Taking one from the Stoics

A thought experiment courtesy of the Stoics. If you are tired of everything you possess, imagine that you have lost all these things.
—Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

I started reading this book maybe six months ago, but didn’t pick it up again and restarted it from the beginning last week. Funny how “when” you read something affects you just as much as what you’re reading.

Love other women

  • Hire more women: “The smartest teams were distinguished by three characteristics: First, their members contributed more equally to the team’s discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate the group. Second, their members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which measures how well people can read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible. Finally, teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. Indeed, it appeared that it was not ‘diversity’ (having equal numbers of men and women) that mattered for a team’s intelligence, but simply having more women.” [Anita Woolley, Thomas W. Malone and Christopher Chabris, New York Times]
  • Love other women: “The world wants you to find extraordinary women threatening. Undo that training. When you feel threatened, it’s a great sign that you have just found an ally who will bring you new energy and insight and together you will rise. Never stop growing your crew. There is always room for another homie if you find someone special enough. Give them everything and they will give back in return. Have faith in the women in your life and you will be ok out there.” [Rachel Rosenfelt, Brooklyn Magazine]

Two good ideas

  • When to quit your journalism job: “If you work in any kind of editorial organization, it is your job to understand the business model. If you feel you can’t do that, you should quit. By ‘understand the business model,’ I mean you can (confidently) answer this question: What is the plan to bring in enough money to sustain the enterprise and permit it to grow? Can’t answer? You have the wrong job.” [Jay Rosen, PressThink]
  • How to be an expert in a changing world: “The first step is to have an explicit belief in change … Another trick I’ve found to protect myself against obsolete beliefs is to focus initially on people rather than ideas.” [Paul Graham]

Best idea I’ve heard in a long time when it comes to personal relationships

Quick post because I’m usually on a one-track mind in the mornings — but this is one of the best ideas I’ve heard in awhile and something I’ve struggled with as my good friends continue to scatter geographically.

Paul Ford writes about how to email with an old friend after falling out of touch:

An old friend of mine was on the Internet and came across an article that I had written, so she emailed to say hello. I was glad to hear from her. She and I worked together 11 years ago. We were once close but drifted.

 

I started to write a pro-forma reply. “Great to hear from you! Things good in Brooklyn. Two kids.” And so forth. But my email felt false and chatty.

 

I thought about it for several days. Finally I had an idea: What if I sent over list of the things I’ve learned in the last decade? It felt like the most accurate way to bridge the gap. Because then she’d know what had happened.

 

… Several days later she sent back her own list. It was a great list: About learning new ways of working, about being a mom and wife, and the way her body was changing. It was like an index to the book about her last 10 years.

via Paul Ford on Medium

 

Best things I’ve read this week