recentpopularlog in
« earlier   later »
Martin Kilson, Scholar and Racial Pathbreaker at Harvard, Dies at 88
April 30, 2019 | The New York Times | By Richard Sandomir.

Martin Kilson, a leftist scholar, fierce debater and follower of W. E. B. Du Bois who became the first tenured African-American professor at Harvard, died on April 24 in Lincoln, Mass. He was 88.....Professor Kilson was a prolific writer, an expert on ethnic politics in Africa and the United States, and a mentor to generations of students, among them the writer, teacher and philosopher Cornel West......Professor Kilson, an avowed integrationist, was already teaching courses in African politics in the 1960s when black students were starting to assert themselves on predominantly white campuses like Harvard.......Professor Kilson was a faculty sponsor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Association of African and Afro-American Students. But after the university’s Afro-American studies department was established in 1969, he became disenchanted with its governance, criticizing it as lacking academic rigor and maintaining that it had become an enclave for radical black students.

“Black solidarity forces are distinctly anti-intellectual and anti-achievement in orientation,” he wrote in a provocative essay about Harvard in The New York Times Magazine in 1973. “They indulge in the ‘black magic’ of nationalism, believing that miracles are possible if Negroes display fidelity to black nationalism or separatism and its anti-white attitudes, rituals and symbols.”....Kilson argued that the radical politics of separatists was an academic dead end.....“It took extraordinary courage in 1969 to challenge Black Panther and black power rhetoric,” the Rev. Eugene Rivers III, a former student of Professor Kilson’s, said in a telephone interview. “And he was right.”......Professor Kilson encountered Du Bois, the pioneering urban sociologist who was a founder of the N.A.A.C.P., as a freshman at Lincoln University, a HBCU....Du Bois remained an influence throughout Professor Kilson’s career....Harvard hired him as a lecturer in government in 1962. He was named an assistant professor two years later and granted tenure in 1968.

“He took a lot of pride in that accomplishment,” his daughter Hannah Kilson said in a telephone interview....Kilson used that sharp pen in 2002 when he challenged Randall L. Kennedy, a distinguished African-American professor at Harvard Law School, over the title of Professor Kennedy’s book “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”
academic_rigor  African-Americans  Black_Panthers  black_nationalism  black_power  black_separatism  black_studies  Cornel_West  Eugene_Rivers  Harvard  Henry_Louis_Gates  integration  left-wing  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  trailblazers  W.E.B._Du_Bois  wishful_thinking 
may 2019
Da Vinci code: what the tech age can learn from Leonardo
April 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Ian Goldin.

While Leonardo is recognised principally for his artistic genius, barely a dozen paintings can be unequivocally attributed to him. In life, he defined himself not as an artist but as an engineer and architect......History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. The Renaissance catapulted Italy from the Medieval age to become the most advanced place on Earth. Then, as now, change brought immense riches to some and growing anxiety and disillusionment to others. We too live in an age of accelerating change, one that has provoked its own fierce backlash. What lessons can we draw from Leonardo and his time to ensure that we not only benefit from a new flourishing, but that progress will be sustained? When we think of the Renaissance, we think of Florence. Leonardo arrived in the city in the mid 1460s, and as a teenager was apprenticed to the painter Verrocchio. The city was already an incubator for ideas. At the centre of the European wool trade, by the late 14th century Florence had become the home of wealthy merchants including the Medicis, who were bankers to the Papal Court. The city’s rapid advances were associated with the information and ideas revolution that defines the Renaissance. Johann Gutenberg had used moveable type to publish his Bible in the early 1450s, and between the time of Leonardo’s birth in 1452 and his 20th birthday, some 15m books were printed, more than all the European scribes had produced over the previous 1,500 years.

..as Leonardo knew, and the Silicon Valley techno-evangelists too often neglect, information revolutions don’t only allow good ideas to flourish. They also provide a platform for dangerous ideas. The Zuckerberg information revolution can pose a similar threat to that of Gutenberg.

In the battle of ideas, populists are able to mobilise the disaffected more effectively than cerebral scientists, decently disciplined innovators and the moderate and often silent majority. For progress to prevail, evidence-based, innovative and reasoned thinking must triumph.
.....Genius thrived in the Renaissance because of the supportive ecosystem that aided the creation and dissemination of knowledge — which then was crushed by the fearful inquisitions. Today, tolerance and evidence-based argument are again under threat.
accelerated_lifecycles  architecture  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  capitalization  cross-disciplinary  cross-pollination  curiosity  dangerous_ideas  digital_economy  diversity  engineering  evidence_based  Florence  genius  globalization  human_potential  ideas  immigrants  Italy  industry_expertise  Johan_Gutenberg  lessons_learned  Leonardo_da_Vinci  Medicis  medieval  physical_place  polymaths  observations  Renaissance  Renaissance_Man  Silicon_Valley  silo_mentality  tolerance  unevenly_distributed  visionaries 
april 2019
Black Folk's Guide to Making Big Money in America
A primer on personal finance, business and real estate. It is truly comprehensive and a must read for anyone serious about improving their financial situation.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
First, Trower-Subira emphasizes the central importance of home ownership as a source of equity capital. He decried the usage of earned income and accumulated home equity to fuel (conspicuous) consumption binges. Trower-Subira got it right when he said that real estate should be the base asset for African Americans from which to build wealth. As long as you borrow against your home to acquire other, income producing assets, you are doing yourself a favor by pursuing homeownership.

Second, he stressed the importance of financial assets in building wealth. Trower-Subira puts forth a brilliant explanation of the types of assets that produce income and that African Americans in particular should endeavor to pursue (real estate is just one of several).

Third, Trower-Subira emphasizes the importance of continuing education combined with an asset-based approach to wealth building. Trower-Subira wrote in the context of his day, but now the game has shifted somewhat. That is not to say that the problems of his day are no more; indeed, many of the problems of his day still relentlessly follow the African American community, and in too many instances, the problem have actually gotten worse. Although we are presented with new opportunities, we also face new challenges- on top of the same old challenges that we have yet to vanquish.
'80s  advice  African-Americans  Amazon  books  business  home_ownership  mindsets  personal_finance  primers  real_estate  self-help  wealth_creation 
april 2019
Always seek out novelty — even at home
April 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Harford.
* A Mathematical Theory of Communication by Claude Shannon (1948)
* The search for new experiences should not just be for our holidays.
* Japan: 10 days in a far-off land produces a richer treasury of detailed memories than 10 weeks back home. But why?
* Actively searching for new experiences --whether on holiday abroad or within your daily routine at home!!
* Novelty isn't just about mental stimulation. It also exposes you to opportunity.....Variation also reshapes the mental categorisation of experiences, so that freshness can be found within routine activities.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
While on an adventurous holiday, many people experience that strange sense of time having slowed down in the most pleasurable way, and of conversations that begin, “Was it really only yesterday that we . . . ?”

Ten days in a far-off land produces a richer treasury of detailed memories than 10 weeks back home. But what is behind this phenomenon?

Claude Shannon,in 1948, published one of his two profound contributions, A Mathematical Theory of Communication.....a message can be compressed to the extent that it is predictable. ....(e.g. Ritualised conversations (“How are you?” “Very well, thank you. How are you?”) can be heavily compressed.....A movie can be compressed because, between cuts, each frame tends to resemble the previous one....Although the parallel is not exact, much the same thing seems to be going on with our memories of life. The brain is not a video recorder; we recall the gist. Sometimes the gist is very brief. If I get up in the morning at the usual time, eat my customary breakfast and catch my usual train to the office, why should my brain trouble itself to remember this day two weeks after the fact? The diffs are barely worth bothering with. In contrast, fresh experiences defy compression: the diffs are too big........Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human, a book about conversations between humans and computers, speculates that if we’re seeking advice we should ask the person of whose answer we are least certain. If we want to understand a person, we should ask them the question to which we are least sure of their answer.
algorithms  books  compression  creativity  creative_renewal  economists  experience_economy  fresh_eyes  habits  holidays  insta-bae  Japan  mybestlife  novelty  non-routine  Slow_Movement  Tim_Harford  travel  unpredictability  vacations  variety 
april 2019
George Trower-Subira, author, lecturer
December 16, 2010 | The Inquirer | by JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com

FOR A MAN who spent his life in the often frustrating struggle to win justice for African-Americans, George Russell Trower-Subira embodied the meaning of the Swahili word that he added to his given name.

