Summary of “4 Strategies for Overcoming Distraction”

So how can you gain back control? After reading hundreds of studies, interviewing dozens of experts, and running the gambit of self-experiments, I learned that countless strategies can help us mitigate distraction.
After focusing for 45 minutes, I treat myself to a 10-minute all-you-can-eat distraction buffet.
Distractions happen 64% more often in an open office, and we’re interrupted by others more often in that environment as well.
Our work tends to expand to fill the time we have available for its completion, and any excess time remaining is usually filled with distractions.
Sometimes distractions come from internal and external factors, but other times they happen because we’re not being challenged enough by our work.
If it’s high, that’s usually a sign that you have the capacity to take on more-challenging projects, and perhaps even more work in general.
We can’t help that our minds crave distraction.
What we can do is set ourselves up for success by adopting strategies to block distractions ahead of time, work with greater intention, and reclaim our attention, once and for all.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Alan Rusbridger: who broke the news?”

News, the thing that helped people understand their world, that oiled the wheels of society, that pollinated communities, that kept the powerful honest – news was broken.
Some believed we had too much free news; others, that paid-for news was leaving behind it a long caravan of ignorance.
There might soon be entire communities without news, or without news they could trust.
Loads of reporters were at it: it was how the News of the World had won so many awards.
The News of the World, rattled by this new legal action, had offered to pay Taylor an enormous sum – £400,000 plus £300,000 costs – to drop the action.
The Daily Mail employed many outstanding reporters, but the relentless, bruising, sometimes brutalising editorial ethos of that paper had little in common with the BBC or the Financial Times, any more than Fox News had much in common with the New York Times or Washington Post.
We trust a public service broadcaster above all private news providers – but regularly revile it.
After two decades of disruption, it may be possible that none of the old conventional business models can still support serious news in the public interest.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Harder-To-Measure Benefits of Getting Older”

What age is someone most likely to achieve their peak performance?
“You don’t need to be 25 years old to have your greatest performance,” says seven-time mountain bike world champion Rebecca Rusch, who, at age 47, was part of the third party ever to summit Mount Kilimanjaro via bike.
Alpine climber Jimmy Chin has said that perhaps his best ever performance was a first ascent up Mount Meru, which he accomplished at age 37 on an expedition with Conrad Anker, who was 48 at the time.
“I’ve had conversations with other climbers about surviving 28. At that age you may think you have enough experience to really go for it, but in reality, you still haven’t seen that much and whatever experience you do have can be easily outweighed by brashness and impatience.”
Chin, now 44, told me he’s realized that with age comes wisdom.
“The older you get the more experiences, successes, and failures you have. You have more information to draw from. The more information you have, the more patterns you recognize. The more patterns you recognize, the better you are at making tough decisions and assessing risk,” he says.
Maybe the best way to conceptualize age and athletic performance is to imagine two curves: one for physiological fitness, which peaks relatively young and then slowly declines; and another for wisdom, which starts off low and gradually rises over time.
A 2013 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the median age for a first-time ultra runner is 37 and the median age of all ultramarathon finishers is 43-seven years older than the median age of all marathon finishers in the same year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why We Procrastinate When We Have Long Deadlines”

For many people, having shorter deadlines instead of longer ones – “Do you think you can do that by the end of the week?” – might actually help them complete a task and see their work as being less difficult.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, my colleagues Rajesh Bagchi and Stefan Hock and I demonstrate that longer deadlines can lead workers to think an assignment is harder than it actually is, which causes them to commit more resources to the work.
First, whereas Parkinson’s law suggests that longer deadlines lead people to set easier goals and therefore decrease effort, we found that longer deadlines increase an assignment’s perceived difficulty.
Second, while Parkinson’s law makes a prediction only about time commitment, we found that longer incidental deadlines increase monetary commitment.
These findings related to only single deadlines, and many of us balance multiple deadlines of varying lengths at a time.
We concluded that when faced with multiple deadlines for tasks that vary in importance, people regularly pursue less-important assignments with shorter deadlines than more-important assignments with longer deadlines.
These patterns are important for managers and others setting deadlines to recognize, in large part because our findings reveal ways to game the system: Short deadlines on urgent tasks elicit attention.
There are times when longer deadlines are more effective than short deadlines, such as when individuals have a natural tendency to under-plan, in saving for college or planning for retirement, for example.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It Came From the ’70s: The Story of Your Grandma’s Weird Couch”

