Tanto per chiarire / Just to make it clear

Tanto per chiarire / Just to make it clear

Più che un blog questo è un diario di appunti, dove spesso mi segno e rilancio articoli ed opinion interessanti trovate in giro per la rete.

Cerco sempre di citare e linkare correttamente la fonte originale. Se comunque trovaste roba vostra che volete che tolga o corregga, vi prego di segnalarmelo a Stef@cutillo.eu
This is a notebook -not really a blog- where I often relaunch interesting stuff I find roaming on the net.
I always try to link correctly the original sources. If anyway you find your stuff and want me to remove or correct it, please let me know at Stef@cutillo.eu

Questo blog, ovviamente, non rappresenta una testata giornalistica in quanto viene aggiornato senza alcuna periodicità e con molta poca coerenza. Non può pertanto considerarsi un prodotto editoriale ai sensi della legge n. 62 del 7.03.2001 e seguenti.
This is just a silly legal note to state that this (SURPRISE! SURPRISE!)
is not a newspaper or a news publication whatsoever.

martedì 31 marzo 2015

About fucks to give our not to give.

A lesson I'm afraid I'll never lear: 

Just like every other human on the planet, I have epically awesome days and days when life just shits on my face. And while I can’t stand most self-help (see: tired quotes over stock photography on Instagram), sometimes I need a little pick-me-up. And most of the time, in order to get out of a slump (because my brain leans more into math/science than anything else), I need to drop a logic bomb on my ass.
Yes, this is a long article. But here’s the thing — if you’re reading this in your inbox and are already like, “fuck this!” delete it. No hard feelings. If you’re reading this in a browser on a website, and you see how tiny the scroll-bar is because of how far you still have to scroll to get to the bottom, close this tab and go back to 140-character tidbits of advice.
Still with me? Phew. Just had to weed out all the folks from points: #1, #4 and #8. Welcome friends, onward we go.
This guide works when anything shitty happens. Someone criticizes you online? Read this. Someone wants a refund on something that took you five years to build, and they’re mean about it? Read this. You got fired from a job or by a client? Read this. Zombie apocalypse? Well… in that case, what’s probably more important is non-perishable provisions and zombie-smashing devices (but maybe afterwards, read this).

1. Everyone is offended all of the time.

We’re all set in our ways. As much as we tout how open-minded we all are, we all have little nit picks about everyone else. Slow drivers (who speed up when the road goes from one to two lanes), 17-year-old yoga teachers who talk about the meaning of life for the first 45 minutes of a 60-minute yoga class, people who write op-ed pieces on the Internet (like me…), people who swear, people who use social media in a way that we don’t.
Assume whatever it is you’re doing, someone else can — and will — be offended by it. This shouldn’t stop you from doing what you’re doing, but it also shouldn’t come as a surprise when someone tries to tell you how offended they are by what you just did.

2. If someone is offended by you, that’s because they’ve noticed you.

Before you get bent out of shape about someone dumping their shit on you, realize that they’ve taken time out of their day to call you out. They noticed you, paid attention, and consumed what you made. Sure, they hated it, but now you’re wasting even more of their time because they’re telling you how much or why they hated it.
Even if you don’t respond (and you probably shouldn’t), you’ve won because you’re on their radar and they don’t want you to be. Plus, even if someone is offended by you, them telling you about it is basically the worst case scenario. Life will continue, the planet will keep fucking spinning, and no one but you will be the wiser that someone was offended.
Worst-er case scenario: someone complains about you publicly. Reality: it’s not that bad, because people have the attention span of a gnat when it doesn’t relate to them, so it fades quickly from the collective radar (or Twitter stream).
We’re all paranoid that everyone will hate us. Especially when we make things for other people, and especially when we put those things online. Go into everything assuming that even if a few people do hate you or what you’ve made, there are more people silently consuming what you made (or even better, buying what you made).

