Summary of “Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage?”

Plus, as brands are wont to remind people, most of them don’t own the factories that produce their clothes, meaning they neither pay for the garment workers’ wages nor determine what those wages are.
If the intricacies of a living wage weren’t enough to grapple with, there is also the notion of the minimum wage – that is, the lowest wage that a country’s local or federal government says employers are legally bound pay their workers.
Not only does a country’s minimum wage rarely square up with the concept of a living wage, but it can also differ by orders of magnitude.
“Lots of codes of conduct talk about a living wage and we have no evidence of factories paying a living wage; lots of codes of conduct talk about right of workers to join or form a union of their own choosing and that rarely happens,” he says.
“People will say, ‘Why haven’t you done it before?’ or ‘If it’s such a small premium to pay for such a big difference to those people, why don’t you just absorb it within your own profit margins?'” But paying a living wage can have immediate, tangible benefits, something Stochaj discovered in the two years the “Fair Share” project has been brewing.
“Consumers have basically reset what they expect to pay, and this is putting more pressure on brands to either find ways to lower prices – and hence pay lower wages – or lose market share.”
Which is to say, if brands wanted to pay their workers a living wage today, they could.
In December, Labour Behind the Label noted that it would cost H&M only 1.9 percent of the $2 billion it made in 2016 to pay all its Cambodian workers the additional $78 per month they would need to achieve a living wage.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Live your best life with the help of Tim Herrera of “

The Smarter Living section of the New York Times was created to help its readers live their best life and its editor, Tim Herrera, practices what the section preaches.
We caught up with Tim to ask him about the inspiration behind the new Times section, where he sees it going in the future, and what he’s been reading and saving to Pocket lately.
You are the editor of Smarter Living, the service journalism section of The New York Times that aims to help its readers understand the world and make the most of it.
People expect a lot from The Times, and we do our best to live up to those expectations.
You also write the weekly Smarter Living newsletter, which is a recap of The Times’ best advice for living a more fulfilling life.
How do you decide what Smarter Living is going to cover next?We’re lucky that we’re defined more thematically than topically, so our main driving force behind stories is just anything that helps readers live better lives.
What type of impact do you hope Smarter Living has on its readers? And where would you like to see the section go in the future?We have a pretty simple mandate: Help readers live better lives.
We’re really excited to develop more products and “Things” that help readers do that, so definitely something to keep an eye out for this year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Be Fooled by Smoke and Mirrors: 12 Traits of Truly Authentic People”

In a world of increased narcissism and a decreased capacity to effectively read people, how can we discern genuine, authentic people from narcissistic manipulators? Even more, how can we challenge our perceptions and not automatically believe the artificially perfected information that is presented in our newsfeeds?
Authentic people live by a code of values and morals; however, they are more than willing to listen to the opinions of others and are open to learning from their mistakes.
Authentic people wholeheartedly accept other people for who they are.
In general, authentic people exude a genuine presence that puts others at ease, leading people to naturally gravitate toward them.
Authentic people find that having meaningful experiences and strong bonds with others make life worth living.
Authentic people live by the old adage, “You are the average of the five closest people you surround yourself with.” Instead of hanging around others who are disingenuous, authentic people choose to surround themselves with people who share the same values and morals that they do.
Authentic people do not make decisions based on their egos and do not need admiration from others in order to feel good about themselves.
Authentic people live by their values, are consistent, and do not need other’s approval to feel good about themselves.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Dread accompanies me through life but it is not without consolation”

My parents’ deaths, occupying polar positions on a spectrum of suddenness, infected my life with a persistent dread; they suffused my life with an incurable anxiety, a dread that did not require an identifiable object.
An anxiety is a lens through which to view the world, a colouration that grants the sufferer’s experiences their distinctive hue.
My trajectory through the world is thus informed, at every step, by the anxieties that afflict me.
Søren Kierkegaard suggested in The Concept of Anxiety that one of existentialism’s hard-fought rewards – our encounters with true freedom – comes with the terrible burden of encounters with dread and anxiety.
Anxiety taught me the place that death has in my life.
The upending of this world’s order by my parents’ deaths and my resultant anxiety made me suffer a conceptual shift in my understanding of its workings; it became a philosophical commonplace for me to believe in claims about this world’s malleability through our conscious, emotional, not-entirely rational understanding of it.
To believe that there was a final end to my life, a purpose, a destination, an intended teleology, was to be infected with an anxiety that I was not fulfilling my purpose in life, that I was ‘wasting’ my life.
Because of my anxieties, I have come to understand why I’m the philosopher I am, why I hold the views I do, why I do not trust that there is an inherent, essential, meaning or purpose to life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When You’re a ‘Digital Nomad,’ the World Is Your Office”

