Summary of “Think you’re special? That just proves you’re normal”

Among the creepier experiences of modern life is one that happens to me, though definitely not just me, on a regular basis: I’ll meet a friend for a drink, he’ll recommend some book or film or product he thinks I’ll like, and then, within days – without searching for it online – I’ll start seeing targeted web ads for it.
There’s another reason Big Tech knows us so much better than we think, which is that each of us is far more normal than we realise.
All that’s really just a distraction from the brute statistical fact: on any given dimension, all else being equal, of course you’re probably normal.
Shorn of any value judgment, that’s all the word “Normal” means.
Your intelligence, your creativity, your tastes in culture or romantic partners, the degree to which the world has mistreated you: the chances are they’re much less quirky or extreme than you think, especially since we’ve each got strong ulterior motives to believe otherwise.
Or to put it another way: thinking you’re special is just one more way in which you’re normal.
This is the famous Lake Wobegon phenomenon known as “Illusory superiority”, which explains why most people think they’re above average at driving, at being unbiased, and various other things.
The trouble is that both the positive and negative forms of thinking you’re less normal than you are lead to misery – either by convincing you you’re unusually bad, or by turning life into an isolating, adversarial exercise in maintaining your sense of being unusually good.

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Summary of “Warren Buffett: Investing in the S&P 500 could make you a fortune [Video]”

Not surprisingly, Warren Buffett, the world’s greatest investor, has a vivid example of this which he shared with me during a visit earlier this year at Berkshire Hathaway headquarters in Omaha.
First, take yourself back, way back to America’s entry into World War II. Franklin Roosevelt was president and Buffett was a young boy.
As you may know young Buffett, unlike most kids his age interested in games or sports, was basically consumed by the stock market.
“Let me give you a figure that’ll blow your mind I think. I bought my first stock when I was 11 years old. It was the first quarter of 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor,” Buffett recalls.
Let’s pick it up with Buffett again: “The answer is about $400,000. So if I as a little kid had taken that 114 bucks I’d saved- shoveling snow or whatever I’d done, $400,000 today. [In] one person’s lifetime. That’s America. I mean, that isn’t me. You know, it’s the huge tailwind the American economy gives to any equity investor.”
“Now, you don’t wanna buy to hold for a year, you don’t wanna buy with the idea that you could sell it in two years or three years necessarily, to make money. You may- you could lose money that way,” he says.
“The S&P 500 companies have earned well over 10% on equity, often 15% annually for years, and years, and years, and years,” Buffett says.
Watch Warren Buffett LIVE at the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting exclusively on the Yahoo Finance app and desktop.

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Summary of “There’s no philosophy of life without a theory of human nature”

A strange thing is happening in modern philosophy: many philosophers don’t seem to believe that there is such a thing as human nature.
The existence of something like a human nature that separates us from the rest of the animal world has often been implied, and sometimes explicitly stated, throughout the history of philosophy.
Now, if human nature is real, what are the consequences from a philosophical perspective? Why should a philosopher, or anyone interested in using philosophy as a guide to life, care about this otherwise technical debate? Let’s explore the point by way of a brief discussion of two philosophies that provide particularly strong defences of human nature and that are aligned with cognitive science: existentialism and Stoicism.
The Stoics thought that there are two aspects of human nature that should be taken as defining what it means to live a good life: we are highly social, and we are capable of reason.
On closer examination, it is clear that for the Stoics, human nature played a similar role to that played by the concept of facticity for the existentialists: it circumscribes what human beings can do, as well as what they are inclined to do.
The parameters imposed by our nature are rather broad, and the Stoics agreed with the existentialists that a worthwhile human life can be lived by following many different paths.
It’s not only modern science that tells us that there is such thing as human nature, and it’s no coincidence that a number of popular modern therapies such as logotherapy, rational emotive behaviour therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy draw on ideas from both existentialism and Stoicism.
There is no single path to a flourishing human life, but there are also many really bad ones.

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Summary of “The words that change what colours we see”

Some people can’t see differences in colours – so called colour blindness – due to a defect or absence of the cells in the retina that are sensitive to high levels of light: the cones.
Besides our individual biological make up, colour perception is less about seeing what is actually out there and more about how our brain interprets colours to create something meaningful.
You might also like: Do we all see the same colours? The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had How the colour red warps the mind.
Synaesthesia is often described as a joining of the senses – where a person can see sounds or hear colours.
Although our eyes can perceive thousands of colours, the way we communicate about colour – and the way we use colour in our everyday lives – means we have to carve this huge variety up into identifiable, meaningful categories.
So colours like black, blue, and green are glossed as cool colours, while lighter colours like white, red, orange and yellow are glossed as warm colours.
Greek speakers, who have two fundamental colour terms to describe light and dark blue, are more prone to see these two colours as more similar after living in the UK. The way we perceive colours can also change during our lifetime.
Greek speakers, who have two fundamental colour terms to describe light and dark blue, are more prone to see these two colours as more similar after living for long periods of time in the UK. There, these two colours are described in English by the same fundamental colour term: blue.

