life

created 2 years ago

When was the last time you felt comfortable doing nothing? Not for an hour or a day, but in general, with no immediate projects at hand? Lewis said he has no problem with inactivity if nothing worthwhile has captured his attention. If he believed that being industrious was important, he said, "I'd be panicked at the question 'What are you working on?' if I wasn't working on anything."
"People waste years of their lives not being willing to waste hours of their lives. If you mistake busyness for importance--which we do a lot--you're not able to see what really is important."
www.inc.com
The Snake Plant, or Mother-in-Law's Tongue, is one of the most recommended plants for improving air quality. The optimal place to keep this relatively inexpensive and low-maintenance plant is the bedroom, because it converts CO2 into oxygen at night.
lifehacker.com
Why do some older people remain mentally nimble while others decline? “Superagers” (a term coined by the neurologist Marsel Mesulam) are those whose memory and attention isn’t merely above average for their age, but is actually on par with healthy, active 25-year-olds.
Many labs have observed that these critical brain regions increase in activity when people perform difficult tasks, whether the effort is physical or mental. You can therefore help keep these regions thick and healthy through vigorous exercise and bouts of strenuous mental effort. My father-in-law, for example, swims every day and plays tournament bridge.
The road to superaging is difficult, though, because these brain regions have another intriguing property: When they increase in activity, you tend to feel pretty bad — tired, stymied, frustrated. Think about the last time you grappled with a math problem or pushed yourself to your physical limits. Hard work makes you feel bad in the moment. The Marine Corps has a motto that embodies this principle: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” That is, the discomfort of exertion means you’re building muscle and discipline. Superagers are like Marines: They excel at pushing past the temporary unpleasantness of intense effort.
This means that pleasant puzzles like Sudoku are not enough to provide the benefits of superaging. Neither are the popular diversions of various “brain game” websites. You must expend enough effort that you feel some “yuck.” Do it till it hurts, and then a bit more.
www.nytimes.com
Baldwin argues that globalization takes shape in three distinct stages: the ability to move goods, then ideas, and finally people. Since the early 19th century, the cost of the first two has fallen dramatically, spurring the surge in international trade that is now a feature of the modern global economy.
while trade makes countries better off, it does not raise all boats… the benefits from trade are unequally spread across individuals and time.
The disruption won’t come because people will move more freely across borders, but because technologies will provide “a substitute for being there,”
When there wasn’t massive trade, every city and every village had its own butcher, baker, candlestick maker, and the bonfire of innovation in modern growth couldn’t get going. For a millennium, incomes for human civilization were stagnate. It wasn’t until 1820 or so, when you could move goods over long distances, that we started to see big factories and industrial clusters happening. But it was hard to move ideas over distance so those ideas stayed in the North. That was the Great Divergence. The North, the G7 more or less, had knowledge-driven growth that took off sooner and faster than the developing countries.
By the end of this whole thing, around 1990, there was a massive imbalance between know-how per worker in the rich countries and in the nearby poor countries. The information and communication technology revolution allowed the firms to move the knowledge across borders. This was transformative in rich countries, where it led to deindustrialization, and a wonderful thing in nearby developing countries, which saw rapid growth, rapid industrialization, and 650 million people rise out of poverty.
For example, Bombardier, a Canadian firm, moved the production of the tail of one of its aircraft from Canada to Mexico in a matter of months.
That sort of sudden, unpredictable, individual aspect of globalization has made everybody very anxious, frustrated, and afraid.
We shouldn’t try and protect jobs; we should protect workers.
There are jobs for people, even in manufacturing these days, but not for the low-skilled people who have been dispossessed by this. Their jobs were routine and the easiest to replace with automation. The first thing to do is accept the 21st–century reality that no matter what you do, these jobs aren’t coming back.
There are two technologies that are key: telepresence and telerobotics. They exist but are expensive and clunky. Telepresence is half of a table with life-size screens, good light, lots of cameras, and microphones. Then the other half of the table is somewhere else. When people sit at the table you have a very strong impression that they are in the same room.
The second is telerobotics. There are a couple of well-known ones. One is the surgeon operating at a 100-kilometer distance from the patient. But you can imagine that hotel rooms in London could be cleaned by people driving robots sitting in Kenya or Buenos Aires or wherever, for a tenth of the cost here. That’s coming, and it will be very disruptive.
