Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fw: How to make hard choices

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This week on
June 21, 2014

Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices

14:41 minutes · Filmed May 2014 · Posted Jun 2014 · TEDSalon NY2014

Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up -- or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about hard choices the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

Playlist of the week

7 TED Talks on how we make choices

Inspired by the talk above? Keep exploring, with the selected talks in this playlist. Explore why some choices are so hard to make -- and learn how we can choose to make better ones. (Or are we in control of our own choices at all?) Watch »

Total run time 2:16:47

More from

Jamila Lyiscott is a “tri-tongued orator;” in her powerful spoken-word essay “Broken English” she celebrates — and challenges — the three distinct flavors of English she speaks with her friends, in the classroom and with her parents. As she explores the complicated history and identity each language represents, she unpacks what it means to be “articulate.” Watch »

What must our dogs be thinking when they look at us? Poet Billy Collins imagines the inner lives of two very different companions. It’s a charming short talk, perfect for taking a break … Watch »

One could argue that slang words like ‘hangry,’ ‘defriend’ and ‘adorkable’ fill crucial meaning gaps in the English language, even if they don't appear in the dictionary. After all, who actually decides which words make it into those pages? Language historian Anne Curzan gives a charming look at the humans behind dictionaries, and the choices they make. Watch »

Plenty of good things are done in the name of religion, and plenty of bad things too. But what is religion, exactly — is it good or bad, in and of itself? Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah offers a generous, surprising view. Watch », fresh every day

On Hey word nerds! Meet 20 English words that once meant something very different. And a must-read letter from 1855
Plus: Are kids getting worse at creative writing? 6 sci-fi books to share and inspire wilder thinking.


Quote of the Week

We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interesting that we don't have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money NOT helping other people."

Dan Pallotta
Dan Pallotta: The way we think about charity is dead wrong

Join the Conversation


  Imagination is what enables our developed brains to reconcile the facts of life, long enough to survive and perpetuate the species. There have always been those that harness and organize the superstitious part of our imagination. Religion has its roots in the beauty of imagination. Beauty is a powerful thing."

why we lie

Let's face it: people lie. We lie to each other and to ourselves. Is there a deeper reason why we do it? TED speakers take on the hard truths of deception in the latest TED Radio Hour »



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fw: Personal Finance Daily: Little engine that could, money lessons from a divorce

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Subject: Personal Finance Daily: Little engine that could, money lessons from a divorce

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Personal Finance Daily
JUNE 10, 2014

Personal Finance: Little engine that could, lessons from a billionaire divorce

By MarketWatch

Personal Finance Daily
powered by ad choices

Hello, MarketWatchers.

Little engine that could

Investors should watch weekly data on rail shipments, which are growing, Simon Constable writes .

To bead or not to bead

The Illinois governor signed legislation outlawing soaps and cosmetics that contain synthetic plastic microbeads , becoming the first state to do so.

Lessons from billionaire David Tepper's divorce

Timing is everything when you want to get out of a marriage — especially if you want to keep your money.


RadioShack began failing when it kept promoting old-school products like memory sticks while the rest of the world moved toward cloud products, analysts say.

10 things fertility clinics won't say

There are about 480 fertility centers across the U.S. to help the 10% of couples who have trouble conceiving. Are you using the wrong one?

Do the math

New apps calculate tips for the consumers to make the gratuity process guilt-free.

The $500,000 tax break

Learn how to cash in .


The Dow doesn't deserve to be at 17,000

The bull market in stocks is running for all the wrong reasons , writes David Weidner.

Yes, I shop at RadioShack

How else does one find a potato clock , Phil van Doorn wonders. Tell us when you last shopped there in our poll.

Safety blanket

This $1,000 blanket could save your kid from a crazed shooter.

5 places the rich hide their money

Hint: not under the mattress .

McDonald's biggest problem: Americans

Overseas sales now account for two-thirds of the fast food chain's revenue.

Hiring hits fastest pace in almost 6 years

The government data is a healthy sign for the U.S. labor market.

The jobs are back but they're no good

The five-year recovery from the Great Recession has seemed anemic because the new jobs the U.S. has gained aren't any better than the old ones.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fw: Farnam Street: Bloomberg to the Ivy League: Consider the Other Side

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Farnam Street: Bloomberg to the Ivy League: Consider the Other Side

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Bloomberg to the Ivy League: Consider the Other Side

Posted: 05 Jun 2014 05:00 AM PDT

"You must force yourself to consider opposing arguments. Especially when they challenge your best loved ideas."Charlie Munger

Recently, Charlie Munger commented that when he reads the New York Times, he pays special attention to Paul Krugman—with whom he very often disagrees—in order to expose himself to opposing political and economic viewpoints. His methodology is akin to that of Charles Darwin, who described, in his autobiography, his tendency to immediately note observations that seemed contrary to his prior beliefs.

