Summary of “Smarter, Not Harder: How to Succeed at Work”

We each have 96 energy blocks each day to spend however we’d like.
Using this energy blocking system will ensure you’re spending each block wisely to make the most progress on your most important goals.
Think of your day as having 96 blocks of energy, with each block being a 15-minute chunk of time.
Not all of those blocks are direct productivity blocks – they can’t be unless we’re androids.
Sleeping for eight hours uses 32 blocks of your 96-block day.
That leaves 32 blocks for you to apply your energy toward keeping your job and doing something amazing.
If you get enough sleep, the other 64 blocks are amplified.
When it comes to the 32 blocks of work time you have to allocate, everything that’s not on your top-three list should be dropped.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Managers Don’t Matter and Why the U.S. Could Win the 2026 World Cup”

I caught up with Stefan over the phone and Simon via email to get their take on the state of world soccer before things kick off in Russia.
If you added up all the revenues generated by European soccer in 1990, it was less money than any one of the revenues generated by the NFL, the NBA, or MLB. However, today the revenues of European soccer actually exceed the combined reviews of those three leagues.
1 greatest soccer nation in the history of the world? Some might say Germany, but I think most of us still think that unbelievably disorganized and chaotic nation, Brazil.
Eight countries have won World Cups, and yet at the same time, I know that soccer, at least on a game-by-game level, is such a random game.
Remember also that the vast majority of countries in the world are too small or have too little soccer tradition to even hope to qualify for a World Cup more than once in a blue moon.
It’s chiefly because the training of players from age 6 is better in western Europe than anywhere else-which is why, e.g., Jürgen Klinsmann selected so many “European” players when he coached the U.S. Likewise, Morocco will probably kick off this World Cup with a team drawn entirely from their European diaspora.
Finally, the World Cup also might be in the U.S. So: The U.S. is going to win the 2026 World Cup.
There’s no reason to think that the U.S. couldn’t win the World Cup.

The orginal article.

Summary of “40 of the Best Villains in Literature”

Think of these as noteworthy villains, if it clarifies things.
Big-picture villain, the thing that causes everything to dissolve, and people to start christening their kittens and pushing them around in prams, has to be the global disease that left all the men on earth infertile.
Few villains are quite so aggressively ugly as Uriah Heep.
Some in the Lit Hub office argued that it was Julian who was the real villain in Donna Tartt’s classic novel of murder and declension, but I give Henry more credit than that.
Did you think the villain was the whale? The villain is not the whale-it’s the megalomaniac at the helm.
Who is really the villain in Rachel Kushner’s most recent novel? It can’t be Romy; serving a life sentence for killing a man who was stalking her.
The worst villain is the one who knows you best-the one you might even love.
The scariest motive is the lack of one-what Coleridge called Iago’s “Motiveless malignity.” The most interesting villain is the one who has even more lines than the titular hero.

The orginal article.

Summary of “30 Comedians Give Advice to Their Younger Selves”

“They’re balancing day jobs and night jobs and comedy and auditions and nothing has paid off yet. That can last a year. It can last three. It can take even longer if you’re so unique no one knows where to put you,” she says.
To celebrate Tucker’s ten-year anniversary documenting the New York comedy scene, Vulture asked the subjects of some of her earlier works one simple question: What advice would you give your younger self? The result is a collection of responses, both silly and sincere, revealing what wisdom these comedians wish they could impart to themselves five, eight, or even ten years ago.
Colin Jost at the Knitting Factory, December 6, 2009: “Wow. This photo was taken at the Knitting Factory the night I asked Michael Che to submit a writing packet to SNL. My advice to my younger self would be: Shake him down for money first. Then invest all that money in Kardashian emojis.”
Josh Gondelman after Lasers in the Jungle at Luca Lounge, April 19, 2012: “Hey, young me! In the future, your life will get better, and your body will get worse. But some things will remain the same: You’ll still have that shirt, and you’ll always look better in pictures that Mindy takes than you do in person.”
Rory Scovel at Whiplash at UCB Chelsea, March 8, 2010: “Take that fucking hat off you fucking clown. Also, get away from all the pot material sooner, you sound like a goddamn hippie up there, you beautiful, wonderful boy.”
“I’d tell him to cry a bit more and think a little less. Also, try to help as many people as possible. Absolutely kill the ego. Focus more on the spiritual journey that comedy will take you on. And watch Toy Story 3 every six months.” -Keith Lucas.
Hari Kondabolu after Whiplash at UCB Chelsea, May 17, 2010: “Dear Young Hari, you are hotter than you think. Know that. Also, take better care of yourself. Eat healthier and take breaks because careers are long and you will get tired. Also, the show you just performed on will rarely book you and you will never get a clear reason as to why this is the case. Ultimately, it will have no impact on your career.”
“The business will give you downtime, but that doesn’t mean you should take a break. And you make that same face in every picture, try switching it up.” -Oren Brimer.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Want to discover your sense of purpose at work? |”

