Summary of “The Flaws a Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Wants You to Know About Yourself”

Dominant economic theory these days often makes that assumption.
What was left of this illusion was further dismantled by the The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, who awarded the Nobel prize in economics to Richard Thaler, an American economist at the University of Chicago, for his pioneering work in behavioral economics, which examines humanity’s flaws-namely, why we don’t make rational economic decisions.
In 2014, a study by the Economic & Social Research Council found that 51 countries had developed centralized policy units influenced by behavioral sciences.
These flaws-or human traits, to be more charitable-may not seem unusual, but Thaler argues that appreciating the implications of human behavior has lost its importance in dominant economic theory.
As the field relied more and more on mathematics, there was a push to explain the world using rigid, complex economic models.
In a paper last year, Thaler wrote: “It is time stop thinking about behavioral economics as some kind of revolution. Rather, behavioral economics should be considered simply a return to the kind of open-minded, intuitively motivated discipline that was invented by Adam Smith and augmented by increasingly powerful statistical tools and datasets.”
Today, behavioral economics is still considered a somewhat separate subject within the broader discipline.
If Thaler has it his way, the field of study that just won him a Nobel prize won’t exist for long: “If economics does develop along these lines the term ‘behavioral economics’ will eventually disappear from our lexicon. All economics will be as behavioral as the topic requires.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Let Your Inner Fears Limit Your Career”

The majority of management literature is focused on helping leaders conquer their fears.
Through our firm’s work with thousands of executives over 30 years, we have come to believe that unrecognized or unacknowledged core fears are almost always a root cause of professional distress and unattained potential.
From our work, we’ve created a four-step process of rigorous self-reflection that countless executives have used to understand their fears and become better leaders.
Protecting oneself from the imagined consequences of these fears can be helpful – pushing you to work harder and achieve more.
As Suzanne began to see how her unfounded fears were worsening her behavior, she began to understand she didn’t have to meet an unattainable ideal.
Suzanne’s arduous self-examination of her fears has turned her life around.
None of us will ever be free from fear, and it’s unrealistic to expect that we can always put our fears in their place.
Even when the stakes of admitting their fears feel high, leaders are always more effective when they are candid and do the hard work to right-size their fears.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Problem with ‘Hack’ Culture”

Venture down the self-help aisle of any bookstore and you’ll see it littered with titles about hacks, quick fixes, burning fat, and accessing mystical sounding theta brainwaves.
We can now use data to hack our way to a better, more productive life.
The cost is that we so often throw out common sense and age-old wisdom to pursue the latest and greatest hack to a better life.
The Buddhist motto “Chop wood, carry water” has been replaced with “Hack your life.”
Sometimes this belief is so powerful that the founding hacker actual deludes himself into thinking his respective hack actually works.
The more desperate you are for an answer, the more plausible in your head do the hacks become.
As one of my favorite thinkers Ryan Holiday has so perfectly said, “There are no shortcuts besides HACKING IT every single day.”
It’s time to move on from the hack culture and just do the stuff that actually works.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why More Knowledge Won’t Make You More Successful”

In today’s startup climate, it’s tempting to think that learning more will strengthen your competitive advantage.
Because what matters is not how much you learn, but the ability to home in and apply what you learn strategically.
According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, a hierarchy of learning objectives used by K-12 teachers and college instructors, the highest level of learning happens when we create – generating, planning and producing original material or ideas – using new knowledge.
That’s probably why the world’s most successful entrepreneurs intersperse knowledge acquisition with creative experimentation – to immediately put their learning to use.
With a beginner’s mind, you not only identify blind spots in your knowledge, you learn to approach new areas with humility and curiosity.
We learned to eat, to crawl, to walk and to talk because of an innate interest.
By returning to the pursuit of those things that genuinely interest us, we can learn more effectively.
When it comes to learning, sometimes less is more – because less quantity can mean more quality and increased efficacy as a leader.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”Personal Kanban”: A Life-Changing Time-Management System That Explodes the Myth of Multitasking”

