Summary of “Compare yourself to other people without causing psychological damage using a healthy strategy”

A comparison habit can wreak psychological havoc, generating envy and leading to depression, so common wisdom has long warned against it.
Writer Mark Twain once said, “Comparison is the death of joy,” and philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti told admirers, “I never compare myself with anybody, but I learn from everybody, including presumptuous idiots.”
So if you can’t quit, try turning the habit to your advantage by learning from comparisons.
Compare to gain liberating perspective, says Ming Hai, a Zen Buddhist monk and abbot of the Bailin temple near Beijing, China.
On the Aug. 4 episode of his weekly podcast, Shifu Says, the monk discussed comparisons, responding to a query from Peter, a 40-year-old Hong Kong teacher who has started avoiding his materially successful friends because he feels inferior to them.
My job involves constant comparison and it would be totally maddening if I didn’t get a handle on the habit.
Born in the 1970s to a pimp and teenage orphan in Dayton, Ohio, McCormick mastered advantageous comparison, using it to make his way from poverty to wealth.
In his 2017 autobiography I Got There, he explains that by daring to compare, he learned what was possible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Underestimate Donald Glover at Your Own Peril”

On a crisp afternoon in late January, Donald Glover arrived for the kind of meeting his younger, nerdier, Star Wars-loving self would never have dreamed possible.
As the head of FX, John Landgraf, puts it, “Underestimate Donald Glover at your own peril.”
Glover landed the part of Troy, a washed-up jock on Dan Harmon’s NBC cult comedy Community, and, through brilliant, laugh-out-loud improv, made the character his own.
“Writers sit in a room for hours – and there are 10 of them and they all went to Harvard – and they argue endlessly about what jokes to end a scene on, but a good portion of the ending lines to scenes in Community would be ones that Donald would just riff on the spot,” says Harmon, with whom Glover stays in touch and brainstorms ideas.
Glover lasted four seasons as an actor-for-hire before deciding he was ready to chase the next dream – and Harmon, like Fey, had no interest in standing in Glover’s way.
“Look at his ascent. If I were Donald Glover, I would try eating the moon, because we’re not so sure he can’t until he tries since everything he tries he succeeds at.” Harmon made one request of Glover: Stay on for a few episodes in season five to tie up the character’s storyline, which Glover agreed to do.
The latter began in 2010 with a tweet from Glover – who has since deleted his entire social media footprint – about wanting to play Spider-Man; it snowballed swiftly into a full-blown fan campaign, which then fueled a debate about the lack of diversity in superhero films and, years later, led to his casting in the July blockbuster.
“What you’re really doing is giving people an experience,” he explains, “And the people are happy already, so you just want to give them something they can remember.” The irony, of course, is that Glover himself doesn’t believe in marriage.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Conquer the Admissions Essay”

Here’s a tip: Choose a topic you really want to write about.
While the personal essay has to be personal, a reader can learn a lot about you from whatever you choose to focus on and how you describe it.
One of my favorites from when I worked in admissions at Duke University started out, “My car and I are a lot alike.” The writer then described a car that smelled like wet dog and went from 0 to 60 in, well, it never quite got to 60.Another guy wrote about making kimchi with his mom.
A car, kimchi, Mom’s upsizing – the writers used these objects as vehicles to get at what they had come to say.
THE EPIGRAPH Many essays start with a quote from another writer.
Some beginning writers think the present tense makes for more exciting reading.
SOUND EFFECTS Ouch! Thwack! Whiz! Whooooosh! Pow! Are you thinking of comic books? Certainly, good writing can benefit from a little onomatopoeia.
Replace “Was” in “The essay was written by a student; it was amazing and delightful” and you’ll get: “The student’s essay amazed and delighted me.” We’ve moved from a static description to a sprightlier one and cut the word count almost in half.