Purpose boosts our capacity to make the greatest impact in the work we do and to connect with other people across cultures and contexts.
We feel energized, motivated and expanded when we have a sense of purpose.
According to Yale School of Management researcher Amy Wrzesniewski, people who consider their work to be a calling – in other words, they felt their work had purpose – tend to be more satisfied than those who think of their work as “Just” a job.
Having a purpose can help us overcome obstacles, a benefit that makes a difference at work.
The study’s goal was to identify the correlation between a student’s sense of purpose and the degree of difficulty with which he or she regarded the climb, to understand why some students make it up the Slope while others don’t.
What was interesting was that for people with either higher dispositional purpose – who perceived themselves as high in purpose in general – or who were asked to reflect on purpose briefly, the link between effort and slope overestimation was diminished.
Pay attention to how a shift in your perspective impacts your sense of joy and purpose.
Do you see any pattern to your sense of purpose? Does it tend to come with certain categories of things? Can you make any generalizations about your purpose from these specific instances?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The World Wants You to Think Like a Realist – Foreign Policy”

On the one hand, realist theory remains a staple of college teaching on international relations, and government officials often claim that their actions are based on some sort of “Realist” approach.
In short, it is still highly useful to think like a realist.
If you do think like a realist – at least part of the time – many confusing aspects of world politics become easier to understand.
If you think like a realist, for example, you’ll understand why China’s rise is a critical event and likely to be a source of conflict with the United States.
By the way, thinking like a realist helps you understand why China is no longer committed to Deng Xiaoping’s policy of “Peaceful rise.” That approach made sense when China was weaker, and it fooled plenty of Westerners into thinking China could be inveigled into being a responsible stakeholder that would meekly embrace various institutions and arrangements created by others back when China was weak.
If you think like a realist, you wouldn’t be surprised that the United States has repeatedly used military force in distant lands over the past 25 years and especially after 9/11. Why? For one simple reason: Nobody could prevent it.
As Kenneth Waltz warned way back in 1993: “One may hope that America’s internal preoccupations will produce not an isolationist policy, which has become impossible, but a forbearance that will give other countries at long last the chance to deal with their own problems and make their own mistakes. But I would not bet on it.” Good realist that he was, Waltz understood that the “Vice to which great powers easily succumb in a multipolar world is inattention; in a bipolar world, overreaction; in a unipolar world, overextension.” And that’s precisely what happened.
Thinking like a realist also helps you understand why states with radically different political systems often act in surprisingly similar ways.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The World Wants You to Think Like a Realist – Foreign Policy”

On the one hand, realist theory remains a staple of college teaching on international relations, and government officials often claim that their actions are based on some sort of “Realist” approach.
In short, it is still highly useful to think like a realist.
If you do think like a realist – at least part of the time – many confusing aspects of world politics become easier to understand.
If you think like a realist, for example, you’ll understand why China’s rise is a critical event and likely to be a source of conflict with the United States.
By the way, thinking like a realist helps you understand why China is no longer committed to Deng Xiaoping’s policy of “Peaceful rise.” That approach made sense when China was weaker, and it fooled plenty of Westerners into thinking China could be inveigled into being a responsible stakeholder that would meekly embrace various institutions and arrangements created by others back when China was weak.
If you think like a realist, you wouldn’t be surprised that the United States has repeatedly used military force in distant lands over the past 25 years and especially after 9/11. Why? For one simple reason: Nobody could prevent it.
As Kenneth Waltz warned way back in 1993: “One may hope that America’s internal preoccupations will produce not an isolationist policy, which has become impossible, but a forbearance that will give other countries at long last the chance to deal with their own problems and make their own mistakes. But I would not bet on it.” Good realist that he was, Waltz understood that the “Vice to which great powers easily succumb in a multipolar world is inattention; in a bipolar world, overreaction; in a unipolar world, overextension.” And that’s precisely what happened.
Thinking like a realist also helps you understand why states with radically different political systems often act in surprisingly similar ways.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What I Learned After Watching 24-Hour Surveillance Footage for a Week”

