The winner of Oxford Dictionaries’ prestigious Word of the Year award in 2016 was “post-truth.” It’s a phrase you hear used to describe nearly everything today – the media, politics, advertising, big business. But what does it really mean? It defines a situation where the truth is less important than appeals to people’s emotions. In a post-truth world, fiction has more power than fact.
As an editor for getAbstract, I knew instantly which abstract I wanted to share with readers when our resident blogger asked me for a recommendation list: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson. Now I know the colorful language in this article may put some people off, but if you can look beyond the swearing and (hysterical) references to “bags of burritos” you’ll be rewarded with an elegant and inspiring message: Finding the courage to be forthright in the face of adversity makes life worth living. Manson inspires you to not sweat the little things and, instead, spend your energy on contributing to the world. His vision is one that would benefit many people in the sometimes-overwhelming times we live in.
In the modern business world, more work is done virtually and by widely dispersed teams than ever before. The solitary figure toiling from a home office has become the archetype of the modern knowledge economy. Yet in something of a paradox, teamwork is more important than ever.
In her book From Me to We, Janine Garner goes so far as to predict the extinction of loners. “Those unwilling to work collaboratively, who prefer to work alone [and] who are closed to outside thinking and different approaches, will slowly disappear,” she writes.
For a growing share of affluent consumers in Europe and North America, cash is something of an inconvenient relic. Credit cards and automated bank transfers account for most spending, and ApplePay, PayPal and other alternatives are grabbing a bigger share of the transactions once conducted by cash.
Cash’s value can vanish in a careless moment, or in a fire, or in the washing machine, or to the pickpocket on the crowded street. Credit cards, on the other hand, offer insurance against such risk.
How do millennials feel about the future? The answer depends on where they live.
Millennials often are portrayed by their elders as an undifferentiated mass of smartphone-addicted, work-shirking, trophy-collecting whippersnappers.
On closer inspection, though, young adults born after 1982 aren’t a monolithic generation. They come with the usual variety of fears and dreams, according to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte – and in that way, they’re not so different than every age cohort that came before them.
getAbstract operates on the notion that knowledge is power and that avid reading stimulates the brain, and we’re heartened to know that two titans of the tech industry agree.
Tesla head Elon Musk recently served up a list of books that he says helped him succeed, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates writes a blog that keeps track of his reading list.
Be present in the moment. Practice acceptance, gratefulness and kindness.There you have it – the skin-and-bones formula for happiness – according to the philosophical deep thinkers and psychological experts who study such matters. Sounds so simple, yet is so elusive.
Happiness is so important to human beings that in 2011, the prime minister of Bhutan, a tiny kingdom in the Himalayas, proposed a global day of happiness to the United Nations. Since 2012, March 20 has been designated as World Happiness Day. According to the World Happiness Report for 2017, Norway is the world’s happiest country, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland. The United States ranked 14th with the UK 19th. Read the rest of this entry »
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I particularly enjoyed this book because I like to learn more about how you can improve your life, expand your mind, improve your health and treat illnesses through mindfulness and meditation. I truly believe that meditation helps you positively change your life and the life of others.
I learned about different kinds of mindfulness meditation, how mindfulness can help you deal better with emotional challenges, and how to accept things the way they are.
Happiness is not an emotion; it’s a state of being. Much has been said about it and there’s much left to be said. But one thing is clear: The pursuit of authentic and lasting happiness is universal. Wherever you are in your path toward happiness, these five books will help you understand what happiness really means, how to achieve it and most importantly, how to maintain it.
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Data Crush by Chris Surdak won getAbstract’s International Book of the Year in 2014 and with good reason. Big Data are two words that are seemingly everywhere. It’s the vast amounts of data that we now have access to thanks to the internet and social media.
Our online behavior is being tracked constantly, every click, every like and every page you view is tracked and catalogued. While this brings up a lot of troublesome questions for individuals, companies must use this information and leverage it to predict consumer behavior and, ultimately, succeed in their market.
Is one of your passwords “password” or “123456789”? Hey, don’t laugh, it still happens. And it’s not surprising: First, most of us don’t think we’re ever going to be hacked, and second, most digital natives don’t have as many privacy concerns as earlier generations.
But whether you’re a tech wiz or a newbie, online privacy is an issue worth thinking about. Remember the Yahoo hacking scandal? It took them three years to notice they were hacked! If you’re a Yahoo user, you might have even gotten an email from them advising you to change your password. If you did, hopefully you changed it to something stronger than “iloveyou” and you started using two-step verification for extra security. Read the rest of this entry »
I read Thrive a few years ago when I was just about to change my job in management consulting. I was not only reassessing my goals, but also whether my personality and attitude still suited that industry. At the time, Arianna Huffington’s book was exactly what I needed: She speaks about life goals beyond earning money and power – there’s a “third metric,” as she calls it, which includes “well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.” That’s what I’d been looking for. I knew there was more to life than just waiting for the next promotion or raise. It was a relief to hear from this successful business woman that, yes, there’s more out there that I can achieve. That’s probably the most important lesson I took away from this book: It’s OK to have goals that are different from those of the People around me, because they’re goals worth having.
Another thing I love about Thrive is that it’s a well thought out book with knowledge ranging from Greek philosophy and mythology to various contemporary studies on productivity and happiness.
I would recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a new perspective on what it means to be successful.
Let’s try an experiment: Take a minute to count how many women have leading positions in your company. One, two, three…zero? Don’t be surprised if the number is low; women still have a long way to go when it comes to gender equality.
While the gender gap is closing, it’s simply not closing fast enough. Not one single nation in the world has closed the gender gap when it comes to economic participation or political empowerment. The most recent projections say it’ll take another 169 years for the gap to close completely. At the current pace, gender equality is not something we’ll live to see – and neither will our children.
Think 24 hours isn’t enough time in your busy day? Try being a world leader. Yet even the most powerful people in the world sometimes need to relax and temporarily get away from it all. Reading is a source of pleasure for many of us – world leaders included – whether it be educational, inspirational or merely a fictional escape.
A week before he left office, Barack Obama explained to The New York Times the pivotal role that books played during his presidency and how they enabled him to “maintain my balance during the course of eight years,” “slow down and get perspective” and “get in somebody else’s shoes.”
getAbstract had the opportunity to talk to information technology professional and Data Crush author, Chris Surdak, and ask a few questions about big data, what companies actually do with the data they collect and how your company can succeed in this new information age.
getAbstract: Is everything we do online really being monitored all the time? How much data do people produce daily?
Chris: Absolutely everything that we do online is being monitored all of the time, although not all companies are doing this. It should be obvious which companies do capture our data. They are organizations that provide us with services without charging us for them. Think of Facebook, Google, Amazon, Waze, etc. These companies provide us with tremendous capabilities, apparently for free. However, the real costs to us is our privacy. These same companies are worth hundreds of billions of dollars because we give them our data, and they turn it into value and, eventually, money.