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A Virtual-Reality Program to Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking | The New Yorker

Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking

He showed me how to use the program to teleport across cavernous halls and land inches away from strangers, where I could admire rogue gray hairs on their heads and fine webs of wrinkles on their slacks. I was drawn to a woman sitting in a middle row of a banquet-hall audience. She appeared to be miserably bored, as if waiting for a train that would never arrive. She had dun-colored hair, worn in a bun that did not suit her. I reached out to touch it. She blinked, and my hands disappeared from view, sinking into the depth of her head. I backed off and marvelled at the sight of my alternate self’s hands, which were covered with barely detectable freckles and hair follicles. Marshall helped me adjust the size to more closely resemble my own.

I styled everyone in the program in casual, just-stopping-by-the-bookstore clothing, adjusted the gender ratio to include more women, and set the audience rudeness level as high as I could. Now everyone assembled was checking their phones, crossing their arms, or yawning theatrically. I spotted kindness on only one face. Ned, as I decided to call him, was a balding man in a gray cardigan. His hopeful eyebrows told me that he’d been through a lot.

Even though I knew that I was alone in my kitchen, in the middle of the day, and that Ned and his rude friends were illusory, my nerves kept tripping me up. A man who was seated near me at a conference table picked at some lint on his trousers, and I lost my footing and had to start the recording over. Again and again, I recited my spiel over a soundtrack of coughing and an occasional unsilenced mobile device. When I made it all the way to the end of my remarks, the crowd granted me a lackluster round of applause.

Thanks to a real-time “heat map” that tracks a user’s visual attention, I could plainly see that my gaze favors the left side of the room. I watched the words “very” and “so” rise faithfully from my mouth like bubbles.

My avatar—who had my round face and slumped posture—appeared during the playbacks. From my position at the edge of the imaginary room, all I could do was watch her ape my body movements and listen to the recording of my speech. The program designates a grade at the end of each playback, factoring in gaze distribution, pace, pauses, reliance on filler words, and hand activity. Five days in, my scores still hovered around seventy per cent. (My dead-fish hands earned consistent fourteens.)

But, in the group settings, Ned was always somewhere to be found, soothing me with a look of compassionate distress.

While the other authors spoke, I located a young woman whose wide eyes and bobbing head suggested a sympathetic soul—a new, real-life Ned. When it was my turn to speak, I focussed on her and stepped into the light.
temoignage  fun  speaking  public  stress  vr  tool  simulation  social  technique  practice  howto  idea  entrepreneurial 
19 days ago by aries1988
A history of China in 8m objects - Chaguan

the Cultural Revolution, the decade after 1966 when Mao Zedong unleashed terror on his own country, pitting neighbour against neighbour, students against teachers, children against parents and Red Guard mobs against officials whom Mao despised. More than a million lives were lost, and many more ruined. Centuries-old temples and libraries were smashed to so much rubble and firewood.

Other exhibits recall hardships. One museum in Anren is devoted to the nearly 18m urban youngsters who were banished to the countryside for years of ploughing, hauling manure and digging ditches instead of being educated.

Drawing the wrong lessons about the past can prompt charges of “historical nihilism”, an offence that sees museums punished and careers blighted.
history  today  museum  entrepreneurial  project  sichuan  artefact  mao 
december 2018 by aries1988
How to Control Your Citizens: Opportunity. Nationalism. Fear. - The New York Times
“Today you have the largest bureaucracy in history, with a capacity to intrude in anything,” said William C. Kirby, a professor of China studies at Harvard. “It isn’t just ideology. There are now enormous numbers of interest groups that don’t like competition.”

For guidance, Mr. Ni often looks to Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba, who is China’s richest man and a cultlike figure among many businessmen. Mr. Ni is currently enrolled in a business school program that Mr. Ma established to cultivate China’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

Over the years, Mr. Ma has spoken publicly about the push-pull relationship between private companies and the government, though there is one piece of his advice for entrepreneurs that Mr. Ni seems to have especially taken to heart: “Fall in love. But don’t marry.”

part of it was something deeper: a desire to help the country catch up with the West and to reconnect with her Chinese roots.

Exposed to liberal democracy, Ms. Hua’s generation was supposed to be the one that demanded it at home. Middle-class Chinese students poured into universities in the United States and Europe — then seen as the most promising path to wealth and prestige — and some Western analysts predicted that they would return to China as a force for political change.

