Summary of “13 Ways to Strengthen America’s Economy”

Universal health care: The U.S. should implement a government health-insurance system that pays all costs for catastrophic care and for regular health checkups.
Skilled immigration: An increase in skilled immigration will do many good things for the economy – boost innovation and entrepreneurship, increase the tax base and help pay for the retirement of older generations.
The U.S. should establish a points-based green-card system, modeled on Canada’s, on top of the existing family-based immigration system, and use this new class of permanent residents to increase immigration from today’s modest levels.
Wage subsidies: The government now subsidizes incomes through the earned income tax credit, which has been proven to be an effective poverty-fighting system.
Stronger review of mergers, and continuing review of past mergers, would help reverse this trend and increase competition throughout the economy.
Although certain export subsidies are banned by international trade agreements, the government can still provide a variety services to help smaller, domestically focused U.S. companies break into global markets.
An export-promotion agency, similar to Japan’s JETRO, could find all sorts of innovative ways to turn U.S. companies’ focus outward.
No. 13: Federal housing for the homeless: Homeless people are the most abject and destitute of Americans, so helping them should be a priority.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”Beyond The Wall” · Game Of Thrones · TV Review A game-changing Thrones spectacle buckles under the pressures of a shortened season · TV Club · The A.V. Club”

In most cases, I have been left more or less satisfied with how the show went after taking these shortcuts, and like many was excited at the prospect of a caper through the snow with some fan favorite characters.
How can we take Jon seriously as a military leader when he devises a plan that falls apart so easily, and contains zero contingencies? Did he never even ask Daenerys about the possibility of using the dragons? It would be one thing if we had seen a sequence of Daenerys offering the dragons as support in “Eastwatch” and Jon stubbornly refusing, or Jon asking for the dragons but Daenerys refusing to offer them, but neither happened.
The only death is Thoros of Myr, whose long absence from the show robs the loss of much impact, and it’s hard not to be a bit disaffected by Jon’s miraculous survival of his journey into the frozen lake when he’s cheated death for three seasons in a row now.
If there was any confusion about the plans for this relationship when it first started three weeks ago, those were more or less erased with their interactions last week, and obliterated by everything that happens in “Beyond The Wall.” It’s another case of the show trying to cram an entire relationship arc into just a few hours: the two met under auspicious circumstances, connected over their shared hardships, made heroic self-sacrifices the other admired, and here find solace in one another in the wake of tragedy.
Maybe I’m just cold-hearted, but I’m not convinced the romantic elements of Jon and Dany’s relationship are adding to the show in a meaningful way, and wonder why their connection couldn’t be rendered platonic instead. There’s too much baggage that the show is ignoring, and arbitrarily keeping from the characters despite having shared it with the audience.
In a season where everything is moving fast, the information about Jon’s Targaryen roots has stalled completely for dramatic effect, without much logic justifying it beyond “Bran’s being withholding and Gilly picked the wrong time to read through the Septon’s files with Sam.”.
Speaking of which: Jon is totally responsible for Viserion’s death here, right? I think the episode argues that Jon has Beric’s plan-kill the Night King, kill the entire army-in his head and he decides to go commando and go after him alone, but that’s yet another mark in the column of “Jon is a terrible military commander.”I think it’s hard to beat Tormund and the Hound’s first conversation in terms of the different pairings on the journey beyond the Wall, in part because it reminded me of the scene in A Muppet Family Christmas where Animal and Cookie Monster meet for the first time.
Did you ever doubt Jon’s plot armor? Did you think it was possible Daenerys would die as Tyrion feared she would? I really did think that shot of Longclaw could be the end at one point, and that we’d be in a post-Jon show, which I was more excited by than where we ended up, if I’m being honest.

The orginal article.

Summary of “America, Home of the Transactional Marriage”