The news makes us think that major things are happening all the time.
Insecam is an online directory of unsecured security cameras, currently purporting to display around 73,000 live-streams from around the world.
Churches, restaurants, farms, streets, bars, private gardens, beaches, barber shops-they’re all there, streaming 24 hours a day within neatly organized categories such as “Farm” and “Traffic” and “Interesting.” Because the owners of these security cameras probably don’t know this footage is being streamed online, you’re basically an invisible observer.
I would view Insecam first thing in the morning, check in when I should have been doing other stuff at work, scroll through Insecam on the bus home, angling my phone screen so the other passengers wouldn’t notice that I was staring blank-faced at live footage of a potato factory in Bolton.
After watching 24-hour surveillance footage from around the world almost constantly for one week, my main takeaway is this: nothing is happening, most of the time.
If these Insecam streams are anything to go by, leisure is fleeting.
In a world where we define ourselves by what we do, and consider our environments in terms of all the things happening within them, Insecam is like a portal into what’s really going on-which is “Not much.” For me, its appeal doesn’t lie in voyeurism, as such, but in how it allows you to experience a sort of solitude, a specific type of observation, which isn’t possible when you’re physically present within those environments.
Scrolling through Insecam gives me the same curious, almost ASMR-like feeling as riding in an Uber between those dead hours of 3 AM and 5 AM, looking out the window, seeing a locked park and thinking, ‘What is going on in there?’ Insecam answers some of those questions; it quenches some of those curiosities and provides at least some relief when it comes to the mysteries of the human condition.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Trusting your gut could be the most rational way to make decisions”

Relying on your intuition generally has a bad reputation, especially in the Western part of the world where analytic thinking has been steadily promoted over the past decades.
Gradually, many have come to think that humans have progressed from relying on primitive, magical and religious thinking to analytic and scientific thinking.
In the psychological literature, intuition is often explained as one of two general modes of thinking, along with analytic reasoning.
Many take the division between analytic and intuitive thinking to mean that the two types of processing are opposites, working in a see-saw manner.
A recent meta-analysis- an investigation where the impact of a group of studies is measured – has shown that analytic and intuitive thinking are typically not correlated and could happen at the same time.
What’s more, while intuition is seen as sloppy and inaccurate, analytic thinking can be detrimental as well.
In other cases, analytic thinking may simply consist of post-hoc justifications or rationalizations of decisions based on intuitive thinking.
We need to accept that intuitive and analytic thinking should occur together, and be weighed up against each other in difficult decision-making situations.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Zadie Smith Remembers Philip Roth”

One time, I was having a conversation with Philip Roth about lane swimming, a thing it turned out we both liked to do, although he could swim much farther and much faster.
Roth in the swimming pool was no different than Roth at his standing desk.
At an unusually tender age, he learned not to write to make people think well of him, nor to display to others, through fiction, the right sort of ideas, so they could think him the right sort of person.
Roth always told the truth-his own, subjective truth-through language and through lies, the twin engines at the embarrassing heart of literature.
Like all writers, there were things and ideas that lay beyond his ken or conception; he had blind spots, prejudices, selves he could imagine only partially, or selves he mistook or mislaid.
Unlike many writers, he did not aspire to perfect vision.
Roth used every little scrap of what he had. Nothing was held back or protected from writing, nothing saved for a rainy day.
Roth was an unusually patriotic writer, but his love for his country never outweighed or obscured his curiosity about it.

The orginal article.