Summary of “Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives – Brain Pickings”

A “Fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled.
This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.
When we teach people the growth mindset, with its focus on development, these ideas about challenge and effort follow…. As you begin to understand the fixed and growth mindsets, you will see exactly how one thing leads to another-how a belief that your qualities are carved in stone leads to a host of thoughts and actions, and how a belief that your qualities can be cultivated leads to a host of different thoughts and actions, taking you down an entirely different road. []. The mindsets change what people strive for and what they see as success… they change the definition, significance, and impact of failure… they change the deepest meaning of effort.
Even these young children conformed to the characteristics of one of the two mindsets – those with “Fixed” mentality stayed on the safe side, choosing the easier puzzles that would affirm their existing ability, articulating to the researchers their belief that smart kids don’t make mistakes; those with the “Growth” mindset thought it an odd choice to begin with, perplexed why anyone would want to do the same puzzle over and over if they aren’t learning anything new.
Perhaps most importantly, the two mindsets also impacted the kids’ level of enjoyment – everyone enjoyed the first round of easier questions, which most kids got right, but as soon as the questions got more challenging, the ability-praised kids no longer had any fun, while the effort-praised ones not only still enjoyed the problems but even said that the more challenging, the more fun.
This illustrates the key difference between the two mindsets – for those with a growth one, “Personal success is when you work your hardest to become your best,” whereas for those with a fixed one, “Success is about establishing their superiority, pure and simple. Being that somebody who is worthier than the nobodies.” For the latter, setbacks are a sentence and a label.
Dweck found that people exhibited the same dichotomy of dispositions in their personal relationships: Those with a fixed mindset believed their ideal mate would put them on a pedestal and make them feel perfect, like “The god of a one-person religion,” whereas those with the growth mindset preferred a partner who would recognize their faults and lovingly help improve them, someone who would encourage them to learn new things and became a better person.
In the rest of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck goes on to explore how these fundamental mindsets form, what their defining characteristics are in different contexts of life, and how we can rewire our cognitive habits to adopt the much more fruitful and nourishing growth mindset.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans”

December 10, 2018.Experts say the rise of artificial intelligence will make most people better off over the next decade, but many have concerns about how advances in AI will affect what it means to be human, to be productive and to exercise free will.
Digital life is augmenting human capacities and disrupting eons-old human activities.
The experts predicted networked artificial intelligence will amplify human effectiveness but also threaten human autonomy, agency and capabilities.
Bryan Johnson, founder and CEO of Kernel, a leading developer of advanced neural interfaces, and OS Fund, a venture capital firm, said, “I strongly believe the answer depends on whether we can shift our economic systems toward prioritizing radical human improvement and staunching the trend toward human irrelevance in the face of AI. I don’t mean just jobs; I mean true, existential irrelevance, which is the end result of not prioritizing human well-being and cognition.”
Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, said, “Without significant changes in our political economy and data governance regimes [AI] is likely to create greater economic inequalities, more surveillance and more programmed and non-human-centric interactions. Every time we program our environments, we end up programming ourselves and our interactions. Humans have to become more standardized, removing serendipity and ambiguity from our interactions. And this ambiguity and complexity is what is the essence of being human.”
Michael M. Roberts, first president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and Internet Hall of Fame member, wrote, “The range of opportunities for intelligent agents to augment human intelligence is still virtually unlimited. The major issue is that the more convenient an agent is, the more it needs to know about you – preferences, timing, capacities, etc. – which creates a tradeoff of more help requires more intrusion. This is not a black-and-white issue – the shades of gray and associated remedies will be argued endlessly. The record to date is that convenience overwhelms privacy. I suspect that will continue.”
Danah boyd, a principal researcher for Microsoft and founder and president of the Data & Society Research Institute, said, “AI is a tool that will be used by humans for all sorts of purposes, including in the pursuit of power. There will be abuses of power that involve AI, just as there will be advances in science and humanitarian efforts that also involve AI. Unfortunately, there are certain trend lines that are likely to create massive instability. Take, for example, climate change and climate migration. This will further destabilize Europe and the U.S., and I expect that, in panic, we will see AI be used in harmful ways in light of other geopolitical crises.”
Batya Friedman, a human-computer interaction professor at the University of Washington’s Information School, wrote, “Our scientific and technological capacities have and will continue to far surpass our moral ones – that is our ability to use wisely and humanely the knowledge and tools that we develop. Automated warfare – when autonomous weapons kill human beings without human engagement – can lead to a lack of responsibility for taking the enemy’s life or even knowledge that an enemy’s life has been taken. At stake is nothing less than what sort of society we want to live in and how we experience our humanity.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Case for the 6-Hour Workday”