3. Not being noticed sucks more, but it’s a universal pain.

If no one hates you, no one is paying attention. If attention is what you want for vanity, confidence, or, hell — to make a decent living — then know that it’s not instantaneous. Every single person that you’re currently paying attention to, at some point in their lives, was in your exact position. They kept at it and worked enough so that others started listening.
Also know that if no one is watching, you can experience true freedom. Dance in your underwear. Write entirely for yourself. Swear like there’s a going-out-of-business sale on “fucks” and “shits.” Find yourself — not in some coming-of-age hippie way involving pasta and ashrams— but in a way that helps you draw your own line in the sand for what matters and what doesn’t. Do what you want to do, just because you want to do that thing. This will build confidence that will come in handy later.

4. People will judge you, regardless of what you do, because everyone’s “judgy.”

Fear can make us afraid of what others will think. It’s not a question of if people will judge you, because they definitely will judge you. People are judgy and that judgement is scary.
True story: I just got invited to an event, read the invite online, and judged the hell out of the event. I actually said, out loud, to myself, “Fucking hippies!” It’s a party that features fires and dancing, wild-harvested local food, rosehip mead and gratuitous photos of people with dreads and body paint hugging each other. Is their party happening regardless of whether not I attend? Heck yes, it is. Will the party be awful because I think they’re a bunch of hippies? Heck no, hippies don’t give a shit about me. They’re going to drink their rose hip wine (probably out of chalices they whittled while chanting to fairies) and dance into the night having a blast.
Don’t be me in that situation, be the hippies. Not literally of course (unless that’s your thing), but you get what I mean.
Look at it this way — whatever you do, whenever you do it, you’ll be judged for it. Even by letting fear kick your ass and doing absolutely nothing, you will be judged. So, since you’re going to be judged any way, why not actually take action? That way, at least when you judge yourself, you’ll be able to sleep well at night (you’ll be tired from the figurative mead and dread-locked dancing). Everyone else who judges you can politely fuck off.
We all care what others have to say. But it becomes dangerous when we value their opinions more than our own. The list goes, in order of importance: 1) our opinion of ourselves, 2) (which is a distant second) everyone else’s opinion of us.

5. Luckily, judgement & respect are different things

Being judged and being respected are not the same thing. People can think you’re an asshole and still hold you in high regard. People can totally disagree with you, but still understand your values.
Conversely, if someone judges you as a nice person or a decent human being, it doesn’t mean they respect you. People walk all over nice and decent human beings all the time. It sucks, but it happens. On the other hand, people don’t tend to walk all over people they respect.

6. Self-respect leads to others respecting you.

Self-respect, in a world where everyone is constantly offended and judging you, is fucking tough. But it’s necessary.
You need to figure out what makes you respect yourself first, before anyone else will respect you. That’s because people are sheep. They see one person doing something, and they do it, too. Like fucking lemmings and cliffs. Or that Derek Sivers TED talk where that one guy started dancing and everyone followed (he was probably drunk on rosehip mead). So if you’re respecting yourself — publicly and proudly — chances are, others will follow. And even if they don’t follow, hey, you’ve got yourself a nice big bowl of self-respect and there’s nothing wrong with that.

7. Self-respect & entitlement are very, very different things.

Self-respect means you know what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do. It’s honour and dignity that makes you, you. It’s your line in the sand to help you feel good about who you are and what you’ve done.
This doesn’t mean that you have special privileges or rights to anything, though. Whoa there, pardner!
Entitlement means you think you deserve something. You deserve your own self-respect and to be treated decently by others. Anything past that — you’ve got to fucking work for it. And even then, even if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted, that’s just the way the cards fall sometimes.
Feeling entitled is the quickest way to lose respect from others. The world doesn’t revolve around you. You don’t deserve anything that you didn’t earn. You need to start small and build up; paying some dues. You can’t just do whatever the fuck you feel like and make a shit-load of money or get famous doing it. The world doesn’t work like that. I’m glad it doesn’t. That’s not healthy.
Ashton Kutcher had it right when he said, “working hard and being generous and thoughtful and smart is a path to a better life. The only thing that can be below you is to not have a job.”
Self-respect doesn’t mean you deserve something. It doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone else. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to venture into the unknown, like the rest of us, and see what happens when you do.