Like many other middle-class parents, Ms. Hua worries about repression and rampant materialism in Chinese society. Yet many of these parents say they want their children to see themselves as Chinese above all else — to understand China’s roots as an agrarian society and to have a sense of pride in the perseverance of the Chinese people through decades of poverty and strife.

Even as some analysts argue that China’s success has more to do with the resilience of its people than the Communist Party and its policies, leaders have been adept at shaping a politicized nationalism that reinforces the primacy of the party — and defends the authoritarian model as the best bulwark against chaos.

“Chinese nationalism binds the people with the state, not to each other,” said Minxin Pei, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.
entrepreneurial  china  jiangsu  portrait  rich  conflict  state  parents  children  education  identity  chinese 
november 2018 by aries1988
I’m Sebastian Desand and This Is How I Mesh | Another Fine Mesh
What is some of the best CFD advice you’ve ever received?

Keep it simple and use the computational power available. The more you model, the more sources of error and uncertainty.
Never forget to ask “so-what” after concluding something. The value is very often in the implications.
cfd  temoignage  advice  entrepreneurial  sweden  cloud 
november 2018 by aries1988
由劍橋生化博士到初創企業家,她要用AI推翻科學知識的高牆 |端傳媒 Initium Media
entrepreneurial  ai  research  academia 
july 2018 by aries1988
A Nancy, une solution à la solitude de l’entrepreneur
Dans l’open space, l’ambiance n’est pas particulièrement chaleureuse, même plutôt studieuse, et seul le cliquetis régulier des claviers d’ordinateur empêche le silence de s’installer. Il faut attendre les pauses et les événements organisés par la Poudrière – près de 300 en 2016 – pour que les relations, les amitiés et les collaborations se nouent. D’ailleurs, chacun a une anecdote à raconter sur la solidarité qui lie la communauté – « l’aide d’Edouard lors du déménagement de Paule », « le soutien moral dans les moments difficiles » ou « les échanges de bons procédés ». De cette proximité émergeraient aussi « des projets professionnels », explique Yannick Sellier, entrepreneur de 33 ans.

Si le coworking continue de conquérir des adeptes, cette manière de travailler reste contraignante. « Il faut composer quand il y a beaucoup de monde, il est compliqué de téléphoner ou de s’isoler, par exemple », nuance Maud Steininger, qui s’y est installée avec les autres membres de son association Parcours le monde.
coworking  entrepreneurial  france 
november 2017 by aries1988
The West should stop worrying about China’s AI revolution
China has some big advantages in AI. It has a wealth of talented engineers and scientists, for one. It also is rich in the data necessary to train AI systems. With fewer obstacles to data collection and use, China is amassing huge databases that don’t exist in other countries. The results can be seen in the growth of facial-recognition systems based on machine learning: they now identify workers at offices and customers in stores, and they authenticate users of mobile apps.

The location of the institute is well chosen. From the office windows, you can see the campuses of both Peking University and Tsinghua University, two of China’s top academic institutions. Sinovation provides machine-learning tools and data sets to train Chinese engineers, and it offers expertise for companies hoping to make use of AI. The institute has about 30 full-time employees so far, but the plan is to employ more than 100 by next year, and to train hundreds of AI experts each year through internships and boot camps. Right now, roughly 80 percent of the institute’s funding and projects are aimed at commercializing AI, while the rest is focused on more far-out technology research and startup incubation.

The goal isn’t to invent the next AlphaGo, though; it’s to upgrade thousands of companies across China using AI.

“The titans of industry [in China] have seen fortunes made and fortunes lost all within their lifetime,” he says. “When you see the tech trends shift, you had better move quickly, or someone else will beat you.”
ai  china  list  entrepreneurial  company  internet  innovation  today  comparison  opinion  reportage  shenzhen 
october 2017 by aries1988
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman: ‘Board games inspired my business strategy’

Settlers of Catan is part of a group of so-called “German-style board games” which reward strategy rather than luck and are less centred on themes of conflict than many US board games. Devised in 1995 by designer Klaus Teuber, it has also been reimagined as a very popular app. Set on a fictional island in Viking times, the aim is to collect and trade commodity cards (such as wool, grain and brick), before exchanging them for plastic roads and settlements to occupy the board. Points are awarded for things like having the longest road, and the first player to reach 10 points wins.