The internet fundamentally changed the way we live, work, and play, and the nature of work itself has transitioned in large part from algorithmic tasks to heuristic ones that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.
Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp and author of It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work, said on my podcast, Future Squared, that for creative jobs such as programming and writing, people need time to truly think about the work that they’re doing.
“If you asked them when the last time they had a chance to really think at work was, most people would tell you they haven’t had a chance to think in quite a long time, which is really unfortunate.”
“People waste a lot of time at work,” according to Grant.
Cal Newport, best-selling author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, echoes Grant’s sentiments, saying that “Three to four hours of continuous, undisturbed deep work each day is all it takes to see a transformational change in our productivity and our lives.”
The team maintained, and in some cases increased, its quantity and quality of work, with people reporting an improved mental state, and that they had more time for rest, family, friends, and other endeavors.
Block out time in your calendar, work on one thing at a time, do the hardest thing first, try listening to binaural beats or use the Pomodoro technique, a time management method that uses a timer to break work down into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
Organizations are spending big money on digital transformation, but they could reap an immediate, and far more cost-effective transformational benefit just by changing the way they work, instead of what they use to work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Charles Duhigg: Why Is America So Angry?”

In the vast majority of cases, expressing anger resulted in all parties becoming more willing to listen, more inclined to speak honestly, more accommodating of each other’s complaints.
We’re more likely to perceive people who express anger as competent, powerful, and the kinds of leaders who will overcome challenges.
“When we become angry, we feel like we’re taking control, like we’re getting power over something.” Watching angry people-as viewers of reality television know-is highly entertaining, so expressing anger is a surefire method for capturing the attention of an otherwise indifferent crowd.
If moral indignation persists, however-and if the indignant lose faith that their anger is being heard-it can produce a third type of anger: a desire for revenge against our enemies that privileges inflicting punishment over reaching accord.
Scholars, in examining successful protest movements, have sought to explain how anger goes from the fleeting feeling that Averill studied to a pervasive, more powerful moral force.
The political actors who use anger to more cynical ends still have the upper hand.
The ways in which anger is constantly stoked from every side is new, and the partisan divide that such anger fosters may have pushed us further down a path toward widespread violence than we realize.
As America reaches the midpoint of a presidential administration that has driven nearly everyone into a rage of one kind or another, we are at a crossroads: Will we continue, blindly furious? Or will we see our rage as a disease that must be cured?
The goal shouldn’t be to eradicate anger.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to redesign cities to fight loneliness”

You may also underestimate the effects of loneliness.
Federal MP Andrew Giles, in a recent speech, said: “I’m convinced we need to consider responding to loneliness as a responsibility of government.”
What do cities have to do with loneliness? “The way we build and organize our cities can help or hinder social connection,” reads a Grattan Institute report.
The students, using design as a research methodology, came up with potential architectural and urban responses to loneliness.
Having a pet is one of the most effective ways to tackle loneliness, but often people don’t have enough time to care for one.
Beverley Wang looked at loneliness in the aging population.
There is an utterly different kind of loneliness that accompanies the loss of a loved one.
Without claiming to solve loneliness, design can be a important tool in response to it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Distrustful, Desperate and Forgotten: A Recipe for Election Fraud”

They’re the reason, he said, he had to be careful with his words when I asked about his county’s new status as the epicenter of election fraud in the United States.
That a small-scale fraud in a rural county of only 35,000 people could have fudged the result of one of the most watched congressional races in the country is a reminder once again of the outside influence of economically-left-behind places like Bladen County, where the poverty rate is 20 percent and the median household income of $32,396 is about half the national median.
Bladen County is a petri dish of rural America’s problems: It has lost about 5 percent of its population in the past seven years, more than any other county in the region.
This is a county that a hundred years ago was the center of a booming agricultural economy but that now has grown accustomed to being forgotten.
“The Bladen Improvement Association does not represent the majority of the black people in Bladen County. The majority of the black people in Bladen County would have nothing to do with something if it was illegal. But they take the poor and the ignorant and lead ’em.”
Melvin does believe the state board of elections needs to “Get off their ass” and investigate all the years of election fraud in Bladen County.
Several people approached me with a mission of their own in mind: They wanted to tell me what’s good about Bladen County.
I wanted to fact-check Pat Melvin’s claim that there were enough absentee ballots in 2010 to turn the election that helped turn the course of elections in Bladen County.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Steady Rise of the Trippy Festival”

