“One attendee at the Dec. 4 FTC workshop, University of San Francisco law professor David Franklyn, said that, according to his research, one-third of consumers simply don’t care if something is editorial or advertising content. “So what are we protecting the consumer from?” he asked.”—
“This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too.”—
There’s this part: “Evelyn Forget, a health economist at the University of Manitoba, has done some of the best research on the results. Some of her findings were obvious: Poverty disappeared. But others were more surprising: High-school completion rates went up; hospitalization rates went down. “If you have a social program like this, community values themselves start to change,” Forget said.”
That was $10,000/yr Canadian. 7,800 CHF is about 8,57 USD. Not too far off.
“This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too.”—Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive - NYTimes.com
Chris Hayes & Rachel Maddow especially for their both very good books
All the great shows I’ve seen since last thanksgiving: Especially Neutral Milk Hotel, MEDICINE, Future Bible Heroes, Sparks, Goldfrapp, Nick Cave, Pinback, Screaming Females, Japandroids, Hayden, Spiritualized, Mazzy Star, Blur, How to Destroy Angels, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Roses, Neutral Milk Hotel, Postal Service, Hot Chip, Dead Can Dance, Grinderman, J Spaceman, Low, Man or Astroman, Mark Kozelek, The Monochrome Set, Stars, Divine Fits, Two Door Cinema Club, Jim Thirwell & Zola Jesus, Chromatics, Daniel Johnston, Father John Misty, Grimes, Warpaint, Pulp,Yeasayer and Godspeed You Black Emperor.
The great bands that played our wedding: Freezepop, Lifestyle and Plushgun
Brian Eno’s lecture and 77 million paintings
Barack Obama, I GUESS STILL
Vanessa’s Dumpling House
Kent Ale House
All the wonderful handmade wedding gifts we got this year
My dishwasher and washing machine
This lovely hippie cat food that keeps our cat looking health
Harry and Alice, and their lovely wedding and asking me to officiate it
Scott and Fef at Dostuff
Noah and James @ Percolate
Caren, Mike and the gang @ Nestio
Black Box Recorder
The New Yorker
Emily and Abby
All those hard core trigger warning, feminist, rape culture describing and privilege-calling lefties on Tumblr that keep me on my toes and questioning and improving upon my entrenched beliefs so I never end up like Alec Baldwin
“A 53-year-old man, BuzzFeed’s oldest ever employee, jobless and without health insurance? CUTE as a fucking bug’s ear. Not as CUTE: Making your advertising critic disappear posts that criticize the advertisements of big advertisers, which Ben Smith did to me on at least one ocassion. BuzzFeed has a “no haters” hiring policy and an overweening desire to draw big-name advertisers into its “community” of users, in exchange for money. Which makes ranting about ads professionally for the site a complicated endeavor. At which I FAILed.”—TOP 10 BEST EVER WTF OMG REASONS BUZZFEED FIRED ME, LOL!
OMG THANK YOU. I mean, I know I am old and blind and often turn the text size up on my phone, but I was SO CONFUSED when my Twitter text suddenly got twice as big this morning. I do kinda like it, though.
Dr. Venter said Synthetic Genomics would start selling a machine next year that would automate the synthesis of genes by stringing small pieces of DNA together to make larger ones.
Eventually, he said, “we’ll have a small box like a printer attached to your computer.” A person with a bacterial infection might be sent the code to recreate a virus intended to kill that specific bacterium.
“We can send an antibiotic as an email,” said Dr. Venter, who has outlined his ideas in a new book, “Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life.” Proteins might also be made, so that diabetics, for instance, could “download insulin from the Internet.”
Yesterday I met with a woman from an investment firm who runs communications for a portfolio that includes companies such as ASOS, Facebook, and Nasty Gal.
As the PR director, companies come to her for advice on media relations. The #1 question she receives from them though is, “Which PR firm should we hire?” Accordingly, she’s been putting in the time to connect with firms, and come up with some first-hand recommendations.
In other words, this was more or less a casual interview to see if my business would be the type of outfit she could feel confident recommending to the 100+ household names & upcoming startups her company holds a stake in. No biggie.
About an hour in, she asked if I felt vulnerable or insecure about my being so young and only having had three years of experience in the field. The answer any sane person in this “sales opportunity” would give is, “No. I’m extremely confident about my team and its capabilities! You can trust your companies in my hands!” followed by a pinky promise.
