A thorough treatment in the New Yorker of the way the Indian film industry is being captured by ideology.
Everything we continue to learn about the very earliest people is completely fascinating.
Next time I go to Turkey, a visit to the Taş Tepeler is definitely in order.
Looking at conversations from an improv perspective opens a lot of doors for interesting outcomes. It requires active thinking and leaning into the awkwardness both of which are good skills to practice.
Good programmers will naturally start to abstract and develop a model that can do more work. But when this happens only in a technical setting, without collaboration with domain experts, the concepts are naive. That shallowness of knowledge produces software that does a basic job but lacks a deep connection to the domain expert’s way of thinking.
And with typical design approaches, the code and documents don’t express this hard-earned knowledge in a usable form, so when the oral tradition is interrupted for any reason, the knowledge is lost.
Use the model as the backbone of a language. Commit the team to exercising that language relentlessly in all communication within the team and in the code. Use the same language in diagrams, writing, and especially speech.
Object-oriented programming is powerful because it is based on a modeling paradigm, and it provides implementations of the model constructs.
If the people who write the code do not feel responsible for the model, or don’t understand how to make the model work for an application, then the model has nothing to do with the software. If developers don’t realize that changing code changes the model, then their refactoring will weaken the model rather than strengthen it.
But it is the crucial separation of the domain layer that enables MODEL-DRIVEN DESIGN.
Even deficiencies in requirements analysis can be overcome by releasing a prototype to users and then quickly changing the product to fit their requests.
Most flexible languages (such as Java) are overkill for these applications and will cost dearly. A 4GL-style tool is the way to go.
For example, a one-to-many association might be implemented as a collection in an instance variable. But the design is not necessarily so direct. There may be no collection; an accessor method may query a database to find the appropriate records and instantiate objects based on them. Both of these designs would reflect the same model.
Worse, as client code uses the database directly, developers are tempted to bypass model features such as AGGREGATES, or even object encapsulation, instead directly taking and manipulating the data they need.
The sheer technical complexity of applying most database access infrastructure quickly swamps the client code, which leads developers to dumb down the domain layer, which makes the model irrelevant.
You may find that the framework provides services you can use to easily create a REPOSITORY, or you may find that the framework fights you all the way. You may discover that the architectural framework has already defined an equivalent pattern of getting persistent objects. Or you may discover that it has defined a pattern that is not like a REPOSITORY at all.
A MODEL-DRIVEN DESIGN stands on two legs. A deep model makes possible an expressive design. At the same time, a design can actually feed insight into the model discovery process when it has the flexibility to let a developer experiment and the clarity to show a developer what is happening.
But moving the rules out of the domain layer is even worse, since the domain code no longer expresses the model.
Here we have an example of a “simplest thing that could possibly work” that actually becomes possible because of a more sophisticated model. We can have a functioning prototype of a very complex component in a couple dozen lines of easily understood code.
A lot of overengineering has been justified in the name of flexibility. But more often than not, excessive layers of abstraction and indirection get in the way. Look at the design of software that really empowers the people who handle it; you will usually see something simple.
If a developer must consider the implementation of a component in order to use it, the value of encapsulation is lost. If someone other than the original developer must infer the purpose of an object or operation based on its implementation, that new developer may infer a purpose that the operation or class fulfills only by chance. If that was not the intent, the code may work for the moment, but the conceptual basis of the design will have been corrupted, and the two developers will be working at cross-purposes.
I’m all in favor of learning advanced technology and design concepts, but we have to soberly assess the skills of a particular team, as well as the likely skills of future maintenance teams.
If you wait until you can make a complete justification for a change, you’ve waited too long. Your project is already incurring heavy costs, and the postponed changes will be harder to make because the target code will have been more elaborated and more embedded in other code.
Sometimes we overestimate the value or underestimate the cost of such a dependency.
Declare a BOUNDED CONTEXT to have no connection to the others at all, allowing developers to find simple, specialized solutions within this small scope.
Once they have been separated, give their continuing development lower priority than the CORE DOMAIN, and avoid assigning your core developers to the tasks (because they will gain little domain knowledge from them). Also consider off-the-shelf solutions or published models for these GENERIC SUBDOMAINS.
Not knowing what would be needed, it was assumed that it should be flexible enough to handle anything.
He had dutifully set out to build a time zone model a priori.
Reuse does happen, but not always code reuse. The model reuse is often a better level of reuse, as when you use a published design or model.
A team that uses the code as the sole repository of the model might use comments, maybe structured as Java Doc, or might use some tool in its development environment.