One such system is “Personal Kanban,” which was named for the Japanese concept that inspired it, a just-in-time manufacturing process developed at Toyota in the late 1940s.
James Benson, a former urban planner based in Seattle who authored Personal Kanban: Mapping Work - Navigating Life, tells Quartz that industrial Kanban was a way for Toyota to avoid overproducing.
The “Options” column makes it possible to see everything that’s on your list and assess what’s manageable or not.
The middle column is the “Now” that matters most, according to Benson, and should never contain more than three tickets.
Squeezing more than three items into the “Doing” column, on the other hand, likely means you’re taxing your brain and slowing it down.
Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry, his business partner and co-author of the Personal Kanban book, have come up with matrixes to rank the items you most enjoyed doing, least enjoyed, slapped together in a hurry, felt no control over, and so on.
Benson first designed Personal Kanban for software developers about 10 years ago, but he says IT workers weren’t that interested.
Several popular software programs are based on the Kanban system, too, including Pivotal Tracker, and Trello.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why are so many languages spoken in some places and so few in others?”

Despite continually mapping the distribution of languages across the world, scientists have few clear answers about what caused the emergence of thousands of languages.
Collectively, human beings speak more than 7,000 distinct languages, and these languages are not uniformly distributed across the planet.
Far more languages are spoken in tropical regions than in temperate areas.
Why are there so many languages spoken in some places and so few in others?
Such as the West Coast from present-day Vancouver to southern California, had far more languages; other areas, such as northern Canada and the Mississippi delta region, appear to have had fewer languages.
With more distinct groups, you’d also expect to see more languages in these locations.
Some studies support the idea that less language diversity is found in locations with unstable and extreme climatic conditions, while others found little or no support for that idea.
Recently, our interdisciplinary research group tried to untangle which factors had the most influence on language diversity in different places.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Meet the Gamer Grandpas: The Seniors Who Spend Retirement Playing ‘Fortnite'”

“I had an online friend who I knew was a serious gamer – she’d even reviewed games for a magazine for a time – and I asked her to recommend a game and teach me how to play it,” he tells me.
“If I’m really into a game, I’ll play during weekdays as well.” And while Star Wars: The Old Republic is still his favorite – “It’s like comfort food; I’ve played all factions, characters and expansions, sometimes several times” – he also enjoys trying new games.
Obviously, it’s probably inevitable that younger generations who have grown up with video games will wheel a cart full of controllers and game systems into retirement homes.
In retirement Michael plays almost every night, “After supper and time with the wife, for about two hours. I try to limit it to that so it won’t get out of hand. It’s a great way to spend time, and it’s fundamentally good to challenge your brain with puzzles and hand-eye difficulties. People, especially us males, need archetypal hero stories and the means to strive to be that hero. Games are a safe place to achieve those needs.”
“It always bugged me that people will sit and watch eight hours of television, but then say playing video games is a waste of time,” adds John, a 60-year-old in San Francisco who dedicates roughly three hours a day to gaming.
“Loneliness is a growing issue with seniors, but gaming grandpas are able to find community in their favorite video games – whether that’s literally in video games, or simply having something in common with younger generations. John, for example,”spent a lot of time playing World of Warcraft and was in a guild, had a real-life meetup with all of the members in San Francisco to see the Warcraft movie.
“I plan to game for as long as I can,” Michael responds when I ask him if he’ll eventually bring his games to a retirement home.
“Well, my generation invented the internet and all the technologies that go along with it. So for those of us seniors who have been using computers for years, gaming provides a wonderful way to structure our time and to have fun. Honestly, gaming has been nothing less than a great boon to seniors.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is It More Important to Run Faster or Run Longer?”

