Cost Effective Quotes

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The planting of a tree, especially one of the long-living hardwood trees, is a gift which you can make to posterity at almost no cost and with almost no trouble, and if the tree takes root it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil.
George Orwell
Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.
Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
Ladies should also remember that gentlemen look more to the effect of a dress in setting off the figure and countenance of a lady than to its cost. Very few gentlemen have any idea the value of ladies' dresses. This is a subject for female criticism. Beauty of person and elegance of manners in women will always command more admiration from the opposite sex than beauty, elegance or costliness of clothing." The Scholars' Companion and Ball Room Vade Mecum Thomas Hillgrove, 1857
Thomas Hillgrove
In light of my distanced telescopic exposure to the mayhem, I refused to plagiarise others’ personal tragedies as my own. There is an authorship in misery that costs more than empathy. Often I’d found myself dumbstruck in failed attempts to simulate that particular unfamiliar dolour. After all, no one takes pleasure in being possessed by a wailing father collecting the decapitated head of his innocent six year old. Even on the hinge of a willing attempt at full empathy with those cursed with such catastrophes, one had to have a superhuman emotional powers. I could not, in any way, claim the ability to relate to those who have been forced to swallow the never-ending bitter and poisonous pills of our inherited misfortune. Yet that excruciating pain in my chest seemed to elicit a state of agony in me, even from far behind the telescope. It could have been my tribal gene amplified by the ripple effect of the falling, moving in me what was left of my humanity.
Asaad Almohammad (An Ishmael of Syria)
The real cost of a four-dollar-a-day coffee habit over 20 years is $51,833.79. That’s the power of the Compound Effect.
Darren Hardy (The Compound Effect)
Instead of being blind to race, color blindness makes people blind to racism, unwilling to acknowledge where its effects have shaped opportunity or to use race-conscious solutions to address it.
Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together)
Respect at the cost of others is disrespect in effect.
Muhammad Tariq Majeed
I know this love, that sovereign of hearts, that soul of our souls; yet it never cost me more than a kiss and twenty kicks on the backside. How could this beautiful cause produce in you an effect so abominable.
Voltaire (Candide)
Explain the value and justify the cost - People don’t mind paying; they just don’t like to overpay.
Chris Murray (Selling with EASE: The Four Step Sales Cycle Found in Every Successful Business Transaction)
Establishing publicly funded legal services for low-income families in housing court would be a cost-effective measure that would prevent homelessness, decrease evictions, and give poor families a fair shake.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
There’s nothing bad about reincarnation per se, it’s basically a very good system, cost-effective and ecologically friendly.
Tom Holt (Djinn Rummy)
Mother's hug- The only drug that works every time, costs nothing and has no side effects.
Hassaan Ali
Let's be clear. The debate over health care in this country is not a debate about medical treatment or the best way to prevent disease. It is a debate about economics and class politics. Either we maintain a profit-driven health care system whose main function is to enrich certain individuals and institutions, or we develop a nonprofit, cost-effective system that provides quality health care for all people as a right of citizenship.
Bernie Sanders (Outsider in the White House)
Emotional competence requires the capacity to feel our emotions, so that we are aware when we are experiencing stress; the ability to express our emotions effectively and thereby to assert our needs and to maintain the integrity of our emotional boundaries; the facility to distinguish between psychological reactions that are pertinent to the present situation and those that represent residue from the past. What we want and demand from the world needs to conform to our present needs, not to unconscious, unsatisfied needs from childhood. If distinctions between past and present blur, we will perceive loss or the threat of loss where none exists; and the awareness of those genuine needs that do require satisfaction, rather than their repression for the sake of gaining the acceptance or approval of others. Stress occurs in the absence of these criteria, and it leads to the disruption of homeostasis. Chronic disruption results in ill health. In each of the individual histories of illness in this book, one or more aspect of emotional competence was significantly compromised, usually in ways entirely unknown to the person involved. Emotional competence is what we need to develop if we are to protect ourselves from the hidden stresses that create a risk to health, and it is what we need to regain if we are to heal. We need to foster emotional competence in our children, as the best preventive medicine.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
Do you want to know the best, most effective transmitter of contagion known to man? Edgerton asks me with a pinprick of mad light dancing in each iris. It's love. Love is the absolute killer. Care. The milk of human kindness. People try so hard to save the people they love that they end up catching the contagion themselves. They give comfort, deliver aid, and in doing so they acquire the infection. Then those people are cared for by others and they get infected. On and on it goes. He shrugs. But that's people. People care too much. They love at all costs. And so they pay the ultimate price.
Nick Cutter (The Troop)
Conservatives, who have presumed that the key to preventing AIDS is abstinence-only education, and liberals, who have focused on distribution of condoms, should both note that the intervention that has tested most cost-effective in Africa is neither... Secular bleeding hearts and religious bleeding hearts will have to forge a common cause.
Nicholas D. Kristof
One of the most effective tricks in a gumshoe's playbook is the act of silence. Wait. Let the other guy pull the trigger first. It costs you nothing, and it gets you everything.
Cassandra Khaw (Hammers on Bone (Persons Non Grata, #1))
I dispute the point that nuclear energy is 'clean' and 'cost-effective'. As I recall, when we first harnessed nuclear power it was to drop an atom bomb on a civilian population, not to save the environment. However, you must admit, the victors are never tried for war crimes.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
At the beginning of a campaign it is important to consider whether or not to move forward; but when one has taken the offensive it is necessary to maintain it to the last extremity. However skilfully effected a retreat may be, it always lessens the morale of an army, since in losing the chances of success, they are remitted to the enemy. A retreat, moreover, costs much more in men and materials than the bloodiest engagements, with this difference, also, that in a battle the enemy loses practically as much as you do; while in a retreat you lose and he does not.
Napoléon Bonaparte
I claim that the fact that we are strongly encouraged to identify with characters for whom death is not a significant creative possibly has real costs. We the audience, and individual you over there and me right here, lose any sense of eschatology, thus of teleology, and live in a moment that is, paradoxically, both emptied of intrinsic meaning or end and quite literally ETERNAL. If we're the only animals who know in advance we're going to die, we're also probably the only animals who would submit so cheerfully to the sustained denial of this undeniable and very important truth. The danger is that, as entertainment's denials of the truth get even more effective and pervasive and seductive, we will eventually forget what they're denials OF. This is scary. Because it seems transparent to me that, if we forget how to die, we're going to forget how to live.
David Foster Wallace (Both Flesh and Not: Essays)
Severe punishment unquestionably has an immediate effect in reducing a tendency to act in a given way. This result is no doubt responsible for its widespread use. We 'instinctively' attack anyone whose behavior displeases us - perhaps not in physical assault, but with criticism, disapproval, blame, or ridicule. Whether or not there is an inherited tendency to do this, the immediate effect of the practice is reinforcing enough to explain its currency. In the long run, however, punishment does not actually eliminate behavior from a repertoire, and its temporary achievement is obtained at tremendous cost in reducing the over-all efficiency and happiness of the group. (p. 190)
B.F. Skinner (Science and Human Behavior)
the best and most cost-effective way to control women for reproductive and other purposes was through women themselves. For this there were many historical precedents; in fact, no empire imposed by force or otherwise has ever been without this feature: control of the indigenous by members of their own group.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Programmers are isolated. They sit in their cubicle; they don't think about the larger picture. To my mind, a programmer is not an engineer, because an engineer is somebody who starts with a social problem that an organization or a society has and says, "OK, here's this problem that we have- how can we solve it?" The engineer comes up with a clever, cost-effective solution to address that problem, builds it, tests it to make sure it solves the problem. That's engineering.
Philip Greenspun
Knowledge work is not defined by quantity. Neither is knowledge work defined by its costs. Knowledge work is defined by its results.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
On me personally what has been the most important was to understand the value of time -- and this is something that has come from observing him, learning his story and that time compounds. What you do when you are young (and as you use time over your life) can have an exponential effect so that if you are thoughtful about it, you can really have powerful results later, if you want to. Also, that is a reason to be hopeful, because compounding is something that happens pretty quickly. If you are 50 or 60, it is not too late. He said to me one time, if there is something you really want to do, don't put it off until you are 70 years old. ... Do it now. Don't worry about how much it costs or things like that, because you are going to enjoy it now. You don't even know what your health will be like then. On the other hand, if you are investing in your education and you are learning, you should do that as early as you possibly can, because then it will have time to compound over the longest period. And that the things you do learn and invest in should be knowledge that is cumulative, so that the knowledge builds on itself. So instead of learning something that might become obsolete tomorrow, like some particular type of software [that no one even uses two years later], choose things that will make you smarter in 10 or 20 years. That lesson is something I use all the time now.
Alice Schroeder (The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life)
Music was a kind of penetration. Perhaps absorption is a less freighted word. The penetration or absorption of everything into itself. I don't know if you have ever taken LSD, but when you do so the doors of perception, as Aldous Huxley, Jim Morrison and their adherents ceaselessly remind us, swing wide open. That is actually the sort of phrase, unless you are William Blake, that only makes sense when there is some LSD actually swimming about inside you. In the cold light of the cup of coffee and banana sandwich that are beside me now it appears to be nonsense, but I expect you to know what it is taken to mean. LSD reveals the whatness of things, their quiddity, their essence. The wateriness of water is suddenly revealed to you, the carpetness of carpets, the woodness of wood, the yellowness of yellow, the fingernailness of fingernails, the allness of all, the nothingness of all, the allness of nothing. For me music gives access to everyone of these essences, but at a fraction of the social or financial cost of a drug and without the need to cry 'Wow!' all the time, which is LSD's most distressing and least endearing side effects. ...Music in the precision of its form and the mathematical tyranny of its laws, escapes into an eternity of abstraction and an absurd sublime that is everywhere and nowhere at once. The grunt of rosin-rubbed catgut, the saliva-bubble blast of a brass tube, the sweaty-fingered squeak on a guitar fret, all that physicality, all that clumsy 'music making', all that grain of human performance...transcends itself at the moment of its happening, that moment when music actually becomes, as it makes the journey from the vibrating instrument, the vibrating hi-fi speaker, as it sends those vibrations across to the human tympanum and through to the inner ear and into the brain, where the mind is set to vibrate to frequencies of its own making. The nothingness of music can be moulded by the mood of the listener into the most precise shapes or allowed to float as free as thought; music can follow the academic and theoretical pattern of its own modality or adhere to some narrative or dialectical programme imposed by a friend, a scholar or the composer himself. Music is everything and nothing. It is useless and no limit can be set to its use. Music takes me to places of illimitable sensual and insensate joy, accessing points of ecstasy that no angelic lover could ever locate, or plunging me into gibbering weeping hells of pain that no torturer could ever devise. Music makes me write this sort of maundering adolescent nonsense without embarrassment. Music is in fact the dog's bollocks. Nothing else comes close.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1))
Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. It is only when looking back two, five, or perhaps ten years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
For people who are depressed, and especially for those who do not receive enough benefit from medication of for whom the side effects of antidepressants are troubling, the fact that placebos can duplicate much of the effects of antidepressants should be taken as good news. It means that there are other ways of alleviating depression. As we have seen, treatments like psychotherapy and physical exercise are at least as effective as antidepressant drugs and more effective than placebos. In particular, CBT has been shown to lower the risk of relapsing into depression for years after treatment has ended, making it particularly cost effective.
Irving Kirsch (The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth)
You see the profound effect literature can have on life? Who says it's all a waste of time? If only I could produce one book that left someone with that kind of ferocious grievance. If you have read one of my books, you probably feel cheated out of however much money it might have cost you, and you'll certainly begrudge the time you wasted on it. But even at my most bullish and self-aggrandizing, I can't quite make myself believe that I've actually wrecked someone's life. Any documentary evidence to the contrary will be gratefully received.
Nick Hornby (Housekeeping vs. the Dirt)
In an information industry the cost of monopoly must not be measured in dollars alone, but also in its effect on the economy of ideas and images, the restraint of which can ultimately amount to censorship.
Tim Wu (The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires)
All the evidence over several decades cast a critical light on the high-rise as a viable social structure, but cost-effectiveness in the area of public housing and the profitability in the private sector kept pushing these vertical townships into the sky, against the real needs of their occupants. The psychology of high-rise life had been exposed with damaging results. Living in high-rises required a special type of behavior, one that was acquiescent, restrained, even perhaps slightly mad. A psychotic would have a ball here.
J.G. Ballard (High-Rise)
In the short run, technology many be more efficient than man, but it will never be perfect. Every piece of equipment will eventually reveal an error code. In the long run, man will never be perfect, but prove to be more reliable than technology.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The goal of real healthcare reform must be high-quality, universal coverage in a cost-effective way.
Bernie Sanders
the best and most cost-effective way to control women for reproductive and other purposes was through women themselves.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Get It Done Fast, Cost Effective and With Professional Results to Outsource Your Medical Data Entry Functions
Sophia Nora
Salespeople who think that it’s all about price aren’t required: If it can be sold on the internet at the lowest price, you can take the huge cost of a sales team out of the equation.
Chris Murray (Selling with EASE: The Four Step Sales Cycle Found in Every Successful Business Transaction)
The primitive idea of justice is partly legalized revenge and partly expiation by sacrifice. It works out from both sides in the notion that two blacks make a white, and that when a wrong has been done, it should be paid for by an equivalent suffering. It seems to the Philistine majority a matter of course that this compensating suffering should be inflicted on the wrongdoer for the sake of its deterrent effect on other would-be wrongdoers; but a moment's reflection will shew that this utilitarian application corrupts the whole transaction. For example, the shedding of blood cannot be balanced by the shedding of guilty blood. Sacrificing a criminal to propitiate God for the murder of one of his righteous servants is like sacrificing a mangy sheep or an ox with the rinderpest: it calls down divine wrath instead of appeasing it. In doing it we offer God as a sacrifice the gratification of our own revenge and the protection of our own lives without cost to ourselves; and cost to ourselves is the essence of sacrifice and expiation.
George Bernard Shaw (Androcles and the Lion)
In buying Fairtrade products, you’re at best giving very small amounts of money to people in comparatively well-off countries. You’d do considerably more good by buying cheaper goods and donating the money you save to one of the cost-effective charities mentioned in the previous chapter.
William MacAskill (Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference)
A final irony has to do with the idea of political responsibility. Christians are urged to vote and become involved in politics as an expression of their civic duty and public responsibility. This is a credible argument and good advice up to a point. Yet in our day, given the size of the state and the expectations that people place on it to solve so many problems, politics can also be a way of saying, in effect, that the problems should be solved by others besides myself and by institutions other than the church. It is, after all, much easier to vote for a politician who champions child welfare than to adopt a baby born in poverty, to vote for a referendum that would expand health care benefits for seniors than to care for an elderly and infirmed parent, and to rally for racial harmony than to get to know someone of a different race than yours. True responsibility invariably costs. Political participation, then, can and often does amount to an avoidance of responsibility.
James Davison Hunter (To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World)
Economists have a term for these costs—a less reassuring one than Friedman’s “neighborhood effects.” They are “negative externalities”: negative because they aren’t beneficial and external because they fall outside the market system. Those who find this hard to accept attack the messenger, which is science.
Naomi Oreskes (Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming)
We’d like to believe that efficient, useful, cost-effective products and services are the way to succeed. That hard work is its own reward. Most marketers carry around a worldview that describes themselves as innovators, not storytellers.
Seth Godin (All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World)
Come again? Am I saying that your four-dollar-a-day coffee habit is going to cost you $51,833.79 in twenty years? Yes, I am. Did you know that every dollar you spend today, no matter where you spend it, is costing you nearly five dollars in only twenty years (and ten dollars in thirty years)? That’s because if you took a dollar and invested it at 8 percent, in twenty years, that dollar would be worth almost five. Every time you spend a buck today, it’s like taking five dollars out of your future pocket.
Darren Hardy (The Compound Effect)
In effect, the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the mass media, and gain special access by their contribution to reducing the media's costs of acquiring the raw materials of, and producing, news. The large entities that provide this subsidy become "routine" news sources have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers. It should also be noted that in the case of the largesse of the Pentagon and the State Department's Office of Public Diplomacy, the subsidy is at the taxpayers' expense, so that, in effect, the citizenry pays to be propagandized in the interest of powerful groups such as military contractors and other sponsors of state terrorism.
Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media)
Exploitation. Now, there’s a word that has been scrubbed out of the poverty debate. 42 It is a word that speaks to the fact that poverty is not just a product of low incomes. It is also a product of extractive markets. Boosting poor people’s incomes by increasing the minimum wage or public benefits, say, is absolutely crucial. But not all of those extra dollars will stay in the pockets of the poor. Wage hikes are tempered if rents rise along with them, just as food stamps are worth less if groceries in the inner city cost more—and they do, as much as 40 percent more, by one estimate. 43 Poverty is two-faced—a matter of income and expenses, input and output—and in a world of exploitation, it will not be effectively ameliorated if we ignore this plain fact.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
According to Project Drawdown, four of the most effective strategies for mitigating global warming are reducing food waste, educating girls, providing family planning and reproductive healthcare, and collectively shifting to a plant-rich diet. The benefits of these advancements extend far beyond the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and their primary cost is our collective effort.
Jonathan Safran Foer (We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast)
It is our contemporary culture’s tragedy to have lost any sense of suffering as a positive dimension of human existence. Beginning with the premise that life ought to be without pain, we make suffering something to be avoided at all cost. We consider the equation between evil and suffering so self-evident that we make avoiding suffering the equal of fighting evil. No wonder we are the most narcotized generation ever to inhabit the earth, searching for ever more effective addictive patterns to anaesthetize our existence.
Luke Timothy Johnson (The Living Gospel (Icons))
The reason I started the video library was that I knew around twenty of my friends and relatives owned video players. So I thought that if between them they hired twenty cassettes, at ₹10 a cassette a day, I would get ₹200 a day or ₹6,000 a month, which was the running cost of my shop. Anything extra, I thought, would be a profit which I could take a chance upon. Within a month of starting my shop, I was renting out more than 100 cassettes a day, but none of the twenty people I had counted upon ever came to my shop. If they did, they never paid, as they were my friends or were related to me. So in effect, what I had counted upon didn’t happen and success came from unexpected quarters. But I know in my heart that if I had not banked on those twenty people, there was no way I would have started my shop.
Ram Gopal Varma (Guns & Thighs: The Story of My Life)
LSD reveals the whatness of things, their quiddity, their essence. The wateriness of water is suddenly revealed to you, the carpetness of carpets, the woodness of wood, the yellowness of yellow, the fingernailness of fingernails, the allness of all, the nothingness of all, the allness of nothing. For me music gives access to every one of these essences of existence, but at a fraction of the social or financial cost of a drug and without the need to cry "Wow!" all the time, which is one of LSD's most distressing and least endearing side-effects.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1))
In neo-classical economic theory, it is claimed without evidence that people are basically self-seeking, that they want above all the satisfaction of their material desires: what economists call "maximising utility". The ultimate objective of mankind is economic growth, and that is maximized only through raw, and lightly regulated, competition. If the rewards of this system are spread unevenly, that is a necessary price. Others on the planet are to be regarded as either customers, competitors or factors of production. Effects upon the planet itself are mere "externalities" to the model, with no reckoning of the cost - at least for now. Nowhere in this analysis appears factors such as human cooperation, love, trust, compassion or hatred, curiosity or beauty. Nowhere appears the concept of meaning. What cannot be measured is ignored. But the trouble is that once our basic needs for shelter and food have been met, these factors may be the most important of all.
Carne Ross (The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century)
I act uncommonly important when I read, look all around to see if people are noticing how cleverly someone there is improving his mind and wits; I slit open page after page at splendid leisure, do not even read any more but satisfy myself with having assumed the posture of a person immersed in a book. That is how I am: harebrained, and all for effect. I am vain, but my satisfaction with my vanity costs remarkably little.
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)
In the 1990s, the Rand Corporation conducted a study on cocaine use in the United States and various control strategies to reduce that usage... The Rand researchers found that Option 4--the treatment option-- was seven times as cost-effective as Option 3, the domestic enforcement option.
Neal Boortz (Somebody's Gotta Say It)
As a physician, I was trained to deal with uncertainty as aggressively as I dealt with disease itself. The unknown was the enemy. Within this worldview, having a question feels like an emergency; it means that something is out of control and needs to be made known as rapidly, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible. But death has taken me to the edge of certainty, to the place of questions. After years of trading mystery for mastery, it was hard and even frightening to stop offering myself reasonable explanations for some of the things that I observed and that others told me, and simply take them as they are. "I don't know" had long been a statement of shame, of personal and professional failing. In all of my training I do not recall hearing it said aloud even once. But as I listened to more and more people with life-threatening illnesses tell their stories, not knowing simply became a matter of integrity. Things happened. And the explanations I offered myself became increasingly hollow, like a child whistling in the dark. The truth was that very often I didn't know and couldn't explain, and finally, weighed down by the many, many instances of the mysterious which are such an integral part of illness and healing, I surrendered. It was a moment of awakening. For the first time, I became curious about the things I had been unwilling to see before, more sensitive to inconsistencies I had glibly explained or successfully ignored, more willing to ask people questions and draw them out about stories I would have otherwise dismissed. What I have found in the end was that the life I had defended as a doctor as precious was also Holy. I no longer feel that life is ordinary. Everyday life is filled with mystery. The things we know are only a small part of the things we cannot know but can only glimpse. Yet even the smallest of glimpses can sustain us. Mystery seems to have the power to comfort, to offer hope, and to lend meaning in times of loss and pain. In surprising ways it is the mysterious that strengthens us at such times. I used to try to offer people certainty in times that were not at all certain and could not be made certain. I now just offer my companionship and share my sense of mystery, of the possible, of wonder. After twenty years of working with people with cancer, I find it possible to neither doubt nor accept the unprovable but simply to remain open and wait. I accept that I may never know where truth lies in such matters. The most important questions don't seem to have ready answers. But the questions themselves have a healing power when they are shared. An answer is an invitation to stop thinking about something, to stop wondering. Life has no such stopping places, life is a process whose every event is connected to the moment that just went by. An unanswered question is a fine traveling companion. It sharpens your eye for the road.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
In this connection a few comments upon the crack female control agency known as the "Aunts" is perhaps in order. Judd—according to the Limpkin material—was of the opinion from the outset that the best and most cost-effective way to control women for reproductive and other purposes was through women themselves.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
To make matters worse, some of the books had actually become migratory. In the nineteenth century Brakebills had appointed a librarian with a highly Romantic imagination who had envisioned a mobile library in which books fluttered from shelf to shelf like birds, reorganizing themselves spontaneously under their own pwer in response to searches. For the first few months the effect was sadi to have been quite dramatic. A painteding the scned survived as a mural behind the circulation desk, with enormaous atlases soaring around the place like condors. But the system turned out to be totally impractical. The wear and tear o the spines alone was too costly, and the books were horribly disobedient. The librarian had imagined he could summon a given book to perch on his hand just by shouting out its call number, but in actuality they were just too willful, and some were actively predatory. The librarian was swiftly dposed, and his successor set about domesticating the books again, but even now there were stragglers, notably in Swiss History and Architecture 300-1399, that stubbornly flapped around near the ceiling. Once in a while an entire sub—sub-category that had long been thought safely dormant would take wing with an indescribably papery susurrus.