8. If you don’t have their respect, you don’t need them.

So, say you’ve got your own self-respect dialled in. You know that entitlement is bullshit. Yet, some people are still not going to respect you.
The good thing about people not respecting you is that unless they’re actually causing you some sort of harm, you can be like, “fuck ‘em.” They’ll never support your work or make you better as a human being, so you drop them as quickly and silently as possible. They’re dead weight to your path to winning.
Unless you’re into pain and anguish, people who don’t respect you shouldn’t be in or even near your life. They’re not your audience, your rat people, your customers. You don’t need them for anything.

9. You really only need the people who respect and value you.

With the disrespectful assholes and trolls out of the way, the people that are left fall into two categories: People who don’t know who you are, and people who respect and value you.
The former don’t matter, unless you’re into building an audience, in which case you just need to show them that you exist in some way. They should know about you, but they just don’t know about you… yet.
What’s left is your people. These are the most important people to you on the planet. They’re the ones who not only pay attention, but are interested. Treat these people like royalty, because to you, they should be. Make things for them, be generous towards them, and basically make sure they know how you value them.

10. Confidence is achievable by the timid, introverted, or non-a-types.

I’m an awkward little nerd who’s afraid of everything, dislikes groups of people, and has a penchant for being alone. I’m definitely not type-a or extroverted.
I’m confident, not because of ego (ok maybe a little because of ego) but because I try things, fail at things, and learn things. I’ve spent a lifetime learning how to do a couple things well (and I don’t ever stop learning). You can get confidence like that too — all it involves is action and a willingness to learn.
You don’t need to be loud to be confident. Sometimes the most confident person in the room is the woman who has said three sentences the whole night. And probably, when she spoke, everyone else shut the fuck up to listen to her awesomeness.
You don’t need to be putting it out there how much you know about some shit to be confident, either. Confident people know what they know, and don’t need to share it to build confidence. Confidence comes from within. They share when the time is right or when they’re asked. They also share it in a way that works for them.
So confidence doesn’t look like some idiot on stage shouting platitudes and waving his hands around (I’ll bet you 10 quadrillion dollars that guy isn’t actually very confident). It can be quiet, reserved, and like Kenny fucking Rogers — knowing when to hold’em.

11. Don’t give fucks like fucks are going out of style.

“Giving a fuck” is basically your life’s currency.
If you give a fuck about everything and everyone, you’ll quickly run out of fucks, or even worse, go into fuck debt. Your time will be spread too thin, you’ll stress about tiny things and insignificant people, and external factors will rule your life and run it into the ground.
When you find yourself giving too many fucks about things that don’t matter, it’s a signal that something in your life needs to change. You need to find more people or ideas that are worthy of your limited fucks.
Is this the line for the convenience store?!
Don’t give your fucks to small things that are out of your control or to people who don’t deserve them. Trolls don’t deserve giving a fuck about. The long line-up at the convenience store doesn’t deserve even a single fuck. Learn to meditate instead.
If you save up your fucks and squirrel them away, you’ll have lots to give when the time is right. Bank those fucks! Save them for a rainy day, like when something or someone really matters.

12. It’s okay to give a fuck about certain things.

When something or someone does really matter, it’s okay to give a fuck. Or several.
Give those fucks then, otherwise you’ll become too cynical and jaded and all your fucks will lose their value and depreciate.
There’s a tiny handful of people and ideas I’m willing to stick my neck out for. In those cases, I give several fucks, and that’s only because I’ve saved my fucks up like a squirrel with nuts in the fall.

13. Not giving a fuck is the opposite of apathy.

Apathy is indifference you feel when something just doesn’t matter. Not giving a fuck means you’ve stopped yourself from making something matter that shouldn’t matter. This is a key point to understand and reflect on.
Not giving a fuck is strength in the form of willpower, whereas apathy is just not feeling anything.