Despite the apparent complexity of modern exercise programs, you really have only two options if you want to get fitter: you can train harder than you’re currently training, or you can train more.
That’s the debate that showed up in a recent issue of the Journal of Physiology, in which two groups of researchers offered contrasting takes on the claim that “Exercise training intensity is more important than volume to promote increases in human skeletal muscle mitochondrial content.” The amount of mitochondria in your muscles is the most important adaptation that occurs in response to endurance training, so the debate was effectively about whether running faster or running longer is the best way to boost your endurance.
The group arguing in favor of intensity included Martin Gibala of McMaster University, who is well-known for his studies of high-intensity interval training, along with his doctoral student Lauren Skelly and his former post-doctoral trainee Martin MacInnis, who is now at the University of Calgary.
In their article, they make two main claims: first, that when you compare training programs where subjects do an equal amount of total work, those who train at a higher intensity and lower volume see the biggest gains in mitochondria; and second, that in the real world intensity is the most important variable because the vast majority of people are unwilling to spend long periods of time doing high-volume training anyway.
In response, David Bishop and Javier Botella of Victoria University in Australia, along with their former colleague Cesare Granata, now at Monash University, cite a combined analysis of 56 studies that suggests a robust relationship between total training volume and mitochondrial changes.
The same analysis didn’t find any significant relationship between training intensity and mitochondrial changes, suggesting that volume is really the key variable.
As a bonus, also in the race was Ron Clarke, who did mostly medium-paced runs that we would now call threshold training.
If you’re going to look beyond studies that last only a few weeks or months and ask what training variable is the most important for sustaining a lifelong commitment to fitness, then I’d put in a vote for “All of the above.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Became a Cyborg to Manage My Chronic Pain”

This type of therapy might also be able to help some of the 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain.
Photo from Janet Jay.According to a 2011 report from the non-profit National Academy of Medicine, chronic pain affects 1.5 billion people worldwide.
So the medical establishment, and their patients, have long sought more effective pain relief without them.
My doctor, Raimy Amasha at Austin’s Capitol Pain Clinic, put it like this: When someone hits their funny bone, almost universally, they’ll reach over to rub their hurt elbow because it creates a nice sensation that distracts from the ache.
Still, doctors have been reluctant to prescribe the medication I needed for several reasons: I seemed too young to require such strong treatment, my pain got worse at night when they couldn’t see it, and I tried to maintain a positive affect.
Spinal-cord stimulation isn’t the first treatment to use electrical currents for pain relief-it’s not even the first or second I’d already tried.
More than one year later, the SCS continues to banish much of my pain.
The pain is far more controlled, and I can function much better at my current level of discomfort.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Funko Pop! vinyl figurines are a $686 million dollar business”

They are Pop Vinyl figurines, created by the 20-year-old company Funko Inc., based in Washington state, and launched in 2011.
Known to fans simply as “Funko Pops,” each toy is based on a pop culture character, and according to the official Funko App, there are now 8,366 different figures.
It’s likely you’ve now encountered a Funko Pop – be it on a coworker’s desk, wrapped under a Christmas tree, or waiting, blank-eyed, in your date’s home.
Collectors like Jack make up 36 percent of Funko’s customers, while 31 percent are “Occasional buyers.” Wilkinson says Funko Pops appeal to both markets because of the “Science of cute” behind the figurines’ design.
It’s also undeniable that many people find Funko Pops ugly or unnerving – in the past two months, a YouTube video titled “I HATE FUNKO POP VINYLS” has accumulated more than a million views.
On the Funko website, there are currently 29 distinct figurines of TV host Conan O’Brien – you can get the comedian dressed as Jon Snow, an Armenian folk dancer, or Pennywise the clown, or even just painted entirely orange.
Is it possible that Funko will run out of things to Pop? At present, the company’s profits continue to climb, from $98 million gross profit in 2015 to $258 million in 2018.
Ten years ago, Funko – which had grown a loyal customer base for its bobblehead range – was feeling the heat of a declining fad. Now it is one of the world’s most recognizable pop culture merchandisers.

The orginal article.