People knew roughly where to look for a particular function. Individuals working independently could make design decisions that were broadly consistent with each other. The complexity ceiling had been lifted.
Beş el vardı direksiyonda, babanın iki eli, Nevzat Amca’nın iki eli ve gören görür, ölümün eli…
“Azrail’in piyangosu annenle babana vurdu Nihal!”
Daha doğrusu ikimiz de birbirimizin “âşık” halinden pek hoşlanmamıştık.
Sonra sustum. Çok konuşunca olan şey: Konuşmak, anlatmak, anlamsız gelmişti birdenbire. Belki de, katlanıp kaldırılması gereken şeyleri buruşturmuştum.
Nihal’i karnının üzerinde pençelerini ne zaman etine geçireceği belli olmayan yırtıcı bir hayvanla dolaşıyor gibi düşünmüştüm.
Görüyorsun değil mi Çetin, üç buçuk yaşındaki çocuk bile kendi deneyiminden bir yasa çıkarıyor! Başka türlü nefes alınmaz. Başka türlü yaşanmaz. Başka türlü aşk olmaz. Yaptıklarımızı olumlayan yasalar buluyoruz; sanırım aklımız böyle işliyor: Buyurgan iç huzurumuzun boynu bükük kölesi olarak.
balkonda rakı sofrası kurmak
Bu başarısız öykü de, “Genç şair tekrar kalemine sarıldı.” cümlesiyle sona eriyor.
“Reşit, ömür denen şeyin tedricen yaşanmadığını söylerdi. Gerçekten öyle, her şey birdenbire oluyor. Küçük bir çocukken birdenbire, ilaçlarını plastik bir margarin kabında saklayan bir ihtiyar oluveriyorsun. Kendin için, çocukların için, ülken için güzel şeyler ümit ederken, seni biçimlendiren şeyin güzel bir gelecek hayali olduğunu düşünürken, birdenbire kaderinin, güne ayak uyduramamak, gençliğini, geçmişini özlemek ve hızla dönen dünya tarafından hep kenara savrulmak olduğunu görüyorsun.”
Ama siyasetle ilgilenmemişti, çünkü Reşit Bey’e göre, insanlar birbirlerinden ve tarihten bir şey öğrenmiyor, basit güdülerle hareket ediyordu. Bu yüzden siyasetin yapacağı, başaracağı bir şey yoktu.
Sen de o yağmurdan başlayıp o iş arkadaşlarına hatta oradan sokak çocuklarına sıçrayan kıskançlık alevleriyle her tarafı yakıp yıkarsın, iyiliğe karşı içinde keskin bir öfke duyarsın. “İyiliğiniz batsın!” dersin. Böyledir bahar yağmuru, kötü eder adamı.
Memleketinden uzak insanların dumanlı efkârlı ruh haline bizim küçük kızımız da girmiş, bu ruh haliyle geride bıraktığı her şey çok güzel mi gelmeye başlamıştı?
In dealing with the poverty that still plagued so much of the Indian populace, the Indian government had had to create electricity as fast as they could, and also, since they existed in a world run by the market, as cheaply as they could. Otherwise outside investors would not invest, because the rate of return would not be high enough. So they had burned coal, yes. Like everyone else had up until just a few years before. Now India was being told not to burn coal, when everyone else had finished burning enough of it to build up the capital to afford to shift to cleaner sources of power. India had been told to get better without any financial help to do so whatsoever. Told to tighten the belt and embrace austerity, and be the working class for the bourgeoisie of the developed world, and suffer in silence until better times came— but the better times could never come, that plan was shot. The deck had been stacked, the game was over. And now twenty million people were dead.
India’s electrical power companies were nationalized where they weren’t already
change with us, change now, or suffer the wrath of Kali
The nineteen largest organizations doing this will be, in order of size from biggest to smallest: Saudi Aramco, Chevron, Gazprom, ExxonMobil, National Iranian Oil Company, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Pemex, Petróleos de Venezuela, PetroChina, Peabody Energy, ConocoPhillips, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Iraq National Oil Company, Total SA, Sonatrach, BHP Billiton, and Petrobras.
“Not good enough?” Mary suggested. “No, but nothing is ever good enough. We just make do.”
His therapists talked about trigger events. About avoiding triggers. What they were glossing over with this too-convenient metaphor was that life itself was just a long series of trigger events. That consciousness was the trigger. He woke up, he remembered who he was, he had a panic attack. He got over it and got on with his day as best he could.
