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In the News 15.01.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 15.01.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@alleksana
In the News 15.01.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@casadeperrin
In the News 15.01.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@ironnsalt

The Reputation Game: How To Control the
Way We Appear In The Eyes Of Others

On the last day of November 2017, the snow fell in Brussels. By the evening, a crust of white had settled on the crown of Godfrey of Bouillon, the 11th-century crusader whose statue dominates the Place Royale. Not far away, people filed into a concert hall at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, renowned for hosting great conductor-composers such as Stravinsky and Rachmaninov. However, they were not there to listen to music; they had come to hear Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner who has been called the “most powerful woman in Europe” and whose mission is to hold to account the world’s biggest technology companies.

Since 2014, the arts centre has hosted an annual series of debates about the future of the EU. These have been notable both for reflecting the sense of crisis on the continent – the themes have been “Reinventing Europe”, “Now or Never”, “Last Chance” and “The End of Europe?” – and for the quality of the speakers, one of whom was Emmanuel Macron, who appeared in 2014 and 2016, while he was France’s economy minister. Vestager, who is 49, shared the stage with Macron both times.

Vestager (pronounced Vest-ayer) was little known outside her native Denmark when she became Europe’s commissioner for competition three years ago. The EU was already investigating tech companies including Google and Apple for abusing their dominant market positions or their tax structures. But Vestager, who is eloquent, charming (she smiles a lot) and supremely confident in her convictions, quickly concluded that more decisive action was needed.

Read the rest of this article at: New Statesman

Saving the Pandas Means Dressing Like a Panda

Joe Duff, CEO of Operation Migration, is not the only conservationist to wear a uniform to work. But instead of the khakis and polos that serve to show that humans are all part of the same team, his uniform helps him blend in among a flock of whooping cranes. It’s not a bird costume, per se. Rather than making the wearer look like something else, its purpose is to conceal what they are — a human being who’s trying to teach these cranes how to be wild.

Most of the suit is nothing more than an amorphous white bag that covers the wearer’s arms and everything from head to mid-calf. A volunteer of theirs makes every part specially for the program. To hide their faces, they use white plastic construction helmets covered in a layer of white fabric, except for a small plate made out of reflective mylar that they use to see and a strip of mesh to help them breathe. The costumes are neither stylish nor, in the hot summer months, particularly comfortable. (“Whooping cranes can spend their life in the marsh and mud and they’re still pure white; we can’t spend 10 minutes,” Duff says.) They use the same outfits year-round and have to make them from a material thick enough that when the light shines through, there’s no chance of a crane making out the human silhouette underneath. One hand is covered by a black fabric mitten stitched to the costume so the birds never see a glimpse of skin. In the other, they carry a puppet meant to look like the head of a whooping crane. It’s this, not the blob of white human attached to it, that the birds interact with.

Read the rest of this article at: Racked

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Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not

SAN FRANCISCO — Recently the founder of something called Ripple briefly became richer than Mark Zuckerberg. Another day an anonymous donor set up an $86 million Bitcoin-fortune charity called the Pineapple Fund. A Tesla was spotted with a BLOCKHN license plate. There’s a surge in people looking to buy Bitcoin on their credit cards. After the Long Island Iced Tea company announced it would pivot to blockchain, its stock rose 500 percent in a day.

In 2017, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin went from $830 to $19,300, and now quivers around $14,000. Ether, its main rival, started the year at less than $10, closing out 2017 at $715. Now it’s over $1,100. The wealth is intoxicating news, feverish because it seems so random. Investors trying to grok the landscape compare it to the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, when valuations soared and it was hard to separate the Amazons and Googles from the Pets.coms and eToys.

The cryptocurrency community is centered around a tightknit group of friends — developers, libertarians, Redditors and cypherpunks — who have known each other for years through meet-ups, an endless circuit of crypto conferences and internet message boards. Over long hours in anonymous group chats, San Francisco bars and Settlers of Catan game nights, they talk about how cryptocurrency will decentralize power and wealth, changing the world order.

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

Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Win

On the afternoon of November 8, 2016, Kellyanne Conway settled into her glass office at Trump Tower. Right up until the last weeks of the race, the campaign headquarters had remained a listless place. All that seemed to distinguish it from a corporate back office were a few posters with right-wing slogans.

Conway, the campaign’s manager, was in a remarkably buoyant mood, considering she was about to experience a resounding, if not cataclysmic, defeat. Donald Trump would lose the election — of this she was sure — but he would quite possibly hold the defeat to under six points. That was a substantial victory. As for the looming defeat itself, she shrugged it off: It was Reince Priebus’s fault, not hers.

She had spent a good part of the day calling friends and allies in the political world and blaming Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Now she briefed some of the television producers and anchors whom she had been carefully courting since joining the Trump campaign — and with whom she had been actively interviewing in the last few weeks, hoping to land a permanent on-air job after the election.

Even though the numbers in a few key states had appeared to be changing to Trump’s advantage, neither Conway nor Trump himself nor his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — the effective head of the campaign — ­wavered in their certainty: Their unexpected adventure would soon be over. Not only would Trump not be president, almost everyone in the campaign agreed, he should probably not be. Conveniently, the former conviction meant nobody had to deal with the latter issue.

As the campaign came to an end, Trump himself was sanguine. His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. “I can be the most famous man in the world,” he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race. His longtime friend Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, liked to say that if you want a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities.

“This is bigger than I ever dreamed of,” he told Ailes a week before the election. “I don’t think about losing, because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.”

Read the rest of this article at: New York Magazine

Examples of Toxic Femininity in the Workplace

Hogan-Toxic-Temininity-in-the-Workplace

Sharon leads a meeting. She books the conference room for thirty minutes. Participants speak only when they have something relevant to say, so the meeting is over in twenty minutes. The room sits empty for ten minutes, giving a family of rats time to move in.

Jessica begins speaking, and no one speaks over her. She didn’t actually have an ending to her presentation prepared, because she expected to be interrupted. She is mortified.

Christine wears a skirt. No one stares at her legs. She worries that she no longer has good legs, so she blows three hundred dollars on an Equinox membership.

Kathy sends a polite e-mail asking Mark for a report. Because the e-mail is calmly worded and lacking in profanity, Mark does not feel stressed, and he finishes the report and submits it without typos. Kathy does not have to edit it, so uses her free time to play with her hair, and her hair begins to fall out.

Everyone pushes his or her chair in at the end of the day. The cleaning crew is flummoxed.

Jane writes “do not eat” on her salad, and no one eats it. Then, because the salad remains in the fridge for too long, it goes bad, and an ant colony forms around it, destroying the fridge.

Lisa comes in for an interview. All the interviewers judge her objectively, based on her qualifications and the candor of her responses. This leaves her so confused that, on the way out of the office, she accidentally walks into traffic and dies.

Clara comes back from maternity leave and finds that she has not been replaced. Having planned on needing to fight for her job, she had started taking boxing classes. With no one to fight at work, she punches her bathroom wall instead and breaks her hand. The doctor gives her the wrong medication, and she dies.

Paul takes a two-month paternity leave. He becomes a loving, caring father, and his son Baxter grows up unscarred by his parents. At the age of twenty-seven, Baxter begins performing standup comedy but realizes that he doesn’t have enough angst and fails at it.

All the women who are qualified for promotions receive promotions. The company gives them all raises, runs out of money, and goes bankrupt.

Members of the all-female upper management of a company never think to talk about sex in the workplace. As a result, they forget that sex exists and uniformly fail to perpetuate the human race. This is a global phenomenon that accelerates the demise of our species.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

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

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