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jerryking : humiliation   9

Grand follies and the art of thinking big
February 22, 2019 |Financial Times| by Janan Ganesh.

Who would rather that Airbus had never made the bet at all? Who would live in a world that never risks over-reach?

A defender of grand follies is spoilt for examples that turned out well........Today’s vainglorious travesty is tomorrow’s untouchable fixture of the landscape. We are lousy judges of future tastes, including our own....Even if an audacious project fails, and fails lastingly, it can still trigger success stories of other kinds. Some of this happens through the sheer technical example set: the A380, like Concorde before it, forced engineers to innovate in ways that will cascade down the decades in unpredictable ways. Some of the most banal givens of daily life — dust busters, wireless headsets — can be traced back to that messianic project we know as the space programme.

Then there is the inspiring spectacle of just trying to do something big. Progress through tinkering counts no less than progress through great leaps, but only the second kind is likely to electrify people into venturing their own efforts. Without the grand gesture — and the risk of humiliation — any field of endeavour is liable to stagnate.....Perhaps an exhausted west now prefers to tinker all the same. Big ideas are often paid for out of idle wealth (think of Elon Musk’s fortune, or Alphabet’s cash pile) and the existence of this can seem almost distasteful in a culture that is newly sensitive to inequality. As for largeness of vision, there was plenty of the stuff in the forever wars and pre-crash banking. It would be strange if people who lived through those events did not now flinch at the sight of excitable visionaries brandishing schemes.
Airbus  audacity  big_bets  breakthroughs  Elon_Musk  fallacies_follies  game_changers  humiliation  incrementalism  inspiration  Janan_Ganesh  Jeff_Bezos  marginal_improvements  moonshots  overreach  risks  thinking_big  tinkerers  visionaries 
february 2019 by jerryking
Organizer of 1963 March on Washington, Rustin, Gets His Due - WSJ.com
August 26, 2013 | WSJ | By MICHAEL M. PHILLIPS
Civil-Rights Leader Rustin Gets His Due 50 Years Later
Organizer of '63 March on Washington Was a Pacifist and Gay Man

WASHINGTON—One of the most momentous passages in American political history began with this mundane bit of advice: Pack peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. Mayonnaise can go bad in the August heat.

That tip, one of many in instructional handbooks issued by leaders ahead of the 1963 March on Washington, reflected the organizational chops of Bayard Rustin, whose attention to detail helped ensure that what could have been a public-relations disaster for the civil-rights movement instead turned into a model of successful nonviolent protest.

On Wednesday, the country will mark the 50th anniversary of the march and the "I Have a Dream" speech the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This year, the U.S. also is belatedly recognizing Mr. Rustin, a black activist at a time when blacks were denied basic rights, a pacifist when a nation fighting a world war scorned pacifism and a gay man when being gay meant risking jail and public humiliation.
MLK  African-Americans  Bayard_Rustin  history  anniversaries  civil_rights  pacificism  homosexuality  Washington_D.C.  Quakers  organizational_capacity  detail_oriented  humiliation  bravery  protest_movements 
august 2013 by jerryking
Muslims and the West: The need to speak up | The Economist
Oct 11th 2001

The truth is, America is despised mainly for its success; for the appealing and, critics would say, corrupting alternative it presents to a traditional Islamic way of life; and for the humiliation which many Muslims feel when they consider the comparative failure, in material terms, of their once-mighty civilisation.
tolerance  Islam  anti-Americanism  humiliation 
july 2012 by jerryking
A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight - WSJ.com
February 3, 2004 | WSJ | By PETER WALDMAN | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight
Bernard Lewis's Blueprint -- Sowing Arab Democracy -- Is Facing a Test in Iraq....Bernard Lewis, Princeton University historian, author of more than 20 books on Islam and the Middle East, is the intellectual author of what is referred to as the the Lewis Doctrine. Though never debated in Congress or sanctified by presidential decree, Mr. Lewis's diagnosis of the Muslim world's malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast, have helped define the boldest shift in U.S. foreign policy in 50 years. The occupation of Iraq put the doctrine to the test--and it failed...."The Lewis Doctrine posits no such rational foe. It envisions not a clash of interests or even ideology, but of cultures. In the Mideast, the font of the terrorism threat, America has but two choices, "both disagreeable," Mr. Lewis has written: "Get tough or get out." His celebration, rather than shunning, of toughness is shared by several other influential U.S. Mideast experts, including Fouad Ajami and Richard Perle.

A central Lewis theme is that Muslims have had a chip on their shoulders since 1683, when the Ottomans failed for the second time to sack Christian Vienna. "Islam has been on the defensive" ever since, Mr. Lewis wrote in a 1990 essay called "The Roots of Muslim Rage," where he described a "clash of civilizations," a concept later popularized by Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington. For 300 years, Mr. Lewis says, Muslims have watched in horror and humiliation as the Christian civilizations of Europe and North America have overshadowed them militarily, economically and culturally."
historians  Bernard_Lewis  terrorism  U.S.foreign_policy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  humiliation  blueprints 
may 2012 by jerryking
Wendy Kopp: The Trouble With Humiliating Teachers - WSJ.com
March 7, 2012 | WSJ | By WENDY KOPP.

