“Culture is not about the furniture in your office. It is not about how much time you have to spend on feel-good projects. It is not about catered food, expensive social outings, internal chat tools, your ability to travel all over the world, or your never-ending self-congratulation.

Culture is about power dynamics, unspoken priorities and beliefs, mythologies, conflicts, enforcement of social norms, creation of in/out groups and distribution of wealth and control inside companies. Culture is usually ugly. It is as much about the inevitable brokenness and dysfunction of teams as it is about their accomplishments. Culture is exceedingly difficult to talk about honestly. …”
Shanley Kane: What Your Culture Really Says, as part of the recent GitHub discord. (via tiffehr)

(via tiffehr)

“There comes that phase in life when, tired of losing, you decide to stop losing, then continue losing.”

George Saunders (via nevver)



Textual Analysis
“Among the significant problems that aren’t getting resolved is the site’s skewed coverage: its entries on Pokemon and female porn stars are comprehensive, but its pages on female novelists or places in sub-Saharan Africa are sketchy.”

The Decline of Wikipedia: Even As More People Than Ever Rely on It, Fewer People Create It | MIT Technology Review (via iamdanw)

So Wikipedia has the same biases as old media. I swallowed the saccharine pill of cyber utopianism, and did not see this coming.

“I don’t like this expression “First World problems.” It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.”
Teju Cole  (via feminizt)

(via s-i-r-a-c-h-a)

Tim Cook’s open letter to Congress in support of the Employee Nondiscrimination Act:

As we see it, embracing people’s individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights. It also turns out to be great for the creativity that drives our business. We’ve found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives.

Suicide rate climbs by 30 percent in Kansas:

“There has been an uptick in suicides in middle-class, white professional men. … We do likely attribute that incidence as being related to the economy, for men particularly. So much of their identity is tied up in their job, and they lose their moorings.”

The world is a cold and lonely place when your identity is narrowly defined by your ability to accumulate money, privilege, and power, and the only net that could have caught you has been slowly dismantled to alleviate its burden on business and the privileged class that you long to join.

It is tragic that the popular male political movements like the Tea Party (predominantly older, white, and male) and the Men’s Rights Movement aren’t moving to correct for these values that have damaged the male psyche and oppressed the under-privileged for centuries, but have instead doubled down.

People who subscribe to rugged individualism bear extraordinary opportunity costs. Those who lose, lose twice. They lose what they invested, and they lose what might have become of the investment in the basic human needs of their community, which include their own. Those who win still lose the opportunity to invest in the lot of their community, to risk creating prosperity beyond just the bottom line.


By John A. Cassara, former special agent for the Treasury Department:

Our State and Treasury Departments routinely identify countries that are havens for financial crimes. But, whether because of shortsightedness or hypocrisy, we overlook the financial crimes that are abetted in our own country by lax state laws. While the problem is concentrated in Delaware, there has been a “race to the bottom” by other states that have enacted corporate secrecy laws to try to attract incorporation fees.

Watchdog groups like the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Global Financial Integrity and Global Witness say that anonymous companies registered in the United States have become the vehicle of choice for drug dealers, organized criminals and corrupt politicians to evade taxes and launder illicit funds. A study by researchers at Brigham Young University, the University of Texas and Griffith University in Australia concluded that America was the second easiest country, after Kenya, in which to incorporate a shell company.

I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase.

Stutzer and Frey found that a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office. On the other hand, for a single person, exchanging a long commute for a short walk to work has the same effect on happiness as finding a new love.

This is a solid Sunday morning read, but this paragraph in particular is beautiful:

Robert Judge, a 48-year-old husband and father, once wrote to a Canadian radio show explaining how much he enjoyed going grocery shopping on his bicycle. Judge’s confession would have been unremarkable if he did not happen to live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where the average temperature in January hovers around -17C. The city stays frozen and snowy for almost half the year. Judge’s pleasure in an experience that seems slower, more difficult and considerably more uncomfortable than the alternative might seem bizarre. He explained it by way of a story: sometimes, he said, he would pick up his three-year-old son from nursery and put him on the back seat of his tandem bike and they would pedal home along the South Saskatchewan river. The snow would muffle the noise of the city. Dusk would paint the sky in colours so exquisite that Judge could not begin to find names for them. The snow would reflect those hues. It would glow like the sky, and Judge would breathe in the cold air and hear his son breathing behind him, and he would feel as though together they had become part of winter itself.

(via danw)

“I’m not trying to glorify black people, or denigrate white people, I’m trying to point out, that we are - whether we like it or not - connected, and that our connection should be our triumph and glory instead of our shame.”

James Baldwin in his National Press Club speech.

I have been bingeing on James Baldwin videos this week thanks to Jay Smooth’s recommendation. He was a profoundly thoughtful and compassionate speaker, and we need more like him. It is easy to see the influence he has had on Smooth.