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In the News 23.09.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 23.09.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

Photo by Tommy Ton

This is Water

David Foster Wallace 

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” If at this moment, you’re worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise old fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don’t be. I am not the wise old fish. The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude — but the fact is that, in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have life-or-death importance. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense.

A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. Here’s one example of the utter wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely talk about this sort of natural, basic selfcenteredness, because it’s so socially repulsive, but it’s pretty much the same for all of us, deep down. It is our default-setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: There is no experience you’ve had that you were not at the absolute center of. The world as you experience it is right there in front of you, or behind you, to the left or right of you, on your TV, or your monitor, or whatever.

Other people’s thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real — you get the idea.But please don’t worry that I’m getting ready to preach to you about compassion or other-directedness or the so-called “virtues.” This is not a matter of virtue — it’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default-setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centered, and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.

Read the rest of this article at Matastatic.org

5 Marketing TED Talks that every marketer must watch

Dan Cobley – What Physics taught me about Marketing

Did you ever think that you can learn anything about Marketing through Physics? Well even we never thought about it but one man did and that was Dan Cobley, the Marketing Director at Google. Being passionate about physics and marketing both, he beautifully explains the connection between both through Newton’s second law, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, the scientific method and the second law of thermodynamics. Watch it here and you’ll certainly thank us for this.

Read the rest of this article at EduPristine

Who’s Winning the E-Commerce Race?

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LONDON, United Kingdom — Inside the warehouses of the newly forming Yoox Net-a-Porter Group is a software-controlled ballet of man and machine. In giant buildings strategically placed near major fashion markets, robots work alongside humans to pick, pack and ship Christian Louboutin stilettos and Saint Laurent biker jackets. It’s a reminder that, behind the virtual array of shiny products that populate websites, fashion e-commerce is an intensely physical business, depending on smooth back-end logistics as much as slick front-end experience.

On paper, the merger of Yoox and Net-a-Porter is a perfect union of front- and back-end excellence. Indeed, the all-share deal — in which Yoox is buying Net-a-Porter from Richemont, forming the world’s largest fashion e-tailer, with combined annual sales of €1.3 billion — promises to not only deliver economies of scale, but unite two highly complementary companies. Yoox, which began by selling discounted, end-of-season merchandise, is a leader in back-end operations and now powers e-commerce sites for several Kering brands, as well as Armani and Valentino. Meanwhile, Net-a-Porter, which began with full-price merchandise, excels at front-end customer experience, with beautiful packaging, same-day delivery and glossy editorial content. “The two businesses can piggyback on each other now,” said Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas.

Read the rest of this article at BOF

The Plot Twist: E­Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead

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Five years ago, the book world was seized by collective panic over the uncertain future of print. As readers migrated to new digital devices, e­book sales soared, up 1,260 percent between 2008 and 2010, alarming booksellers that watched consumers use their stores to find titles they would later buy online. Print sales dwindled, bookstores struggled to stay open, and publishers and authors feared that cheaper e­books would cannibalize their business. Then in 2011, the industry’s fears were realized when Borders declared bankruptcy. “E­books were this rocket ship going straight up,” said Len Vlahos, a former executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, a nonprofit research group that tracks the publishing industry. “Just about everybody you talked to thought we were going the way of digital music.” But the digital apocalypse never arrived, or at least not on schedule. While analysts once predicted that e­books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

In Europe’s Top Destinations, Hotels to Suit Your Wallet

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A testament to the adage, “You get what you pay for,” high­end hotels lavishly indulge guests in everything from personal butlers to full­service spas, swimming pools and enough restaurants to take the guilt out of staying in. But luxury isn’t limited to pampering hotels with bank­bleeding prices. Sometimes the extras — a bountiful breakfast buffet, historic settings or personal services like walking tours and hiking directions — provide equivalent value at cheaper lodgings. The following hotel pairs in six European destinations offer intriguing alternatives at either end of the budget spectrum.

In fact, it’s headline news. Bruce Jenner, a male gold medalist in the 1976 Olympics and a cover boy on a Wheaties box, is now Caitlyn Jenner, a 2015 cover girl on Vanity Fair. Laverne Cox, a transgender actor, is nominated for an Emmy for outstanding actress. America has seen openly transgendered individuals serve as a mayor, state legislator, judge, police officer, a model for a global cosmetics brand, and a high school homecoming queen. Even amid the appallingly high rates of discrimination and violence against the transgendered, there is a growing recognition that gender designation need not be permanent.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

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