Summary of “Why Talented People Don’t Use Their Strengths”

It might never have been built, or at least Cave wouldn’t have built it, had it not been for his boss, Michelle McKenna-Doyle, CIO of the NFL. When McKenna-Doyle was hired, she observed that a number of her people were struggling, but not because they weren’t talented – because they weren’t in roles suited to their strengths.
Experts have long encouraged people to “Play to their strengths.” And why wouldn’t we want to flex our strongest muscle? But based on my observations, this is easier said than done.
Notice these moments: They can point to strengths that you underrate in yourself but are valuable to others.
When people bring up new ideas, you can ask them, Will this leverage what you do well? Are you doing work that draws on your strengths? Are we taking on projects that make the most of your strengths?
Brett Gerstenblatt, VP and creative director at CVS, has his team take a personality assessment, then post their top five strengths on their desk.
Brett wants people to wear their strengths like a badge.
As with McKenna-Doyle, building a team that can play to their strengths begins with analysis.
Then you can measure new ideas, new products, and new projects against these collective superpowers, asking: Are we playing to our strengths? When people feel strong, they are willing to venture into new territory, to play where others are not, and to consider ideas for which there isn’t yet a market.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Last Days of the Blue-Blood Harvest”

Horseshoe crab blood runs blue and opaque, like antifreeze mixed with milk.
So reliant is the modern biomedical industry on this blood that the disappearance of horseshoe crabs would instantly cripple it.
Ding, along with her husband and research partner Bow Ho, had come to horseshoe crabs circuitously, and their ultimate goal was to make the animals no longer necessary in biomedical research.
He settled on a protocol of injecting bacteria from seawater directly into horseshoe crabs, which cause their blood to clump into “Stringy masses.”
So Ding set out to make an alternative to LAL that eventually wouldn’t require horseshoe crabs at all.
The horseshoe crab’s sensitivity to bacterial toxins unfortunately also made it a pain to study.
Finally, a decade and a half after she began, Ding had an alternative to LAL that worked without harming any more horseshoe crabs.
It is an ancient synchrony between species, one that began long before humans began harvesting horseshoe crabs for blood and will hopefully last long after.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Capitalism a Threat to Democracy?”

In a sweeping, angry new book, “Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?”, the journalist, editor, and Brandeis professor Robert Kuttner champions Polanyi as a neglected prophet.
Polanyi helped to found Hungary’s Radical Citizens’ Party, which called for land redistribution, free trade, and extended suffrage.
In the short-lived Communist government that followed, Polanyi was offered a position in the culture ministry by his friend György Lukács, later a celebrated Marxist literary critic.
Polanyi held informal seminars on socialist economics at home.
Polanyi starts “The Great Transformation” by giving capitalism its due.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the right to vote spread. In the twenties and thirties, governments began trying to protect citizens’ jobs from shifts in international prices by raising tariffs, so that, in the system’s final years, it hardened national borders instead of opening them, and engendered what Polanyi called a “New crustacean type of nation,” which turned away from international trade, making first one world war, and then another, inevitable.
As Polanyi would have predicted, faith in democracy slipped.
Kuttner follows Polanyi in attacking free-market claims of mathematic purity.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Homer envisioned Achilles, did he see a black man?”

To call a Greek man ‘white’ was to call him ‘effeminate’.
Greeks simply didn’t think of the world as starkly divided along racial lines into black and white: that’s a strange aberration of the modern, Western world, a product of many different historical forces, but in particular the transatlantic slave trade and the cruder aspects of 19th-century racial theory.
Trade with Egypt led the Greeks to borrow what we think of now as definitively Greek cultural forms, such as monumental temple architecture and the statues of standing males known as kouroi.
In sum: we just don’t know whether Homer or Arctinus imagined African warriors at Troy, but there were certainly slightly later Greeks who did.
The presence, in at least some early Greeks’ minds, of black Africans on the battlefield at Troy might be thought sharply to reduce the possibility that the Greek forces themselves included warriors whom we would call black today.
At the same time the paper warns against seeing the Greek population as isolated; as well as broad continuity, the research also shows the porous boundaries of the Greek world.
The upshot is that we can be pretty confident that ancient Greeks were similar in genotype and phenotype to modern Greeks.
In brief: the Greek warriors that Homer imagined probably did not look much like David Gyasi, but nor did they look like Brad Pitt.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Activists fight for single-payer health care in U.S.”