I truly love my job. I like to think I’m good at it. But at the end of the day, I know only being alive for 25 years has not afforded me the luxury of time to be the most experienced in my field. I haven’t worked with a company through to an IPO yet, or held court for a brand through a time of major crisis - there’s vulnerability there, especially when we’re up for consideration against leaders twice our age with teams twice our size. That’s a reality, and it’s not going to change any time soon (unless time magically stops for everyone except me much like anyrecentRachel McAdams movie).
So yes, 100% I feel vulnerable. Some days more than others (those are the days where employees have to do a lot of explaining for me). It’s knowing that I don’t know everything that causes me to live by these 4 things:
Hire people more experienced & smarter than I am
Be clear upfront about anticipated results & capabilities
Charge based upon the value I can confidently deliver
Those are the same 4 things that end up defining the quality of my personal output and in turn, contribute to the character of our company. I’m not so experienced that I can rest easy on my laurels and seniority. The past three years have provided an amazing learning curve and a wide array of industry initiatives to get knee deep in & really own, but even still, I compensate for my lack of time in the trenches by crossing every t, saying yes at every sensible opportunity, and knowing when to assign tasks outside my reach to those better equipped. I know I have to work twice as hard, hire twice as sharply, and be twice as thorough to cement our place in this space. I am not “hungry” for work (there’s no shortage of demand for PR representation right now) but I am “hungry” to constantly prove to myself that I am not letting anyone down - that I am putting client money to its best possible use, and simultaneously providing the best listening ear and delegating hand for my team that I am able.
Vulnerability has led to me to iterating for new approaches, setting clear objectives & expectations upfront, incorporating the ideas and backgrounds of my team, and a myriad of other activities that have made this company stronger.
It’s the soft, malleable parts of my vulnerability that congealed the work foundation I’ve built upon. So am I vulnerable? Yes. Does that mean I’ll put in the time to weigh each option then work my ass off to deliver? Yes to that, too.
Mallory’s one of the most talented entrepreneurs in this city that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She’s absolutely amazing. We’ve been meeting regularly for over a year and once in a great while, rarely, I am reminded of her age. When that happens, I am even more impressed.
I just turned off voicemail on my phone. You have to call AT&T to make that happen. I feel much better living in the 21st Century. And I also feel better saving all that collective time from those leaving voicemails and me listening to voicemails. So much waste…saved!
Some doctors email. But their main priority and financial incentive is seeing patients in their office because that’s how they get paid. One of our investors recently said he invested because of one simple realization: “you can email a doctor.”
Of course that’s important. However, that’s only part of our killer feature.
Sherpaa’s killer feature is that you can email with our doctors who’s sole responsibility is to email with you and solve problems over email.
We’ve hired doctors and told them their only job is to solve medical problems over email. And we’ve found that 70% of medical problems are solved this way without referring you to see a doctor in person. That’s the killer feature— hired, undistracted doctors who communicate efficiently and effectively like we all do nowadays.
Sometimes when I’m explaining to Sherpaa I get a little oblique going on about saving employers money on insurance premiums, etc. etc.
Then I just say something about how “you can email your doctor.”
And every single time, the person’s face lights up and they say “I want that.”
The effects on real estate value alone could be devastating, Mr. Strauss said. His research shows that there is about $156 billion worth of property, and 300,000 homes, on 2,120 square miles of land that is less than three feet above the high tide line in Florida.
At that same level, Mr. Strauss said, Florida has 2,555 miles of road, 35 public schools, one power plant and 966 sites listed by the Environmental Protection Agency, such as hazardous waste dumps and sewage plants.
The amount of real estate value, and the number of properties potentially affected, rises incrementally with each inch of sea-level rise, he said.
Professor Wanless insists that no amount of engineering proposals will stop the onslaught of the seas. “At two to three feet, we start to lose everything,” he said.
What with the recent Rand Paul plagiarism scandal, I’d like to propose a new taxonomy of plagiarism. Some plagiarism is worse than others, and the basic definition of plagiarism that most people learned in school is only part of it.
Chris Hayes started off his show today by referencing the Wikipedia definition of plagiarism: “the ‘wrongful appropriation’ and ‘purloining and publication’ of another author's ‘language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,’ and the representation of them as one's own original work.” The important point here that most people overlook is the theft of ideas. We all learn in school that plagiarism exists if we wholesale copy and paste other people’s words. But ideas are actually a big part of it.
