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Five Things – 11-02-17

Posted on 3 mins read

I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook. You Should Stop Playing Right Into It—Observer

There is a lot to unpack in this article, but the core message is that outrage isn’t a good way to fight against ideas. Simply telling people that they’re wrong will cause their beliefs to become stronger, thanks to the backfire effect.

Another aspect of the article is that outrage will often get shared, and while the majority of people may agree with the sharer, there may be a small portion who agree with the controversial idea. In fact, the more controversial an idea the more strongly people will defend it.

Why Cross-Pollinating Your Work, Works—Farnam Street

The world is full of too many specialists in my opinion, and I feel that people will continue to become more specialised. This however has some pretty interesting effects on creativity and problem solving. As explored in this article, having a wide array of experiences can lead to an interesting “cross-pollination” of ideas and skills which can lead to interesting solutions and projects further down the line. This is in my opinion where my strengths lie as a generalist, being able to combine ideas from different areas into interesting solutions.

Surprisingly, this is actually the second post I’ve shared based on the ideas explored in Messy by Tom Harford, so I’ll be bumping it up my reading list.

Millions of Tesla battery cells are powering thousands of LA homes—The Verge

With all the concerns about power outages in Australia at the moment thanks to a huge electricity demand to combat the heatwave. It’s encouraging to see that some cities around the world are already exploring ways to combat blackouts.

Tesla PowerPack installations are a ingenious idea, taking the extra electricity generated in low demand times to charge the installation, and then being able to release the energy when there isn’t enough in the network. I’d be surprised if I didn’t see more systems like this being implemented in both city wide infrastructure, but also locations like hospitals, where it can supplement the use of generators in blackout situations.

Are you a giver or a taker? | Adam Grant—TED

Adam Grant is my favourite organisational psychologist, and this video is a good example why. In this one he explores the importance of having givers as a part of your organisation and being able to identify the givers and takers that you work with.

The more givers you have the better off your organisation will be, as Grant’s research has show that organisations that have a lot of givers are more successful on every metric.

Revenge of the Lunch Lady—Highline

There are very few things in the world that are held to ransom by the whims of politicians and lobbyists like the USA’s National School Lunch Program. With guidelines like pizza being regarded as a serving of vegetables, and politicians bemoaning the fact that children aren’t paying for their food, the entire program is constantly in flux.

That’s why it’s good to hear stories like this one, where Cabell County’s schools food-service director Rhonda McCoy, does all she can to deliver quality health food to children, at a price of $1.50 a meal! Overall, this is a fascinating read exploring the history of the National School Lunch Program, and how one person’s passion can lead to a large scale change in the health of a population.