"Subira" means "patience" in Swahili. And that was one of the main characteristics of George's character.

"He had incredible patience with people," said his brother, Len Trower. "Even people who did unjust things to him, he would forgive them. He would try to rationalize why they did it. Me? I'd be throwing things against the wall."

George Russell Trower-Subira, who grew up in Philadelphia as George Trower and wrote numerous books of self-help advice for African-Americans as George Subira, collapsed and died of a heart attack Sunday while jogging on the track at Penn Wood High School, in East Lansdowne. He was 66 and lived in East Lansdowne.

He was a major influence on the subject of black entrepreneurship through his writings and speeches. His book, "Black Folks Guide to Making Big Money in America," published in 1980, was the first to tell blacks that what was missing from their drive for equality was success in the economic arena.....George traveled the country expounding these views, and was in demand at schools and conferences as a speaker and teacher of economic values and business development for blacks.

He gained wide recognition for his ideas and was interviewed on the Phil Donahue show, the "Today" show, "Tony Brown's Journal" and the "700 Club," and was written up in Essence, Ebony, Jet and Black Enterprise, among others.
African-Americans  authors  economic_clout  entrepreneurship  entrepreneur  obituaries  black_power  conspicuous_consumption  distractions  entertainment  immaturity  pay_attention  self-discipline 
april 2019
Be a Potentiator - Mike Lipkin
April 25, 2019 | @ #CAIF2019 | Presentation and speech By Mike Lipkin.

1. Be Self-Savvy: Define your principles. Discern your impact. Play your role. Know what drives you. Know how you’re occurring to others. Know their expectations of you. Know thyself and thy relationship with others.
2. Develop Situational Sensibility: Get out there. Know the trends. Connect the dots. Context is decisive. Whoever understands their environment best wins. So expand your footprint. Study the data until it tells the truth. Anticipate the future by getting there first. Become your peers’ scout. Discover the new world for yourself and other will want to join you.
3. Make a Powerful Promise: Declare your purpose. Express your value proposition. Focus your execution. Know your personal mission. Know the unique benefit you give to others. Act accordingly. So my mission is to turn people into potentiators. My unique benefit is to excite people into remarkable action. I’m executing my promise through motivational messages like this one in any way I can. What are you doing?
4. Become Sublimely Skilled: Practice for real. Become the authority. Make it a pleasure. Whatever your level, be the best at that level. Learn from every experience. Communicate your knowledge with conviction. Light others up with your joie de vivre.
5. Build Robust Resilience: Interpret to win. Be prolific. Train like an athlete. We’re only as good as the stories that we tell ourselves. Make whatever happens meaningful. Do more things. Put the odds on your side. And train, train, train. Stamina is the rocket fuel of champions.
6. Grow Courageous Creativity: Unleash your imagination. Experiment like Edison. Talk, listen, learn. Dare to dream then declare your dream. Turn it into reality by trying something new. Fail fast until you fly high. Get in front of people and give them great conversation. Enrich their perspective while you expand yours.
7. Be Fanatically Faithworthy: Commit to your commitments. Come through in the crunch. Be the best you can be, every day. If you say it, do it. Make your word the one thing that others can always depend on. Become the go-to-person in a crisis. And, whatever happens, bring your A-Game every time. You can’t always be the best, but you can always be the best you can be that day.
8. Create Close Connections: Give First. Open yourself up. Become an insider. Generosity pays big dividends. Show what you can give them and others will show you the money. Get up, close and personal. Become integral to others’ wellbeing. If you build their trust, they will pay it forward all the way back to you.
9. Communicate Like a Champion: Say it like you mean it. Talk their language. Connect them to their purpose. How you say what you say is as important as what you say. Let your authenticity shine through but inject it with your passion. Be the reason why other people rediscover why they make a difference.
10. Cause Bold Breakthroughs: Own it. Celebrate the struggle. Finish like a professional. It’s not about the title. It’s about your skin in the game. It’s about taking on the responsibility for everyone else’s success, no matter what. You can’t always win, but you can always play to win. It’s meant to be hard. The pain is the price you pay to be a potentiator. Close strong and the force will be with you.
breakthroughs  CAIF  code_switching  commitments  Communicating_&_Connecting  connecting_the_dots  execution  inspiration  It's_up_to_me  Mike_Lipkin  motivations  purpose  self-awareness  self-knowledge  self-made  serving_others  situational_awareness  skin_in_the_game  torchbearers  value_propositions 
april 2019
Private Libraries That Inspire
April 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Katy McLaughlin.

Difficult to build and maintain, these elaborate spaces contain the passions and obsessions of their owners. Libraries That Inspire -- These spectacular rooms house the owners’ collections of books, antiques, art and ephemera representing their unique, life-long passions and interests.

Forget the Dewey Decimal System: Entrepreneur and inventor Jay Walker’s 25,000 books, manuscripts, artifacts and objects are organized in his personal 3,600-square-foot library “randomly, by color and height,” he said. When he walks into his library, part of his Ridgefield, Conn., home, the room automatically “wakes up,” glowing with theatrical lighting, music and LED-lit glass panels lining various walkways. He finds items to peruse by a system of memory, chance, and inspiration, he said.

The Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination is a dramatic example of the rarest of residential amenities: A vast, personal, custom-built repository of intellectual stimuli. In the age of the e-reader, it is a status symbol on par with wearing a Patek Philippe watch when the cellphone already tells the time. For wealthy homeowners, personal libraries provide both a quiet refuge from the world and a playground for their minds—as well as a solution to the challenge of warehousing books from which they cannot bear to part......To create enough shelf space and to counteract the visual heaviness of walls lined with books, private libraries may aim for two or more open stories......The private library is a classic example of a highly personal amenity that is expensive for the builder of a dream home to create and hard to recoup upon resale. .......the library has stimulated new ideas that have translated into an array of inventions and helped him make many new friends.

For some private library owners, especially those who aspire to world-class book collections, the serious expenditure isn’t in the physical structure, but in the contents. “It is not uncommon for collectors at this level to be spending in excess of $1 million a year” on books ......
antiques  antiquities  art  bespoke  books  collectibles  collectors  curation  design  high_net_worth  ideas  inspiration  insurance  Katy_McLaughlin  life_long_learning  personal_libraries  physical_place  owners  passions  shelf_space  status_symbols  uniqueness 
april 2019
Captaincy - Peggy Noonan's Blog - WSJ
Aug 4, 2014 |WSJ| Peggy Noonan

There are [underlying] reasons for [the existence of the weirdest] traditions and arrangements [--but you have to ask questions to uncover them]. Sometimes they are good and sometimes not, but they are reasons, explanations grounded in some sort of experience. I had a conversation about this a few years ago with a young senior at Harvard who on graduation would go to work for a great consulting firm that studies the internal systems of business clients to see if they can be bettered. He asked if I had any advice, which I did not. Then I popped out, with an amount of feeling that surprised me because I didn’t know I had been thinking about it, that he should probably approach clients with the knowledge that systems and ways of operating almost always exist for a reason [JCK: fact-finding]. Maybe the reason is antiquated or not applicable to current circumstances, but there are reasons for structures, and if you can tease them out they will help you better construct variations or new approaches. I can’t remember why but this opened up a nice conversation about how consultants walk into new jobs with a bias toward change—the recommendation of change proves their worth and justifies their fees—but one should be aware of that bias and replace it with a bias for improvement, which is different.
advice  biases  bias_for_improvement  bias_toward_change  fact-finding  hidebound  institutional_knowledge  institutional_memory  internal_systems  Jason_Isaacs  management_consulting  Peggy_Noonan  traditions 
april 2019
How to Bounce Back From Rejection
April 19, 2019 | The New York Times | By Adam Grant.