The morning after my arrival, I met Roam’s founder, Bruno Haid, a tall 40-year-old Austrian who lives out of a single black duffel bag and wears only black and white.
Haid sought investors in 2015, when you could still practically stumble into venture capital, especially with a pitch that went something like “Uber for international housing.” He brought on two co-founders, Dane Andrews and Flo Lauber, and raised $3.4 million to open Roam’s first spaces, at the Miami compound and a converted boutique hotel in Ubud, which features a polished-cement communal kitchen and a courtyard pool.
Roam has evolved into a miniature global corporation, with a dozen staff members, most of them digital nomads themselves, living among its locations, communicating through the chat platform Slack, checking in over weekly conference calls and scanning any print mail that comes in for online dispersal.
In crowded cities, it’s not hard to keep rooms occupied – empty spaces are also listed on Airbnb – and the company has a clever business model that limits its risk: Property developers work with Roam to format and furnish buildings, then Roam leases and operates them, much as a hotel does.
The company started Roam Madrid in a former convent, but it closed it after finding the conditions too austere even for nomads.
The major selling point of Roam is its community, in which no one is supposed to feel strange or isolated, as Haid once did, for leading an itinerant life.
Over the week, I hung out with South American software developers, two coupled entrepreneurs from Switzerland, a middle-aged American contractor who works for I.B.M. on international events, an Israeli machine-learning expert and a 75-year-old retired real estate agent, Lino Darchun, who seemed to recognize in Roam an opportunity to counteract loneliness.
Sometimes Roam felt more like immersive group therapy than tourism, because I wasn’t leaving the compound that much anyway.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Hierarchy of Financial Needs”

MMM jokingly asked me if that means he’s lost his edge? Has writing about happiness and more philosophical topics resulted in him not being viewed as a financial mastermind anymore?
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows what motivates humans, the relative importance of each need, and the order in which the needs are generally fulfilled.
I’d say a similar hierarchy exists for financial needs as well.
The Hierarchy of Financial Needs is useful when talking about finances with other people because it allows you to be more understanding of different situations and more empathetic.
Financial independence isn’t life, it’s just a tool you can use to help you live a life that’s most meaningful to you.
The more you think about the top level of the pyramid while you’re on the journey to FI, the easier and more enjoyable that journey will be.
After achieving FI and accumulating more money than I had planned, I can now see the Post-Money stage more clearly.
No pursuit is more noble than any other so when you achieve FI and have the power to do whatever you want, you can just try to live the life that makes you happiest.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Alone: Lessons on Solitude From an Antarctic Explorer”

Fewer are familiar with another tale of Antarctic adventure, that of the almost five months Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd spent alone at the bottom of the world in 1934.
While Byrd’s journey was not outward but inward, his expedition to the farthest reaches of solitude covered a significant amount of ground, circumscribing the spirit of man and his place in the universe.
Why Byrd Decided to Spend a Season of Solitude at the Bottom of the World.
To address these yearnings, Byrd came up with a plan that aimed to kill two birds with one stone: during the long, dark Antarctic winter, he would man, alone, “The first inland station ever occupied in the world’s southernmost continent.” While the rest of his expedition team remained at the Little America base along the coast of the Ross Ice Shelf, Byrd would set up camp at Bolling Advance Weather Base on Antarctica’s colder, even more barren interior.
While Byrd discovered that a life lived in solitude offered many consolations, he was also very cognizant of its challenges.
While Byrd enjoyed two healthy, insight-filled months of solitude, thereafter conditions at Advance Weather Base unfortunately took a near-fatal turn, and cut short Byrd’s sojourn there.
If you plunged into a prolonged period of solitude and silence, away from every besetting distraction, what would happen to your mind? What insights would you discover? Would they be the same as Byrd’s? Different?
While most of us will never experience a state of silent solitude of the prolonged, all-encompassing kind inhabited by Richard E. Byrd, we can all find more pockets of it in our daily lives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Oymyakon, Siberia: The coldest village on Earth where eyelashes freeze and temperatures sink to -88F”

