Summary of “The Case for the 6-Hour Workday”

The internet fundamentally changed the way we live, work, and play, and the nature of work itself has transitioned in large part from algorithmic tasks to heuristic ones that require critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.
Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp and author of It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work, said on my podcast, Future Squared, that for creative jobs such as programming and writing, people need time to truly think about the work that they’re doing.
“If you asked them when the last time they had a chance to really think at work was, most people would tell you they haven’t had a chance to think in quite a long time, which is really unfortunate.”
“People waste a lot of time at work,” according to Grant.
Cal Newport, best-selling author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, echoes Grant’s sentiments, saying that “Three to four hours of continuous, undisturbed deep work each day is all it takes to see a transformational change in our productivity and our lives.”
The team maintained, and in some cases increased, its quantity and quality of work, with people reporting an improved mental state, and that they had more time for rest, family, friends, and other endeavors.
Block out time in your calendar, work on one thing at a time, do the hardest thing first, try listening to binaural beats or use the Pomodoro technique, a time management method that uses a timer to break work down into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
Organizations are spending big money on digital transformation, but they could reap an immediate, and far more cost-effective transformational benefit just by changing the way they work, instead of what they use to work.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Julia Louis-Dreyfus Acts Out”

“Saturday Night Live” went on the air when Louis-Dreyfus was in high school, and she watched it with her family every week, rapt.
As the boss, Louis-Dreyfus has achieved the ensemble focus she craved at “S.N.L.”-in stark contrast to Selina’s management style.
Louis-Dreyfus got the news just as she was starting work again on “Veep.” “It was out of the blue,” she said.
“Given the fact that that heinous shit came out, I would simply say I’ve kept this under wraps out of reverence for my dearest Emma,” Louis-Dreyfus said.
Louis-Dreyfus, who is fifty-seven, had a memorable part in the 2015 sketch “Last Fuckable Day,” on the Comedy Central series “Inside Amy Schumer.” In it, Schumer is hiking through the woods when she happens upon Patricia Arquette and Tina Fey, feasting and drinking toasts to Louis-Dreyfus.
Out of character, Louis-Dreyfus wears jeans, casual sweaters, and Blundstone work boots-outfits that express a desire to fit in, and that do not draw attention to the fact that she has a body that doesn’t stop.
She went outside with her assistant, Rachel Leavitt, who took out her cell phone to record Louis-Dreyfus in front of a brick wall.
Hall, who is as fair and blond as the sisters Louis-Dreyfus grew up with, pulled a bottle of lotion out from behind his beach chair to prove it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s Almost Impossible to Be a Mom in Television News”

“Even if it’s unspoken, there is a very clear expectation that you will maintain a certain appearance if you’re a woman,” the former CNN anchor and NBC News White House correspondent Campbell Brown told me.
Finally, this is an industry in which almost everyone, especially on-air talent, works contract to contract.
Only a chosen few ever reach the highest levels of stardom-meaning that most working moms lack the power to make family-friendly demands when they see their next set of contract negotiations around the corner.
“Working mothers don’t have quite the leverage in contract negotiations as a single woman or a working male,” Robin Sproul said.
“Usually they’re balancing child care, time commitments, and an incredibly demanding job. If it’s working for them, they don’t want to do anything to disrupt it.”
Management, he says, seems uninterested in changing the institutional biases that work against moms, putting women in the position of having to choose between their careers and their families.
In one study, he asked about 500 women under the age of 30 who were working in television whether they thought they’d leave broadcasting in the next five years; 69 percent said yes or they didn’t know.
That’s not to say being a TV-news anchor makes work-life balance a breeze, but that role comes with a stabler schedule and less time on the road. A mom in these roles might miss seeing her kids in the morning, but she might also be able to pick them up from school every day, whereas a cable-news correspondent could be on the hook for nonstop live shots from dawn to dusk.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Set the Conditions for Anyone on Your Team to Be Creative”

