Summary of “North Dakota’s Norway Experiment – Mother Jones”

Late one night in October 2015, North Dakota prisons chief Leann Bertsch met Karianne Jackson, one of her deputies, for a drink in a hotel bar in Oslo, Norway.
The Norway sojourn was the brainchild of Donald Specter, executive director of the Prison Law Office, a California public-interest law firm.
Fred Patrick, director of the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice, cites the nation’s staggering recidivism rate-77 percent of inmates released from state prisons are rearrested within five years.
Of North Dakota, drivers are greeted by billboards advising people to “Be Nice” or “Be Kind.” Fittingly, the state’s incarceration rate of 240 prisoners per 100,000 residents is among the lowest in America, where the national average is 670.
North Dakota’s prison population of about 1,821 is less than half that of its neighbor to the south.
The number of inmates in North Dakota prisons has increased by 28 percent since the end of 2011.
Like Norway, it is sparsely populated and relatively homogeneous-race-based prison gangs hold little sway here.
In North Dakota, where falling oil and grain prices have put the state government in belt-tightening mode, I watched Bertsch shame state senators for the tough new criminal penalties they’d enacted.

The orginal article.

Summary of “One Behavior Separates The Successful From The Average”

A certain farmer had become old and ready to pass his farm down to one of his two sons.
The older son was furious! “What are you talking about?!” he fumed.
“Okay,” the father said, “I need you to do something for me. We need more stocks. Will you go to Cibi’s farm and see if he has any cows for sale?”.
The older son shortly returned and reported, “Father, Cibi has 6 cows for sale.”
The father graciously thanked the older son for his work.
A short while later, he returned and reported, “Father, Cibi has 6 cows for sale. Each cow will cost 2,000 rupees. If we are thinking about buying more than 6 cows, Cibi said he would be willing to reduce the price 100 rupees. Cibi also said they are getting special jersey cows next week if we aren’t in a hurry, it may be good to wait. However, if we need the cows urgently, Cibi said he could deliver the cows tomorrow.”
The father graciously thanked the younger son for his work.
For the most part, most people are like the older son in the story.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Beijing Wants A.I. to Be Made in China by 2030”

A.I. is one of a growing number of disciplines in which experts say China is making quick progress.
The two professors who consulted with the government on A.I. both said that the 2016 defeat of Lee Se-dol, a South Korean master of the board game Go, by Google’s AlphaGo had a profound impact on politicians in China.
Google brought AlphaGo to China, where it defeated the world’s top-ranked player, Ke Jie of China.
Live video coverage of the event was blocked at the last minute in China.
As a sort of Sputnik moment for China, the professors said, the event paved the way for a new flow of funds into the discipline.
China wants to integrate A.I. into guided missiles, use it to track people on closed-circuit cameras, censor the internet and even predict crimes.
In the final stage, by 2030, China will “Become the world’s premier artificial intelligence innovation center,” which in turn will “Foster a new national leadership and establish the key fundamentals for an economic great power.”
The new plan formalizes a focus that was widely known in China.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Secret to Interpersonal Happiness”

Let’s take a brief look at the ill-intentioned way of seeing things, then go into what I believe will transform most people’s interpersonal happiness – the good-hearted view.
That’s because we’re looking at it from our own point of view, and thinking they should see things the same way as you do.
Your interpretation might be that they are wrong, but that’s only one way of seeing it.
Not an excuse, but more of a way to understand people’s behavior.
If we can see this, perhaps we can see the other person in a more kind light, and react to them in a more helpful way.
These are just a few options, but you can see that these actions are much more helpful for the relationship, for the other person, and for our own happiness.
You might say, “Well, isn’t this just rewarding or excusing their bad behavior?” That’s one way to see it, but I believe it’s more about not getting caught up in our own self-centered view, and not engaging in unhelpful and harmful patterns of thought.
You just might find some happiness in a difficult situation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why a Toaster’s “A Bit More” Button Is a Design Triumph”

The “A Bit More” Button was conceived by the industrial designer Keith Hensel, who worked for Sunbeam and then as Breville’s principal designer until his unexpected death in 2013, at the age of 47.
According to Hoare, the design team called the button by that name from the start.
How would a designer, or a business, or even an ordinary person replicate the triumph of “A Bit More” in other contexts?
Hoare’s recollection corresponds with a trend in contemporary design practice-and one that claims to be particularly adept at producing outcomes like “A Bit More.” It’s called user-experience, or UX, design, a discipline that strives to craft pleasurable and useful encounters between people and things.
Originally derived from human-computer interaction, or HCI, where user-interface design was its ancestor, UX purports to offer a general approach to design of all kinds, from software design to product design to architecture and urban planning.
Neither polarity of UX-style design really helps explain how one might best arrive at Breville’s “A Bit More” button.
Who could imagine verbalizing even the relatively simple challenge of toasting such that the “A Bit More” button would emerge as a remedy? Some UX proponents have realized this trap and reframed their design practice as a dialectic between the gifted and the rabble.
Design becomes a nickname for any possible approach to design, which reduces it to a shibboleth for designers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Primer on Critical Mass: Identifying Inflection Points”