He says he prefers games to that other great standby of American males, hanging out watching sports. “People are bad about social stuff. They get uncomfortable in silence. One of the benefits of a board game is it replaces the silence, it keeps the momentum of the conversation going.”

Discussing books he has read recently, he enthuses about Nonzero by Robert Wright — “one of my favourite intellectual authors. Basically, his theory is you have cultural evolution because you have a preference for non-zero sum games.” As society evolves, there are more and more interactions where both sides come out a winner.
game  comparison  technology  siliconvalley  american  entrepreneurial  politics  human  ai  thinking  future 
october 2017 by aries1988
Rythm, la start-up qui veut libérer les Français des troubles du sommeil
« L’objectif est d’atteindre plus rapidement la phase du sommeil profond, le plus réparateur, puis d’y rester plus longtemps », indique Hugo Mercier, le jeune cofondateur et patron de la société. Si l’utilisateur a programmé une alarme, le casque préparera également son réveil pour s’assurer qu’il n’intervienne pas pendant la phase de sommeil profond, ce qui se traduirait par un sentiment de fatigue.

A terme, la start-up espère aussi se constituer une gigantesque base de données afin de « créer une véritable intelligence artificielle capable de comprendre le sommeil », poursuit cet ancien de l’Ecole polytechnique. La plate-forme serait alors capable de proposer des scénarios personnalisés pour chaque utilisateur.
startup  entrepreneurial  français  sleep 
october 2017 by aries1988
Getting business moving again
Hugo Mercier, a 25-year-old engineering graduate, shunned corporate life to launch Dreem, a headband that uses promising neurotechnology to improve deep sleep.
entrepreneurial  france  français  2017  industry  innovation  macron 
october 2017 by aries1988
The courting of China’s powerful princelings
Still, Ms Ye and her contemporaries are careful to keep a low profile and live relatively plain lives. Although a great car enthusiast, she prefers to drive a low-key SUV and has a comfortable and fairly understated lifestyle.

“My grandfather and his generation were idealists and they created the new China from scratch,” Ms Ye says. “Even if times are different and the ideology has changed, it is still up to my generation to honour their memory with our actions and through our contributions to society.”
reportage  chinese  rich  entrepreneurial  revolution 
october 2017 by aries1988
Liu Qiangdong, the ‘Jeff Bezos of China’, on making billions with

“From June until September we were able to eat corn — cornmeal porridge for breakfast, corn pancakes for lunch and dry cornbread for dinner; cornbread so tough it made your throat bleed,” he tells me. “The other eight months we ate boiled sweet potato for breakfast, sweet potato pancake for lunch and dried sweet potato for dinner.”

18 Kechuang 11 Street, Beijing
Spanish shrimp tartare with Canadian lobster Rmb210 (£24)
Mushroom veloute Rmb8 (£9)
Scottish salmon Rmb150 (£17)
Roasted rack of lamb Rmb200 (£23)
There de Moine cheese Rmb30 (£3.40)
Bottle Amiral de Beychevelle Saint-Julien Rmb 368 (£42.50)
Total (cost estimated from prices) Rmb966 (£119)

the modern super-wealthy often turn out to be descended from an earlier capitalist class. Richard is no exception. Before the 1949 revolution his family were wealthy shipowners who transported goods along the Yangtze river and the ancient imperial canal from Beijing in the north to Hangzhou in the south. They lost everything when the communists took over and were forcibly resettled at least twice. One academic survey found more than 80 per cent of Chinese “elites” (those with income at least 12 times higher than the average in their area) are descended from the pre-1949 elite. Richard puts this down to “family culture”.

Observing how most of his competitors earned money by cheating their customers, selling counterfeit or substandard goods and haggling over every sale, Richard decided to test a different strategy.