The coldest village on Earth reached minus -88 degrees.
Eyelashes freeze, frostbite is a constant danger and cars are usually kept running even when not being used, lest their batteries die in temperatures that average minus-58 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, according to news reports.
Earlier this week, a cold snap sent temperatures plunging toward record lows, with reports as extreme as minus-88 degrees Fahrenheit.
The harsh cold climate permeates nearly every aspect of existence for the people who live in the area.
“Yakutians love the cold food, the frozen raw Arctic fish, white salmon, whitefish, frozen raw horse liver, but they are considered to be delicacies,” local Bolot Bochkarev told the Weather Channel.
Video taken during the cold snap showed a market, open for business on the snowy tundra, frozen fish standing rigidly upright in buckets and boxes, no refrigeration needed.
Depending on how cold the weather dips, people often trade off 20-minute shifts when doing work outside, according to news reports.
Chapple said saliva would freeze into “Needles that would prick my lips.” Shooting was no easier – his camera would constantly get too cold to shoot, he said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History”

In another 15 years, illiteracy and extreme poverty will be mostly gone.
“Intellectuals hate progress,” he writes, referring to the reluctance to acknowledge gains, and I know it feels uncomfortable to highlight progress at a time of global threats.
Most of the world lived under dictatorships, two-thirds of parents had a child die before age 5, and it was a time of nuclear standoffs, of pea soup smog, of frequent wars, of stifling limits on women and of the worst famine in history.
What moment in history would you prefer to live in?
Professor Roser notes that there was never a headline saying, “The Industrial Revolution Is Happening,” even though that was the most important news of the last 250 years.
I also believe in stepping back once a year or so to take note of genuine progress – just as, a year ago, I wrote that 2016 had been the best year in the history of the world, and a year from now I hope to offer similar good news about 2018.
The most important thing happening right now is not a Trump tweet, but children’s lives saved and major gains in health, education and human welfare.
Every other day this year, I promise to tear my hair and weep and scream in outrage at all the things going wrong.

The orginal article.

Summary of “D.H. Lawrence on the Antidote to the Malady of Materialism – Brain Pickings”

Half a century before Carson and Fromm, and decades before the golden age of consumerism, the English poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and painter D.H. Lawrence pressed his prescient fingers against the pulse-beat of culture to limn the malady that would define the century to come – the greed for power and material possession that would give rise to numerous dictatorships, exploit vulnerable populations, and deplete Earth’s resources – and envisioned a remedy it is not too late for us to implement.
Just before his thirtieth birthday in the summer of 1915, while escaping the tumult of World War I at the English seaside resort of Littlehampton, Lawrence contemplated the relationship between the increasingly artificial human world and the immutable authenticity of the natural world in a letter to his friend Lady Cynthia Asquith, found in The Letters of D.H. Lawrence.
Also over the river, beyond the ferry, there is the flat silvery world, as in the beginning, untouched: with pale sand, and very much white foam, row after row, coming from under the sky, in the silver evening: and no people, no people at all, no houses, no buildings, only a haystack on the edge of the shingle, and an old black mill.
For the rest, the flat unfinished world running with foam and noise and silvery light, and a few gulls swinging like a half-born thought.
Half a century before E.F. Schumacher made his elegant anti-consumerist case for “Buddhist economics,” Lawrence contrasts this living Paradise with the human-made inferno of materialism – an inferno whose blazing fire of greed and fuming brimstone of ownership have only intensified in the century since.
Lawrence, who was a vocal opponent of militarism despite how unpopular and downright anti-patriotic this rendered him in wartime Britain, no doubt saw the causal relationship between humanity’s growing hunger for material possession -the ultimate end of power – and the first truly global war that had just engulfed the world.
One feels a sort of madness come over one, as if the world had become hell.
Complement this fragment of the immeasurably beautiful Letters of D.H. Lawrence with Alan Watts on money vs. wealth, Henry Miller on how the hedonic treadmill of materialism entraps us, and E.F. Schumacher on how to begin prioritizing people over products and creativity over consumption, then revisit Whitman on what makes life worth living.

The orginal article.