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Don’t Let Micro-Stresses Burn You Out

The problem is that most of us have come to accept micro-stresses as just a normal part of a day. We hardly acknowledge them, but cumulatively they are wearing us down. And what’s worse is that the sources of these micro-stresses are often the people — in and out of work — with whom we are closest.

The point is that these micro-stresses are all routinely part of our day and we hardly stop to consider how they are affecting us, but they add up. They may arise as momentary challenges, but the impact of dealing with them can linger for hours or days.

Harward Business Review

I know the burn out caused by the micro-stresses. It is pretty common especially with enterprise roles. However when you look at the possible relationships that can lead to such frictions, it is only natural that the causes can be, many a times, way closer to home.

A really insightful look at the problem and possible ways to mitigate them.

When Did Americans Lose Their British Accents?

The absence of audio recording technology makes “when” a tough question to answer. But there are some theories as to “why.”

Matt Soniak at Mental Floss

USA! USA! USA!

Give me liberty or give me death? In response, the Pandemic leans forward with a big grin full of rotting teeth. Why not both? Go out! Have some fun. You’ve been cooped up too long. You deserve this.

To all who hear me, you deserve something far better than a fun holiday weekend. You deserve a long and happy life. Tell the Pandemic to get bent. Stay close to home, and cheer our nation’s beginning from your backyard or living room.

I wish more people world around listened to Cheri Baker. I do not stay in the USA. But even when peeking from outside, the attitude of “I live my life on my terms, the world be damn” is pretty clearly evident among Americans.

Make us fools, but we hate waiting.

Some years ago, executives at a Houston airport faced a troubling customer-relations issue. Passengers were lodging an inordinate number of complaints about the long waits at baggage claim. In response, the executives increased the number of baggage handlers working that shift. The plan worked: the average wait fell to eight minutes, well within industry benchmarks. But the complaints persisted.

Puzzled, the airport executives undertook a more careful, on-site analysis. They found that it took passengers a minute to walk from their arrival gates to baggage claim and seven more minutes to get their bags. Roughly 88 percent of their time, in other words, was spent standing around waiting for their bags.

So the airport decided on a new approach: instead of reducing wait times, it moved the arrival gates away from the main terminal and routed bags to the outermost carousel. Passengers now had to walk six times longer to get their bags. Complaints dropped to near zero.

There is some great theory there. Man I love human tendency to fool oneself into not hating something.

Make us fools, but we hate waiting.

Evidence of Machine Learning scratched at Google X Laboratory

Inside Google’s secretive X laboratory, known for inventing self-driving cars and augmented reality glasses, a small group of researchers began working several years ago on a simulation of the human brain.

There Google scientists created one of the largest neural networks for machine learning by connecting 16,000 computer processors, which they turned loose on the Internet to learn on its own.

Credit where it is due, Google has to be lauded for encouraging the open research on topics so varied. There is so much potential with computing power and data at Google.

At cost of being cynical (a bit), I felt this would be so so useful (?) to Google with all the data that it has with it. And equally frightening to the users watching. Obviously Google is looking at that, no? And then I read this.

Google scientists said that the research project had now moved out of the Google X laboratory and was being pursued in the division that houses the company’s search business and related services. Potential applications include improvements to image search, speech recognition and machine language translation

And bingo!

On a side note, NYT had to ruin it by changing the headline to “How many computers to identify a cat? 16000”. Underplays the success that this is.

Evidence of Machine Learning scratched at Google X Laboratory

If a great musician plays great music but no one hears, was he really any good?

Interesting read this about an experiment involving Joshua Bell. You feel for him when we says this:

With “Chaconne,” the opening is filled with a building sense of awe. That kept him busy for a while. Eventually, though, he began to steal a sidelong glance.

“It was a strange feeling, that people were actually, ah …”

The word doesn’t come easily.

“… ignoring me.”

What is even more puzzling though is this thought from Mark Leithauser.

“Let’s say I took one of our more abstract masterpieces, say an Ellsworth Kelly, and removed it from its frame, marched it down the 52 steps that people walk up to get to the National Gallery, past the giant columns, and brought it into a restaurant. It’s a $5 million painting. And it’s one of those restaurants where there are pieces of original art for sale, by some industrious kids from the Corcoran School, and I hang that Kelly on the wall with a price tag of $150. No one is going to notice it. An art curator might look up and say: ‘Hey, that looks a little like an Ellsworth Kelly. Please pass the salt.’”

So life-less we have become. Or were we always like this?

If a great musician plays great music but no one hears, was he really any good?