Why Simone de Beauvoir didn’t believe in being ‘a strong woman’


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Whereas boys were brought up to believe that they could value their own independence and creativity and have flourishing personal relationships, on Beauvoir’s analysis, a woman’s education too often led her to feel ‘torn’ between choosing freedom and choosing love. ‘Woman’, she wrote, is ‘doomed’ to feelings of failure and guilt, because if she succeeded at conforming to mythical ideals of femininity she would be a mirage, not a person. She was expected to embody ‘an inhuman entity: the strong woman, the admirable mother, the virtuous woman, and so on’. Because femininity is so closely associated with prioritising the needs of others, with being likeable and giving, when a woman ‘thinks, dreams, sleeps, desires, and aspires’ for herself, she becomes less feminine – which, in the social currency of 1949 at least, meant she became a worse woman.

The complete article

Kate Kirkpatrick — Aeon

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The lessons of Stephen Schwarzman, boss of Blackstone


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In this age, we look up to billionaires. Well, another of those writing about how he became what he became.

Mr Schwarzman has little time in the book for the little guy. Other financiers wring their hands over the wealth gap between bosses and workers. Not him. He was a rare executive in America’s Business Roundtable not to sign a charter last month calling for an end to the shareholder-led model of capitalism. His private life appears to be one of lavish parties and glamorous schmoozing. Acknowledgments in the book stretch to 14 pages and he name-drops five American presidents, four French ones and China’s Xi Jinping.

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The Economist

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How Men and Women Have Different Dating Profile Pics


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Some very interesting data. Example – Men are less likely to smile than women in their profile picture.

Just 4.8% of women are in their swimwear in their main profile picture. Not many people wear their bathing suits in their dating profile photos, though women are 10x more likely to be in their bathing suits than men. Given that photos in swimwear tend of perform better on dating sites for both genders, perhaps it’s time for men to show a little more skin?

Wearing sunglasses in your profile photo is generally considered a no-no for your dating profile photo. 

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Priceonomics

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The Puzzling Search for Perfect Randomness


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Recently, randomness has even made the news: Apparently there’s hidden order in random surfaces, and we may be close to seeing a quantum computer generate ultimate randomness. This latter quest for perfect randomness is important because randomness brings unpredictability, and all non-quantum attempts to achieve it have the hidden flaw of being generated by algorithmic methods which can, theoretically, be deciphered. In this Insights column, we will explore how we can create randomness and defeat it in everyday activities, before soaring to philosophical heights in debating what randomness really is.

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Pradeep Mutalik — Quanta

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Greta Thunberg: The Crusader Kid


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The young shall change the world. Amen.

WHEN IT COMES to Greta Thunberg, people fall into one of three camps: they either love her, hate her or don’t know about her. Those who appreciate her are leaders like António Guterres (Secretary-General of the UN), US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Barack Obama. Those who dismiss her are the likes of Canadian businessman and politician Maxime Bernier, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson and climate sceptic Bjørn Lomborg. But this much is clear, she is arguably the world’s best-known 16-year-old today.

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Nandini Nair — Open

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The Unique Struggle of Mental Health Caregivers


One of the reasons depression can put a strain on relationships is because often the caregiver is left without the proper resources. According to the 2016 study, a full quarter of the 8 million mental health caregivers claimed that they have trouble finding a mental health professional for their loved one. Even once a professional is identified, additional services are harder to find; a majority of caregivers report experiencing trouble finding day programs or treatment (64%) or peer support (58%). About half have difficulty arranging a case manager (49%), in-patient treatment (48%), or treatment for substance abuse (45%). Once those resources are found, many caretakers report difficulty navigating the insurance system to get adequate coverage. There simply are not as many resources or services available for mental health caregivers as there are for people caring for those with physical disabilities.

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Dani Fleischer — Medium

China Experiments with a New Kind of Megalopolis


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Trust China to do the most bold things.

Chen Yalei, the financial broker, says Beijing is making a kind of offer to the cities in the Greater Bay Area that they simply can’t refuse. “Of course, there will be major shifts and, of course, some of these cities will lose importance while others gain ground.” But, he adds, at least for the time being, Hong Kong will remain indispensable, as the financial center of the Pearl River Delta and as China’s gateway to the world.

And afterwards? “The reformer Deng Xiaoping created a monument to himself in Shenzhen, and for his successor, Jiang Zemin, it was in Shanghai ” says Chen Yalei. “The Greater Bay Area is the project that President Xi Jinping intends to be remembered by in the history books.”

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Bernhard Zand — Spiegel Online

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