Being rejected at work, whether it’s having our suggestions shot down, being denied for a promotion or getting fired from a job--hurts.......The good news is that we can learn to take rejection in stride. Take salespeople: They get rejected constantly, and psychologists find that the ones who stick with it are the ones who learn not to take it personally......remove, “It’s not you, it’s me” from your vocabulary. Sometimes it really is them! But the real reason to ban that phrase is because most of the time when we get rejected, it’s not you. It’s not me either. It’s us.

Rejection often happens because of a lack of fit in the relationship: Your values were a mismatch for that interviewer, your skills didn’t quite suit that job, your ratty conference T-shirts failed to overlap with the taste of your decreasingly significant other. New research reveals that when people are in the habit of blaming setbacks on relationships instead of only on the individuals involved, they’re less likely to give up — and more motivated to get better........recognize that our lives are composed of many selves. You contain multitudes.....When one of your identities is rejected, resilience comes from turning to another identity that matters to you. “When you’re insecure in one, you lean on the other one that’s doing better at that time,”..........We are more than the bullet points on our resumes. We are better than the sentences we string together into a word salad under the magnifying glass of an interview. No one is rejecting us. They are rejecting a sample of our work, sometimes only after seeing it through a foggy lens.
Adam_Grant  bouncing_back  howto  rejections  workplaces 
april 2019
"Boss: The Black Experience in Business" Explores the History of African American Entrepreneurship Tuesday, April 23 on PBS
Apr 23, 2019 | WNET |

Tying together the past and the present, Boss: The Black Experience in Business explores the inspiring stories of trailblazing African American entrepreneurs and the significant contributions of contemporary business leaders. Stories featured in the film include those of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, publisher John H. Johnson, Motown CEO Berry Gordy, and business pioneer and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis, among others. The film features new interviews with Vernon Jordan, senior managing director of Lazard, Freres & Co. LLC.; Cathy Hughes, CEO and founder of Urban One; Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox and chairman of VEON; Ken Frazier, chairman, president and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.; Richelieu Dennis, founder, CEO and executive chairman of Sundial Brands; Robert F. Smith, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Managing Partners, LLC; Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr., CEO of Black Enterprise; and John Rogers, CEO and founder of Ariel Investments.

As a capitalist system emerged in the United States, African Americans found ways to establish profitable businesses in numerous industries, including financial services, retail, beauty, music and media.
African-Americans  Berry_Gordy  C.J.Walker  CEOs  documentaries  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  filmmakers  founders  historians  history  inspiration  Kenneth_Frazier  Lazard  Merck  moguls  PBS  Reginald_Lewis  Robert_Smith  storytelling  trailblazers  Vernon_Jordan 
april 2019
Opinion | There’s a Bigger Prize Than Impeachment - The New York Times
By Joe Lockhart
Mr. Lockhart served as White House press secretary from 1998 to 2000.

April 22, 2019
Campaign_2020  Donald_Trump  GOP  impeachment  machiavellian 
april 2019
Business leaders are blinded by industry boundaries
April 22, 2019 | Financial Times | Rita McGrath.

Why is it so hard for executives to anticipate the major shifts that can determine the destiny of their organisations? Andy Grove called these moments “strategic inflection points”. For some, he wrote, “That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”

Industry leaders would do well to focus on productive opportunities, even when they lie outside a fairly well-bounded industry. Want to survive a strategic inflection point? Stop focusing on traditional metrics and find new customer needs that your organisation can uniquely address.

Why do business leaders so often miss these shifts? Successful companies such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Nokia did not heed the early signs of a move to app-based smartphones. Video rental chain Blockbuster failed to acquire Netflix when it had the chance, in 2000.

Senior people rise to the top by mastering management of the KPIs in that sector. This, in turn, shapes how they look at the world. The problem is a strategic inflection point can occur and render the reference points they have developed obsolete. Take traditional retail. Its key metrics have to do with limited real estate, such as sales per square metre. Introduce the internet and those measures are useless. And yet traditional systems, rewards and measures are all built around them.....British economist Edith Penrose grasped this crucial link, she asked, “What is an industry?” In her studies, executives did not confine themselves to single industries, they expanded into any market where their business might find profitable growth.

Consider the energy sector: Historically, most power generators and utilities were heavily regulated...The sector’s suppliers likewise expected steady demand and a quiet life....that business has been rocked by slow-moving shifts many players talked about, but did not act upon. The rise of distributed energy generation, the maturing of renewable technology, increased conservation and new rules have eroded the traditional model. Many failed to heed the warnings. In 2015, General Electric spent about $10bn to acquire Alstom’s power business. Finance chief Jeff Bornstein crowed at the time that it could be GE’s best acquisition ever. Blinded by traditional metrics, GE doubled down on fossil-fuel-fired turbines just as renewables were becoming cost competitive.

Consider razor blades: Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand of razors had long enjoyed a competitive advantage. For decades, the company had invested in developing premium products, charged premium prices, invested heavily in marketing and used its clout to get those razors into every traditional retail outlet. A new breed of online rivals such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s have upended that model, reselling outsourced razors that were “good enough” and cheaper, online via a subscription model that attracted younger, economically pressured customers...... Rather than fork out for elaborate marketing, the upstarts enlisted YouTube and Facebook influencers to get the word out.
Andy_Grove  BlackBerry  blindsided  Blockbuster  brands  cost-consciousness  customer_insights  Dollar_Shave_Club  executive_management  GE  Gillette  good_enough  Harry's  industries  industry_boundaries  inflection_points  Intel  irrelevance  KPIs  metrics  millennials  movingonup  myopic  obsolescence  out-of-the-box  P&G  power_generation  retailers  reward_systems  sales_per_square_foot  shifting_tastes  slowly_moving  tradition-bound  warning_signs 
april 2019
How to Get Eggplant Right
April 22, 2019 | The New York Times | By Yotam Ottolenghi.
eggplants  Greek  howto  lamb  Moussaka  recipes 
april 2019
America’s Biggest Supermarket Company Struggles With Online Grocery Upheaval
April 21, 2019 | WSJ | By Heather Haddon.

Kroger adjusts operations and invests in technology to hang on to customers who avoid stores; ‘we’ve got to get our butts in gear
Amazon  bricks-and-mortar  BOPIS  CDO  cultural_clash  delivery_services  digital_strategies  disruption  e-commerce  e-grocery  grocery  IBM  Instacart  Jet  Kroger  Microsoft  millennials  Ocado  Oracle  pilot_programs  post-deal_integration  retailers  same-day  Shipt  start_ups  supermarkets  Vitacost  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods 
april 2019
China has taken our citizens and canola producers hostage. Here’s how Ottawa can muscle up - The Globe and Mail
APRIL 22, 2019 | Globe and Mail | by COLIN ROBERTSON, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL


Problem: For months, both Canadian citizens and a key part of the Canadian economy have been held hostage by China. After Canada’s detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, Beijing responded; for nearly 150 days, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been jailed, denied legal representation, forced to endure sleep deprivation and, in the case of the latter, had his diplomatic immunity abused as an on-leave Canadian foreign-service officer. Beijing then claimed that our canola is infected by pests. That canola embargo is a double whammy: It cuts our current market in half, and also sows doubt among Canadians about our health and safety standards.

