Summary of “I Made One Simple Financial Change and It Lowered My Spending”

The idea is to increase the pain of paying, especially with a credit card, by forcing myself to take note of what I’m spending.
Looking back at my bank-account statements from the past few years, I can see that my monthly discretionary spending dropped somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the five months after I introduced this system.
Perhaps the more definitive success of my system is the fact that, even as I have begun to earn more money, my monthly spending has remained more or less the same-a fact that I attribute in part to the increased clarity of my cash flow.
“Making a list of spending is very useful,” he told me, and said I’d successfully devised a way to increase my pain of paying.
Another thing to consider when making spending decisions, Ariely says, is what one could be buying instead with the same money.
The conventional way of thinking about budgeting, he says, usually “Puts a lot of blame on people when they’re spending money on things that give them pleasure. There’s a sort of puritanical aspect, like, I caught this person going to Starbucks.” He continued, “I think the real goal of budgeting is to make sure that you’re spending your money on the things that are the most valuable and enjoyable for you.” He also made the point Loewenstein did about “Big-ticket items,” but said he thinks my system is a good way to make sure someone’s nonessential spending goes toward things they enjoy.
Hearing all this feedback about my personal-finance system made me a bit discouraged about the dynamics that shape spending.
What would create such a culture? There is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which provides high-level government oversight, and there are small individual actions, but there isn’t something in between-a powerful advocacy group, a mainstream cultural movement, or something else not yet built or imagined-that serves as a counterweight to the pressure on Americans to spend.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Goals Don’t Replace Systems -and Vice Versa”

People who claim that setting goals are a bad thing are out of their minds.
I know there’s a lot of confusion about goals and systems these days.
A lot of us share the idea that you either have a system or set goals.
So in this article, I’ll explain why goals and systems complement each other, and why I have both.
Why You Need Goals Every time I read about people who claim you shouldn’t set goals, I get upset.
One thing we must be aware of is that we keep an open mind: Goals and systems change all the time.
Change your goals and systems as your priorities change.
Why You Need Higher Goals We’ve established that we need both goals and systems to live a good life.

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 “Quanta Magazine”

Their properties are shifted only by a so-called “Scaling exponent” – and scientists are discovering that these exponents are often simple numbers like $latex frac $ and $latex -frac $. For example, particles’ speeds at one instant can be rescaled, according to the scaling exponent, to give the distribution of speeds at any time later or earlier.
Berges is widely seen as leading the theoretical effort, with a series of seminal papers since 2008 elucidating the physics of universal scaling.
Experts say universal scaling is also helping to address deep conceptual questions about how quantum systems are able to thermalize at all.
As you stir the coffee, the energy you inject into the system cascades down the spatial scales into smaller and smaller eddies, with the rate of the transfer of energy described by a universal exponential decay factor of $latex -frac $, which Kolmogorov deduced from the fluid’s dimensions.
Now physicists have been finding essentially the same cascading, fractal-like universal scaling phenomenon in far-from-equilibrium dynamics.
According to Berges, energy cascades probably arise in both contexts because they are the most efficient way to distribute energy across scales.
There’s one key difference between the universal scaling phenomenon in far-from-equilibrium systems and the fractal eddies in a turbulent fluid: In the fluid case, Kolmogorov’s law describes energy cascading across spatial dimensions.
In the new work, researchers see far-from-equilibrium systems undergoing fractal-like universal scaling across both time and space.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Exclusive: Critical U.S. Election Systems Have Been Left Exposed Online Despite Official Denials”

For years, U.S. election officials and voting machine vendors have insisted that critical election systems are never connected to the internet and therefore can’t be hacked.
While no one is suggesting that any of these systems have been manipulated or hacked, the findings highlight how little local and federal election officials understand how these critical election systems are really configured and connected, and the extent to which they are beholden to what the vendors tell them.
What’s not generally known by the public about ES&S election systems is that the company’s entire configuration for transmitting election results-from the modem to the SFTP server-is not certified by the Election Assistance Commission, which oversees the testing and certification of voting equipment at the federal level.
The researchers began looking for connected systems in July of 2018 after seeing repeated comments from state and local election officials as well as federal officials with the Election Assistance Commission, that voting machines and backend election systems are never connected to the internet.
“The configurations show TCP-IP configuration and ‘SSL Optional,’ making it clear that at least the vendors know their systems are connecting through the internet, even if their election official customers do not realize it or continue to insist to the public that the systems are not connected to the internet,” Skoglund said.
One of the most dense states for online election systems was Florida, where the researchers found a number of connected systems that they believe belong to Bradford, Charlotte, Flagler, Wakulla, Miami-Dade, and Pasco counties, and one other county they’re unable to identity from the IP address.
Some of the systems do pop up online only around election times, but they tend to remain online about a month before disappearing, not a few minutes.
The fact that half of the systems were still online last week highlights how new efforts by the federal government and information-sharing groups to warn election officials about known threats and vulnerabilities don’t work if the message doesn’t get to the people who can actually take the systems offline or if local election officials simply don’t act on the information they receive.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Was E-mail a Mistake?”