We are the Children of Kali, and you can’t be one of us, even if you were here during the catastrophe. But you can do something. You can carry a message from us to the world. Maybe that can even help, we don’t know. But you can try. You can tell them that they must change their ways. If they don’t, we will kill them. That’s what they need to know. You can figure out ways to tell them that.”
To be clear, concluding in brief: there is enough for all. So there should be no more people living in poverty. And there should be no more billionaires. Enough should be a human right, a floor below which no one can fall; also a ceiling above which no one can rise. Enough is a good as a feast— or better.
the Food Sustainability Index, formulated by Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition
But look, the violence of carbon burning kills many more people than any punishment for capital crimes ever would. So really your morality is just a kind of surrender.”
So, if your organization represents the people who will be born after us, well, that’s a heavy burden! It’s a real responsibility! You have to think like them! You have to do what they would do if they were here.”
“People kill in self-defense all the time. Not to do that would be a kind of suicide. So people do it. And now your people are under assault. These supposed future people.”
You grew up in Nepal, right? And I grew up in Ireland. In both places there was a lot of political violence. Which really means murder, right? Murder and all that follows murder. Fear, grief, anger, revenge, all that.
The hidden quality of the nistarim is important; they are ordinary people, who emerge and act when needed to save their people, then sink back into anonymity as soon as their task is accomplished.
Avasthana, Sanskrit for survival.
Look, if you have to do something, you have to do it. Don’t keep talking about cost as if that’s a real thing. Money isn’t real. Work is real.
And so India is coming into its own. We are the new force. People around the world have begun to take notice. This too is new— no one elsewhere has been used to thinking of India as anything but a place of poverty, a victim of history and geography. But now they are looking at us with a little bit of confusion and wonder. What is this? A sixth of humanity on one big triangular patch of land, caught under the blazing sun, cut off by a mighty range of mountains: who are these people? A democracy, a polyglot coalition— wait, can it be? And what can it be? Do we make the Chinese, who so decisively stepped onto the world stage at the start of this century, look dictatorial, monolithic, brittle, afraid? Is India now the bold new leader of the world? We think maybe so.
No one denies future people are going to be just as real as us. So there isn’t any moral justification for the discounting, it’s just for our own convenience. Plenty of economists acknowledged this. Robert Solow said we ought to act as if the discount rate were zero. Roy Harrod said the discount rate was a polite expression for rapacity. Frank Ramsey called it ethically indefensible. He said it came about because of a weakness of the imagination.
The guilty need to know: even in their locked compounds, in their beds asleep at night, the Children of Kali will descend on you and kill you. There is no hiding, there is no escape.
When you lose all hope and all fear, then you become something not quite human. Whether better or worse than human I can’t say. But for an hour I was not a human being.
You could even say that money itself would resist this change. Indeed it seems to be the case that there’s simply a kind of inherent, inbuilt resistance to change!
Our current economics has not yet answered any of these questions. But why should it? Do you ask your calculator what to do with your life? No. You have to figure that out for yourself.
We laughed out loud. For a while we couldn’t stop laughing. Fuck Margaret Thatcher, I said when I could catch my breath. And I say it again now: fuck Margaret Thatcher, and fuck every idiot who thinks that way. I can take them all to a place where they will eat those words or die of thirst. Because when the taps run dry, society becomes very real. A smelly mass of unwashed anxious citizens, no doubt about it. But a society for sure. It’s a life or death thing, society, and I think people mainly do recognize that, and the people who deny it are stupid fuckers, I say this unequivocally. Ignorant fools. That kind of stupidity should be put in jail.
The Austrian and Chicago schools had run with that opinion, and thus neoliberalism: the market rules because it’s the best calculator. But now, with computers as strong as they’ve gotten, the Red Plenty argument has gotten stronger and stronger, asserting that people now have so much computing power that central planning could work better than the market. High-frequency trading has been put forth as an example of computers out-achieving the market proper, but instead of improving the system it’s just been used to take rents on every exchange. This a sign of effective computational power, but used by people still stuck in the 1930s terminology of market versus planning, capitalism versus communism. And by people not trying to improve system, but merely to make more money in current system. Thus economists in our time.
