Category: Type-Article

Politics, religion and money: how to approach these 3 taboo conversational topics

ARTICLE (How to): It is often said that you should never discuss religion, money, or politics with people. The introduction of these “controversial” subjects can lead to a conversation getting overly heated, create misunderstandings, cause people to take offense, and end a relationship before it’s even begun. So while it’s tempting to let it all hang out with everyone, all of the time, it’s best to move into dicier stuff gradually — to first build a supportive scaffolding of trust and respect.

SOURCE: Art of Manliness

‘Anumeric’ people: where a language has no words for numbers

ARTICLE: Numbers do not exist in all cultures. There are numberless hunter-gatherers embedded deep in Amazonia, living along branches of the world’s largest river tree. Instead of using words for precise quantities, these people rely exclusively on terms analogous to “a few” or “some.” In contrast, our own lives are governed by numbers. The exact (and exacting) numbers we think with impact everything in our daily lives. But, in a historical sense, numerically fixated people like us are the unusual ones. For the bulk of our species’ approximately 200,000-year lifespan, we had no means of precisely representing quantities.

SOURCE: The Conversation

Why there’s no such thing as a gifted child — all children have the potential for greatness

ARTICLE: Even Einstein was unexceptional in his youth. Adults can help almost any child become gifted. The latest neuroscience and psychological research suggests most people, unless they are cognitively impaired, can reach standards of performance associated in school with the gifted and talented. However, children must be taught the right attitudes and approaches to their learning and develop the attributes of high performers – curiosity, persistence and hard work, for example – an approach called “high performance learning”.

SOURCE: The Guardian

Eminence is a poor guide to quality of scientific papers

ARTICLE: Many decisions about whose work is recognized are at least partially arbitrary, and we should acknowledge that.
• Recognition is awarded partly on the basis of past recognition (so a scientist is more likely to get a publication accepted if he or she has a track record of good publications). Favouring elite scientists when evaluating papers and proposals is like giving Usain Bolt a 10-metre head start in his next race because he won his last five.
• Rather than relying on heuristics such as the prestige of their university, or previous recognition, let’s read people’s work and evaluate each study or proposal on its merits.

SOURCE: Nature

Resistance is futile — just give in to Google

ARTICLE: Somehow, since its very beginning, Google has managed to project an air of openness and integrity with its “Don’t be evil” motto. We are assured that the data that it gathers is anonymised and encrypted, kept in vaults that are guaranteed unbreachable. We are reassured that it won’t be used against individuals in any way other than targeting advertising, the source of all Google’s wealth and benevolence.

SOURCE: Make Use Of

Why buy things you only use once? Enter the Subscription Economy

VIDEO: More and more of the things that we find valuable weigh less and less. We can deliver these intangibles anytime, anywhere to anybody and, in fact, don’t have to own them anymore: movies, music, books, to name a few. The benefits of subscribing to something rather than owning them are moving to the physical world as well.: Uber as an example. It’s as good and maybe even better than owning because ownership has a lot of liabilities – storing, cleaning, maintaining, upgrading that we actually don’t really want to have. And we can imagine pushing this to some far logical extreme where maybe some individual in the future doesn’t really own very much of anything. They can access or subscribe to everything in their lives.

SOURCE: Big Think

Holding on to unrealised ideas blocks creativity: downsize your “idea debt”

ARTICLE/ VIDEO: Idea debt is the pile of ideas you keep revisiting but never finish, or even never begin. It can be a book, an app, a business, any project that grows in your mind but not in reality. It feels much more impressive than the projects you’re actually carrying out, with all their disappointments and compromises. Like financial debt, a little well-managed idea debt is healthy. It’s good to mull over ideas, to file them for later, to give yourself more creative options than you use. But sometimes you need to pay that debt down. Luckily you’re your own debtor, so you have plenty of options.

SOURCE: Lifehacker & Medium

How open minded are you? A simple eye test will tell you

ARTICLE/ UTILITY: Researchers administered a “big five” personality test to participants: measuring their extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. They were then given a test for binocular rivalry. Participants were shown a patch of red in one eye and a patch of green in the other. Those who scored higher for openness were able to merge both images into one unified red-green patch. Those who scored lower for openness tended to switch back and forth between the incompatible images.

SOURCE: Good/ Journal of Research in Personality

For the illiterate adult, learning to read produces enormous brain changes

ARTICLE: The brain did not evolve to read. It uses the neural muscle of pre-existing visual and language processing areas to enable us to take in works of literature. Reading, usually, begins in the first years of schooling, a time when these brain regions are still in development. What happens, though, when an adult starts learning after the age of 30?

SOURCE: Scientific American

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