The grandma factor is practically built in-even as a young woman, grandma wanted the furniture her grandma had. “The Colonial Revival style endured, but it took on different forms over the years in post-World War II America, which is what I tend to write about and focus on at Retro Renovation,” Kueber says.
“Every week, we visited their very memorable home, which had a swimming pool and a tangerine tree in back. They had a Knotty Pine family room, too, right next to the wood-paneled kitchen with the Early American cupboard, where Grandma kept her big salt-and-pepper shaker collection. Grandpa would offer us those Orange Slices, that jelly candy with the sugar coating. It was a very prototypical ’60s Grandma and Grandpa house.”
A Getty Image taken by Steve Errico shows a brown-tone floral-print couch similar to the Grandma Couch in the context of a ’70s living room.
“I say in the Mid-Century Modest Manifesto, maybe a million people had those fully Modernist houses. For every million people who had one of those, tens of millions of Americans had a more traditional home. Even in the new suburban ranch-house layouts, the majority of American homes and the stuff in them were what I call Mid-Century Modest, which was more like what we’re talking about, what your grandma had with her Early American furniture and sofa. They came from farms. They wanted something more conservative, traditional, practical. And they liked Early American décor.”
Speaking of fabrics, the wackiest aspect of the Grandma Couch is the Old West picture-pattern upholstery.
“Colonial Revivals often come during those big anniversaries. Millennials want to do the opposite of whatever their mother did, and maybe more like what Grandma did. They love Grandma, but they must disengage from their mother. Millennials might kind of like some Colonial motifs like cannonball beds. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re beautiful.”
As for the Grandma Couch, it is not just snubbed by the Gaines and the high-brow coastal elite; it regularly wins low-brow online competitions for World’s Ugliest Couch.
“Maybe the fashion didn’t last-we all make mistakes,” Kueber says, admitting that the first impulse most young people have is to mock the Grandma Couch.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Kids Want Things”

Pinsker: Can you talk a bit about what the alternative is to dwelling on physical stuff-the “Intangible resources” that kids have for making conversation, like who they are and things they’re good at?
So if kids have more things like athletic skills or activities that they can talk about or form connections with friends over those things, they can feel good about themselves through many different kinds of things.
She gives them words on paper and asks, “How important are these things to you?” And then they put the most important things on their collage.
As the kids get to middle-school age, more and more tangible things get on there and a larger percent of them are actual things, as opposed to activities or other people.
One of the most consistent findings is the association between the person’s current level of materialism and how they perceived their parents using things when they were growing up.
The helpful thing for parents here-and also the harmful-is yes, peers are really important, but our kids are watching us.
Pinsker: And from what I understand, that connects to the research you’ve done on when parents offer physical things as rewards.
So that’s another reasonably strong association: Children who recall that their parents just bought them stuff when they wanted it, or who paid them money or bought them things when they got good grades, there’s a very consistent association that when these things happen in childhood, when that person is an adult, they’re more likely to be materialistic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode forever”