14. Greatness happens when you’re okay with being foolish/stupid.

The truth is that no one knows what the fuck they’re doing.
Experts, thought leaders, those who seem like they have it all — there are too many variables to account for what specifically worked in creating success and what didn’t. The only difference between them and someone who hasn’t seen success is that they tried a whole bunch of shit, and didn’t stop trying until something worked. Then they wrote a best-selling book about the process, like they knew what the fuck they were doing the whole time, and became even more successful. It’s the circle of life or something.
Taking action on the unknown is scary shit. We aren’t guaranteed an outcome like a math problem. We basically have to line things up, do a few stretches and take a big fucking leap. Sometimes we trip, or realize our shoelaces are tied together and face-plant.
The most successful people I know aren’t afraid to be seen as idiots for trying. They’re more concerned with the “what could happen if I…” than “what will others think if I…”
I’ve also found, much to my wife’s chagrin, that I’m having the most fun when I’m making a massive fool of myself (in public). Little known related fact: “losers” have more fun with life because they know when to give a fuck and more importantly, when not to give a flying fuck about what everyone else thinks because they’re having a blast drinking rosehip mead and dancing by themselves at concerts (or in my case, in the produce aisle at our grocery store).

15. Everyone is awkward, weird, different.

You are, too, so use it to your advantage. The only way to stand out, or stand apart, is to be your real fucking weird self. Otherwise you blend in.
Embrace what makes you different, even though it’s difficult and stressful to do. Everyone you admire or look up to does this. Think about it. They all take the reigns of what makes them different and use it to their advantage. No one that you’ve heard of got there by being like everyone else.
Also, anyone who seems “normal” is faking it or you just don’t know them well enough yet. We all have quirks. We all have oddness. This is what makes life interesting.

16. Refuse the boundaries of other people.

If someone tells you “you shouldn’t do that” or “that can’t be done,” assume they’re talking out their own asses until you’ve proven otherwise for yourself. People are well meaning, but their advice is clouded by their own bullshit, their life experiences and their choices.
Instead, set your own boundaries and only acknowledge those.
If you don’t want to take client calls or emails from your boss at 11 p.m. on a Saturday, don’t fucking do it.
Boundaries are like self-respect, the majority of people will be okay with you setting them, simply because you’ve set them. Letting others know what isn’t okay doesn’t make you an asshole or a bitch — it makes you a strong and respectable person.
Never let someone else draw your line in the sand. That means it’s their line, not yours, and you’ve just been following their lead.

17. Be honest about who you are and who you aren’t.

In having self-respect and setting boundaries, it helps to know a little about yourself, so you can make these decisions. Be clear about who you are and who you aren’t. First with yourself, then with others.
Honesty is a lot easier than you playing a role because you think it’s a role you need to play. Honesty can be pulled off with less work. It’s more enjoyable in the long run, too.

18. You can be honest without being a jerk.

Learn the difference between being very clear about something and being an asshole about it. If you don’t like something or someone, honesty doesn’t mean you have to ream them out. Sometimes honesty means you just shut your damn face and move on.
Being the bigger person doesn’t mean you have to win, it just means you know when to let someone else feel like they’ve won. Sometimes you have to be nice instead of being right.
Being honest isn’t a licence for you to run your mouth with impunity then end things with, “Hey, I was just being honest…” No, you were being a jerk. Don’t be a jerk. Not even jerks like other jerks. You’ll die alone with 17 cats who now have no one to feed them (which, by the way, is a big jerk move).
The best way to know if you’re being honest or just being a jerk is to think first, then speak. Otherwise you run the risk of vomiting instead of communicating. A five-second pause can do wonders if you lean towards being a jerk sometimes.

19. The less you expect, the more accomplished you’ll feel.

The Bhagavad Gita, a super smart and fucking old yogic book, talks about how we’re only entitled to the work, not the fruits of that work. That’s deep, and true.
Don’t do anything because you expect something to come from it — do it because you really want to fucking do it in the first place. It’s like writing a book because you really want a best-seller. Well, tough shit. It’s impossible to guarantee that. Write a book because you want to fucking write the book. That way, regardless of what happens next, you’ve already accomplished what you set out to do.
Spend your time focusing on what you give fucks about where the outcome doesn’t matter. 