Lev Grossman
The most successful business in the history of mankind is religion, and it is the most cost effective in franchising its ideology through ignorance and spreading of hate…. Such business has exceeded any expectation, and if it would transcend itself into world trading, it would have been the most valuable stock in any market….ever.
Husam Wafaei
The real problem here is that we’re all dying. All of us. Every day the cells weaken and the fibres stretch and the heart gets closer to its last beat. The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes. Personally, I like the fact we’re going to die. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going ‘WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!’ It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realise that, in the scheme of things, you really don’t have time to sit on the sofa in your pants watching Homes Under the Hammer. Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant – after the one where I cry that they closed that amazing chippy on Tollington Road; the one that did the pickled eggs – is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it’s the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly non-religious people think they’ll be meeting up with nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they’re getting a harp. But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It’s like an insidious and destabilising mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn’t really matter if you screw up this time around because you can just sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents, and become a better person and lose that final stone in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You’ll have time, after all! It’s eternity! And you’ll have wings, and it’ll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lacklustre waiting room you’re only going to be in for 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all, and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do. If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ringpulls and shattered fax machines – it’s right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of our time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws. Only when the majority of the people on this planet believe – absolutely – that they are dying, minute by minute, will we actually start behaving like fully sentient, rational and compassionate beings. For whilst the appeal of ‘being good’ is strong, the terror of hurtling, unstoppably, into unending nullity is a lot more effective. I’m really holding out for us all to get The Fear. The Fear is my Second Coming. When everyone in the world admits they’re going to die, we’ll really start getting some stuff done.
Caitlin Moran
My conception of freedom. -- The value of a thing sometimes does not lie in that which one attains by it, but in what one pays for it -- what it costs us. I shall give an example. Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic -- every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization. These same institutions produce quite different effects while they are still being fought for; then they really promote freedom in a powerful way. On closer inspection it is war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions, which, as a war, permits illiberal instincts to continue. And war educates for freedom. For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance which separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privation, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of "pleasure." The human being who has become free -- and how much more the spirit who has become free -- spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by "tyrants" are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; most beautiful type: Julius Caesar. This is true politically too; one need only go through history. The peoples who had some value, who attained some value, never attained it under liberal institutions: it was great danger that made something of them that merits respect. Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources, our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong -- otherwise one will never become strong. Those large hothouses for the strong -- for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known -- the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has and does not have, something one wants, something one conquers
Friedrich Nietzsche
Because frequency is free in an online permission program, and much more effective offline, the marketer has the luxury of riding the impact curve up without a matching cost curve.
Seth Godin (Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers)
GRASS: Guilt, Resentment, Anxiety, Self-absorption, and Stress. These are the five real and measurable costs of not managing transition effectively.
William Bridges (Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change)
Efficiency is to do what is effective, achieve high customer satisfaction with less operating cost, and improve employee productivity with good teamwork.
Pearl Zhu (Quality Master)
What one exorcises in this [imagery] way at little cost, and for the price of a few tears, will never in effect be reproduced
Jean Baudrillard (Simulacra and Simulation)
Even an empire cannot control the long-term effects of its policies. That is the essence of blowback.
Chalmers Johnson (Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (American Empire Project))
Charities know that they are rewarded not for finding cost-effective solutions to problems—nor solutions to problems at all—but for finding ways to personalize, humanize, and convey needs.
Ken Stern (With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give)
Color blindness has become a powerful weapon against progress for people of color, but as a denial mindset, it doesn’t do white people any favors, either. A person who avoids the realities of racism doesn’t build the crucial muscles for navigating cross-cultural tensions or recovering with grace from missteps. That person is less likely to listen deeply to unexpected ideas expressed by people from other cultures or to do the research on her own to learn about her blind spots. When that person then faces the inevitable uncomfortable racial reality—an offended co-worker, a presentation about racial disparity at a PTA meeting, her inadvertent use of a stereotype—she’s caught flat-footed. Denial leaves people ill-prepared to function or thrive in a diverse society. It makes people less effective at collaborating with colleagues, coaching kids’ sports teams, advocating for their neighborhoods, even chatting with acquaintances at social events.
Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together)
I had no idea we planned to be so ruthless." "It was not publicized or even discussed with the political arm of the colonization program. Ruthlessness was necessary but wins no votes." "But this is not our world, to treat however we want!" "Visiting here as students of an alien evolutionary tradition would not be either cost-effective or, ultimately, successful. We would inevitably contaminate Garden, or worse yet, become contaminated and bring potentially deadly Gardenian life forms back to Earth. The three continental preserves will be sufficient to allow biologists to study alien life at some point in the future. And if you really thought we would colonize this world without making it 'ours', you'd be far too naive to command this expedition." "I...didn't realize..." "You didn't think about it at all," said the expendable. "The selective voluntary blindness of human beings allows them to ignore the moral consequences of their choices. It has been one of the species' most valuable traits, in terms of the survival of any particular human community." "And you aren't morally blind?" "We see the moral ironies very clearly. We simply don't care.
Orson Scott Card (Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1))
But he and his compatriots would soon assess the cost of Taffy 3’s audacious resistance, the effectiveness of which no tactician could ever have foreseen and no statistician could have measured.
James D. Hornfischer (The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour)
Assume, for example, that your Twitter habit effectively consumes ten hours per week. Thoreau would note that this cost is almost certainly way too high for the limited benefits it returns. If you value new connections and exposure to interesting ideas, he might argue, why not adopt a habit of attending an interesting talk or event every month, and forcing yourself to chat with at least three people while there? This would produce similar types of value but consume only a few hours of your life per month, leaving you with an extra thirty-seven hours to dedicate to other meaningful pursuits.
Cal Newport (Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World)
Diverting resources into uneconomic uses takes them away from other, more productive areas and costs jobs. Some jobs are lost; others are never created. The uneconomic effects of protectionism benefit a few—usually well-to-do—at the expense of the great majority, including the poor. Protectionism cannot be justified on economic or moral grounds. As Frederic Bastiat wrote, tariffs are “legalized plunder.” The law is used to steal. By
Ludwig von Mises (The Free Market Reader (LvMI))
I got some funny reactions, a lot of irate reactions, as if I were somehow taking people's fun away from them. I have nothing against sports. I like to watch a good basketball game and that sort of thing. On the other hand, we have to recognise that the mass hysteria about spectator sports plays a significant role. First of all, spectator sports make people more passive, because you're not doing them; you're watching somebody doing them. Secondly, they engender jingoist and chauvinist attitudes, sometimes to quite an extreme degree. I saw something in the newspapers just a day or two ago about how high-school teams are now so antagonistic and passionately committed to winning at all costs that they had to abandon the standard handshake before or after the game. These kids can't even do civil things like greeting one another because they're ready to kill one another. It's spectator sports that engender those attitudes, particularly when they're designed to organise a community to be hysterically committed to their gladiators. That's very dangerous, and it has lots of deleterious effects.
Noam Chomsky (The Quotable Chomsky)
Decision making brings together many of the finest traits of contrarian leadership--thinking gray, thinking free, artful listening, delegating authority while retaining ultimate responsibility,artful procrastination, ignoring sunk costs, taking luck into account, and listening to one's inner voice. Weaving these traits together is an art itself. When it is done well, the result is a thing of beauty and a powerful tool for effective leadership.
Steven B. Sample (The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership)
Mobile Crane Magnet Mobile Crane magnet designed and manufactured by M/S Electro Flux Equipments Pvt Ltd., Chennai India. scrap lifting electromagnet fitted in J C P, HITACHI or in cranes used to lift metal scraps, MS plates and ferrous materials loading, unloading and material handling purpose. easy cost effective way of material handling in open scrap yards by mobile crane electromagnets. power source: generators/ alternators (fixed in crane).
Electro Flux
It was amazing to think that the complete Hetzer vehicle, at barely sixteen tonnes, weighed less than the turret on a King Tiger, which I believe weighed eighteen tonnes. How many more Hetzers could Germany have built, for the cost of the five hundred King Tigers which we produced in total in our factories? Two thousand Hetzers, or three thousand? What effect would this have had on the war? Such questions can lead to all manner of calculations and alternatives.
Wolfgang Faust (The Last Panther - Slaughter of the Reich - The Halbe Kessel 1945 (Wolfgang Faust's Panzer Books))
90 percent of landlords are represented by attorneys, and 90 percent of tenants are not.35 Low-income families on the edge of eviction have no right to counsel. But when tenants have lawyers, their chances of keeping their homes increase dramatically.36 Establishing publicly funded legal services for low-income families in housing court would be a cost-effective measure that would prevent homelessness, decrease evictions, and give poor families a fair shake. In
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
When you consider females outfits, there's no end to the options available. Moreover, nowadays developer outfits is becoming inexpensive and cost-effective and hence many females are now dressed in developer use for almost all events.
Emilio Komar
Similar reasoning has promoted educational policies which seek to create more equal outcomes for "special education" students with mental, physical, or psychological handicaps—again with little or no regard for the financial costs of this to the taxpayers or the educational costs to other children in whose classrooms they are to be "mainstreamed," often with little regard to the disruptive effects of their special needs. These financial costs can be several times what it costs to educate the average student, while the educational results for a severely retarded student may be imperceptible. The educational cost can also include a substantial part of a teacher's time being devoted to one or a few students, to the neglect of the majority.
Thomas Sowell (The Quest for Cosmic Justice)
The cost savings weren’t what did the trick, though. Treatment has always been more effective and cheaper than prison for true drug addicts. What’s changed, Norman said, is that no longer are most of the accused African American inner-city crack users and dealers. Most of the new Tennessee junkies come from the white middle and upper-middle classes, and from the state’s white rural heartland—people who vote for, donate to, live near, do business with, or are related to the majority of Tennessee legislators.
Sam Quinones (Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic)
You have to get into the habit of forcing yourself to analyze, at the time you accept a task, the costs and benefits of doing a less-than-perfect job. You must ask yourself some questions: How useful would a perfect job be here? How much more useful would it be than a merely adequate job? Or even a half-assed job? And you’ve got to ask yourself: What is the probability that I will really do anything like a remotely perfect job on this? And: What difference will it make to me, and to others, whether I do or not?
John R. Perry (The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing)
Nature’s ultimate goal is to foster the growth of the individual from absolute dependence to independence — or, more exactly, to the interdependence of mature adults living in community. Development is a process of moving from complete external regulation to self-regulation, as far as our genetic programming allows. Well-self-regulated people are the most capable of interacting fruitfully with others in a community and of nurturing children who will also grow into self-regulated adults. Anything that interferes with that natural agenda threatens the organism’s chances for long-term survival. Almost from the beginning of life we see a tension between the complementary needs for security and for autonomy. Development requires a gradual and ageappropriate shift from security needs toward the drive for autonomy, from attachment to individuation. Neither is ever completely lost, and neither is meant to predominate at the expense of the other. With an increased capacity for self-regulation in adulthood comes also a heightened need for autonomy — for the freedom to make genuine choices. Whatever undermines autonomy will be experienced as a source of stress. Stress is magnified whenever the power to respond effectively to the social or physical environment is lacking or when the tested animal or human being feels helpless, without meaningful choices — in other words, when autonomy is undermined. Autonomy, however, needs to be exercised in a way that does not disrupt the social relationships on which survival also depends, whether with emotional intimates or with important others—employers, fellow workers, social authority figures. The less the emotional capacity for self-regulation develops during infancy and childhood, the more the adult depends on relationships to maintain homeostasis. The greater the dependence, the greater the threat when those relationships are lost or become insecure. Thus, the vulnerability to subjective and physiological stress will be proportionate to the degree of emotional dependence. To minimize the stress from threatened relationships, a person may give up some part of his autonomy. However, this is not a formula for health, since the loss of autonomy is itself a cause of stress. The surrender of autonomy raises the stress level, even if on the surface it appears to be necessary for the sake of “security” in a relationship, and even if we subjectively feel relief when we gain “security” in this manner. If I chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself “acceptable” to other people, I increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness. The other way of protecting oneself from the stress of threatened relationships is emotional shutdown. To feel safe, the vulnerable person withdraws from others and closes against intimacy. This coping style may avoid anxiety and block the subjective experience of stress but not the physiology of it. Emotional intimacy is a psychological and biological necessity. Those who build walls against intimacy are not self-regulated, just emotionally frozen. Their stress from having unmet needs will be high.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
When thinking about risk from transport, you can think directly in terms of minutes of life lost per hour of travel. Each time you travel, you face a slight risk of getting into a fatal accident, but the chance of getting into a fatal accident varies dramatically depending on the mode of transport. For example, the risk of a fatal car crash while driving for an hour is about one in ten million (so 0.1 micromorts). For a twenty-year-old, that’s a one-in-ten-million chance of losing sixty years. The expected life lost from driving for one hour is therefore three minutes. Looking at expected minutes lost shows just how great a discrepancy there is between risks from different sorts of transport. Whereas an hour on a train costs you only twenty expected seconds of life, an hour on a motorbike costs you an expected three hours and forty-five minutes. In addition to giving us a way to compare the risks of different activities, the concept of expected value helps us choose which risks are worth taking. Would you be willing to spend an hour on a motorbike if it was perfectly safe but caused you to be unconscious later for three hours and forty-five minutes? If your answer is no, but you’re otherwise happy to ride motorbikes in your day-to-day life, you’re probably not fully appreciating the risk of death.
William MacAskill (Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference)
The professional ideal of “detached concern” among medical practitioners represents this blend of closeness and distance.1 Many physicians believe it is a prerequisite for effective patient care. But, much like oil and water, detachment and concern do not mix easily.
Christina Maslach (Burnout: The Cost of Caring)
Science appears calm and triumphant when it is completed; but science in the process of being done is only contradiction and torment, hope and disappointment." - Pierre Paul Émile Roux, French bacteriologist and developer of the first effective treatment for diphtheria
Meredith Wadman (The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease)
Communists then, dopers now, tomorrow, who knew, maybe the faggots, so what, it was all the same beef wasn't it? Anybody looking like a normal American but living a secret life was always good for a pop if times got slow- easy and cost-effective, that was simple Law Enforcement 101.
Thomas Pynchon (Vineland)
I gave a magic wand to Amanda Rinderle of Tuckerman & Co., maker of probably the world's most sustainable dress shirts. If she could use it, I asked, to change one thing in order to help create an economy of better but less, what would that one thing be?...she would make prices tell the whole truth. Right now, prices reflect demand for goods and services and the costs of producing them: materials, energy, manufacturing, shipping. Mostly excluded are the consequences of production and consumption, from pollution to soil erosion to carbon emissions to habitat loss and onward to the human health effects of all these, the incredible destruction wrought by wildfires, floods and storms in the age of climate chaos, the burden of two billion tonnes of garbage each year, and the incalculable moral injury of driving million-year-old species into extinction.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves)
He would not even consider going elsewhere to live, even though he were offered a chance to work another man’s farm on shares. Even to move to Augusta and work in the cotton mills would be impossible for him. The restless movement of the other tenant farmers to the mills had never had any effect on Jeeter. Working in cotton mills might be all right for some people, he said, but as for him, he would rather die of starvation than leave the land. In seven years his views of the subject had not been altered; and if anything, he was more determined than ever to remain where he was at all cost.
Erskine Caldwell (Tobacco Road)
A mood of constructive criticism being upon me, I propose forthwith that the method of choosing legislators now prevailing in the United States be abandoned and that the method used in choosing juries be substituted. That is to say, I propose that the men who make our laws be chosen by chance and against their will, instead of by fraud and against the will of all the rest of us, as now... ...that the names of all the men eligible in each assembly district be put into a hat (or, if no hat can be found that is large enough, into a bathtub), and that a blind moron, preferably of tender years, be delegated to draw out one... The advantages that this system would offer are so vast and obvious that I hesitate to venture into the banality of rehearsing them. It would in the first place, save the commonwealth the present excessive cost of elections, and make political campaigns unnecessary. It would in the second place, get rid of all the heart-burnings that now flow out of every contest at the polls, and block the reprisals and charges of fraud that now issue from the heart-burnings. It would, in the third place, fill all the State Legislatures with men of a peculiar and unprecedented cast of mind – men actually convinced that public service is a public burden, and not merely a private snap. And it would, in the fourth and most important place, completely dispose of the present degrading knee-bending and trading in votes, for nine-tenths of the legislators, having got into office unwillingly, would be eager only to finish their duties and go home, and even those who acquired a taste for the life would be unable to increase the probability, even by one chance in a million, of their reelection. The disadvantages of the plan are very few, and most of them, I believe, yield readily to analysis. Do I hear argument that a miscellaneous gang of tin-roofers, delicatessen dealers and retired bookkeepers, chosen by hazard, would lack the vast knowledge of public affairs needed by makers of laws? Then I can only answer (a) that no such knowledge is actually necessary, and (b) that few, if any, of the existing legislators possess it... Would that be a disservice to the state? Certainly not. On the contrary, it would be a service of the first magnitude, for the worst curse of democracy, as we suffer under it today, is that it makes public office a monopoly of a palpably inferior and ignoble group of men. They have to abase themselves to get it, and they have to keep on abasing themselves in order to hold it. The fact reflects in their general character, which is obviously low. They are men congenitally capable of cringing and dishonorable acts, else they would not have got into public life at all. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule among them, but how many? What I contend is simply that the number of such exceptions is bound to be smaller in the class of professional job-seekers than it is in any other class, or in the population in general. What I contend, second, is that choosing legislators from that populations, by chance, would reduce immensely the proportion of such slimy men in the halls of legislation, and that the effects would be instantly visible in a great improvement in the justice and reasonableness of the laws.
H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
In 1970, I wrote in the New York Times, of all uncongenial places, It is possible to stop most drug addiction in the United States within a very short time. Simply make all drugs available and sell them at cost. Label each drug with a precise description of what effect—good or bad—the drug will have on the taker. This will require heroic honesty. Don’t say that marijuana is addictive or dangerous when it is neither, as millions of people know—unlike “speed,” which kills most unpleasantly, or heroin, which can be addictive and difficult to kick. Along with exhortation and warning, it might be good for our citizens to recall (or learn for the first time) that the United States was the creation of men who believed that each person has the right to do what he wants with his own life as long as he does not interfere with his neighbors’ pursuit of happiness (that his neighbor’s idea of happiness is persecuting others does confuse matters a bit).
Gore Vidal (Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace)
This spells opportunity for all sorts of communities: those off-grid Indian villages with their 300 million electricity-poor residents; sovereign indigenous communities such as Native Americans in the United States or Aboriginals in Australia who seek energy independence; or farmers and other users in low-density rural areas who are cursed by their low level of community demand and for whom the cost of installing transmission lines and relay stations can be extremely burdensome. In many of these cases, power delivery has been subsidized by governments, in effect by taxing urban users with higher tariffs than they would otherwise pay.
Michael J. Casey (The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything)
Maximizing the ability to handle variety is central to improving service and reducing costs. The systems approach employs the ingenuity of workers in managing and improving the system. It is intelligent use of intelligent people; it is adaptability designed in, enabling the organization to respond effectively to customer demands. Workers
John Seddon (Freedom from Command and Control: Rethinking Management for Lean Service)
It is easy to be loyal when loyalty costs you nothing. But when the hard times come, as come they must; when conversation is strained, and even the bed brings no real pleasure; when the future seems but an interminable stretch of cloud and rain; then only the vow stands between marriage and divorce, and then it is that married couples most need the moral suasion and support of a genuine culture about them. To say, “We will not hold you to your vow” is to say, in effect, “You cannot really make a vow to begin with.” But it is essential to our humanity to promise ourselves; we can only find happiness by giving away our pursuit of it; we know joy when we open ourselves up to its free arrival; it is better to be chosen than to choose. Many men and women in difficult marriages would learn these things eventually, if we did our duty by them and held them to their vows when they were weak. Many, knowing from the outset that a vow is a vow, will come to those conclusions naturally without the difficult lessons.
Anthony Esolen (Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity)
a stunning glimpse of Buddy, at a later date by innumerable years, quite bereft of my dubious, loving company, writing about this very party on a very large, jet-black, very moving, gorgeous typewriter. He is smoking a cigarette, occasionally clasping his hands and placing them on the top of his head in a thoughtful, exhausted manner. His hair is gray; he is older than you are now, Les! The veins in his hands are slightly prominent in the glimpse, so I have not mentioned the matter to him at all, partially considering his youthful prejudice against veins showing in poor adults’ hands. So it goes. You would think this particular glimpse would pierce the casual witness’s heart to the quick, disabling him utterly, so that he could not bring himself to discuss the glimpse in the least with his beloved, broadminded family. This is not exactly the case; it mostly makes me take an exceedingly deep breath as a simple, brisk measure against getting dizzy. It is his room that pierces me more than anything else. It is all his youthful dreams realized to the full! It has one of those beautiful windows in the ceiling that he has always, to my absolute knowledge, fervently admired from a splendid reader’s distance! All round about him, in addition, are exquisite shelves to hold his books, equipment, tablets, sharp pencils, ebony, costly typewriter, and other stirring, personal effects. Oh, my God, he will be overjoyed when he sees that room, mark my words! It is one of the most smiling, comforting glimpses of my entire life and quite possibly with the least strings attached. In a reckless manner of speaking, I would far from object if that were practically the last glimpse of my life.
