How to actually, truly focus on what you’re doing

Tired: Shallow work. Wired: Deep work. Here's what my browser generally looks like: work email in the left-most tab, always open. TweetDeck in the next one, always open. A few Google Docs tabs with projects I'm working on, followed by my calendar, Facebook, YouTube, this publication's website and about 10 stories I want to read - along with whatever random shiny thing comes across my desktop. (Not to mention my iPhone constantly nagging me, though I've mostly fixed that problem.) This is no way to work! It's awful, and my attention is divided across a dozen different things. My situation is far from unique, and most people who do most of their work on a computer know it all too well. Enter "deep work," a concept coined by one of my favorite thinkers in this space, Cal Newport. He published...

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Measles: The New Red Scare – Fear as a pretext for infringing on individual rights

The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful, is the cause of half their errors. - John Stuart Mill, 1859 Majorities are never a proof of the truth. - Dr. Walter R. Hadwen, 1896 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933 Fear. It's a natural and primal human emotion. While human instinct is exceptional in evaluating and reacting to a natural personal risk, as in facing a predator, humans are terrible at assessing modern risks. According to Psychology Today1 this is because our ancestors were programmed to quickly react and respond to a situation before it is even consciously perceived. Our reactions aren't based in logic and statistics, but in lightning fast primitive responses. Threats such as venomous spiders and snakes2 cause...

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Humans have an inbuilt compass

The Earth's magnetic field is faint, yet creatures from birds and bees to lobsters and bacteria have been shown to detect its dull pull. Now, after half a century of looking, scientists have reported the most convincing evidence yet to suggest humans, too, share this ability. The mysteries surrounding magnetoreception, as it is called, abound. It makes sense for globetrotting migratory birds and turtles to have an in-built compass, but it is far less obvious why cows might need one to orient their bodies along the magnetic field lines when grazing, or dogs to point north or south when defecating. The first inklings that humans might have an internal compass came from studies by Robin Baker at the University of Manchester in the UK. In 1980, he reported that if he blindfolded students and transported them out of town, they...

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Harvard Immunologist: ‘Unvaccinated children pose no risk to anyone’

One of the strengths-and weaknesses-of a Western medical education is its predisposition to break things down and compartmentalize them. While much data is gleaned in the minutiae, very little attention is given to the interrelationship between disciplines. While a medical student may become a true specialist in their field, they too become compartmentalized, and are often ignorant of very important information that would be essential for a broader, more holistic overview. And this appears to be by design. A case in point is the testimony of Tetyana Obukhanych, who earned her Ph.D. in Immunology at the Rockefeller University in New York and did post-graduate work at Harvard. In a presentation she delivered in British Columbia (full video here), she was discussing scientific evidence from a publication dealing with a measles outbreak in Quebec in 2011. The evidence showed that 48%...

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Mothers are drowning in stress

It's 2019 and American women have been in the workforce for decades, but a new report shows that their careers still get stuck on impossible ideals of work and home. As a result, they are drowning of stress that no woman can solve on her own. Sociologist Caitlyn Collins spent five years studying parenthood in four wealthy western countries for Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving, and she's found that U.S. moms have it the worst. "Across the countries where I conducted interviews, one desire remained constant among mothers. Women wanted to feel that they were able to combine paid employment and child-rearing in a way that seemed equitable and didn't disadvantage them at home or at work." (8) ...

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