None of the above points can happen without you paying attention. Paying attention to others, paying attention to where you give your fucks, and — most importantly — paying attention to yourself. You’re the one in charge of your life, so take charge of it already.
That’s it. Nineteen super fucking difficult rallying points for winning at life. Now stop reading listicles on the Internet and get back to being awesome.

Confession: I wrote this for myself, but you’re more than welcome to use it if it helps you, too.

The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things 

You don't have infinite money. Spend it on stuff that research says makes you happy.
Most people are in the pursuit of happiness. There are economists who think happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society. We know that money can make you happier, though after your basic needs are met, it doesn't make you that much happier. But one of the biggest questions is how to allocate our money, which is (for most of us) a limited resource.
There's a very logical assumption that most people make when spending their money: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time than a one-off experience like a concert or vacation. According to recent research, it turns out that assumption is completely wrong.
“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”
German skydiver via Shutterstock
So rather than buying the latest iPhone or a new BMW, Gilovich suggests you'll get more happiness spending money on experiences like going to art exhibits, doing outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling.
Gilovich's findings are the synthesis of psychological studies conducted by him and others into the Easterlin paradox, which found that money buys happiness, but only up to a point. How adaptation affects happiness, for instance, was measured in a study that asked people to self-report their happiness with major material and experiential purchases. Initially, their happiness with those purchases was ranked about the same. But over time, people's satisfaction with the things they bought went down, whereas their satisfaction with experiences they spent money on went up.
It's counterintuitive that something like a physical object that you can keep for a long time doesn't keep you as happy as long as a once-and-done experience does. Ironically, the fact that a material thing is ever present works against it, making it easier to adapt to. It fades into the background and becomes part of the new normal. But while the happiness from material purchases diminishes over time, experiences become an ingrained part of our identity.
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Gilovich. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”
One study conducted by Gilovich even showed that if people have an experience they say negatively impacted their happiness, once they have the chance to talk about it, their assessment of that experience goes up. Gilovich attributes this to the fact that something that might have been stressful or scary in the past can become a funny story to tell at a party or be looked back on as an invaluable character-building experience.
Another reason is that shared experiences connect us more to other people than shared consumption. You're much more likely to feel connected to someone you took a vacation with in Bogotá than someone who also happens to have bought a 4K TV.
Greg Brave via Shutterstock
“We consume experiences directly with other people,” says Gilovich. “And after they're gone, they're part of the stories that we tell to one another.”
And even if someone wasn't with you when you had a particular experience, you're much more likely to bond over both having hiked the Appalachian Trail or seeing the same show than you are over both owning Fitbits.
You're also much less prone to negatively compare your own experiences to someone else's than you would with material purchases. One study conducted by researchers Ryan Howell and Graham Hill found that it's easier to feature-compare material goods (how many carats is your ring? how fast is your laptop's CPU?) than experiences. And since it's easier to compare, people do so.
“The tendency of keeping up with the Joneses tends to be more pronounced for material goods than for experiential purchases,” says Gilovich. “It certainly bothers us if we're on a vacation and see people staying in a better hotel or flying first class. But it doesn't produce as much envy as when we're outgunned on material goods.”
Gilovich's research has implications for individuals who want to maximize their happiness return on their financial investments, for employers who want to have a happier workforce, and policy-makers who want to have a happy citizenry.
“By shifting the investments that societies make and the policies they pursue, they can steer large populations to the kinds of experiential pursuits that promote greater happiness,” write Gilovich and his coauthor, Amit Kumar, in their recent article in the academic journal Experimental Social Psychology.
If society takes their research to heart, it should mean not only a shift in how individuals spend their discretionary income, but also place an emphasis on employers giving paid vacation and governments taking care of recreational spaces.
“As a society, shouldn't we be making experiences easier for people to have?” asks Gilovich.

