Do it

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via Invisible Bread

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Meat

“They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them. The signals come from machines.”

“So who made the machines? That’s who we want to contact.”

They made the machines. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Meat made the machines.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You’re asking me to believe in sentient meat.”

– Meat by Terry Bisson

Pale Blue Dot

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Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

~ Carl Sagan

The Ikea Effect

The IKEA effect will create stronger bond between the user and the product. The effort that users will put into completing the product to a complete state will transform into love for that product. The subjective value will be higher in comparison to a product that hasn’t cost any effort.

In the period of 1920–40 American food manufacturers wanted to reduce the time and effort required to make a cake. They simplified so much the process that the cooks needed to add only water and bake the cake.

Unfortunately, the sales of the cake mix quickly stalled. The manufacturers reached a psychologist named Ernest Dichter. He found out that the reason was the level of effort required. Making the cakes was too easy! It was so easy that people didn’t get satisfaction from baking the cake.

People were feeling the same way as buying a pre-made cakes from the store. The solution was to get out the egg of the dry mixture and allow people to add it themselves. Doing that made the sales go up again.

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via UXPlanet

How to be creative?

Former advertising copywriter here. I’ve blown through reams upon reams of paper by doing this. My desk was constantly a mess.

Creativity is a physical process, not a mental one. It’s also something that can be easily taught through certain exercises. While some people are naturally more creative than others, those that aren’t can make up for their lack of creativity through simple processes.

This process, as described to me by the president of Ogilvy Advertising, Rory Sutherland, is called “scamping.”

The trick is to think as little as possible, and work as fast as possible. You’ll probably start out with some dumb ideas. That’s fine. The goal is to bounce from one dumb idea, to a less dumb idea, and so on. You’ll soon find nuggets within these dumb ideas, and start building upon them. Personally, I wouldn’t stop until I’d gone through an entire stack, which would take about two hours.

Once you’re finished, it’s simply a process of elimination. Go back through all your ideas and start sorting them into two piles: good and bad. Once you’ve done that, take the good pile and sort them again by good and better. Keep doing this until you’ve narrowed it down to five ideas.

Once you have your top five, ask others to take a look at them and give you their feedback. You’ll generally be biased to a few of the ideas, so running them past others will help you get a better idea on which ideas are stronger.

Finally, don’t be afraid to kill your babies. I’ve had plenty of ideas I thought were genius that just didn’t resonate with others, and you can’t be afraid to get rid of them.

via Reddit

How’s the difference between all the road suffixes decided?

  • A road has no special qualifiers. It connects point a to point b.
  • A street connects buildings together, usually in a city, usually east to west, opposite of avenue.
  • An avenue runs north south
  • A boulevard is a street with trees down the middle or on both sides
  • A lane is a narrow street usually lacking a median.
  • A drive is a private, winding road
  • A way is a small out of the way road
  • on request, a court usually ends in a cul de sac or similar little loop
  • on request, a plaza or square is usually a wide open space, but in modern definitons, one of the above probably fits better for a plaza as a road.
  • on request, a terrace is a raised flat area around a building. When used for a road it probably better fits one of the above.
  • on request, uk, a close is similar to a court, a short road serving a few houses, may have cul de sac
  • on request, a run is usually located near a stream or other small body of water
  • a place is similar to a court, or close, usually a short skinny dead end road, with or without cul de sac, sometimes p shaped
  • bay is a small road where both ends link to the same connecting road
  • crescent is a windy s like shape, or just a crescent shape, for the record, above definition of bay was also given to me for crescent
  • a trail is usually in or near a wooded area
  • mews is an old british way of saying row of stables, more modernly seperate houses surrounding a courtyard
  • a highway is a major public road, usually connecting multiple cities
  • an interstate is a highway system connecting usually connecting multiple states, although some exist with no connections
  • a turnpike is part of a highway, and usully has a toll, often located close to a city or commercial are
  • a freeway is part of a highway with 2 or more lanes on each side, no tolls, sometimes termed expressway, no intersections or cross streets.
  • a parkway is a major public road, usually decorated, sometimes part of a highway
  • a causeway combines roads and bridges, usually to cross a body of water
  • circuit and speedway are used interchangeably, usually refers to a racing course, practically probably something above.
  • as the name implies, garden is usually a well decorated small road, but probably better fits an above
  • a view is usually on a raised area of land, a hill or something similar.
  • byway is a minor road, usually a bit out of the way and not following main roads.
  • a cove is a narrow road, can be sheltered, usually near a larger body of water or mountains
  • a row is a street with a continuous line of close together houses on one or both sides, usually serving a specific function like a frat
  • a beltway is a highway surrounding an urban area
  • quay is a concrete platform running along water
  • crossing is where two roads meet
  • alley a narrow path or road between buildings, sometimes connects streets, not always driveable
  • point usually dead ends at a hill
  • pike usually a toll road
  • esplanade long open, level area, usually a walking path near the ocean
  • square open area where multiple streets meet, guess how its usually shaped.

These arent hard and fast rules. Most cities and such redefine them their own way about what road can be called what.

via Reddit | ELI5

Practical Experience vs Theoretical Knowledge

“So you don’t have any knowledge of any software, any practical knowledge?” asked the team manager of a reputed company.

“No sir, but I am a fast learner and academically strong,” was all I could reply.

From early on, we are taught that marks are the important thing, that we should always score 90% or more otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do anything in life.
An economics graduate from one of the most reputed universities of India, I felt like I knew nothing during my interviews. During the three years of my under graduation study, all I was taught was theoretical knowledge, no projects, no specialised software, no research, no knowledge of the actual world. Just theories, which no doubt are important but so is the practical knowledge. Even though I fought for a subject that offered somewhat practical knowledge, but I was refused by college authorities, even though university offered that subject. Why? Didn’t I have right to choose what I want to study? 21 years of my life gone by, and I didn’t know how to use the immense knowledge I had gathered over the years. The rat race we are put in by everyone, to score good marks, where does it lead? I was one of those rats, maybe still am. I was one of the top scorers in my college. And where did it land me? A year gap to prepare for my masters. Only those people, who actually take a year gap for studies during the prime years of their life, can understand the stress of it.

So not only marks, but an overall development of a child is necessary. Our system needs to learn this. That’s how you can actually turn this large population, which seems a burden to everyone, to the most powerful human force in the world. Otherwise, this “burden” on our shoulders, may never get off.

via Inside IIT