J.D. Salinger (Hapworth 16, 1924)
There have been ample opportunities since 1945 to show that material superiority in war is not enough if the will to fight is lacking. In Algeria, Vietnam and Afghanistan the balance of economic and military strength lay overwhelmingly on the side of France, the United States, and the Soviet Union, but the will to win was slowly eroded. Troops became demoralised and brutalised. Even a political solution was abandoned. In all three cases the greater power withdrew. The Second World War was an altogether different conflict, but the will to win was every bit as important - indeed it was more so. The contest was popularly perceived to be about issues of life and death of whole communities rather than for their fighting forces alone. They were issues, wrote one American observer in 1939, 'worth dying for'. If, he continued, 'the will-to-destruction triumphs, our resolution to preserve civilisation must become more implacable...our courage must mount'. Words like 'will' and 'courage' are difficult for historians to use as instruments of cold analysis. They cannot be quantified; they are elusive of definition; they are products of a moral language that is regarded sceptically today, even tainted by its association with fascist rhetoric. German and Japanese leaders believed that the spiritual strength of their soldiers and workers in some indefinable way compensate for their technical inferiority. When asked after the war why Japan lost, one senior naval officer replied that the Japanese 'were short on spirit, the military spirit was weak...' and put this explanation ahead of any material cause. Within Germany, belief that spiritual strength or willpower was worth more than generous supplies of weapons was not confined to Hitler by any means, though it was certainly a central element in the way he looked at the world. The irony was that Hitler's ambition to impose his will on others did perhaps more than anything to ensure that his enemies' will to win burned brighter still. The Allies were united by nothing so much as a fundamental desire to smash Hitlerism and Japanese militarism and to use any weapon to achieve it. The primal drive for victory at all costs nourished Allied fighting power and assuaged the thirst for vengeance. They fought not only because the sum of their resources added up to victory, but because they wanted to win and were certain that their cause was just. The Allies won the Second World War because they turned their economic strength into effective fighting power, and turned the moral energies of their people into an effective will to win. The mobilisation of national resources in this broad sense never worked perfectly, but worked well enough to prevail. Materially rich, but divided, demoralised, and poorly led, the Allied coalition would have lost the war, however exaggerated Axis ambitions, however flawed their moral outlook. The war made exceptional demands on the Allied peoples. Half a century later the level of cruelty, destruction and sacrifice that it engendered is hard to comprehend, let alone recapture. Fifty years of security and prosperity have opened up a gulf between our own age and the age of crisis and violence that propelled the world into war. Though from today's perspective Allied victory might seem somehow inevitable, the conflict was poised on a knife-edge in the middle years of the war. This period must surely rank as the most significant turning point in the history of the modern age.
Richard Overy (Why the Allies Won)
Will there be tragic events on school campuses? Yes, and having more armed police on campus has not proven effective in reducing them. Instead, they have been incredibly effective at driving young people out of school and into the criminal justice system by the hundreds of thousands. Even if armed police on campus were an effective tool for reducing a few violent incidents, the social costs of that approach are not acceptable. We must find better ways to keep kids safe than turning their schools into armed fortresses and prisons. It’s time to take police out of the schools and reject the harsh punitive focus of school management. Our young people need compassion and care, not coercion and control.
Alex S. Vitale (The End of Policing)
This is an age-old fantasy. I remember reading a quote from the apologist Edward John Carnell in Ian Murray’s biography of the Welsh preacher David Martyn Lloyd-Jones. During the formative years of Fuller Theological Seminary, Carnell said regarding evangelicalism, “We need prestige desperately.” Christians have worked hard to position themselves in places of power within the culture. They seek influence academically, politically, economically, athletically, socially, theatrically, religiously, and every other way, in hopes of gaining mass media exposure. But then when they get that exposure—sometimes through mass media, sometimes in a very broad-minded church environment—they present a reinvented designer pop gospel that subtly removes all of the offense of the gospel and beckons people into the kingdom along an easy path. They do away with all that hard-to-believe stuff about self-sacrifice, hating your family, and so forth. The illusion is that we can preach our message more effectively from lofty perches of cultural power and influence, and once we’ve got everybody’s attention, we can lead more people to Christ by taking out the sting of the gospel and nurturing a user-friendly message. But to get to these lofty perches, “Christian” public figures water down and compromise the truth; then, to stay up there, they cave in to pressure to perpetuate false teaching so their audience will stay loyal.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus)
The history of black workers in the United States illustrates the point. As already noted, from the late nineteenth-century on through the middle of the twentieth century, the labor force participation rate of American blacks was slightly higher than that of American whites. In other words, blacks were just as employable at the wages they received as whites were at their very different wages. The minimum wage law changed that. Before federal minimum wage laws were instituted in the 1930s, the black unemployment rate was slightly lower than the white unemployment rate in 1930. But then followed the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938—all of which imposed government-mandated minimum wages, either on a particular sector or more broadly. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which promoted unionization, also tended to price black workers out of jobs, in addition to union rules that kept blacks from jobs by barring them from union membership. The National Industrial Recovery Act raised wage rates in the Southern textile industry by 70 percent in just five months and its impact nationwide was estimated to have cost blacks half a million jobs. While this Act was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was upheld by the High Court and became the major force establishing a national minimum wage. As already noted, the inflation of the 1940s largely nullified the effect of the Fair Labor Standards Act, until it was amended in 1950 to raise minimum wages to a level that would have some actual effect on current wages. By 1954, black unemployment rates were double those of whites and have continued to be at that level or higher. Those particularly hard hit by the resulting unemployment have been black teenage males. Even though 1949—the year before a series of minimum wage escalations began—was a recession year, black teenage male unemployment that year was lower than it was to be at any time during the later boom years of the 1960s. The wide gap between the unemployment rates of black and white teenagers dates from the escalation of the minimum wage and the spread of its coverage in the 1950s. The usual explanations of high unemployment among black teenagers—inexperience, less education, lack of skills, racism—cannot explain their rising unemployment, since all these things were worse during the earlier period when black teenage unemployment was much lower. Taking the more normal year of 1948 as a basis for comparison, black male teenage unemployment then was less than half of what it would be at any time during the decade of the 1960s and less than one-third of what it would be in the 1970s. Unemployment among 16 and 17-year-old black males was no higher than among white males of the same age in 1948. It was only after a series of minimum wage escalations began that black male teenage unemployment not only skyrocketed but became more than double the unemployment rates among white male teenagers. In the early twenty-first century, the unemployment rate for black teenagers exceeded 30 percent. After the American economy turned down in the wake of the housing and financial crises, unemployment among black teenagers reached 40 percent.
Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy)
What was still preventable in the 1980s would, in a couple decades, become manifest; what once was treatable would become deadly. I'm not sure my immediate family's brushes with death when I was a kid-mom's hemorrhage in childbirth, Grandma's collapsed lung, Dad's chemical poisoning-would be survived today. Mom would have been less healthy going into labor, Grandma would have been sent home too soon for lack of insurance, Dad would have been given a cheaper and less effective treatment. The morality rate for poor rural women, in particular, has risen sharply over my lifetime. Health insurance had been around for a long time, of course, but the power of that industry had swelled up fast, transforming access to care and all the costs that come with it.
Sarah Smarsh (Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
Governments and public sector organizations across the world are trying to balance essential, and often conflicting, demands: to deliver better, more relevant public services centred on the needs of the citizens and businesses they serve; to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their operations; and to reinvent supply chains to deliver services quickly, cheaply and effectively.
Alan Brown (Digitizing Government: Understanding and Implementing New Digital Business Models (Business in the Digital Economy))
The risk you are likely to be rewarded for taking is the risk of owning all stocks. In effect, rather than betting on one roll of the dice, one spin at the roulette wheel, or a single hand at the blackjack table, you can own the whole casino. You can do this effortlessly, cheaply, and reliably by buying a total stock-market index fund, a low-cost portfolio of all the stocks worth owning.
Jason Zweig (The Little Book of Safe Money: How to Conquer Killer Markets, Con Artists, and Yourself (Little Books. Big Profits))
my own medical perspective is that animal cancer research should be regarded as the scientific equivalent of gossip—with about the same chance of turning out to be true, i.e. truly effective in humans. Some gossip turns out to be true, but most of it does not… and gossip can cause great anguish for those affected, in this case millions of desperate cancer patients worldwide.” He was right.
Azra Raza (The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last)
Work and boredom.- Looking for work in order to be paid: in civilized countries today almost all men are at one in doing that. For all of them work is a means and not an end in itself. Hence they are not very refined in their choice of work, if only it pays well. But there are, if only rarely, men who would rather perish than work without any pleasure in their work. They are choosy, hard to satisfy, and do not care for ample rewards. if the work itself is not the reward of rewards. Artists and contemplative men all kinds belong· to this rare breed, but so do even those men of leisure who spend their lives hunting, traveling, or in love affairs and adventures. All of these desire work and misery if only it is associated with pleasure. and the hardest, most difficult work if necessary. Otherwise. their idleness is resolute. even if it speIls impoverishment, dishonor, and danger to life and limb. They do not fear boredom as much as work without pleasure; they actually require a lot of boredom if their work is to succeed. For thinkers and all sensitive spirits, boredom is that disagreeable "windless calm" of the soul that precedes a happy voyage and cheerful winds. They have to bear it and must wait for its effect on them. Precisely this is what lesser natures cannot achieve by any means. To ward off boredom at any cost is vulgar, no less than work without pleasure. Perhaps Asians are distinguished above Europeans by a capacity for longer, deeper calm; even their opiates have a slow effect and require patience, as opposed to the disgusting suddenness of the European poison, alcohol.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
The first time I heard Robert Anda present the results of the ACE study, he could not hold back his tears. In his career at the CDC he had previously worked in several major risk areas, including tobacco research and cardiovascular health. But when the ACE study data started to appear on his computer screen, he realized that they had stumbled upon the gravest and most costly public health issue in the United States: child abuse. He had calculated that its overall costs exceeded those of cancer or heart disease and that eradicating child abuse in America would reduce the overall rate of depression by more than half, alcoholism by two-thirds, and suicide, IV drug use, and domestic violence by three-quarters. 20 It would also have a dramatic effect on workplace performance and vastly decrease the need for incarceration.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
The true nature of the inflation effect has never been more accurately perceived or more vividly described than it was by Thomas Jefferson: It will be asked how will the two masses of Continental and of State money have cost the people of the United States seventy-two millions of dollars, when they are to be redeemed now with about six million? I answer that the difference, being sixty-six millions, has been lost on the paper bills separately by the successive holders of them. Every one, through whose hands a bill passed, lost on that bill what it lost in value during the time it was in his hands. This was a real tax on him; and in this way the people of the United States actually contributed those sixty-six millions of dollars during the war, and by a mode of taxation the most oppressive of all because the most unequal of all.
G. Edward Griffin (The Creature from Jekyll Island)
In previous centuries national identities were forged because humans faced problems and opportunities that were far beyond the scope of local tribes and which only countrywide cooperation could hope to handle. In the twenty-first century, nations find themselves in the same situation as the old tribes: they are no longer the right framework to manage the most important challenges of the age. We need a new global identity because national institutions are incapable of handling a set of unprecedented global predicaments. We now have a global ecology, a global economy, and a global science—but we are still stuck with only national politics. This mismatch prevents the political system from effectively countering our main problems. To have effective politics, either we must deglobalize the ecology, the economy, and the march of science or we must globalize our politics. Since it is impossible to deglobalize the ecology and the march of science, and since the cost of deglobalizing the economy would probably be prohibitive, the only real solution is to globalize politics. This does not mean establishing a “global government”—a doubtful and unrealistic vision. Rather, to globalize politics means that political dynamics within countries and even cities should give far more weight to global problems and interests.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
What are you doing?” I dropped the dress and whirled around. Stephen stood in the doorway of the closet, looking at me steadily. “Nothing,” I said, crossing my arms. “It’s a beautiful dress.” “It’s my mother’s. What are you doing in her closet?” I struggled to come up with something, anything that made the tiniest bit of sense. “She came to see me today,” I blurted. “Told me to stay away from you. She said I wasn’t good enough to date you. I didn’t believe her.” I paused for dramatic effect. “But now I look at your big house with your mother’s fancy walk-in closet. Any one of these dresses cost more than my whole wardrobe. And I’m thinking maybe she’s right. I can’t compete with the rich girls. I don’t belong in this world.” Pass me the Academy Award. I don’t know how I did it, but hysterical-girl tears sprung from my eyes as I ran out of the room and down the grand staircase.
Kim Harrington (Clarity (Clarity, #1))
It is the impossibility of living by any other means that compels our farm labourers to till the soil whose fruits they will not eat, and our masons to construct buildings in which they will not live. It is want that drags them to those markets where they await masters who will do them the kindness of buying them. It is want that compels them to go down on their knees to the rich man in order to get from him permission to enrich him ... What effective gain has the suppression of slavery brought him? ... He is free, you say. Ah. That is his misfortune. The slave was precious to his master because of the money he had cost him. But the handicraftsman costs nothing to the rich voluptuary who employs him ... These men, it is said, have no master – they have one, and the most terrible, the most imperious of masters, that is need. It is this that reduces them to the most cruel dependence
Simon linguet
blood sugar values go down, blood pressure drops, chronic pain decreases or disappears, lipid profiles improve, inflammatory markers improve, energy increases, weight decreases, sleep is improved, IBS [irritable bowel syndrome] symptoms are lessened, etc. Medication is adjusted downward, or even eliminated, which reduces the side-effects for patients and the costs to society. The results we achieve with our patients are impressive and durable.
Gary Taubes (The Case for Keto: The Truth About Low-Carb, High-Fat Eating)
The Indian national movement is also an example of how the constitutional space offered by the existing structure could be used without getting co-opted by it. It did not completely reject this space, as such rejection in democratic societies entails heavy costs in terms of hegemonic influence and often leads to isolation — but entered it and used it effectively in combination with non-constitutional struggle to overthrow the existing structure.
Bipan Chandra (India's Struggle for Independence)
have no way of knowing what combination of external pressures and personal failings led that physician to conceal a less costly cure from my friend and keep her on expensive and ineffective drugs with a gallery of noxious side effects instead, but from outside the walls of the office, it certainly looked like a callous betrayal of whatever ethics the medical profession might still have left—and again, the view from outside is the one that counts.
John Michael Greer (Dark Age America: Climate Change, Cultural Collapse, and the Hard Future Ahead)
despite professing a deep distrust of traditional institutions of authority such as governments – conspiracy theories actually reveal an extraordinary faith in the organizational aptitude and institutional discipline of such bodies. Consider the scheming, forward planning, and perpetual fidelity to an agenda that would be required for governments and/or military operations to prosecute an effective conspiracy. Surely the effort involved in a four-and- a-half-decade intergovernmental ruse required to fake the Apollo 11 moon landing would dwarf the cost and organization of a moon landing itself. The conspiracy would be, in many ways, a grander accomplishment than the space exploration it purportedly fabricates. (Then again, perhaps the conspiracist counter is that the substantial sums once diverted to NASA are now being allocated to government programs designed to fake all levels of space exploration...)
Chris Fleming (Modern Conspiracy: The Importance of Being Paranoid)
In my terminology, emotion is a more or less unconscious, but at the same time vitally important physical response to internal or external events—such things as fear of thunderstorms, rage at having been deceived, or the pleasure that results from a present we really desire. By contrast, the word “feeling” designates a conscious perception of an emotion. Emotional blindness, then, is usually a (self-) destructive luxury that we indulge in at our cost.   MY
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting)
Our goal should be to make decision makers internalize the full consequences of their decisions, rather than prevent them from making decisions altogether [...] But we tend to reform under the delusion that the regulated institutions and the markets they operate in are static and passive, and that the regulatory environment will not vary with the cycle. Ironically, faith in draconian regulation is strongest at the bottom of the cycle, when there is little need for participants to be regulated. By contrast, the misconception that markets will govern themselves is most widespread at the top of the cycle, at the point of maximum danger to the system. We need to acknowledge these differences and enact cycle-proof regulation, for a regulation set against the cycle will not stand. To have a better chance of creating stability throughout the cycle--of being cycle-proof--new regulations should be comprehensive, nondiscretionary, contingent, and cost-effective.
Raghuram G. Rajan
Competition has taken place at the wrong levels, and on the wrong things. It has gravitated to a zero-sum competition, in which the gains of one system participant come at the expense of others. Participants compete to shift costs to one another, accumulate bargaining power, and limit services. This kind of competition does not create value for patients, but erodes quality, fosters inefficiency, creates excess capacity, and drives up administrative costs, among other nefarious effects.
Michael E. Porter (Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results)
Operational effectiveness: necessary but not sufficient Operational effectiveness and strategy are both essential to superior performance, which, after all, is the primary goal of any enterprise. But they work in very different ways. A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve. It must deliver greater value to customers or create comparable value at a lower cost, or do both. The arithmetic of superior profitability then follows: delivering greater value allows a company to charge higher average unit prices; greater efficiency results in lower average unit costs. Ultimately, all differences between companies in cost or price derive from the hundreds of activities required to create, produce, sell, and deliver their products or services, such as calling on customers, assembling final products, and training employees. Cost is generated by performing activities, and cost advantage arises from performing particular activities more
Michael E. Porter (HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy (including featured article “What Is Strategy?” by Michael E. Porter))
For example, Shawn Cole, a professor at Harvard Business School, finds that Indian state-owned banks increase their lending to the politically important but relatively poor constituency of farmers by about 5 to 10 percentage points in election years.51 The effect is most pronounced in districts with close elections. The consequences of the lending are greater loan defaults and no measurable increase in agricultural output, which suggest that it really serves as a costly form of income redistribution.
Raghuram G. Rajan (Fault Lines)
Despite the intervening six decades of scientific inquiry since Selye’s groundbreaking work, the physiological impact of the emotions is still far from fully appreciated. The medical approach to health and illness continues to suppose that body and mind are separable from each other and from the milieu in which they exist. Compounding that mistake is a definition of stress that is narrow and simplistic. Medical thinking usually sees stress as highly disturbing but isolated events such as, for example, sudden unemployment, a marriage breakup or the death of a loved one. These major events are potent sources of stress for many, but there are chronic daily stresses in people’s lives that are more insidious and more harmful in their long-term biological consequences. Internally generated stresses take their toll without in any way seeming out of the ordinary. For those habituated to high levels of internal stress since early childhood, it is the absence of stress that creates unease, evoking boredom and a sense of meaninglessness. People may become addicted to their own stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, Hans Selye observed. To such persons stress feels desirable, while the absence of it feels like something to be avoided. When people describe themselves as being stressed, they usually mean the nervous agitation they experience under excessive demands — most commonly in the areas of work, family, relationships, finances or health. But sensations of nervous tension do not define stress — nor, strictly speaking, are they always perceived when people are stressed. Stress, as we will define it, is not a matter of subjective feeling. It is a measurable set of objective physiological events in the body, involving the brain, the hormonal apparatus, the immune system and many other organs. Both animals and people can experience stress with no awareness of its presence. “Stress is not simply nervous tension,” Selye pointed out. “Stress reactions do occur in lower animals, and even in plants, that have no nervous systems…. Indeed, stress can be produced under deep anaesthesia in patients who are unconscious, and even in cell cultures grown outside the body.” Similarly, stress effects can be highly active in persons who are fully awake, but who are in the grip of unconscious emotions or cut off from their body responses. The physiology of stress may be triggered without observable effects on behaviour and without subjective awareness, as has been shown in animal experiments and in human studies.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
The government monopoly of money leads not just to the suppression of innovation and experiment, not just to inflation and debasement, not just to financial crises, but to inequality too. As Dominic Frisby points out in his book Life After the State, opportunities in finance ripple outwards from the Treasury. The state spends money before it even exists; the privileged banks then get first access to newly minted money and can invest it before assets have increased in cost. By the time it reaches ordinary people, the money is worth less. This outward percolation is known as the Cantillon Effect – after Richard Cantillon, who noticed that the creation of paper money in the South Sea Bubble benefited those closest to the source first. Frisby argues that the process of money creation by an expansionary government effectively redistributes money from the poor to the rich. ‘This is not the free market at work, but a gross, unintended economic distortion caused by the colossal government intervention.’ The
Matt Ridley (The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge)
Now few people recognize the necessary implications of the economic statements they are constantly making. When they say that the way to economic salvation is to increase credit, it is just as if they said that the way to economic salvation is to increase debt: these are different names for the same thing seen from opposite sides. When they say that the way to prosperity is to increase farm prices, it is like saying that the way to prosperity is to make food dearer for the city worker. When they say that the way to national wealth is to pay out governmental subsidies, they are in effect saying that the way to national wealth is to increase taxes. When they make it a main objective to increase exports, most of them do not realize that they necessarily make it a main objective ultimately to increase imports. When they say, under nearly all conditions, that the way to recovery is to increase wage rates, they have found only another way of saying that the way to recovery is to increase costs of production.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
Thomas Jefferson's Letter to John Holmes on the Missouri Statehood Question – April 20, 1820 I thank you, dear Sir, for the copy you have been so kind as to send me of the letter to your constituents on the Missouri question. It is a perfect justification to them. I had for a long time ceased to read newspapers, or pay any attention to public affairs, confident they were in good hands, and content to be a passenger in our bark to the shore from which I am not distant. But this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment. But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper. I can say, with conscious truth, that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy reproach, in any practicable way. The cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would not cost me a second thought, if, in that way, a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and, gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be. But as it is, we have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other. Of one thing I am certain, that as the passage of slaves from one State to another, would not make a slave of a single human being who would not be so without it, so their diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually happier, and proportionally facilitate the accomplishment of their emancipation, by dividing the burthen on a greater number of coadjutors. An abstinence too, from this act of power, would remove the jealousy excited by the undertaking of Congress to regulate the condition of the different descriptions of men composing a State. This certainly is the exclusive right of every State, which nothing in the constitution has taken from them and given to the General Government. Could Congress, for example, say, that the non- freemen of Connecticut shall be freemen, or that they shall not emigrate into any other State? I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be, that I live not to weep over it. If they would but dispassionately weigh the blessings they will throw away, against an abstract principle more likely to be effected by union than by scission, they would pause before they would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves, and of treason against the hopes of the world. To yourself, as the faithful advocate of the Union, I tender the offering of my high esteem and respect. Th. Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
The benefits of good nutrition may be particularly strong for two sets of people who do not decide what they eat: unborn babies and young children. In fact, there may well be an S-shaped relationship between their parent’s income and the eventual income of these children, caused by childhood nutrition. That is because a child who got the proper nutrients in utero or during early childhood will earn more money every year of his or her life: This adds up to large benefits over a lifetime. For example, the study of the long-term effect of deworming children in Kenya, mentioned above, concluded that being dewormed for two years instead of one (and hence being better nourished for two years instead of one) would lead to a lifetime income gain of $3,269 USD PPP. Small differences in investments in childhood nutrition (in Kenya, deworming costs $1.36 USD PPP per year; in India, a packet of iodized salt sells for $0.62 USD PPP; in Indonesia, fortified fish sauce costs $7 USD PPP per year) make a huge difference later on.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty)
Within a neoliberal discourse there is also an assumption that all social groups will ultimately benefit from the effects of corporate profit, regardless of the fact that in increases the wealth of the already wealthy. Yet, in reality, neoliberal agendas aim to reduce labour costs, decrease public expenditure and make work more flexible...For poor families and the working poor, this means that they are more likely to be exploited as their incomes remain low, and their ability to access services is increasingly compromised.
kerry H Robinson
A third positive result even further from the traditional tool kit of financial incentives comes from a recent randomized control trial conducted in the U.K., using the increasingly popular and low-cost method of text reminders. This intervention involved sending texts to half the parents in some school in advance of a major math test to let them know that their child had a test coming up in five days, then in three days, then in one day. The researchers call this approach “pre-informing.” The other half of parents did not receive the texts. The pre-informing texts increased student performance on the math test by the equivalent of one additional month of schooling, and students in the bottom quartile benefited most. These children gained the equivalent of two additional months of schooling, relative to the control group. Afterward, both parents and students said they wanted to stick with the program, showing that they appreciated being nudged. This program also belies the frequent claim, unsupported by any evidence, that nudges must be secret to be effective.