Having debunked the tragedy of the commons, they now were trying to direct our attention to what they called the tragedy of the time horizon. Meaning we can’t imagine the suffering of the people of the future, so nothing much gets done on their behalf. What we do now creates damage that hits decades later, so we don’t charge ourselves for it, and the standard approach has been that future generations will be richer and stronger than us, and they’ll find solutions to their problems. But by the time they get here, these problems will have become too big to solve. That’s the tragedy of the time horizon, that we don’t look more than a few years ahead, or even in many cases, as with high-speed trading, a few micro-seconds ahead. And the tragedy of the time horizon is a true tragedy, because many of the worst climate impacts will be irreversible.
carbon quantitative easing
It’s the vital work of our time. If we don’t fund a rapid carbon drawdown, if we don’t take the immense amount of capital that flows around the world looking for the highest rate of return and redirect it into decarbonizing work, civilization could crash. Then the dollar will be weak indeed.
Apparently he didn’t travel much compared to most people. That felt right. If you were mentally ill your energy use inevitably dropped, because you couldn’t put it together to live a normal life. He had gone to ground, he was living in a hole like a badger. Hibernating maybe. Waiting for some kind of spring to come.
Germans: they had seen the worst. They knew how bad it could get. Even though these were the grandchildren of the ones who had lived through it, or now mostly the great-grandchildren, there was still a cultural memory they could not escape, a memory that would last centuries.
everyone living in the past of their own region’s psyche to one extent or another, because they all lived in their languages, and if your native language was anything but English, you were estranged to one degree or other from the global village.
Always she had been prone to the rash act. She put it down to something Irish. It seemed to her that Irish women doing rash things was precisely how her people had managed to perpetuate themselves.
That pistol, that moment of fear— a jolting spike of fear for her life— she had not forgotten that, or forgiven it. She never would. Nothing was quite like that. But nothing was quite like anything.
The War for the Earth is often said to have begun on Crash Day. And it was later that same year when container ships began to sink, almost always close to land.
The fossil fuel lawyers and executives looked interested when this was proposed to them. The privately owned companies saw a chance of escaping with a viable post-oil business. The state-owned companies looked interested at the idea of compensation for their stranded assets, which they had already borrowed against, in the usual way of the rampant reckless financialization which was the hallmark of their time. Paid to pump water from the ocean up to some catchment basin? Paid to pump CO2 into the ground? Paid how much? And who would front the start-up expenses?
Eleven policies would get it done, they all told her. Carbon pricing, industry efficiency standards, land use policies, industrial process emissions regulations, complementary power sector policies, renewable portfolio standards, building codes and appliance standards, fuel economy standards, better urban transport, vehicle electrification, and feebates, which was to say carbon taxes passed back through to consumers.
As with a move from bank to credit union, instead of the company using the consumer, the consumer used the company, and owned it too. What did the company per se get out of it? Nothing, because a company was nothing. It was just an organization devised to help its employee-owners, nothing more. Like any other company, in the end. If you thought that was what they were.
Another banker, Mary thought. Out of seven Swiss presidents, how many came from a banking background? Four? Five?
The rentier class will not help in that project. They are not interested in that project. Indeed that project will be forwarded in the face of their vigorous resistance. Over their dead bodies, some of them will say. In which case, euthanasia may be just the thing.
a land tax properly designed could again swiftly redistribute land ownership more widely, while quickly swelling government coffers in order to pay for public work, thus reducing economic inequality.
This sudden loss of supply sent oil prices and oil futures sharply up. Oil was rarer now, therefore more expensive, which meant that clean renewable energy was now cheaper than oil by an even larger margin than before.
Or perhaps inflation: macroeconomics was no longer so very clear on the ultimate effects of quantitative easing, given that the evidence from the past half century could be interpreted either way. That this debate was a clear sign that macroeconomics as a field was ideological to the point of astrology was often asserted by people in all the other social sciences, but economists were still very skilled at ignoring outside criticisms of their field, and now they forged on contradicting themselves as confidently as ever.
In this case, these people insisted, please go back to the basics. Here’s the true economy, these people said: since the Earth’s biosphere was the only one available to humanity, and its healthy function absolutely necessary to humanity’s existence, its worth to people was a kind of existential infinity. Gauging the price of saving the biosphere’s functions against the cost of losing them would therefore always be impossible.
So until the climate was actually killing them, people had a tendency to deny it could happen. To others, yes; to them, no. This was a cognitive error that, like most cognitive errors, kept happening even when you knew of its existence and prevalence. It was some kind of evolutionary survival mechanism, some speculated, a way to help people carry on even when it was pointless to carry on.
What if the standard, or even the legally mandated, maximum wage ratio was set at say one to ten, being so easy to calculate? With the lowest level set high enough for life adequacy or decency or however you want to call it. Enough for a decent life. Which then, ten times that? That’s a lot! I mean think about it. Count it on your fingers and thumbs, seeing the enough amount on the tip of each digit, all ten stuck together at the end of your arms looking back at you. Enough times ten is fucking luxurious.
We listen to her, but not you. He said, I am Kali. Suddenly he felt the enormous weight of that, the truth of it. They stared at him and saw it crushing him. The War for the Earth had lasted years, his hands were bloody to the elbows. For a moment he couldn’t speak; and there was nothing more to say.
Can you make up a new society from scratch at that point? No, you can’t. Things just fall apart and next thing you know you’re eating your cat. So take this in: there has to be a pre-existing Plan B.
Even if you are a degrowth devolutionist, an anarchist or a communist or a fan of world government, we only do the global in the current world order by way of the nation-state system.
All over the world this was happening, they kept saying. All these sad little towns, the backbone of rural civilization, tossed into the trash bin of history.
They kill the good ones, Mary thought bitterly, the leaders, the tough ones, and then dare the weaker ones to pick up the torch and carry on. Few would do it. The killers would prevail. This was how it always happened. This explained the world they lived in; the murderers were willing to kill to get their way. In a fight between sociopathic sick wounded angry fucked-up wicked people, and all the rest of them, not just the good and the brave but the ordinary and weak, the sheep who just wanted to get by, the fuckers always won. The few took power and wielded it like torturers, happy to tear the happiness away from the many.
The hidden sheriff; she was ready for that now, that and the hidden prison. The guillotine for that matter. The gun in the night, the drone from nowhere. Whatever it took.
Another brick in the controlocracy, some said of this recorded money; but if the public kept ultimate control of this new global state, by way of people power exerted by the ever more frequent strikes and non-compliances, then the people too would be seeing where all the money was and where it was going, move by move, so that it couldn’t be shuffled into tax havens or otherwise hidden, without becoming inactivated by law.
the Half Earth projects
and capping personal annual income at ten times that minimum amount
“Revolution comes; not the expected one, but another, always another.”
Many are now tagged, and more all the time. There is coming into being a kind of Internet of Animals, whatever that means. Better perhaps to say they are citizens now, and have citizens’ rights, and therefore a census is being taken.
A cobbling-together from less-than-satisfactory parts. A slurry, a bricolage. An unholy mess.
You have to be part of a wave in history. You can’t get it just by wanting it, you can’t call for it and make it come. You can’t choose it— it chooses you! It arrives like a wave picking you up! It’s a feeling— how can I say it? It’s as if everyone in your city becomes a family member, known to you as such even when you have never seen their face before and never will again. Mass action, yes, but the mass is suddenly family, they are all on the same side, doing something important.
Then another five million come to live with you and everyone speaks English to understand each other. Pretty soon your kids speak English, pretty soon everyone speaks English, and then your language is gone. That would be a big loss, a crushing loss. So people get protective of that. The most important thing, therefore, is to learn the language. Not just English, but the local language, the native language. The mother tongue. Their culture doesn’t matter so much, just the language. That I find is the great connector. You speak their language and even when you’re messing it up like crazy, they get a look on their face: in that moment they want to help you.
Tom Athanasiou, Jürgen Atzgendorfer, Eric Berlow, Terry Bisson, Michael Blumlein (in memory), Dick Bryan, Federica Carugati, Amy Chan, Delton Chen, Joshua Clover, Oisín Fagan, Banning Garrett, Laurie Glover, Dan Gluesenkamp, Hilary Gordon, Casey Handmer, Fritz Heidorn, Jurg Hoigné (in memory), Tim Holman, Joe Holtz, Arlene Hopkins, Drew Keeling, Kimon Keramidas, Jonathan Lethem, Margaret Levi, Robert Markley, Tobias Menely, Ashwin Jacob Mathew, Chris McKay, Colin Milburn, Miguel Nogués, Lisa Nowell, Oskar Pfenninger (in memory), Kavita Philip, Armando Quintero, Carter Scholz, Mark Schwartz, Anasuya Sengupta, Slawek Tulaczyk, José Luis de Vicente, and K. Y. Wong
I just watched and finished season 1 of Gibi which seems to have been enough of a success for them to quickly put out a second season. It’s a Turkish dark comedy show that you can watch online on Exxen. I already wrote it’s a bit like Seinfeld but with a very dark undercurrent.
How dark? Let’s look at the next bit from an episode (S01E10 @ 16:30) where Yılmaz and İlkkan are accused of having caused the death of an old man. They are getting ready to host the deceased’s relatives at a restaurant and participate in the wake.
Did you hear anything from Ethem?
Man, look, they wrote something in fact. Hold on. Somehow we weren’t able to call the guy. (Sigh. Wails.)
His aunt has killed herself. Ethem’s. It was written this morning. I just saw it.
His older aunt.
I don’t know many other situational comedy shows that do something like this. It has no relation to the story and serves only to set the mood. Interspersing another death that’s just brushed off in an episode that’s already about death demonstrates how little a human life is worth. People die randomly and it’s received with a wail and a shrug.
They will most likely go to the funeral just like they did in a previous episode (S01E04) where Ersoy’s grandmother was eaten by an Erasmus cannibal.
Zooming out a bit, the real theme of this first season of Gibi has been pressure, pressure of all kinds: peer pressure, family obligations, social and societal pressure.
- Kokariç: Press ganging into opening a kebab shop and invest in all kinds of goods
- Wadding: Pressure from friends and the environment to conform to current fashion norms
- Nu Model: Pressure from the extended family not to pose nude at the art academy enforced by force of violence
- The Cannibal Coming with Erasmus: Pressure from friends to mourn and be visibly sad
- Wrong Mentor: Pressure by a spiritual guide to follow a very strict regimen
- Dark Force: Collective hysteria around bad things happening
- Second Way: Pressure of belonging
- Whitewash: Pressure by the house painter to go all the way
- Renewal of Break Up: Pressure generated by magician
- Blood Money: Pressure to make amends for somebody unrelated dying
- Bathroom: Pressure to bathe and spend time with a couple of seniors
- Discovery of the Horse: Proto-societal pressure between members of an outcast paleolithic group
Anybody who’s ever been to Turkey knows that the entire country is built on this kind of pressure, also known as genuine interest, shame, concern or emotional blackmail. It’s omnipresent and the only way to escape it is to exit.
But in the finals what distinguished one from another was all of the nonmusic stuff. The way they walked onto the stage, the cut of their clothes, the set of their shoulders, the spark in their eyes, and the emotion that played on their faces. All of these things established a mood either of tedium and awkwardness or of excited anticipation.
We learned that EP rests on three pillars: How you act (gravitas) How you speak (communication) How you look (appearance)
One surprise finding of our research is that, when it comes to communication, eye contact matters enormously. Being able to look your coworkers in the eye when making a presentation, or being able to make eye contact with the audience when making a speech, has a transformative effect—on your ability to connect, to inspire, to create buy-in.
Once you’ve demonstrated that you know how to stand with the crowd, you get to strut your stuff and stand apart. It turns out that becoming a leader and doing something amazing with your life hinge on what makes you different, not on what makes you the same as everyone else.
Like Bob Dudley, he or she projects an aura of calm and competence
Gravitas alone won’t secure you the corner office, of course: You’ve got to have the skill sets, the experience, and the innate talent to qualify for the job.
You will make mistakes. You will suffer the mistakes of others. Accidents completely out of your control will befall you. Each of these represents, however, a monumental opportunity to acquire and exude gravitas: to reach within yourself, at the height of the storm, for that eye of calm, and to speak and act from that place of clarity. Because when you demonstrate that your confidence cannot be shaken, you inspire confidence in others. At worst, you’ll win their forgiveness and forbearance. Very possibly, you’ll win their trust and loyalty.
“You want brutal optimism. Great leaders are brutally optimistic.”
But born leaders are made, oftentimes through their own systematic efforts. They live intentionally, guided by a set of values or a vision for their lives that compels them to seize every chance to put their convictions into practice. We gravitate to them because they telegraph that they know where they’re going—a rare and intoxicating certainty that most of us lack.
Stick to what you know
Be generous with credit
Surround yourself with people who are better than you
Empower others’ presence to build your own
Snatch victory from the jaws of defeat
Drive change rather than be changed
First, communication is not so much what you say but rather how you say it. And this you can condition and control. The tone and timbre of your voice; your choice and use of words; your inflection, articulation, and delivery; and even your body language determine what and how much your listeners take in—and what overall impression of you they will form and retain as a result. Other people’s perceptions of you are very much yours to shape.
Your communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal, are what ultimately win you the attention and mindshare of colleagues, clients, and friends.
what makes a speaker persuasive are elements such as passion (27 percent), voice quality (23 percent), and presence (15 percent)
Executives I interviewed cited inarticulateness, poor grammar, and an off-putting tone or accent as examples of verbal tics that undermine EP.
“Maybe it’s the weight of history or the depth of ancestry, but a British accent adds to the impression of heft,”
And here’s why: “Shrill voices have that hint of hysteria that drives men into a panic,” says Suzi Digby, a British choral conductor and music educator. “Women with a high-pitched tone will be perceived as not only unleaderlike but out of control.”
It’s imperative you cut to the chase, be highly selective with your data, and whenever possible share an illustrative story.
constantly referring to lists, reading your notes, using eighty-seven PowerPoint slides, shuffling papers or flip charts, and putting on your glasses the better to see what you’re reading are all actions that detract from your gravitas because they focus attention on your lack of confidence.
Know your material cold so that you needn’t rely on notes, and needn’t rely on your glasses to read notes. This will free you up to establish eye contact with the audience. And nothing is more important than eye contact
Demonstrating that willingness impresses people: It shows you have absolute command of your subject matter, and it signals to your audience that you’re so invested in the importance of your message that you’ll scuttle your carefully prepared speech to make sure they grasp it. That’s a recipe for engagement.
In this regard, professionals of color may hold an edge. In focus groups we conducted, countless participants confirmed that being a minority is itself a relentless exercise in reading others in order to anticipate and overcome reflexive bias or unconscious resistance.
“It’s the conversation before the meeting that establishes whether or not you’re worth listening to in the meeting,” one senior executive pointed out—a skill she refers to as “mastering the banter.” It shows, she explained, that you’re part of the larger conversation, someone who’s “one of the tribe.”
No one even bothers to assess your communication skills or your thought leadership capabilities if your appearance telegraphs you’re clueless.
In interview after interview, senior leaders told me that failure to come through on the grooming front signals either poor judgment or lack of discipline.
The signature look of the rock stars of this advertising extravaganza comprised two-day-old stubble, bespoke shorts, and designer flip-flops.
“Pick the most senior nonexecutive member of the board”—the director named the member—“and pick a fight with him. Make a challenging remark. Point out something as absolute rubbish.”
Her manager explained that, by never asking for help and not explaining to others what she was doing, Buck Luce was inadvertently signaling that (1) her agenda was more important than theirs and (2) she didn’t value other perspectives.
BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND THAT GRANTS YOU LOTS OF LATITUDE TO BE YOU—AND BE RELENTLESS IN PROJECTING IT
“It’s so easy to think that every slight might have something to do with your background or gender. It’s not to say there are no real snubs, but I’ve found that more often than not somebody’s coming from a place of ignorance rather than bigotry. If you’re overly sensitive to the possibility of intentional slights and withdraw as a result, you freeze yourself rather than move forward.”
Take a deep breath, walk into the meeting, and present with composure and professionalism, while exhibiting graceful gra
Ignore their questions, hoping they will eventually stop interrupting you and catch up with the rest of the
Standing up to speak with integrity, clarity, and confide
color with the speech impairment because she is clearly the better choice, as her performance measu
You have a glass of water just before you are announced and approach your audience with a welcoming smile, stand
this situation as a professional team
Initiate an off-the-cuff and off-the-record, casual conversat
assertive when speaking in front of the panel as they will find her grace and sub
The authentic and appropriate golf shirt which brings attention to what you migh
More than anything, how we look translates into respect—for ourselves, for others
It’s important to insist, however, that to say that Muslims should go to Mecca for this reason isn’t to agree with Muslims. It is to give our reason for them to do something that they do for a different reason.
We go astray, similarly, when we think of a moral vocabulary as the possession of a solitary individual. If meanings ain’t in the head, neither are morals. The concept of kindness, or cruelty, enshrines a kind of social consensus.
There is nothing unreasonable, then, about my kinsmen’s belief in witchcraft. They think only what most people would think, given the concepts and beliefs they inherited; if you grew up with their beliefs and had their experiences, that is what you would believe, too.
If we are to encourage cosmopolitan engagement, moral conversation between people across societies, we must expect such disagreements: after all, they occur within societies.
Reasoning—by which I mean the public act of exchanging stated justifications—comes in not when we are going on in the usual way, but when we are thinking about change. And when it comes to change, what moves people is often not an argument from a principle, not a long discussion about values, but just a gradually acquired new way of seeing things.