Buy experiences, not things

Buy experiences, not things

by James Humblin

Forty-seven percent of the time, the average mind is wandering. It wanders about a third of the time while a person is reading, talking with other people, or taking care of children. It wanders 10 percent of the time, even, during sex. And that wandering, according to psychologist Matthew Killingsworth, is not good for well-being. A mind belongs in one place. During his training at Harvard, Killingsworth compiled those numbers and built a scientific case for every cliché about living in the moment. In a 2010 Science paper co-authored with psychology professor Daniel Gilbert, the two wrote that "a wandering mind is an unhappy mind."
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For Killingsworth, happiness is in the content of moment-to-moment experiences. Nothing material is intrinsically valuable, except in whatever promise of happiness it carries. Satisfaction in owning a thing does not have to come during the moment it's acquired, of course. It can come as anticipation or nostalgic longing. Overall, though, the achievement of the human brain to contemplate events past and future at great, tedious length has, these psychologists believe, come at the expense of happiness. Minds tend to wander to dark, not whimsical, places. Unless that mind has something exciting to anticipate or sweet to remember.
Over the past decade, an abundance of psychology research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions. The idea that experiential purchases are more satisfying than material purchases has long been the domain of Cornell psychology professor Thomas Gilovich. Since 2003, he has been trying to figure out exactly how and why experiential purchases are so much better than material purchases. In the journal Psychological Science last month, Gilovich and Killingsworth, along with Cornell doctoral candidate Amit Kumar, expanded on the current understanding that spending money on experiences "provide[s] more enduring happiness." They looked specifically at anticipation as a driver of that happiness; whether the benefit of spending money on an experience accrues before the purchase has been made, in addition to after. And, yes, it does.
Essentially, when you can't live in a moment, they say, it's best to live in anticipation of an experience. Experiential purchases like trips, concerts, movies, et cetera, tend to trump material purchases because the utility of buying anything really starts accruing before you buy it.
Mean self-reported ratings
(Kumar et al, Psychological Science/The Atlantic)
Waiting for an experience apparently elicits more happiness and excitement than waiting for a material good (and more "pleasantness" too—an eerie metric). By contrast, waiting for a possession is more likely fraught with impatience than anticipation. "You can think about waiting for a delicious meal at a nice restaurant or looking forward to a vacation," Kumar told me, "and how different that feels from waiting for, say, your pre-ordered iPhone to arrive. Or when the two-day shipping on Amazon Prime doesn’t seem fast enough."
Gilovich's prior work has shown that experiences tend to make people happier because they are less likely to measure the value of their experiences by comparing them to those of others. For example, Gilbert and company note in their new paper, many people are unsure if they would rather have a high salary that is lower than that of their peers, or a lower salary that is higher than that of their peers. With an experiential good like vacation, that dilemma doesn't hold. Would you rather have two weeks of vacation when your peers only get one? Or four weeks when your peers get eight? People choose four weeks with little hesitation.
Experiential purchases are also more associated with identity, connection, and social behavior. Looking back on purchases made, experiences make people happier than do possessions. It's kind of counter to the logic that if you pay for an experience, like a vacation, it will be over and gone; but if you buy a tangible thing, a couch, at least you'll have it for a long time. Actually most of us have a pretty intense capacity for tolerance, or hedonic adaptation, where we stop appreciating things to which we're constantly exposed. iPhones, clothes, couches, et cetera, just become background. They deteriorate or become obsolete. It's the fleetingness of experiential purchases that endears us to them. Either they're not around long enough to become imperfect, or they are imperfect, but our memories and stories of them get sweet with time. Even a bad experience becomes a good story.
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When it rains through a beach vacation, as Kumar put it, "People will say, well, you know, we stayed in and we played board games and it was a great family bonding experience or something." Even if it was negative in the moment, it becomes positive after the fact. That's a lot harder to do with material purchases because they're right there in front of you. "When my Macbook has the colorful pinwheel show up," he said, "I can't say, well, at least my computer is malfunctioning!"
