Summary of “Poetry Is Everywhere”

Headlined “Poetry Is Going Extinct, Government Data Show,” the piece-published at the height of National Poetry Month-was based on the most recent results of the survey that the National Endowment for the Arts conducts every five years as part of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey: an attempt to understand, through numbers, Americans’ relationship to the art form that represents, as Wallace Stevens once put it, “The renovation of experience.”
The survey’s top-line tidings, if you care about poetry as an art form, were as dire as the plummet-lined graphics the Post created to accompany the story.
The number of self-reported poetry readers in the United States nearly doubled from 2012 to 2017, that survey found.
While growth in poetry reading was present across all the demographics the NEA surveyed, including urban and rural, it was young adults who demonstrated the largest and fastest increase, with the poetry-reading rate among those aged 18 to 24 more than doubling, from 8.2 percent in 2012 to 17.5 percent in 2017.
The challenge with a sweeping survey like the NEA’s is, in part, definitional: What, actually, is poetry? Is it words printed on a page, cloistered and gossamered and sold in the poetry section at Powell’s Books? Or is it something broader, more viral and musical and culturally expansive, and therefore much harder to define and also harder to imagine going extinct? Rupi Kaur, with her fusions of word and image that have gotten her dubbed an ” Instapoet,” is, by pretty much any commercial measure you’d care to use, one of the most popular poets in the world.
The “Death of poetry” has been predicted with such frequency that it’s become a mordant joke, as have the “Poetry is dead, long live poetry!” rejoinders; everywhere are reminders that these debates can miss the broader point.
Poetry can’t die, any more than air or water can meet such an end, because poetry in the more expansive sense is not “Poetry” in the narrow.
It’s endorsing the same broad idea the NEA reported, in its poetry survey: Poetry is, far from approaching “Extinction,” more diverse and more popular and more powerful than ever.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Much Money Do You Need to Be Wealthy in America?”

Americans don’t like to admit that assets can buy happiness-just 11 percent of those surveyed for the second annual Modern Wealth Index from Charles Schwab chose “Having lots of money” as their definition of wealth.
While 18 percent defined wealth as being able to afford anything they desired, 17 percent said it was “Loving relationships with family and friends.” That jibes with how Joe Duran, chief executive officer of money manager United Capital, said he likes to think of “Wealth.” After building and selling his first company, “I realized that money is nothing more than fuel,” he said.
Even services such as Netflix, Spotify or Amazon Prime made life feel richer for an overall 33 percent-particularly for millennials, at 44 percent, compared with 29 percent and 23 percent for Generation X and baby boomers, respectively.
Some 64 percent of twenty- and thirty-somethings believe they’ll be wealthy at some point in their lives, compared with 22 percent of boomers.
Maybe better financial habits will help that happen, since more millennials than boomers said they regularly rebalance their portfolio-49 percent compared with 43 percent, respectively.
The same percentage of millennials and boomers, 24 percent, felt “Very confident” about reaching financial goals.
Some 52 percent of boomers said they didn’t have a plan because they didn’t have enough money to need a plan.
Some 49 percent of respondents said that saving and investing is “The key to wealth,” with another 40 percent choosing “Hard work.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 5 New Rules of Employee Engagement”

Maybe the question is, what should you not do about it? Employee engagement has become such a hot topic that great swarms of consultants and authors are undoubtedly banging on your door as we speak, armed with enough action plans and PowerPoint presentations to make your head swim.
“The problem with employee engagement experts is they take well-meaning concepts and overengineer them to the point that they don’t bear any resemblance to what normal people understand,” says Neil Morrison, group human resources director for Penguin Random House U.K. “Then we wonder why we have a disengaged work force.”
An important turning point for employee engagement experts came with Daniel H. Pink’s Drive.
The new mantra and related team-building exercises, like group-assembling a bicycle, yielded striking results: Turnover dropped, productivity increased, and employee surveys showed engagement levels rose.
Leading the naysayers was the late Robert Gerst, a Canadian statistician who kicked up a storm in 2013 with an article in the Journal for Quality and Participation that concluded, “The dirty little secret of employee engagement surveys is that they’re largely junk science.” Gerst, who died earlier this year, argued that most consultants conducting such surveys have a built-in conflict of interest: First they reveal that large swaths of your work force are out to lunch, and then they sell you services to improve that dismal situation.
One reason measuring employee engagement is so difficult is there is no consensus on what the term means, exactly.
As employee morale started slipping, Farid tried immersing himself in the literature of engagement and spending more time with his HR people, looking for ways to celebrate achievements and keep people excited.
Rule 5: Actually, Don’t Worry About Engagement After decades of rapid growth, the field of employee engagement is now suffering a well-deserved backlash.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This major discovery upends long-held theories about the Maya civilization”

