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The 'Busy' Trap

The 'Busy' Trap
Anxiety: We worry. A gallery of contributors count the ways. If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we collectively force one another to do. Notice it isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Brecht Vandenbroucke Even children are busy now, scheduled down to the half-hour with classes and extracurricular activities. The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it. Our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness. I am not busy. Here I am largely unmolested by obligations.

The Science of Waiting and the Art of Delay Voltaire famously lamented. This tension between anticipation and impatience, indeed, seems central to the human condition. In ( ), former investment banker turned writer shines a spotlight on it by bringing together four previously examined grand questions — what is time , how we decide , why we procrastinate , and what it means to be human — through hundreds of scientific studies and interviews with prominent thinkers across psychology, behavioral economics, philosophy, social science, anthropology, and more. What emerges is an important, if counterintuitive, perspective on delay in a culture obsessed with efficiency, speediness, and productivity that bleeds into the hasty and the rash. Partnoy observes: For centuries, leading thinkers …. have told us not to jump to firm conclusions about the unknown. Thinking about the role of delay is a profound and fundamental part of being human. Our ability to think about delay is a central part of the human condition.

Lara Croft and rape stories: breaking down the bitch A few weeks ago, a viral blog served up a refreshingly compassionate interpretation of privilege for the Portal generation. If life were a video game, the writer John Scalzi explained, "straight white male" would be "the lowest difficulty setting there is". "This means that the default behaviours for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise," wrote Scalzi. "The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. Keep that in mind, because we’ll be coming back to it. This is a story, like so many epics, about being, and about becoming. It’s almost as if sexual assault were understood as an immutable part of human culture, painful but inevitable, rather like a young man’s first experience of heartbreak – unfortunate but ultimately benign and probably a learning experience for everyone. Being Lara

Thirty Is Not The New Twenty: Why Your 20's Matter | Experts' Corner Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life's most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. No. One of my favorite quotes is by American Psychologist Sheldon Kopp: "The unlived life isn't worth examining." Absolutely. One way to keep yourself honest about the future is by making a timeline. Besides, do you know what's not cool? Yes, half of 20somethings are un- or underemployed. That's how people are getting jobs--especially good jobs--even in a tough economy. For those 20somethings who already have jobs but who are underemployed, it is crucial to remember that not all underemployment is the same.

Trollarchy in the UK: the British Defamation Bill and the delusion of the public sphere [UPDATE 26.06.2102: A French version of this post is now available on the news website OWNI. As usual, thanks to Guillaume Ledit for translating it.] These days, the House of Commons has been debating an amendment to the British Defamation Bill specificially designed to tackle Internet trolls. Now website owners and internet access providers will be forced to reveal the IP and personal information of users identified as authors of ‘vile messages’. It is business as usual: whenever some ICT-related news story catches the public eye, British policy makers come up with an ad hoc law. Why mainstream media are scared of trolls In a remarkable effort to lull the general public in a false sense of understanding digital cultures, The Guardian has devoted a special session of its June 12, 2012 edition to this peculiar online phenomenon. Understandably, mainstream media have no option but to back British government liberticidal political agenda. The trolls and the online public sphere Comments

How to Get Doping Out of Sports WHY does an athlete dope? I know why, because I faced that choice. My life on a bike started in middle school. These early rides make up many of my memories from my teenage years; the crashes, the adrenaline and the discipline of training every day. As I sped through the neighborhoods of suburban Denver, my mind was anywhere but. Achieving childhood dreams is a hard road. People who end up living their dreams are not those who are lucky and gifted, but those who are stubborn, resolute and willing to sacrifice. THEN, just short of finally living your childhood dream, you are told, either straight out or implicitly, by some coaches, mentors, even the boss, that you aren’t going to make it, unless you cheat. How much does that last 2 percent really matter? To be clear, running a 9.8 (or faster), winning the 100-meter breaststroke or winning the Tour de France are all very possible and have been done without doping.

