Being Lazy Doesn’t Mean Your a Bad Person

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Too many of us look at others and think they are no-good lazy people. Think about the person living on the streets or a friend who never seems to be able to keep their job. We see people who are struggling through life and instead of thinking about what external forces influenced how they ended up in dire straits we assume it has to do with their moral behaviour. E Price calls on us to take a holistic look at individuals when we accuse them of “immoral” laziness:

People love to blame procrastinators for their behavior. Putting off work sure looks lazy, to an untrained eye. Even the people who are actively doing the procrastinating can mistake their behavior for laziness. You’re supposed to be doing something, and you’re not doing it — that’s a moral failure right? That means you’re weak-willed, unmotivated, and lazy, doesn’t it?

For decades, psychological research has been able to explain procrastination as a functioning problem, not a consequence of laziness. When a person fails to begin a project that they care about, it’s typically due to either a) anxiety about their attempts not being “good enough” or b) confusion about what the first steps of the task are. Not laziness. In fact, procrastination is more likely when the task is meaningful and the individual cares about doing it well.

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Economists: Improve the Economy by Empowering Workers

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Attacks on unions isn’t anything new, even when workers are asking for safer conditions or a little job security. What is new is that economists are starting to realize that we need stronger worker groups to advocate for labour or the economy as a whole suffers. Over the last few decades we’ve witnessed the rise of massive corporations that bully governments and workers; inevitably this process will gut the productive parts of planet (with fantastic short-term gains!). So, if we want our economy to do well for decades on end we need to ensure that all people involved in it get a share of the benefits.

A complementary approach would be to increase workers’ power. Historically, this has been most effectively done by bringing more workers into unions. Across advanced economies, wage inequality tends to rise as the share of workers who are members of unions declines. A new paper examining detailed, historical data from America makes the point especially well. Henry Farber, Daniel Herbst, Ilyana Kuziemko and Mr Naidu find that the premium earned by union members in America has held remarkably constant during the post-war period. But in the 1950s and 1960s the expansion of unions brought in less-skilled workers, squeezing the wage distribution and shrinking inequality. Unions are not the only way to boost worker power. More radical ideas like a universal basic income—a welfare payment made to everyone regardless of work status—or a jobs guarantee, which extends the right to a government job paying a decent wage to everyone, would shift power to workers and force firms to work harder to retain employees.

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This New Paris Community Demonstrates Sustainable Cities

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In the capital of France, the new Clichy-Batignolles development demonstrates how a city can have a carbon-neutral footprint while providing modern living. The development itself is built on old industrial lands and includes community housing, a theatre, and many other important features of a city including a massive park. The neighbourhood focusses on sustainable buildings and sustainable transit; the developer specifically designed the spaces to be walkable and ensuring that there is no need for a car.

All buildings are being constructed to the demanding Passivhaus standard, meaning that the energy consumption required for heating is just 15 kilowatt-hours a square metre of floor space per year, and the overall energy consumption is under 50kWh asqm of floor space per year.

The buildings are south-facing and super insulated, capturing and retaining the sun’s heat and warmth given off by their occupants and technology. Buildings are composed of renewable materials while other materials such as PVC are banned.

The area will contain 40,000 sq m of solar photovoltaic roofs that will eventually generate around 4500-megawatt-hours a year to supply 85 per cent of the remaining energy needs, while deep geothermal energy will provide 83 per cent of the space heating and domestic hot water, so that the entire site will have a carbon neutral footprint.

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Eating Yogurt Helps Reduce Inflammation

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Eat more yogurt to help reduce inflammation inside your body. Yummy yogurt is also good for your tummy. Some recent research has concluded that yogurt can help reduce inflammation while also helping those with obesity. Be careful though and check the sugar content of popular yogurt brands since the sugar content can eliminate the other health gains.

If yogurt isn’t your thing you can ingest the following bacteria strains Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Lactobacillus acidophilus.

But now, a pair of new studies suggest there might be something about yogurt after all. In the female subjects, at least, it appears to help with markers of inflammation—and that, in turn, can keep other types of diseases at bay.

Inflammation, the body’s immune response to invaders, can be a good thing—it’s how our wounds heal, for example. But a steady, low-level simmer of inflammation in the body is associated with diseases like asthma and arthritis, as well as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.

“People who are obese have chronic inflammation, which is why there are diseases associated with obesity, like cardiac disease,” says Caroline Childs, a lecturer in nutrition at the University of Southampton. “So if you can reduce the inflammation, you might have less associated diseases.”

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Diamonds Suck; De Beers Gives Up

Back in 2006 Josh Kaufman got married and during that process he discover the sham of modern diamonds – they aren’t that valuable. Kaufman created the website Diamonds Suck to raise awareness of a diamond alternative: maisonette. It was known then that blood diamonds were a problem and still today people are dying for something that can be made in a lab. Diamond companies don’t like being portrayed as killers (and destroyers of nature) pushed back with marketing efforts; while that was happening they were trying to fend off another threat: fake diamonds.

Today there is no reason to spend a large sum on diamonds for a ring and there’s no reason to continue mining the planet for them. Indeed, it’s good to read that the world’s largest diamond miner, De Beers, has admitted defeat and is switching to manufacturing diamonds.

Here’s Kaufman’s rationale for not evening considering diamonds:

If I can prevent a single reader from needlessly dropping $6,000-10,000+ on a diamond engagement ring, this site will be a success. Financial worries are the #1 cause of stress in a married relationship – there is absolutely NO excuse to start your married life by taking on that level of debt.

Moissanite is a rare, naturally-occuring gemstone that is typically found in very small quantities in meteorites, corundum deposits, and kimberlite. (The chemical name of moissanite is Silicon Carbide.) Moissanite has several qualitites in common with diamond: it is transparent, extremely hard (9.25 on the Mohs scale, compared to 10 for diamond), and has a high index of refraction (2.65 – 2.69, compared to 2.42 for diamond). When a large rough moissanite sample is cut and polished, the end result is a very bright, brilliant, transparent gemstone that is indistinguishable from diamond to the human eye.

Diamonds suck

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