The optimist underestimates how difficult it is to achieve real change, believing that anything is possible and it's possible now. Only by confronting head-on the reality that all progress is going to be obstructed by vested interests and corrupted by human venality can we create realistic programmes that actually have a chance of success.
“A growing body of research shows that when you share a laugh with someone, you’re mirroring not only one another’s body language, but also the hormonal and neuronal activity, prompting a mutual investment in each other’s well-being. That’s a bond of kindness–and you’ll need acts of kindness to make it in any career.”
Bruce Fieler’s New York Times article about the importance of family narratives is fascinating. Apparently understanding where our families come from and the good and bad times they've had is the “best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.”
Evidently, it’s not just the knowledge, but also the process by which these things came to be known - repeated family conversations at meal times, for example. Apparently that shared knowledge creates an “intergenerational self,” a belief that creates resilience from the knowledge that we are part of something that started long before.
"While we often assume that people become powerful because of their superior thinking skills, research shows that the relationship flows in the other direction as well: power changes the way a person thinks, making them better at focusing on relevant information, integrating disparate pieces of knowledge, and identifying hidden patterns than people who are powerless."
Sarah Regan has created Little Flowers, offering just one bunch of amazing flowers fresh from the markets each day for just $25, including delivery. Each day the bunch on offer is posted on the website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and usually sells out within hours. Lovely.
Brilliant article on "loser-generated content" by Charlie Brooker:
"TV advertising used to work like this: you sat on your sofa while creatives were paid to throw a bucket of shit in your face. Today you're expected to sit on the bucket, fill it with your own shit, and tip it over your head while filming yourself on your mobile. Then you upload the video to the creatives. You do the work; they still get paid."
Absolutely loving the sound of taxi finder mobile app, Uber. Apparently it shows you all the cabs nearby and connects you with the closest one. You pay via credit card and the taxi then heads your way, with you watching it approach via the app (if you're bored). You have the details of who you're travelling with and they have the details of who they're carrying. And after every trip you're asked to rate the driver/passenger, and a receipt is sent to your email address.
This is a classic case of Ask Culture meets Guess Culture. In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it's OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an answer. This is Ask Culture.
In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure the answer will be yes. Guess Culture depends on a tight net of shared expectations. A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won't even have to make the request directly; you'll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.