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Summary of “Email-etiquette rules every professional should know”

Despite the fact that we’re glued to our reply buttons, career coach Barbara Pachter says plenty of professionals still don’t know how to use email appropriately.
Pachter says to pay careful attention when typing a name from your address book on the email’s “To” line.
“It’s easy to select the wrong name, which can be embarrassing to you and to the person who receives the email by mistake,” Pachter says.
“My name is Barbara. I don’t like receiving emails addressed as ‘Hi Barb,'” Pachter says.
In a professional exchange, it’s better to leave humor out of emails unless you know the recipient well.
The cardinal rule: Your emails should be easy for other people to read. “Generally, it is best to use 10- or 12-point type and an easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman,” Pachter advises.
As the endless string of email hacks prove, every electronic message leaves a trail.
Whether you’re cc’ing a client on an email where your boss said something about them or including a coworker on an email chain where another coworker shares personal information, “No one likes to have someone else decide to cc someone without being asked first,” Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, an etiquette and civility expert and the author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom,” tells Business Insider.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Parents Can Do to Nurture Good Writers”

Steve Graham, a professor at Arizona State University’s Teachers College, has been researching how young people learn to write for more than 30 years.
How does reading at home help children become better writers?
Should a parent correct a child’s writing, or just be encouraging?
Is social media hurting children’s writing at school?
We can use that to our advantage, working with kids on how we’d put that writing in a more formal situation.
What should parents look for to assess the writing instruction at their child’s school?
It’s like we’ve imagined that kids have acquired what they need to know to be good writers by then! In middle and high school, the most common activities are fill-in-the-blanks on worksheets, writing single sentences, making lists or writing a paragraph summary.
So the first questions are: “Is my kid writing at school, and was he given writing assignments to work on at home? Do those require writing more extended thoughts for the purposes of analysis and interpretation?” That’s what they need to be able to do for college.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Kids Can’t Write”

The root of the problem, educators agree, is that teachers have little training in how to teach writing and are often weak or unconfident writers themselves.
A separate 2016 study of nearly 500 teachers in grades three through eight across the country, conducted by Gary Troia of Michigan State University and Steve Graham of Arizona State University, found that fewer than half had taken a college class that devoted significant time to the teaching of writing, while fewer than a third had taken a class solely devoted to how children learn to write.
“They’ve been successful in college, maybe even graduate school. But when you ask most teachers about their comfort with writing and their writing experiences, they don’t do very much or feel comfortable with it.”
Dr. Hochman’s strategy is radically different: a return to the basics of sentence construction, from combining fragments to fixing punctuation errors to learning how to deploy the powerful conjunctive adverbs that are common in academic writing but uncommon in speech, words like “Therefore” and “Nevertheless.” After all, the Snapchat generation may produce more writing than any group of teenagers before it, writing copious text messages and social media posts, but when it comes to the formal writing expected at school and work, they struggle with the mechanics of simple sentences.
The Common Core has provided a much-needed “Wakeup call” on the importance of rigorous writing, said Lucy M. Calkins, founding director of the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, a leading center for training teachers in process-oriented literacy strategies.
She doesn’t believe that children learn to write well through plumbing their own experiences in a journal, and she applauds the fact that the Common Core asks students to do more writing about what they’ve read, and less about their own lives.
Her training session lacks the fun and interactivity of the Long Island Writing Project, because it is less about prompting teachers to write and chat with colleagues and more about the sometimes dry work of preparing worksheets and writing assignments that reinforce basic concepts.
There is a notable shortage of high-quality research on the teaching of writing, but studies that do exist point toward a few concrete strategies that help students perform better on writing tests.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Meet Michael Green, Writer on 4 Major 2017 Movies”

When Michael Green first started out as a screenwriter, he read every script he could get his hands on.
Unlike such showboaters as Joe Eszterhas and Shane Black, Green has managed to churn out all these pages while keeping a remarkably low profile.
There is virtually no chance any of the customers in this West Village cafe on a rainy July morning, even if they’ve seen his movies, know Green’s name.
Green Lantern marked another important change in Green’s life.
“I started working on that with Greg and Marc, I had a girlfriend and a dog,” he says with a laugh, “And when it came out I had a wife, two kids and a dog.” But collaborators who know him best think marriage made Green a better writer.
Steve Asbell, the executive vp for production, connected him to James Mangold, who sought out Green to write Logan, Hugh Jackman’s farewell to the X-Men series.
Green said yes to them all – he even took a temp gig writing patter for the 2015 Oscars – juggling jobs like bowling pins.
Of all the movies he has coming out this year, Green has the most personally riding on Murder on the Orient Express.

