“I have always tried to put my kids first, and then…put myself a really close second, as opposed to fifth or seventh. One thing that I’ve learned from male role models is that they don’t hesitate to invest in themselves.”—Michelle Obama (via apsies) (via annainhawaii) (via fishy) (via quote-book)
Guest post by Octav Druta. Octav is the Co-Founder of Trigwee, a community that connects you with people that can help you achieve your own dreams. He blogs at http://www.octavdruta.com and can be reached using @octavdruta.
Our brains are trained evolutionarily to spread negative information fast. It perfectly makes sense, we have to survive, so we need to know what’s wrong in order to avoid it. This happens especially when we’re talking about any kind of threats.
If there’s any context in which we all love to play with information, that’s the Internet. We use the Net to search for info and talk to each other. Thanks to Web2.0 we now communicate with each other via photos, comments, statuses, videos, etc.
I was curious to see whether our inclination to spread negative information affects the conversational environment on the Internet.
I’ve used ubervu in order to see how many people talk about:
One must appear self-conscious, ill-at-ease, stiff, awkward and, above all, embarrassed. Smoothness, glibness and confidence are inappropriate and un-English. Hesitation, dithering and ineptness are, surprising as it may seem, correct behaviour. Introductions should be performed as hurriedly as possible, but also with maximum inefficiency. If disclosed at all, names must be mumbled; hands should be tentatively half-proffered and then clumsily withdrawn; the approved greeting is something like ‘Er, how, um, plstm-,er, hello?’
If you are socially skilled, or come from a country where these matters are handled in a more reasonable, straightforward manner (such as anywhere else on the planet), you may need a bit of practice to achieve the required degree of embarrassed, stilted incompetence
“The capricious and erratic nature of our weather ensures that there is always something new to comment on, be surprised by, speculate about, moan about, or, perhaps most importantly agree about. Failure to agree in this manner is a serious breach of etiquette. When the priest says ‘Lord, have mercy upon us,’ you do not respond ‘Well, actually, why should he?’”—Kate Fox - Watching the English
“Individual guidelines would be great, but it’s almost impossible to give them as there are so many different factors coming to bear on how healthy one is," says Dr Seabrook. Body mass plays a part, which should not be confused with how fat one is, but rather how genuinely big-built you are. The more tissue you have, the greater the area is to absorb the alcohol, and the less pressure there is being placed upon the liver and other organs. Metabolism is another factor. The faster it is, the better the body will be at processing alcohol. "If you’re in generally good health, your body is going to be better equipped at processing alcohol, but it would be wrong to say that as long as you eat well and keep fit, you can drink over the limits.”—Drinking Habits
“Dr Rachel Seabrook, research manager at the Institute of Alcohol Studies says that both the 1997 and 1995 unit guidelines were based on the average woman, who weighs 58kg (9st 2), and the numbers of people the scientific teams were using to make their calculations were “too huge to be realistic”. Which means, she says, there are going to be “individual differences in the number of units that is safe for each woman to drink.”—Drinking Habits
“So let’s take the so-called “average” 3.5% inflation rate over the last couple of decades. If you’re saving money, this is a problem. Why? Well, divide 70 by 3.5 and you get 20, which means that money stuffed in your safe loses half its purchasing power in 20 years. In another 20 it loses another half, and is now worth 25% of what it was in terms of what it will buy.”—Nathan’s Economic Edge
“We know many things, and will learn more; what we will never know for certain is which of the things we believe are true. Since it is neither a visible target, nor recognizable when achieved, there is no point in calling truth a goal. Truth is not a value, so the ‘pursuit of truth’ is an empty enterprise unless it means only that it is often worthwhile to increase our confidence in our beliefs, by collecting further evidence or checking our calculations. From the fact that we will never be able to tell which of our beliefs are true, pragmatists conclude that we may as well identify our best researched, most successful beliefs with the true ones, and give up the idea of objectivity. […] But here we have a choice. Instead of giving up the traditional view that truth is objective, we can give up the equally traditional view (to which the pragmatists adhere) that truth is a norm, something for which to strive. I agree with the pragmatists that we can’t consistently take truth to be both objective and something to be pursued. But I think that they would have done better to cleave to a view that counts truth as objective, but pointless as a goal.”—Donald Davidson: ‘The Structure and Content of Truth’ (Dewey Lectures) (via fuckyeahphilosophy)