In the academic world, plagiarism is worrisome in two broad contexts: on the science side of academia, the wholesale theft of another researcher’s data or findings is a grave error. And on the humanities side, the theft of someone’s ideas is the main concern. This is often confusing to us, because when we’re young - in elementary, middle and high school - we’re often given assignments to write about a topic to learn to write and express ideas. It’s understood we may use Encyclopedia Brittanica or Wikipedia as our main source, and that’s okay. Because the exercise is for us to learn to comprehend ideas and explain to them. Thus the main concern is that we’re not copying the words from the article exactly, because then our teacher’s couldn’t tell if we comprehended, OR if we can communicate.
But again, this is not the whole story. Taking someone’s new, profound idea, and passing it off as our own, even if we change all the individual words, is not okay either. And yet, when we talk about plagiarism, we often conflate the two, or give them equal footing.
The worst, of course, is when it’s neither your idea, nor your words. Because using someone else’s words, and being too damn lazy to even re-write it is just dumb. Especially in this day and age when professors, and journalists, have plagiarism software.
As an aside, this software is part of the problem. Every schmuck knows - or should know - to rewrite things. But it is not enough.
With every plagiarism scandal, there is a large amount of debate about just how sinful the crime is, and how much the perpetrator should punished. Part of the challenge, I believe, is due to the fact that we are talking about many different offenses, all as if they are the same. What is needed is an ability to distinguish between various shades of plagiarism, and to be able to easily discuss the differences between them.
A Taxonomy of Plagiarism
So, then, here is a proposed taxonomy of plagiarism.
Special note before we begin: There are three modifiers to any of these types of plagiarism:
First, I propose that for each of the types of plagiarism below, there can also be an grievous version of it: a version where the exact words are also copied verbatim.
Second, I propose that we specify whether plagiarism is written, or oral. There is a long history in oral storytelling of lifting and modifying and reworking, and, right or wrong, the rules are somewhat different. No one can agree on exactly those rules, but everyone seems to agree they are different.
Third, I propose that we add the modifier extreme to any grievous instance over 1,000 words.
So, then, to the types.
Type A Plagiarism, or “I told you about that before” - This is plagiarism where the perpetrator has previously cited the original work or author. For example, if I give a speech where I quote someone, and in several speeches I quoted them by name previously, but failed to this time, then this is Type A plagiarism. It is, I believe, relatively minor, and often an error.
Type B Plagiarism, or “Lazily getting to the point” - This is where one plagiarizes some ideas or concepts, as laid out by someone else, in order to get to a larger point that is your own. That is, yes, you have cribbed someone else’s concepts, but in an explanatory manner of a sub point. For example, if I am trying to make a joke about how the rebel alliance in star wars is sort of like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, and I need to explain to you the rebel alliance, and in doing so I crib the definition on Wikipedia and say something like “the rebel alliance is a faction in the Star Wars universe in opposition to the Galactic Empire, dedicated to the restoration of the ideals of the old republic.” I didn’t exactly quote the Wikipedia page on the Rebel Alliance there, but I definitely lifted their general gist of their definition. This was a bit of plagiarism. If I were to use my own definition I’d have said something like “the antiestablishment good guys in Star Wars who fight against a totalitarian empire that masquerades as democratic.” HOWEVER, my main point and idea here is that the rebel alliance is sort of like Snowden and Greenwald, and that is my own personal new thought. So yes, this is plagiarism, but it is relatively mild.
Type C Plagiarism, or “I I have an idea” - This is the wholesale regurgitating of someone else’s idea as your own. An example would be writing a whole article where you express the central beliefs of existentialism, without calling it as such or mentioning Camus or Sartre. Writing a speech talking about how you have a dream that one day your kids won’t be judged by their race but by their personality. This is obviously pretty bad.
Type D Plagiarism, or “It happened to me” - This, in my view, is the worst, and least defensible version of plagiarism. This is the wholesale lifting of someone else’s personal experience and proffering it as your own. Examples would include Columbia valedictorian Brian Corman, who wholesale lifted a personal story from Patton Oswalt. Not just an idea, but a personal and personal experiences. This, to me, is the worst for a few reasons. Because there is no possible explanation for it other than thievery. And it’s about more than ideas, it’s about our experiences, and our experiences are part of us.
Referring to cases of plagiarism with the new taxonomy:
Rand Paul’s use of Wikipedia’s definition of Gattaca in speeches: Grievous, Oral, Type B Plagiarism. Rand Paul made the offenses in speeches, hence, oral. It was grievous, because he copied the definition from Wikipedia verbatim. It was Type B, because Rand Paul was not giving a speech about Gattaca, he was using the plot of Gattaca to make a larger point about Eugenics.