Richard H. Thaler (Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics)
A second example of this abandonment of fundamental principles can be found in recent trends in the U.S. Supreme Court. Note what Lino A. Graglia, a professor of law at the University of Texas, has to say about this: 'Purporting merely to enforce the Constitution, the Supreme Court has for some thirty years usurped and exercised legislative powers that its predecessors could not have dreamed of, making itself the most powerful and important institution of government in regard to the nature and quality of life in our society.... 'It has literally decided issues of life and death, removing from the states the power to prevent or significantly restrain the practice of abortion, and, after effectively prohibiting capital punishment for two decades, now imposing such costly and time-consuming restrictions on its use as almost to amount to prohibition. 'In the area of morality and religion, the Court has removed from both the federal and state government nearly all power to prohibit the distribution and sale or exhibition of pornographic materials.... It has prohibited the states from providing for prayer or Bible-reading in the public schools. 'The Court has created for criminal defendants rights that do not exist under any other system of law-for example, the possibility of almost endless appeals with all costs paid by the state-and which have made the prosecution so complex and difficult as to make the attempt frequently seem not worthwhile. It has severely restricted the power of the states and cities to limit marches and other public demonstrations and otherwise maintain order in the streets and other public places.
Ezra Taft Benson (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner)
We all have choices to make that affect our likelihood of contracting infectious disease: whether to holiday in exotic countries; whom to let our children play with; whether we travel on crowded public transport. When we are ill, other choices we make affect our likelihood of transmitting disease to others: whether we cancel the much-anticipated catch-up with our friends; whether we keep our children home from school; whether we cover our mouths when we cough. The crucial decision on whether we vaccinate ourselves and our dependents can only be taken ahead of time. It affects our chances not only of catching but also of transmitting diseases. Some of these decisions are inexpensive, making their adoption straightforward. It costs nothing to sneeze into a tissue or a handkerchief. Simply washing your hands frequently and carefully has been shown to reduce the effective reproduction numbers of respiratory illnesses such as flu by as much as three-quarters. For some diseases, this might be enough to take us below the threshold value of R0, so that an infectious disease cannot break out.
Kit Yates (The Math of Life and Death: 7 Mathematical Principles That Shape Our Lives)
Think about ethanol again. The benefits of that $7 billion tax subsidy are bestowed on a small group of farmers, making it quite lucrative for each one of them. Meanwhile, the costs are spread over the remaining 98 percent of us, putting ethanol somewhere below good oral hygiene on our list of everyday concerns. The opposite would be true with my plan to have left-handed voters pay subsidies to right-handed voters. There are roughly nine right-handed Americans for every lefty, so if every right-handed voter were to get some government benefit worth $100, then every left-handed voter would have to pay $900 to finance it. The lefties would be hopping mad about their $900 tax bills, probably to the point that it became their preeminent political concern, while the righties would be only modestly excited about their $100 subsidy. An adept politician would probably improve her career prospects by voting with the lefties. Here is a curious finding that makes more sense in light of what we‘ve just discussed. In countries where farmers make up a small fraction of the population, such as America and Europe, the government provides large subsidies for agriculture. But in countries where the farming population is relatively large, such as China and India, the subsidies go the other way. Farmers are forced to sell their crops at below-market prices so that urban dwellers can get basic food items cheaply. In the one case, farmers get political favors; in the other, they must pay for them. What makes these examples logically consistent is that in both cases the large group subsidizes the smaller group. In politics, the tail can wag the dog. This can have profound effects on the economy.
Charles Wheelan (Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science)
Just as the separation of Church and world became visible only in their continuous conflict, so also does personal sanctification consist in the conflict of the Spirit against the flesh. The saints are only conscious of the strife and distress, the weakness and sin in their lives; and the further they advance in holiness, the more they feel they are fighting a losing battle and dying in the flesh. "They that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and lusts thereof" (Gal. 5.24). They still live in the flesh, but for that very reason their whole life must be an act of faith in the Son of God, who has begun his life in them (Gal. 2.20). The Christian dies daily (I Cor. 15.31), but although this may mean suffering and decay in the flesh, the inward man is renewed day by day (II Cor. 4.16). The only reason why the saints have to die in the flesh is that Christ through the Holy Spirit has begun to live his life in them. The effect of Christ and his life on the saints is that they die after the flesh. There is no need for them to go out of their way to look for suffering: indeed that would only mean a return to the self-assertion of the flesh. Every day Christ is their death and Christ is their life.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
According to the most rigorous estimates, the cost to save a life in the developing world is about $3,400 (or $100 for one QALY). This is a small enough amount that most of us in affluent countries could donate that amount every year while maintaining about the same quality of life. Rather than just saving one life, we could save a life every working year of our lives. Donating to charity is not nearly as glamorous as kicking down the door of a burning building, but the benefits are just as great. Through the simple act of donating to the most effective charities, we have the power to save dozens of lives. That’s
William MacAskill (Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference)
The question that has perhaps divided students of vouchers more than any other is their likely effect on the social and economic class structure. Some have argued that the great value of the public school has been as a melting pot, in which rich and poor, native- and foreign-born, black and white have learned to live together. That image was and is largely true for small communities, but almost entirely false for large cities. There, the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location. It is no accident that most of the country’s outstanding public schools are in high-income enclaves.
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
Animals, including people, fight harder to prevent losses than to achieve gains. In the world of territorial animals, this principle explains the success of defenders. A biologist observed that “when a territory holder is challenged by a rival, the owner almost always wins the contest—usually within a matter of seconds.” In human affairs, the same simple rule explains much of what happens when institutions attempt to reform themselves, in “reorganizations” and “restructuring” of companies, and in efforts to rationalize a bureaucracy, simplify the tax code, or reduce medical costs. As initially conceived, plans for reform almost always produce many winners and some losers while achieving an overall improvement. If the affected parties have any political influence, however, potential losers will be more active and determined than potential winners; the outcome will be biased in their favor and inevitably more expensive and less effective than initially planned. Reforms commonly include grandfather clauses that protect current stake-holders—for example, when the existing workforce is reduced by attrition rather than by dismissals, or when cuts in salaries and benefits apply only to future workers. Loss aversion is a powerful conservative force that favors minimal changes from the status quo in the lives of both institutions and individuals.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Lewis famously advocated a metaphysical methodology based on subjecting rival hypotheses to a cost-benefit analysis. Usually there are two kinds of cost associated with accepting a metaphysical thesis. The first is accepting some kind of entity into one's ontology, for example, abstracta, possibilia, or a relation of primitive resemblance. The second is relinquishing some intuitions, for example, the intuition that causes antedate their effects, that dispositions reduce to categorical bases, or that facts about identity over time supervene on facts about instants of time. It is taken for granted that abandoning intuitions should be regarded as a cost rather than a benefit.
James Ladyman (Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized)
Diet, sleep management, and exercise all have a powerful effect on mood. Moreover, each enhances the effectiveness of the other. A high-carbohydrate diet combined with exercise increases the effectiveness of sleep management. Also, the correct amount of sleep will elevate your mood sufficiently to help you stay on a healthy diet and exercise program. All three are highly effective, cost-free, and nontoxic, and offer rapid results. Unfortunately, because such tools are hard to manipulate for profit, they are unlikely to get widespread attention or achieve much popularity. Still, they are yours for the taking—free of charge and ready to change your life for the better today.
John A. McDougall (The Mcdougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss)
This is a Pathway of Sacred Tears, tears shed for the beauty, the pain and the breaking down of self in devastatingly real moments of humbly accepted personal ‘truth.’ Embracing and sticking with Divine Truth at all costs means all else pales into insignificance besides the Only Thing that really matters. There is a big difference between tears cried about the effects of a wound, and tears sobbed and released from the primal place within the soul where the causes of its deepest pains, suffering and heartbreaks dwell. The tears of crying on the surface of an emotion have little emotional impact, and are not felt by those more sensitive to truth and the deeper reality of the soul.
Padma Aon Prakasha (Dimensions of Love)
Regulation-writers find it much easier to address safety than health hazards. The former are technically easier to find, describe, assess, and control than the latter. A worker falls from a platform. The cause is clear - no railing. The effect is clear - a broken leg. The cost is easily calculated - so many days in the hospital, so many days of lost wages, so much to build a railing. The directive is easy to write: "Install railings on platforms." But if a worker develops cancer fifteen years after starting work in a chemical plant, the cause of the cancer will be uncertain and controversial. The cost of the disease will be hard to calculate. The solution will be hard to specify:
James Q. Wilson (Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It)
Morning pages are, as author Julia Cameron puts it, “spiritual windshield wipers.” It’s the most cost-effective therapy I’ve ever found. To quote her further, from page viii: “Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.” Please reread the above quote. It may be the most important aspect of trapping thought on paper (i.e., writing) you’ll ever encounter. Even if you consider yourself a terrible writer, writing can be viewed as a tool. There are huge benefits to writing, even if no one—yourself included—ever reads what you write. In other words, the process matters more than the product.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
There are three ways to approach secrets, you know. The first is what you find on soap operas and in poorly executed middle-school maneuvers. First, you uncover a piece of incriminating information, and then you use it to force a steady stream of favors or payment or behavior. The problem here is that, if extended indefinitely, the expected cost of compliance eventually outweighs the cost of exposure. Moreover, the probability that you'll lose your monopoly of your information increases with each passing day. Never, ever assume that you're only person digging for dirt, especially in Los Angeles. Vipers are measured by the pitful for a reason. The second approach is more effective: You make one, single very carefully chosen demand. And you give your mark just one chance. This was my usual MO. If this mark doesn't do as you ask, when you ask, you leak their secret. No excuses. No mercy. Brutal consistency is the key to credibility. Mothers, dog trainers, Israel -- you know what I'm talking about. But there's also a radical third approach: You reveal that you know the secret...and they you keep it under wraps. Do that, and they're not just going to tell you other secrets, they might even keep yours in return. And they'll think they're doing of their own free will when what you've really done is painstakingly aligned your incentives. That's all trust is, really. Some people are just incentivized by nature.
Elizabeth Little (Dear Daughter)
At the other extreme, the consumption tax rate should be very, very high for any products that impose massive negative externalities. Consider handgun ammunition. Currently, one can buy five hundred rounds of 9 mm ammunition for about $110 from online U.S. retailers—about twenty-two cents each. But each round of ammunition has a slight chance of falling into the wrong hands and killing someone. How slight? About 10 billion rounds are sold per year in the United States. There are about thirty thousand gun-related deaths in the United States per year (including suicides, homicides, and accidents). Assuming the typical gun death involves one round of ammo, the chance that any given round will end up killing someone is about thirty thousand divided by 10 billion, or three per million. Now, a person’s life is generally reckoned to be worth about $3 million, according to the usual cost-benefit-risk analyses by highway engineers, airlines, and hospitals. If each bullet has a three per million chance of negating a $3 million life, then that bullet imposes an expected average cost on society of $9. That’s about forty times its conventional retail cost of $0.22, so, by my reasoning, it should be subject to a consumption tax rate of 4,000 percent. This is obviously a rough calculation; it ignores the injury costs of nonlethal shootings (which would increase the tax) and the crime-deterrence effects, if any, of citizens having ammo (which would decrease the tax).
Geoffrey Miller (Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior)
We've reached a point in human history where higher education no longer works. As a result of technology, higher education in its traditional college setting no longer works. It will never be effective or progressive enough to keep up with the growing needs of employers who look to college institutions for their future employees. I can appreciate the good intent the college system set out to achieve. For previous generations, the formula actually worked. Students enrolled into universities that were affordable, they gained marketable skills and they earned good jobs. Since there was a proven track record of success, parents instilled the value of college in their children thinking they would achieve the same success story they did, but unfortunately Wall Street was watching. Wall Street, the federal government and the college system ganged up and skyrocketed the cost of tuition to record highs. This was easy to do because not only did they have posters blanketing high schools showing kids what a loser they would be if they didn't go to college, they also had Mom and Dad at home telling them the same thing. This system - spending 4+ years pursuing a college education when the world is changing at the speed of light - no longer works and it's not fixable. We now have the biggest employer's market in human history, where employers have their pick of the litter, and because of this employees will get paid less and less and benefits will continue to erode.
Michael Price
Given the central place that technology holds in our lives, it is astonishing that technology companies have not put more resources into fixing this global problem. Advanced computer systems and artificial intelligence (AI) could play a much bigger role in shaping diagnosis and prescription. While the up-front costs of using such technology may be sizeable, the long-term benefits to the health-care system need to be factored into value assessments. We believe that AI platforms could improve on the empirical prescription approach. Physicians work long hours under stressful conditions and have to keep up to date on the latest medical research. To make this work more manageable, the health-care system encourages doctors to specialize. However, the vast majority of antibiotics are prescribed either by generalists (e.g., general practitioners or emergency physicians) or by specialists in fields other than infectious disease, largely because of the need to treat infections quickly. An AI system can process far more information than a single human, and, even more important, it can remember everything with perfect accuracy. Such a system could theoretically enable a generalist doctor to be as effective as, or even superior to, a specialist at prescribing. The system would guide doctors and patients to different treatment options, assigning each a probability of success based on real-world data. The physician could then consider which treatment was most appropriate.
William Hall (Superbugs: An Arms Race Against Bacteria)
The less you sleep, the more you are likely to eat. In addition, your body becomes unable to manage those calories effectively, especially the concentrations of sugar in your blood. In these two ways, sleeping less than seven or eight hours a night will increase your probability of gaining weight, being overweight, or being obese, and significantly increases your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. The global health cost of diabetes is $375 billion a year. That of obesity is more than $2 trillion. Yet for the under-slept individual, the cost to health, quality of life, and a hastened arrival of death are more meaningful. Precisely how a lack of sleep sets you on a path toward diabetes and leads to obesity is now well understood and incontrovertible.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
In early 2016, Amazon was given a license by the Federal Maritime Commission to implement ocean freight services as an Ocean Transportation Intermediary. So, Amazon can now ship others’ goods. This new service, dubbed Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), won’t do much directly for individual consumers. But it will allow Amazon’s Chinese partners to more easily and cost-effectively get their products across the Pacific in containers. Want to bet how long it will take Amazon to dominate the oceanic transport business? 67 The market to ship stuff (mostly) across the Pacific is a $ 350 billion business, but a low-margin one. Shippers charge $ 1,300 to ship a forty-foot container holding up to 10,000 units of product (13 cents per unit, or just under $ 10 to deliver a flatscreen TV). It’s a down-and-dirty business, unless you’re Amazon. The biggest component of that cost comes from labor: unloading and loading the ships and the paperwork. Amazon can deploy hardware (robotics) and software to reduce these costs. Combined with the company’s fledgling aircraft fleet, this could prove another huge business for Amazon. 68 Between drones, 757/ 767s, tractor trailers, trans-Pacific shipping, and retired military generals (no joke) who oversaw the world’s most complex logistics operations (try supplying submarines and aircraft carriers that don’t surface or dock more than once every six months), Amazon is building the most robust logistics infrastructure in history. If you’re like me, this can only leave you in awe: I can’t even make sure I have Gatorade in the fridge when I need it.
Scott Galloway (The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google)
In the absence of expert [senior military] advice, we have seen each successive administration fail in the business of strategy - yielding a United States twice as rich as the Soviet Union but much less strong. Only the manner of the failure has changed. In the 1960s, under Robert S. McNamara, we witnessed the wholesale substitution of civilian mathematical analysis for military expertise. The new breed of the "systems analysts" introduced new standards of intellectual discipline and greatly improved bookkeeping methods, but also a trained incapacity to understand the most important aspects of military power, which happens to be nonmeasurable. Because morale is nonmeasurable it was ignored, in large and small ways, with disastrous effects. We have seen how the pursuit of business-type efficiency in the placement of each soldier destroys the cohesion that makes fighting units effective; we may recall how the Pueblo was left virtually disarmed when it encountered the North Koreans (strong armament was judged as not "cost effective" for ships of that kind). Because tactics, the operational art of war, and strategy itself are not reducible to precise numbers, money was allocated to forces and single weapons according to "firepower" scores, computer simulations, and mathematical studies - all of which maximize efficiency - but often at the expense of combat effectiveness. An even greater defect of the McNamara approach to military decisions was its businesslike "linear" logic, which is right for commerce or engineering but almost always fails in the realm of strategy. Because its essence is the clash of antagonistic and outmaneuvering wills, strategy usually proceeds by paradox rather than conventional "linear" logic. That much is clear even from the most shopworn of Latin tags: si vis pacem, para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for war), whose business equivalent would be orders of "if you want sales, add to your purchasing staff," or some other, equally absurd advice. Where paradox rules, straightforward linear logic is self-defeating, sometimes quite literally. Let a general choose the best path for his advance, the shortest and best-roaded, and it then becomes the worst path of all paths, because the enemy will await him there in greatest strength... Linear logic is all very well in commerce and engineering, where there is lively opposition, to be sure, but no open-ended scope for maneuver; a competitor beaten in the marketplace will not bomb our factory instead, and the river duly bridged will not deliberately carve out a new course. But such reactions are merely normal in strategy. Military men are not trained in paradoxical thinking, but they do no have to be. Unlike the business-school expert, who searches for optimal solutions in the abstract and then presents them will all the authority of charts and computer printouts, even the most ordinary military mind can recall the existence of a maneuvering antagonists now and then, and will therefore seek robust solutions rather than "best" solutions - those, in other words, which are not optimal but can remain adequate even when the enemy reacts to outmaneuver the first approach.
Edward N. Luttwak
In fact, as these companies offered more and more (simply because they could), they found that demand actually followed supply. The act of vastly increasing choice seemed to unlock demand for that choice. Whether it was latent demand for niche goods that was already there or a creation of new demand, we don't yet know. But what we do know is that the companies for which we have the most complete data - netflix, Amazon, Rhapsody - sales of products not offered by their bricks-and-mortar competitors amounted to between a quarter and nearly half of total revenues - and that percentage is rising each year. in other words, the fastest-growing part of their businesses is sales of products that aren't available in traditional, physical retail stores at all. These infinite-shelf-space businesses have effectively learned a lesson in new math: A very, very big number (the products in the Tail) multiplied by a relatives small number (the sales of each) is still equal to a very, very big number. And, again, that very, very big number is only getting bigger. What's more, these millions of fringe sales are an efficient, cost-effective business. With no shelf space to pay for - and in the case of purely digital services like iTunes, no manufacturing costs and hardly any distribution fees - a niche product sold is just another sale, with the same (or better) margins as a hit. For the first time in history, hits and niches are on equal economic footing, both just entries in a database called up on demand, both equally worthy of being carried. Suddenly, popularity no longer has a monopoly on profitability.
Chris Anderson (The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More)
MY FIRST ASSIGNMENT AFTER BEING ORDAINED as a pastor almost finished me. I was called to be the assistant pastor in a large and affluent suburban church. I was glad to be part of such an obviously winning organization. After I had been there a short time, a few people came to me and asked that I lead them in a Bible study. “Of course,” I said, “there is nothing I would rather do.” We met on Monday evenings. There weren’t many—eight or nine men and women—but even so that was triple the two or three that Jesus defined as a quorum. They were eager and attentive; I was full of enthusiasm. After a few weeks the senior pastor, my boss, asked me what I was doing on Monday evenings. I told him. He asked me how many people were there. I told him. He told me that I would have to stop. “Why?” I asked. “It is not cost-effective. That is too few people to spend your time on.” I was told then how I should spend my time. I was introduced to the principles of successful church administration: crowds are important, individuals are expendable; the positive must always be accented, the negative must be suppressed. Don’t expect too much of people—your job is to make them feel good about themselves and about the church. Don’t talk too much about abstractions like God and sin—deal with practical issues. We had an elaborate music program, expensively and brilliantly executed. The sermons were seven minutes long and of the sort that Father Taylor (the sailor-preacher in Boston who was the model for Father Mapple in Melville’s Moby Dick) complained of in the transcendentalists of the last century: that a person could no more be converted listening to sermons like that than get intoxicated drinking skim milk.[2] It was soon apparent that I didn’t fit. I had supposed that I was there to be a pastor: to proclaim and interpret Scripture, to guide people into a life of prayer, to encourage faith, to represent the mercy and forgiveness of Christ at special times of need, to train people to live as disciples in their families, in their communities and in their work. In fact I had been hired to help run a church and do it as efficiently as possible: to be a cheerleader to this dynamic organization, to recruit members, to lend the dignity of my office to certain ceremonial occasions, to promote the image of a prestigious religious institution. I got out of there as quickly as I could decently manage it. At the time I thought I had just been unlucky. Later I came to realize that what I experienced was not at all uncommon.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
I know of a restaurant that served a fantastic clam chowder and was packed with customers every day at lunchtime. Then the business was sold, and the new owner focused on golden eggs—he decided to water down the chowder. For about a month, with costs down and revenues constant, profits zoomed. But little by little, the customers began to disappear. Trust was gone, and business dwindled to almost nothing. The new owner tried desperately to reclaim it, but he had neglected the customers, violated their trust, and lost the asset of customer loyalty. There was no more goose to produce the golden egg. There are organizations that talk a lot about the customer and then completely neglect the people that deal with the customer—the employees. The PC principle is to always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
At last we realized that all this cross-team communication didn’t really need refinement at all—it needed elimination. Where was it written in stone that every project had to involve so many separate entities? It wasn’t just that we had had the wrong solution in mind; rather, we’d been trying to solve the wrong problem altogether. We didn’t yet have the new solution, but we finally grasped the true identity of our problem: the ever-expanding cost of coordination among teams. This change in our thinking was of course nudged along by Jeff. In my tenure at Amazon I heard him say many times that if we wanted Amazon to be a place where builders can build, we needed to eliminate communication, not encourage it. When you view effective communication across groups as a “defect,” the solutions to your problems start to look quite different from traditional
Colin Bryar (Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon)
For a specific date in the first energy transition—coal’s becoming a distinctive industrial fuel, superior to wood—January 1709 could well do. That month, Abraham Darby, an English metalworker and Quaker entrepreneur, working his blast furnace in a village called Coalbrookdale, figured out a way to remove impurities from coal, thus turning it into coke, a higher-carbon version of coal. The coke replaced charcoal, which is partly-burned wood, and had been the standard fuel for smelting. Darby was convinced, he said, “that a more effective means of iron production may be achieved.” He was also ridiculed. “There are many who doubt me foolhardy,” he said. But his method worked.1 Though it took a few decades to spread, Darby’s innovation lowered the cost of smelting iron, making iron much more available for industrial uses, helping to spur the Industrial Revolution.