“Then the remaining variable for immersion metrics to assess is TIME spent (at what level or colour of immersion). Now we know that a lot of things can be happening at anyone time including leaving the computer or screen on while we go and shave the cat or weigh a bone for the dog to chew on. Maybe even take a nap and wake up the following morning but in principle these anomolies of media use average-out rather rapidly and diminish in importance when viewed across an entire population or indeed the planet”—Punk Planning: She comes in colours everywhere - (Social media metrics)
“Yarynich is talking about Russia’s doomsday machine. That’s right, an actual doomsday device—a real, functioning version of the ultimate weapon, always presumed to exist only as a fantasy of apocalypse-obsessed science fiction writers and paranoid über-hawks. The thing that historian Lewis Mumford called “the central symbol of this scientifically organized nightmare of mass extermination.” Turns out Yarynich, a 30-year veteran of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces and Soviet General Staff, helped build one. Chart source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council
The point of the system, he explains, was to guarantee an automatic Soviet response to an American nuclear strike. Even if the US crippled the USSR with a surprise attack, the Soviets could still hit back. It wouldn’t matter if the US blew up the Kremlin, took out the defense ministry, severed the communications network, and killed everyone with stars on their shoulders. Ground-based sensors would detect that a devastating blow had been struck and a counterattack would be launched.”—Inside the Apocalyptic Soviet Doomsday Machine
“Kagan often talks about the three ways to identify an emotion: the physiological brain state, the way an individual describes the feeling and the behavior the feeling leads to. Not every brain state sparks the same subjective experience; one person might describe a hyperaroused brain in a negative way, as feeling anxious or tense, while another might enjoy the sensation and instead uses a positive word like “alert.” Nor does every brain state spark the same behavior: some might repress the bad feelings and act normally; others might withdraw. But while the behavior and the subjective experience associated with an emotion like anxiety might be in a person’s conscious control, physiology usually is not. This is what Kagan calls “the long shadow of temperament.”—Understanding the Anxious Mind - NYTimes.com
“They have also demonstrated that some of us are born anxious — or, more accurately, born predisposed to be anxious. Four significant long-term longitudinal studies are now under way: two at Harvard that Kagan initiated, two more at the University of Maryland under the direction of Nathan Fox, a former graduate student of Kagan’s. With slight variations, they all have reached similar conclusions: that babies differ according to inborn temperament; that 15 to 20 percent of them will react strongly to novel people or situations; and that strongly reactive babies are more likely to grow up to be anxious.”—Understanding the Anxious Mind - NYTimes.com
“The tenuousness of modern life can make anyone feel overwrought. And in societal moments like the one we are in — thousands losing jobs and homes, our futures threatened by everything from diminishing retirement funds to global warming — it often feels as if ours is the Age of Anxiety. But some people, no matter how robust their stock portfolios or how healthy their children, are always mentally preparing for doom. They are just born worriers, their brains forever anticipating the dropping of some dreaded other shoe. For the past 20 years, Kagan and his colleagues have been following hundreds of such people, beginning in infancy, to see what happens to those who start out primed to fret. Now that these infants are young adults, the studies are yielding new information about the anxious brain.”—Understanding the Anxious Mind - NYTimes.com
Jon Steel used to say that “experience, not information, is the source of true wisdom”. Urged us to go out there and live a little. Not be stuck at our computers. Get beyond the data. Go and see what your consumers are up to. Keep a scrapbook of things which may come in handy one day. Read more about life and less about marketing.
But the scrapbooks are not books in themselves - boxes are far more useful!