A few weeks ago, Catherine Deneuve wrote an open letter, signed by a hundred other French women, calling the #MeToo campaign a “witch hunt.” Brigitte Bardot also attacked the movement, claiming that actresses who complain of sexual harassment are only looking for publicity. “The vast majority are being hypocritical and ridiculous,” Bardot told the magazine Paris Match.
Would you like to be able to dismiss an epidemic of sexual harassment just like these powerful French women? Here’s how!
The Future Of Human Resources
French women don’t publicly demonstrate their dismissal of how women have historically been treated by men in power by making one giant hashtag statement. They make dozens of small, idiotic statements throughout the day.
Unlike Americans, many of whom speak only English, the French woman knows multiple languages. So, while an American might naïvely think that “no means no,” the multilingual French woman knows that nee means no, and nein means no, and non means no, but, most important, “no” generally means “Unless you insist—I don’t want to seem like a prude!”
A French woman would never blame a victim of harassment for wearing a low-cut blouse or a tight skirt. She would blame her for wearing a low-cut blouse that is a poly-cotton blend.
The French woman embraces minimalism: minimal makeup, minimal hair product, minimal standards for appropriate behavior by men in power.
Read more at The New Yorker.
- The majority of people spend most of their week working and looking forward to free time outside work hours.
- However, it is important that the time we invest in our professional lives is also rewarding and enjoyable.
- In order to maximize our time in life, we should ensure that each pursuit we engage with— from business to leisure — brings happiness and fulfillment.
One of the biggest mysteries in modern day life is something that we’re all guilty of.
Please answer me this: Why do we work 8–9 hours a day so that we can earn free time, while we endlessly waste that hard-earned free time?
Have you ever looked at it this way? It’s an absurd way of living. And yet, everyone with a traditional job lives that way.
I remember the moment I realized that vividly. It was about three years ago. At the time, I worked at an IT Research firm in London while working on my own business in the evenings and weekends.
I was sitting on the train to home after a day at the office. And I was reading “On The Shortness Of Life” by Seneca. That book is famous for causing a shift in thinking for a lot of people.
I’ve met (and read about) many people who say that Seneca had an impact on the way they live. I don’t know why, but the simplicity and directness of Seneca’s writing hits you hard.
So I was just sitting there on the train like the millions of other folks who commute daily in London. It sounds like I’m setting the scene of a cheesy drama movie about an alcoholic who decides to better their life.
Believe me, my situation wasn’t that dramatic. It was just an ordinary day. A day that you forget you ever had because it’s similar to the day before … And the day before that. Do you know that feeling? Sometimes life feels like an endless deja vu.
But this specific section from On The Shortness Of Life made me think:
“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.”
I thought about how I invested my time: About two and a half hours on the train each day, working a job I wasn’t passionate about and spending my free time drinking in the pub with coworkers, watching TV shows or gossiping at work.
We all work hard to earn two things: Money and free time that we can spend on leisure activities. Sounds pretty normal, right? But the s—– part is that we end up wasting that time on bull—- activities. Seneca continues to talk about time:
“But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it … Life is long if you know how to use it.”
Read more at Business Insider.
On the morning of the Oscar nominations, I was chatting with a stranger about movies, as one does. The conversation turned to Woody Allen. “My son has seen all his movies, and he thinks he’s innocent,” she said. “I’ve seen all his movies, and I think he’s guilty,” I said. There was not much else to say.
There is a lot more to say. The words we chose weren’t quite the right ones. Innocence and guilt are legal (and also metaphysical) standards, but when we talk about the behavior of artists and our feelings about them, we are inevitably dealing with much messier, murkier, subjective issues. It’s not just a matter of whether you believe Dylan Farrow’s accusation of sexual abuse — reiterated a few weeks ago in a television interview — or the denial from her father, Mr. Allen. It’s also a matter of who deserves the benefit of the doubt.
The charge that Mr. Allen molested Dylan Farrow surfaced in 1992, in the wake of his breakup with Mia Farrow. That rupture was caused by Mia Farrow’s discovery that Mr. Allen was sexually involved with Soon-Yi Previn, who was her adopted daughter, though not Mr. Allen’s. His defenders (including his and Mia Farrow’s adopted son Moses) suggest that the allegation of abuse was the invention of a spurned woman lashing out against the man who had humiliated her.