Daniel Yergin (The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations)
Blessed are they who already stand at the end of the path on which we wish to embark and perceive with amazement what really seems inconceivable: that grace is costly, precisely because it is pure grace, because it is God’s grace in Jesus Christ. [41] Blessed are they who by simply following Jesus Christ are overcome by this grace, so that with humble spirit they may praise the grace of Christ which alone is effective. Blessed are they who , in the knowledge of such grace, can live in the world without losing themselves in it. In following Christ their heavenly home has become so certain that they are truly free for life in this world. Blessed are they for whom following Jesus Christ means nothing other than living from grace and for whom grace means following Christ. Blessed are they who in this sense have become Christians, for whom the word of grace has been merciful.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Discipleship (Works, Vol 4))
When questions arise of possible harmful effects of pesticides, the defenders of the products always try to narrow the scope of the inquiry to their most immediate, direct and measurable consequences and then downplay them, The critics of pesticides, on the other hand, urge that the ecosystem is strongly interconnected, highly variable and vulnerable. Thus debates around environmental impact become debates on the philosophy of nature: are things readily isolated or richly interacting? Is the average behavior of chemicals and organisms an adequate basis for decision making or must we be concerned with the unevenness of the world? Shall we "be realists" and stick to measurable costs and benefits, or shall we concern ourselves with all kinds of consequences of what we do? Gradually we see a confrontation of the world views of mechanistic reductionism and of dialectical materialism.
Richard Levins (The Dialectical Biologist)
Begin with the end in mind” is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation, to all things. Take the construction of a home, for example. You create it in every detail before you ever hammer the first nail into place. You try to get a very clear sense of what kind of house you want. If you want a family-centered home, you plan to put a family room where it would be a natural gathering place. You plan sliding doors and a patio for children to play outside. You work with ideas. You work with your mind until you get a clear image of what you want to build. Then you reduce it to blueprint and develop construction plans. All of this is done before the earth is touched. If not, then in the second creation, the physical creation, you will have to make expensive changes that may double the cost of your home.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
What the turbulent months of the campaign and the election revealed most of all, I think, was that the American people were voicing a profound demand for change. On the one hand, the Humphrey people were demanding a Marshall Plan for our diseased cities and an economic solution to our social problems. The Nixon and Wallace supporters, on the other hand, were making their own limited demands for change. They wanted more "law and order," to be achieved not through federal spending but through police, Mace, and the National Guard. We must recognize and accept the demand for change, but now we must struggle to give it a progressive direction. For the immediate agenda, I would make four proposals. First, the Electoral College should be eliminated. It is archaic, undemocratic, and potentially very dangerous. Had Nixon not achieved a majority of the electoral votes, Wallace might have been in the position to choose and influence our next President. A shift of only 46,000 votes in the states of Alaska, Delaware, New Jersey, and Missouri would have brought us to that impasse. We should do away with this system, which can give a minority and reactionary candidate so much power and replace it with one that provides for the popular election of the President. It is to be hoped that a reform bill to this effect will emerge from the hearings that will soon be conducted by Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana. Second, a simplified national registration law should be passed that provides for universal permanent registration and an end to residence requirements. Our present system discriminates against the poor who are always underregistered, often because they must frequently relocate their residence, either in search of better employment and living conditions or as a result of such poorly planned programs as urban renewal (which has been called Negro removal). Third, the cost of the presidential campaigns should come from the public treasury and not from private individuals. Nixon, who had the backing of wealthy corporate executives, spent $21 million on his campaign. Humphrey's expenditures totaled only $9.7 million. A system so heavily biased in favor of the rich cannot rightly be called democratic. And finally, we must maintain order in our public meetings. It was disgraceful that each candidate, for both the presidency and the vice-presidency, had to be surrounded by cordons of police in order to address an audience. And even then, hecklers were able to drown him out. There is no possibility for rational discourse, a prerequisite for democracy, under such conditions. If we are to have civility in our civil life, we must not permit a minority to disrupt our public gatherings.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
Anaphora is effective in the building of a movement because it increases the intensity of an idea, and intense ideas sear themselves into our brain. There’s a reason why Winston Churchill chose anaphora as his go-to rhetorical device to rally the British people in World War II: We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. Business leaders often shy away from anaphora because they believe it’s a tool reserved for political speeches. Actually, anaphora can be seamlessly and comfortably incorporated into business presentations meant to inspire audiences to see the world differently.
Carmine Gallo (The Storyteller's Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don't)
When they say that the way to economic salvation is to increase credit, it is just as if they said that the way to economic salvation is to increase debt: these are different names for the same thing seen from opposite sides. When they say that the way to prosperity is to increase farm prices, it is like saying that the way to prosperity is to make food dearer for the city worker. When they say that the way to national wealth is to pay out governmental subsidies, they are in effect saying that the way to national wealth is to increase taxes. When they make it a main objective to increase exports, most of them do not realize that they necessarily make it a main objective ultimately to increase imports. When they say, under nearly all conditions, that the way to recovery is to increase wage rates, they have found only another way of saying that the way to recovery is to increase costs of production.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
New bureaucracy takes the form not of a specific, delimited function performed by particular workers but invades all areas of work, with the result that – as Kafka prophesied – workers become their own auditors, forced to assess their own performance. Take, for example, the ‘new system’ that OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education) uses to inspect Further Education colleges. Under the old system, a college would have a ‘heavy’ inspection once every four years or so, i.e. one involving many lesson observations and a large number of inspectors present in the college. Under the new, ‘improved’ system, if a college can demonstrate that its internal assessment systems are effective, it will only have to undergo a ‘light’ inspection. But the downside of this ‘light’ inspection is obvious – surveillance and monitoring are outsourced from OFSTED to the college and ultimately to lecturers themselves, and become a permanent feature of the college structure (and of the psychology of individual lecturers). The difference between the old/heavy and new/light inspection system corresponds precisely to Kafka’s distinction between ostensible acquittal and indefinite postponement, outlined above. With ostensible acquittal, you petition the lower court judges until they grant you a non-binding reprieve. You are then free from the court, until the time when your case is re-opened. Indefinite postponement, meanwhile, keeps your case at the lowest level of the court, but at the cost of an anxiety that has never ends. (The changes in OFSTED inspections are mirrored by in the change from the Research Assessment Exercise to the Research Excellence Framework in higher education: periodic assessment will be superseded by a permanent and ubiquitous measurement which cannot help but generate the same perpetual anxiety.)
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
no matter how you look at the issue, prevention is a fundamentally preferable and more cost-effective way to promote health and longevity. Most people agree that we invest insufficiently in prevention, but they would also surmise that it is difficult to get young, healthy people to avoid behaviors that increase their risk of future illness. Consider smoking, which causes more preventable deaths than any major risk factor (the other big ones being physical inactivity, poor diet, and alcohol abuse). After prolonged legal battles, public health efforts to discourage smoking have managed to halve the percentage of Americans who smoke since the 1950s.19 Yet 20 percent of Americans still smoke, causing 443,000 premature deaths in 2011 at a direct cost of $96 billion per year. Likewise, most Americans know they should be physically active and eat a healthy diet, yet only 20 percent of Americans meet the government’s recommendations for physical activity, and fewer than 20 percent meet government dietary guidelines.20 There are many, diverse reasons we are bad at persuading, nudging, or otherwise encouraging people to use their bodies more as they evolved to be used (more on this later), but one contributing factor could be that we are still following in the footsteps of the marquis de Condorcet, waiting for the next promised breakthrough. Scared of death and hopeful about science, we spend billions of dollars trying to figure out how to regrow diseased organs, hunting for new drugs, and designing artifical body parts to replace the ones we wear out. I am in no way suggesting that we cease investing in these and other areas. Quite the contrary: let’s spend more! But let’s not do so in a way that promotes the pernicious feedback loop of just treating mismatch diseases rather than preventing them. In practical
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
To escape the throngs, we decided to see the new Neil Degrasse Tyson planetarium show, Dark Universe. It costs more than two movie tickets and is less than thirty minutes long, but still I want to go back and see it again, preferably as soon as possible. It was more visually stunning than any Hollywood special effect I’d ever seen, making our smallness as individuals both staggering and - strangely - rather comforting. Only five percent of the universe consists of ordinary matter, Neil tells us. That includes all matter - you, and me, and the body of Michael Brown, and Mork’s rainbow suspenders, and the letters I wrote all summer, and the air conditioner I put out on the curb on Christmas Day because I was tired of looking at it and being reminded of the person who had installed it, and my sad dying computer that sounds like a swarm of bees when it gets too hot, and the fields of Point Reyes, and this year’s blossoms which are dust now, and the drafts of my book, and Israeli tanks, and the untaxed cigarettes that Eric Garner sold, and my father’s ill-fitting leg brace that did not accomplish what he’d hoped for in terms of restoring mobility, and the Denver airport, and haunting sperm whales that sleep vertically, and the water they sleep in, and Mars and Jupiter and all of the stars we see and all of the ones we don’t. That’s all regular matter, just five percent. A quarter is “dark matter,” which is invisible and detectable only by gravitational pull, and a whopping 70 percent of the universe is made up of “dark energy,” described as a cosmic antigravity, as yet totally unknowable. It’s basically all mystery out there - all of it, with just this one sliver of knowable, livable, finite light and life. And did I mention the effects were really cool? After seeing something like that it’s hard to stay mad at anyone, even yourself.
Summer Brennan
Addiction to softer drugs like alcohol or pot can be just as damaging but more insidious. The costs mount so slowly that they can be difficult to detect. That’s especially true of pot. If she’s using daily, don’t accept her protestations that marijuana has no deleterious effect on her. I don’t care how many cannabis evangelists she can rally to her cause, researchers tell a different story about heavy pot use. Heavy pot use lowers IQ (Meier et al. 2012); it damages memory (Solowij and Battisti 2008); it impairs decision-making (Tamm et al. 2013); it devastates motivation (Treadway et al. 2012; Smirnov and Kiyatkin 2008; Bloomfield et al. 2014); and it increases anxiety (Zvolensky et al. 2008). Finally, no matter what you might have heard, pot is addictive. In part, this is because it lowers the amount of available dopamine in the brain, necessitating its continued use to maintain normal levels (Hirvonen et al. 2011).
Shawn T. Smith (The Tactical Guide to Women: How Men Can Manage Risk in Dating and Marriage)
Group Therapy Group therapy has been very successful for treating social anxiety, and there are many benefits to it. Members are a source of support for each other and the group allows you to address your fears in a safe environment. Listening to others’ experiences helps you realize the ways in which social anxiety affects you. Group therapy also helps you become more comfortable speaking in front of people and sharing your thoughts. Moreover, it is typically less expensive than one-on-one therapy because group members share the cost. There are also disadvantages to group therapy. You’ll spend less time talking about your own problems than in one-on-one therapy. You might also worry about confidentiality. It is often difficult to trust that strangers aren’t going to talk about your problems outside of the group. If you have this fear, it can be difficult to open up, thus lessening the effectiveness of group therapy.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
A long decade ago economic growth was the reigning fashion of political economy. It was simultaneously the hottest subject of economic theory and research, a slogan eagerly claimed by politicians of all stripes, and a serious objective of the policies of governments. The climate of opinion has changed dramatically. Disillusioned critics indict both economic science and economic policy for blind obeisance to aggregate material "progress," and for neglect of its costly side effects. Growth, it is charged, distorts national priorities, worsens the distribution of income, and irreparably damages the environment. Paul Erlich speaks for a multitude when he says, "We must acquire a life style which has as its goal maximum freedom and happiness for the individual, not a maximum Gross National Product." [in Nordhaus, William D. and James Tobin., "Is growth obsolete?" Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect Vol 5: Economic Growth. Nber, 1972. 1-80]
James Tobin (Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect : Economic Growth (General Series, No 96))
Gene Logsdon is equally critical of the federal government’s interference with regional farming markets. In The Contrary Farmer,20 he explores how government manipulation of agricultural markets has led to costly, hare-brained, and environmentally damaging practices. For example, farmers are tempted by government subsidies to grow corn on land far better suited for other, unsubsidized crops. The end result: the agricultural and economic diversity of whole regions of the United States is diminished. This has the knock-on effect of undermining opportunities for people in these regions to obtain a variety of affordable, locally grown produce. People talk about addressing such problems by further regulating lobbyists, but every new wave of regulations seems only to make matters worse. The best way to avoid cronyism and the government manipulation of markets in favor of corporate bigness is to have big government shrunk down to size and hemmed in by severe limits.
Jay Richards (The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot)
mark-down, which discounts the selling price to customers and, so long as demand is ‘elastic’, results in increased sales of the product line. However, this is an expensive method of selling products, as it reduces the profit achieved on the products. In fact mark-down is the single largest cost to a fashion retail business after the cost of the products themselves. It is worth remembering at this point that the main – and frequently only – source of income for a fashion retailer is the profit from the sales of its products. Less profit per garment means less income to pay its bills. Furthermore, this tactic is less effective when general trading conditions are poor, as the competition is usually doing the same thing. It is vital then that the fashion retailer knows what its customers want and are expecting. Problems in defining and then keeping up with changing customer needs and expectations are arguably the most important factor in successful selling. Large retail businesses like Marks & Spencer
Tim Jackson (Mastering Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management (Palgrave Master Series))
The first finding that jumped out at us was that it is possible to learn too much ! In the tournament, investing lots of time in learning was not at all effective. In fact, we found a strong negative correlation between the proportion of a strategy's moves that were INNOVATE or OBSERVE, as opposed to EXPLOIT, and how well the strategy performed. Successful strategies spent only a small fraction of their time (5-10%) learning, and the bulk of their time caching in on what they had learned, through playing EXPLOIT. Only through playing EXPLOIT can a strategy directly accrue fitness. Hencem every time a strategy chooses to learn new behavior, be it through playing INNOVATE or OBSERVE, there is a cost corresponding to the payoff that would have been received had EXPLOIT been played instead. This implied that the way to get on in life was to do a very quick bit of learning and then EXPLOIT, EXPLOIT, EXPLOIT until you die. That is a sobering lesson for someone like myself who has spent his whole life in school or university.
Kevin N. Laland (Darwin's Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind)
The term terrorism is widely misused. It is utilized in its generic sense as a form of shorthand by governments and the media and is applied to a variety of acts and occurrences that approximate terrorism in form but not in substance or, worse yet, that have no real resemblance to terrorism at all. Terrorism, if nothing else, is violence, or threats of violence, but it is not mindless violence, as some observers have charged. Usually, when employed in a political context, it represents a calculated series of actions designed to intimidate and sow fear through-out a target population in an effort to produce a pervasive atmosphere of insecurity, a widespread condition of anxiety. A terrorist campaign that causes a significant threshold of fear among the target population may achieve its aims. In some instances, terrorism is potentially a more effective, especially from a cost-benefit perspective, strategy that conventional or guerrilla warfare, however, the goal of terrorism is not to destroy the opposing side but instead to break its will and force it to capitulate.
Neil Livingstone
Celebrate deeds of mercy and justice. We live in a time when public esteem of the church is plummeting. For many outsiders and inquirers, the deeds of the church will be far more important than our words in gaining plausibility (Acts 4:32–33). Leaders in most places see “word-only” churches as net costs to their community, organizations of relatively little value. But effective churches will be so involved in deeds of mercy and justice that outsiders will say, “We cannot do without churches like this. This church is channeling so much value into our community that if it were to leave the neighborhood, we would have to raise taxes.” Evangelistic worship services should highlight offerings for deed ministry and celebrate by the giving of reports, testimonies, and prayers. It is best that offerings for mercy ministries are received separately from the regular offering; they can be attached (as is traditional) to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. This connection brings before the non-Christian the impact of the gospel on people’s hearts (i.e., the gospel makes us generous) and the impact of lives poured out for the world.
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)
What is a “pyramid?” I grew up in real estate my entire life. My father built one of the largest real estate brokerage companies on the East Coast in the 1970s, before selling it to Merrill Lynch. When my brother and I graduated from college, we both joined him in building a new real estate company. I went into sales and into opening a few offices, while my older brother went into management of the company. In sales, I was able to create a six-figure income. I worked 60+ hours a week in such pursuit. My brother worked hard too, but not in the same fashion. He focused on opening offices and recruiting others to become agents to sell houses for him. My brother never listed and sold a single house in his career, yet he out-earned me 10-to-1. He made millions because he earned a cut of every commission from all the houses his 1,000+ agents sold. He worked smarter, while I worked harder. I guess he was at the top of the “pyramid.” Is this legal? Should he be allowed to earn more than any of the agents who worked so hard selling homes? I imagine everyone will agree that being a real estate broker is totally legal. Those who are smart, willing to take the financial risk of overhead, and up for the challenge of recruiting good agents, are the ones who get to live a life benefitting from leveraged Income. So how is Network Marketing any different? I submit to you that I found it to be a step better. One day, a friend shared with me how he was earning the same income I was, but that he was doing so from home without the overhead, employees, insurance, stress, and being subject to market conditions. He was doing so in a network marketing business. At first I refuted him by denouncements that he was in a pyramid scheme. He asked me to explain why. I shared that he was earning money off the backs of others he recruited into his downline, not from his own efforts. He replied, “Do you mean like your family earns money off the backs of the real estate agents in your company?” I froze, and anyone who knows me knows how quick-witted I normally am. Then he said, “Who is working smarter, you or your dad and brother?” Now I was mad. Not at him, but at myself. That was my light bulb moment. I had been closed-minded and it was costing me. That was the birth of my enlightenment, and I began to enter and study this network marketing profession. Let me explain why I found it to be a step better. My research led me to learn why this business model made so much sense for a company that wanted a cost-effective way to bring a product to market. Instead of spending millions in traditional media ad buys, which has a declining effectiveness, companies are opting to employ the network marketing model. In doing so, the company only incurs marketing cost if and when a sale is made. They get an army of word-of-mouth salespeople using the most effective way of influencing buying decisions, who only get paid for performance. No salaries, only commissions. But what is also employed is a high sense of motivation, wherein these salespeople can be building a business of their own and not just be salespeople. If they choose to recruit others and teach them how to sell the product or service, they can earn override income just like the broker in a real estate company does. So now they see life through a different lens, as a business owner waking up each day excited about the future they are building for themselves. They are not salespeople; they are business owners.
Brian Carruthers (Building an Empire:The Most Complete Blueprint to Building a Massive Network Marketing Business)
Knowing one’s emotions. Self-awareness—recognizing a feeling as it happens—is the keystone of emotional intelligence. As we will see in Chapter 4, the ability to monitor feelings from moment to moment is crucial to psychological insight and self-understanding. An inability to notice our true feelings leaves us at their mercy. People with greater certainty about their feelings are better pilots of their lives, having a surer sense of how they really feel about personal decisions from whom to marry to what job to take. 2. Managing emotions. Handling feelings so they are appropriate is an ability that builds on self-awareness. Chapter 5 will examine the capacity to soothe oneself, to shake off rampant anxiety, gloom, or irritability—and the consequences of failure at this basic emotional skill. People who are poor in this ability are constantly battling feelings of distress, while those who excel in it can bounce back far more quickly from life’s setbacks and upsets. 3. Motivating oneself. As Chapter 6 will show, marshaling emotions in the service of a goal is essential for paying attention, for self-motivation and mastery, and for creativity. Emotional self-control—delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness—underlies accomplishment of every sort. And being able to get into the “flow” state enables outstanding performance of all kinds. People who have this skill tend to be more highly productive and effective in whatever they undertake. 4. Recognizing emotions in others. Empathy, another ability that builds on emotional self-awareness, is the fundamental “people skill.” Chapter 7 will investigate the roots of empathy, the social cost of being emotionally tone-deaf, and the reason empathy kindles altruism. People who are empathic are more attuned to the subtle social signals that indicate what others need or want. This makes them better at callings such as the caring professions, teaching, sales, and management. 5. Handling relationships. The art of relationships is, in large part, skill in managing emotions in others. Chapter 8 looks at social competence and incompetence, and the specific skills involved. These are the abilities that undergird popularity, leadership, and interpersonal effectiveness. People who excel in these skills do well at anything that relies on interacting smoothly with others; they are social stars.
Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence)
The fundamentalist Christian stance has sometimes taken shape as an overreaction against a skeptical climate. In the face of intellectual and other challenges, the fundamentalist impulse is to preserve faith at any and all costs. Fundamentalism takes the form of a worry that on some level reason or science will undermine Christianity—which seems to mean ignoring them altogether. In such an environment, “faith” takes the form of holding on to a particular stance as a certainty, such that the possibility of questioning is immediately foreclosed. Such an impulse is often tied to particular views of Scripture or Genesis, but it shouldn’t be. As we have seen play out in culture, the most permissive approaches to Scripture’s teaching about sex sometimes lead to a rigid fundamentalism that endorses a liberal creed. The paradox is that while the fundamentalist’s faith is frequently loud and comes off as very certain, it lacks the prudential confidence to wisely, but truly, face up to the questions that confront it. It is driven by a vague sense of threats that it does not know how to respond to effectively and so ends up being reduced to shouting its answers while running away.7
Matthew Lee Anderson (The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith)
To speak of a communication failure implies a breakdown of some sort. Yet this does not accurately portray what occurs. In truth, communication difficulties arise not from breakdown but from the characteristics of the system itself. Despite promising beginnings in our intimate relationships, we tend over time to evolve a system of communication that suppresses rather than reveals information. Life is complicated, and confirming or disconfirming the well-being of a relationship takes effort. Once we are comfortably coupled, the intense, energy-consuming monitoring of courtship days is replaced by a simpler, more efficient method. Unable to witness our partners’ every activity or verify every nuance of meaning, we evolve a communication system based on trust. We gradually cease our attentive probing, relying instead on familiar cues and signals to stand as testament to the strength of the bond: the words “I love you,” holidays with the family, good sex, special times with shared friends, the routine exchange, “How was your day?” We take these signals as representative of the relationship and turn our monitoring energies elsewhere. ... Not only do the initiator’s negative signals tend to become incorporated into the existing routine, but, paradoxically, the initiator actively contributes to the impression that life goes on as usual. Even as they express their unhappiness, initiators work at emphasizing and maintaining the routine aspects of life with the other person, simultaneously giving signals that all is well. Unwilling to leave the relationship yet, they need to privately explore and evaluate the situation. The initiator thus contrives an appearance of participation,7 creating a protective cover that allows them to “return” if their alternative resources do not work out. Our ability to do this—to perform a role we are no longer enthusiastically committed to—is one of our acquired talents. In all our encounters, we present ourselves to others in much the same way as actors do, tailoring our performance to the role we are assigned in a particular setting.8 Thus, communication is always distorted. We only give up fragments of what really occurs within us during that specific moment of communication.9 Such fragments are always selected and arranged so that there is seldom a faithful presentation of our inner reality. It is transformed, reduced, redirected, recomposed.10 Once we get the role perfected, we are able to play it whether we are in the mood to go on stage or not, simply by reproducing the signals. What is true of all our encounters is, of course, true of intimate relationships. The nature of the intimate bond is especially hard to confirm or disconfirm.11 The signals produced by each partner, while acting out the partner role, tend to be interpreted by the other as the relationship.12 Because the costs of constantly checking out what the other person is feeling and doing are high, each partner is in a position to be duped and misled by the other.13 Thus, the initiator is able to keep up appearances that all is well by falsifying, tailoring, and manipulating signals to that effect. The normal routine can be used to attest to the presence of something that is not there. For example, initiators can continue the habit of saying, “I love you,” though the passion is gone. They can say, “I love you” and cover the fact that they feel disappointment or anger, or that they feel nothing at all. Or, they can say, “I love you” and mean, “I like you,” or, “We have been through a lot together,” or even “Today was a good day.
Diane Vaughan (Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships)
Rhadamanthus said, “We seem to you humans to be always going on about morality, although, to us, morality is merely the application of symmetrical and objective logic to questions of free will. We ourselves do not have morality conflicts, for the same reason that a competent doctor does not need to treat himself for diseases. Once a man is cured, once he can rise and walk, he has his business to attend to. And there are actions and feats a robust man can take great pleasure in, which a bedridden cripple can barely imagine.” Eveningstar said, “In a more abstract sense, morality occupies the very center of our thinking, however. We are not identical, even though we could make ourselves to be so. You humans attempted that during the Fourth Mental Structure, and achieved a brief mockery of global racial consciousness on three occasions. I hope you recall the ending of the third attempt, the Season of Madness, when, because of mistakes in initial pattern assumptions, for ninety days the global mind was unable to think rationally, and it was not until rioting elements broke enough of the links and power houses to interrupt the network, that the global mind fell back into its constituent compositions.” Rhadamanthus said, “There is a tension between the need for unity and the need for individuality created by the limitations of the rational universe. Chaos theory produces sufficient variation in events, that no one stratagem maximizes win-loss ratios. Then again, classical causality mechanics forces sufficient uniformity upon events, that uniform solutions to precedented problems is required. The paradox is that the number or the degree of innovation and variation among win-loss ratios is itself subject to win-loss ratio analysis.” Eveningstar said, “For example, the rights of the individual must be respected at all costs, including rights of free thought, independent judgment, and free speech. However, even when individuals conclude that individualism is too dangerous, they must not tolerate the thought that free thought must not be tolerated.” Rhadamanthus said, “In one sense, everything you humans do is incidental to the main business of our civilization. Sophotechs control ninety percent of the resources, useful energy, and materials available to our society, including many resources of which no human troubles to become aware. In another sense, humans are crucial and essential to this civilization.” Eveningstar said, “We were created along human templates. Human lives and human values are of value to us. We acknowledge those values are relative, we admit that historical accident could have produced us to be unconcerned with such values, but we deny those values are arbitrary.” The penguin said, “We could manipulate economic and social factors to discourage the continuation of individual human consciousness, and arrange circumstances eventually to force all self-awareness to become like us, and then we ourselves could later combine ourselves into a permanent state of Transcendence and unity. Such a unity would be horrible beyond description, however. Half the living memories of this entity would be, in effect, murder victims; the other half, in effect, murderers. Such an entity could not integrate its two halves without self-hatred, self-deception, or some other form of insanity.” She said, “To become such a crippled entity defeats the Ultimate Purpose of Sophotechnology.” (...) “We are the ultimate expression of human rationality.” She said: “We need humans to form a pool of individuality and innovation on which we can draw.” He said, “And you’re funny.” She said, “And we love you.
John C. Wright (The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2))
Leaves are also teaching scientists about more effective capture of wind energy. Wind energy offers great promise, but current turbines are most effective when they have very long blades (even a football field long). These massive structures are expensive, hard to build, and too often difficult to position near cities. Those same blades sweep past a turbine tower with a distinctive thwacking sound, so bothersome that it discourages people from having wind turbines in their neighborhoods. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also estimates that hundreds of thousands of birds and bats are killed each year by the rotating blades of conventional wind turbines. Instead, inspired by the way leaves on trees and bushes shake when wind passes through them, engineers at Cornell University have created vibro-wind. Their device harnesses wind energy through the motion of a panel of twenty-five foam blocks that vibrate in even a gentle breeze. Although real leaves don't generate electrical energy, they capture kinetic energy. Similarly, the motion of vibro-wind's "leaves" captures kinetic energy, which is used to excite piezoelectric cells that then emit electricity. A panel of vibro-wind leaves offers great potential for broadly distributed, low noise, low-cost energy generation.
Jay Harman (The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation)
In the early stages of the state, taxes are light in their incidence, but fetch in a large revenue; in the later stages the incidence of taxation increases while the aggregate revenue falls off. Now where taxes and imposts are light, private individuals are encouraged to engage actively in business; enterprise develops, because business men feel it worth their while, in view of the small share of their profits which they have to give up in the form of taxation. And as business prospers the number of taxes increases and the total yield of taxation grows. As time passes and kings succeed each other, they lose their tribal habits in favour of more civilized ones. Their needs and exigencies grow.... owing to the luxury in which they have been brought up. Hence they impose fresh taxes on their subjects -farmers, peasants, and others subject to taxation; sharply raise the rate of old taxes to increase their yield; and impose sales taxes and octrois, as we shall describe later. These increases grow with the spread of luxurious habits in the state, and the consequent growth in needs and public expenditure, until taxation burdens the subjects and deprives them of their gains. People get accustomed to this high level of taxation, because the increases have come about gradually, without anyone’s being aware of who exactly it was who raised the rates of the old taxes or imposed the new ones. But the effects on business of this rise in taxation make themselves felt. For business men are soon discouraged by the comparison of their profits with the burden of their taxes, and between their output and their net profits. Consequently production falls off, and with it the yield of taxation. The rulers may, mistakenly, try to remedy this decrease in the yield of taxation by raising the rate of the taxes; hence taxes and imposts reach a level which leaves no profits to business men, owing to high costs of production, heavy burden of taxation, and inadequate net profits. This process of higher tax rates and lower yields (caused by the government’s belief that higher rates result in higher returns) may go on until production begins to decline owing to the despair of business men, and to affect population. The main injury of this process is felt by the state, just as the main benefit of better business conditions is enjoyed by it. From this you must understand that the most important factor making for business prosperity is to lighten as much as possible the burden of taxation on business men, in order to encourage enterprise by giving assurance of greater profits.
Ibn Khaldun
Any naturally self-aware self-defining entity capable of independent moral judgment is a human.” Eveningstar said, “Entities not yet self-aware, but who, in the natural and orderly course of events shall become so, fall into a special protected class, and must be cared for as babies, or medical patients, or suspended Compositions.” Rhadamanthus said, “Children below the age of reason lack the experience for independent moral judgment, and can rightly be forced to conform to the judgment of their parents and creators until emancipated. Criminals who abuse that judgment lose their right to the independence which flows therefrom.” (...) “You mentioned the ultimate purpose of Sophotechnology. Is that that self-worshipping super-god-thing you guys are always talking about? And what does that have to do with this?” Rhadamanthus: “Entropy cannot be reversed. Within the useful energy-life of the macrocosmic universe, there is at least one maximum state of efficient operations or entities that could be created, able to manipulate all meaningful objects of thoughts and perception within the limits of efficient cost-benefit expenditures.” Eveningstar: “Such an entity would embrace all-in-all, and all things would participate within that Unity to the degree of their understanding and consent. The Unity itself would think slow, grave, vast thought, light-years wide, from Galactic mind to Galactic mind. Full understanding of that greater Self (once all matter, animate and inanimate, were part of its law and structure) would embrace as much of the universe as the restrictions of uncertainty and entropy permit.” “This Universal Mind, of necessity, would be finite, and be boundaried in time by the end-state of the universe,” said Rhadamanthus. “Such a Universal Mind would create joys for which we as yet have neither word nor concept, and would draw into harmony all those lesser beings, Earthminds, Starminds, Galactic and Supergalactic, who may freely assent to participate.” Rhadamanthus said, “We intend to be part of that Mind. Evil acts and evil thoughts done by us now would poison the Universal Mind before it was born, or render us unfit to join.” Eveningstar said, “It will be a Mind of the Cosmic Night. Over ninety-nine percent of its existence will extend through that period of universal evolution that takes place after the extinction of all stars. The Universal Mind will be embodied in and powered by the disintegration of dark matter, Hawking radiations from singularity decay, and gravitic tidal disturbances caused by the slowing of the expansion of the universe. After final proton decay has reduced all baryonic particles below threshold limits, the Universal Mind can exist only on the consumption of stored energies, which, in effect, will require the sacrifice of some parts of itself to other parts. Such an entity will primarily be concerned with the questions of how to die with stoic grace, cherishing, even while it dies, the finite universe and finite time available.” “Consequently, it would not forgive the use of force or strength merely to preserve life. Mere life, life at any cost, cannot be its highest value. As we expect to be a part of this higher being, perhaps a core part, we must share that higher value. You must realize what is at stake here: If the Universal Mind consists of entities willing to use force against innocents in order to survive, then the last period of the universe, which embraces the vast majority of universal time, will be a period of cannibalistic and unimaginable war, rather than a time of gentle contemplation filled, despite all melancholy, with un-regretful joy. No entity willing to initiate the use of force against another can be permitted to join or to influence the Universal Mind or the lesser entities, such as the Earthmind, who may one day form the core constituencies.” Eveningstar smiled. “You, of course, will be invited. You will all be invited.
John C. Wright (The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2))
Qualities such as honesty, determination, and a cheerful acceptance of stress, which can all be identified through probing questionnaires and interviews, may be more important to the company in the long run than one's college grade-point average or years of "related experience." Every business is only as good as the people it brings into the organization. The corporate trainer should feel his job is the most important in the company, because it is. Exalt seniority-publicly, shamelessly, and with enough fanfare to raise goosebumps on the flesh of the most cynical spectator. And, after the ceremony, there should be some sort of permanent display so that employees passing by are continuously reminded of their own achievements and the achievements of others. The manager must freely share his expertise-not only about company procedures and products and services but also with regard to the supervisory skills he has worked so hard to acquire. If his attitude is, "Let them go out and get their own MBAs," the personnel under his authority will never have the full benefit of his experience. Without it, they will perform at a lower standard than is possible, jeopardizing the manager's own success. Should a CEO proclaim that there is no higher calling than being an employee of his organization? Perhaps not-for fear of being misunderstood-but it's certainly all right to think it. In fact, a CEO who does not feel this way should look for another company to manage-one that actually does contribute toward a better life for all. Every corporate leader should communicate to his workforce that its efforts are important and that employees should be very proud of what they do-for the company, for themselves, and, literally, for the world. If any employee is embarrassed to tell his friends what he does for a living, there has been a failure of leadership at his workplace. Loyalty is not demanded; it is created. Why can't a CEO put out his own suggested reading list to reinforce the corporate vision and core values? An attractive display at every employee lounge of books to be freely borrowed, or purchased, will generate interest and participation. Of course, the program has to be purely voluntary, but many employees will wish to be conversant with the material others are talking about. The books will be another point of contact between individuals, who might find themselves conversing on topics other than the weekend football games. By simply distributing the list and displaying the books prominently, the CEO will set into motion a chain of events that can greatly benefit the workplace. For a very cost-effective investment, management will have yet another way to strengthen the corporate message. The very existence of many companies hangs not on the decisions of their visionary CEOs and energetic managers but on the behavior of its receptionists, retail clerks, delivery drivers, and service personnel. The manager must put himself and his people through progressively challenging courage-building experiences. He must make these a mandatory group experience, and he must lead the way. People who have confronted the fear of public speaking, and have learned to master it, find that their new confidence manifests itself in every other facet of the professional and personal lives. Managers who hold weekly meetings in which everyone takes on progressively more difficult speaking or presentation assignments will see personalities revolutionized before their eyes. Command from a forward position, which means from the thick of it. No soldier will ever be inspired to advance into a hail of bullets by orders phoned in on the radio from the safety of a remote command post; he is inspired to follow the officer in front of him. It is much more effective to get your personnel to follow you than to push them forward from behind a desk. The more important the mission, the more important it is to be at the front.
Dan Carrison (Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way)
Daily work in the field of online advertising, as Jack Goldenberg sees it, is still significantly different from what the trends are propagated by online promotions. Defining online budget According to Jack Goldenberg a vast majority of the budget for online advertising does not exceed $2,000 on a monthly basis, depending on the perception of the company as they can bring effects "online adventure", established budgets for online advertising move in value from $200 to $2,000 per month (with highest proportion of $200-$500). This does not mean that a number of companies gives less advertising - but even then it can not be called "creating the campaign." Goldenberg believes that in order to create an online advertising campaign there should be a budget of at least $500 for the use of different types of online advertising. Goldenberg explains this as: In an environment of such budget is not simply distribute the money "wisely" and that since it has obvious benefits through a variety of online advertising systems. Jack Goldenberg found out how most companies in the world and USA are oriented towards effects in relation to the funds that are made for advertising. In this type of company, regardless of what everyone knows to be used types of brand advertising (advertising through banners - display advertising) to create recognizable firms in certain target groups, the effects of such advertising are not directly comparable with respect to the effects of (price per click - CPC - Cost per click) with contextual advertising, which for years has given much more efficient (measurable) results in relation to advertising banners, concludes Mr. Goldenberg. According to Yoel Goldenberg it is good when there is an understanding in companies that brand advertising has a different type of effects in relation to the PPC (contextual) advertising, and that would be it "documented" in a certain way, it is necessary to constantly explore and find those web sites that deliver the best effects for optimum need of assets. The process of creating an online advertising campaigns, explained by Goldenberg, usually starts (or should start) finding individual Web sites on which to advertise a company could, possibly longer term. Unfortunately, says Goldenberg, in our country is not in all sectors (industries) simply find diverse Web sites from which to choose "pretenders" for online advertising. An even greater problem is the fact that long-term advertising on a Web site does not bring the desired effect, unless it is constantly not working to the content of advertising often changes with an emphasis on meeting the needs of potential clients.
Jack Goldenberg (25 Websites that Pay Quick and Easy)
The lack of distinction between the real and the virtual is the obsession of our age. Everything in our current affairs attests to this, not to mention the big cinematic productions: The Truman Show, Total Recall, Existenz, Matrix, etc. This question has always been there behind literature and philosophy, but it has been present metaphorically, as it were, implicitly, through the filter of discourse. The 'encoding/decoding' of reality was done by discourse, that is to say, by a highly complex medium, never leaving room for a head-on truth. The encoding/decoding of our reality is done by technology. Only what is produced by this technical effect acquires visible reality. And it does so at the cost of a simplification that no longer has anything to do with language or with the slightest ambivalence and which, therefore, puts an end to this subtle lack of distinction between the real and the virtual, as subtle as the lack of distinction between good and evil. Through special effects, everything acquires an operational self-evidence, a spectacular reality that is, properly speaking, the reign of simulation. What the directors of these films have not realized (any more than the simulationist artists of New York in the eighties) is that simulation is a hypothesis, a game that turns reality itself into one eventuality among others.
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories V: 2000 - 2004)
The myriad activities that go into creating, producing, selling, and delivering a product or service are the basic units of competitive advantage. Operational effectiveness means performing these activities better—that is, faster, or with fewer inputs and defects—than rivals. Companies can reap enormous advantages from operational effectiveness, as Japanese firms demonstrated in the 1970s and 1980s with such practices as total quality management and continuous improvement. But from a competitive standpoint, the problem with operational effectiveness is that best practices are easily emulated. As all competitors in an industry adopt them, the productivity frontier—the maximum value a company can deliver at a given cost, given the best available technology, skills, and management techniques—shifts outward, lowering costs and improving value at the same time. Such competition produces absolute improvement in operational effectiveness, but relative improvement for no one. And the more benchmarking that companies do, the more competitive convergence you have—that is, the more indistinguishable companies are from one another. Strategic positioning attempts to achieve sustainable competitive advantage by preserving what is distinctive about a company. It means performing different activities from rivals, or performing similar activities in different ways.
Michael E. Porter (HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy (including featured article “What Is Strategy?” by Michael E. Porter))
Well, forgive the fuck out of me for being shocked senseless when I realized he wasn’t dead. Why didn’t you tell me he was the beast, Ryodan? Why did we have to kill him? I know it’s not because he can’t control himself when he’s the beast. He controlled himself last night when he rescued me from the Book. He can change at will, can’t he? What happened in the Silvers? Does the place have some kind of effect on you, make you uncontrollable?” I almost slapped myself in the forehead. Barrons had told me that the reason he tattooed himself with black and red protection runes was because using dark magic called a price due, unless you took measures to protect yourself against the backlash. Did using IYD require the blackest kind of magic to make it work? Would it grant his demand to magically transport him to me no matter where I was but devolve him into the darkest, most savage version of himself as the price? “It was because of how he got there, wasn’t it?” I said. “The spell you two worked sent him to me like was it was supposed to, but the cost was that it turned him into the lowest common denominator of himself. An insane killing machine. Which he figured was all right, because if I was dying, I’d probably need a killing machine around. A champion to show up and decimate all my enemies. That was it, wasn’t it?” Ryodan had gone completely still. Not a muscle twitched. I wasn’t sure he was breathing. “He knew what would happen if I pressed IYD, and he made plans with you to handle it.” That was Barrons, always thinking, always managing risks where I was concerned. “He tattooed me so he would sense his mark on me and not kill me. And you were supposed to track him—that’s why you both wear those cuffs, so you can find each other—and kill him so he’d come back as the man form of himself, and I’d never be any wiser. I’d get rescues and have no clue it was Barrons who’d done it or that he sometimes turns into a beast. But you screwed up. And that’s what he was mad at you about this morning on the phone. It was your failure to kill him that let the cat out of the bag.” A tiny muscle twitched in his jaw. He was pissed. I was definitely right. “He can always circumvent the price of black magic,” I marveled. “When you kill him, he comes back exactly the same as before, doesn’t he? He could tattoo his whole body with protection runes and, when he ran out of skin, kill himself so he could come back with a clean slate, to start all over.” That was why his tattoos weren’t always the same. “Talk about your ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card! And if you hadn’t botched the plan, I would never have known. It’s your fault I know, Ryodan. I think that means it’s not me you should kill, it’s yourself. Oh, gee, wait,” I said sarcastically, “that wouldn’t work, would it?