In sociology, a critical mass is a term for a group of people who make a drastic change, altering their behavior, opinions or actions.
Then a tipping point would occur – a critical mass of white people would leave until the area was populated by racial minorities.
Once a critical mass of people share and comment on a piece of content online, it reaches viral status.
Urban legends are an example of how a critical mass of people must be reached before an idea can spread. While the exact origins are rarely clear, it is assumed that it begins with a single person who misunderstands a news story or invents one and passes it on to others, perhaps at a party.
Once a critical mass of people know an urban legend, the rate at which it spreads grows exponentially.
Rising crime rates are also the result of a critical mass of people who see unlawful behavior as justified, acceptable, or necessary.
According to Gladwell’s research, there are three main factors in the creation of a critical mass of people necessary to induce a sudden change.
Gladwell defines mavens as “People we rely upon to connect us with new information.” These people help create a critical mass due to their habit of sharing information, passing knowledge on through word of mouth.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to tell a bad person from a person who did a bad thing”

Plausibly, a person can deserve extra blame for a bad result of her action that she reasonably could have been expected to foresee, and causing the death of a pedestrian by driving drunk is that kind of bad consequence.
More generally, our commonsense ideas about moral responsibility have the paradoxical implication that luck in results can and cannot affect how much praise and blame a person deserves.
The acts response is a mixed view that bars luck in results from affecting the blame a person deserves, but allows luck in circumstance and constitution to affect it.
The moral luck response is that some kinds of luck in results, circumstance and constitution affect the praise and blame a person deserves.
If the moral luck response is correct, why is there a contradiction in our thinking in the first place? That is, how can we explain the common intuitive reaction that, for example, Killer and Merely Reckless deserve the same degree of blame when the moral luck response implies that they deserve different amounts of blame?
The answer to this question comes from properly distinguishing two kinds of commonsense moral evaluation that we tend to run together – namely, being to blame for bringing about an event and being a bad person.
Killer isn’t any worse a person than Merely Reckless; but that doesn’t show that they both merit the same amount of blame, because blame isn’t just about the kind of person you are.
Which of these responses to the problem of moral luck is correct matters greatly at least for praise and blame in our dealings with other people, for the morality of some criminal laws, and for the morality of a final judgment after death if there is such a thing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Seth’s Blog: Toward dumber”

If you want to reach more people, if you’re measuring audience size, then the mantra of the last twenty years has been simple: make it dumber.
Don’t make people uncomfortable or ask them to stretch.
While this downward cycle of dumb continues to be passed from hand to hand, a few people headed in the other direction.
This is an upward cycle, a slow one, a journey worth going on.
Dumber is an intentional act, a selfish trade for mass.
It requires us to hold something back, to avoid creating any discomfort, to fail to teach.
Dumber always works in the short run, but not in the long run.
With that ownership comes a choice, a choice about the people we serve, the words we use and the change we seek to make.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Retired Top Gun pilot Dave Berke explains the importance of discipline”

The only thing you and your team can rely on is discipline.
I worked with Jocko in Iraq, where he preached the importance of discipline as commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated special operations unit of the war.
More than any other quality, discipline is what drives a person to succeed when faced with adversity.
The only thing that gets you through an environment like that is discipline.
Discipline drives you to do the work you don’t enjoy, but is required.
Discipline keeps you going when your curiosity, motivation, and excitement evaporate.
At Top Gun, the pilots most likely to be invited back as instructors were the ones with the most discipline.
You will have employees who aren’t just motivated, but who will have the discipline to put in all the work required to be successful – and that is the key to winning.

The orginal article.

Summary of “AI May Soon Replace Even the Most Elite Consultants”

While the financial services industry has already begun the shift from active management to passive management, artificial intelligence will move the market even further, to management by smart machines, as in the case of Blackrock, which is rolling computer-driven algorithms and models into more traditional actively-managed funds.
AI can also help support more complex decisions in key areas such as human resources, budgeting, marketing, capital allocation and even corporate strategy – long the bastion of bespoke consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, and the major marketing agencies.
The processing power of four smart consultants with excel spreadsheets is miniscule in comparison to a single smart computer using AI running for an hour, based on continuous, non-stop machine learning.
In today’s big data world, AI and machine learning applications already analyze massive amounts of structured and unstructured data and produce insights in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of consultants in the financial markets.
Perhaps sooner than we think, CEOs could be asking, “Alexa, what is my product line profitability?” or “Which customers should I target, and how?” rather than calling on elite consultants.
Another area in which leaders will soon be relying on AI is in managing their human capital.
AI is already helping in the customer engagement and marketing arena. It’s clear and well documented by the AI patent activities of the big five platforms – Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft – that they are using it to market and sell goods and services to us. But they are not alone. Recently, HBR documented how Harley-Davidson was using AI to determine what was working and what wasn’t working across various marketing channels. They used this new skill to make resource allocation decisions to different marketing choices, thereby”eliminating guesswork.
Arguably, tomorrow’s elite consultants already sit on your wrist, on your kitchen counter, or in your living room.

The orginal article.