Summary of “How Firefox is using Pocket to try to build a better news feed than Facebook”

On this week’s episode of Converge, Pocket founder and CEO Nate Weiner tells us why he sold his company to Mozilla, and how he’s working to build a better version of Facebook’s News Feed into the Firefox browser.
Pocket, which lets you save articles and videos you find around the web to consume later, now has a home inside Firefox as the engine powering recommendations to 50 million people a month.
“We’re testing this really cool personalization system within Firefox where it uses your browser history to target personalized , but none of that data actually comes back to Pocket or Mozilla,” Weiner said.
In a world where trust in social feeds has begun to collapse, Pocket offers a low-key but powerful alternative.
As Mozilla has integrated it deeper into Firefox, Pocket has become a significant source of traffic for some publishers, The Verge included.
Over time, Weiner says, he hopes Pocket will help publishers identify loyal new audiences in ways that can offer new revenue sources to support journalism.
You can listen to it here or anywhere else you find podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music, Spotify, our RSS feed, and wherever fine podcasts are sold.
Nate Weiner: We’re testing this really cool personalization system within Firefox where it uses your browser history to target personalized , but none of that data actually comes back to Pocket or Mozilla.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How George Orwell Predicted the Challenge of Writing Today”

Orwell was writing in 1946, five or seven years before scholarly works by Hannah Arendt, on the one hand, and Karl Friedrich, on the other, provided the definitions of totalitarianism that are still in use today.
In “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” Orwell predicted this negotiation, and named it doublethink.
Orwell notes that “Literature has sometimes flourished under despotic regimes.” It is having to cater to the instability imposed by totalitarianism-having to constantly adjust one’s world view-that is murderous to the writer, or at least to the writing.
One might reasonably suspect that censorship and fear were to blame, that better writing existed but had to be hidden.
Orwell suggests one more way in which totalitarianism kills writing.
Find a way to describe happiness as a public good, and the current pervasive crisis of mental health in a way that doesn’t involve the frames of norms and pathology, or the language of “Fixing” people.
Above all, find a way to describe a world in which the way things are is not the way things have always been and will always be, in which imagination is not only operant but prized and nurtured.
If one insists on writing the truth of those hopes-or, rather, if many writers do this-the result may not be great literature, which is always a miracle, but it will exercise the imagination.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This One Simple Thing Is Absolutely Necessary To Be An Expert”

If your process is unique enough, you can build your brand around it and it can become part of your brand’s offerings-you can actually leverage it as a distinct selling point.
In its purest form, process is “The way you work.” Most people have some kind of process, whether they mean to or not, and if you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably formed some habits that you repeatfor better or worse.
Branding and selling your known-and-proven process has tons of benefits and is one of the necessary parts of being seen as an expert: It instills trust in clients that they will get the promised results, it makes it easier to sell your services as both you and the client know exactly what to expect, it gives you the ability to confidently, simply, and succinctly explain your services to prospects, and once your clients sign on the dotted line, your job becomes much easier because you have clear steps to follow that you are confident you can execute because you have the experience.
Our Brandup process is not a gimmick or even about speed, it’s an expression of our no-nonsense approach to creating brands and trimming all the fat and waste so that all you are left with is what you actually needed in the first place: a BA brand that is effective in getting you noticed, remembered and shared.
Laura kept getting stuck on trying to articulate and define her brand; but, despite not knowing what her brand was she did have a process.
In her case, getting aspiring writers all the way from start all the way to the finish line in a manageable time frame! She can now use her process as a foundation for her brand and message.
Your proven process can be that special, stand out thing.
If those aren’t enough of a reason to develop your branded process, consider this: once you have a proven, branded process, you you can eventually parlay that process into a more scalable model by selling the process itself.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘The Americans’ Series Finale Oral History”