Nearly a century later, surveyors once again took flight over the ancient Maya empire, and mapped the Guatemala forests with lasers.
In the past, archaeologists had argued that small, disconnected city-states dotted the Maya lowlands, though that conception is falling out of favor.
These included: 60 miles of causeways, roads and canals that connected cities; large maize farms; houses large and small; and, surprisingly, defensive fortifications that suggest the Maya came under attack from the west of Central America.
“The scale of information that we’re able to collect now is unprecedented,” Parcak said, adding that this survey is “Going to upend long-held theories about ancient Maya society.”
Extrapolated over the 36,700 square miles, which encompasses the total Maya lowland region, the authors estimate the Maya built as many as 2.7 million structures.
These would have supported 7 million to 11 million people during the Classic Period of Maya civilization, around the years 650 to 800, in line with other Maya population estimates.
Archaeologist Arlen Chase, a Maya specialist at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas who was not involved with this survey, said for years he has argued that the Maya society was more complex than widely accepted.
“There is still much more ground to cover and work to do,” said Acuña, who will continue to study the large ancient Maya city of El Tindal.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What 61,000 hidden structures reveal about Maya civilization”

Earlier this year, a team of archaeologists announced the discovery of more than 61,000 long-lost Maya roads, fortresses, drainage canals, and buildings hidden beneath the dense green canopy of northern Guatemala’s tropical forest.
The findings were the result of an airborne laser, or lidar, survey of 2,144 square kilometers of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
Now, archaeologists are starting to piece together what all the data actually says about Maya civilization.
Garrison, with archaeologists Marcello Canuto and Francisco Estrada-Belli of Tulane University and colleagues, used the lidar survey data to estimate that a Mayan population of between 7 million and 11 million people lived in the central Maya Lowlands in the bustling Late Classic Period between 650 and 800 CE. With 29 structures per square kilometer in the survey area, and evidence from earlier excavations to suggest how many of those structures might have been houses, the team calculated an average of 80 to 120 people per square kilometer.
There’s evidence of formal links between cities during earlier periods in Maya history in the form of elevated roads called causeways.
Defensive systems of bridges, ditches, ramparts, and stone walls lie hidden beneath the foliage in greater numbers and at greater scale than Canuto and his colleagues expected, even though texts and archaeological evidence both portray the Maya as a militaristic, conflict-prone people.
The broad view of the Maya landscape still leaves plenty of questions unanswered; there’s lots of detail to fill in on the big picture, and that detail may shape how archaeologists eventually interpret what they see in the lidar images.
More large-scale views of the ancient landscape may be forthcoming, since the 2016 survey covered only portions of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Young People Are Lonelier Than Their Elders”

Young People Are Lonelier Than Their Elders : Shots – Health News A nationwide survey by health insurer Cigna finds that loneliness is widespread in America.
Using one of the best-known tools for measuring loneliness – the UCLA Loneliness Scale – Cigna surveyed 20,000 adults online across the country.
People scoring 43 and above were considered lonely in the Cigna survey, with a higher score suggesting a greater level of loneliness and social isolation.
The survey found that the average loneliness score in America is 44, which suggests that “Most Americans are considered lonely,” according to the report released Tuesday by the health insurer.
The results are consistent with other previous research, says Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychologist at Brigham Young University, who studies loneliness and its health effects.
Several studies in recent years, including ones by Holt-Lunstad, have documented the public health effect of loneliness.
The Greatest Generation, people ages 72 and above, had a score of 38.6 on the loneliness scale.
The Cigna survey didn’t find a correlation between social media use and feelings of loneliness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Survey: Most people don’t understand science, want their kids to do it”