Munger is not the only one. Malcolm Gladwell, in his recent AMA, wrote:

A lot of people wondered why I went on Glenn Beck’s show. I don’t agree with a lot of what he says. But I was curious to meet him. And my basic position in the world is that the most interesting thing you can do is to talk to someone who you think is different from you and try and find common ground. And what happened? We did. We actually had a great conversation. Unlike most of the people who interviewed me for David and Goliath, he had read the whole book and thought about it a lot. My lesson from the experience: If you never leave the small comfortable ideological circle that you belong to, you’ll never develop as a human being.

You can’t really have an informed opinion if you can’t state the other side of the argument better than the smartest person who holds the opposite view.


On May 29, former New York Mayor and Chairman of Bloomberg LP, Michael Bloomberg, gave the commencement address at Harvard. The gist of his speech was that liberal ideology has so pervaded high level American education that conservative voices are being silenced by popular fervor. His speech made some excellent points about the nature of free thought.

Modern Day McCarthyism

There is an idea floating around college campuses—including here at Harvard—that scholars should be funded only if their work conforms to a particular view of justice. There’s a word for that idea: censorship. And it is just a modern-day form of McCarthyism.

Liberal Monopoly

In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96% of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama.

Ninety-six percent. There was more disagreement among the old Soviet Politburo than there is among Ivy League donors.

That statistic should give us pause—and I say that as someone who endorsed President Obama for re-election—because let me tell you, neither party has a monopoly on truth or God on its side.

Role of Universities

The role of universities is not to promote an ideology. It is to provide scholars and students with a neutral forum for researching and debating issues—without tipping the scales in one direction, or repressing unpopular views.

Requiring scholars—and commencement speakers, for that matter—to conform to certain political standards undermines the whole purpose of a university.

… As a former chairman of Johns Hopkins, I strongly believe that a university’s obligation is not to teach students what to think but to teach students how to think. And that requires listening to the other side, weighing arguments without prejudging them, and determining whether the other side might actually make some fair points.

Always remember, you must consider your own ideologies as intensely as you consider those held by others.

Brought to you by: CURIOSITY: A curiously unconventional ad agency that helps you stand out in today's crowded world.

Fw: The psychology of your future self

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This week on
June 7, 2014

Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self

06:49 minutes · Filmed Mar 2014 · Posted Jun 2014 · TED2014

"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.

Playlist of the week

A better you (13 TED Talks)

Ready for a change? Watch these talks for ideas and inspiration on all aspects of your life, from creativity to vulnerability. Watch »

Total run time 2:55:15

More from

How can robots learn to stabilize on rough terrain, walk upside down, do gymnastic maneuvers in air and run into walls without harming themselves? Robert Full takes a look at the incredible body of the cockroach to show what it can teach robotics engineers. Watch »

"We're all going to die -- and poems can help us live with that." In a charming and funny talk, literary critic Stephen Burt takes us on a lyrical journey with some of his favorite poets, all the way down to a line break and back up to the human urge to imagine. Watch »

As a member of both the African American and LGBT communities, filmmaker Yoruba Richen is fascinated with the overlaps and tensions between the gay rights and the civil rights movements. She explores how the two struggles intertwine and propel each other forward — and, in an unmissable argument, she dispels a myth about their points of conflict. A powerful reminder that we all have a stake in equality. Watch »

Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud. Watch »

explore ideas worth spreading, every day

On We know inequality is bad, but it's interesting to ask, why? Paul Collier on the economics of the bottom billion. And a powerful photo gallery of Chicago's South Side.
Plus: 17 teachers on the (mostly lousy) economics of their dream job.


Quote of the Week

If you earn a lot of money, you can give away a lot of money."

Peter Singer
Peter Singer: The why and how of effective altruism

Join the Conversation


  David Putnam's talk was magnificent! I couldn't help intermingle "duty" of care with the provision of "reasonable" care.
In 1980 at the age of 25, I was Director of Special Projects at the Westin Hotel in Atlanta. I directed the first American installation of the now-common card access locking system for guest rooms, out of Norway. As this 70-floor project took three months, many guests would be given cards instead of the traditional brass key. Being the premier hotel in the city at the time, the guests were curious, and rightly so. One evening as I was checking in an older couple, they asked why we were undertaking such measures and making such a huge capital outlay. My answer was simple: "to provide reasonable care to our guests." Since guest room theft was on the rise, the owner had a duty to provide "reasonable care." ...
Patrons of any product- or service-based company have an "expectation of reasonable care" which includes the world of journalism. ... Taking this to the personal level where I believe it begins, it is the rare individual today who feels a "duty" to anything or anyone but themselves. Change this paradigm and I truly believe the rest will fall into line from the bottom up.