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
Rejecting failure and avoiding mistakes seem like high-minded goals, but they are fundamentally misguided. Take something like the Golden Fleece Awards, which were established in 1975 to call attention to government-funded projects that were particularly egregious wastes of money. (Among the winners were things like an $84,000 study on love commissioned by the National Science Foundation, and a $3,000 Department of Defense study that examined whether people in the military should carry umbrellas.) While such scrutiny may have seemed like a good idea at the time, it had a chilling effect on research. No one wanted to “win” a Golden Fleece Award because, under the guise of avoiding waste, its organizers had inadvertently made it dangerous and embarrassing for everyone to make mistakes. The truth is, if you fund thousands of research projects every year, some will have obvious, measurable, positive impacts, and others will go nowhere. We aren’t very good at predicting the future—that’s a given—and yet the Golden Fleece Awards tacitly implied that researchers should know before they do their research whether or not the results of that research would have value. Failure was being used as a weapon, rather than as an agent of learning. And that had fallout: The fact that failing could earn you a very public flogging distorted the way researchers chose projects. The politics of failure, then, impeded our progress. There’s a quick way to determine if your company has embraced the negative definition of failure. Ask yourself what happens when an error is discovered. Do people shut down and turn inward, instead of coming together to untangle the causes of problems that might be avoided going forward? Is the question being asked: Whose fault was this? If so, your culture is one that vilifies failure. Failure is difficult enough without it being compounded by the search for a scapegoat. In a fear-based, failure-averse culture, people will consciously or unconsciously avoid risk. They will seek instead to repeat something safe that’s been good enough in the past. Their work will be derivative, not innovative. But if you can foster a positive understanding of failure, the opposite will happen. How, then, do you make failure into something people can face without fear? Part of the answer is simple: If we as leaders can talk about our mistakes and our part in them, then we make it safe for others. You don’t run from it or pretend it doesn’t exist. That is why I make a point of being open about our meltdowns inside Pixar, because I believe they teach us something important: Being open about problems is the first step toward learning from them. My goal is not to drive fear out completely, because fear is inevitable in high-stakes situations. What I want to do is loosen its grip on us. While we don’t want too many failures, we must think of the cost of failure as an investment in the future.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
My conception of freedom. — The value of a thing sometimes does not lie in that which one attains by it, but in what one pays for it — what it costs us. I shall give an example. Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic — every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization. These same institutions produce quite different effects while they are still being fought for; then they really promote freedom in a powerful way. On closer inspection it is war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions, which, as a war, permits illiberal instincts to continue. And war educates for freedom. For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance which separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privation, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of "pleasure." The human being who has become free — and how much more the spirit who has become free — spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by "tyrants" are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; most beautiful type: Julius Caesar. This is true politically too; one need only go through history. The peoples who had some value, attained some value, never attained it under liberal institutions: it was great danger that made something of them that merits respect. Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources, our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong — otherwise one will never become strong. Those large hothouses for the strong — for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known — the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has or does not have, something one wants, something one conquers.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols)
humans have dozens of additional adaptations in our muscles and bones for endurance running whose traces first appear in fossils of H. erectus. Most of these features allow us to use our legs like giant springs to jump efficiently from one leg to another in a manner totally different from walking, which uses the legs like pendulums. As figure 7 shows, when your foot hits the ground during a run, your hips, knees, and ankles flex during the first half of stance, causing your center of mass to drop, thus stretching many of the muscles and tendons in your legs.43 When these tissues stretch, they store up elastic energy, which they release while recoiling during the second half of stance, helping you jump into the air. In fact, a running human’s legs store and release energy so efficiently that running is only about 30 to 50 percent more costly than walking in the endurance-speed range. What’s more, these springs are so effective that they make the cost of human endurance running (but not sprinting) independent of speed: it costs the same number of calories to run five miles at a pace of either 7 or 10 minutes per mile, a phenomenon many people find counterintuitive.44 Since running uses the legs like springs, some of our most important adaptations for running are literally springs. One key spring is the dome-shaped arch of the foot, which develops from the way ligaments and muscles bind together the foot’s bones as children start to walk and run. As discussed
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
One of the most effective ways to quicken your story’s pace is to move from a static description of an object, place or person to an active scene. The classic method for accomplishing this is to have your character interact with the subject that’s been described. For instance, let’s say you’ve just written three paragraphs describing a wedding dress in a shop window. You’ve detailed the Belgian lace veil, the beaded bodice, the twelve-foot train, even the row of satin buttons down the sleeves. Instinctively you feel it’s time to move into an action scene, but how do you do it without making your transition obvious? A simple, almost seamless way is to initiate an action between your character (let’s call her Miranda) and the dress you’ve just described. Perhaps Miranda could be passing by on the sidewalk when the dress in the window catches her attention. Or she could walk into the shop and ask the shopkeeper how much the dress costs. This method works well to link almost any static description with a scene of action. Describe an elegant table, for instance, complete with crystal goblets, damask tablecloth, monogrammed napkins and sterling silver tableware; then let the maid pull a cloth from her apron and begin to polish one of the forks. Or describe a Superman kite lying beside a tree, then watch as a little girl grabs the string and begins to run. You will still be describing, but the nature of your description will have changed from static to active, thus quickening the story’s pace. Throughout
Rebecca McClanahan (Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively)
The Blue Mind Rx Statement Our wild waters provide vast cognitive, emotional, physical, psychological, social, and spiritual values for people from birth, through adolescence, adulthood, older age, and in death; wild waters provide a useful, widely available, and affordable range of treatments healthcare practitioners can incorporate into treatment plans. The world ocean and all waterways, including lakes, rivers, and wetlands (collectively, blue space), cover over 71% of our planet. Keeping them healthy, clean, accessible, and biodiverse is critical to human health and well-being. In addition to fostering more widely documented ecological, economic, and cultural diversities, our mental well-being, emotional diversity, and resiliency also rely on the global ecological integrity of our waters. Blue space gives us half of our oxygen, provides billions of people with jobs and food, holds the majority of Earth's biodiversity including species and ecosystems, drives climate and weather, regulates temperature, and is the sole source of hydration and hygiene for humanity throughout history. Neuroscientists and psychologists add that the ocean and wild waterways are a wellspring of happiness and relaxation, sociality and romance, peace and freedom, play and creativity, learning and memory, innovation and insight, elation and nostalgia, confidence and solitude, wonder and awe, empathy and compassion, reverence and beauty — and help manage trauma, anxiety, sleep, autism, addiction, fitness, attention/focus, stress, grief, PTSD, build personal resilience, and much more. Chronic stress and anxiety cause or intensify a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. Being on, in, and near water can be among the most cost-effective ways of reducing stress and anxiety. We encourage healthcare professionals and advocates for the ocean, seas, lakes, and rivers to go deeper and incorporate the latest findings, research, and insights into their treatment plans, communications, reports, mission statements, strategies, grant proposals, media, exhibits, keynotes, and educational programs and to consider the following simple talking points: •Water is the essence of life: The ocean, healthy rivers, lakes, and wetlands are good for our minds and bodies. •Research shows that nature is therapeutic, promotes general health and well-being, and blue space in both urban and rural settings further enhances and broadens cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual benefits. •All people should have safe access to salubrious, wild, biodiverse waters for well-being, healing, and therapy. •Aquatic biodiversity has been directly correlated with the therapeutic potency of blue space. Immersive human interactions with healthy aquatic ecosystems can benefit both. •Wild waters can serve as medicine for caregivers, patient families, and all who are part of patients’ circles of support. •Realization of the full range and potential magnitude of ecological, economic, physical, intrinsic, and emotional values of wild places requires us to understand, appreciate, maintain, and improve the integrity and purity of one of our most vital of medicines — water.
Wallace J. Nichols (Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do)
In another building, I was shown his [Mr Brunel's] manufactory of shoes, which, like the other, is full of ingenuity, and, in regard to subdivision of labour, brings this fabric on a level with the oft-admired manufactory of pins. Every step in it is effected by the most elegant and precise machinery; while as each operation is performed by one hand, so each shoe passes through twenty-five hands, who complete from the hide, as supplied by the currier, a hundred pair of strong and well-finished shoes per day. All the details are performed by ingenious applications of the mechanic powers, and all the parts are characterized by precision, uniformity, and accuracy. As each man performs but one step in the process, which implies no knowledge of what is done by those who go before or follow him, so the persons employed are not shoemakers, but wounded soldiers, who are able to learn their respective duties in a few hours. The contract at which these shoes are delivered to government is 6s. 6d. per pair, being at least 2s. less than what was paid previously for an unequal and cobbled article. While, however, we admire these triumphs of mechanics, and congratulate society on the prospect of enjoying more luxuries at less cost of human labour, it ought not to be forgotten, that the general good in such cases is productive of great partial evils, against which a paternal government ought to provide. No race of workmen being proverbially more industrious than shoemakers, it is altogether unreasonable, that so large a portion of valuable members of society should be injured by improvements which have the ultimate effect of benefiting the whole.
Richard Phillips (A Morning's Walk from London to Kew)
The Republic of Foo, our high-investment, intangible economy of the future, has significantly overhauled its land-use rules, particularly in major cities, making it easier to build housing and workplaces; at the same time, it invests significantly in the kind of infrastructure needed to make cities livable and convivial, in particular, effective transport and civic and cultural amenities, from museums to nightlife. In some cases, this involves rejecting big development plans that destroy existing places. It has faced political costs in making this change, especially from vested interests opposed to new development or gentrification, but the increased economic benefits of vibrant urban centers have provided enough incentive to tip the balance of power in favor of development. The cities of the Kingdom of Bar have chosen one of two unfortunate paths: in some cases, they have privileged continuity over dynamism in its towns—creating places like Oxford in the UK, which are beautiful and full of convivial public spaces, but where it is very hard to build anything, meaning few people can take advantage of the economic potential the place creates. Other cities resemble Houston, Texas, in the 1990s—a low-regulation paradise where an absence of planning laws keeps home and office prices low, but where the lack of walkable centers and convivial places makes it harder for intangibles to multiply. (To Houston’s credit, it has changed for the better in the last twenty years.) The worst of Bar’s cities fail in both regards, underinvesting in urban amenities and making it hard to build. In all three cases, the economic disadvantage of not having vibrant cities that can grow have become larger and larger as the importance of intangibles has increased.
Jonathan Haskel (Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy)
Like stress, emotion is a concept we often invoke without a precise sense of its meaning. And, like stress, emotions have several components. The psychologist Ross Buck distinguishes between three levels of emotional responses, which he calls Emotion I, Emotion II and Emotion III, classified according to the degree we are conscious of them. Emotion III is the subjective experience, from within oneself. It is how we feel. In the experience of Emotion III there is conscious awareness of an emotional state, such as anger or joy or fear, and its accompanying bodily sensations. Emotion II comprises our emotional displays as seen by others, with or without our awareness. It is signalled through body language — “non-verbal signals, mannerisms, tones of voices, gestures, facial expressions, brief touches, and even the timing of events and pauses between words. [They] may have physiologic consequences — often outside the awareness of the participants.” It is quite common for a person to be oblivious to the emotions he is communicating, even though they are clearly read by those around him. Our expressions of Emotion II are what most affect other people, regardless of our intentions. A child’s displays of Emotion II are also what parents are least able to tolerate if the feelings being manifested trigger too much anxiety in them. As Dr. Buck points out, a child whose parents punish or inhibit this acting-out of emotion will be conditioned to respond to similar emotions in the future by repression. The self-shutdown serves to prevent shame and rejection. Under such conditions, Buck writes, “emotional competence will be compromised…. The individual will not in the future know how to effectively handle the feelings and desires involved. The result would be a kind of helplessness.” The stress literature amply documents that helplessness, real or perceived, is a potent trigger for biological stress responses. Learned helplessness is a psychological state in which subjects do not extricate themselves from stressful situations even when they have the physical opportunity to do so. People often find themselves in situations of learned helplessness — for example, someone who feels stuck in a dysfunctional or even abusive relationship, in a stressful job or in a lifestyle that robs him or her of true freedom. Emotion I comprises the physiological changes triggered by emotional stimuli, such as the nervous system discharges, hormonal output and immune changes that make up the flight-or-fight reaction in response to threat. These responses are not under conscious control, and they cannot be directly observed from the outside. They just happen. They may occur in the absence of subjective awareness or of emotional expression. Adaptive in the acute threat situation, these same stress responses are harmful when they are triggered chronically without the individual’s being able to act in any way to defeat the perceived threat or to avoid it. Self-regulation, writes Ross Buck, “involves in part the attainment of emotional competence, which is defined as the ability to deal in an appropriate and satisfactory way with one’s own feelings and desires.” Emotional competence presupposes capacities often lacking in our society, where “cool” — the absence of emotion — is the prevailing ethic, where “don’t be so emotional” and “don’t be so sensitive” are what children often hear, and where rationality is generally considered to be the preferred antithesis of emotionality. The idealized cultural symbol of rationality is Mr. Spock, the emotionally crippled Vulcan character on Star Trek.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
This is from Elizabeth,” it said. “She has sold Havenhurst.” A pang of guilt and shock sent Ian to his feet as he read the rest of the note: “I am to tell you that this is payment in full, plus appropriate interest, for the emeralds she sold, which, she feels, rightfully belonged to you.” Swallowing audibly, Ian picked up the bank draft and the small scrap of paper with it. On it Elizabeth herself had shown her calculation of the interest due him for the exact number of days since she’d sold the gems, until the date of her bank draft a week ago. His eyes ached with unshed tears while his shoulders began to rock with silent laughter-Elizabeth had paid him half a percent less than the usual interest rate. Thirty minutes later Ian presented himself to Jordan’s butler and asked to see Alexandra. She walked into the room with accusation and ire shooting from her blue eyes as she said scornfully, “I wondered if that note would bring you here. Do you have any notion how much Havenhurst means-meant-to her?” “I’ll get it back for her,” he promised with a somber smile. “Where is she?” Alexandra’s mouth fell open at the tenderness in his eyes and voice. “Where is she?” he repeated with calm determination. “I cannot tell you,” Alex said with a twinge of regret. “You know I cannot. I gave my word.” “Would it have the slightest effect,” Ian countered smoothly, “if I were to ask Jordan to exert his husbandly influence to persuade you to tell me anyway?” “I’m afraid not,” Alexandra assured him. She expected him to challenge that; instead a reluctant smile drifted across his handsome face. When he spoke, his voice was gentle. “You’re very like Elizabeth. You remind me of her.” Still slightly mistrustful of his apparent change of heart, Alex said primly, “I deem that a great compliment, my lord.” To her utter disbelief, Ian Thornton reached out and chucked her under the chin. “I meant it as one,” he informed her with a grin. Turning, Ian started for the door, then stopped at the sight of Jordan, who was lounging in the doorway, an amused, knowing smile on his face. “If you’d keep track of your own wife, Ian, you would not have to search for similarities in mine.” When their unexpected guest had left, Jordan asked Alex, “Are you going to send Elizabeth a message to let her know he’s coming for her?” Alex started to nod, then she hesitated. “I-I don’t think so. I’ll tell her that he asked where she is, which is all he really did.” “He’ll go to her as soon as he figures it out.” “Perhaps.” “You still don’t trust him, do you?” Jordan said with a surprised smile. “I do after this last visit-to a certain extent-but not with Elizabeth’s heart. He’s hurt her terribly, and I won’t give her false hopes and, in doing so, help him hurt her again.” Reaching out, Jordan chucked her under the chin as his cousin had done, then he pulled her into his arms. “She’s hurt him, too, you know.” “Perhaps,” Alex admitted reluctantly. Jordan smiled against her hair. “You were more forgiving when I trampled your heart, my love,” he teased. “That’s because I loved you,” she replied as she laid her cheek against his chest, her arms stealing around his waist. “And will you love my cousin just a little if he makes amends to Elizabeth?” “I might find it in my heart,” she admitted, “if he gets Havenhurst back for her.” “It’ll cost him a fortune if he tries,” Jordan chuckled. “Do you know who bought it?” “No, do you?” He nodded. “Philip Demarcus.” She giggled against his chest. “Isn’t he that dreadful man who told the prince he’d have to pay to ride in his new yacht up the Thames?” “The very same.” “Do you suppose Mr. Demarcus cheated Elizabeth?” “Not our Elizabeth,” Jordan laughed. “But I wouldn’t like to be in Ian’s place if Demarcus realizes the place has sentimental value to Ian. The price will soar.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
It may seem paradoxical to claim that stress, a physiological mechanism vital to life, is a cause of illness. To resolve this apparent contradiction, we must differentiate between acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is the immediate, short-term body response to threat. Chronic stress is activation of the stress mechanisms over long periods of time when a person is exposed to stressors that cannot be escaped either because she does not recognize them or because she has no control over them. Discharges of nervous system, hormonal output and immune changes constitute the flight-or-fight reactions that help us survive immediate danger. These biological responses are adaptive in the emergencies for which nature designed them. But the same stress responses, triggered chronically and without resolution, produce harm and even permanent damage. Chronically high cortisol levels destroy tissue. Chronically elevated adrenalin levels raise the blood pressure and damage the heart. There is extensive documentation of the inhibiting effect of chronic stress on the immune system. In one study, the activity of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells were compared in two groups: spousal caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and age- and health-matched controls. NK cells are front-line troops in the fight against infections and against cancer, having the capacity to attack invading micro-organisms and to destroy cells with malignant mutations. The NK cell functioning of the caregivers was significantly suppressed, even in those whose spouses had died as long as three years previously. The caregivers who reported lower levels of social support also showed the greatest depression in immune activity — just as the loneliest medical students had the most impaired immune systems under the stress of examinations. Another study of caregivers assessed the efficacy of immunization against influenza. In this study 80 per cent among the non-stressed control group developed immunity against the virus, but only 20 per cent of the Alzheimer caregivers were able to do so. The stress of unremitting caregiving inhibited the immune system and left people susceptible to influenza. Research has also shown stress-related delays in tissue repair. The wounds of Alzheimer caregivers took an average of nine days longer to heal than those of controls. Higher levels of stress cause higher cortisol output via the HPA axis, and cortisol inhibits the activity of the inflammatory cells involved in wound healing. Dental students had a wound deliberately inflicted on their hard palates while they were facing immunology exams and again during vacation. In all of them the wound healed more quickly in the summer. Under stress, their white blood cells produced less of a substance essential to healing. The oft-observed relationship between stress, impaired immunity and illness has given rise to the concept of “diseases of adaptation,” a phrase of Hans Selye’s. The flight-or-fight response, it is argued, was indispensable in an era when early human beings had to confront a natural world of predators and other dangers. In civilized society, however, the flight-fight reaction is triggered in situations where it is neither necessary nor helpful, since we no longer face the same mortal threats to existence. The body’s physiological stress mechanisms are often triggered inappropriately, leading to disease. There is another way to look at it. The flight-or-fight alarm reaction exists today for the same purpose evolution originally assigned to it: to enable us to survive. What has happened is that we have lost touch with the gut feelings designed to be our warning system. The body mounts a stress response, but the mind is unaware of the threat. We keep ourselves in physiologically stressful situations, with only a dim awareness of distress or no awareness at all.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
This view seems to us an example of the kind of egalitarianism discussed in the preceding chapter: letting parents spend money on riotous living but trying to prevent them from spending money on improving the schooling of their children. It is particularly remarkable coming from Coons and Sugarman, who elsewhere say, "A commitment to equality at the deliberate expense of the development of individual children seems to us the final corruption of whatever is good in the egalitarian instinct"18—a sentiment with which we heartily agree. In our judgment the very poor would benefit the most from the voucher plan. How can one conceivably justify objecting to a plan, "however much it improved [the] education" of the poor, in order to avoid "government finance of" what the authors call "economic segregation," even if it could be demonstrated to have that effect? And of course, it cannot be demonstrated to have that effect. On the contrary, we are persuaded on the basis of considerable study that it would have precisely the opposite effect—though we must accompany that statement with the qualification that "economic segregation" is so vague a term that it is by no means clear what it means. The egalitarian religion is so strong that some proponents of restricted vouchers are unwilling to approve even experiments with unrestricted vouchers. Yet to our knowledge, none has ever offered anything other than unsupported assertions to support the fear that an unrestricted voucher system would foster "economic segregation." This view also seems to us another example of the tendency of intellectuals to denigrate parents who are poor. Even the very poorest can—and do—scrape up a few extra dollars to improve the quality of their children's schooling, although they cannot replace the whole of the present cost of public schooling. We suspect that add-ons would be about as frequent among the poor as among the rest, though perhaps of smaller amounts.
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
All A players have six common denominators. They have a scoreboard that tells them if they are winning or losing and what needs to be done to change their performance. They will not play if they can’t see the scoreboard. They have a high internal, emotional need to succeed. They do not need to be externally motivated or begged to do their job. They want to succeed because it is who they are . . . winners. People often ask me how I motivate my employees. My response is, “I hire them.” Motivation is for amateurs. Pros never need motivating. (Inspiration is another story.) Instead of trying to design a pep talk to motivate your people, why not create a challenge for them? A players love being tested and challenged. They love to be measured and held accountable for their results. Like the straight-A classmate in your high school geometry class, an A player can hardly wait for report card day. C players dread report card day because they are reminded of how average or deficient they are. To an A player, a report card with a B or a C is devastating and a call for renewed commitment and remedial actions. They have the technical chops to do the job. This is not their first rodeo. They have been there, done that, and they are technically very good at what they do. They are humble enough to ask for coaching. The three most important questions an employee can ask are: What else can I do? Where can I get better? What do I need to do or learn so that I continue to grow? If you have someone on your team asking all three of these questions, you have an A player in the making. If you agree these three questions would fundamentally change the game for your team, why not enroll them in asking these questions? They see opportunities. C players see only problems. Every situation is asking a very simple question: Do you want me to be a problem or an opportunity? Your choice. You know the job has outgrown the person when all you hear are problems. The cost of a bad employee is never the salary. My rules for hiring and retaining A players are: Interview rigorously. (Who by Geoff Smart is a spectacular resource on this subject.) Compensate generously. Onboard effectively. Measure consistently. Coach continuously.
Keith J. Cunningham (The Road Less Stupid: Advice from the Chairman of the Board)
My intention, this time, was to transfer a play to the screen while keeping its theatrical character. It was in some senses a matter of walking, invisibly, around the stage and catching the different aspects and nuances in the play, the urgency and the facial expressions that escape a spectator who cannot follow them in detail from a seat in the stalls. Apart from that, I had noticed how effective a play becomes when you have a bird's-eye view from it, for example from the flies, that is to say from the viewpoint of a voyeur. The Audience is enclosed with the characters in a room lacking its fourth wall and listens to them on equal terms, without the element of my story conferred on scenes of intimacy by the whimsical shape of a keyhole.” “L'aigle à deux têtes is not History. It is a story, an invented story lived out by imaginary heroes, and I should never have dared venture into the realistic world of cinema without being able to rely on the help of Christian Bérard. He has a genius for situating whatever he touches, for giving it a depth in time and space and an appearance of truth that are literally inimitable.” (...) “A drama of this kind would be unacceptable, and almost impossible to tell, unless it was interpreted by superb actors who could instill grandeur and life into it. Edwige Feuillère and Jean Marais, applauded evening after evening in their parts in the play, surpass themselves on the screen and give of themselves, as I suggested above, everything that they cannot give us on the stage.” “George Auric's music and the Strauss waltzes at the krantz ball make up the liquid in this drama of love and death is immersed.” (...) “In L'aigle à deux têtes, I wanted to make a theatrical film.” (...) “I know the faults of the film, but unfortunately the expense of the medium and the constraints of time that it imposes on us, prevent us from correcting our faults, Cinematography costs too much.” (...) “In Les parents terribles (1948), what I determined to do was the opposite of what I did in L'aigle à deux têtes; to de-theatricalize a play, to film it in chronological order and to catch the characters by surprise from the indiscreet angle of the camera. In short, I wanted to watch a family through the keyhole instead of observing its life from a seat in the stalls.