“I was the first and only stall in that market to put price labels on everything and give official receipts; from day one I never sold any counterfeits and I soon had the best reputation,”

Beijing became a ghost town. Richard closed all his stores but redeployed a handful of staff to offer products through online bulletin boards. The panic passed and his stores reopened, but he kept one person employed full time on the internet. At the end of the year he looked at sales numbers, realised e-commerce’s potential and decided this was his future.
entrepreneurial  leader  business  retail  b2c  china  internet  story  jiangsu  chinese  1949 
september 2017 by aries1988
How Japanese food is revolutionising the way we eat | How To Spend It
The vogue in the food world for all things Japanese, though, is not restricted simply to Japanese chefs cooking French food. When you can find a sushi bar on every street corner, yuzu juice in supermarkets, wagyu beef in steak restaurants and sake being sniffed and swirled as seriously as wine, even in non-Japanese restaurants, something is clearly afoot.

Miso is loaded with umami, the so-called “fifth taste”. It is a word chefs have bandied around freely for a while and it is now gaining currency among the general public. Originally isolated and described in 1908, it is a sort of savoury, meaty quality in food that can be detected on the palate, along with saltiness, bitterness, sourness and sweetness.

Western cuisine has always contained umami – roast beef, anchovies, Parmesan, tomatoes and mushrooms all contain the glutamates responsible for umami – but it is only recently that European cooks have given it the same status as the four other basic tastes.
uk  story  entrepreneurial  japanese  cuisine  fruit  food  local 
february 2017 by aries1988
常春藤名校毕业的她,做了中国第一台智能种菜机 --陆家嘴金融网
entrepreneurial  food  china  youth  agriculture  idea  customer 
january 2017 by aries1988













2016  idea  money  entrepreneurial  china  chinese  service  internet  future 
january 2017 by aries1988
Lunch with the FT: Rob Rhinehart —
“Humans have this novelty bias where they think that new information is somehow more relevant, but most of the information generated in a day is noise and what’s really important is the patterns that have held true through generations. I feel like I could be reading a philosophy book that has held true for centuries or I could get stressed out by what’s on the news today.”

really creative work comes from states of flow and concentration, and it’s really hard to get into that and it’s really easy to become distracted from that. I think having that flexible day allows people to increase the chance of entering that creative flow, and that’s good for them and it’s good for the business.”
thinking  opinion  leader  entrepreneurial  food  revolution  body  nutrition  lifestyle 
july 2016 by aries1988
Lunch with the FT: Xavier Niel —
Niel is almost as much a French Citizen Kane as a Steve Jobs. He also backs the investigative website Mediapart, which exposed Cahuzac. Why fund media? “I like having a free press.” I start to say, “A businessman who buys France’s most powerful paper because he believes in …” but Niel interrupts: “I finance newspapers of the right and the left.”

He also invests in two new start-ups a week, he says. “It’s more profitable than playing the lottery, and much more fun.” Anyway, he explains, he wants to give money away. “I wasn’t born with much and the day I die, money won’t be much use to me. Why leave my children such responsibility? Why take from them all desire to have a life? They have enough for what they want. The rest I’d like to redistribute.” Incidentally, he notes: “I don’t think Steve Jobs had much desire to share his fortune.”
interview  français  entrepreneurial  leader  internet 
may 2016 by aries1988
The Chinese Lingerie Venders of Egypt
In her opinion, the Chinese are direct and honest, and she appreciates their remove from local gossip networks. They keep their secrets, she said.

I was certain that even the most self-confident American woman would be mortified by the idea of shopping for lingerie with her fiancé, her mother, and her teen-age brother, not to mention doing this in the presence of two Chinese shop owners, their assistant, and a foreign journalist. But I had witnessed similar scenes at other shops in Upper Egypt, where an arusa is almost always accompanied by family members or friends, and the ritual seems largely disconnected from sex in people’s minds.

Inequality between men and women, he said immediately. Here the women just stay home and sleep. If they want to develop, the first thing they need to do is solve this problem. That’s what China did after the revolution. It’s a waste of talent here. Look at my family—you see how my wife works. We couldn’t have the factory without her. And my daughter runs the shop. If they were Egyptian, they wouldn’t be doing that.

Their strategy is to make economic linkages, so if you break these economic linkages it’s going to hurt you as much as it hurts them.

through the Suez Canal. In addition, Egyptian universities are home to approximately two thousand Chinese students, most of them Muslim. The Chinese government is concerned that these students will acquire radical religious ideas, which is another reason that they feel they have a stake in Egypt’s stability and prosperity.