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Summary of “How to Develop Empathy for Someone Who Annoys You”

How can you do that with a colleague who rubs you the wrong way? How can you foster curiosity instead of animosity?
Perhaps your colleague “Reminds you of someone else you don’t like.” Having “Self-awareness” and a deep “Understanding of our own psychological makeup” strengthens your capacity for empathy, she adds.
Keeping your “Demeanor calm and open” puts you in a better frame of mind to conjure empathy for your colleague, Fernandez adds.
To summon cognitive empathy for an annoying colleague, McKee recommends generating theories that might explain “Why this person says what he says, thinks what he thinks, and acts the way he acts. Unearth your curiosity,” she says.
Have a conversation If you still find this particular colleague challenging, you might “Have to have a conversation about how you work together,” Fernandez says.
Shy away from having a conversation with your colleague about how you can best work together.
Case Study #1: Be kind and be curious about your colleague’s perspective Gloria Larson, the president of Bentley College, says that having empathy for others is almost second nature to her.
Case Study #2: Make a special effort to learn your colleague’s backstorySandra Slager, chief operating officer at MindEdge, an online learning platform for companies and colleges, says that whenever she works with a challenging colleague, she reminds herself to “Assume the best” about that person.

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Summary of “Alexa Is a Revelation for the Blind”

Leaning in close is his trademark maneuver: Dad has been legally blind since age 18, the result of a horrible car crash in 1954.
Watching him try to use the Echo made me realize just how much technology forms the basis of contemporary life-and how thoroughly Dad had been sidelined from it.
A screen reader-a kind of software that provides assistance for people with vision problems-might have made computers more accessible to Dad, but arthritis hindered his fine-motor movement, and obstinacy made him spurn help of any kind.
“Dad often gets his commands wrong,” Mom reports, “And he gets frustrated when she does not understand him.”
Dad can dictate a message to Alexa, and it will arrive on my Echo, as well as in an app on my phone, as both a recording and a transcribed text message.
The recordings Alexa delivers to me are comprehensible, but Dad’s mumbles and pauses make the transcriptions incomplete or inaccurate.
While out to dinner with their neighbor Ron, my parents discover that he recently bought an Echo-making Ron another Alexa pen pal for Dad. Soon after, I ask Dad how his correspondence is going.
It doesn’t really matter whether Alexa provides Dad with useful knowledge or a seamless way to communicate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Sandra Oh on ‘Killing Eve'”

Sandra Oh is back, and for the first time in her career, as the lead of a major television show, in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s drama Killing Eve, which premiered Sunday night on BBC America.
As Eve Porowski, Oh plays a sharp but bored MI5 officer who’s working well below her potential until she becomes fixated on a female assassin named Villanelle who’s been taking hits out on people out across Europe.
Eve is a perfect showcase for Oh: droll and sarcastic with a keen intelligence that sees a challenge in Villanelle.
It’s the kind of role that raises the question: Why isn’t Sandra Oh getting lead roles? In an emotional phone conversation, Oh talked about the heartbreaking revelation she had when she first received the script for Killing Eve, her artistic practice, and hanging out with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
With Killing Eve, it’s not so much wanting to kill the other, it’s the fear of killing the other.
Do you think there’s something aspirational in how Eve sees Villanelle? She’s stuck behind a desk, not fulfilling her full potential, whereas Villanelle is.
It’s something Eve is also fascinated by and really probably needs to integrate herself.
Did you ever consider doing a British accent?Oh you know what? I asked them! Early on, it’s like, oh did you need that? Because if it is, I gotta start practicing right now.

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Summary of “Sandra Oh’s Been Waiting 30 Years for a Show Like Killing Eve”

These days the deeply pragmatic actress says she’s letting go of expectations: “That’s where I’m at. I can talk about the things that didn’t come my way that I think should come my way, but it’s just like-it’s a fuckin’ waste of time.” Besides, her four-year waiting spell eventually led to Killing Eve, a BBC America thriller premiering Sunday about a bored MI5 operative named Eve Polastri-played by Oh-who becomes obsessed with hunting down a psychotic assassin named Villanelle.
“It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s so easy! They just called you!'” she says of her Killing Eve casting.
“Right? In a way, yes, that’s true. But in another way, it took 30 years to get this call.”
In Oh’s hands, Eve Polastri is littered with quirks.
Like many actors, Oh usually avoids watching herself on-screen-but she made an exception for Killing Eve.
Killing Eve really is unique, not least because of Oh’s wide-ranging, witty performance and her kinetic chemistry with Comer.
She spoke up in the same way on the set of Killing Eve.
She grins, musing about Killing Eve just on the horizon.

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Summary of “31 Five-Second Reminders that Will Make Calmness Your Superpower”

Because most of your deepest pain and frustration on a daily basis will come from the way you respond, not the way life is.
High stress, relentless worry over work and life, and various forms of social anxiety are all a part of the modern way of being.
See how doing so prompts you to respond to life with a calmer and more effective mindset.
The meaning of everything in your life has precisely the meaning you give it.
The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big, that we fail to notice all the little things that give life its magic.
Take life day by day and be grateful for the little things.
Choose to find calmness within yourself, and make it your superpower today.

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Summary of “Ben Simmons Bursts His Own Bubble”

An NBA court is 94 feet wide and 50 feet tall, and at only 21 years old, Ben Simmons manipulates the geometry of his surroundings about as well as any player.
Basketball isn’t played in a vacuum, but Simmons does seem to operate in a physical bubble.
There will be at least 6 feet between Simmons and his closest defender on nearly every play he initiates.
A Martian catching an ESPN broadcast from outer space would wonder why Simmons is the only player in the NBA with an undetectable repulsion field.
On one play in Philadelphia’s blowout win over Minnesota on Saturday, Simmons just stopped.
No full-time point guard in NBA history has been as tall as Simmons.
There are 11 three-man units that allow fewer than 100 points per 100 possessions; seven of them are Sixers lineups, and six of them involve Simmons.
The way in which Simmons is defended is unlike all but one starting ball handler in the league, a player who had at one time exemplified the same joy that Simmons evokes today.

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