If the Trudeau government continues to let this pass without response, we can expect the Chinese to ratchet up the pressure. Our beef, pork and seafood could be next.......A resurgent China is using the Meng affair to demonstrate its power and influence, and in doing so, it is redefining the norms of the rules-based order. Other authoritarians, looking to follow China’s lead, are watching closely.

Solution: * To address the canola embargo, we need to implement a food chain and inspection system that is the best in the world. We need to show foreign customers and Canadians alike that our food is of the highest quality and that “Made in Canada” is a signal of a premium brand. * the Canadian ministerial delegation being sent to China (to demonstrate to Chinese authorities that Canadian canola is pest-free) should read Lord Macartney’s account of his 1793 mission to China’s emperor, which was unsuccessful because of the deep divides between the two sides. * redeploy the trade commissioners recently added to China to markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. * take the plight of the hostages to the various international human-rights tribunals and encourage human-rights NGOs to include them in their advocacy. * Press the cause of the million-plus Uyghurs kept in Chinese concentration camps * apply Magnitsky sanctions against those responsible for depriving the two Canadians of their human rights * Carefully inspect, with a “name and shame” approach to counterfeits and tainted goods, Chinese goods entering Canada. * formally declare that Huawei equipment will not be used in our 5G network buildout because we do not trust China. * arrest/expel Chinese agents are engaging in illicit activities or, if they are working under diplomatic cover, sent home.* send the current Chinese ambassador, Lu Shaye, packing. *Our next ambassador needs to be tough-minded and go into the job without illusions. Xi Jinping’s China is authoritarian, and does not care about human rights. It believes that its system is superior and more efficient than liberal democracy. *urge our allies to keep up the pressure.
ASEAN  authoritarianism  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  canola  China  counterfeits  economic_warfare  food_safety  geographic_ingredient_branding  hostages  intimidation  Justin_Trudeau  Huawei  Meng_Wanzhou  norms  redeployments  reprisals  rules-based  TPP  Uyghurs 
april 2019
Online start-ups target $120bn travel activities market
April 21, 2019 | Financial Times Mercedes Ruehl and Alice Woodhouse in Hong Kong.

A group of start-ups led by a Hong Kong-based company Klook and backed by investors such as Japan’s SoftBank are expanding internationally in the $120bn travel activities industry, the fastest growing segment in the tourism sector.

The companies, which offer services ranging from amusement park tickets to cooking classes and walking tours, are targeting millennials, particularly in the rapidly expanding Asian travel market, forcing traditional travel agencies to invest more heavily in the sector......“These young companies have become full-service platforms, from recommending the best attractions in a city to processing the booking and generating an electronic ticket instantly. They have figured out that if you can engage on a much more regular basis with customers it increases the engagement and ultimately allows these companies to cater to and transact more frequently with that customer.”

Similarly, Berlin-based GetYourGuide, backed by investment firm Battery Ventures and private equity group KKR, has raised $170m and is focused on growing further in the US after cementing its position in Europe. 

“GetYourGuide was the first digital company to start bringing a fragmented, decentralised, analogue global market online,” said chief executive Johannes Reck.
online_travel  travel  travel_activities  tourism  venture_capital 
april 2019
A preacher for Trump’s America: Joel Osteen and the prosperity gospel
APRIL 18, 2019 | Financial Times | Edward Luce in Houston.

Optimism, hope, destiny, harvest, bounty — these are Lakewood’s buzzwords. Prosperity too. Words that are rarely heard include guilt, shame, sin, penance and hell. Lakewood is not the kind of church that troubles your conscience.....the market share of US churches run by celebrity prosperity preachers such as Osteen, Creflo Dollar (sic), Kenneth Copeland and Paula White keeps growing. Three out of four of the largest megachurches in America subscribe to the prosperity gospel. Formal religion in the US has been waning for years. Almost a quarter of Americans now profess to having none. Among the Christian brands, only “non-denominational charismatics” — a scholarly term for the prosperity preachers — are expanding.......About the only book that Trump is known to have read from cover to cover is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, the grandfather of the prosperity gospel. It has sold five million copies since it was published in 1952. His message is that the more you give to God, the more he will give back in return......The prosperity gospel is all about harvesting the seed. The more money you plant in God’s church, the greater your heavenly bounty. Wealth is a mark of God’s benevolence. Poverty is a sign of godlessness...........The more you consider Lakewood’s business model, the more it seems like a vehicle to redistribute money upwards — towards heaven, perhaps — rather than to those who most need it. Like all religious charities, Lakewood is exempt from taxes. All donations to it are tax deductible. It has never been audited by the IRS......On the left, the prosperity gospel is attacked for encouraging reckless spending by those who can least afford it. Among Lakewood’s night classes is Own Your Dream Home. Leaps of financial faith fit into Osteen’s view that God will always underwrite true believers.
.......Some of the home repossessions in the 2008 crash were blamed on irresponsible advice from the prosperity churches, which are concentrated in the Sun Belt. In her book Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel, Kate Bowler says the churches have created a “deification and ritualisation” of the American dream.......people who are depressed should shun the company of other depressed people.... Addicts must steer clear of other addicts. The poor should avoid others who are poor.......“If you’re struggling in your finances, get around blessed people, generous people, people who are well off,” Osteen advises. Misery loves company, he says. Avoid miserable people.........Osteen’s idea of whether God would have hesitated before creating the universe. “He didn’t check with accounting and say, ‘I am about to create the stars, galaxies and planets,’” says Osteen. He just went ahead and did it. All that is holding the rest of us back is a lack of self-belief: “God spoke worlds into creation,”
........The more one listens to Osteen, the harder it is to shut out Trump. Their mutual guru, Norman Vincent Peale...Believe in yourself like others believe in their product, was Peale's message. “Stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding,” wrote Peale. “Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade.”
.........People often ask why so many blue-collar Americans still support Trump in spite of his failure to transform their economic prospects. They might need to widen their aperture. To many Americans, Trump’s wealth and power are proof of God’s favour. That alone is a reason to support him.
abundance  blue-collar  books  churches  Christianity  Donald_Trump  economic_downturn  Edward_Luce  Joel_Osteen  leaps_of_faith  mega-churches  pastors  positive_thinking  prosperity_gospel  religion  the_American_Dream  self-belief  tithing 
april 2019
While My Guitar Gently Weeps — George Harrison’s song began life as a folksy ballad
April 21 2019 | FT.com | by Dan Einav.

The track became one of The Beatles’ finest moments — thanks to Eric Clapton’s uncredited guitar playing..........For most, the song is unmistakably Harrison’s personal triumph; “Only a guitar player could write that,” Mick Jagger noted. Luckily, Harrison remembered that was what he was when he wrote the song: “While My Sitar Gently Weeps” probably wouldn’t have been quite such a hit.
1968  beatles  guitarists  music  philosophy  songs  songwriters 
april 2019
An Obituary Writer Writes One for Himself
April 19, 2019 | WSJ | By James R. Hagerty.

I don’t want what many people seem to consider the standard form for obituaries: A list of names, dates and achievements interspersed with quotes about my nobility, generosity and devotion to family. There will be no speculation about whether I have gone on to an eternal reward.

Instead, I will attempt to answer the three things I try to convey when writing someone else’s obituary: What was he trying to do? Why? And how did it work out?.......Once you resolve to write your own obit, how do you get the job done? My advice is to set aside 15 to 30 minutes once or twice a week until you finish. Don’t fuss about literary flourishes. Just write the story simply, in your own voice. As for structure, I’m going with chronological order. It may not show much imagination, but it provides a clear path for the writer and the reader.
howto  obituaries  retrospectives  writers 
april 2019
Why Companies Are Failing at Reskilling
April 19, 2019 | WSJ | By Lauren Weber.

Investing in new technology can often be easier for companies than negotiating the organizational challenges that come with reskilling workers, said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy at MIT.

