Summary of “Burnout at Work Isn’t Just About Exhaustion. It’s Also About Loneliness”

John Cacioppo, a leading expert on loneliness and coauthor of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, emphasizes its tremendous impact on psychological and physical health and longevity.
Research by Sarah Pressman, of the University of California, Irvine, corroborates his work and demonstrates that while obesity reduces longevity by 20%, drinking by 30%, and smoking by 50%, loneliness reduces it by a whopping 70%. In fact, one study suggests that loneliness increases your chance of stroke or coronary heart disease – the leading cause of death in developed countries – by 30%. On the other hand, feelings of social connection can strengthen our immune system, lengthen our life, and lower rates of anxiety and depression.
Its link to loneliness suggests that greater human connection at work may also be key to solving the burnout problem.
Research has demonstrated the link between social support at work, lower rates of burnout, and greater work satisfaction and productivity.
The most important factor in work happiness, a UK study showed, is positive social relationships with coworkers.
Empathy, in particular, may be a protective factor against burnout and work exhaustion, studies suggest.
The stakes for companies are high when it comes to loneliness and burnout.
Recent studies estimate that loneliness costs employers in the UK billions of dollars each year and employee burnout costs the U.S. health care system hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Kevin Durant Is About to Make Harrison Barnes Money”

Two days after Stephen Curry agreed to terms on a landmark five-year, $201 million deal that will be the richest in league history, NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant has gone all in on altruism, agreeing to a two-year, $53 million contract.
It’s a deal that will pay Durant nearly $10 million less annually than a max contract would, and nearly $7 million less than what he was expected to sign for.
Durant’s pay cut essentially foots the bill for Shaun Livingston’s new annual salary of $8 million and ensured that Andre Iguodala would not be lowballed for his contributions to the organization.
Durant’s decision makes it painfully clear that it will always be the players who have to make “Sacrifices,” never the owners.
Durant’s contract is only for two years - the sacrifice he’s making more than doubles what each of the Heatles had to give up annually.
There is a player option on the second year of the new deal, which means Durant will almost certainly look to do this all over again next summer.
Durant, conversely, has sacrificed as much money as a star would realistically give up.
Durant is living out old-time sports axioms in real life: You have to sacrifice for the greater good; winning is everything.

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Summary of “The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians”

A few weeks later, right around the time the DNC emails were dumped by Wikileaks-and curiously, around the same time Trump called for the Russians to get Hillary Clinton’s missing emails-I was contacted out the blue by a man named Peter Smith, who had seen my work going through these emails.
Smith had not contacted me about the DNC hack, but rather about his conviction that Clinton’s private email server had been hacked-in his view almost certainly both by the Russian government and likely by multiple other hackers too-and his desire to ensure that the fruits of those hacks were exposed prior to the election.
Following the DNC hack and watching the Russian influence campaign surrounding it unfold in near real-time, Smith’s comment about having been contacted by someone from the “Dark Web” claiming to have Clinton’s personal emails struck me as critically important.
Smith routinely talked about the goings on at the top of the Trump team, offering deep insights into the bizarre world at the top of the Trump campaign.
Smith told of Flynn’s moves to position himself to become CIA Director under Trump, but also that Flynn had been persuaded that the Senate confirmation process would be prohibitively difficult.
Over the course of a few phone calls, initially with Smith and later with Smith and one of his associates-a man named John Szobocsan-I was asked about my observations on technical details buried in the State Department’s release of Secretary Clinton’s emails.
A few weeks into my interactions with Smith, he sent me a document, ostensibly a cover page for a dossier of opposition research to be compiled by Smith’s group, and which purported to clear up who was involved.
We couldn’t show that Smith had been in contact with actual Russians.

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Summary of “SportsBusiness Daily Global”