We have to look for inspiration from northern European countries who have comprehensive retraining, help with housing, help with relocation. Typically they have the unions, governments, and companies working together to try and keep the social cohesion. It doesn’t always work, but at least they try and most people feel that the government is helping them.
We need to change the education system so you spend less time when you are young learning to be hyper-specialized and more lifelong learning. The jobs that will still be here will require face-to-face skills and making networks of human interactions work. Telepresence and telerobotics won’t replace those.
qz.com
So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both America and Britain is surely aimed at me, as much as anyone. Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a cry of anger by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders.
I am no exception to this rule. I warned before the Brexit vote that it would damage scientific research in Britain, that a vote to leave would be a step backward, and the electorate – or at least a sufficiently significant proportion of it – took no more notice of me than any of the other political leaders, trade unionists, artists, scientists, businessmen and celebrities who all gave the same unheeded advice to the rest of the country.
The concerns underlying these votes about the economic consequences of globalisation and accelerating technological change are absolutely understandable. The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.
This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive.
So taken together we are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent.
The consequences of this are plain to see: the rural poor flock to cities, to shanty towns, driven by hope. And then often, finding that the Instagram nirvana is not available there, they seek it overseas, joining the ever greater numbers of economic migrants in search of a better life. These migrants in turn place new demands on the infrastructures and economies of the countries in which they arrive, undermining tolerance and further fuelling political populism.
For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.
Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.
To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations.
www.businessinsider.com
Books are uniquely suited to helping us change our relationship to the rhythms and habits of daily life in this world of endless connectivity. We can’t interrupt books; we can only interrupt ourselves while reading them. They are the expression of an individual or a group of individuals, not of a hive mind or collective consciousness. They speak to us, thoughtfully, one at a time. They demand our attention. And they demand that we briefly put aside our own beliefs and prejudices and listen to someone else’s. You can rant against a book, scribble in the margin or even chuck it out the window. Still, you won’t change the words on the page.
The technology of a book is genius: The order of the words is fixed, whether on the page or on the screen, but the speed at which you read them is entirely up to you. Sure, this allows you to skip ahead and jump around. But it also allows you to slow down, savor and ponder.
Reading is the best way I know to learn how to examine your life. By comparing what you’ve done to what others have done, and your thoughts and theories and feelings to those of others, you learn about yourself and the world around you. Perhaps that is why reading is one of the few things you do alone that can make you feel less alone. It is a solitary activity that connects you to others.
So I’m on a search—and have been, I now realize, all my life—to find books to help me make sense of the world, to help me become a better person, to help me get my head around the big questions that I have and answer some of the small ones while I’m at it.
no book is so bad that you can’t find anything in it of interest.
Reading isn’t just a strike against narrowness, mind control and domination: It’s one of the world’s great joys.
www.wsj.com
Can I trust this person?
Can I respect this person?
Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence, respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both.
If someone you're trying to influence doesn't trust you, you're not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative.  A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you've established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.
www.businessinsider.com
“The common occurrence (96%) of coliform and E. coli bacteria on the outside of the shoes indicates frequent contact with fecal material, which most likely originates from floors in public restrooms or contact with animal fecal material outdoors. Our study also indicated that bacteria can be tracked by shoes over a long distance into your home or personal space after the shoes were contaminated with bacteria.”
nextshark.com
But when manufacturing returns to the states, jobs aren’t coming with it in high numbers. Automation has left workers in developing nations without employment,
Players in this space include burger flipping and pizza making robots, respectively, from Momentum Machines and Zume, painting robots from Rational Robotics. Then there are the likes of Modbot and Baxter, robots configurable for a wide range of purposes in manufacturing and elsewhere.
It’s not just startups, though. Large brands like Nike and Adidas have shed contractors and embraced robotics and 3-D printing to make their shoes. Large farms have long employed robots in the field, and major companies like Amazon and UPS rely heavily on robots for logistics and warehousing.
Let’s just hope there’s always a market for “handmade” goods and human-delivered services, and perhaps a robot that can help teach former employees new work skills.
techcrunch.com
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