Summary of “Ellie Kemper on her journey from Onion headlines to Kimmy Schmidt to memoir writing”

Ellie Kemper has made a career out of playing sweet, unflaggingly optimistic characters like cheery receptionist Erin on The Office and the Emmy-nominated title role in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Even in an email or something, I think that voice comes across.
Because I’m certainly-I guess I shouldn’t say this-I haven’t had a life exciting enough to be called a memoir, I don’t think.
I’m going to drop the termite comparison, but the point is when I’m watching something like this, you think, “Well, okay, how is this happening?” I see it unfolding before me, and then all of the sudden, it’s being made into this beautiful whole, as in W-H-O-L-E, and I don’t notice it happening individually.
I would start to worry, “Wait. Are these writers writing Erin according to how they’ve observed me behaving?” And then I would get worried about that, but I think there’s definitely some similarities between me with both of those characters.
So if there is no movie, I will feel happy with the way all the characters’ stories are wrapped up, but I think it would be fun to just see if I can do it for them.
I feel corny saying this, but I was inspired when I was playing Kimmy because I do think she’s an inspirational character.
I think how they manage to be so funny while doing that is really insane, because they did pull that off in every single character.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Kavanaugh Accusations: What Teens Think”

Many of the teens I talked with said that the allegations against Kavanaugh, if true, should disqualify him, especially given that he has not apologized for his alleged actions but rather denied them.
“I have less experience living through life and knowing what’s right and what’s wrong,” said John, a 17-year-old from Seattle who identifies as a “Very mild conservative, somewhere in the middle.” “But I think that most people around me have a pretty educated view on what’s right and what’s not in those regards.”
Laurence Steinberg, a psychologist at Temple University and the author of Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence, notes that most teens are of course mature enough to know right from wrong.
That’s not the same as arguing, as so many commentators have, that teens are less aware of the consequences of their actions.
Steinberg says the reason the Supreme Court treated minors as it did isn’t “Because they don’t know better-that doesn’t even figure into the discussion-it’s because they have difficulty behaving in ways that are consistent with what they know,” Steinberg says.
“Depending on where they go to school and where they live, especially state by state, the type of sex ed and therefore their attitudes about this can really differ,” Ivy Chen told me.
As of 2016, California, where she teaches, requires middle and high schools to provide “Comprehensive” sex-ed classes, which cover puberty, reproduction, and sexual health, as well as relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, and consent.
Chen says she brings up the latter concept generally as early on as fourth grade, telling kids, “Some people like hugs and some people don’t like hugs.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “People Like You More Than You Know”

A new research paper, published last week in Psychological Science, reports that the common concern that new people may not like us, or that they may not enjoy our company, is largely unfounded.
Erica Boothby of Cornell University, and her colleagues Gus Cooney, Gilliam Sandstrom, and Margaret Clark, of Harvard University, University if Essex, and Yale University, conducted a series of studies to find out what our conversation partners really think of us.
The researchers observed the disconnect in a variety of situations: strangers getting acquainted in the research laboratory, first-year college students getting to know their dorm mates over the course of many months, and community members meeting fellow participants in personal development workshops.
In each scenario, people consistently underestimated how much others liked them.
The discrepancy in perspectives happened for conversations that spanned from 2 minutes to 45 minutes, and was long-lasting.
For much of the academic year, as dorm mates got to know each other and even started to develop enduring friendships, the liking gap persisted.
Not knowing what our conversation partners really think of us, we use our own thoughts as a proxy-a mistake, because our thoughts tend to be more negative than reality.
As the paper’s authors state, “Conversations are a great source of happiness in our lives,” but they could bring us even greater joy if we only realized that “Others like us more than we know.” Which is a good thing to keep in mind as you survey the imposing room of strangers at your next cocktail party, mix and mingle reception, or company happy hour.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scientists Say They’ve Found The Driver of False Beliefs, And It’s Not a Lack of Intelligence”

Scientists think they might have the answer, and it’s less to do with lack of understanding, and more to do with the feedback they’re getting.
Receiving good feedback also encourages us to think we know more than we actually do.
“If you think you know a lot about something, even though you don’t, you’re less likely to be curious enough to explore the topic further, and will fail to learn how little you know,” says one of the team members behind the new study, Louis Marti from the University of California, Berkeley.
For the research, more than 500 participants were recruited and shown a series of colored shapes.
The test takers had no clues as to what a Daxxy was or wasn’t, but they did get feedback after guessing one way or the other – the system would tell them if the shape they were looking at qualified as a Daxxy or not.
The team behind the tests says this plays into something we already know about learning – that for it to happen, learners need to recognise that there is a gap between what they currently know and what they could know.
So if you think vaccinations are harmful, for example, the new study suggests you might be basing that on the most recent feedback you’ve had on your views, rather than the overall evidence one way or the other.
Ideally, the researchers say, learning should be based on more considered observations over time – even if that’s not quite how the brain works sometimes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Yuval Noah Harari: the myth of freedom”

Theologians developed the idea of “Free will” to explain why God is right to punish sinners for their bad choices and reward saints for their good choices.
If our choices aren’t made freely, why should God punish or reward us for them? According to the theologians, it is reasonable for God to do so, because our choices reflect the free will of our eternal souls, which are independent of all physical and biological constraints.
Humans certainly have a will – but it isn’t free.
If governments succeed in hacking the human animal, the easiest people to manipulate will be those who believe in free will.
In order to survive and prosper in the 21st century, we need to leave behind the naive view of humans as free individuals – a view inherited from Christian theology as much as from the modern Enlightenment – and come to terms with what humans really are: hackable animals.
If humans are hackable animals, and if our choices and opinions don’t reflect our free will, what should the point of politics be? For 300 years, liberal ideals inspired a political project that aimed to give as many individuals as possible the ability to pursue their dreams and fulfil their desires.
If we understood that our desires are not the outcome of free choice, we would hopefully be less preoccupied with them, and would also feel more connected to the rest of the world.
Second, renouncing the myth of free will can kindle a profound curiosity.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Marshall Project”