S the poor rankings of American health care compared to those of the rest of the developed world.
The event is a town hall sponsored by the Cleveland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America to explain Medicare f.or All, the proposed expansion to the rest of the population of the half-century-old system that pays for health care for people over 65.
Faust is one of the most prominent of a band of activists who have rallied to the cause of expanding health care, which for him means going beyond Obamacare to the kind of single-payer system – the single payer being the federal government – proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, in a bill he introduced last year.
Made him one of the left’s favorite health care activists.
Faust views single-payer care as the first step toward his desired goal of health justice.
Eighteen states are currently dealing with a “Medicaid gap,” in which their Republican state governments chose not to use the ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision, which provides federal funds to help low-income Americans get health care.
More.The campaign began last summer, when Emily Strizich, her husband, Garrett, and their friend Luke Mayville traveled the state in an old green RV – which they affectionately dubbed the Medicaid Mobile – talking to people about potential health care options.
The organization found success in Maine last fall, when 59 percent voted yes on a Medicaid expansion that would provide health care to an estimated 70,000 low-income residents.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Rockets Are Fun to Watch or Proof That Science Is Ruining the NBA”

It works! The Rockets entered the playoffs with the best record in the NBA and the presumptive runaway MVP, and they represent the league’s best chance at derailing the Warriors’ dynasty in the weeks to come.
What isn’t quite as clear is a debate so hotly contested it’s bound to tear this country apart: Are the Rockets fun to watch? Does their manifestation of math and statistical probability create a visually appealing brand of basketball? I don’t mean to suggest that Houston should stop trying to win and make its primary focus entertaining idiots like me.
This is the best argument for the Rockets being fun to watch, and it’s also the reason NBA Jam was one of the greatest video games of all time.
NOT FUN: There’s flopping in the NBA, and there’s whatever the hell the Rockets do.
FUN: It works! The whole premise of this exercise is to ignore assessing whether Houston’s system is the best way to win an NBA championship and instead focus on determining whether the Rockets are fun to watch.
Utah’s Game 2 win felt like a massive deal; it wouldn’t have carried the same weight if the Rockets went 49-33 and not 65-17.
VERDICT: The Rockets are fun, but not as fun as they should be.
If the NBA reaches the point where every team follows the Rockets’ lead and essentially tries to find glitches that can be exploited, the league might as well just let computers simulate all of the games.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Missing Hope: A Trio of Miscarriages, and What Happened After”

How do we begin to hope when hope has wrought crushing disappointment in our lives? Zack and I knew we wanted children.
A piece of paper we got at the hospital reassured me that the miscarriage was not my fault, no matter how much sex I had or how much exercise I did.
When we got home from that appointment, my husband and I laid on our bed underneath the comforter he had used in college and wailed, and I thought how unfair it was that that bedspread had outlived our child, and some but not all of my hope died, like depleting power in a video game.
Her grandmother had had seven miscarriages before giving birth to her father, something she said perhaps to empathize/perhaps to be kind/perhaps because it was a reflex and she had and said the same to any woman who walked through her door after a miscarriage.
Nothing brought me joy, because it is hard to have joy without hope, and I was killing my hope on a daily basis.
Life ends only in death, and why hadn’t I thought of that sooner, before we tried-really tried-to have a child? For extra credit in one of my college political science classes, we could memorize what Thomas Hobbes said about life outside of human society-“Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” My parents traveled for work; my husband traveled for work; my mind went to work obsessively charting how their deaths would play out, how I would be left all alone, how this baby would die inside me and then I would die.
They don’t tell you how pregnancy allies your body against sanity, how it makes your heart beat faster-this is true; you are creating a new organ along with a baby and so, in order to increase your blood levels by half, your body makes more blood, which makes your heart pound-and how it makes your breathing shallower; how it makes you feel like a panic attack is always imminent.
“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing,” T. S. Eliot wrote in “East Coker.” Eliot never gave birth.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Exclusive: Android P is Google’s most ambitious update in years”