If you don’t believe me, take the least creative person in your office out for lunch – someone who doesn’t seem to have a creative bone in their body.
The secret to unlocking creativity is not to look for more creative people, but to unlock more creativity from the people who already work for you.
The same body of creativity research that finds no distinct “Creative personality” is incredibly consistent about what leads to creative work, and they are all things you can implement within your team.
One of the things that creativity researchers have consistently found for decades is that expertise is absolutely essential for producing top-notch creative work – and the expertise needs to be specific to a particular field or domain.
So the first step to being creative is to become an expert in a particular area.
Look at any great body of creative work and you’ll find a crucial insight that came from outside the original domain.
More recently, a team of researchers analyzing 17.9 million scientific papers found that the most highly cited work is far more likely to come from a team of experts in one field working with a specialist in something very different.
As Pixar founder Ed Catmull put it in his memoir, Creativity Inc., “Every one of our films, when we start off, they suckOur job is to take it from something that sucks to something that doesn’t suck. That’s the hard part.” It is that kind of continual iteration that technology makes possible, and that makes truly great creative work possible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Influencer engagement: how people can earn $100,000 per Instagram post”

According to the influencer management platform Traackr, 72 percent of major brands say they are dedicating a sizable portion of their marketing budgets to influencers – people with a strong relationship to an audience who can heavily sway decisions like purchasing habits.
One person in this crowded and often cutthroat space is Joe Gagliese, one of the co-founders of Viral Nation, an influencer agency that boasts the ability to “Create the most viral, captivating and ROI-focused social media influencer campaigns for global brands.”
Today, Viral Nation has relationships with 10,000 influencers, and is the biggest influencer agency in the space.
Can you give me an example of how an influencer with a big following has proven their impact is equivalent to their follower numbers?
He’s an African-American influencer who talks about anxiety and depression, and his engagement rate is something like 30 percent, which is obscene.
The whole drive of an influencer, and what will get people clicking and buying, is to be creative.
Being an influencer takes hard work, it’s a full-time job, and you could be working at it for four years before you hit it big.
Update 11/28: This post has been updated with additional commentary from Gagliese on the issue of body positivity in the influencer field.

The orginal article.

Summary of “15 Worrying Things About the CRISPR Babies Scandal”

There is no way to tell whether He’s work did any good.
At the Hong Kong summit, He was asked whether the two children would be treated differently by their parents, who will know that they have been edited.
Speaking at the Hong Kong summit, he apologized, but only because news about his work “Leaked unexpectedly” before he could present it in a scientific venue.
In the wake of He’s bombshell, several scientists, including the CRISPR pioneer Feng Zhang and the stem-cell biologist Paul Knoepfler, have called for a temporary moratorium on similar experiments.
By contrast, after the news first broke, the organizing committee of the Hong Kong summit, which includes representatives from scientific academies in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and the United States, released a bland statement in which it simply restated the conclusions from its earlier report.
A second statement, released after the summit, was stronger, calling He’s claims “Deeply disturbing” and his work “Irresponsible.”
The second statement still discusses the creation of more gene-edited babies as a goal that should be worked toward.
“Although the chair opened the summit by invoking Huxley’s Brave New World, few of the discussions at the meeting, and nothing in the concluding statement, suggest a meaningful engagement with social consequences,” says the Center for Genetics in Society, a watchdog group.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Much to Tip at Restaurants in America”

How much? People are eating out more and more at restaurants that fall outside of the full-service box, and it’s not always entirely clear how they should adapt tips to these new dining styles.
Here’s what to tip in just about any situation, according to dining experts and the people for whom tips really matter.
Etiquette guide the Emily Post Institute may say between 15 and 20 percent is fine, but to tip well – and who wouldn’t want to tip well – 20 percent is the gold standard.
Eater NY chief critic Ryan Sutton says that 20 percent before tax is actually the minimum one should tip at a restaurant, “Though for extra good service, 20 percent after tax instead of before tax is nice.” He also says that if the restaurant comps you an item, you should factor the full price of the comped drink or dish into the final tip.
Gratuity-included restaurants: Don’t tip – really! Because of the many issues with tipping, some restaurateurs have made the switch to eliminate it altogether.
In the latter case, a dollar tip is perfectly acceptable, but if you are sitting down and being served by a person at anything other than a dive bar, you should tip as much as you would if you were sitting down for food.
“Before working in this setup, I’d tip between 15 and 18 percent. Now I always tip 20 on the total.”
Tsai says that over half of customers at Kopitiam tip, and it’s not uncommon to see a guest opt not to tip when ordering, but then leave cash at the end of the meal, after seeing how much the staff does.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Secrets of 13 of the world’s most productive people”

