The Inimitable Tiff


  1. Looking at Productivity as a State of Mind - The Upshot | NYT

…When we look at worker productivity at the macro level, we tend to limit ourselves to issues like skill shortages, new technologies or appropriate incentives.
In our own lives, though, we see a personal struggle. Tomorrow we want to finish that memo, review several files and plan that project. We know that some of the work will be tedious, but benefits like career advancement, fulfillment or just sheer survival outweigh the costs. When tomorrow becomes today, though, we may discover that we have all kinds of pressing problems. The tedium we had anticipated suddenly feels very large. It is tempting to take a break and just let our minds wander. In our own lives self-control is a big problem — yet it is largely absent from high-level discussions about worker productivity.
    Looking at Productivity as a State of Mind - The Upshot | NYT

    …When we look at worker productivity at the macro level, we tend to limit ourselves to issues like skill shortages, new technologies or appropriate incentives.

    In our own lives, though, we see a personal struggle. Tomorrow we want to finish that memo, review several files and plan that project. We know that some of the work will be tedious, but benefits like career advancement, fulfillment or just sheer survival outweigh the costs. When tomorrow becomes today, though, we may discover that we have all kinds of pressing problems. The tedium we had anticipated suddenly feels very large. It is tempting to take a break and just let our minds wander. In our own lives self-control is a big problem — yet it is largely absent from high-level discussions about worker productivity.

  2. Castle On The Park | 99% Invisible
  3. The Victim, The Comforter, The Guy’s Girl… — Naomi Alderman, feminist novelist game writer/designer

    In fact, though, being One of the Boys haunts me more in shame than in success. I can’t do it very well, and I feel guilty about all the ways I fail at it.

    I’ve felt ashamed of the fact that I really have no spatial awareness (God, it’s so female of me) and can’t aim a rifle for shit. I’ve attempted to conceal the truth that when I play Mass Effect, I’m mostly limited to getting lost and only finding the battle after my henches have already fought and won it.

    I feel ashamed of these things because they’re things that are associated with being a woman. Masculine culture, you see: It’s not OK to admit to not being good at things. I find myself backed into that corner, attempting bravado, pretending at competence.

  4. The Sound of Sports | 99% Invisible

    When we think of the sound of sports on TV or radio, it’s generally commentary. But sports broadcasts would be nothing without all the sounds that are behind the commentary– the crowds, the kicks, the thwacks, and the grunts.

    During the World Cup of 2010, the constant noise of Vuvuzelas made many people realize that the sound of a sports event, something they took for granted, does matter.

    Dennis Baxter’s job is to design the sound of sports, and he is our guide in this documentary. For nearly 20 years he’s worked on the Olympics, defining how the broadcast will sound, always trying to increase drama and excitement. For him, closer is generally better. If he can put a microphone on an athlete, he will.

    At the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, the TV coverage is enhanced by microphones on the cox in each boat. Wimbledon has a special sonic drama all of its own, as we learn from Bill Whiston who mixed the sound of the 2008 finals.

    When good sound isn’t available, it’s not uncommon for a prerecorded sound to be added to cover the shot.

    The experience of “live” events can be highly produced, very different from the experience of being there. Is this enhanced sound so very different from that of a film or a video game? We meet a Hollywood sound effects specialist and a video game sound designer to find out what they do to create a sense of authenticity and excitement. Are they raising our expectations of how “real” sport should sound?

  5. A Big Article About Wee Things - ProPublica by the wonderful Lena Groeger.

    A Big Article About Wee Things - ProPublica by the wonderful Lena Groeger.

  6. mapsontheweb:

% of Total Houses Built By Time Period

    mapsontheweb:

    % of Total Houses Built By Time Period

    (via sunlightcities)

  7. anitramm:

A butterfly illustration by Nabokov dedicated his wife and muse, Véra.

    anitramm:

    A butterfly illustration by Nabokov dedicated his wife and muse, Véra.

    (via russkayaliteratura)

  8. ISIS’ Harsh Brand of Islam Is Rooted in Austere Saudi Creed - NYTimes.com
  9. On a Warmer Planet, Which Cities Will Be Safest? - NYTimes.com
  10. There is so much Twitter can do try to improve the user experience, for both the experienced and the beginner. But I hope that it does not algorithmically curate the feed, not because I love the chronology per se, but because I value people’s judgement. Yes, Twitter can make it easier to access that judgment in more varied ways but stepping between people I choose to follow and me is not the answer.
    Never forget: the algorithm giveth but it also taketh away. Don’t let it take away the network because it’s the flock, not the bird, that provides the value.
    UNC Prof. Zeynep Tufekci, on the Twitter algorithm debacle (best counter-argument I’ve seen out there)  (via sasquatchmedia)