More than two decades ago, at the start of the economic boom in China, bosses hired young women because they could be paid less and controlled more easily than men. But it soon became clear that, in a society that traditionally had undervalued women, they were more motivated, and over the years their role and reputation began to change.
story  chinese  entrepreneurial  middle-east  life  people  gaijin 
august 2015 by aries1988
Inside the Dyson dynasty -
Jake (left) and James Dyson
James Dyson shifts in his seat and laughs awkwardly as his flow of thought hits a tricky obstacle. “God, this is difficult,” he…
story  design  entrepreneurial  industry  home 
may 2015 by aries1988
Uber Scandal Highlights Silicon Valley’s Grown-Up Problem
In other words, the very values at the core of start-up culture — the move fast, break things, us-against-the-world spirit of experimentation — are inconsistent with the kinds of responsibilities that come with being an economically important company that touches millions of customers.

What all these incidents have in common is that they offer a portrait of a company without adults in charge. From the top executive ranks to individual operational units around the world, the mentality seems to be one in which sheer belief in the rightness of their cause overwhelms what to an outsider seems at best questionable and at worst immoral practices.
today  technology  startup  entrepreneurial  corporation  management 
november 2014 by aries1988
China’s migrants thrive in Spain’s financial crisis -
The bonfire of bankruptcies that burnt its way through corporate Spain during the downturn left the Chinese largely untouched – a result of hard work, thriftiness, luck and a business culture that values long-term survival above quick profits. “In China, we believe that the key issue is not whether you lose money or not, but whether you manage to hold on. So the Chinese have developed a great ability to withstand a crisis. You have to endure,” says Marco Wang, a businessman in Madrid whose assets include Spain’s leading Chinese newspapers.

Over the past decade, the number of Chinese arrivals in countries such as Spain, Italy and Portugal has soared. According to official data, there are now more than 180,000 Chinese nationals living in Spain, three times more than in 2003. Add in students and naturalised Chinese, and the figure leaps to more than 200,000, the fifth-largest minority in the country.

Chinese migration to Spain continued to rise even after the start of the crisis, highlighting how well the community has been able to weather the economic storm. In a country where one-in-four workers is out of a job, unemployment is virtually unknown among the Chinese. Furthermore, they account for a vastly disproportionate share of business start-ups: there are now more than 40,000 self-employed Chinese on Spain’s commercial register, twice as many as before the crisis.

At the same time, there are growing signs that the Chinese are starting to work their way up the economic value chain. Gone are the days when Chinese economic activity in Spain was confined to serving up rollitos de primavera (spring rolls) or selling trinkets in dusty 100-pesetas shops. Today there are Chinese-owned fashion chains, import-export businesses, media groups and law firms. According to one estimate, the annual turnover of Chinese-run convenience stores alone amounts to €785m in total.

On the way from the airport, his first impression was that of a country not much richer than the one he was leaving behind: “The houses I saw along the way looked pretty bad. In China the houses are covered with tiles so they are pretty but here all you see are the bricks. I realised only later that Spaniards take greater care of the inside than the outside. Inside, their houses are always tidy, clean and pretty.”

Estimates vary but some believe that as many as 70 or 80 per cent of Chinese migrants in Spain come not just from the same province (Zheijiang) but from the same small county, Qingtian. Their dominance is reflected not least on the walls of Chinese restaurants up and down the country, which often boast framed pictures of Qingtian city.

“Who survives in a crisis? Those who have capital, or who have easy access to capital. And when the crisis came, the Chinese had their family network to fall back on to,” says Mario Esteban, of the Real Instituto Elcano in Madrid.

Chinese business leaders acknowledge that relations are far from perfect, but insist that the community is integrating well into Spanish society. “The first generation of Chinese migrants has a lot of difficulty with the language and with communication. They had no time to study. But their children study here in Spanish schools, they speak Spanish perfectly and they know Spanish culture very well. So I think things are getting better,” says Mr Mao.

Mr Chen, the founder of Don Pin, says there are countless things he likes about life in his adopted country. But he, for one, has no desire to grow old in Madrid. “When I die, I want to die in my village. I arrived here when I was 18 but I still feel my roots very strongly. But it is different for the children. My children will be Madrilians.”
story  espagna  immigration  chinese  entrepreneurial 
october 2014 by aries1988
One More Great Lesson From Steve Jobs: Innovation Begins As A Social Movement | Co. Design
entrepreneurial  apple 
august 2012 by aries1988

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