The severity of that accusation, and Mr. Allen’s steadfast denial of it, had the curious effect of neutralizing what might otherwise have been a reputation-destroying scandal. “The heart wants what it wants,” he famously said, and what his 56-year-old heart desired was a 21-year-old woman he had known since she was a child. He married her, kept making movies, and the whole business faded into tabloid memory.
I remember the debating points vividly, which is to say I remember invoking them in arguments with friends at the time. Ms. Previn was not a minor. Mr. Allen and her mother had never lived together. He was not Soon-Yi’s father, or even her stepfather, even if he was the father of her half-siblings. And besides, Mr. Allen’s love life was personal, and therefore irrelevant. What mattered was the work.
For more than two decades, Mr. Allen’s credibility as an artist was undiminished. The reception of his movies fluctuated, but critics (myself included) often enough found reason to hail a return to form after a fallow period. He won awards, and actors clamored for the chance to appear in his films. Only now has that started to change.
The old defenses are being trotted out again. Like much else that used to sound like common sense, they have a tinny, clueless ring in present circumstances. The separation of art and artist is proclaimed — rather desperately, it seems to me — as if it were a philosophical principle, rather than a cultural habit buttressed by shopworn academic dogma. But the notion that art belongs to a zone of human experience somehow distinct from other human experiences is both conceptually incoherent and intellectually crippling. Art belongs to life, and anyone — critic, creator or fan — who has devoted his or her life to art knows as much.
Read more at The New York Times.
A history of America from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the rise of Donald Trump, by the editor of Lapham’s Quarterly.
In twenty-five years of imperial adventure, America has laid waste to its principles of democracy. The self-glorifying march of folly steps off at the end of the Cold War, in an era when delusions of omnipotence allowed the market to climb to virtual heights, while society was divided between the selfish and frightened rich and the increasingly debt-ridden and angry poor. The new millennium saw the democratic election of an American president nullified by the Supreme Court, and the pretender launching a wasteful, vainglorious and never-ending war on terror, doomed to end in defeat and the loss of America’s prestige abroad.
All this culminates in the sunset swamp of the 2016 election—a farce dominated by Donald Trump, a self-glorifying photo-op bursting star-spangled bombast in air. This spectacle would be familiar to Aristotle, who likened the coming to power of a government to the rise of a “prosperous fool”— an individual so besotted with money as to “imagine there is nothing it cannot buy.”
Available for purchase at the Lapham’s Quarterly Bookstore.
The erotic is a realm where desire and imagination meet.
This is the statement Rowan Pelling used to describe the subject of The Art of the Erotic, a Phaidon Editors book for which Pelling wrote the introduction. The Art of the Erotic examines the phenomenon of erotic art through a timeless prism, providing us with insights into human sexuality throughout the ages.
With over 1,500 titles in print, Phaidon is the leading global publisher of the creative arts headquartered in London and New York City. They collaborate with the globe’s most influential artists, writers and thinkers who help Phaidon produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel.
The Art of the Erotic
The sexual desire of one human being for another is probably the most basic, universal and consistent instinct of our society. From ancient to the present times, artists have tirelessly sought to represent and invoke erotic impulses via their artworks and Phaidon will be attempting to put this fact into its true perspective.
Published in October 2017, The Art of the Erotic is a chronological publication which confirms human sexuality and art have always gone hand in hand with each other. The book covers more than 2500 years of human history, starting with hand-painted Athenian cups and mosaics from Pompeii, and going two and a half millenniums ahead to recent works by Wolfgang Tillmans and Anish Kapoor, covering everything in between.
Read more at WideWalls
Aziz Ansari is a comedian and writer who has made a career out of exploring the nuances of love in the 21st century. But he turns out to be an awful date.
Over the weekend, online publication Babe published a piece in which a 23-year-old woman recalled a date she had with the 34-year-old Hollywood star, whom she had met at an Emmys afterparty. As Grace (a pseudonym to protect her identity) describes it, once they got to his apartment, Ansari behaved “like horny, rough, entitled 18-year-old,” aggressively trying to have sex with her and ignoring the words and actions that signaled her discomfort and lack of consent. Ansari confirmed that he had gone on a date with the woman and engaged in sexual activity with her, which he said “by all indications was completely consensual.”
