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In the News 26.01.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 26.01.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 26.01.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 26.01.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

“This Is Serious”: Facebook Begins Its Downward Spiral

Years ago, long before Mark Zuckerberg became Mark Zuckerberg, the young founder reached out to a friend of mine who had also started a company, albeit a considerably smaller one, in the social-media space, and suggested they get together. As Facebook has grown into a global colossus that connects about a third of the globe, Zuckerberg has subsequently assumed a reputation as an aloof megalomaniac deeply out of touch with the people who use his product. But back then, when he only had 100 million users on his platform, he wasn’t perceived that way. When he reached out to my friend, Zuckerberg was solicitous. He made overtures that suggested a possible acquisition—and once rebuffed, returned with the notion that perhaps Facebook could at least partner with my friend’s company. The chief of the little start-up was excited by the seemingly harmless, even humble, proposition from the growing hegemon. Zuckerberg suggested that the two guys take a walk.

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair


Are You Sleepwalking Now?

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Imagine you are standing on the prow of a sailboat, watching a school of dolphins leaping left and right. When travelling long distances, jumping saves dolphins energy, because there’s less friction in the air than in the water below. It also seems to be an efficient way to move rapidly and breathe at the same time. Typically, the animals will alternate long, ballistic jumps with bouts of swimming underwater, close to the top, for about twice the length of the leap – a spectacular, high-speed, surface-piercing display sometimes known as ‘porpoising’.

These cetacean acrobatics are a fruitful metaphor for what happens when we think. What most of us still call ‘our conscious thoughts’ are really like dolphins in our mind, jumping briefly out of the ocean of our unconscious for a short period before they submerge themselves once again. This ‘dolphin model of cognition’ helps us to understand the limits of our awareness. For example, the windows of time in which these leaps into consciousness unfold (as well as subsequent ‘underwater’ processing) vary hugely. And similar to the way that dolphins break the surface of the water, thoughts often cross the border between conscious and unconscious processing, and in both directions. Sometimes individual dolphins are so close to the surface that they can be half in and half out of the water; you might actually be able to learn how to spot them right before they jump, just as you can learn to identify subtle, semi-conscious patterns before they manifest as full-blown thoughts and feelings. There might even be more than one dolphin: in all likelihood, there’s a whole race going on between our thoughts, a continuous inner competition for the focus of attention and for what finally seizes control over our behaviour.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

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“Harvey’s Concern Was Who Did Him In”: Inside Harvey Weinstein’s Frantic Final Days

On Monday, October 2, 2017, Harvey Weinstein arrived at work earlier than usual. As was his custom, he barked orders and moved from room to room inside his spacious office suite at 375 Greenwich Street, the New York City headquarters of the Weinstein Company (T.W.C.), a beautiful old red-brick factory building that had been converted into a center of the film universe.

The producer had formed the enterprise some 12 years earlier after he and his brother and partner, Bob Weinstein, exited their fabled Miramax operation, home to such critical and commercial successes as Shakespeare in Love, Pulp Fiction, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. And during an equally successful tenure at T.W.C., the brothers, whose films have generated an astounding 81 Oscars since 1999, had ushered into the world The King’s Speech, Inglourious Basterds, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Artist. Now, however, T.W.C., the cinematic supernova, was suddenly imploding. And it was about to consume Weinstein the man and the brand.

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair


Jack Antonoff on the Dark Secrets of Good Pop Music

Jack Antonoff—the singer, songwriter, and multiple-Grammy-winning producer who’s worked with Lorde, Taylor Swift, and St. Vincent, among others—is everywhere. By way of explanation, a digression:

Back in August, I was getting out of a taxi on lower Park Avenue when someone hollered at me. It took me a few moments to realize that someone was Antonoff, holding his camera up in selfie mode and filming my exit. “We look alike,” he said, thrilled at the discovery but a little shocked at the resemblance. And he was right: Me and Jack Antonoff, two Jews with curly hair, white tees, and New York Mets caps, look strikingly similar. He asked if we could take a picture, perhaps the first and last time a famous person has asked a normal to take a photo with them, and blasted it out via Instagram.

Like I said: Jack Antonoff—in his songs, but also in the form of writers who look exactly like him—is everywhere.

This is new. Antonoff, now 33, used to be a secret weapon. He started touring the country at 15, was signed to legendary pop-punk label Drive-Thru at 18. And then he linked up with some old touring pals to write world-eating pop jams as Fun. You remember the songs—“We Are Young,” “Some Nights”—because they destroy at weddings, bar mitzvahs, graduation parties, and bars. Along the way, he became something of a pop guru—not a gun for hire, but the rarest kind of collaborator. Armed with his own sonic signature, forged in vans and clubs and small theaters and bedrooms, he also had a willingness—a need—to be a true partner.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

Utopic Wellness Communities Are A Multibillion-Dollar Real Estate Trend


Thirty minutes from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport lies a countryside oasis that resembles a fancier, modern-day version of Little House on the Prairie.

Imagine 40,000 acres of forest surrounding newly built Craftsman and Victorian homes–each with sweeping Southern-style wraparound porches sprinkled with lemonade-sipping residents, old and young. Behind each house lie “alleyways” of forest trails–there, athleisure-clad grandmas go on runs while clusters of unaccompanied kids forage for secret treehouses strewn throughout the landscape. Nestled behind a communal organic farm, pigs and chickens roam free beneath pine trees. At the local inn, the concierge offers free bunnies for adoption at check-in.

There are few cars on the premises; most residents prefer to walk to the local yoga class or hike the neighborhood’s 15 miles of trails. Young couples amuse themselves at a field-size labyrinth composed of rocks, just beyond the wildflower meadow. The loudest sound is of the breeze brushing up against the oak trees that hover over the lawns. This landscape feels to me like a physical manifestation of the Sabbath.

Welcome to Serenbe, one of the more well-known “wellness communities,” planned homes and neighborhoods designed to support residents’ physical, emotional, and sometimes even spiritual well-being.

Here, design is as fully integrated into the landscape as nature. Serenbe dictates each home be built in exact accordance to its style (i.e., no mixing your Colonial with your Tudor). A strict “no McMansion” rule means houses are tastefully built, with nary a Roman column or gilded arch to be seen.

There are no driveways, and you won’t spot a garbage can or utility wires on these streets; such unseemly items are cleverly hidden a level underground. You’ll see residents “taking out the trash” by lifting up discreet manhole covers beside their houses.

“I hate visual pollution,” declares Serenbe founder Steve Nygren.

It’s like Disneyland released a Pleasantville attraction, or a modern day kibbutz for health enthusiasts. It’s fitting that the community’s name is Serenbe, a combination of the words “serene” and “being.”

Serenbe started with just one family in 2004. Nygren, a retired restaurateur on a mission to save Atlanta forestland from bulldozers, brought his family to the land as its first denizens. Today, his idyllic nature reserve encompasses 300 homes and 600 residents, along with a 25-acre organic farm, three restaurants, a farmer’s market, hotel, spa, bookstore, and a progressive playhouse recognized by the New York Times.

Read the rest of this article at: Wired

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