Weisberg: We had no idea how we were going to get there, and we didn’t know the other pieces that you see in the finale.
Rhys: It’s six years of everyone going, “When’s Stan going to catch them?” You know? is an enormous decision that happens in an incredibly fleeting moment.
Taylor: The last scene I shot for the whole entire series was when we call Henry.
Fields: The truth is that departure of Paige, exactly how it was going to turn out, we didn’t know.
We certainly didn’t know it was going to be on a train.
Long: We didn’t know in advance what song was going to go there.
So we were really trying to explore what was going to be in her heart, and what’s going to be on her unconscious as she makes this final journey.
Fields: I’d say that there is no scene in the history of The Americans that we spent more time working on in the editing room than the final scene of the two of them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Elisabeth Moss, Thandie Newton and Claire Foy at the Drama Actress Roundtable”

Going forward the producer noted, “No one gets paid more than the queen.” The admission ignited fury and was quickly followed by an apology for dragging Foy and Smith to “The center of a media storm.” But the saga was not without a silver lining: HBO stars Thandie Newton and Maggie Gyllenhaal quickly saw their own salaries boosted to match their male counterparts’, as they reveal to their compatriots at the Hollywood gathering.
FOY I [could have] kept my mouth shut and said, “I have nothing to say, I’m a robot.” I was part of a really incredible show that I’m really proud of and grateful for, but that shouldn’t stop me from having an opinion about something that I have been brought into the center of.
NEWTON That’s what’s happened with HBO now because of what show.
ELISABETH MOSS When you’re leading the show and you’re the face of the show and a lot of people are making a lot of money off of that face and your work, it does put you in an empowered position.
FOY I can’t imagine being an executive producer on a show and me saying something and them not just going, “But you’re just an actor.”
They’re not called fake orgasms, but you cut in on the end of a sex act between a sex worker and a John and you hear this loud orgasm, and I said to David Simon, the man running our show, “I think you need to see a real feminine orgasm in order to show the contrast and to show that these are performative. It will illuminate the misogyny and the performance and all that stuff.” When I first said it to him, he pretended to spit his water back in his cup.
FOY If people didn’t see you that way, you don’t get sent those parts?
MOSS Luckily, I work in a really incredibly collaborative atmosphere on my show that I’ve never experienced before – and I’ve been around for a while.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Michael Pollan: Can Psychedelics Save the World?”

In his new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Pollan shifts his lens away from food and onto the world of hallucinogenic medicines, in which people are tripping – both legally and illegally – on LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics in order to heal mental and emotional afflictions.
A solid quarter of the book is devoted to the complicated past of psychedelic research in the mental health community, while a considerable number of pages are spent describing various brain functions, and how certain psychedelics interact with our minds to enhance our thinking, and possibly improve our lives.
We met on a Sunday morning in a Manhattan apartment to discuss the new book, and what Western culture might stand to learn from a larger conversation around psychedelics.
I’m curious why you didn’t make the subtitle longer?[Laughing] Ran out of space! I’m trying to get across that this is not simply a book about psychedelics.
It’s a book about what psychedelics teach us about the mind.
The fact is by looking at the effect of psychedelics on the mind you learn a lot about the mind and you learn about depression and you learn about dying and about addiction and transcendence.
Psychedelics came to Western culture shorn of all that thousands of years of wisdom, and that’s why we got into trouble in the Sixties with it, to the extent we got to trouble.
So I’m curious how can psychedelics help us unlearn things that hold us back in our lives?It allows you to sneak up on your life and see it from a different perspective.

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 Hard Things You Need to Start Doing for Yourself on Hard Days”

On particularly hard days when I feel that I can’t endure, I remind myself that my track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far.
How can we ever deal with real life and true love and passionate work if we’re afraid to feel what we really feel? We need to feel pain, just as we need to feel alive and loved and driven.
You should stand up for your right to feel pain, to endure it, to deal with the hard realities of life and love and work, as you grow into the strongest, wisest, truest version of yourself.
You need to start questioning the stories you’re telling yourself.
Whenever you feel tension and drama building up inside you, ask yourself.
Do your best to consciously detach yourself from the story you’re telling yourself.
Being able to distinguish between the negativity you imagine and what is actually happening in your life right now is an important step towards living a happier life.
If you haven’t pushed yourself in hundreds of little ways over time, of course you’ll crumble on that one day that things get really challenging.

The orginal article.

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.

The orginal article.

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.

The orginal article.

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.

The orginal article.