“It’s one thing to invest in machine learning; it’s another to reinvent an organization or a business model,” he said. “Human capital is quantitatively a much bigger share of the capital in the economy than physical assets like plants, technology and equipment, and we understand it less well.”

Cumulatively, firms spend billions of dollars every year on technology devoted to digital transformation, but executives admit to confusion and uncertainty about the impact.....Other countries are being more proactive: Singapore and France recently started giving workers an annual allowance for approved career training. Through a program called Second Career in Ontario, Canada, low-skilled workers displaced from their jobs receive grants of up to 28,000 Canadian dollars to cover training in growing occupations, along with costs such as child care and transportation.

“Many countries we compete with see continual worker retraining as part of their economic strategy. The way we’ve traditionally treated education in this country is the government is responsible for your education until age 18, and after that it’s more of a private matter,”......How to break through the challenges, inefficiencies and resistance?.....employers and educators can do a better job of helping people find logical, reasonable career paths. Labor experts call this “skill adjacencies,” essentially diagnosing a person’s present skills and identifying promising careers that offer higher wages or growth in demand while requiring minimal investments of time and money in retraining.

“We need a Waze for your career,” ... the navigation app that offers real-time maps and driving directions. “You could look at jobs that are adjacent to your skillset or role, and with fairly light training, you can make a jump into a better job.”

The secret to successful reskilling, he says: keeping training short enough and achievable enough that workers can learn real skills and both they and employers get a return on investment.

Training Daze
Companies face a number of hurdles to successfully training workers for the skills needed in the evolving digital economy. Among the challenges:

* Data: Companies typically don’t have a clear view of their own employees’ talents. Few firms have repositories of data on a person’s skills, internal reputation, learning capacity, ambitions and interests.
* Speed: Converting a mechanical engineer into an electrical engineer, or a business analyst into a data scientist doesn’t necessarily happen in one quarter— or even a fiscal year—the cadences that shareholders understand. “Upskilling takes time. A hiring manager can usually find someone quicker outside the company,” even if it’s a more expensive contract worker.
* Worker engagement: If companies involved workers in decisions on new technology to implement, they would find that some already have the knowledge and others can be trained. “If we change that process, then we would see the potential of the workforce. We would see where the training needs are,”.
* Money: Employers have long shown a reluctance to invest the dollars needed to successfully retrain large swaths of staff, even when the economy is strong. In 2017, organizations spent around $1,300 per employee on training, up 8% from 2013, according to the Association for Talent Development. And as the economy declines, training budgets are typically slashed. One paper found a 28% decline in employer-funded training between 2001 and 2009.
* Unrealistic expectations: Society needs to recalibrate expectations for worker retraining. Laid-off coal miners probably won’t become data scientists, and few AT&T lineworkers will morph into software developers as the company transitions from a telephone company to a wireless and services business.
adjacencies  career_paths  digital_economy  Erik_Brynjolfsson  failure  future-proofing  labour_markets  layoffs  retraining  reskilling  skills  training 
april 2019
How to Declutter and Speed Up Your Phone - The New York Times
By Thorin Klosowski
Mr. Klosowski is a staff writer at Wirecutter, a product recommendation site owned by The New York Times Company.

April 18, 2019
decluttering  howto  iPhone  mobile_phones 
april 2019
Is ancient philosophy the future? - The Globe and Mail
DONALD ROBERTSON
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Stoic philosophy, of which Marcus Aurelius was history’s most famous proponent, taught its followers not to waste time on diversions that don’t actually improve their character.
* Ryan Holiday and Steven Hanselman’s The Daily Stoic.
* Stoicism offers rational solutions to human problems but it is especially effective in troubled times. Its offer is attractive: It doesn’t matter how crazy the world is, how “bad” others are, you can always keep your cool and flourish.
* Stoicism.....carefully distinguishes between things that are under our control and things that are not. We should learn to take more responsibility for things we do and to be less disturbed by events that happen to us.....Serenity Prayer.....“God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
* it’s not things that upset us but rather our judgments about them. ...modern cognitive therapy... teaches us to become more aware of the role our thinking, or cognition, can play in shaping our emotions.
* Stoic acceptance does not mean passivity....The ancient Stoics sought to reconcile emotional calm with deliberate action for the common welfare of mankind.
* remain committed to improving the world around us without having to become distressed when things fall short of our expectations.
adversity  beyond_one's_control  books  emotional_mastery  metacognition  mindfulness  personal_control  philosophy  Romans  Ryan_Holiday  sense_of_control  sense_of_proportion  span_of_control  Stoics 
april 2019
In ‘Stony the Road,’ Henry Louis Gates Jr. Captures the History and Images of the Fraught Years After the Civil War
April 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nell Irvin Painter.

STONY THE ROAD
Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow
By Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Illustrated. 296 pp. Penguin Press. $30.

Vergangenheitsbewältigung = coming to terms with the past — and it carries connotations of a painful history that citizens would rather not confront but that must be confronted in order not to be repeated.
20th_century  African-Americans  bigotry  books  book_reviews  disenfranchisement  Henry_Louis_Gates  historians  history  Jim_Crow  John_Hope_Franklin  KKK  lynchings  memorabilia  racial_politics  Reconstruction  stereotypes  torture  white_nationalism  white_supremacy  imagery  Vergangenheitsbewältigung  W.E.B._Du_Bois  iconic 
april 2019
How Scotland erased Guyana from its past
Tue 16 Apr 2019 | News | The Guardian 06.00 BST | by Yvonne Singh.

The portrayal of Scots as abolitionists and liberal champions has hidden a long history of profiting from slavery in the Caribbean.
Caribbean  erasures  Guyana  historical_amnesia  hidden  history  invisibility  Scotland  slavery 
april 2019
In defence of the pull-up and the push-up
April 15, 2019 | THE GLOBE AND MAIL | by PAUL LANDINI.

As we age, moving well-mobility-becomes increasingly important....calisthenics – along with developing strength and endurance, body-weight training has a built-in mobility element that’s missing from many barbell lifts. It’s an efficient and, a pair of upper-body exercises: the pull-up and the push-up, are ideal builders of strength.

Pull-ups
* Bring your chest to the bar (mental cue)
* Retract your scapular (mental cue)
Pulling exercises are the toughest part of body-weight training.....THE FIXES
The active hang is the bottom portion of a pull-up, and it’s great for strengthening the hands as well as developing a sense for the mechanics of pulling exercises. Grab an overhanging bar with your palms facing away, arms extended. From there, pull your shoulder blades down flat and squeeze them tight to your spine, then extend your legs forward, flattening the arch in your low back. Maintain tension throughout your body, working up to a 60-second hang.

The flex hang is the top portion of a pull-up. This variation places more emphasis on the arms and the upper back. It’s similar to the active hang, only your palms face in and your arms are flexed rather than extended so your chin is over the bar.

Push-ups
Forget about the bench press – for a well-built chest and powerful shoulders, push-ups deliver the goods.
THE PROBLEMS
You may not think of push-ups as being a core exercise, but if you think about it, the whole movement is basically an up-and-down plank. A stable core, mobile shoulder blades and healthy wrists are a must, not to mention strong triceps and shoulders.
bench_press  calisthenics  core_stability  exercise  functional_strength  pull-ups  push-ups  strength_training 
april 2019
At a Critical Time for U.S. Soccer, Abby Wambach Is on a Mission
April 15, 2019| WSJ | By Jocelyn Silver.

Wambach’s latest book, a feminist guidebook called Wolfpack: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game. The crisp, 112-page “rally cry” stems from a viral commencement speech that Wambach delivered at Barnard College in 2018, in which she recounted the story of how biologists reintroduced wolves into Yellowstone National Park, where they improved the park’s ecosystem. Wambach compares women to wolves, encouraging them to break out of fairytale narratives. “If I could go back and tell my younger self one thing it would be this,” she said in the address. “Abby, you were never Little Red Riding Hood. You were always the Wolf.”

