Monthly Archives: June 2019

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As we transition through life, we experience traumas, reshuffle priorities, and lose relationships. But this all allows us to reach our true potential. Life is a bitch. Then you die. So while staring at my navel the other day, I decided that that bitch happens in four stages. Here they are. Stage One: Mimicry We are born helpless. We can’t walk, can’t talk, can’t feed ourselves, can’t even do our own damn taxes. As children, the way we’re wired to learn is by watching and mimicking others. First we learn to do physical skills like walk and talk. Then we develop social skills by watching and mimicking our peers around us. Then, finally, in late childhood, we learn to adapt to our culture by observing the rules and norms around us and trying to behave in such a way that is generally considered acceptable by society. The goal of Stage […]

Baruch Vega ran a scheme that ensnared Colombian cocaine kingpins and gave him a life of luxury. Then one put a price on his head. I. THE RAID SHARE THIS ARTICLE When the FBI showed up at the door of his penthouse in Miami Beach, fashion photographer Baruch Vega was drinking merlot with a group of models, stylists, and assistants. The group had just returned from two weeks of shoots in Puerto Rico and Cancún. They were preparing for another in Jamaica the next day. It was March 21, 2000. Vega was 53 and feeling like he’d hit his prime. Trim and tan, he owned a nine-seat Hawker jet and was a fixture at South Beach’s trendy restaurants—always wearing a tight black T-shirt and surrounded by beautiful women. He was thinking of trying to make one of them his fourth wife. But this fabulous life was actually a cover. Although […]

Tony Robbins once asked a crowd of thousands to imagine their door bell ringing. When they opened the door, he told them a “depressed person” was at the door. He then asked them to describe that person. The answers? Probably similar to yours: drooped shoulders, downcast, messy hair, a frown, a quiet voice, no eye contact. Then he asked them to imagine that a “happy person” rang the doorbell. What did that person look like? Big smile. Friendly eyes. Warm handshake. Raised chin, standing tall. Eye contact. Robbins then asked everyone to physically imitate “a depressed person” and “a happy person” for one minute — act “depressed” and act “happy.” Robbins asked them how they felt afterwards. The answer: it had a huge effect! Even a minute of acting like a “depressed person” made many people actually feel sad and alone. How you act determines how you are. If you want to […]

There are two trains of thought – One leads to procrastination and one leads to motivation. And somewhere in between, there is a junction called anxiety. Let’s first look at the procrastination train of thought (at least that’s going somewhere, amirite?). People often think procrastination is about time management, laziness, or a weak will but that is not the best way to understand procrastination. According to research, poor emotional regulation and a failure of self-regulation cause people to procrastinate. We procrastinate because some tasks put us in a lousy mood and we want to repair that mood to feel better. Ok, time is not entirely irrelevant when it comes to procrastination. After all, there are deadlines. But, it really is more about emotion/mood repair mechanisms in the context of time – specifically, the near future. Roy Baumeister, an influential psychologist, says that procrastination is a “self-defeating behavior pattern marked by […]

NASA needed a supercomputer to get us to the Moon, and it had to be generations ahead of the state of the art at the time. This is the 12th in an exclusive series of 50 articles, one published each day until July 20, exploring the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Moon landing. You can check out 50 Days to the Moon here every day. Your dishwasher has more brain power than the computer that flew the Apollo astronauts to the Moon. But don’t let your dishwasher take control of your spaceship anytime soon. That’s not a measure of how basic the Apollo computers were, but rather how much the engineers and programmers in the 1960s were able to do with the modest computing power that was available to them. The computer they created was a marvel, and its impact is all around us, even though we don’t notice. NASA […]

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Mendenhall Ice Caves, Alaska To get to the Mendenhall Ice Caves in Juneau, Alaska is a trek. You can only get there first by kayaking, then by ice climbing over a glacier. It’s worth it, though—the caves, which are in a partially hollow glacier, have water running over rocks under blue ceilings. The scene is otherworldly. Red Beach, Panjin China Forget about sandy white beaches here, this incredible beach is sandless and gets its striking red color from a type of seaweed. Known as Sueda, the seaweed grows green before turning red in the fall months. Red Beach isn’t just unusually beautiful, but is also a diverse ecosystem on one of the largest wetlands in the world. Hundreds of different bird species call it home and though most of the area is closed to tourists, there is a small section of the area open to nature lovers. Cave Of Crystals, […]

With enemies like these, the industry is going to need some friends. In October 2016, then-President Barack Obama hosted a miniature version of the blowout tech conference South by Southwest, which the White House called South by South Lawn. Obama, as The New York Times put it at the time, had “brought Silicon Valley to Washington.” He even hinted that if he hadn’t been president, he might have become a venture capitalist. “The conversations I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pull together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying,” he said. My, how times change! Most American politicians would not be caught consorting so openly with the technology industry these days. And now that Big Tech lacks top cover, government agencies are moving in. According to new reports, Google and Apple face deeper investigation by the Department of Justice, while the […]

Google’s definition of what makes the very best managers will help you be your very best. It’s not every day you learn of a really smart company setting out to prove that managers don’t matter. But that’s exactly what Google did with Project Oxygen. The hypothesis was that the quality of a manager doesn’t matter and that managers are at best a necessary evil, and at worst a useless layer of bureaucracy. The early work of Project Oxygen, in 2002, included a radical experiment — a move to a flat organization without any managers. The experiment was a disaster, lasting only a few months as the search giant found employees were left without direction and guidance on their most basic questions and needs. Never daunted, Google pivoted to extensively study the opposite question — what are the common behaviors of their very best managers? It came up with a list of eight attributes, verified quantitatively and qualitatively in […]