Making rankings public undermines the trust educators need to build collaborative teams.
teachers  teaching  Teach_for_America  Wendy_Kopp  rankings  high_schools  humiliation  undermining_of_trust 
march 2012 by jerryking
Inuit of Greenland have weather on their side
Oct. 02, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Doug Saunders. To the
mainly Inuit people of Greenland, global warming is a gift from the
heavens, and not just for the obvious reason. These children of hunters
and fishermen have, for much of the past century, lived a version of the
humiliating life of dependence that has befallen most of the ex-nomadic
peoples of the world, struggling to hold on to traditions while living
in enforced and subsidized marginality.

The retreating ice is salvation: It opens fields of treasure and
promises to end that humiliation. Among the many troubled ex-nomads of
the world, the Inuit of Greenland have the atmosphere on their side.
Greenland  Artic  Inuit  climate_change  Doug_Saunders  humiliation 
october 2010 by jerryking
Surviving the Age of Humiliation - WSJ.com
MAY 5, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By JEFFREY ZASLOW.

THE BEST DEFENSE

* Expect the worst. If you run a business, assume disgruntled employees will make accusations about you. If you're a teacher, expect to be badmouthed by angry students on RateMyProfessors.com. If you've endured a hostile divorce, keep your guard up, and be ready to mop up spilled secrets.
* Get up to speed. You may be written about on blogs, Twitter and other social-networking sites. Learn exactly how new media sites work, who uses them and how you can be adept at it, too
* Reframe the discussion. Actor Alec Baldwin wrote that he felt great shame, and even thought of suicide, after an angry voicemail message he left for his 11-year-old daughter went viral. He eventually channeled his feelings into a book about fathers' rights and divorce, which allowed him to explain his outburst and weigh in on the debate over custody issues
* Have thick skin. Ignore efforts to hurt you on obscure blogs or websites, as these often dissipate on their own. As for cyber-bullying of children, parents tend to overreact—calling other parents over minor incidents, making things even harder for their kids at school—or under-react, not responding to serious incidents. It's best to tell kids: "Together we'll find the right way to deal with this—to help you and not make things worse.
* Fight back. Thomas Jefferson believed that the best way to combat critical speech was to speak out yourself. Start your own blog or post your own comments. If it's vital that you defend yourself, do so forcefully, without fear and with self-confidence.
personal_branding  reputation  etiquette  civility  public_decorum  popular_culture  Jeffrey_Zaslow  humility  reframing  humiliation  problem_framing  serious_incidents  Thomas_Jefferson  worst-case  thinking_tragically 
may 2010 by jerryking
If at First You Don't Succeed, You're in Excellent Company - WSJ.com
April 29, 2008 WSJ article by Melinda Beck about
"self-efficacy" that allows some people to rebound from defeats and go
onto greatness while others throw int he towel.

Self-efficacy differs from self-esteem in that it's a judgment of specific capabilities rather than a general feeling of self-worth. "It's easy to have high self-esteem -- just aim low," says Prof. Bandura, who is still teaching at Stanford at age 82. On the other hand, he notes, there are people with high self-efficacy who "drive themselves hard but have low self-esteem because their performance always falls short of their high standards."

Still, such people succeed because they believe that persistent effort will let them succeed. In fact, if success comes too easily, some people never master the ability to learn from criticism. "People need to learn how to manage failure so it's informational and not demoralizing,".....In technology, rejection is the rule rather than the exception, Prof. Bandura says. He points out that one of the original Warner Brothers said of sound films, "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were rebuffed by Atari Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. when they tried to sell an early Apple computer. And sometimes genius itself needs time. It took Thomas Edison 1,000 tries before he invented the light bulb. ("I didn't fail 1,000 times," he told a reporter. "The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.")...Where does such determination come from? In some cases it's inborn optimism -- akin to the kind of resilience that enables some children to emerge unscathed from extreme poverty, tragedy or abuse. Self-efficacy can also be acquired by mastering a task; by modeling the behavior of others who have succeeded; and from what Prof. Bandura calls "verbal persuasion" -- getting effective encouragement that is tied to achievement, rather than empty praise..... "You can develop a resilient mindset at any age," says Robert Brooks, a Harvard Medical School psychologist who has studied resilience for decades. One key, he says, is to avoid self-defeating assumptions. If you are fired or dumped by a girlfriend, don't magnify the rejection and assume you'll never get another job or another date. (Maintaining perspective can be tough in the face of sweeping criticism, though. A teacher said of young G.K. Chesteron, who went on to become a renowned British author, that if his head were opened "we should not find any brain but only a lump of white fat.")

And don't allow a rejection to derail your dreams. "One of the greatest impediments to life is the fear of humiliation," says Prof. Brooks, who says he's worked with people who have spent the last 30 years of their lives not taking any risks or challenges because they are afraid of making mistakes.
resilience  optimism  inspiration  risk-taking  bouncing_back  Melinda_Beck  perseverance  self-efficacy  self-esteem  self-worth  persistence  humiliation  rejections  sense_of_proportion  personal_standards  affirmations  grit  Thomas_Edison  self-defeating 
january 2009 by jerryking

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