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The Coddling of the American Mind

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Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress. In February, Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education describing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia—and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she’d sent filed Title IX complaints against her. In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” the headline said. A number of popular comedians, including Chris Rock, have stopped performing on college campuses (see Caitlin Flanagan’s article in this month’s issue). Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher have publicly condemned the oversensitivity of college students, saying too many of them can’t take a joke.

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Photo by: Andrew B. Myers / The Atlantic

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Click the link below for the article:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind

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Missed News 40

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News You might have missed!

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NEWS NEWS
Aging on Nautilus Meet Mueller’s team: The best prosecutors in the business or ‘angry Democrats’?
From CNN: More mothers are ending up behind bars. Meeting the needs of their children is becoming a bigger priority How spying on penguins just might save them
The Washington Post: Insurgents have waged a war on education in her home country. But she died in a Texas school shooting. From CNN: How Twitter’s algorithm is amplifying extreme political rhetoric
The Washington Post: 14 of the week’s best photos The borrowers: why Finland’s cities are havens for library lovers | Cities | The Guardian
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How Winning Organizations Last 100 Years

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The average lifespan of a U.S. S&P 500 company has fallen by 80% in the last 80 years (from 67 to 15 years), and 76% of UK FTSE 100 companies have disappeared in the last 30 years. In stark contrast, organizations in other sectors celebrate their 100th birthday and look like they’ll be here forever. How do they do it? And what can business learn from them?

To answer these questions, we identified seven celebrated Centennials who’ve outperformed their peers over the last 100 years and are admired by everyone. From the arts, we looked at the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Art and the Royal Shakespeare Company (originally the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre). From education, Eton College, from science, NASA (initially part of the US Army), and from sport, the New Zealand All Blacks and British Cycling. Then, we spent five years trying to understand what they do, and how they do it. We got under the skin of each organization, to understand how they live and breathe, by interviewing people who work (or worked) with them, observing them in action and reading everything about them. Surprisingly, we found the Centennials are all very similar to each other, despite their different vocations — and behave in ways that defy conventional wisdom.

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Tim Hawley/Getty Images

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Click the link below for the article:

https://hbr.org/2018/09/how-winning-organizations-last-100-years

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As air pollution gets worse, a dystopian accessory is born

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The air is getting more dangerous to breathe all over the world — and a suite of companies are hoping to capitalize with a new fashion item.

Last fall, two different wildfires destroyed huge swaths of California. The Camp Fire in Northern California covered 153,336 acres, destroyed nearly 20,000 structures, and killed 85 people; it also left a shroud of smoke and ash hovering over the area. Public schools in five Bay Area counties were closed, and residents were warned to stay inside and protect their lungs from the dangerous air quality. Stores for miles around sold out of everything from surgical masks to the recommended N95 painter’s masks — the only kind that can effectively filter 95 percent of the tiny particles that do the most damage to your lungs.

Walking around the Bay Area in the weeks following the Camp Fire felt like living in a dystopian future — the sky a matte grey, the sun a red, alien-like orb, the streets empty save a handful of souls, nearly all wearing painter’s masks or bandannas or scarves over their mouths. Those two weeks might have been not just a dark blip, but rather a glimpse into our collective future. And there are entrepreneurs poised to capitalize on it. Because in the tomorrow that the Camp Fire portends, we’re all going to need a good face mask.

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Air filtering masks are already popular across Asia, but will they become common in the US?
Sarah Lawrence for Vox

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/3/19/18262556/face-mask-air-filter-pollution-vogmask-airpop

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Your DNA Is Not Your Culture

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A Spotify playlist tailored to your DNA is the latest example of brands cashing in on people’s search for identity.

Genetic-ancestry tests are having a moment. Look no further than Spotify: On Thursday, the music-streaming service—as in, the service used to fill tedious workdays and DJ parties—launched a collaboration with AncestryDNA. The partnership creates custom playlists for users based on DNA results they input: Oumou Sangaré for Mali, for example, and Ed Sheeran for England.

And last May, after the U.S. men’s soccer team had embarrassingly missed the World Cup, 23andMe also saw a marketing opportunity. “What is a soccer nut to do?” the company asked in a blog post. “Here’s an idea—why not pick a team based on your genetic ancestry?”

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Illustration of a group of people walkingsmartboy10 / Getty

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/09/your-dna-is-not-your-culture/571150/

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The Worst Job in Technology: Staring at Human Depravity to Keep It Off Facebook

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By her second day on the job, Sarah Katz knew how jarring it can be to work as a content moderator for Facebook Inc. FB 0.69% She says she saw anti-Semitic speech, bestiality photos and video of what seemed to be a girl and boy told by an adult off-screen to have sexual contact with each other.

Ms. Katz, 27 years old, says she reviewed as many as 8,000 posts a day, with little training on how to handle the distress, though she had to sign a waiver warning her about what she would encounter. Coping mechanisms among content moderators included a dark sense of humor and swiveling around in their chairs to commiserate after a particularly disturbing post.

She worked at Facebook’s headquarters campus in Menlo Park, Calif., and ate for free in company cafeterias. But she wasn’t a Facebook employee. Ms. Katz was hired by a staffing company that works for another company that in turn provides thousands of outside workers to the social network.

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Sarah Katz was haunted by what she saw while reviewing as many as 8,000 posts a day for Facebook. Nick Gonzales for The Wall Street Journal

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-worst-job-in-technology-staring-at-human-depravity-to-keep-it-off-facebook-1514398398?mod=djmc_pkt_ff&tier_1=21662325&tier_2=dcm&tier_3=21662325&tier_4=0&tier_5=4508749

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Celestial object may help unlock mysteries of the early universe

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Astronomers spotted a super-bright quasar 13 billion light-years away and it could help shed light on how the universe formed.

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Quasar

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Click the link below for the video:

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/video/celestial-object-may-help-unlock-mysteries-of-the-early-universe-1280366147961

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