Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Hook Model

Habits are defined as “behaviors done with little or no conscious thought.”

The convergence of access, data, and speed is making the world a more habit-forming place.

Businesses that create customer habits gain a significant competitive advantage.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The ills of the time

“The cause of my disquiet,” Balthasar began, calmly—“that which made me a preacher in Alexandria and in the villages of the Nile; that which drove me at last into the solitude where the Spirit found me—was the fallen condition of men, occasioned, as I believed, by loss of the knowledge of God.

“I sorrowed for the sorrows of my kind—not of one class, but all of them. So utterly were they fallen it seemed to me there could be no Redemption unless God himself would make it his work; and I prayed him to come, and that I might see him.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The old Venice of song and story

I began to feel that the old Venice of song and story had departed forever. But I was too hasty.

In a few minutes we swept gracefully out into the Grand Canal, and under the mellow moonlight the Venice of poetry and romance stood revealed. Right from the water's edge rose long lines of stately palaces of marble; gondolas were gliding swiftly hither and thither and disappearing suddenly through unsuspected gates and alleys; ponderous stone bridges threw their shadows athwart the glittering waves.

There was life and motion everywhere, and yet everywhere there was a hush, a stealthy sort of stillness, that was suggestive of secret enterprises of bravoes and of lovers; and clad half in moonbeams and half in mysterious shadows, the grim old mansions of the Republic seemed to have an expression about them of having an eye out for just such enterprises as these at that same moment.

Music came floating over the waters—Venice was complete.

Friday, April 3, 2020

The uniqueness of online chat

The chat format’s astonishing durability signals the true birth of a new form of communication.

Chat is the perfect intersection of written and informal language.

Let’s consider what we know about these formats.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

12 Tips for Healthy Sleep

1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. As creatures of habit, people have a hard time adjusting to changes in sleep patterns. Sleeping later on weekends won’t fully make up for a lack of sleep during the week and will make it harder to wake up early on Monday morning. Set an alarm for bedtime. Often we set an alarm for when it’s time to wake up but fail to do so for when it’s time to go to sleep. If there is only one piece of advice you remember and take from these twelve tips, this should be it.

2. Exercise is great, but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least thirty minutes on most days but not later than two to three hours before your bedtime.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Why innovations fail

A classic paper by John Gourville, a professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, stipulates that “many innovations fail because consumers irrationally overvalue the old while companies irrationally overvalue the new.”

Gourville claims that for new entrants to stand a chance, they can’t just be better, they must be nine times better.

Why such a high bar?

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

When to have fields of life all plowed

A man thirty years old, I said to myself, should have his fields of life all ploughed, and his planting well done; for after that it is summer-time, with space scarce enough to ripen his sowing.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Monday, March 30, 2020

A humbled Venice

This Venice, which was a haughty, invincible, magnificent Republic for nearly fourteen hundred years; whose armies compelled the world's applause whenever and wherever they battled; whose navies well nigh held dominion of the seas, and whose merchant fleets whitened the remotest oceans with their sails and loaded these piers with the products of every clime, is fallen a prey to poverty, neglect and melancholy decay.

Six hundred years ago, Venice was the Autocrat of Commerce; her mart was the great commercial centre, the distributing-house from whence the enormous trade of the Orient was spread abroad over the Western world.

Friday, March 27, 2020

When people need timing calibration

If you’ve ever found yourself unable to get a word in edgewise, or doing all the talking around someone frustratingly taciturn, it’s probably because your cultural timings are ever so slightly miscalibrated for each other, points out the linguist Deborah Tannen.
Source: Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch


It's better to give people more time and space to talk than less. If the silence feels awkward, that amount of time may be just what the other person needs in order to feel comfortable talking.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Teen sleep schedules

Recognizing the importance of deep NREM sleep in teenagers has been instrumental to our understanding of healthy development, but it has also offered clues as to what happens when things go wrong in the context of abnormal development.

Many of the major psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and ADHD are now considered disorders of abnormal development, since they commonly emerge during childhood and adolescence. …schizophrenia deserves special mention at this juncture.

Several studies have tracked neural development using brain scans every couple of months in hundreds of young teenagers as they make their way through adolescence. A proportion of these individuals went on to develop schizophrenia in their late teenage years and early adulthood. Those individuals who developed schizophrenia had an abnormal pattern of brain maturation that was associated with synaptic pruning, especially in the frontal lobe regions where rational, logical thoughts are controlled—the inability to do so being a major symptom of schizophrenia.

In a separate series of studies, we have also observed that in young individuals who are at high risk of developing schizophrenia, and in teenagers and young adults with schizophrenia, there is a two-to threefold reduction in deep NREM sleep. Furthermore, the electrical brainwaves of NREM sleep are not normal in their shape or number in the affected individuals.

Faulty pruning of brain connections in schizophrenia caused by sleep abnormalities is now one of the most active and exciting areas of investigation in psychiatric illness.

Adolescents face two other harmful challenges in their struggle to obtain sufficient sleep as their brains continue to develop.

The first is a change in their circadian rhythm. The second is early school start times. …the complications of early school start times are inextricably linked with the first issue—a shift in circadian rhythm.

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You don't launch a popular blog,
you build one.
Seth Godin