Summary of “People in open-concept homes are realizing the walls were there for a reason”

Wait, what?!? For decades, Open Concept, and the togetherness-loving, friend-filled lifestyle it was supposed to bring, has been a home buyers’ religion, the one true way to live.
There may be few real estate trends as enduring or as aspirational as open concept – the name realtors and home designers gave to vast living spaces that are all about happy-together time.
“Overall, the open concept was a reaction against years of small, low-ceilinged living, which felt restricting and stuffy to a new generation of home buyers.”
Oh, open concept, how you seduced us, made us believe that the fault is not in ourselves, but in our walls.
As real estate agent Kathy McSweeney, of Collins & Demac Real Estate in Shrewsbury, put it: “Whether [buyers] entertain or not, when they’re looking for a new home, they picture themselves entertaining. They want that big open space.”
Others get seduced by the fantasy of living in a pristine minimalist space – per every photo ever taken of an open concept home – only to forget that when your first floor is one room, there’s no place for clutter to hide.
Researchers have looked at what open space means in the workplace, and home buyers might want to take note.
Better hope you don’t have an open floor plan there, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Pick a Career”

This post isn’t me giving you career advice really-it’s a framework that I think can help you make career decisions that actually reflect who you are, what you want, and what our rapidly changing career landscape looks like today.
The particulars of your career also often play a big role in determining where you live, how flexible your life is, the kinds of things you’re able to do in your free time, and sometimes even in who you end up marrying.
On top of your career being the way you spend much of your time and the means of support for the rest of your time, your career triples as your primary mode of impact-making.
In the cook-chef post, I designed a simple framework for how a chef makes major career choices.
The overlapping area contains your good career path choices-good arrows to draw on your Career Map.
For a career option to qualify for your Reality Box, your potential in that career area has to measure up to the objective difficulty of achieving success in that area.
If you can figure out how to get a reasonably accurate picture of the real career landscape out there, you have a massive edge over everyone else, most of whom will be using conventional wisdom as their instruction booklet.
Eric Barker’s blog is full of actual data that can help with career choices, like this post on what makes a career fulfilling or this one on the importance of mentors.

The orginal article.

Summary of “4 reasons you can’t seem to get your message across”

4 minute Read. How many times has your boss told you to get to the point when you’re trying to explain something-whether it’s giving a speech, or outlining the reason why you chose a particular approach over another? No matter how hard you try, you still can’t seem to do it.
To get to the point, you have to learn how to jump to a conclusion.
Just as a diver needs a springboard to launch into a dive, you need a structure to get to the point.
Having observed thousands and thousands of businesspeople talking, I noticed that the speaker who got to the point used an oral bullet point structure.
Next time you feel that pressure to jump into the conversation, begin by rephrasing what you’re trying to connect your message to, and you’ll discover how quickly you can get to your point with power and precision.
To get to the point, you need to focus on strategy-why does the audience care? You need to focus on calculating your best shot, not covering it up.
By shifting from fear to focus, you’ll be able to get to the point and increase your odds of making a difference through your message.
Guess what? Your audience doesn’t want to be dazzled by your brilliance-they want to get your point quickly.

The orginal article.

Summary of “An Oral History of ‘Office Space'”

Pitts: Office Space was my first movie, so you don’t know if something is funny if you went off script and tried your own thing until after they yell “Cut.” I think [Mike] told me one of the women on the crew fell out of her seat when they screened that scene.
Part VI: “It Looked Like a Big Bird Movie.” With a mostly unknown cast and subtle, specific humor, Office Space wasn’t the easiest sell.
Part VII: “Are People Coming Up to You About This Movie?” After a swift exit from theaters, Office Space started finding its audience on VHS and, eventually, on DVD. It became a staple rerun on Comedy Central two years later, as the network aired the movie more than 30 times over the next couple of years.
Eshelman: I worked with Ed McAvoy on a movie later that took place in a college, and he said it was so funny because he was doing a scout going down a hallway and people were playing Office Space in their rooms.
I remember one of the people at Fox high up who didn’t really understand Office Space, he saw Mike on the lot and said, “Mike! Office Space. Who knew?!” Well, we did!
Rappaport: I think anybody who has ever worked in an office identifies with this movie.
It didn’t help that the packet they sent to me [was] the review of the British Office saying “The Office succeeds where movies like Office Space failed.”
Dave Grohl: All over the world, every band I know, their favorite tour-bus movie is Office Space.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Toni Morrison Fostered a Generation of Black Writers”

How Toni Morrison fostered a generation of black writers.
Morrison had on a white shirt over a black leotard, black trousers, and a pair of high-heeled alligator sandals.
Morrison positioned the white world at the periphery; black life was at the center, and black females were at the center of that.
Morrison’s view of contemporary black literature transcended the limitations of the “Down with honky” school of black nationalism popularized by writers like Eldridge Cleaver and George Jackson.
Situating herself inside the black world, Morrison undermined the myth of black cohesiveness.
“I really liked that book,” one black woman told Morrison after reading “The Bluest Eye.” “But I was frustrated and angry, because I didn’t want you to expose us in our lives.” Morrison replied, “Well, how can I reach you if I don’t expose it to the world?” Others, myself included, accused her of perpetuating rather than dismantling the myth of the indomitable black woman, long-suffering and oversexed.
With the deaths of Wright and Baldwin, Morrison became both mother and father to black writers of my generation-a delicate situation.
In 1978, “Song of Solomon” won the National Book Critics Circle Award, beating out Joan Didion’s “A Book of Common Prayer” and John Cheever’s “Falconer.” It was chosen as a main selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club-the first by a black since Wright’s “Native Son.” When “Tar Baby” came out, four years later, Morrison was on the cover of Newsweek, the first black woman to appear on the cover of a national magazine since Zora Neale Hurston in 1943.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Yanxi Palace: Why China turned against its most popular show”

