that employees come at least second.
Read more in Simon Sinek's blog

Best ad for a boxing gym ever. Seriously. Ever.

"The Church Street Gym in New York is home to former pro boxer Eric Kelly. And he is, without a doubt, the best possible spokesman for a gym in this history of gym spokespeople. If we lived in NYC, we'd join in a heartbeat. Absolutely hilarious." 

Read more at the San Francisco Egotist. (Thanks, Tom)

Monday, July 2, 2012

E-Tailer Customization: Convenient or Creepy?

Why Smart People Are Stupid

A new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology led by Richard West at James Madison University and Keith Stanovich at the University of Toronto suggests that, in many instances, smarter people are more vulnerable to certain kinds of thinking errors.

Although we assume that intelligence is a buffer against bias - that's why those with higher SAT scores think they are less prone to these universal thinking mistakes - it can actually be a subtle curse. To understand how these biases correlated with human intelligence, the researchers interspersed their tests of bias with various cognitive measurements, including the SAT and the Need for Cognition Scale, which measures "the tendency for an individual to engage in and enjoy thinking."

The results were quite disturbing. For one thing, self-awareness was not particularly useful: as the scientists note, "people who were aware of their own biases were not better able to overcome them." Although the bias blind spot itself isn't a new concept, West's latest paper demonstrates that it applies to every single bias under consideration, from anchoring to so-called "framing effects." In each instance, we readily forgive our own minds but look harshly upon the minds of other people.

Read more in the New Yorker.

HBR Stat of the Day: U.S.-Born Are Half as Likely to Start Businesses as Immigrants

Native-born Americans are half as likely to start new businesses as immigrants, and among U.S. natives, whites are the only major demographic group to show a decline in its share of all new entrepreneurs from 1996-2011, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Latino share of new entrepreneurs during that period rose from a little more than 10% to 22.9%, reflecting increased entrepreneurship among the group as well as a growing share of the U.S. population. The Asian share of new entrepreneurs also rose substantially, but remains modest at 5.3%. The African American share increased slightly.

Read more at the Kauffman Foundation.

American Polyglot Practicing 20 Languages

(Thanks, Jess)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Navy SEAL's wise advice to graduates

Tufts University brought Navy SEAL Eric Greitens to address the 2012 graduating class.  It's not often that elite universities honor military service members with commencement addresses. Here's an excerpt: 
Many commencement speakers today tell students to "Dream big" and "Do what you love." It may be feel-good career advice, but it's incomplete life advice. Greitens said it this way: "The best definition I have ever heard of a vocation is that it's the place where your great joy meets the world's great need. ... We need all of you to find your vocation. To develop your joys, your passions, and to match them to the world's great needs."
Read more at CNN. (Thanks, Brandon!) 

1% Wives Are Helping Kill Feminism and Make the War on Women Possible

Don't hear this very often: "Being a mother isn't a real job -- and the men who run the world know it." Another fiery response to Anne-Marie Slaughter's article. Read the controversial critique in the Atlantic. (Thanks, Claire)

Why Young, Single Men Are the Solution to the 'Having it All' Problem

New Technology Promises To Tap Vast Reserves of Methane -- And Sequester CO2

Pretty fascinating technology that could emerge in the next decade or so. Read about Methane Ice in Forbes.

The DOE also has a short summary page on methane hydrates

(Thanks, Caldwell)

Atomic Priesthoods, Thorn Landscapes, and Munchian Pictograms

How to communicate the dangers of nuclear waste to future civilizations? Read the Slate Article. (Thanks, Caldwell!)

Google Pulls Off Most Kick-Ass Tech Demo Ever

Skydivers in wingsuits, BMX daredevils, and a guy rappelling down the side of a building all add up to a big fat jolt of holy cow as Google demos its Google Glass goggles.

Read the PC Magazine article. (Thanks, Jules)

Growth of the basketball uniform

Not sure why I found this to be so funny! Read the Flowing Data post for more.

89 Business Cliches That Will Get Any MBA Promoted And Make Them Totally Useless

A couple of my favorites:

  • It’s a paradigm shift = I don’t know what’s going on in our business. But we’re not making as much money as we used to.  
  • I’m a team player/we only hire team players = I hope everyone on the team thinks this is a meritocracy, even though I’m the dictator in charge  
  • Let’s circle back to that/Let’s put that in the parking lot/let’s touch base on that later/let’s take this off-line = Shut up and let’s go back to what I was talking about  
  • We need to manage the optics of this = How can we lie about this in a way people will believe?  
  • That’s not our core competency/we’re sticking to our knitting = We’re just glad we’re making money in one business, because we’d have no clue how to get into any other business  
  • It’s the old 80-20 rule = I really have no idea what the rule was, but I just want to focus on the things that will make us successful

Read the rest in the Forbes article. (Thanks, Jamie!)

This is 21 Blue Jaguars #1,500 post over the past 6 years!

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .