14
Aug, 2013

Don’t believe the hype. It’s not about the amount of hours you put in, it’s about how you perform when that time has come.

All the practice time in the world won’t automatically make you produce great results. But lack of experience doesn’t always mean you can’t hang with the big boys either. Sometimes amateurs–due to necessity breeding innovation–bring imagination to their field along with a previously unconsidered approach that turns out to be a better method than what was done in the past.

And that’s not an exception to the rule. There are no rules. People make them up.

Experts may not be made overnight, but if practice and time was the almighty Lord that created these so-called pros, then they could not only define success, but also draw up a precise map on how everyone else can magically get there too. Impossible sorcery.

What works for others may not work for you at all, ever. Find out what works for you and do that. Not what works for someone else…unless that also works for you, in which case you might want to consider doing both things. Or multiple things.

Whatever works.

Sports Illustrated Senior Writer David Epstein has covered his fair share of athletes. So in his new book, The Sports Gene, he takes a look at what makes the great ones great and in an interview with Outside, he sheds some light on his findings. He starts by debunking the popular conclusions made by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers that all greats have 10,000 hours of practice:

The 10,000 hours is an average of differences. You could have two people in any endeavor and one person took 0 hours and another took 20,000 hours, which is something like what happened with two high jumpers I discuss in the book. One guy put in 20,000 and one put in 0, so there’s your average of 10,000 hours, but that tells you nothing about an individual.

Instead, he advises, there is no template for greatness:

No cookie-cutter training plan is ever going to work. I’m a great example. Before my senior year of high school, I got up to 85 miles per week of training, which isn’t a lot for a pro, but was a lot for someone my age. When I came to college, I really got interested in physiology and took a scientific approach to my training. I found I was better at cross-country by training 35 miles per week with hill intervals instead of doing 85 miles per week. People need to pay attention to their training plans, because if something is not working for you as well as the next guy, it may be your biology, so you should try another plan.

If you’re not taking a trial-and-error approach to training where you’re measuring something your time, you’re way less likely to find a plan that works for you. The cookie cutter approach to training is purely a facet of having a large group of people to train.

Read the entire interview with Epstein at Outside Magazine. [Syndicated from Behance]

11
May, 2013

Cameron Russell admits she won “a genetic lottery”: she’s tall, pretty and an underwear model. But don’t judge her by her looks. In this fearless talk, she takes a wry look at the industry that had her looking highly seductive at barely 16-years-old.

0:40 – The first outfit change ever on the TED stage!
1:50 – Russell transforms our perception of what we think of her.
2:41 – The truth about how girls become models.
3:11 – Russell shines a light on the the deficiency of non-white models.
3:52 – She asks why do girls even want to be models?
4:32 – The reality of a girls’ likelihood of ever becoming a model.
5:27 – Models don’t have a voice and aren’t taking seriously in society. They are to be seen and not heard.
5:52 – Side by side images effectively demonstrates how the modeling industry sexualizes young girls and women in general.
6:44 – Russell acknowledges her privilege.
7:00 – The cost people pay who exist outside of her privilege.
7:30 – How young girls feel about their bodies.
8:03 – Russell admits something she has never said on camera until now.

ORIGINAL by Cameron Russell in a talk on the TED stage. [via The Huffington Post]

More info about Cameron Russell:

Twitter: @CameronCRussell
Agency: Elite
Blog: ArtRoots
Website: Big Bad Lab

09
May, 2013

Jackson Katz, Phd, is an anti-sexist activist and expert on violence, media and masculinities. An author, filmmaker, educator and social theorist, Katz has worked in gender violence prevention work with diverse groups of men and boys in sports culture and the military, and has pioneered work in critical media literacy. Katz is the creator and co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which advocates the ‘bystander approach’ to sexual and domestic violence prevention. You’ve also seen him in the award winning documentary “MissRepresentation.”

To learn more about TEDxFiDiWomen, whether to attend, volunteer, speak or sponsor, please click on the following link! tedxfidiwomen.herokuapp.com

To learn more about Jackson Katz, please visit: jacksonkatz.com

[via UpWorthy]

04
May, 2013

The Internet is for porn. We all know that, but until now we may not have realized to what extent porn dominated the Internet. According to this infographic by new porn website Paint Bottle, porn takes up a huge percentage of Internet bandwidth. In fact, 30 percent of all data transferred across the Internet is porn. YouPorn, one of the larger video porn sites, streams six times the bandwidth as Hulu.

Check out this infographic for more fascinating stats about online porn:

29
Apr, 2013


California’s Silicon Valley is a microcosm of America’s new extremes of wealth and poverty. Business is better than it’s been in a decade. Facebook, Google and Apple have minted hundreds of new tech millionaires. But not far away, the homeless are building tent cities along a creek in the city of San Jose. Homelessness rose 20 percent in the past two years, food stamp participation is at a 10-year high, and the average income for Hispanics, who make up a quarter of the population, fell to a new low of about $19,000 a year — in a place where the average rent is $2000 a month.

[ORIGINAL: By Moyers & Company, via UpWorthy]

09
Apr, 2013


I’ve been aware of Bitcoin for a while but never completely understood what it was. In BITCOIN EXPLAINED, director and animator Duncan Elms along with writer Marc Fennell (whom also provides the voice over) brilliantly illustrates what Bitcoin is (a decentralized digital currency), how it works, and how it’s used.

This was a personal project by Duncan Helms. Jump over to the vimeo page for Bitcoin Explained if you would like to make a Bitcoin donation for the video.

Related:

04
Apr, 2013

Hyeonseo Lee managed to escape North Korea, TWICE. She went back a second time to save her family. Here’s the tragic and amazing story of how she accomplished it.

  • At 0:50, she starts in on what happens in North Korea.
  • At 1:16, she talks about a horrific letter from her co-worker’s sister.
  • At 1:50, she talks about something she will never erase from her memory.
  • At 2:47, she shows us an enlightening map.
  • At 4:20, her worst nightmare comes true.
  • At 5:23, she shares a tiny bit of happy news.
  • At 6:22, she moves and faces more challenges.
  • At 6:55, she makes a heartbreaking confession.
  • At 7:12, North Korea decides to threaten her family as vengeance.
  • At 7:35, she explains how people escape.
  • At 8:20, the old “show me your papers” line wields its ugly head.
  • At 9:00, her family is arrested multiple times and held for a month. Then she runs out of bribe money.
  • At 9:45, a hero arrives. And we start tearing up a little.
  • At 10:53, we get a happy ending. And she suggests some ways to actually help.
  • And at 12:00, the audience rewards her bravery and resolve with a standing ovation.

Then you may feel the urge to share this. And you may feel the urge to like her on Facebook, at which point, I’ll totally owe you one. It’s an important story, and everyone should get the opportunity to hear it.

[via UpWorthyORIGINAL: By Hyeonseo Lee on the TED stage.]

29
Mar, 2013

From Lindy West at Jezebel:

Okay, so maybe you are a man. Maybe you haven’t had the easiest ride in life—maybe you grew up in poverty; you’ve experienced death, neglect, and despair; you hate your job, your car, your body. Maybe somebody (or multiple somebodies) pulverized your heart, or maybe you’ve never even been loved enough to know what a broken heart feels like. Maybe shit started out unfair and became irreparable and you never deserved any of this. Maybe everything looks fine on paper, but you’re just unhappy and you don’t know why. These are human problems and other human beings feel for you very deeply. It is hard to be a human. I am so sorry.

However.

Though it is a seductive scapegoat (I understand why it attracts you), none of these terrible, painful problems in your life were caused by the spectre of “misandry.” You can rest easy about that, I promise! In fact, the most powerful proponent of misandry in modern internet discourse is you — specifically, your dogged insistence that misandry is a genuine, systemic, oppressive force on par with misogyny. This is specious, it hurts women, and it is hurting you. Most feminists don’t hate men, as a group (we hate the system that disproportionately favors men at the expense of women), but — congratulations! — we are starting to hate you. You, the person. Your obsession with misandry has turned misandry into a self-fulfilling prophecy. (I mean, sort of. Hating individual men is not the same as hating all men. But more on that in a minute.) Are you happy now? Is this what you wanted? Feminism is, in essence, a social justice movement—it wants to take the side of the alienated and the marginalized, and that includes alienated and marginalized men. Please stop turning us against you.

It is nearly impossible to address problems facing women—especially problems in which men are even tangentially culpable—without comments sections devolving into cries of “misandry!” from men and replies of “misandry isn’t real” from women. Feminists are tired of this endless, fruitless turd-pong: hollow “conversation” built on willful miscommunication, bouncing back and forth, back and forth, until both sides throw up their hands and bolt. Maybe you are tired of this too. We seem to be having some very deep misunderstandings on this point, so let’s unpack it. I promise not to yell.

Part One: Why Feminism Has “Fem” in the Name, or, Why Can’t We All Just Be Humanists?

I wish, more than anything, that I could just be a “humanist.” Oh, man, that would be amazing! Because that would mean that we lived in a magical world where all humans were born on equal footing, and maybe I could live in a house shaped like a big mushroom and birds would help me get dressed or something. Humanism is a gorgeous dream, and something to strive for. In fact, it is the exact thing that feminism is striving for right now (and has been working on for decades)! Yay, feminism!

Unfortunately, the reason that “fem” is a part of the word “feminism” is that the world is not, currently, an equal, safe, and just place for women (and other groups as well—in its idealized form, intersectional feminism seeks to correct all those imbalances). To remove the gendered implications of the term is to deny that those imbalances exist, and you can’t make problems disappear just by changing “feminism” to “humanism” and declaring the world healed. That won’t work.

Think of it like this. Imagine you’re reading a Dr. Seuss book about a bunch of beasts living on an island. There are two kinds of beasts: Fleetches and Flootches. (Stick with me here! I love you!) Though the two are functionally identical in terms of intellect and general competence, Fleetches are in charge of pretty much everything. They hold the majority of political positions, they make the most money (beast-bucks!), they dominate the beast media, they enact all kinds of laws infringing on the bodily autonomy of Flootches. Individually, most of them are perfectly nice beasts, but collectively they benefit comfortably from inequalities that are historically entrenched in the power structure of Beast Island. So, from birth, even the most unfortunate Fleetches encounter fewer institutional roadblocks and greater opportunity than almost all Flootches, regardless of individual merit. One day, a group of Flootches (the ones who have not internalized their inferiority) get together and decide to agitate to change that system. They call their movement “Flootchism,” because it is specifically intended to address problems that disproportionately disadvantage Flootches while benefiting Fleetches. That makes sense, right?

Now imagine that, in response, a bunch of Fleetches begin complaining that Flootchism doesn’t address their needs, and they have problems too, and therefore the movement should really be renamed Beastism. To be fair. The problem with that name change is that it that undermines the basic mission of the movement, because it obscures (deliberately, I’d warrant) that beast society is inherently weighted against Flootches. It implies that all problems are just beast problems, and that all beasts suffer comparably, which cripples the very necessary effort to prioritize and repair problems that are Flootch-specific. Those problems are a priority because they harm all Flootches, systematically, whereas Fleetch problems merely harm individual Fleetches. To argue that all problems are just “beast problems” is to discredit the idea of inequality altogether. It is, in fact, insulting.

….

Part Four: A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On

Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of any gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.

Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.

If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?

Link to the rest at Jezebel