"At least my computer and I get to spend more time together because it's working so slowly," I offered.
"Yes, exactly."
"Maybe we should destroy our material possessions at their peak, so they will live on in an idealized state in our memories?"
"I don't know if I'd go that far," he said. "The possibility of making material purchases more experiential is sort of interesting."
That means making purchasing an experience, which is terrible marketing-speak, but in practical terms might mean buying something on a special occasion or on vacation or while wearing a truly unique hat. Or tying that purchase to subsequent social interaction. Buy this and you can talk about buying it, and people will talk about you because you have it.
"Turns out people don't like hearing about other people's possessions very much," Kumar said, "but they do like hearing about that time you saw Vampire Weekend."
I can't imagine ever wanting to hear about someone seeing Vampire Weekend, but I get the point. Reasonable people are just more likely to talk about their experiential purchases than their material purchases. It's a nidus for social connection. ("What did you do this weekend?" "Well! I'm so glad you asked ... ")
The most interesting part of the new research, to Kumar, was the part that "implies that there might be notable real-world consequences to this study." It involved analysis of news stories about people waiting in long lines to make a consumer transaction. Those waiting for experiences were in better moods than those waiting for material goods. "You read these stories about people rioting, pepper-spraying, treating each other badly when they have to wait," he said. It turns out, those sorts of stories are much more likely to occur when people are waiting to acquire a possession than an experience. When people are waiting to get concert tickets or in line at a new food truck, their moods tend to be much more positive.
"There are actually instances of positivity when people are waiting for experiences," Kumar said, like talking to other people in the concert line about what songs Vampire Weekend might play. So there is opportunity to connect with other people. "We know that social interaction is one of the most important determinants of human happiness, so if people are talking with each other, being nice to one another in the line, it's going to be a lot more pleasant experience than if they're being mean to each other which is what's (more) likely to happen when people are waiting for material goods."
Research has also found that people tend to be more generous to others when they've just thought about an experiential purchase as opposed to a material purchase. They're also more likely to pursue social activities. So, buying those plane tickets is good for society. (Of course, maximal good to society and personal happiness comes from pursuing not happiness but meaning. All of this behavioral economics-happiness research probably assumes you've already given away 99 percent of your income to things bigger than yourself, and there's just a very modest amount left to maximally utilize.)
What is it about the nature of imagining experiential purchases that's different from thinking about future material purchases? The most interesting hypothesis is that you can imagine all sort of possibilities for what an experience is going to be. "That's what's fun," Kumar said. "It could turn out a whole host of ways." With a material possession, you kind of know what you're going to get. Instead of whetting your appetite by imagining various outcomes, Kumar put it, people sort of think, Just give it to me now.
It could turn out that to get the maximum utility out of an experiential purchase, it's really best to plan far in advance. Savoring future consumption for days, weeks, years only makes the experience more valuable. It definitely trumps impulse buying, where that anticipation is completely squandered. (Never impulse-buy anything ever.)
That sort of benefit would likely be a lot stronger in an optimistic person as opposed to a pessimistic person. Some people hate surprises. Some people don't anticipate experiences because they dwell on what could—no, will—go wrong. But we needn't dwell in their heads. Everyone can decide on the right mix of material and experiential consumption to maximize their well-being. The broader implications, according to Gilovich in a press statement, are that "well-being can be advanced by providing infrastructure that affords experiences, such as parks, trails, and beaches, as much as it does material consumption." Or at least the promise of that infrastructure, so we can all look forward to using it. And when our minds wander, that's where they'll go.