Apple’s next operating system, iOS 12, which will likely be released next month, is an admission of guilt: Notifications come grouped by app so they don’t overwhelm people, and time limit controls are built-in to allow users to keep track of how many hours they’ve spent stalking their ex’s sister’s new boyfriend on Facebook.
With new time-spent tools from Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, you can spend more time on the apps, seeing how much time you spend on the apps.
Yes, Do Not Disturb mode, that underused feature on your Android or Apple device that silences all notifications and vibrations and was ostensibly designed to help you sleep better.
How many notifications do you have? How many notifications have you received over the last 24 hours? As I’m typing this there are 37 glaring at me from my lockscreen: 20 from Twitter, eight emails, seven texts, and two Google Calendar notifications.
The notifications are all there on my screen waiting for me if I really feel the need to know what’s going on, but that decision now happens on my terms.
My phone never buzzes or beeps – unless someone calls me more than twice in a row, which is a setting I turned on in case of emergency – and the screen never flashes some distracting reminder of all the other nonsense I could be giving my attention.
It’s fantastically relaxing and comes with the added bonus of giving your friends and loved ones the impression you’re doing something interesting or fulfilling with your life, rather than just scrolling through Twitter and not continually responding to the pressure of push notifications.
Unlike the more nuclear option of doing away with push notifications entirely, long-term use of Do Not Disturb mode doesn’t leave me stuck bouncing from app to app in order to gauge what I missed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How America’s ‘most reckless’ billionaire created the fracking boom”

While to date, most of the complaints about fracking have focused on environmental concerns, there’s a bigger and far less well known reason to doubt the most breathless predictions about America’s future as an oil and gas giant.
If the story of the fracking boom has a central character, it’s Aubrey McClendon, the founder of Chesapeake Energy, a startup that grew into a colossus.
During his years as an oil and gas tycoon, he fed on risk, and was as fearless as he was reckless.
“As oxygen is to life, capital is to the oil and gas business,” said Andrew Wilmot, a Dallas-based mergers and acquisitions adviser to the oil and gas industry at Purposed Ventures.
His pitch was that fracking had transformed the production of gas from a hit-or-miss proposition to one that operated with an on and off switch.
As fracking took off, McClendon began telling anyone who would listen that the US had enough natural gas to last more than 100 years.
For a man steeped in the industry’s history of boom and bust, McClendon had by now convinced himself that natural gas prices would never fall.
All told, the global oil and gas industry shed almost half a million jobs during the bust, according to consulting firm Graves & Co. The shale boom towns suddenly resembled their California counterparts after the gold rush.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The rise of giant consumer startups that said no to investor money”

Gold rush? Over the last five years, venture capital and private equity investors in the U.S. have rushed to fund a new breed of company, dubbed direct-to-consumer startups.
In the first eight months of 2018 alone, investors have committed $1.2 billion to these young companies, almost triple the $426 million spent on similar startups in 2013, according to CB Insights.
MVMT’s management team and 40 employees own 100 percent of the startup, with the company’s two founders holding the vast majority of company equity.
CircleUp uses proprietary algorithms to evaluate and identify consumer startups to which it should offer equity investments and working capital loans, typically to companies with $1 million to $15 million in revenue.
As investments in pure technology companies have gotten more competitive, venture capital firms that have historically focused on tech have expanded into new categories like consumer retail in search of new ways to spend their money.
For Honest, the company was forced to raise new investment money under terms that valued it well under its previous valuation.
A decade later, Dunn was able to turn to e-commerce software company Shopify as the platform for Allswell, a mattress brand that Dunn helped incubate in his new role at Walmart where he oversees the company’s digital-native consumer brands.
Startups can use the company’s software from launch and stay on it even as they approach $1 billion in annual sales, as a brand like Fashion Nova has shown.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Dave Eggers: An Immigrant Family Hides From Donald Trump in a Connecticut Church”

For a hundred and fifty-eight days, Malik Naveed bin Rehman, Zahida Altaf, and their five-year-old daughter, Roniya, have been living in the basement of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Over subsequent years, Malik and Zahida consulted eight more attorneys.
In 2017, the Trump Administration reversed the executive action, and deportation proceedings were started against Malik and Zahida.
Roniya’s pupils are Malik and Zahida, and her classroom is the room where we were sitting.
Malik was smitten, and when the couple began the chaste process of courtship, they asked Zahida’s family to approve the union.
Because Malik was perceived to be from a lower class, her family refused.
The family arrived at the Old Lyme church two months later.
If Malik, Zahida, and Roniya are sent to Pakistan, the people of the United States will be no safer.

The orginal article.