The story of Yanxi Palace, a drama about life in imperial China, broke records when it was released last year.
It was streamed more than 15 billion times on China Netflix-like iQiyi and became the most watched online drama in China for 39 consecutive days.
“It could be that the show became too popular outside China,” says Mr Rosen.
So if a show is popular outside China but carries the wrong values, authorities might think it’s better to not have it at all.
President Xi Jinping is promoting the idea of the rise of China as peaceful, and that China believes in harmony.
Yanxi Palace paints an image of a China of intrigue and backstabbing.
“Historical dramas have been popular in China since the 1990s,” says Ms Koetse.
Both movies were successful in China and have received international praise – but they don’t depict the version of China that Beijing wants to world to hear.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Blocked Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple”

Not only am I boycotting their products, a technologist named Dhruv Mehrotra designed a special network tool that prevents my devices from communicating with the tech giants’ servers, meaning that ads and analytics from Google won’t work, Facebook can’t track me across the internet, and websites hosted by Amazon Web Services, or AWS, hypothetically won’t load. I am using a Linux laptop made by a company named Purism and a Nokia feature phone on which I am relearning the lost art of T9 texting.
It turns out, while Microsoft did buy Nokia’s mobile devices division for $7.2 billion in 2014, it sold Nokia’s “Feature phone assets” two years later for a painful write-down, $350 million, to Foxconn and to HMD Global, a Finnish firm helmed by a former Nokia executive.
Most “Nokia” phones are Android smartphones, but there’s a line of “Classic” phones, including the 3310, which run an operating system called FeatureOS made by Foxconn.
My Nokia 3310 is not a tech giant phone, but it’s certainly tech giant adjacent.
A writer I know pens an op-ed in the New York Times: “Hate Amazon? Try living without it.” A CNBC tech reporter reveals she gave up Facebook and Instagram for three months and that it “Made her a lot happier.” A CBS reporter tries and fails to quit Google.
“Several of the big tech firms have acquired rivals and inhibited competitors through predatory conduct,” she says, a topic that’s been in the news recently with the exposure of Facebook emails where CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about cutting off then-viral video service Vine’s access to the Facebook social graph.
Critics of the big tech companies are often told, “If you don’t like the company, don’t use its products.” I did this experiment to find out if that is possible, and I found out that it’s not-with the exception of Apple.
I still love using Google Maps or Waze when I’m driving to an unfamiliar place, texting far-away friends and family members, and sharing a beautiful photo on Instagram-but I have regained the ability to put my phone away.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ford CEO Jim Hackett Brings Design Thinking to Cars”

As drivers, “People want their stuff,” Mason said.
“More than anything, they want to use their own digital ecosphere. Or else they’re just going to stick the phone on the windscreen.”
“Now I think the relationship may have flipped-the vehicle is an accessory to the device.” That’s the kind of insight that previously would have surfaced late in the design process, when the company would ask for customer feedback on a close-to-finished product.
The idea is that you’ll end up spending less time redoing things-or designing features that people don’t want at all.
In China Ford is putting customers into comically primitive prototypes-foam body, cardboard seats-and asking them to role-play driving scenarios, teasing out preferences they might not have thought to articulate.
The back seat took on greater significance in the design process.
At Hackett’s Ford, you don’t move to the “Make” phase until you have a deep understanding of how people use their cars and, even more important, why.
“There’s a part of me that would want to spend all my time in here,” he told me while we were in the design studio.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Biggest Wastes Of Time We Regret When We Get Older”

When I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or mismanaging my daily tasks.
Not only did I look like an arse, I could’ve also saved a fair amount of time that day by simply asking my boss what he meant.
Like a lot of people, I made some common bad decisions that wasted both my time and the time of the person I was with.
Every time the thought comes back, simply remind yourself that you have already been forgiven, so there’s no reason to feel bad anymore.
It’s easy to waste time worrying about other people, too.
Don’t get me wrong – your friends and loved ones mean a lot to you, and you want to spend time nurturing them.
Regret is another big waste of time, so there’s no point in beating yourself up over these.
The sooner you learn from them the sooner you can free up your time and energy to live the life you want.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Know What You Want? Improve These 7 Universal Skills”

What does success look like? What do you want from life? What career do you want?
We think it’s the worst thing in the world if you don’t know what you want to do in life.
One of the biggest thinking errors that I’ve made was that I thought I needed to know what I exactly wanted to do with my life.
The truth is that no one knows what they truly want.
So it’s not important to know exactly what you want to do with your life.
It’s not even realistic to boldly claim “I know what I want!”.
If you can’t decide what direction you want to go in life, that’s automatically your #1 goal in life – to figure out where you want to go.
Persuasion: Learn how to get what you want in an ethical way.

The orginal article.