Psychedelic drugs gave birth to the modern-day music festival.
There would have been no Woodstock without LSD. Now, five decades later, despite continued efforts to crack down on these drugs, the music festival scene-a huge industry in itself-remains tie-dyed in hallucinogens.
The increased popularity of psychedelic themes in the international festival scene reflects a growing trend, most notably among young people, in the use of psychedelic drugs.
Maria Carmo Carvalho, who helps run Kosmicare, an NGO set up to provide harm reduction for psychedelic drug users at Boom, told me she thinks the rising popularity of psychedelic drugs and festivals has come from the growth of the EDM scene in the 2000s: “A festival organizer once said to me that modern life is so harsh and demanding for youth these days, that he saw it as his mission to provide the opportunity for them to get a little bit lost under a controlled environment,” she says.
“Going to a festival is an activity that encourages new experiences,” Jones says.
With the rise in music festivals has come a rise in NGOs such as Kosmicare, specializing in harm reduction, including providing safe advice for taking drugs, drug checking, and looking after people who are having a bad time on drugs.
Ismail Ali, who works at MAPS and is involved with the Zendo Project, says he is seeing a new generation of festival trippers, some of whom can get into trouble while getting high.
Ali tells me that even though people see tripping on acid at a festival as a diversion from their day-to-day lives, it’s not as simple as that.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Economy Killed Millennials, Not Vice Versa”

It’s the economy that’s doing in Millennials.
The deeper question of the piece was whether the Great Recession might permanently reduce young people’s taste for houses and cars-two of the most vital engines of the economy.
For years, various outlets, including The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center, continued reporting that young people were buying fewer cars and houses than those in previous generations at a similar point in their life.
On the car front: News reports sometimes find that the average age of new-car buyers is quickly rising, which makes it sound like young people are ditching their ride.
Young people actually buy the same number of cars per capita today that they did in 2005, at the height of the housing bubble.
The average age of car buying is going up almost entirely because Americans older than 55 are buying more new vehicles than they were 20 years ago.
In 1995, Americans over 55 bought about one-third of all new cars.
Perhaps that’s because people hold on to their car for longer, or own a more efficient car that requires fewer tune-ups.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis”

Part of the answer likely involves what researchers call selection bias: unhappier people tend to die sooner, removing themselves from the sample.
A common hypothesis, and one that seems right to me, is alluded to by Carstensen and her colleagues in their 2011 paper: “As people age and time horizons grow shorter,” they write, “People invest in what is most important, typically meaningful relationships, and derive increasingly greater satisfaction from these investments.” Midlife is, for many people, a time of recalibration, when they begin to evaluate their lives less in terms of social competition and more in terms of social connectedness.
In my 40s, I found I was obsessively comparing my life with other people’s: scoring and judging myself, and counting up the ways in which I had fallen behind in a race.
Carstensen told me, “When the future becomes less distant, more constrained, people focus on the present, and we think that’s better for emotional experience. The goals that are chronically activated in old age are ones about meaning and savoring and living for the moment.” These are exactly the changes that K. and others in my own informal research sample reported.
“As people perceive the future as increasingly constrained, they set goals that are more realistic and easy to pursue.” For me, the expectation of scaling ever greater heights has faded, and with it my sense of disappointment and failure.
He used a German longitudinal survey, with data from 1991 to 2004, that, unusually, asked people about both their current life satisfaction and their expected satisfaction five years hence.
To his own surprise, he found the same result regardless of respondents’ economic status, generation, and even whether they lived in western or eastern Germany: younger people consistently and markedly overestimated how satisfied they would be five years later, while older people underestimated future satisfaction.
What’s more, Schwandt found that in between those two periods, during middle age, people experienced a sort of double whammy: satisfaction with life was declining, but expectations were also by then declining.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The bad news on human nature, in 10 findings from psychology”

Another study showed that people who are opposed to Arab immigration tended to rate Arabs and Muslims as literally less evolved than average.
Among other examples, there’s also evidence that young people dehumanise older people; and that men and women alike dehumanise drunk women.
If people were rational and open-minded, then the straightforward way to correct someone’s false beliefs would be to present them with some relevant facts.
In one study, researchers found that people rated the exact same selfish behaviour as being far less fair when perpetuated by others.
There is a long-studied phenomenon known as actor-observer asymmetry, which in part describes our tendency to attribute other people’s bad deeds, such as our partner’s infidelities, to their character, while attributing the same deeds performed by ourselves to the situation at hand.
While research has suggested that people who are prone to everyday sadism are especially inclined to online trolling, a study published last year revealed how being in a bad mood, and being exposed to trolling by others, double the likelihood of a person engaging in trolling themselves.
We are sexually attracted to people with dark personality traits.
Not only do we elect people with psychopathic traits to become our leaders, evidence suggests that men and women are sexually attracted, at least in the short term, to people displaying the so-called ‘dark triad’ of traits – narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism – thus risking further propagating these traits.

The orginal article.