In terms of how it actually feels to use an Android device day-to-day, it could be the biggest update in years.
Later versions of the Android P beta may add an unpause option to the pop-up, but for the first public beta, Google wanted to go to the full extreme to see how users felt about it.
Dave Burke, VP of engineering for Android, says that the changes to navigation on Android were made in the name of “Making Android simpler but also more approachable.” It’s a counterintuitive way to describe the new system.
There are even existing Android phones that have already been working on something like what Android P does.
In Android P, Google is still trying to use its skills in AI and machine learning to make Android smarter, but it’s setting its sights on easier problems.
It can work locally or in conjunction with cloud services – and it will operate on both Android and iOS. The Treble with Android updates The specter that hangs over every Android release is that everybody knows it will be months – if not more than a year – before most phones will get it.
The Android P public beta is available right away, but it’s coming on seven different third-party Android devices.
The most important change to Android might not be what’s in Android P, but instead, the new update foundation laid down last year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “We are more than our brains: on neuroscience and being human”

The mystique is expressed in multiple forms, ranging from ubiquitous depictions of supernatural, ultra-sophisticated brains in science fiction and the popular media to more sober, scientifically supported conceptions of cognitive function that emphasise inorganic qualities or confine mental processes to neural structures.
Brains are undoubtedly somewhat computer-like – computers, after all, were invented to perform brain-like functions – but brains are also much more than bundles of wiry neurons and the electrical impulses they are famous for propagating.
Another remarkable study showed that transplantation of human glial cells into mouse brains boosted the animals’ performance in learning tests, again demonstrating the importance of glia in shaping brain function.
Some of the most perspicacious animals are the corvids – crows, ravens, and rooks – which have brains less than 1 per cent the size of a human brain, but still perform feats of cognition comparable to chimpanzees and gorillas.
The more we feel that our brains encapsulate our essence, the less sensitive we’ll be to the role of environment.
The most extreme direction in futuristic brain technology is the drive to achieve immortality through the postmortem preservation of human brains.
The more we feel that our brains encapsulate our essence as individuals, and the more we believe that our thoughts and actions simply emanate from the bundle of flesh in our heads, the less sensitive we will be to the role of the society and environment around us, and the less we will do to nurture our shared culture and resources – whether in the context of criminal behaviour, creativity, mental illness or any other aspect of human life.
We must realise that we are much more than our brains.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Every Culture Appropriates”

Customs we may think of as immemorially inherent in one culture very often originated in that culture’s own history of empire and domination.
The Chinese dress young Kezia Daum wanted to wear to prom originated in a brutal act of imperialism, but not by any western people.
They have a morality tale to tell, one of Western victimization of non-Western peoples-a victimization so extreme that it is triggered by a Western girl’s purchase of a Chinese dress designed precisely so that Chinese girls could live more like Western girls.
Why not? The would-be culture police build their whole philosophy on a single assumption of extreme chauvinism: that Western culture is universal-indeed the only universal culture.
Western technology, the Western emphasis on individual autonomy and equal human dignity, and even such oddly specific Western practices as death-metal music-the cultural police take all this for granted as thoroughly as a fish takes for granted the water in its fishbowl.
The various coverings voluntarily adopted by some women in North America and Western Europe evolved in societies where 90 percent of the population still agrees that women must obey their husbands at all times.
Their individual decision to wear a traditional garment has already changed that garment’s cultural context and put it to a new and very Western use.
The Western culture of personal autonomy and equal dignity is a precious thing precisely because it is not universal.

The orginal article.