Category: People

Why It Pays to Be a Jerk

1920

New research confirms what they say about nice guys.
The Atlantic
JERRY USEEM JUNE 2015 ISSUE

Smile at the customer. Bake cookies for your colleagues. Sing your subordinates’ praises. Share credit. Listen. Empathize. Don’t drive the last dollar out of a deal. Leave the last doughnut for someone else.
Sneer at the customer. Keep your colleagues on edge. Claim credit. Speak first. Put your feet on the table. Withhold approval. Instill fear. Interrupt. Ask for more. And by all means, take that last doughnut. You deserve it.
Follow one of those paths, the success literature tells us, and you’ll go far. Follow the other, and you’ll die powerless and broke. The only question is, which is which? Read Me!


The impossible world of MC Escher

Escher
Day and Night, 1938, by MC Escher. Images courtesy of Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag/the MC Escher Company

Steven Poole
Saturday 20 June 2015
theguardian.com

The artist who created some of the most memorable images of the 20th century was never fully embraced by the art world. There is just one work by Maurits Cornelis Escher in all of Britain’s galleries and museums, and it was not until his 70th birthday that the first full retrospective exhibition took place in his native Netherlands. Escher was admired mainly by mathematicians and scientists, and found global fame only when he came to be considered a pioneer of psychedelic art by the hippy counterculture of the 1960s. His prints adorn albums by Mott the Hoople and the Scaffold, and he was courted unsuccessfully by Mick Jagger for an album cover and by Stanley Kubrick for help transforming what became 2001: A Space Odyssey into

Read It!


Keeping Secrets

BY HENRY CORRIGAN-GIBBS
MDF

Four decades ago, university researchers figured out the key to computer privacy, sparking a battle with the National Security Agency that continues today.

What if your research could help solve a looming national problem, but government officials thought publishing it would be tantamount to treason? A Stanford professor and his graduate students found themselves in that situation 37 years ago, when their visionary work on computer privacy issues ran afoul of the National Security Agency. Read It!


The Shape of Things to Come

JonathanIveThe Shape of Things to Come
Ian Parker
newyorker.com

In recent months, Sir Jonathan Ive, the forty-seven-year-old senior vice-president of design at Apple—who used to play rugby in secondary school, and still has a bench-pressing bulk that he carries a little sheepishly, as if it belonged to someone else—has described himself as both “deeply, deeply tired” and “always anxious.”

Read It!


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

kitten

by Mark Manson
January 8, 2015

In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.

People often say the key to confidence and success in life is to simply “not give a fuck.” Indeed, we often refer to the strongest, most admirable people we know in terms of their lack of fucks given. Like “Oh, look at Susie working weekends again, she doesn’t give a fuck.” Or “Did you hear that Tom called the company president an asshole and still got a raise anyway? Holy shit, that dude does not give a fuck.” Or “Jason got up and ended his date with Cindy after 20 minutes. He said he wasn’t going to listen to her bullshit anymore. Man, that guy does not give a fuck.”

Read It!


The Architecture of Evil

(Photo: Albert Speer with Adolf Hitler, from the German Federal Archive, via Wikimedia Commons)

The New Atlantis
Roger Forsgren

For the commission to do a great building, I would have sold my soul like Faust. Now I had found my Mephistopheles. He seemed no less engaging than Goethe’s.
—Albert Speer

Someone designed the furnaces of the Nazi death camps. Someone measured the size and weight of a human corpse to determine how many could be stacked and efficiently incinerated within a crematorium. Someone sketched out on a drafting table the decontamination showers, complete with the fake hot-water spigots used to lull and deceive doomed prisoners. Someone, very well educated, designed the rooftop openings and considered their optimum placement for the cyanide pellets to be dropped among the naked, helpless men, women, and children below. This person was an engineer, an architect, or a technician. This person went home at night, perhaps laughed and played with his children, went to church on Sunday, and kissed his wife goodbye each morning.
Read It!


Shyam Sankar: The rise of human-computer cooperation


Andy Griffith – College Football


Richard Feynman – The Key to Science


Radiolab – Crossroads

In this short, we go looking for the devil, and find ourselves tangled in a web of details surrounding one of the most haunting figures in music–a legendary guitarist whose shadowy life spawned a legend so powerful, it’s still being repeated…even by fans who don’t believe a word of it.