That’s why ESPN was willing to commit to such a big increase for the NBA, whereas just a year before it did not even submit a bid for NASCAR. ESPN executives know that the pay-TV model responsible for the network’s wild growth is under pressure.
At least initially, all programming will be original – none will be simulcast from ESPN. ESPN executives say these types of moves are part of the company’s long-standing culture, and align with the company’s history as a first-mover – as it was among the first TV networks in internet video, mobile, HD and 3-D. “We continue to make sure that the company pivots into the transformation, and doesn’t build a wall around incumbency,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and scheduling.
ESPN executives still see their company as cutting edge and genuinely are surprised by the glee that people take in ESPN misfortunes these days, seemingly cheering every subscriber loss.
In May, The Ringer published a 1,600-word story with the headline, “Why Does Everyone Want ESPN to Fail?” ESPN’s fortunes have become cocktail party chatter in the sports business, with most conversations starting with questions about what’s happening in Bristol.
The eight-year, $15.2 billion deal for “Monday Night Football” was so much higher than expected that critics contend it set the market for sports rights way too high, and cast the die for every overheated rights deal that followed, like the NBA and MLB. The deal, which involved then ESPN President George Bodenheimer and Iger, was cut at a time when ESPN’s distribution footprint was at its highest, around 100 million homes.
ESPN insiders acknowledge those deals overvalued some of their on-air personalities and played a big part in ESPN’s decision to lay off more than 100 hosts, analysts and reporters earlier this spring.
Distribution executives place much of the blame for ESPN’s subscriber loss on Disney, rather than ESPN. Distributors’ complaints go back to a 2010 deal Disney made to allow Apple’s iTunes to sell individual ABC shows to consumers for 99 cents.
ESPN executives insist they like that trade-off, and distribution executives even privately agree that the 15-year old arrangement has been good for ESPN. ESPN has made up some of that distribution with deals for digital video players, like Sling TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now and YouTube TV. But those subscribers add up to around 2 million subscribers, which does not come close to offsetting the amount lost from traditional pay TV. “All these new distributors have concluded that launching new platforms without ESPN is very challenged,” Iger said in May. “We’ve seen really nice growth there but it’s nascent.”

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Summary of “The Problem With Writing About Florida”

Florida is no place for those who want to view it from a safe distance.
WE DON’T ALWAYS KNOW WHAT WE ARE, BUT SOMETIMES WE DO. Florida isn’t like other states, but you’ve heard that before.
THERE LIES ORLANDO. Central Florida has the special significance of being just far enough away from either end of the state that we’re neither Northern nor Southern, but an amalgam of everything.
Florida, home of the pink plastic lawn flamingo, suddenly dusted in a classy veneer of purest white.
Do you need Florida Man so you’re able to listen to a Florida woman talk about home?
My grandma tells me that she’s lived in Florida her whole life and can’t recall the restaurant that used to sit two blocks over from her home.
My problem is with the way you talk about Florida, but it’s also in my reaction.
There’s a gif people like to use whenever they find a particularly vicious Florida headline: Bugs Bunny uses a saw to cut off the peninsula from the rest of the United States.

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Summary of “10 Habits That Change Boys Into Men”

Much has been said and written in recent years about the challenges of men and boys.
A common theme is that men and boys have become increasingly confused about their identity and role in society.
Girls outperform boys now at every level - from elementary school through graduate school.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, boys are 30 percent more likely than girls to drop out of both high school and college.
Naturally, boys have a strong need for accomplishment and challenge.
Boys on the other hand, are often motivated by tangible experiences that relate to real life.
Get Intensive Physical StimulationShort and intensive learning spurts, followed by rigorous physical stimulation is a powerful and positive way for boys and men to learn.
The Need For Physical PainInterestingly, boys and girls experience pain differently.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A million bottles a minute: world’s plastic binge ‘as dangerous as climate change'”

A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.
The majority of plastic bottles used across the globe are for drinking water, , according to Rosemary Downey, head of packaging at Euromonitor and one of the world’s experts in plastic bottle production.
“It is a critical country to understand when examining global sales of plastic Pet bottles, and China’s requirement for plastic bottles continues to expand,” said Downey.
Plastic drinking bottles could be made out of 100% recycled plastic, known as RPet – and campaigners are pressing big drinks companies to radically increase the amount of recycled plastic in their bottles.
Brands are hostile to using RPet for cosmetic reasons because they want their products in shiny, clear plastic, according to Steve Morgan, of Recoup in the UK. In evidence to a House of Commons committee, the British Plastics Federation, a plastics trade body, admitted that making bottles out of 100% recycled plastic used 75% less energy than creating virgin plastic bottles.
“The recycled content … can be up to 100%, however this is a decision made by brands based on a variety of factors,” said Philip Law, director general of the BPF. The industry is also resisting any taxes or charges to reduce demand for single-use plastic bottles – like the 5p charge on plastic bags that is credited with reducing plastic bag use by 80%. Coca Cola said it was still considering requests from Greenpeace to publish its global plastics usage.
She agreed plastic bottles could be made out of 100 percent recycled plastic but there was nowhere near enough high quality food grade plastic available on the scale that was needed to increase the quantity of rPET to that level.
“So if we are to increase the amount of recycled plastic in our bottles even further then a new approach is needed to create a circular economy for plastic bottles,” she said.