The Babe story was inexpertly reported and edited—an act of irresponsible journalism, made worse by the fact that the publication pursued the story, rather than Grace bringing it to them on her own. Because of this, much of the debate has centered on whether Ansari deserved to have intimate details of his sex life exposed this way. But while not criminal, Ansari’s behavior does warrant scrutiny. It arises from the deep-seated sexism that permeates modern dating culture, conditioning men to disregard women’s comfort, desires, and expectations.
There’s a reason Ansari behaved the way he did: Misogyny.
Read more at Quartzy.
It’s week six in your new job at a bootstrapped startup, and the founder asks you: “Create a prototype of our software to share with investors. We don’t have a company name yet. And I need it in two days.” If this sounds familiar, chances are you’ve been an early employee at a startup. If this is your precise scenario, you’re Stacy La, Clover Health’s Director of Design.
When La first started with Clover Health, it was just the founders, head of product and a data scientist. She was its first designer and the company hadn’t raised any money. Now she leads an eight-person design team, Clover is 500+ people-strong and the startup has raised over $425M. Though La was a seasoned design leader (Yammer, Microsoft) before Clover Health, it was her first time as a very early employee forged in the crucible of a fast-scaling company.
In this exclusive interview, La reduces nearly every motion of an early employee to flexing one of two muscles: ruthless prioritization and high-return troubleshooting. For the former, she outlines a sequence of time management milestones to expect as an early employee in year one. For the latter, La asserts that every challenge must produce double the return in takeaways — and gives examples of that principle in action.
Ruthless Prioritization as a Timeline
From the list-making apps like Asana and Things 3 to hyperfast email like Superhuman, there are many tools that can help generate greater efficiency. Then there are philosophies from productivity aces like Getting Things Done’s David Allen or Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani. All these resources can be valuable for the overworked, under-resourced early employee, but according to La, time management operates as a unique frequency for a startup’s first employees.
“At the start, it was fun taking the leap and deciding to get involved as an early employee. I was back together with people I had worked well with before,” says La. “But then it got daunting very quickly. The magnitude of the task ahead hit at once: my hybrid doer/leader role for a functional area, my learning curve in the health insurance space, and all the opportunities that Clover could go after in the market. Suddenly, spinning up felt more dizzying than galvanizing.”
Read more at First Round.
Republicans may pride themselves on upholding family values, but their new tax law could soon lead to a surge in married couples calling it quits.
Lawyers are counseling couples considering divorce to do it this year — before a 76-year-old deduction for alimony payments is wiped out in 2019 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“Now’s not the time to wait,” said Mary Vidas, a lawyer in Philadelphia and former chair of the American Bar Association’s section on family law. “If you’re going to get a divorce, get it now.”
Potential divorcees have all of 2018 to use the alimony deduction as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with estranged spouses.
The deduction substantially reduces the cost of alimony payments — for people in the highest income-tax bracket, it means every dollar they pay to support a former spouse really costs them a little more than 60 cents.
The change is an example of how the tax law is having far-reaching consequences beyond its corporate and individual tax cuts, in some cases by quietly overturning decades of tax policy.
Read more at Politico.
We asked CEOs across a wide range of industries to put on their futurist hats and predict which issues and ideas we’ll be debating by this time next year.
New Applications For Blockchain And Cryptocurrency
By the close of 2017, says Tricia Martinez, CEO of Wala, a blockchain-powered personal finance platform, blockchain and cryptocurrency were “just beginning to touch the masses.” In the next 12 months, she expects those technologies to go fully mainstream. “More companies are building on top of blockchain technologies, and anyone can issue a token now. I believe more banks, governments, and individuals will embrace crypto and everything it has to offer,” she says.
ea Arthur, CEO of The Difference, an artificial intelligence company, is a little more circumspect. “In most parts of the country, it’s still an unknown,” she observes. “And if our government was paying attention, they would have regulated the shit out of it by now.” But Arthur suspects that the growing applications for blockchain and cryptocurrencies will compel regulators to ease the way for wider adoption. “I think next year, we’ll be exploring its utility and legality,” says Arthur.