What’s at the core of those changes is a larger shift: The disappearance of good jobs for people with less education has made it harder for them to start, and sustain, relationships.
In doing research for a book about workers’ experiences of being unemployed for long periods, I saw how people who once had good jobs became, over time, “Unmarriageable.” I talked to many people without jobs, men in particular, who said that dating, much less marrying or moving in with someone, was no longer a viable option: Who would take a chance on them if they couldn’t provide anything?
Part of the reason, the researchers concluded, was that these highly unequal areas had little in the way of jobs that paid well and that high-school graduates could get-not just factory jobs, but also lower-level office and sales jobs.
What have replaced jobs like that are, for the most part, low-wage service jobs as janitors, restaurant workers, and the like.
“The kinds of jobs a man could hold for a career have diminished,” the sociologists wrote, “And more of the remaining jobs have a temporary ‘stopgap’ character-casual, short-term, and not part of a career strategy.” The result: As many men’s jobs have disappeared or worsened in quality, women see those men as a riskier investment.
A study released earlier this year, by the economists Melissa Kearney and Riley Wilson, looked at a scenario that was the opposite of what Autor and his co-authors examined: What happens when men’s wages increase? Do men become more marriageable in women’s eyes, and do out-of-wedlock births decline? Kearney and Wilson compared marriage and childbirth rates in areas that had seen a bump in wages and the number of jobs to the rates in areas that hadn’t.
How do these findings square with those of Autor, Dorn, and Hanson? The authors of the fracking study suggest that the disappearance of good jobs could well have played a crucial role in an initial turn away from marriage, as well as childbirth within marriage.
When competition from China chipped away at jobs in female-dominated manufacturing sectors, such as the leather-goods industry, marriage rates actually increased.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What does Amazon do? A guide to understanding the e-commerce giant”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos borrowed the term from business consultant Jim Collins back in the early days of Amazon.
Amazon declared it the “Biggest global shopping event in Amazon history.” The stock has done phenomenally well by any standard, and even more so considering the company still barely turns a profit.
Amazon in 2017 committed to hiring an additional 120,000 part- and full-time workers in the US. But Amazon has also invested in automation efforts, such as robots that can pick items off of shelves and delivery drones, that could reduce the amount of human work that goes into its shipping processes.
Not only does this make Amazon attractive to startups that might want to spend money on engineers or sales positions, rather than server racks, but it also means Amazon now has virtually unlimited computational power to develop and launch its own AI products and services.
It’s totally consumer focused, a must for Amazon, but with the larger motivation of keeping that consumer more likely to shop on Amazon than anywhere else.
After Quidsi rebuffed Amazon, Bezos’s company cut prices for diapers and other baby products by up to 30%. A year later Amazon debuted Amazon Mom, a service with a year of free two-day delivery, as well as additional “subscribe and save” discounting on diapers.
In 2011, Amazon stopped taking new members to Amazon Mom.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the latest numbers of Amazon employees and robots, and to correct that Amazon Go does not use facial recognition.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ten books every teacher should read”

Plato’s Republic, Rousseau’s Émile and Dewey’s Democracy and Education – there’s a strong case to be made, as Dennis Hayes has, that these are the only books on education that teachers need to read. But if I was about to enter the classroom as a teacher for the first time or was looking to improve my practice, I would probably want to read something with more practical advice on what I should be doing and on what I shouldn’t.
Much of what happens in a classroom is highly variable and hard to define, but over the last 10 years a wealth of books has sought to draw together evidence from other fields and provide a series of “Best bets” on what might have the greatest impact on student learning.
Whether or not you agree with everything in this book, every teacher should at least be acquainted with its arguments.
First published in 2009, Hattie’s original book of alchemy, Visible Learning, attempted to illuminate the dark arts of pedagogy through the meta-analysis of hundreds of studies.
Many students will re-read and highlight material leading up to a test, something which the authors of this book show is little more than colouring in.
Far more effective are practices such as interleaving, spaced learning and retrieval practice, which are expertly outlined in this easily accessible book.
Do students really have different learning styles? Do they actually learn better if they discover things for themselves? Do we only use 10% of our brains? Do we need to know facts in an age of Google? If you’ve ever asked questions like these, then this book is for you.
This important book argues that while students have been taught how to read, they have not been taught what to read and that cultural literacy matters far more than vague notions of 21st century skills.

The orginal article.

Summary of “15 Scientifically Proven Ways to Work Smarter, Not Just More”

The NU study stated that the employees who worked in natural light slept on average 46 more minutes per night.
Workers slept more soundly and efficiently, and reported higher quality of life scores than those who did not.
What if you don’t work in an office that has windows? A quick fix would be to purchase a natural light lamp that can simulate natural light.
Planning your work day allows you to schedule work on your meaningful goals.
“In sum, across all the domains of life, happiness appears to have numerous positive by-products. Few of us have taken the time to really understand [these]. In becoming happier, we boost experiences of joy, contentment, love, pride, and awe. We also improve other aspects of our lives. Energy levels, our immune systems, our engagement with work and with other people, and our physical and mental health benefit.”
Dr. Brent Coker found that those who browse the internet while working are more productive than others who don’t.
A Cornell study suggests that chilly workers make more errors.
More errors can potentially increase a worker’s hourly labor cost by 10 percent.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Might Start With Vaccines”

