Social media: A silent killer of innovation


FOMO – Fear of Missing Out

Psychology Today states, ‘Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger — if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason.’

Hang back for no good reason? Isn’t that the same as ‘sticking to what you know’ or ‘playing it safe’?

Fear, and the fight-or-flight response have been around forever. However, if early humans missed out on information and, as a result, were rejected by their fellow tribes people, they would be alone. Properly alone and likely to die. It was then humans developed a paralysing fear of being disliked.

The complete article

Adam Slawson — Fluxx

FACEBOOK AND FRIENDSHIP


Thoughts of some of my Facebook friendships came to mind recently as I read an essay by William Hazlitt. In “The Pleasures of Hating,” Hazlitt talks about the many things we come to hate, especially as we age. “We hate old friends: we hate old books: we hate old opinions; and at last we come to hate ourselves.” He continues:

Old friendships are like meats served up repeatedly, cold, comfortless, and distasteful. The stomach turns against them. Either constant intercourse and familiarity breed weariness and contempt; or, if we meet again after an interval of absence, we appear no longer the same. One is too wise, another too foolish for us; and we wonder we did not find this out before. We are disconcerted and kept in a state of continual alarm by the wit of one, or tired to death of the dullness of another.

The complete article

K. E. Colombini — First Things

 

Asian-Americans on being “likable” in the modern workplace


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On navigating racial stereotypes:

The stereotype that I run into the most with my own race is looking young. I was 27 and had just started a new job, and I was introduced to the team as a new person. One older woman said to me, “I don’t mean to sound ageist, but you don’t look like you’ve graduated from college.” It was like, what was the purpose of making that statement? I’m telling you that I have.The implication that I might be in school signals that I might be less than professional.

For Asian-American men, the leading stereotypes are being good at math and being good with computers. But when you narrow that down to East Asian men, you are also pegged as quiet, shy, and for many, socially awkward. I had a conversation with a friend who was categorized as being “stoic and unexpressive” even though I know him to be a very funny, likable person. If your communication skills are not that strong, it’s easy for people not to talk very much.

The complete article

PAVITHRA MOHAN AND ANISA PURBASARI HORTON — Fast Company

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SELF-OPTIMIZATION


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We humans have a tendency to measure everything. For example, what matters for Business is profits and humans are worth only how productive they are, whatever that means.

The ad’s gimmick plays not only to the fantasy that our life force can be captured in some simple unidimensional measure and actively managed but also to the broader, more insidious notion that people should function like phones. The expectations we have for our devices saturate our expectations of others (whether they are friends, family, service workers, or robots) and ultimately ourselves. We should be capable of handling any task we’re hired for, moving seamlessly from one interface to the next, from one application to another, for as long as required. If we can’t, we need to “recharge” ourselves: to find the right drug combination or exercise regimen, or else to sit ourselves out for precisely as long as we need to get back to 100 percent. The idea that we are anything other than self-sufficient and energy independent is suspended for a fantasy of instrumental control.

The complete article

Real Life

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New FBI Study Shows Mass Shooters Aren’t Loners Who Suddenly Just Snap


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We need to figure this out urgently.

The study reaffirms that there is no useful demographic profile for active shooters. The vast majority were male (all but 4 of the 63), but that only narrows the pool down to approximately half of the US population. About two thirds were white. Others were black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Native American. The shooters ranged in age from 12 to 88. The largest age group, nearly a third of all the attackers, was 40- to 49-year-olds.

The report also further validates several key findings from our long-running investigations into mass shootings at Mother Jones. The overwhelming majority of active shooters obtained their firearms legally, according to the new FBI study. (Six percent stole firearms, and just 2 percent purchased guns illegally.) A particularly striking data point here is that shooters in 40 percent of the cases purchased at least one weapon “legally and specifically for the purpose of perpetrating the attack.”

The complete article

Mark Follman – Mother Jones

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Children of poor, jobless single moms have become an underclass in Japan


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Even the most developed societies are struggling with inequality.

Stringent privacy laws and a culture of keeping up appearances make it hard to spot much of the poverty in Japan. In central Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward, another affluent neighborhood that is home to the University of Tokyo and the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium, a joint project between government and local groups identifies poor families and covertly provides them with some free groceries so that neighbors don’t know. Seven cases of domestic violence have been found via the program.

“People are afraid to be known as poor households and that fear is increasing their stress,” said Hironobu Narisawa, the ward’s mayor. “We want to support them in a closed, invisible way so that they won’t be stigmatized.”

The complete article

Yoshiaki Nohara — The Japan Times

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We Have to Go Beyond Identifying and Punishing Individual Men


If we are to seriously address the current crisis beyond identifying and punishing individual men as bad actors, we have to attend to this history and make apparent how deeply rooted it is in our culture and our psyches. Without that critical intervention—without attention to what might be called “the lessons of history”—the flurry of revelations about longstanding and long  tolerated exercises of men’s power, however horrifying in their details, will not suffice to achieve what is required to permanently change the gendered power dynamics of our culture.

The complete article

Joan Wallach Scott — IAS