“Email used to stress me out. Now I can organize every conversation, and I go into the channel when I need to-I don’t check it every hour. Like, when I get up, the first thing I do is not look at my phone. The first thing I do is I take at least 10 deep breaths.” She demonstrates, seemingly shifting her mind from the cacophonous, dimly lit restaurant, where she’s occupying a prime corner table, to a mellower internal place: “Inhale … exhale; inhale … exhale. That really calms you down.”
“Sometimes you get out there and your body is feeling great, and you don’t have to push it. Sometimes you get out there and your legs feel like they’re 80 pounds apiece, and you gotta do a little extra.”
“I have a 6-year-old who likes to have milk at 6 o’clock every morning, so from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., he drinks milk, and my husband and I drink coffee. We talk and catch up on the news-Jim likes to hear it, I like to read it. After that, I work out for an hour, then go to work.”
“I’m on the phone quite a bit. I talk to congressional leaders and call people in different communities, formulating what I’m going to ask , and how I’m going to ask it. It’s all about the information you obtain. The right questions can help put something on the table and change procedures and policy.”
“Every family dinner is like I’m testing out my own products. Later, since we also have a team in China, we have night calls from 10 p.m. to after midnight quite a few times during the week.”
“I’ve never exchanged an email with somebody else who works at Slack. I check my email maybe once a day. It’s quite peripheral to how I work … A lot of my productivity around using Slack is knowing to prioritize what information I need to see. That means [heavily] muting channels or not joining channels, and”starring” the ones that are really important to me.
Founder and CEO, The Geek Factory, Inc. Work backward to map out how you’ll prepare for an event or meeting.
For more productivity tips, check out season 1 of Fast Company’s Secrets of the Most Productive People podcast.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Toward a More Radical Selfie”

In 2018, the ambivalence toward how to treat one’s digital self, how to create one’s “Character,” is a particularly unwieldy knot for women.
Is asserting self-love affirming and feminist, or is it playing into age-old misogynist reductions of women as fetish objects? Where do hashtag trends like “I woke up like this” and “Celebrities without makeup” quite fit in? Do they acknowledge the pressures that women face in a gendered society, or do they simply obscure the means of beauty’s production? To break past this surface we must ask: where is the work? I mean, really, who seems to work anymore? All we see is women on vacation-cooly “Off duty” in the day, beguilingly gowned at night.
The selfie is a cover-up, hiding both the means of its own production and the true self.
This is a woman who understood the power of her work and the radical nature of depicting herself doing it.
The work of the piece and the work within the piece are indistinguishable.
Through her self-representation, insisted on challenging the very concept of “Women’s work.” Like the weavings Anni Albers would create almost two centuries later, Knowles’s embroidery deploys the palpability of homespun crafts onto the sphere of high art.
Instead of packaging our selves as commodities, can we regain control over our own image production? Can we break the machinelike monotony of these photographs, through which we have only tended toward crisis, and reintroduce a sense of tactility, of a handwoven thread? How can we repurpose “Women’s work” as an artistic statement once more? Even if a perfect truth is impossible in any representation, there is power to be found within our self-portraiture.
Knowles herself, at the beginning of her autobiography, satirically proposed to undertake “a slight sketch of myself in order to spare [others] the trouble,” arguing that “If I am my own Biographer, tis no more than these several Heroes, Philosophers, Statesmen and Bards have been before me As they wisely thought, so think I, that it’s much more honest to have drawn their own portraits.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Do you know your stuff? The ethics of the material world”

Are you sitting comfortably? If so, how much do you know about the chair that’s holding you off the ground – what it’s made from, and what its production process looked like? Where it was made, and by whom? Or go deeper: how were the materials used to make the chair extracted from the planet? Most people will find it difficult to answer these basic questions.
The slow and pervasive separation of people from knowledge of the material world brings with it a serious problem.
Until about a century ago, most people knew a great deal about their immediate material world.
Social structure itself tells of our increasing alienation from the material world.
Why? Not only because they can’t be objectively tested: these skills might be hard to set down on paper, or quantified, but proof of material intelligence is easy enough to see.
It’s as good a point of departure as any for an exploration of the material world.
Material things can even operate independently of language; they don’t require translation.
The good news is that, though it might appear otherwise, we actually are all in it together – together with one another, and with material things, which can give us purchase in an increasingly disorienting world.

The orginal article.