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Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - Megan McArdle

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - Megan McArdle
Like most writers, I am an inveterate procrastinator. In the course of writing this one article, I have checked my e-mail approximately 3,000 times, made and discarded multiple grocery lists, conducted a lengthy Twitter battle over whether the gold standard is actually the worst economic policy ever proposed, written Facebook messages to schoolmates I haven’t seen in at least a decade, invented a delicious new recipe for chocolate berry protein smoothies, and googled my own name several times to make sure that I have at least once written something that someone would actually want to read. Lots of people procrastinate, of course, but for writers it is a peculiarly common occupational hazard. One book editor I talked to fondly reminisced about the first book she was assigned to work on, back in the late 1990s. It had gone under contract in 1972. I once asked a talented and fairly famous colleague how he managed to regularly produce such highly regarded 8,000 word features. “Exactly!”


Google Agenda, le Mac Giver des disponibilités en ligne Un animateur numérique de territoire, cette nouvelle espèce darwinienne de l’évolution du professionnelus touristicus nous a demandé de lui reparler d’une petite "bidouille" qui permet de proposer à des prestataires sans budget "Gestion des disponibilités en ligne" une solution fort pratique. Nous nous sommes dit que notre réponse aurait largement sa place dans ce blog destiné aux institutionnels du tourisme qui sont en relation avec les prestataires d’hébergements. Je vais donc vous illustrer la mise en place d’un système de disponibilité géré à partir de Google Agenda, service gratuit accesible après création d’un compte Google (par ici). L’idée est de détourner l’usage premier de l’outil Calendrier de Google qui vous permet de suivre de n’importe votre agenda, de créer plusieurs plannings et de les partager avec qui vous voulez, vos collègues… ou vos clients. Etape 1 : Création d’un agenda pour chaque chambre Etape 2 : Créer une réservation express pour la chambre jaune

5-Year-Olds Can Learn Calculus - Luba Vangelova The familiar, hierarchical sequence of math instruction starts with counting, followed by addition and subtraction, then multiplication and division. The computational set expands to include bigger and bigger numbers, and at some point, fractions enter the picture, too. Then in early adolescence, students are introduced to patterns of numbers and letters, in the entirely new subject of algebra. But this progression actually “has nothing to do with how people think, how children grow and learn, or how mathematics is built,” says pioneering math educator and curriculum designer Maria Droujkova. The current sequence is merely an entrenched historical accident that strips much of the fun out of what she describes as the “playful universe” of mathematics, with its more than 60 top-level disciplines, and its manifestations in everything from weaving to building, nature, music and art. This turns many children off to math from an early age.

Écrire pour ne plus se mentir, ou la thérapie des corrections Les études qui cherchent à prouver les bienfaits d'une pratique régulière d'écriture ne manquent pas : la plupart se centrent sur les effets physiologiques, avec une réduction du taux de stress et un contrôle de la production de cortisol, une hormone générée à l'occasion d'émotions fortes, gênant la récupération. Mais d'autres psychologues assurent que l'essentiel des bienfaits réside dans la perception de soi que favorise l'écriture. (Walt Stoneburner, CC BY 2.0) Les élèves les plus en difficulté de l'université Duke, en Caroline du Nord, ont pu se livrer corps et âme pour une expérience organisée par Timothy D. Wilson, professeur en psychologie à l'université de Virginie. Deux groupes ont été formés, et seul l'un des deux a obtenu des informations sur la scolarité lambda, et le léger décrochage à l'arrivée en faculté, commun à de nombreux étudiants. (via NY Times) Pour approfondir

Why Americans Are the Weirdest People in the World IN THE SUMMER of 1995, a young graduate student in anthropology at UCLA named Joe Henrich traveled to Peru to carry out some fieldwork among the Machiguenga, an indigenous people who live north of Machu Picchu in the Amazon basin. The Machiguenga had traditionally been horticulturalists who lived in single-family, thatch-roofed houses in small hamlets composed of clusters of extended families. For sustenance, they relied on local game and produce from small-scale farming. While the setting was fairly typical for an anthropologist, Henrich’s research was not. The test that Henrich introduced to the Machiguenga was called the ultimatum game. Among the Machiguenga, word quickly spread of the young, square-jawed visitor from America giving away money. When he began to run the game it became immediately clear that Machiguengan behavior was dramatically different from that of the average North American. The potential implications of the unexpected results were quickly apparent to Henrich.

Mettre les émotions en mots réduit la détresse Deux expériences utilisant l'imagerie cérébrale (images de l'activité du cerveau) semblent confirmer que mettre les émotions négatives en mots peut réduire la détresse. Dans une première expérience, le psychologue Matthew Lieberman et ses collègues ont provoqué un sentiment de rejet social chez des participants jouant à un jeu d'ordinateur. Les images du cerveau montraient que le sentiment de rejet activait une région nommée cortex cingulé. Cette région est également connue pour s'activer en réponse à la douleur physique. Ils ont aussi observé que les participants dont l'activité dans cette région était moins grande rapportaient moins de détresse et avaient une plus grande activité dans une autre région qui est associée au langage. Selon Lieberman cela suggérait que mettre les émotions en mot pouvait activer cette région du langage, ce qui en retour pouvait réduire l'activité de la région produisant les émotions négatives. Voyez également:

Is marijuana withdrawal a real thing? – Malcolm Harris It would be an understatement to say that America has an ambivalent relationship with marijuana. The United States is in the world’s top five per-capita consumer of the drug, yet it treats possession more harshly than most of its international peers. The federal government maintains that marijuana has no accepted medical use, but many of the states that comprise the union have entire regulatory apparatuses built around licensed doctors prescribing weed. Marijuana withdrawal is a joke, and not a bad one at that. I’ve been what any medical study would classify as a heavy marijuana user for around five years, since I discovered that I was much more invested in my Victorian literature reading when I was high. Since then, I’ve been more or less what you could call ‘always stoned’. If you use any psychoactive substance every day, you’re bound to miss its effects once you suddenly go without. When I stopped using over the summer, I did lose my appetite. Visit our new film channel Comment

Geel's ancient community cares for the mentally ill – Mike Jay Half an hour on the slow train from Antwerp, surrounded by flat, sparsely populated farmlands, Geel (pronounced, roughly, ‘Hyale’) strikes the visitor as a quiet, tidy but otherwise unremarkable Belgian market town. Yet its story is unique. For more than 700 years its inhabitants have taken the mentally ill and disabled into their homes as guests or ‘boarders’. At times, these guests have numbered in the thousands, and arrived from all over Europe. Among the people of Geel, the term ‘mentally ill’ is never heard: even words such as ‘psychiatric’ and ‘patient’ are carefully hedged with finger-waggling and scare quotes. The origins of the Geel story lie in the 13th century, in the martyrdom of Saint Dymphna, a legendary seventh-century Irish princess whose pagan father went mad with grief after the death of his Christian wife and demanded that Dymphna marry him. Today, the system continues along much the same lines. These all appear to have been changes for the better. 9 January 2014

Stopping Suicide Last year, New York University's Elmer Holmes Bobst Library was given a poignant adjustment. Built in 1972, the library was designed around a central atrium; visitors moved through the stacks by walking on balconies that looked down on a hypnotic, Escher-like marble floor. It was a triumph of engineering grace, though some people found it uncomfortably vertiginous. What's happened at Bobst is indicative of a wider trend. Consider the problem in terms of American campuses. At NYU and elsewhere, physical barriers are being erected to combat suicide. That view has spread beyond the realm of philosophy. This view has its roots in a historical turf war between Christianity and secularism—and in a great many misunderstandings. But the secular rejection of Christianity's simplistic antisuicide arguments took a wrong turn. It is not obvious that Christianity would be firmly set against suicide. Christianity did not initially reject suicide either. This is not a new insight.

Why the Gender Gap Won't Go Away. Ever. by Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal Summer 2011 Kay S. Hymowitz Why the Gender Gap Won’t Go Away. Women prefer the mommy track. Early this past spring, the White House Council on Women and Girls released a much-anticipated report called Women in America. It is a huge discrepancy. This isn’t to say that all is gender-equal in the labor market. Let’s begin by unpacking that 75-cent statistic, which actually varies from 75 to about 81, depending on the year and the study. But consider the mischief contained in that “or more.” The way proofers finesse “full-time” can be a wonder to behold. The other arena of mischief contained in the 75-cent statistic lies in the seemingly harmless term “occupation.” But proofers often make the claim that women earn less than men doing the exact same job. Now, while a 5 percent gap will never lead to a million-woman march on Washington, it’s not peanuts. So what do we make of what, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll call the 7 percent gap? No, you can’t rule out discrimination. The list goes on. Kay S.

What the science of human nature can teach us After the boom and bust, the mania and the meltdown, the Composure Class rose once again. Its members didn’t make their money through hedge-fund wizardry or by some big financial score. Theirs was a statelier ascent. You can see a paragon of the Composure Class having an al-fresco lunch at some bistro in Aspen or Jackson Hole. A few times a year, members of this class head to a mountain resort, carrying only a Council on Foreign Relations tote bag (when you have your own plane, you don’t need luggage that actually closes). Occasionally, you meet a young, rising member of this class at the gelato store, as he hovers indecisively over the cloudberry and ginger-pomegranate selections, and you notice that his superhuman equilibrium is marred by an anxiety. Help comes from the strangest places. A core finding of this work is that we are not primarily the products of our conscious thinking. As a newborn, Harold, like all babies, was connecting with his mother. Ms. This is how life works.

The Social Psychological Narrative—or—What Is Social Psychology, Anyway? There has been a question lurking in the back of my mind for all those years, which is how can we take this basic knowledge and use it to solve problems of today? I grew up in the turbulent 1960s, in an era where it seemed like the whole world was changing, and that we could have a hand in changing it. Part of my reason for studying psychology in the first place was because I felt that this was something that could help solve social problems. One of the basic assumptions of the field is that it's not the objective environment that influences people, but their constructs of the world. We know from cognitive behavioral therapy and clinical psychology that one way to change people's narratives is through fairly intensive psychotherapy. One of the first studies I did after graduate school tested a story-editing intervention of this kind. There are lots of famous examples, for example the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program, which my two kids went through when they were in school.