At Plymouth Church, Wambach sports a shirt reading “Ain’t No Little Red.” Doyle opts for a “Wolfpack” hat and black patent leather Louboutins. She comes onstage with arms whirling, miming punches.

As a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the world’s all-time top goal scorer of any gender, Wambach retired in 2015, notching a World Cup title on her fourth try. Though she wrote a more traditional sports memoir shortly after, Wolfpack marks a shift into more clearly demarcated self-help. It traces an arc in her personal life.
Abby_Wambach  affirmations  athletes_&_athletics  books  commencement  domino_effects  empowerment  failure  inspiration  leadership  lessons_learned  mission-driven  quotes  rules_of_the_game  rule_breaking  soccer  speeches  sports  superstars  tokenism  women 
april 2019
How to funnel capital to the American heartland
April 15, 2019 | Financial Times | by Bruce Katz.
* The Innovation Blind Spot, by Ross Baird.
* Ways must be found to rewire money flows in order to reverse the export of wealth
* A federal tax incentive intended to entice coastal capital into the heartland may end up helping to keep local capital local.

Over the past year, economically distressed communities across the US have been engaged in an intense discussion about mobilising private capital. Why? As mayors, governors, real estate developers, entrepreneurs and investors have learnt, buried in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a provision that created a significant tax incentive to invest in low-income “opportunity zones” across the country......the law’s greatest effect, ironically, has been to unveil a treasure trove of wealth in communities throughout the nation. Some of the country’s largest investors are high-net-worth families in Kansas City, Missouri, and Philadelphia; insurance companies in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee; universities in Birmingham, Alabama, and South Bend, Indiana; philanthropists in Cleveland and Detroit; and community foundations and pension funds in every state.

These pillars of wealth mostly invest their market-oriented equity capital outside their own communities, even though their own locales often possess globally significant research institutions, advanced industry companies, grand historic city centres and distinctive ecosystems of entrepreneurs. The wealth-export industry is not a natural phenomenon; it has been led and facilitated by a sophisticated network of wealth management companies, private equity firms, family offices and financial institutions that have narrow definitions of where and in what to invest.

The US, in other words, doesn’t have a capital problem; it has an organisational problem. So how can capital flows be rewired to reverse the export of wealth?

Three things stand out:

(1) Information matters. The opportunity zones incentive has encouraged US cities to create investment prospectuses to promote the competitive assets of their low-income communities and highlight projects that are investor-ready and promise competitive returns.

(2) norms and networks matter. The opportunity zone market will be enhanced by the creation of “capital stacks” that enable the financing of community products such as workforce housing, commercial real estate, small businesses (and minority-owned businesses in particular) and clean energy, to name just a few. Initial opportunity zone projects are already showing creative blends of public, private and civic capital that mix debt, subsidy and equity.

(3) institutions matter. Opportunity zones require cities to create and capitalise new institutions that can deploy capital at scale in sustained ways. Some models already exist. The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, backed by patient capital from Procter & Gamble, has driven the regeneration of the Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood during the past 15 years.

More institutional innovation, however, is needed. As Ross Baird, author of The Innovation Blind Spot, has argued, the US must create a new generation of community quarterbacks to provide budding entrepreneurs with business planning and mentoring, matching them with risk-tolerant equity. These efforts will succeed if they unleash the synergies that flow naturally from urban density. New institutions will not have to work alone, but hand-in-glove with the trusted financial firms that manage this locally-generated wealth.
books  capital_flows  cities  coastal_elites  community  economic_development  economically_disadvantaged  economies_of_scale  high_net_worth  howto  industrial_policies  industrial_midwest  industrial_zones  institutions  investors  match-making  midwest  municipalities  networks  network_density  P&G  PPP  packaging  place-based  private_equity  property_development  prospectuses  Red_States  rescue_investing  rust_belt  tax_codes  venture_capital 
april 2019
Apple and Qualcomm’s Billion-Dollar Staredown
April 13, 2019 | WSJ | By Tripp Mickle and Asa Fitch.

Apple has called Qualcomm a monopoly and said Mr. Mollenkopf has lied about settlement talks between the companies. Qualcomm has accused Apple of deceiving regulators around the world and stealing software to help a rival chip maker.

For two years, the companies have bickered over the royalties Apple pays to Qualcomm for its patents. Discord between the CEOs, who bring different management styles and principles to the table, has deepened the divide. They have dug into their positions as the dispute has escalated....Apple’s patent lawsuit against Qualcomm is set to go to trial—with both CEOs expected to testify in a case where billions of dollars are at stake. .....Cook’s view that Qualcomm’s licensing practices—taking a 5% share of most of the sales price of an iPhone—was just plain wrong, allowing the chip maker to profit off Apple innovations in display and camera technology.....
5G  Apple  CEOs  conflict_resolution  disputes  Intel  licensing  litigation  mobile_phones  patents  Qualcomm  royalties  semiconductors  smartphones  Steve_Mollenkopf  Tim_Cook 
april 2019
Sitting for More Than 13 Hours a Day May Sabotage the Benefits of Exercise
April 10, 2019 |The New York Times | By Gretchen Reynolds.

Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and many other chronic conditions. Even a single workout can improve our metabolisms, studies show, so that we burn fat more efficiently after meals and keep our blood sugar and insulin levels steady.

Inactivity, meanwhile, has almost the opposite physiological effects. People who spend most of their waking hours sitting face heightened risks for many chronic diseases. They often also experience metabolic problems that raise the risk of diabetes and heart disease, including insulin resistance, poor blood sugar control and high levels of triglycerides, the fatty acids from food that linger in the blood if they are not metabolized.
inactivity  sedentariness  mens'_health  disease  exercise  fitness  metabolism 
april 2019
After Israel’s election, the country is on a dangerous political path
April 10, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by ERNA PARIS.

Erna Paris is the author of The Garden and the Gun: A Journey Inside Israel

In her final work, The March of Folly, the late historian Barbara Tuchman defined her subject as “the pursuit of policy contrary to public interest.” Her criteria for folly were threefold: An alternative course of action was available; the actions were endorsed by a group, not just by a particular leader; and the actions were perceived as counterproductive in their own time.

Among Ms. Tuchman’s far-ranging examples were the Trojan Horse and the American war in Vietnam. Were she alive today, she might have included the increasingly dangerous trajectory of Israeli politics.
Barbara_Tuchman  books  Israel  Israeli  politics  fallacies_follies  ethno­nationalism 
april 2019
Bezos on why failure is not failure
April 11, 2019 | By | FT Alphaville : Izabella Kaminska

According to Bezos no customer was asking for Echo before it was launched, thus Amazon's foray into listening tech was definitely them wandering. And yet, if they'd listened to market research (a firm no thank you!) they'd have lost out on more than 100 million sales of Alexa-enabled devices. So there.
Alexa  Amazon  Amazon_Echo  AWS  big_bets  experimentation  failure  Jeff_Bezos  large_companies  market_research  scaling 
april 2019
An equation to ensure America survives the age of AI
April 10, 2019 | Financial Times | Elizabeth Cobbs.

Alexander Hamilton, Horace Mann and Frances Perkins are linked by their emphasis on the importance of human learning.

In more and more industries, the low-skilled suffer declining pay and hours. McKinsey estimates that 60 per cent of occupations are at risk of partial or total automation. Workers spy disaster. Whether the middle class shrinks in the age of artificial intelligence depends less on machine learning than on human learning. Historical precedents help, especially...... the Hamilton-Mann-Perkins equation: innovation plus education, plus a social safety net, equals the sum of prosperity.