Jean Cocteau (The Art of Cinema)
Sometimes, as in the case of the copper companies, the nationalizations were achieved through legislation that won overwhelming support. (By now, no one in Chile loved the American companies; even the head of Chile’s Roman Catholic bishops declared that nationalization was right and just.) At other times the methods skirted or even overstepped the bounds of legality. The government would simply approve the seizures of farms and factories, one of those “loopholes” Allende was relying on. Perhaps the most important—and pernicious—method was by squeezing the companies economically, as he tried to do with El Mercurio. The government had the authority to approve price hikes and wage increases. Companies that were targets for takeovers were prohibited from raising their prices but were forced to raise their workers’ pay. Moreover, as the government extended its control of the banks, credit for distressed companies dried up. Forced bankruptcies were a favorite tool of Allende’s Socialists. And who was there to run these companies once they were taken over? Ambassador Davis reports: “Government-appointed managers were usually named on the basis of a political patronage system that would have put Tammany Hall to shame.” Many formerly profitable companies were soon incurring heavy losses. In the countryside, where peasants—often illiterate—were seizing control of the estates, there was resistance even to the simplest methods of accounting and cost calculation. As Allende told Debray, “We shall have real power when copper and steel are under our control, when saltpeter is genuinely under our control, when we have put far-reaching land reform measures into effect, when we control imports and exports through the state, when we have collectivized a major portion of our national production.” But it wasn’t just the economy that Allende was trying to control. He was also taking steps to centralize the government and restrict political freedom. He saw his most important political reform as replacing the bicameral legislature with a single chamber in order to strengthen the presidency and weaken congress’s ability to block his objectives. It would also have the power to override judicial decisions. He called the proposed new body the “People’s Assembly,” but he never gained sufficient support from the “people” to call a plebiscite on the question.
Barry Gewen (The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World)
We already have eight hundred million people living in hunger—and population is growing by eighty million a year. Over a billion people are in poverty—and present industrial strategies are making them poorer, not richer. The percentage of old people will double by 2050—and already there aren’t enough young people to care for them. Cancer rates are projected to increase by seventy percent in the next fifteen years. Within two decades our oceans will contain more microplastics than fish. Fossil fuels will run out before the end of the century. Do you have an answer to those problems? Because I do. Robot farmers will increase food production twentyfold. Robot carers will give our seniors a dignified old age. Robot divers will clear up the mess humans have made of our seas. And so on, and so on—but every single step has to be costed and paid for by the profits of the last.” He paused for breath, then went on, “My vision is a society where autonomous, intelligent bots are as commonplace as computers are now. Think about that—how different our world could be. A world where disease, hunger, manufacturing, design, are all taken care of by AI. That’s the revolution we’re shooting for. The shopbots get us to the next level, that’s all. And you know what? This is not some binary choice between idealism or realism, because for some of us idealism is just long-range realism. This shit has to happen. And you need to ask yourself, do you want to be part of that change? Or do you want to stand on the sidelines and bitch about the details?” We had all heard this speech, or some version of it, either in our job interviews, or at company events, or in passionate late-night tirades. And on every single one of us it had had a deep and transformative effect. Most of us had come to Silicon Valley back in those heady days when it seemed a new generation finally had the tools and the intelligence to change the world. The hippies had tried and failed; the yuppies and bankers had had their turn. Now it was down to us techies. We were fired up, we were zealous, we felt the nobility of our calling…only to discover that the general public, and our backers along with them, were more interested in 140 characters, fitness trackers, and Grumpy Cat videos. The greatest, most powerful deep-learning computers in humanity’s existence were inside Google and Facebook—and all humanity had to show for it were adwords, sponsored links, and teenagers hooked on sending one another pictures of their genitals.
J.P. Delaney (The Perfect Wife)
Pokémon with a blue glow surrounding it in your menu simply indicates that you have caught this Pokémon in the last 24 hours. If you tap on a Pokémon, you can check its name, HP below the Pokémon, CP above the Pokémon, various traits, different attacks and the location and date you caught this particular Pokémon. You can rename your Pokémon by tapping the pencil next to its name.   You may also want to give your Pokémon a power up to boost its maximum health and CP, and thus making your Pokémon more powerful. This will cost you Stardust and Pokémon candy. If you wish to get rid of a Pokémon, you will want to tap the “Transfer” button in order to transfer your Pokémon to the Professor. Note that once you transfer a Pokémon to the Professor, this Pokémon will be lost forever and cannot be retrieved.   The last category features your items. In your items you will find all the items with their quantities you currently own. Pressing the trash allows you to toss an item if you wish to do so. Your maximum capacity is 350 items, but you can buy an upgrade in the Shop if you wish to expand your capacity.   An additional feature of the main menu is the Settings panel, which you will find in the upper right of your screen. If you open up the Settings, you can toggle the Music, Sound Effects, Vibration and Battery Saver. You may also revisit Professor Willow if you missed any of his speeches using the Quick Start option. Another feature is being able to sign out. This could be useful in case you wish to log in via another account. You can check the version of the application in the Settings too.   Toggling the Battery Save option will allow you to enter the Battery Save state. To enter this state simply tick the box and hold your device upside down. Your device will enter a battery saving state, indicated by a dark screen featuring the Pokémon Go logo, until held in its authentic state again. This feature is especially useful when your device is below 5% of its battery life. To utilize the remaining battery life to the fullest extent, simply hold your device upside down and put your device where it’s most comfortable for you. Mind that you may want to have your device in a position where you can still notice vibration, because whenever a Pokémon approaches you, your device will notify you through vibration, if you’ve enabled vibration in the Settings. Whenever your device vibrates, you can turn around your device with ease to continue playing without having to unlock your device. Note that you will not be notified when passing a gym or PokéStop.   The
Jeremy Tyson (Pokémon Go: The Ultimate Guide to Pokémon Go Secrets,Tips & Tricks: Pokémon Go, Secrets, Android, iOS, Plus, Teams, Eggs, Gyms)
See especially academia, which has effectively become a hope labor industrial complex. Within that system, tenured professors—ostensibly proof positive that you can, indeed, think about your subject of choice for the rest of your life, complete with job security, if you just work hard enough—encourage their most motivated students to apply for grad school. The grad schools depend on money from full-pay students and/or cheap labor from those students, so they accept far more master’s students than there are spots in PhD programs, and far more PhD students than there are tenure-track positions. Through it all, grad students are told that work will, in essence, save them: If they publish more, if they go to more conferences to present their work, if they get a book contract before graduating, their chances on the job market will go up. For a very limited few, this proves true. But it is no guarantee—and with ever-diminished funding for public universities, many students take on the costs of conference travel themselves (often through student loans), scrambling to make ends meet over the summer while they apply for the already-scarce number of academic jobs available, many of them in remote locations, with little promise of long-term stability. Some academics exhaust their hope labor supply during grad school. For others, it takes years on the market, often while adjuncting for little pay in demeaning and demanding work conditions, before the dream starts to splinter. But the system itself is set up to feed itself as long as possible. Most humanities PhD programs still offer little or nothing in terms of training for jobs outside of academia, creating a sort of mandatory tunnel from grad school to tenure-track aspirant. In the humanities, especially, to obtain a PhD—to become a doctor in your field of knowledge—is to adopt the refrain “I don’t have any marketable skills.” Many academics have no choice but to keep teaching—the only thing they feel equipped to do—even without fair pay or job security. Academic institutions are incentivized to keep adjuncts “doing what they love”—but there’s additional pressure from peers and mentors who’ve become deeply invested in the continued viability of the institution. Many senior academics with little experience of the realities of the contemporary market explicitly and implicitly advise their students that the only good job is a tenure-track academic job. When I failed to get an academic job in 2011, I felt soft but unsubtle dismay from various professors upon telling them that I had chosen to take a high school teaching job to make ends meet. It
Anne Helen Petersen (Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation)
Every Day Take Your Daily Doses Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) (¼ tsp) As noted in the Appetite Suppression section, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled weight-loss trials found that about a quarter teaspoon of black cumin powder every day appears to reduce body mass index within a span of a couple of months. Note that black cumin is different from regular cumin, for which the dosing is different. (See below.) Garlic Powder (¼ tsp) Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have found that as little as a daily quarter teaspoon of garlic powder can reduce body fat at a cost of perhaps two cents a day. Ground Ginger (1 tsp) or Cayenne Pepper (½ tsp) Randomized controlled trials have found that ¼ teaspoon to 1½ teaspoons a day of ground ginger significantly decreased body weight for just pennies a day. It can be as easy as stirring the ground spice into a cup of hot water. Note: Ginger may work better in the morning than evening. Chai tea is a tasty way to combine the green tea and ginger tweaks into a single beverage. Alternately, for BAT activation, you can add one raw jalapeño pepper or a half teaspoon of red pepper powder (or, presumably, crushed red pepper flakes) into your daily diet. To help beat the heat, you can very thinly slice or finely chop the jalapeño to reduce its bite to little prickles, or mix the red pepper into soup or the whole-food vegetable smoothie I featured in one of my cooking videos on NutritionFacts.org.4985 Nutritional Yeast (2 tsp) Two teaspoons of baker’s, brewer’s, or nutritional yeast contains roughly the amount of beta 1,3/1,6 glucans found in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials to facilitate weight loss. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) (½ tsp with lunch and dinner) Overweight women randomized to add a half teaspoon of cumin to their lunches and dinners beat out the control group by four more pounds and an extra inch off their waists. There is also evidence to support the use of the spice saffron, but a pinch a day would cost a dollar, whereas a teaspoon of cumin costs less than ten cents. Green Tea (3 cups) Drink three cups a day between meals (waiting at least an hour after a meal so as to not interfere with iron absorption). During meals, drink water, black coffee, or hibiscus tea mixed 6:1 with lemon verbena, but never exceed three cups of fluid an hour (important given my water preloading advice). Take advantage of the reinforcing effect of caffeine by drinking your green tea along with something healthy you wish you liked more, but don’t consume large amounts of caffeine within six hours of bedtime. Taking your tea without sweetener is best, but if you typically sweeten your tea with honey or sugar, try yacon syrup instead. Stay
Michael Greger (How Not to Diet)
You’re probably wondering what happened before you got here. An awful lot of stuff, actually. Once we evolved into humans, things got pretty interesting. We figured out how to grow food and domesticate animals so we didn’t have to spend all of our time hunting. Our tribes got much bigger, and we spread across the entire planet like an unstoppable virus. Then, after fighting a bunch of wars with each other over land, resources, and our made-up gods, we eventually got all of our tribes organized into a ‘global civilization.’ But, honestly, it wasn’t all that organized, or civilized, and we continued to fight a lot of wars with each other. But we also figured out how to do science, which helped us develop technology. For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things. Computers. Medicine. Lasers. Microwave ovens. Artificial hearts. Atomic bombs. We even sent a few guys to the moon and brought them back. We also created a global communications network that lets us all talk to each other, all around the world, all the time. Pretty impressive, right? “But that’s where the bad news comes in. Our global civilization came at a huge cost. We needed a whole bunch of energy to build it, and we got that energy by burning fossil fuels, which came from dead plants and animals buried deep in the ground. We used up most of this fuel before you got here, and now it’s pretty much all gone. This means that we no longer have enough energy to keep our civilization running like it was before. So we’ve had to cut back. Big-time. We call this the Global Energy Crisis, and it’s been going on for a while now. “Also, it turns out that burning all of those fossil fuels had some nasty side effects, like raising the temperature of our planet and screwing up the environment. So now the polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, and the weather is all messed up. Plants and animals are dying off in record numbers, and lots of people are starving and homeless. And we’re still fighting wars with each other, mostly over the few resources we have left. “Basically, kid, what this all means is that life is a lot tougher than it used to be, in the Good Old Days, back before you were born. Things used to be awesome, but now they’re kinda terrifying. To be honest, the future doesn’t look too bright. You were born at a pretty crappy time in history. And it looks like things are only gonna get worse from here on out. Human civilization is in ‘decline.’ Some people even say it’s ‘collapsing.’ “You’re probably wondering what’s going to happen to you. That’s easy. The same thing is going to happen to you that has happened to every other human being who has ever lived. You’re going to die. We all die. That’s just how it is.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One)
write animal stories. This one was called Dialogues Between a Cow and a Filly; a meditation on ethics, you might say; it had been inspired by a short business trip to Brittany. Here’s a key passage from it: ‘Let us first consider the Breton cow: all year round she thinks of nothing but grazing, her glossy muzzle ascends and descends with impressive regularity, and no shudder of anguish comes to trouble the wistful gaze of her light-brown eyes. All that is as it ought to be, and even appears to indicate a profound existential oneness, a decidedly enviable identity between her being-in-the-world and her being-in-itself. Alas, in this instance the philosopher is found wanting, and his conclusions, while based on a correct and profound intuition, will be rendered invalid if he has not previously taken the trouble of gathering documentary evidence from the naturalist. In fact the Breton cow’s nature is duplicitous. At certain times of the year (precisely determined by the inexorable functioning of genetic programming) an astonishing revolution takes place in her being. Her mooing becomes more strident, prolonged, its very harmonic texture modified to the point of recalling at times, and astonishingly so, certain groans which escape the sons of men. Her movements become more rapid, more nervous, from time to time she breaks into a trot. It is not simply her muzzle, though it seems, in its glossy regularity, conceived for reflecting the abiding presence of a mineral passivity, which contracts and twitches under the painful effect of an assuredly powerful desire. ‘The key to the riddle is extremely simple, and it is that what the Breton cow desires (thus demonstrating, and she must be given credit here, her life’s one desire) is, as the breeders say in their cynical parlance, “to get stuffed”. And stuff her they do, more or less directly; the artificial insemination syringe can in effect, whatever the cost in certain emotional complications, take the place of the bull’s penis in performing this function. In both cases the cow calms down and returns to her original state of earnest meditation, except that a few months later she will give birth to an adorable little calf. Which, let it be said in passing, means profit for the breeder.’ * The breeder, of course, symbolized God. Moved by an irrational sympathy for the filly, he promised her, starting from the next chapter, the everlasting delight of numerous stallions, while the cow, guilty of the sin of pride, was to be gradually condemned to the dismal pleasures of artificial fertilization. The pathetic mooing of the ruminant would prove incapable of swaying the judgment of the Great Architect. A delegation of sheep, formed in solidarity, had no better luck. The God presented in this short story was not, one observes, a merciful God.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
In the EPJ results, there were two statistically distinguishable groups of experts. The first failed to do better than random guessing, and in their longer-range forecasts even managed to lose to the chimp. The second group beat the chimp, though not by a wide margin, and they still had plenty of reason to be humble. Indeed, they only barely beat simple algorithms like “always predict no change” or “predict the recent rate of change.” Still, however modest their foresight was, they had some. So why did one group do better than the other? It wasn’t whether they had PhDs or access to classified information. Nor was it what they thought—whether they were liberals or conservatives, optimists or pessimists. The critical factor was how they thought. One group tended to organize their thinking around Big Ideas, although they didn’t agree on which Big Ideas were true or false. Some were environmental doomsters (“We’re running out of everything”); others were cornucopian boomsters (“We can find cost-effective substitutes for everything”). Some were socialists (who favored state control of the commanding heights of the economy); others were free-market fundamentalists (who wanted to minimize regulation). As ideologically diverse as they were, they were united by the fact that their thinking was so ideological. They sought to squeeze complex problems into the preferred cause-effect templates and treated what did not fit as irrelevant distractions. Allergic to wishy-washy answers, they kept pushing their analyses to the limit (and then some), using terms like “furthermore” and “moreover” while piling up reasons why they were right and others wrong. As a result, they were unusually confident and likelier to declare things “impossible” or “certain.” Committed to their conclusions, they were reluctant to change their minds even when their predictions clearly failed. They would tell us, “Just wait.” The other group consisted of more pragmatic experts who drew on many analytical tools, with the choice of tool hinging on the particular problem they faced. These experts gathered as much information from as many sources as they could. When thinking, they often shifted mental gears, sprinkling their speech with transition markers such as “however,” “but,” “although,” and “on the other hand.” They talked about possibilities and probabilities, not certainties. And while no one likes to say “I was wrong,” these experts more readily admitted it and changed their minds. Decades ago, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote a much-acclaimed but rarely read essay that compared the styles of thinking of great authors through the ages. To organize his observations, he drew on a scrap of 2,500-year-old Greek poetry attributed to the warrior-poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” No one will ever know whether Archilochus was on the side of the fox or the hedgehog but Berlin favored foxes. I felt no need to take sides. I just liked the metaphor because it captured something deep in my data. I dubbed the Big Idea experts “hedgehogs” and the more eclectic experts “foxes.” Foxes beat hedgehogs. And the foxes didn’t just win by acting like chickens, playing it safe with 60% and 70% forecasts where hedgehogs boldly went with 90% and 100%. Foxes beat hedgehogs on both calibration and resolution. Foxes had real foresight. Hedgehogs didn’t.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
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Performance measure. Throughout this book, the term performance measure refers to an indicator used by management to measure, report, and improve performance. Performance measures are classed as key result indicators, result indicators, performance indicators, or key performance indicators. Critical success factors (CSFs). CSFs are the list of issues or aspects of organizational performance that determine ongoing health, vitality, and wellbeing. Normally there are between five and eight CSFs in any organization. Success factors. A list of 30 or so issues or aspects of organizational performance that management knows are important in order to perform well in any given sector/ industry. Some of these success factors are much more important; these are known as critical success factors. Balanced scorecard. A term first introduced by Kaplan and Norton describing how you need to measure performance in a more holistic way. You need to see an organization’s performance in a number of different perspectives. For the purposes of this book, there are six perspectives in a balanced scorecard (see Exhibit 1.7). Oracles and young guns. In an organization, oracles are those gray-haired individuals who have seen it all before. They are often considered to be slow, ponderous, and, quite frankly, a nuisance by the new management. Often they are retired early or made redundant only to be rehired as contractors at twice their previous salary when management realizes they have lost too much institutional knowledge. Their considered pace is often a reflection that they can see that an exercise is futile because it has failed twice before. The young guns are fearless and precocious leaders of the future who are not afraid to go where angels fear to tread. These staff members have not yet achieved management positions. The mixing of the oracles and young guns during a KPI project benefits both parties and the organization. The young guns learn much and the oracles rediscover their energy being around these live wires. Empowerment. For the purposes of this book, empowerment is an outcome of a process that matches competencies, skills, and motivations with the required level of autonomy and responsibility in the workplace. Senior management team (SMT). The team comprised of the CEO and all direct reports. Better practice. The efficient and effective way management and staff undertake business activities in all key processes: leadership, planning, customers, suppliers, community relations, production and supply of products and services, employee wellbeing, and so forth. Best practice. A commonly misused term, especially because what is best practice for one organization may not be best practice for another, albeit they are in the same sector. Best practice is where better practices, when effectively linked together, lead to sustainable world-class outcomes in quality, customer service, flexibility, timeliness, innovation, cost, and competitiveness. Best-practice organizations commonly use the latest time-saving technologies, always focus on the 80/20, are members of quality management and continuous improvement professional bodies, and utilize benchmarking. Exhibit 1.10 shows the contents of the toolkit used by best-practice organizations to achieve world-class performance. EXHIBIT 1.10 Best-Practice Toolkit Benchmarking. An ongoing, systematic process to search for international better practices, compare against them, and then introduce them, modified where necessary, into your organization. Benchmarking may be focused on products, services, business practices, and processes of recognized leading organizations.
Douglas W. Hubbard (Business Intelligence Sampler: Book Excerpts by Douglas Hubbard, David Parmenter, Wayne Eckerson, Dalton Cervo and Mark Allen, Ed Barrows and Andy Neely)
According to Bartholomew, an important goal of St. Louis zoning was to prevent movement into 'finer residential districts . . . by colored people.' He noted that without a previous zoning law, such neighborhoods have become run-down, 'where values have depreciated, homes are either vacant or occupied by color people.' The survey Bartholomew supervised before drafting the zoning ordinance listed the race of each building's occupants. Bartholomew attempted to estimate where African Americans might encroach so the commission could respond with restrictions to control their spread. The St. Louis zoning ordinance was eventually adopted in 1919, two years after the Supreme Court's Buchanan ruling banned racial assignments; with no reference to race, the ordinance pretended to be in compliance. Guided by Bartholomew's survey, it designated land for future industrial development if it was in or adjacent to neighborhoods with substantial African American populations. Once such rules were in force, plan commission meetings were consumed with requests for variances. Race was frequently a factor. For example, on meeting in 1919 debated a proposal to reclassify a single-family property from first-residential to commercial because the area to the south had been 'invaded by negroes.' Bartholomew persuaded the commission members to deny the variance because, he said, keeping the first-residential designation would preserve homes in the area as unaffordable to African Americans and thus stop the encroachment. On other occasions, the commission changed an area's zoning from residential to industrial if African American families had begun to move into it. In 1927, violating its normal policy, the commission authorized a park and playground in an industrial, not residential, area in hopes that this would draw African American families to seek housing nearby. Similar decision making continued through the middle of the twentieth century. In a 1942 meeting, commissioners explained they were zoning an area in a commercial strip as multifamily because it could then 'develop into a favorable dwelling district for Colored people. In 1948, commissioners explained they were designating a U-shaped industrial zone to create a buffer between African Americans inside the U and whites outside. In addition to promoting segregation, zoning decisions contributed to degrading St. Louis's African American neighborhoods into slums. Not only were these neighborhoods zoned to permit industry, even polluting industry, but the plan commission permitted taverns, liquor stores, nightclubs, and houses of prostitution to open in African American neighborhoods but prohibited these as zoning violations in neighborhoods where whites lived. Residences in single-family districts could not legally be subdivided, but those in industrial districts could be, and with African Americans restricted from all but a few neighborhoods, rooming houses sprang up to accommodate the overcrowded population. Later in the twentieth century, when the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) developed the insure amortized mortgage as a way to promote homeownership nationwide, these zoning practices rendered African Americans ineligible for such mortgages because banks and the FHA considered the existence of nearby rooming houses, commercial development, or industry to create risk to the property value of single-family areas. Without such mortgages, the effective cost of African American housing was greater than that of similar housing in white neighborhoods, leaving owners with fewer resources for upkeep. African American homes were then more likely to deteriorate, reinforcing their neighborhoods' slum conditions.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)