The Future Of Human Resources
Next year, Matt Straz, CEO of HR platform Namely, believes “the conversation around how data and AI is changing work will continue to ramp up,” especially after last year’s upheavals like the “Google memo,” Uber’s various meltdowns, and rampant sexual harassment allegations.
“Given the public HR nightmares that have come to light, companies are beginning to understand just how much a diverse and inclusive workplace is critical for success,” says Straz. “Data has the potential to help implement checks and balances, so that HR challenges are addressed sooner rather than later.” Adds Marah Lidey, co-CEO of wellness app Shine, “Last year showed us that our existing system is broken. We’ve heard account after account of leaders abusing positions of power, discriminating against marginalized communities, and so forth. In tech, we’re finally asking ourselves: What’s changing at the top?”
Read more at Fast Company.
You’re not alone in facing a chorus of doubters. So did Steve Jobs, Oprah, and other superstars.
“If people aren’t laughing at your dreams, your dreams aren’t big enough,” some guru once said (the internet can’t seem to decide which). It makes an awesome meme, but I wonder if just hearing this sort of uplifting but generic encouragement is enough to help people persevere when they’re surrounded by doubters.
Thanks for the sentiment, you might think, but perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something with this chorus of derisive laughter. Maybe all these people smirking at my dreams are right and I really am wasting my time.
If that’s you and the usual rah-rah quotes aren’t cutting it, you need some stiffer medicine to help you persevere, I suggest a recent campaign from British insurance marketplace Go Compare (yes, this is totally an unlikely source of inspiration).
To buck up those who feel beaten down by their detractors, the company gathered up incredibly harsh burns superstars received early in their careers. If even these icons faced such incredibly negative feedback, maybe there really is a pretty poor correlation between random other people’s opinions and eventual success.
Read more at Inc.com
The real Jessica Rychly is a Minnesota teenager with a broad smile and wavy hair. She likes reading and the rapper Post Malone. When she goes on Facebook or Twitter, she sometimes muses about being bored or trades jokes with friends. Occasionally, like many teenagers, she posts a duck-face selfie.
But on Twitter, there is a version of Jessica that none of her friends or family would recognize. While the two Jessicas share a name, photograph and whimsical bio — “I have issues” — the other Jessica promoted accounts hawking Canadian real estate investments, cryptocurrency and a radio station in Ghana. The fake Jessica followed or retweeted accounts using Arabic and Indonesian, languages the real Jessica does not speak. While she was a 17-year-old high school senior, her fake counterpart frequently promoted graphic pornography, retweeting accounts called Squirtamania and Porno Dan.
All these accounts belong to customers of an obscure American company named Devumi that has collected millions of dollars in a shadowy global marketplace for social media fraud. Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online. Drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, the company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers, a New York Times investigation found.
The accounts that most resemble real people, like Ms. Rychly, reveal a kind of large-scale social identity theft. At least 55,000 of the accounts use the names, profile pictures, hometowns and other personal details of real Twitter users, including minors, according to a Times data analysis.
“I don’t want my picture connected to the account, nor my name,” Ms. Rychly, now 19, said. “I can’t believe that someone would even pay for it. It is just horrible.”
These accounts are counterfeit coins in the booming economy of online influence, reaching into virtually any industry where a mass audience — or the illusion of it — can be monetized. Fake accounts, deployed by governments, criminals and entrepreneurs, now infest social media networks. By some calculations, as many as 48 million of Twitter’s reported active users — nearly 15 percent — are automated accounts designed to simulate real people, though the company claims that number is far lower.
In November, Facebook disclosed to investors that it had at least twice as many fake users as it previously estimated, indicating that up to 60 million automated accounts may roam the world’s largest social media platform. These fake accounts, known as bots, can help sway advertising audiences and reshape political debates. They can defraud businesses and ruin reputations. Yet their creation and sale fall into a legal gray zone.
“The continued viability of fraudulent accounts and interactions on social media platforms — and the professionalization of these fraudulent services — is an indication that there’s still much work to do,” said Senator Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating the spread of fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
Read more at The New York Times.