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In the News 15.07.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 15.07.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
Photo by Emily Faulstich

Empathy is hot in business wisdom these days: Forbes says it’sinvaluable, Apple’s training manual offers empathy exercises, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson calls caring “key.”

“Corporate empathy is not an oxymoron,” concluded an article in theHarvard Business Review on January 8. “It is a hard skill that should be required from the board-room to the shop floor.”

Indeed, fellow-feeling has come to be seen as a means to a better bottom line. An empathetic customer service representative creates customer loyalty, while an empathetic manager creates engagement and employee loyalty—deeply necessary in a world where 70% of workers say they are not enthusiastic about their jobs, reports Forbes.

Read the rest of this article at Quartz

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In a fluorescent-lit hallway at a Long Island nursing home, Judd Apatow sits on an overturned box beside a collapsed wheelchair, marking a two-page printout of jokes. It’s 8:40 a.m. on May 19th, 2014: the first day of production on Apatow’s fifth directorial feature, Trainwreck. Residents mill around on walkers and canes; one wants to enter the home’s glassed-in sitting porch, but Apatow has transformed it into a set. A production assistant tasked with directing elderly traffic reroutes her: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, we’re shooting a movie in here.”

Read the rest of this article at Rolling Stone

In the fall of 1949, the editors of Esquire magazine published Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts,billed as the “all-time, all-knowing, all-inclusive, all-man reference book on ‘Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.’” The Handbook included recipes, drink ideas, games, decorating tips, and general etiquette for “every male, be he the lad in the fifteen-room penthouse, or the guy in the glorified piano crate below street level.” It was released at the outset of the Cold War; the baby boomer period of the late forties and fifties ushered in a new era of suburban development and a return to an idyllic family structure that the government promoted as socially and economically necessary for defeating communism. Women were encouraged to leave the jobs they had held throughout the war, and men were encouraged to take on the breadwinner role and aggressively retain the masculinity of wartime heroism.

Read the rest of this article at The Awl

Crowdfunding is typical of our time, in that it is a universally acclaimed good thing that actually reveals many problems if you pause to think about it for a second or two.

Like trial by social media, sharing your life on Instagram and letting Apple choose your music for you, it depends on the fact that none of us actually have much time to think about its flaws – I, for instance, am too busy trying to break Apple Music by naming my music favourites as Wagner, Neil Young and the Muppets to worry about the fate of Tim Hunt.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

A Pew poll asked,

Would you say that changing a baby’s genetic characteristics to make the baby more intelligent is making appropriate use of medical advances OR is it taking medical advances too far?

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The result: 83 percent of Americans said it’s not appropriate, and only 15 percent said it was appropriate. Now I’m most certainly not an expert on such questions, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Still, this seems too interesting a topic not to speculate about, so let me offer my guess: If such genetic modification proves to be possible (and safe for the baby), that lopsided poll result won’t matter at all.

I appreciate that people might feel that we shouldn’t mess with nature that way. I appreciate that intelligence enhancement may increase the gap between rich and poor, and even between the rich and the middle class, at least at the outset. I appreciate that Congress might outlaw it, if it becomes viable. I just think all that will prove irrelevant.

Read the rest of this article at The Washington Post

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.