There are Muslims, many of them young men, who feel that forces from outside their society—forces that they might think of as Western or, in a different moment, American—are pressuring them to reshape relations between men and women. Part of that pressure, they feel, comes from our media. Our films and our television programs are crammed with indescribable indecency. Our fashion magazines show women without modesty, women whose presence on many streets in the Muslim world would be a provocation, they think, presenting an almost irresistible temptation to men. Those magazines influence publications in their own countries, pulling them inevitably in the same direction. We permit women to swim almost naked with strange men, which is our business; but it is hard to keep the news of these acts of immodesty from Muslim women and children or to protect Muslim men from the temptations they inevitably create. As the Internet spreads, it will get even harder, and their children, especially their girls, will be tempted to ask for these freedoms too. Worse, they say, we are now trying to force our conception of how women and men should behave upon them. We speak of women’s rights. We make treaties enshrining these rights. And then we want their governments to enforce them.
as the bearer of some bottles of Dutch schnapps (for several centuries now an appropriate gift for a West African royal)
I live a long way away from the home of my earliest memories. Like many, I return there from time to time, to visit family and friends. And, again like many, when I am there I feel both that I do and that I don’t belong.
Cosmopolitans think human variety matters because people are entitled to the options they need to shape their lives in partnership with others.
The problem for Mali is not that it doesn’t have enough Malian art. The problem is that it doesn’t have enough money.
There is no good reason, however, to think that public ownership is the ideal fate of every important art object.
However self-serving it may seem, the British Museum’s claim to be a repository of the heritage not of Britain but of the world seems to me exactly right.
It is a fine gesture to return things to the descendants of their makers—or to offer it to them for sale—but it certainly isn’t a duty. You might also show your respect for the culture it came from by holding on to it because you value it yourself. Furthermore, because cultural property has a value for all of us, it can be reasonable to insist that those to whom it is returned are in a position to take trusteeship; repatriation of some objects to poor countries whose priorities cannot be with their museum budgets might just lead to their decay. Were I advising a poor community pressing for the return of many ritual objects, I might urge it to consider whether leaving some of them to be respectfully displayed in other countries might not be part of its contribution to the cosmopolitan enterprise of cross-cultural understanding as well as a way to ensure their survival for later generations.
My people—human beings—made the Great Wall of China, the Chrysler Building, the Sistine Chapel: these things were made by creatures like me, through the exercise of skill and imagination. I do not have those skills, and my imagination spins different dreams. Nevertheless, that potential is also in me.
Uncle Aviv, though, seemed to be equally open to people of all faiths. Perhaps that made him, by the standards of some of today’s noisiest preachers of Islam, a bad Muslim. But it also made him quite typical of many Muslims in many nations and at many times.
Those we think of as willing to claim that not everyone matters—the Nazis, the racists, the chauvinists of one sort and another—don’t stop with saying, “Those people don’t matter.” They tell you why. Jews are destroying our nation. Black people are inferior. Tutsi are cockroaches. The Aztecs are enemies of the faith. It’s not that they don’t matter; it’s that they have earned our hatred or contempt. They deserve what we are doing to them.
So-called realists about international relations often say that our foreign policy should pursue only our own national interest. They sound as though they’re saying that nobody matters but our own fellow countrymen. But if you ask them whether they think that we should engage in genocide if it is in our national interest, they typically deny that it could be in our national interest, because our national interest is somehow internally connected with certain values. To this line of response, I say, “Good. Then one of our values is that other people matter at least enough that we shouldn’t kill them just because it suits us.”
Still, if people really do think some people don’t matter at all, there is only one thing to do: try to change their minds, and, if you fail, make sure that they can’t put their ideas into action.
This constraint is another that the Shallow Pond theorists are indifferent toward. They think that it is so important to avoid the bad things in other lives that we should be willing to accept for ourselves, our families and friends, lives that are barely worth living.
For if so many people in the world are not doing their share—and they clearly are not—it seems to me I cannot be required to derail my life to take up the slack.
Part of the strategy of Unger’s argument is to persuade us that not intervening to save someone because we have something else worth doing is morally equivalent to killing him in the name of those other values. We should resist the equation.
But responding to the crisis of a child dying because her frail body cannot absorb fluids faster than they pour out of her is not really saving her, if tomorrow she will eat the same poor food, drink the same infected water, and live in a country with the same incompetent government; if the government’s economic policies continue to block real development for her family and her community; if her country is still trapped in poverty in part because our government has imposed tariffs on some of their exports to protect American manufacturers with a well-organized lobbying group in Washington
For how popular and questionable Yuval Noah Harari’s writing has been, it has barely seen any scrutiny. This critique by Darshana Narayanan is on point and most of the things in it were—I hate to say it—glaringly obvious from the get-go.