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Summary of “Are Smartphones Making Us Stupid?”

It’s nice to have some empirical evidence to remind us all to keep our smartphones out of sight whenever we need to be fully present and in the moment.
For their latest research on the reduction of cognitive capacity caused by the mere sight of one’s own smartphone, Adrian Ward and co-authors from McCombs conducted two different experiments with nearly 800 smartphone users.
Participants were randomly assigned to place their smartphones either on the desk face down, in their pocket or personal bag, or in another room.
In the second experiment, the researchers found that participants who had been identified as extremely dependent on their smartphones performed much worse on cognitive tests than their less-dependent peers if they kept their smartphones on the desk, in their pocket, or in a bag.
The good news is that when the smartphone was placed in another room, all study participants-regardless of someone’s pre-existing degree of smartphone dependence-performed equally well on cognitive capacity tests.
Adrian Ward summed up his team’s research findings in a statement to UT Austin: “We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases. Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process-the process of requiring yourself to not think about something-uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain.”
Luckily for all of us, putting your smartphone in another room, a pocket, or the bottom of a bag seems to be an easy remedy for this problem.
Remember: Anytime you need to optimize attentional control and cognitive function, keeping smartphones out of sight helps to boost brain power and minimize brain drain.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Reality Check for IBM’s AI Ambitions”

“Watson is a joke,” Chamath Palihapitiya, an influential tech investor who founded the VC firm Social Capital, said on CNBC in May. However, most of the criticism of Watson, even from M.D. Anderson, doesn’t seem rooted in any particular flaw in the technology.
It still seems likely that Watson Health will be a leader in applying AI to health care’s woes.
In 2015, the Washington Post quoted an IBM Watson manager describing how Watson was busy establishing a “Collective intelligence model between machine and man.” The Post said that the computer system was “Training alongside doctors to do what they can’t.”
To really help doctors get better outcomes for patients Watson will need to find correlations between what it reads in health records and what Tang calls “All the social determinants of health.” Those factors include whether patients are drug-free, avoiding the wrong foods, breathing clean air, and on and on.
Even M.D. Anderson, despite the fate of the Watson project, is continuing a large program that began around the same time, focused on gathering 1,700 types of clinical data on every patient who walks in its doors.
Y Futreal, the scientist who runs the program, says combining that patient information with research data will be crucial for the sorts of capabilities that systems like Watson could provide.
On the drug-discovery front, Watson Health is working with the Barrow Neurological Institute, where Watson helped find five genes linked to ALS that had never before been associated with the disease, and with the Ontario Brain Institute, where Watson identified 21 promising potential drug candidates.
Will Watson eventually make a difference in improving health outcomes and lowering costs? Probably, says Stephen Kraus, a partner at the VC firm Bessemer Venture Partners who focuses on health care and has invested in AI health-care startups.

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Summary of “There’s a better way to build your startup”

Under the leadership of Kalanick, Uber appears to have chosen ‘The Lord of The Flies’ as its cultural roadmap, and it’s a cautionary tale that startup founders everywhere need to contemplate as they build their companies.
“Companies set business goals all the time. They use these goals to check their progress and hold themselves accountable to the metrics. If a company is not taking the same approach to culture then they’re showing you that they aren’t taking it as seriously as they take other business goals,” Kapor Klein explained.
Danny Crichton, a NYC investor in early stage companies, agrees it’s something that needs to be foundational for the company.
While Salesforce is a long established company, Clef, an identity startup launched in 2013, that became part of Twilio in March, put culture at the center of its hiring process, and went so far as to create a handbook, which it then “Open sourced” for others to use.
“Building a company is hard. Building a company that prioritizes inclusion in an industry that doesn’t is even harder. Both this handbook and our company are a long way from perfect, but this is a start. One of our values is to be better today than yesterday, and we’re excited to have help making this core part of our company better,” he wrote.
Another company trying to do it differently is Trivago, the German hotel search site, which claims to be building the company to be a meritocracy where no single person has total power over another person’s career.
It’s worth noting that Glass Ceiling reviews of the company don’t paint quite as rosy a picture of the company’s culture as the company’s executives, especially when it comes to advancement opportunities and salary.
Surely, Uber’s case should be a lesson for every startup that it’s better to start that process of building a positive culture from day one – and not have to go back and fix it or retrofit it down the road. Featured Image: Rawpixel/Shutterstock.

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