(1) Alexander Hamilton.
US founding father Alexander Hamilton was first to understand the relationship between: (a) the US's founding coincided with the industrial revolution and the need to grapple with technological disruption (In 1776, James Watts sold his first steam engine when the ink was still wet on the Declaration of Independence)-- Steam remade the world economically; and (b), America’s decolonisation remade the world politically......Hamilton believed that Fledgling countries needed robust economies. New technologies gave them an edge. Hamilton noted that England owed its progress to the mechanization of textile production.......Thomas Jefferson,on the other hand, argued that the US should remain pastoral: a free, virtuous nation exchanged raw materials for foreign goods. Farmers were “the chosen people”; factories promoted dependence and vice.....Hamilton disagreed. He thought colonies shouldn’t overpay foreigners for things they could produce themselves. Government should incentivise innovation, said his 1791 Report on the Subject of Manufactures. Otherwise citizens would resist change even when jobs ceased to provide sufficient income, deterred from making a “spontaneous transition to new pursuits”.......the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to grant patents to anyone with a qualified application. America became a nation of tinkerers...Cyrus McCormick, son of a farmer, patented a mechanical reaper in 1834 that reduced the hands needed in farming. The US soared to become the world’s largest economy by 1890. Hamilton’s constant: nurture innovation.

(2) Horace Mann
America’s success gave rise to the idea that a free country needed free schools. The reformer Horace Mann, who never had more than six weeks of schooling in a year, started the Common School Movement, calling public schools “the greatest discovery made by man”.....Grammar schools spread across the US between the 1830s and 1880s. Reading, writing and arithmetic were the tools for success in industrialising economies. Towns offered children a no-cost education.......Americans achieved the world’s highest per capita income just as they became the world’s best-educated people. Mann’s constant: prioritise education.

(3) Frances Perkins
Jefferson was correct that industrial economies made people more interdependent. By 1920, more Americans lived in towns earning wages than on farms growing their own food. When the Great Depression drove unemployment to 25 per cent, the state took a third role....FDR recruited Frances Perkins, the longest serving labour secretary in US history, to rescue workers. Perkins led campaigns that established a minimum wage and maximum workweek. Most importantly, she chaired the committee that wrote the 1935 Social Security Act, creating a federal pension system and state unemployment insurance. Her achievements did not end the depression, but helped democracy weather it. Perkins’s constant: knit a safety net.

The world has ridden three swells of industrialisation occasioned by the harnessing of steam, electricity and computers. The next wave, brought to us by AI, towers over us. History shows that innovation, education and safety nets point the ship of state into the wave.

Progress is a variable. Hamilton, Mann and Perkins would each urge us to mind the constants in the historical equation.
adaptability  Alexander_Hamilton  artificial_intelligence  automation  constitutions  disruption  downward_mobility  education  FDR  Founding_Fathers  Frances_Perkins  gig_economy  historical_precedents  hollowing_out  Horace_Mann  Industrial_Revolution  innovation  innovation_policies  James_Watts  job_destruction  job_displacement  job_loss  life_long_learning  low-skilled  McKinsey  middle_class  priorities  productivity  public_education  public_schools  safety_nets  slavery  steam_engine  the_Great_Depression  Thomas_Jefferson  tinkerers 
april 2019
Abby Wambach’s Leadership Lessons: Be the Wolf
April 9, 2019 | The New York Times | By Maya Salam.

“So many of us can relate to playing by rules that were never set up for us to win.”
— Abby Wambach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion.

Abby Wambach, who led the United States women’s team to a World Cup championship in 2015, is focused on a new kind of goal: motivating women to become leaders.....In her new book, “Wolfpack,” Wambach, 38, shares lessons she learned from decades of training, failure and triumph on the field. It is based on the commencement speech she gave at Barnard College in New York in 2018.

“If I could go back and tell my younger self one thing, it would be this: ‘Abby, you were never Little Red Riding Hood; you were always the wolf,’”.......In “Wolfpack,” Wambach offers eight new rules to help women succeed professionally and personally. And she hopes her ideas trigger a domino effect. “When one person stands up and demands the ball, the job, the promotion, the paycheck, the microphone, that one gives others permission to do the same,”

Here are the four of her “new rules,” and the norms she hopes they’ll upend:
(1) “Champion each other.”
Old Rule: Be against each other.
New Rule: Be FOR each other.
“Power and success and joy are not pies,” Wambach writes. “A bigger slice for one woman doesn’t mean a smaller slice for another.”
(2) “Be grateful and ambitious.”
Old Rule: Be grateful for what you have.
New Rule: Be grateful for what you have AND demand what you deserve.
“I was so grateful for a paycheck, so grateful to represent my country, so grateful to be the token woman at the table, so grateful to receive any respect at all that I was afraid to use my voice to demand more,” Wambach writes. “Our gratitude is how power uses the tokenism of a few women to keep the rest of us in line.”
(3) “Make failure your fuel.”
Old Rule: Failure means you’re out of the game.
New Rule: Failure means you’re finally IN the game.
“Imperfect men have been empowered and permitted to run the world since the beginning of time,” Wambach writes. “It’s time for imperfect women to grant themselves permission to join them.”
(4) “Lead from the bench.”
Old Rule: Wait for permission to lead.
New Rule: Lead now — from wherever you are.
“The picture of leadership is not just a man at the head of a table,” Wambach writes. “It’s also every woman who is allowing her own voice to guide her life and the lives of those she cares about.”
Abby_Wambach  affirmations  athletes_&_athletics  books  commencement  domino_effects  empowerment  failure  inspiration  leadership  lessons_learned  quotes  rules_of_the_game  rule_breaking  soccer  speeches  sports  superstars  tokenism  women 
april 2019
Opinion | The Best Year of Our Lives
April 6, 2019 | The New York Times | By Ross Douthat.

There’s a theory of human psychology that holds that the time you enter maturity becomes fixed in your mind as a civilizational peak — with everything since a falling-off that conveniently matches your own stagger toward the grave. Thus it doesn’t matter if you came of age in the Great Depression or some other nadir; because you were 18 then, it must have been a golden age......I’ve been thinking about how good we had it lately because we’re 20 years out from 1999, and the cultural press is thick with reminders that it was a pop-culture annus mirabilis — from the premiere of “The Sopranos” that defined a golden age of television, to the yearlong cascade of brilliant movies .....from a Hollywood not yet captive to the superhero era......Widen the aperture a little, so that the “Xennial” cultural era covers 1995 to 2005, and you get everything from the perfection of the sitcom (late “Seinfeld,” season one of “Friends,” the silver age of “The Simpsons,” “Arrested Development”) to the peak of HBO (when “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” and “Deadwood” and “Sex and the City” were all airing). Oh, and those were also the days when George R.R. Martin could publish three “Game of Thrones” novels in five years, inventing all the good parts of the TV show’s plot in an end-of-millennium rush.....cold hard economic data also suggest that ours was a uniquely blessed coming-of-age: a time of low unemployment, surging productivity, strong working-class wage growth — and all without a huge overhang of public and private debt.......a statement about generational experiences, Alter was basically right. If you were born around 1980, you grew up in a space happily between — between eras of existential threat (Cold War/War on Terror, or Cold War/climate change), between foreign policy debacles (Vietnam/Iraq), between epidemics (crack and AIDS/opioids and suicide), and between two different periods of economic stagnation (the ’70s and early Aughts).
'90s  op-ed  Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez  annus_mirabilis  coming-of-age  cultural_gatekeepers  films  generational_touchstones  golden_age  millennials  movies  noughties  popular_culture  Ross_Douthat  television  shared_consciousness  shared_experiences  The_Wire  wage_growth 
april 2019
How to Organize Your Kitchen Like a Professional Chef
April 3, 2019 | The New York Times | By Janelle Zara.

“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,” by chef Samin Nosrat focuses on those four elements as the pillars of flavor.