After two trials and a plea bargain, Andrew was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
One evening, Andrew bolted out of the hotel room and turned over a table where two women were sitting.
J.J.L. II. Shortly after Webdale’s death, Michael Winerip, a reporter for The New York Times, obtained Andrew Goldstein’s 3,500-page psychiatric file-“Given to me by people who see his treatment record as a harrowing testament to the failures of the mental-health system.” In the two years before Webdale died on the tracks, Goldstein had attacked at least 13 other people, including two psychiatrists, a nurse, a social worker, and a therapy aide.
The defense witness, Dr. Spencer Eth, was straightforward: When Andrew pushed Kendra, he was having an “Acute exacerbation of severe psychotic symptoms” because he had failed to take his antipsychotic meds.
The prosecution’s expert, Dr. Angela Hegarty, argued that Andrew was a “Relatively mild” schizophrenic and his symptoms were “Substantially in remission.” A psychopath with a resentment of women-that was the real Andrew, a conclusion that Hegarty reached, she told the jury, by conducting interviews with people who had firsthand knowledge of him.
The prosecutor worked Hegerty’s testimony into a thriller-worthy narrative: A calculating predator, Andrew was reminded when he saw Kendra of a woman who, weeks before, had teased him, leaving him frustrated.
These days, medicated Andrew can’t quite wrap his head around what psychotic Andrew did.
The woman had blonde hair, so the prosecution surmised that Andrew was thinking of the stripper when he saw Kendra and that brought on a fit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ramona Shelburne on living pregnancy and motherhood out loud”

You’re not supposed to lose out on opportunities in the enlightened, post-“Lean In” workplace, but let’s be real.
No, the one thing I connected with deeply from watching Serena’s journey was how empowering it was to see a woman live a vulnerable period of her life out loud.
There were times I had to raise my hand to come out of the game and risk whatever consequences came with that.
I’d earned that respect, and rather than take the easier way out by pulling me out of the rotation, I could sit out of writing on Game 3 and come back for Game 4.
Later, after LeBron committed to the Lakers, I had to text my SportsCenter producer, Hilary Guy, and say I had about 45 minutes in me, but then I had to get out of the chair and lie down.
In college, I’d watch our football team on my way out to the softball field for practice.
A player would get hurt, and everything would stop for 30 seconds or so while the trainers checked him out.
What I’m asking is why do those “Consequences” have to be negative? Can we open ourselves to the idea that living out loud and standing behind your choice to have a family – or not to have a family – might actually make a woman stronger, more powerful and better at what she does?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Most Important Question of Your Life”

“In the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”This, I suspect, is profound even beyond the examples of day-to-day worship that he gives to prove his point.
Even people who don’t openly talk about their object of worship do worship something, and this something can be identified in their day-to-day actions.
If you formulate a question in a way that can be answered, you can temporarily come to a happy conclusion.
Every answer can be re-opened with a new question.
There is always something more, and what distinguishes people and what they worship is when they stop asking the next question.
Because many different things work depending on the context and the person, it’s worth having an open mind even if you are comfortable settling for your own personal answer to the last question.
The TakeawayIt all begins with the question of what it is we worship, a question we all answer either explicitly, by abiding to some philosophical framework, or implicitly, by how we live and what we pay attention to.
The most important question in life may well be: How do we deal with the mysterious? The best answer doesn’t try to explain the mysterious away.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What the Grieving Orca Tells Us”

“They pull these little pranks when they know people are watching them,” says Balcomb.
“That’s a lot of energy and you can’t help but think it feels good-or weird. You’re buoyant and then suddenly under the influence of gravity. I don’t think anyone has seen her breach for quite a long time.”
Giles describes Tahlequah as an “Incredibly attentive mother” that played with her first calf, Notch, more than most orca moms.
“Think about a female going through those pregnancy hormones, growing a fetus, and then losing it-twice,” says Giles.
“It’s a little bit of anthropomorphism, but I think she was letting everyone else know she was grieving,” he says.
“They’re very intelligent. They know people are out there: I’ve seen them look at boats hauling fish out in nets. I think they know that humans are somehow related to the scarcity of food. And I think they know that the scarcity of food is causing them physical distress, and also causing them to lose babies.”
There is no way of knowing for sure if that’s what Tahlequah was doing.
Many scientists would undoubtedly accuse Balcomb of inappropriately casting human feelings and motivations onto another species, without extraordinary evidence for his extraordinary claims.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Yuval Noah Harari on what 2050 has in store for humankind”

How can we prepare ourselves and our children for a world of such unprecedented transformations and radical uncertainties? A baby born today will be thirty-something in 2050.
What should we teach that baby that will help him or her survive and flourish in the world of 2050 or of the 22nd century? What kind of skills will he or she need in order to get a job, understand what is happening around them and navigate the maze of life?
Since nobody knows how the world will look in 2050 – not to mention 2100 – we don’t know the answer to these questions.
If you lived, say, in a small provincial town in Mexico in 1800, it was difficult for you to know much about the wider world.
People all over the world are but a click away from the latest accounts of the bombardment of Aleppo or of melting ice caps in the Arctic, but there are so many contradictory accounts that it is hard to know what to believe.
Since we have no idea how the world and the job market will look in 2050, we don’t really know what particular skills people will need.
If you try to hold on to some stable identity, job or world view, you risk being left behind as the world flies by you with a whooooosh.
In the past, it was a relatively safe bet to follow the adults, because they knew the world quite well, and the world changed slowly.

The orginal article.