martedì 24 marzo 2015


Che è poi un'espressione per dire fare le cose male, a tirar via, senza lavoro di preparazione né di adattamento in opera...

La dichiarazione del ministro Poletti sulle vacanze scolastiche estive ("Troppi tre mesi di vacanze. I ragazzi dovrebbero fare lavoretti estivi") ha sollevato un vespaio di polemiche.


Perché ha fatto la solita sparata improvvisata, senza ricerca né preparazione.
Non è neanche realmente una proposta: ha aperto bocca e le ha dato fiato, trasformando quella che poteva essere l'avvio di una interessante modernizzazione della scuola, in una cretinata all'italiana!

Sarebbe bastato che la pensasse un po' di più e che si informasse su come funziona altrove...

Nella gran parte dei nostri vicini europei le vacanze non sono tutte in estate, con una sola pausa a Natale. Vi sono pause in autunno e primavera e la Pasqua è un paio di settimane.

Le vacanze estive son più brevi, ma i ragazzi non arrivano stremati a fine anno. 

L'avesse presentata così, anziché accusare sempre qualcun altro (in questo caso i ragazzi e gli insegnanti) di essere scansafatiche...! 

giovedì 12 marzo 2015

Il giornalismo a tirar via

Che nervi il giornalismo fatto a tirar via!
È una professione splendida (e necessaria) sequestrata sempre più da inetti e propagandisti!

Leggo un articoletto del Corriere della Sera, scritto dal solito schiavo di buone intenzioni. Un giovane freelance (giovane a 31 anni???) pagato probabilmente a promesse che non verranno mantenute.

L'articolessa annunzia entusiasta la progettazione de "La prima piscina fluviale al mondo" a New York con tanto di sistema di filtraggio dell'inquinamento dell'acqua del fiume!

ooOOOHHhh!!! Direte voi!

"Prima piscina fluviale al mondo"??? mi sono chiesto invece io.
Ma se in Europa ce ne sono moltissime da anni! Ed il trend non fa che continuare

Ve ne sono in Francia, Belgio, Olanda, Danimarca, Germania, Svizzera... e anche in Italia, a due passi dalla Milano del Corsera. 
Ve ne sono di pubbliche e di private (alberghi, ristoranti...). 

A Berlino c'è da oltre dieci anni. Tie'! La trovi pure su Tripadvisor. 

Ora pensano di mettere i filtri ad un ramo intero del fiume per farne un'altra, di piscina, enorme, in pieno centro città. 
Questa è a Vienna. 

C'è a Ginevra, sul Rodano. Ed anche lei ha la forma a + (come quella progettata per New York che ha tanto entusiasmato l'articolista), visto che riprende la forma della bandiera svizzera.
È riscaldata riciclando il calore dei condizionatori dei grandi alberghi! (Parlando di soluzioni ambientaliste!) 

C'è a Parigi dal 2006. Sistemi di filtraggio simili a quelli di cui si parla per New York.  

Questa è di un albergo sul lago di Como (OK. Non è un fiume)  ed anche in Italia non è l'unica. 

La stanno per mettere anche a Praga, sempre filtrante. Sistema simile a quello della Grande Mela.

A New York non hanno inventato niente di nuovo, ma per scoprirlo bisognava cercare "piscina galleggiante" su Google! :-/ 

Peccato lavorare così!
Con una mezz'oretta di ricerca potevano impostare un'inchiesta ricca ed interessante, con esempi di esperienze diverse ed un poco di orgoglio locale. 

Altro che articoletto degno del giornaletto della scuola! Ci si potevano fare diverse pagine con foto e riquadri (e link per l'edizione online). E qualche riferimento nostrano, che accende sempre l'interesse del lettore (E magari per una volta a via Solferino -ma sono ancora lì?- avrebbero anche scucito qualcosetta). 

Invece il Corriere ha fatto la solita figura da provinciali che conoscono solo New York (per sentito dire). 
Scusate l'enfasi, ma uno si stanca!

domenica 8 marzo 2015

Buona festa del donno

Oggi chiamatemi giornalisto, papò, autisto...
Quando mi tocca il turno sarò sentinello o guardio. 
Magari vorrei anche essere considerato un bravo persono.
E no signore mie! Se ci si batte per i diritti ed il rispetto sono qui a battermi al vostro fianco.
Se ci si batte per rendere la lingua inutilmente artificiale... mi metto qui di lato e aspetterò la prossima battaglia. 

E buona festa del donno!
Ah no! Scusate.
Mi son lasciato trasportare!