The tubes were installed in the early nineteen-sixties, as part of an elaborate, vacuum-powered intra-office mail system.
According to oral histories maintained by the C.I.A., employees were saddened when, in the late nineteen-eighties, during an expansion of the headquarters, this steampunk mail system was shut down.
The C.I.A.’s tube system is a defining example of one of the major technological movements of the twentieth century: the push to create what communication specialists call “Asynchronous messaging” in the workplace.
As message slips piled up on office desks, what seemed to be missing was a system of practical asynchronous messaging: a way for me to send you a message when it was convenient for me, and for you to read that message when it was convenient for you, all at speeds less sluggish than that of intra-office mail.
If such a system could be built, managers thought, then efficient non-real-time collaboration would become possible: no more missed-call slips, no more waiting for the mail cart.
In such a system, communication would be closer to real time, with messages being passed back and forth within tight and predictable time frames.
A major implication of research into distributed systems is that, without synchrony, such systems are just too hard for the average programmer to tame.
In 2013, Leslie Lamport, a major figure in the field of distributed systems, was awarded the A. M. Turing Award-the highest distinction in computer science-for his work on algorithms that help synchronize distributed systems.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inflammation’s Hidden Role in Weight Loss”

To figure out how such an immune change could cause obesity, they tested the biomes of the mice with and without the immune alteration.
Those with an altered immune system had fewer Clostridia and more Desulfovibrio, and this microbial balance helped the gut absorb more fats from food.
Read: How the immune system controls social behavior.
It does so by regularly mounting low-level immune responses to keep populations of bacteria in check.
“The gut is under a constant state of inflammation, so to speak-constant immune stimulation from all the microbes,” says Stephens, pushing back on the common misconception that inflammation is always bad. The role of the immune system in the gut is to maintain balance.
“Although we know that, on the balance, diet is the strongest contributor to gut microbiome composition,” he said, this study suggests that when immune control of the colon breaks down, growth can become unchecked and cause problems with metabolic regulation.
Lindemann says the fact that the immune system regulates the inhabitants of the small intestine is well established.
The very ideas of “Nutritional value” and “Calorie content” of food seem to vary based on the microbial population of the person eating it and, potentially, her immune status.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking”

In the past, intellectual debt has been confined to a few areas amenable to trial-and-error discovery, such as medicine.
As we begin to integrate their insights into our lives, we will, collectively, begin to rack up more and more intellectual debt.
In each individual case, accruing the intellectual debt associated with a new drug may be a reasonable idea.
Could we create a balance sheet for intellectual debt-a system for tracking where and how theoryless knowledge is used? Our accounting could reflect the fact that not all intellectual debt is equally problematic.
Intellectual debt can accumulate in the interstices where systems bump into each other, even when they don’t formally interconnect.
Without anything resembling a balance sheet, there’s no way to determine-either in advance or retrospectively-whether any particular quantity of intellectual debt is worth taking on.
The increase in our intellectual debt may also involve a shift in the way we think-away from basic science and toward applied technology.
Businesspeople may be perfectly satisfied by such unexplained knowledge, but intellectual debt will still be building.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Antonio Damasio Tells Us Why Pain Is Necessary”

In “Why Your Biology Runs on Feelings,” another article in this chapter of Nautilus, drawn from his new book, Damasio tells us “Mind and brain influence the body proper just as much as the body proper can influence the brain and the mind. They are merely two aspects of the very same being.”
The nervous systems are in constant interaction and cooperation with the rest of the organism.
The reason why nervous systems exist in the first place is to assist the rest of the organism.
Organisms with nervous systems can image these states.
It’s important to understand that nervous systems serve the organism and not the other way around.
Once organisms got to the point of being so complex that they had an endocrine system, immune system, circulation, and central metabolism, they needed a device to coordinate all that activity.
Now, in the process of doing that, over millions of years, we have developed nervous systems that do plenty of other things that do not necessarily result in coordination of the organism’s interior, but happen to be very good at coordinating the internal world in relation to the outside world.
You do not invent a moral system or a government system alone or for yourself alone.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Brain Is On the Brink of Chaos”

The brain’s main function is to protect us, like an umbrella, from chaos.
More generally, chaos could grant our brains a great deal of computational power, by exploring many possibilities at great speed.
Motivated by these and other potential advantages, and with an accumulation of evidence in hand, neuroscientists are gradually accepting the potential importance of chaos in the brain.
2, 3.More evidence for chaos in the nervous system can be found at the level of global brain activity.
If chaos plays an important role in the brain, then neural computations do not operate as a static read-out, a lockstep march from the transduction of photons to the experience of light, but a high-dimensional dynamic trajectory as spikes dance across the brain in self-choreographed cadence.
Chaos encourages us to think of certain disorders as dynamical diseases, epileptic seizures being the most dramatic example of the potential failure of chaos.
16 Chaos might also serve as a signature of brain health: For example, researchers reported less chaotic dynamics in the dopamine-producing cells of rodents with brain lesions, as opposed to healthy rodents, which could have implications in diagnosing and treating Parkinson’s and other dopamine-related disorders.
Chaos in the brain undermines glib caricatures of human behavior.

The orginal article.