Despite the many cultural differences, people consistently feel that science has an overall positive impact on global society, and they’re excited by what we learn.
Most people don’t recognize the impact that science has had on their daily lives and view it as something that their kids might be involved with.
Younger people are more likely to view themselves as skeptical of science and not trusting of what scientists have discovered.
On the surface, people were fascinated about scientific results and hopeful about what science would bring in the future.
Globally, about 90 percent of people were hopeful about the technology they felt science would enable, and 87 percent found its results fascinating.
Beyond the confusion within the population at large, the survey also found that a substantial fraction of people labeled themselves as skeptical about science.
These people were on the wrong side of all of the confusion above: they viewed science and technology as separate and accordingly didn’t see any impacts of science in their daily lives.
They may want their kids to get a solid science education, but if they’re indifferent to science themselves, their encouragement probably isn’t going to stick.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Most Americans think AI will destroy other people’s jobs, not theirs”

AI is a problem for jobs, say the majority of Americans, but it’s someone else’s problem.
Nearly three-quarters of US adults believe artificial intelligence will “Eliminate more jobs than it creates,” according to a Gallup survey.
For respondents with only a four-year college degree or less, 28 percent were worried about AI taking their job; for people with at least a bachelor degree, that figure was 15 percent.
One survey conducted by Quartz last year found that 90 percent of respondents thought that up to half of all jobs would be lost to automation in five years, but 91 percent said there was “No risk to my job.” Another study from the Pew Research Center in 2016 found the same: 65 percent of respondents said that 50 years from now automation would take over “Much” of the work currently being done by humans, but 80 percent thought their own job would still exist in that time frame.
Studies trying to estimate job losses caused by advances in robotics and AI vary wildly.
What counts as “AI” and when is a job “Destroyed” are up for debate.
Historically it’s the cheerier scenario that’s been true: technology usually leads to a net gain in jobs, destroying some professions but creating new ones in the process.
Enough people are saying it is a problem, but not many individuals will look at their own job and think, “Yes, a computer could probably do all this.” This isn’t ignorance, either.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Americans Are Officially Freaking Out”

Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey, conducted in August and released on Wednesday.
A significantly larger proportion of Democrats reported feeling stress than independents and Republicans.
When the APA surveyed Americans a year ago, 52 percent said they were stressed by the presidential campaign.
A majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59 percent, said “They consider this to to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.” That sentiment spanned generations, including those that lived through World War II, the Vietnam War, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
“Policymakers need to understand that this is an issue that is important to people, that the uncertainty is having an impact on stress levels, and that stress has an impact on health status,” Evans said, pointing out that the relationship between stress and health is well-established.
Most Americans-56 percent-said they want to stay informed, but the news causes them stress.
Women normally report higher levels of stress than men, though worries among both genders tend to rise or fall in tandem.
The report also notes that many Americans are finding at least one healthy way to feel better: 53 percent reported exercising or doing other physical activity to cope.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The ‘Nate Silver Effect’ Is Changing Journalism. Is That Good?”

Several years before the 2016 election, I set out to better understand the changes in how news organizations were using opinion data by interviewing journalists, polling analysts and research practitioners across a range of institutions, including major national news outlets and private industry.
Even if the 2016 polls were not nearly as far off as their detractors sometimes assume, methodologies are changing rapidly, newsroom resources are shrinking, and it has become easier than ever for anyone to sponsor their own junk survey, pass it off as social science and disseminate results to sympathetic audiences.
Sites like FiveThirtyEight have drilled into readers the importance of averaging across polls as a corrective to people’s tendencies to “Pick the poll numbers they like and disregard the rest,” as one reporter I interviewed put it.
To his credit, Silver and his colleagues have tried to guide journalists with easily digestible tips for reading polls “Like a pro” in an attempt to guard against the trap of false confidence, but the numbers themselves are often more compelling than the caveats.
Even in 2014 and 2015, I heard repeated concerns about whether the Nate Silver Effect on newsrooms might be causing some to embrace polling averages and forecasts as gospel, with election outcomes presumed to be preordained by the data weeks or months before votes are cast.
One polling analyst I spoke with described having “Fights with editors” over whether a “2-point lead” for one candidate constituted an actual lead, or a virtual dead heat due to normal polling error.
Even media organizations that continue to employ strict polling standards cited numerous examples in recent elections in which polls otherwise deemed unfit for coverage could not be ignored because they drove larger campaign news cycles.
While the conversation over the media’s use of data has centered narrowly around horse-race coverage, polls remain among the most valuable tools available to systematically gauge public opinion and make it matter-to give all segments of the public an equal chance to state their preferences concerning how the country ought to be governed.

The orginal article.