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Summary of “The death of reading is threatening the soul”

I am reading many fewer books these days, and even fewer of the kinds of books that require hard work.
Soon I’m over at CNN.com reading Donald Trump’s latest tweets and details of the latest terrorist attack, or perhaps checking tomorrow’s weather.
Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows” analyzes the phenomenon, and its subtitle says it all: “What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” Carr spells out that most Americans, and young people especially, are showing a precipitous decline in the amount of time spent reading.
After an hour of contemplation, or deep reading, a person ends up less tired and less neurochemically depleted, thus more able to tackle mental challenges.
If we can’t reach Buffett’s high reading bar, what is a realistic goal? Charles Chu calculates that at an average reading speed of 400 words per minute, it would take 417 hours in a year to read 200 books-less than the 608 hours the average American spends on social media, or the 1,642 hours watching TV. “Here’s the simple truth behind reading a lot of books,” says Quartz: “It’s not that hard. We have all the time we need. The scary part-the part we all ignore-is that we are too addicted, too weak, and too distracted to do what we all know is important.”
We have to build a fortress with walls strong enough to withstand the temptations of that powerful dopamine rush while also providing shelter for an environment that allows deep reading to flourish.
For deep reading, I’m searching for an hour a day when mental energy is at a peak, not a scrap of time salvaged from other tasks.
I’m still working on that fortress of habit, trying to resurrect the rich nourishment that reading has long provided for me.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Scientists and Philosophers Should Take Advantage of a Child’s Age of Reason”

The ancient Greco-Romans talked about “The age of reason,” the period around the age of seven when children begin to use their rational faculties, which they saw as crucial to the moral formation of an individual, an idea that modern developmental psychology supports.
For this reason, I take it as obvious that we should write science and philosophy books for children and teenagers.
An Amazon search for “Evolution,” for instance, presents the following raw data: 29,840 titles under “Biology”, but only 184 under “Children & biology.” The category doesn’t even show up in conjunction with “Teen & young adults,” likely indicating an even lower number of offerings.
So why is it that many science and philosophy popularizers-including yours truly-don’t make more of an effort to imitate the alleged counsel of Ignatius of Loyola? Again, I don’t have a technical study to draw from, but I can tell you about my personal experience: Writing well for children is really difficult.
If we, as a society, were serious about our children, then children’s education-especially for those beginning “The age of reason”-would be our highest priority.
The teachers of those children would be lionized like movie stars and athletes, and paid handsomely for their crucial work.
What can you do to help? Buy good science and philosophy books for your child, or for a child you know.
We would take a regular walk to his favorite bookstore in downtown Rome, where I would be allowed to range freely and to come out with at least one new book that piqued my curiosity.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What the Enron E-mails Say About Us”

Not long after the Enron Corporation imploded amid revelations of accounting fraud, in 2001, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seized the e-mail folders of a hundred and fifty-one mostly high-ranking employees, the better to discover the discoverable.
The Enron archive came to comprise hundreds of thousands of messages, and remains one of the country’s largest private e-mail corpora turned public.
One of the first projects to employ the Enron corpus was a self-described “Extensive benchmark study of e-mail foldering.” It used seven large accounts to help determine whether people organized their e-mail in ways that might be replicable by machine intelligence.
A pair of researchers at Queen’s University, in Canada, had some success applying “Deception theory”: the idea is that disingenuous e-mailers tend to minimize first-person pronouns, use more negative-emotion and action words, and write with “An excessive blandness.” Their search turned up a number of misconduct-related e-mails, although further analysis was still required as a final filter.
We learn as much about our social selves in the act of interpreting the Enron corpus as we do in the e-mails themselves.
This is the question least scrutinized in the Enron corpus, perhaps because reading two hundred thousand e-mails, let alone finding a unified, intended narrative in them, seems a hopeless project.
When the Enron scandal broke, last decade, e-mail was the most wanton kind of media.
Such work will tell us more about contemporary communication than another e-mail archive.

The orginal article.