Vaccines have prevented millions of illnesses Estimated number of infections prevented by vaccines over the lifespan of children born in the U.S. in 2009.
We don’t yet have research on whether emphasizing this benefit of vaccines might encourage parents to immunize their kids.
Less obviously, vaccines that protect against illnesses caused by viruses rather than bacteria can also help cut antibiotic use.
In a paper published last year, Lipsitch argued that development of new vaccines should be considered an important strategy in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
“I actually think one of the most interesting ideas I’ve had is the idea of using vaccines directly to target [antibiotic] resistant bacteria, not just all bacteria, but directly aiming at the targets that are the resistant genes.” This type of vaccine would be especially helpful for bacteria like pneumococcus and Staphylococcus aureus, which are so ubiquitous that they’re unlikely to be eliminated; keeping drug resistance at bay would help us coexist with them more peacefully.
Would it be tough to sell people on more vaccines for both kids and adults when some people are refusing to get the vaccines we already have? “I think it ought to be a pretty easy sell, actually,” said David Salisbury, associate fellow at the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security in London and former director of immunization at the U.K. Department of Health.
“Imagine if an ear infection, which happens so commonly in children, became untreatable. You can fantasize about false risks of the vaccines, but they turn to nothing when you compare them with untreatable infections. Would you seriously prefer your child not to have a vaccine and risk an infection to which there was no treatment?”.
A global challenge as big as antibiotic resistance will require multiple solutions, including reducing the use of antibiotics in agriculture and developing new antibiotics, but Salisbury says that vaccines deserve more attention and investment.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Osteoarthritis Is Much More Common Now Than In Ancient Knees, Study Suggests”

Osteoarthritis Is Much More Common Now Than In Ancient Knees, Study Suggests : Shots – Health News Even after a Harvard team took into account differences in age and weight among ancient specimens and knees today, they found that modern humans tend to have more osteoarthritis.
They have suspected two driving forces: more old people and more people who are overweight.
Even correcting for body mass index and age, osteoarthritis of the knee is twice as common now as it was before the 1950s.
Conventional wisdom is that osteoarthritis of the knee results mostly from wear and tear, which is why, these days, it’s more common among older people and those whose excess body weight puts extra stress on those joints.
“So, going into it, I suppose my expectation was that people in the past, especially early hunter-gatherers and early farmers, would have had a much higher prevalence of osteoarthritis than people do today,” Wallace says.
“I was actually extremely surprised to find that is much more common today” than it was in Americans long ago, says Wallace.
If cartilage “Is formed and more healthy when you’re younger, then your joints are more likely to be functioning better and have less osteoarthritis when you get older,” Loeser says.
Sports injuries, which he says “Have become more and more common” may be contributing to arthritis, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Dark Side of Resilience”

Could too much resilience be a bad thing, just like too much muscle mass can be a bad thing – i.e., putting a strain on the heart? Large-scale scientific studies suggest that even adaptive competencies become maladaptive if taken to the extreme.
Extreme resilience could drive people to become overly persistent with unattainable goals.
Along the same line, too much resilience could make people overly tolerant of adversity.
Too much resilience can get in the way of leadership effectiveness and, by extension, team and organizational effectiveness.
Even though the resilient superhero is usually perceived as better, there is a hidden dark side to it: it comes with the exact same traits that inhibit self-awareness and, in turn, the ability to maintain a realistic self-concept, which is pivotal for developing one’s career potential and leadership talent.
Multiple studies suggest that bold leaders are unaware of their limitations and overestimate their leadership capabilities and current performance, which leads to not being able to adjust one’s interpersonal approach to fit the context.
Along with blinding leaders to improvement opportunities and detaching them from reality, leadership pipelines are corroded with resilient leaders who were nominated as high-potentials but have no genuine talent for leadership.
Finally, while it may be reassuring for teams, organizations, and countries to select leaders on the basis of their resilience – who doesn’t want to be protected by a tough and strong leader? – such leaders are not necessarily good for the group, much like bacteria or parasites are much more problematic when they are more resistant.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Families Lead Themselves Out of Poverty”

The initiative is grounded in the premise that a paternalistic conceit has hindered the development of poor families, perpetuated negative beliefs about them across society and led to systems of service that wealthier people would never choose for themselves.
To date, the initiative has worked with more than 2,000 families in 10 cities across the country – from the Bay Area to Boston, from Detroit to New Orleans.
Families come to see that the more needy you are, the more eligibility you have.
We told families: “Our role is not to help you. You’re the experts of your own lives.” We said: “All we’re going to do is collect the data and give it back to you. You have to look for solutions.” We have fired four staff who couldn’t help but give advice to families.
It’s what happened with homeownership among Salvadorans who joined F.I.I. We found that by giving families data about what all the families were doing, it began surfacing ideas.
We had an evaluator come in and he found that the biggest driver of change among families is what’s called “Social signaling” – when they see people who are like them doing something that they would like to do too, like starting businesses, buying homes.
We have the ability to do the analytics so that foundations or governments can put dollars out in a way that makes sense given what families are doing, especially locally.
All these poverty conferences we go to – the families we’re talking about are never there except as examples of a successful social service program.

The orginal article.