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The fact is that most of us are wandering around, scared shitless, wondering what the fuck’s going to happen next. That’s as true when you’re 11 as it is when you’re in your 40s. It’s one reason that people feel very discouraged or disinclined to try new things—they feel like it’s not for them.
I understand that you’re asking me this because you’re trying to get the narrative, but my narrative is that I’ve never known what’s coming next—I still don’t. I fell down the right set of stairs and have been surrounded by people who have picked me up and said, “Let’s try this again.” It’s been one anxious block of uncertainty after another.
What has vanished over the past 40 years isn’t just Americans’ rising incomes. It’s their sense of control over their lives. The young college graduates working in jobs requiring no more than a high-school degree, the middle-aged unemployed who have permanently opted out of a labor market that has no place for them, the 45- to 60-year-olds who say they will have to delay their retirement because they have insufficient savings—all these and more are leading lives that have diverged from the aspirations that Americans until recently believed they could fulfill. This May, a Pew poll asked respondents if they thought that today’s children would be better or worse off than their parents. Sixty-two percent said worse off, while 33 percent said better. Studies that document the decline of intergenerational mobility suggest that this newfound pessimism is well grounded.
via The 40-Year Slump.
Pammel Park is roughly five miles SE of Winterset in Madison County, Iowa. I’ve been intending to walk some of the county’s trails (learn more about what the county has to offer at http://www.madisoncountyparks.org) for a few years now and, with a few days away from the office decided to give it a start. A map of the trail is available at http://www.madisoncountyparks.org/images/stories/TrailMaps/PPark.jpg.
Arguably there’s not a lot of action here, but that’s kind of the point—the trail was quiet save a few birds, squirrels, and deer I happened upon. It was great to get out from behind the desk and out in to the natural world.
The path isn’t very kid-friendly (part of my park/trail exploration is to find fun places around the county to take my three boys) with a few steep ascents and drop offs. Not a problem for an aware adult, but I don’t know that I’d trust my toddlers to safely traverse!
Brent Coker, who studies online behavior at the University of Melbourne in Australia, found that people who engage in “workplace Internet leisure browsing” are about 9 percent more productive than those who don’t. Last year, Jonathan Schooler, a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara published with his doctoral student Benjamin Baird a study called Inspired by Distraction. It concluded that “engaging in simple external tasks that allow the mind to wander may facilitate creative problem solving.”
Schooler gave participants a series of “unusual uses tasks” (UUTs), which asked them to invent as many different uses as they could for a mundane object. The more original the responses, the more creativity they were demonstrating. After performing a baseline test, participants were divided into groups and given different 12-minute “incubation” periods. These consisted of either a demanding memory task, an undemanding memory task that allowed for mind-wandering, or total rest. A fourth group had no incubation interval at all. Then all four groups were presented with more UUTs, which involved at least one object from the first round. The group that had been given a non-demanding incubation task showed the most-improved UUT scores.
The Graveyard Slot is an inverse inflection point in the profit curves of two very different businesses. For local TV stations, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. Producing content to air on these hours would cost more than it would return. Selling the timeslot for pennies on the dollar isn’t ideal, but it’s a better alternative to airing color bars or going dark.
But for certain companies – the kinds of companies who make Snuggies and ShamWows – the Graveyard is primetime. It’s dirt-cheap media space. It’s highly efficient for testing products and messaging against targeted consumer segments. It’s the perfect perch for Perfect Polly, the plastic parakeet with a swiveling head and a chirp like a 1980s car alarm. It’s the choicest real estate for the SnapNPump, a vacuum sealer for sandwich bags. And it’s pretty much the only timeslot socially acceptable for the UroClub, a nine iron golf club that doubles as a portable urinal.
With 150 million users sharing 16 billion photos and liking a billion of them every single day, Instagram is getting to be a more and more crowded platform. As such, if you want to stand out, it’s getting harder and harder.
After analyzing over eight million images, Curulate found the common elements of shareable, likable Instagram images.