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Antony Mayfield

Antony Mayfield's Public Library

Mar 04, 15

Google doesn't do hardware at scale - it does Nexus to push the market forward. Now an MVNO in the same spirit...

  • So, what’s required to craft these strategies of trajectory? Five elements can help to make these strategies successful
    • Challenging
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    • Shaping
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    • Motivating
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    • Measuring
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    • Learning
  • I’m a proponent of scenario development as a tool to identify, assess and ultimately achieve alignment around potential futures. One of the great elements of scenario development is that it explicitly starts with the proposition of alternative futures. T

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  • Imagine all the wildly different services you could deliver with a building full of writers and developers. It’s a category I’ve started calling editorial products.

     

    In this frame, journalism is just one part of a broader information ecosystem that includes everything from wire services to Wikipedia to search engines. All of these products serve needs for factual information, and they all use some combination of professionals, participants, and software to produce and deliver it to users — the reporter plus the crowd and the algorithm. Here are six editorial products that journalists and others already produce, and six more that they could.

     

  • “Psychological science suggests that the ancient Chinese philosophers were genuinely on to something,” says Jonathan Schooler, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “Particularly when one has developed proficiency in an area, it is often better to simply go with the flow. Paralysis through analysis and overthinking are very real pitfalls that the art of wu wei was designed to avoid.”
  • Before signing a big deal, businesspeople often insist on getting to know potential partners at a boozy meal because alcohol makes it difficult to fake feelings. Neuroscientists have achieved the same effect in brain scanners by applying magnetic fields that suppress cognitive-control ability and in this way make it harder for people to tell convincing lies.

    “Getting drunk is essentially an act of mental disarmament,” Dr. Slingerland writes. “In the same way that shaking right hands with someone assures them that you’re not holding a weapon, downing a few tequila shots is like checking your prefrontal cortex at the door. ‘See? No cognitive control. You can trust me.’ ”

  • Training yourself to follow rules automatically can be liberating, because it conserves cognitive energy for other tasks.

  • The trick to preventing this, she says, is to practise “choice reduction”, which means cutting the number of relatively unimportant everyday decisions you make so that your precious reserve is saved for the office. “It’s just simplifying your life,” says Ms Swart. “Choice reduction means you have more cognitive resource available to solve problems and think creatively.” 

     

  • “If you are going through a smooth time when things are stable, you should do the opposite — ‘cognitive stimulation’,” she says. This could mean travelling a different way to work, reading a new newspaper or learning a musical instrument to help keep your brain agile. Even Mr Obama admits: “My wife makes fun of how routinised I’ve become.”

  • And then there’s the economic side of it. The International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde describes “an insidious conspiracy” against women through laws, varying in scale across the world, that prevent women from working. Women are disproportionately concentrated in the lowest paid, most insecure and often most demeaning forms of work; they also do the vast majority of unpaid housework and childcare. The oppression of women is comprehensive indeed.
  • So what is the role of men in all this? The liberation of women is down to women, after all, and the great advances that have so far been made are down to the struggle and sacrifice of women: some known, some airbrushed from the history books. The women’s movement has changed men for the better: they are more likely to have female and gay friends than they once did, to talk about their feelings (though not enough), to have a greater role in raising children, and so on. Men are so accustomed to various privileges – such as automatically being taken more seriously – that they are not even aware they exist. That’s why it is so crucial that men listen to women and their experiences, and learn.

     

  • Yet men will only stop killing, raping, injuring and oppressing women if they change. That means tackling attitudes within their ranks that make possible the objectification of women, for instance, or which normalise violence against women. The White Ribbon Campaign is one example, attempting to transform men’s attitudes towards such violence. Unless men speak out, such attitudes will persist and the terror against women will continue.

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