An exacting standard of organization......is what keeps fast-paced kitchens running smoothly. “When you have a place for everything, you don’t have to think twice,” she says, because there’s no searching for what you need. “It’s about not having to do the extra work.”....... organize your the cabinets, pantry and drawers in the kitchen — because, “just throwing things in a drawer is selling yourself short.”

All cookware should fall under the four pillars of “prep, cook, serve, store,” and should be divided accordingly. Drawers marked “PREP” includes tools like mixing bowls, mortar and pestle, a scale and a measuring glass, while the “COOK” drawer is full of pots and pans. Items for serving — plates, bowls and glasses — are in the cupboard, her resealable containers are all stacked in a drawer of their own, and never shall the four ever meet.

Sort by flavor and function

“Knowing there’s a zone for everything makes it easier to just go and find,” says Bennett, whose refrigerator contents have been grouped based on flavor profile and function: Asian sauces, American sauces, fruits, vegetables and pickled things each have a designated section. On the countertop, she keeps what she calls her “flavor station,” a reliable wooden bowl stocked with shallots, garlic and red onions. “They’re the raw materials,” she says, “the all-around the basics of good flavor.

Date and label

With all these identical containers, knowing what’s inside and when you bought it is essential. There are, however, no label makers here. “In a professional kitchen, everything is labeled with painters tape,” Bennett says, “but chalkboard paint with a chalkboard pen looks nice, and it’s also easier to read.”

Keep everything in plain sight

Bennett hates the guessing game of pulling knives out of a butcher block to see which is which. She prefers to keep them in a drawer or on a magnetic strip mounted to the wall. “It’s all about visibility and making it easily accessible,” she says. On the same note, she transfers her dry goods to labeled, transparent plastic or glass containers from Restaurant Depot or the Container Store so that she can always see what’s inside, a trick she learned from doing restaurant inventory.

Keep your gadgets to a minimum

The tools in your kitchen don’t need to spark joy, but you should toss the things you never use, no single-utility items.

Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket

Separating like items into different trays and baskets makes them easier to grab on the go: All of Bennett’s vitamins and medicine bottles are in one tray in the fridge; her utensils are divided up by open rectangular boxes in drawers;

Keep shopping bags in the car
That way you’ll never forget to bring them to the market.

Store essentials close at hand
“Counter space is precious real estate,” (jk: finite_resources ) says Bennett, so only the truly necessary basics get to stay there.
books  chefs  fast-paced  finite_resources  GTD  howto  kitchens  self-discipline  self-organization 
april 2019
What You Need to Know to Pick an IPO
April 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.
Dig up dirt on the competition and board members, and buy to hold long-term.......How do you know which IPOs to buy? No, not to trade—you’d never get it right. Lyft priced at $72, traded at $85 on its first day, then closed at $78, only to fall to $67 on its second day. It’s now $74. I’m talking about buying and holding for a few years. Yes I know, how quaint.

The trick is to read the prospectus. What are you, crazy? That’s a couple hundred pages. Well, not the whole thing. But remember, where the stock trades on its first day is noise....... So understanding long-term prospects are critical. Here are a few shortcuts.

(1) First, glance at the underwriters along the bottom of the cover. On the top line are the banks putting their reputation on the line. If the one on the far left is Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley or JPMorgan , you’re probably OK.
(2) open the management section and study the directors. Forget the venture capitalists or strategic partners with board seats—they have their own agendas. Non-employee directors are the ones who are supposed to be representing you, the public investor. And their value depends on their experience.
(3) OK, now figure out what the company does. You can watch the roadshow video, look at prospectus pictures, and skim the offering’s Business section. Now ignore most of that. Underwriters are often terrible at positioning companies to the market.......when positioning companies, only three things matter: a monster market; an unfair competitive advantage like patents, algorithms or a network effect; and a business model to leverage that advantage. Look for those. If you can’t find them, pass. Commodities crumble........read the Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Companies are forced to give detailed descriptions of each of their sectors and products or services. Then flip back and forth to the Financials, looking at the items on the income statement and matching them up with the operations being discussed. Figure out what the company might look like in five years. And use my “10x” rule: Lyft is worth $25 billion—can they make $2.5 billion after-tax someday? Finally there’s the Risk section, which is mostly boilerplate but can contain good dirt on competition.
(4) Put the prospectus away and save it as a souvenir. Try to figure out the real story of the company. Do some digging.
(5) My final advice: Never, ever put in a market order for shares on the first day of an IPO.
10x  advice  algorithms  Andy_Kessler  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business_models  competitive_advantage  deception  due_diligence  howto  IPOs  large_markets  long-term  Lyft  network_effects  noise  patents  positioning  prospectuses  risks  stock_picking  think_threes  Uber  underwriting  unfair_advantages 
april 2019
What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction
Rambler 1 day ago
If you want to know what will happen in the distant future, read history.

For the shorter term future, try poetry and popular music.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

...
history  letters_to_the_editor  novels  quotes  Ray_Bradbury  science_fiction  Silicon_Valley 
april 2019
What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction
APRIL 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Elaine Moore.

Never mind the future: where are the books tackling Silicon Valley’s current challenges?

There is a myth that Silicon Valley is stuffed full of nerds who have never picked up a book in their lives. Like a lot of tales about the Valley, it is not true. The tech industry is acutely aware of the value of storytelling.......Whenever a tech founder is asked about their favourite novel it is usually worth paying attention. Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s admires Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.....Jeff Bezos’s is taken by the quiet despair of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day......and Theranos' Elizabeth Holme is attached to Moby-Dick.

It’s true that reading lists on the West Coast tend to skew towards science fiction.......For Silicon Valley, the genre seems to offer both inspiration and validation. .......But the connection between tech companies and sci-fi novels runs deeper. To make their futuristic projects reality, some seek the help of the authors themselves......Less is made of its focus on the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world (jk: sci fi doesn't pay enough attention to the the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world). .....The affection tech founders feel for sci-fi often seems to lack this dimension.....If founders are not paying too much attention to cautionary sci-fi themes, at least some people are. Amazon Go shops can feel like a vision of the future as you pick up milk and walk away, without scanning anything. But cities such as San Francisco have begun to wonder whether cashless shops will end up marginalising the country’s poorest citizens, who do not have access to online bank accounts......does any sci-fi novel offers a way to think about Silicon Valley’s present, as well as its future? The singularity and inter-planetary travel are well covered in literature..... are there book out there that address privacy scandals, electric scooters and $100bn IPOs?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
* Counting Heads' (2005) by David Marusek is a novel set in 2134.
* Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
* Idoru" by William Gibson.
* Count Zero" by William Gibson.
* "Black Mirror" TV series Charlie Brooker.
* The Circle by Dave Eggers.
* ‘Minority Report’ Phil K Dick.
* Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
* Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

People who don't read science fiction (SF) are handicapped in today's world really, because usually they form part of the 99% of humans who are unable to look ahead more than a few months or so and see where society is going. ......Or the people that think Elon Musk is a visionary. He is not a visionary! He is just a smart person, which necessarily includes reading SF, and taking things from there. People who do not read SF think that Musk is the only person on the planet thinking about and developing our future society on Mars...  But there are millions - it's just that he is one of a few billionaires working concretely on it. For example, if you read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, you'd realise that one of the reasons that Elon Musk now has a tunnel boring company is that we will NEED tunnels on Mars... You'd also realise that the TV rights of the trip to Mars will pay for (most of) the cost of the trip... etc. etc. etc.
Amazon_Go  augmented_reality  Ayn_Rand  authors  books  cautionary_tales  Elon_Musk  entrepreneur  fiction  founders  future  futurists  novels  pay_attention  reading_lists  San_Francisco  science_fiction  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  storytelling  virtual_reality  William_Gibson 
april 2019
« earlier      later »
per page:    204080120160

Copy this bookmark:





to read