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In the News 30.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 30.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 30.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 30.10.17 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Earth to André 3000: The OutKast Icon Talks Life After “Hey Ya!”

—a genie!
Before he even got here. I really hate it for him. You gotta understand, I’ve only written one check in my life. When I was 17, they still had checkbooks, and my mom taught me how to write a check and do my balance. So I had one check on my balance, and then OutKast took off. I have not paid a bill since. People ask, What does it feel like? As humans, we want attention. We want to be validated. At the same time, it’s strange attention, and a lot of it. If you have an excess of anything, it becomes strange.

Did you come to N.Y.C. to face that feeling down? In Atlanta, you’re in the bubble of your car.
Yeah, that was part of my reason for coming here. I was diagnosed with this social thing. I didn’t notice it until I became an entertainer. I don’t know if it’s the shock of all kind of people coming up to you, or the expectations, but I got to this place where it was hard for me to be in public without feeling watched or really nervous.

Trapped.
Yeah, and it started to bleed over into my normal life. I’d just meet new people and I would freak out or have to leave.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

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How to Be a C.E.O., From
a Decade’s Worth of Them

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It started with a simple idea: What if I sat down with chief executives, and never asked them about their companies?

The notion occurred to me roughly a decade ago, after spending years as a reporter and interviewing C.E.O.s about many of the expected things: their growth plans, the competition, the economic forces driving their industries. But the more time I spent doing this, the more I found myself wanting to ask instead about more expansive themes — not about pivoting, scaling or moving to the cloud, but how they lead their employees, how they hire, and the life advice they give or wish they had received.

That led to 525 Corner Office columns, and weekly reminders that questions like these can lead to unexpected places.

I met an executive who grew up in a dirt-floor home, and another who escaped the drugs and gangs of her dangerous neighborhood. I learned about different approaches to building culture, from doing away with titlesto offering twice-a-month housecleaning to all employees as a retention tool.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

How to Replace a Ghost

It is fitting that I was on my way to a museum filled with ghastly medical objects and oddities when I realized most of us are more haunted by the living than the dead. The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia is a medical history museum that houses such prized specimens as Einstein’s brain, conjoined fetuses in a jar, President Grover Cleveland”s jaw tumor, and an expansive wall case displaying Dr. Joseph Hyrtl’s human skull collection. I was on my way to the wedding of my friends Helena and Thomas, the kind of tender, brilliant oddballs so in love that I’d believe them both if they told me the other had hung the North Star or can understand the language of animals. The kind of people who get married in the Mütter Museum not because they necessarily want to, but because there are simply no other places so tastefully macabre yet oddly tender, befitting their nuptials. I don’t believe this about love but I do believe it about wedding venues: It isn’t a decision, it is destiny.

Read the rest of this article at: Longreads

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You Will Lose Your Job to a Robot—and Sooner Than You Think

I want to tell you straight off what this story is about: Sometime in the next 40 years, robots are going to take your job.

I don’t care what your job is. If you dig ditches, a robot will dig them better. If you’re a magazine writer, a robot will write your articles better. If you’re a doctor, IBM’s Watson will no longer “assist” you in finding the right diagnosis from its database of millions of case studies and journal articles. It will just be a better doctor than you.

And CEOs? Sorry. Robots will run companies better than you do. Artistic types? Robots will paint and write and sculpt better than you. Think you have social skills that no robot can match? Yes, they can. Within 20 years, maybe half of you will be out of jobs. A couple of decades after that, most of the rest of you will be out of jobs.

In one sense, this all sounds great. Let the robots have the damn jobs! No more dragging yourself out of bed at 6 a.m. or spending long days on your feet. We’ll be free to read or write poetry or play video games or whatever we want to do. And a century from now, this is most likely how things will turn out. Humanity will enter a golden age.

But what about 20 years from now? Or 30? We won’t all be out of jobs by then, but a lot of us will—and it will be no golden age. Until we figure out how to fairly distribute the fruits of robot labor, it will be an era of mass joblessness and mass poverty. Working-class job losses played a big role in the 2016 election, and if we don’t want a long succession of demagogues blustering their way into office because machines are taking away people’s livelihoods, this needs to change, and fast. Along with global warming, the transition to a workless future is the biggest challenge by far that progressive politics—not to mention all of humanity—faces. And yet it’s barely on our radar.

Read the rest of this article at: Mother Jones

What Boredom Does to You

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Every emotion has a purpose—an evolutionary benefit,” says Sandi Mann, a psychologist and the author of The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom Is Good. “I wanted to know why we have this emotion of boredom, which seems like such a negative, pointless emotion.”

That’s how Mann got started in her specialty: boredom. While researching emotions in the workplace in the 1990s, she discovered the second most commonly suppressed emotion after anger was—you guessed it—boredom. “It gets such bad press,” she said. “Almost everything seems to be blamed on boredom.”

As Mann dived into the topic of boredom, she found that it was actually “very interesting.” It’s certainly not pointless. Wijnand van Tilburg from the University of Southampton explained the important evolutionary function of that uneasy, awful feeling this way: “Boredom makes people keen to engage in activities that they find more meaningful than those at hand.”

“Imagine a world where we didn’t get bored,” Mann said. “We’d be perpetually excited by everything—raindrops falling, the cornflakes at breakfast time.” Once past boredom’s evolutionary purpose, Mann became curious about whether there might be benefits beyond its contribution to survival. “Instinctively,” she said, “I felt that we all need a little boredom in our lives.”

Mann devised an experiment wherein a group of participants was given the most boring assignment she could think of: copying, by hand, phone numbers from the phone book. (For some of you who might never have seen one of those, Google it.) This was based on a classic creativity test developed in 1967 by J.P. Guilford, an American psychologist and one of the first researchers to study creativity. Guilford’s original Alternative Uses Test gave subjects two minutes to come up with as many uses as they could think of for everyday objects such as cups, paper clips, or a chair. In Mann’s version, she preceded the creativity test with 20 minutes of a meaningless task: in this case, copying numbers out of the phone book. Afterward, her subjects were asked to come up with as many uses as they could for two paper cups (the kind you get at an ecologically unscrupulous water cooler). The participants devised mildly original ideas for their cups, such as plant pots and sandbox toys.

Read the rest of this article at: Nautilus

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @domsli22; @paris.with.me; @tattivasilieva

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