If you eat food direct from nature," Katz added, "you don’t even need to think about this. You don’t have to worry about trans fat or saturated fat or salt—most of our salt comes from processed food, not the salt shaker. If you focus on real food, nutrients tend to take care of themselves.
— Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food - James Hamblin - The Atlantic
From the Siberian Times:
Forest fires arrive early as Siberia sees record high temperatures — New evidence of climate change as blazes come six weeks early in 2014.
By 2 April, 17 forest fires had been registered across 2,000 hectares. Among the areas now at risk after a faster-than-usual…
When you grow up you, tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
— The Secret of Life from Steve Jobs | Brain Pickings
As with Walmart so at Amazon, there is a quasi-religious cult of the customer as an object of “trust” and “care”; Amazon “cares about the customer,” and “everything is driven” for him or her. Early in the lecture, Onetto quotes Bezos himself as saying, “I am not selling stuff. I am facilitating for my customers to buy what they need.”
Amazon’s larding of its customer cult with the moral language of “care” and “trust” comes with a strong dose of humbug because Amazon’s customers are principally valued by the corporation as mainstays of the bottom line, and not as vehicles for the fulfillment of personal relationships. There is still more humbug in the air because Amazon treats a second significant grouping of men and women with whom it has dealings—its employees—with the very opposite of care and trust.
But should these marginal benefits to customers really be purchased at the price of a system that treats employees as untrustworthy human robots and relies on intimidation to push them to the limit, while denying them the rewards of their own increased efficiency? This is not a choice to be made solely with the economist’s narrow calculations of monetary costs and benefits. In quantitative, monetary terms, the cost to Amazon customers of a benign reengineering of the company would far outweigh the monetary benefits to employees. But what is the real value of such customer inconvenience when set alongside the value lost with the millions of lives damaged by Walmart, Amazon, and their ilk?
— Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers - Salon.com
“There are five hiring attributes we have across the company,” explained Bock. “If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”
The second, he added, “is leadership — in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club? Were you vice president of sales? How quickly did you get there? We don’t care. What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”
— How to Get a Job at Google - NYTimes.com
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Life is going to present to you a series of transformations. And the point of education should be to transform you. To teach you how to be transformed so you can ride the waves as they come. But today, the point of education is not education. It’s accreditation. The more accreditation you have, the more money you make. That’s the instrumental logic of neoliberalism. And this instrumental logic comes wrapped in an envelope of fear. And my Ivy League, my MIT students are the same. All I feel coming off of my students is fear. That if you slip up in school, if you get one bad grade, if you make one fucking mistake, the great train of wealth will leave you behind. And that’s the logic of accreditation. If you’re at Yale, you’re in the smartest 1% in the world. […] And the brightest students in the world are learning in fear. I feel it rolling off of you in waves. But you can’t learn when you’re afraid. You cannot be transformed when you are afraid.
— Junot Díaz, speaking at Yale