Is ‘Empathy’ Really What the Nation Needs?

What social networks like Facebook really offer is empathy in the aggregate — an illusion of having captured the mood of entire families and friend networks from a safe, neutral distance. Then they turn around and offer advertisers a read on more than a billion users at once. Buzz Andersen — a tech veteran who has worked for Apple, Tumblr and Square — told me that in Silicon Valley, “empathy is basically a more altruistic-sounding way of saying ‘market research.’ ”

(Via Amanda Hess on the New York Times.)

Five Pages

Whoooooooooo. You looked stressed. I know, right? First, it was a joke. Then it was unimaginable. Then unthinkable. Improbable. Unlikely. Then it happened and now we’re are all wondering, “When will it get worse?” Still not sleeping well? Me either. Are you reading the news? Me either. I’m 165 pages into the history of the… More

Stay Angry

Our actions or inaction help determine the direction the world takes. If we quickly accept a new normalized state of being in order to avoid the discomfort of being frustrated or angry, we put ourselves in a dangerous position of inaction. If you let your mind say that everything will be okay, tune out, and coast back to a relaxed state of mind, no change is ever going to come of the world.

(Via Quartz)

Kyle the Octopus

Eagle-eyed readers noticed resting on the best couch ever that there was an orange octopus. His name and how he ended up there is a great story. When my daughter was in elementary school, we participated in a program called Indian Princesses that started in kindergarten with graduation in 5th grade. Each month there were… More

Break Rules and Be Yourself

A third reason for the prevalence of conformity is that we tend to prioritize information that supports our existing beliefs and to ignore information that challenges them, so we overlook things that could spur positive change. Complicating matters, we also tend to view unexpected or unpleasant information as a threat and to shun it — a phenomenon psychologists call motivated skepticism.

(via hbr.org)