Latest Empirical Findings on Democratic Effects of the Internet This post was originally published on iRevolution Jacob Groshek from Iowa State University recently published the latest results from his research on the democratic effects of the Internet in the International Journal of Communication. A copy of Groshek’s study is available here (PDF). Groshek published an earlier study in 2009 which I blogged about here. The purpose of this blog post is to summarize Groshek’s research so I can include it in my dissertation’s literature review. Some Background: “Technological developments, especially communicative ones, have long been positioned — and even romanticized — as powerful instruments of democracy (Dunham, 1938; Lerner, 1958). The Methodology: “Though there are many ways to operationalize democracy and measure the prevalence of media technologies, this study relies principally on macro-level time–series democracy data from an historical sample that includes 72 countries, reaching back as far as 1946 in some cases, but at least from 1954 to 2003.

What Happens When You Live Abroad A very dependable feature of people who live abroad is finding them huddled together in bars and restaurants, talking not just about their homelands, but about the experience of leaving. And strangely enough, these groups of ex-pats aren’t necessarily all from the same home countries, often the mere experience of trading lands and cultures is enough to link them together and build the foundations of a friendship. I knew a decent amount of ex pats — of varying lengths of stay — back in America, and it’s reassuring to see that here in Europe, the “foreigner” bars are just as prevalent and filled with the same warm, nostalgic chatter. But one thing that undoubtedly exists between all of us, something that lingers unspoken at all of our gatherings, is fear. There is a palpable fear to living in a new country, and though it is more acute in the first months, even year, of your stay, it never completely evaporates as time goes on. It simply changes. But there are the fears.

Clive Thompson on How Tweets and Texts Nurture In-Depth Analysis | Wired Magazine Illustration: Thomas Ng We’re often told that the Internet has destroyed people’s patience for long, well-thought-out arguments. After all, the ascendant discussions of our day are text messages, tweets, and status updates. The popularity of this endless fire hose of teensy utterances means we’ve lost our appetite for consuming—and creating—slower, reasoned contemplation. I’m not so sure. When something newsworthy happens today—Brett Favre losing to the Jets, news of a new iPhone, a Brazilian election runoff—you get a sudden blizzard of status updates. The long take is the opposite: It’s a deeply considered report and analysis, and it often takes weeks, months, or years to produce. The long take also thrives on the long tail. The real loser here is the middle take. This trend has already changed blogging. “I save the little stuff for Twitter and blog only when I have something big to say,” as blogger Anil Dash put it. Which, despite reports to the contrary, we are.

What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too. The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Tumblr founder David Karp will "try hard" not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. Not all of us can roll into the office whenever our Vespa happens to get us there, but most of us with jobs that don’t require constant on-call awareness can trade e-mail for organization and single-focus work. Gain Awareness, Be Grateful Choose Your Frog

Laurie Penny: Don't listen to what G4S say. Look at what they do - Commentators - Opinion I mention all this because G4S will shortly be patrolling the London Olympics with more than 10,000 private security agents. The British-based company, billing itself as the "world's leading international security solutions group", will be the main provider of all manner of surveillance services to the Games, which will all cost hundreds of millions to the British taxpayer – a bill which has tripled from original estimations. Questions are being asked in Parliament about G4S's human rights record, but the biggest question has yet to be raised: are we really happy for global security, from prisons to police, to be in the hands of private firms that turn immense profits from the business of physical enforcement and are accountable almost exclusively to their shareholders? The first thing you need to know about G4S is that it's enormous. This is the new face of the global for-profit security business. Technically, we are not allowed to call these people mercenaries.

6 Ways To Tell Someone You Like Them While it may seem like the simple act of telling someone you have feelings for them, and might be interested in dating them, is just that: an easy straightforward task, nothing could be further from the truth. For many — those of us who do not put “unrbidled charisma around love interests” in the special skills section of our résumé — we have to find new ways to go about letting the special someone know. Here, a few particularly effective tactics: 1. If you are absolutely head-over-heels for someone, what better way to let them know than by refusing to acknowledge their existence? 2. If absolute silence is not your M.O. when it comes to expressing your budding love, you can always change it up and become completely disconnected from your own brain function. 3. 4. You know what your friends, family, coworkers, exes, mailman, barista at Starbucks, dentist, and complete strangers in the street want to hear about? 5. 6. Oh, who am I kidding?