Category Archives: Growth

Guys Like Female Orgasms

Source:  Cosmopolitan, Mar 2017

new study published in the Journal of Sex Research found — aside from deriving pleasure from their own orgasms, obviously — men also derive a specific sort of masculine pleasure from making female partners orgasm. 

Men felt more masculine and felt high self esteem when they imagined a woman orgasmed during sex with them. “These results suggest that women’s orgasms do function — at least in part — as a masculinity achievement for men,” researchers wrote.


One Sentence, One Paragraph, One Page

Source: The Creativity Post, Jul 2017

Put the website or the beta version of your app or your manuscript aside and grab a piece of paper or open a blank Word document. Then, with fresh eyes, attempt to write out exactly what your project is supposed to be and to do in . . .

  • One sentence.
  • One paragraph.
  • One page.

This is a ______ that does ______. This helps people ______. Fill in this template at the three varying lengths. It’s best to do this exercise in the third person, creating a bit of artificial distance from the project so you can’t fall back on, “Well, I think that . . .” Deal with facts instead.

Failure Quotes

Source: Carole Good website, date indeterminate

Fail Spectacularly

Source: Scott Young website, Jul 2017

… only having successes probably means you’re being insufficiently bold in your plans and ideas. If everything you do is a success, then you’re playing it too safe.

 you should fail more spectacularly. Fail when you really did try your hardest and there was no way for you to have done better. Fail with the same zest and enthusiasm as when you succeed.

confidence plays an incredibly important role both in how you select your goals to begin with and how you carry them out once you’ve started. If you have more confidence, you consider a broader range of ambitions. Once you start, you work more earnestly and push through obstacles instead of viewing them as signs that your endeavor is doomed to failure.

But all of this raises a question—if you don’t have confidence, how do you get it? You can’t simply will yourself to have more confidence, so even if being more confident could allow you to set more ambitious targets and achieve them, what good does that advice bring?

My feeling is that you bootstrap confidence by aiming for failure. When you enthusiastically embark on a project you sincerely doubt you can achieve, then its success (or even failing less than expected) adjusts your confidence upward. Lowered expectations of success allow you to bootstrap confidence until you hit the limits of your abilities as defined by objective circumstances.

with most people, the aversion to failure, combined with the limited personal experience and limited societal expectations for success, mean that we’re too conservative with our expectations for ourselves. Occasionally there are people with unnaturally excess confidence (often without excess ability) and those people tend to accomplish more by virtue of this gap between our real and imagined limits.

Eventually real limits will be reached. But I’d much rather fail at the margins of my ultimate potential than some imagined capacity, designed to protect my ego from failing when I was really trying my best.

Those who aim for spectacular failure will fail more. But they’ll also succeed more, and perhaps more than they originally imagined.

Related Resource: George Dantzig’s Homework, DDColrs, Jul 2010

Was the Self-Esteem Movement a Hoax?

Source: The Guardian, Jun 2017

At 7.30pm on 8 September 1988, Vasco met the scientists at El Rancho Inn in Millbrae, just outside San Francisco, to hear the results. Everything hinged on Dr Neil Smelser, an emeritus professor of sociology who had coordinated the work, leading a team who reviewed all the existing research on self-esteem. And the news was good: four months later, in January, the task force issued a newsletter: “In the words of Smelser, ‘The correlational findings are very positive and compelling.’

Four months after the launch of Toward A State Of Esteem, the papers were reporting that self-esteem was “sweeping through California’s public schools”, with 86% of the state’s elementary school districts and 83% of high school districts implementing self-esteem programmes. In Sacramento, students began meeting twice a week to decide how to discipline other students; in Simi Valley, kids were taught, “It doesn’t matter what you do, but who you are.”

The credibility of Vasco’s task force turned largely on a single fact: that, in 1988, the esteemed professors of the University of California had analysed the data and confirmed his hunch. The only problem was, they hadn’t. When I tracked down one renegade task force member, he described what happened as “a fucking lie”. And Vasco was behind it.

This was the collected work of the University of California professors. He flicked through its pages, settling eventually on Smelser’s summary of the findings. “The news most consistently reported,” he read out loud, “is that the association between self-esteem and its expected consequences are mixed, insignificant or absent.

It was hard to believe that Vasco’s task force had been so rash as simply to invent the quote, the one that stated the findings were “positive and compelling”. What had really happened at that meeting in September 1988? I found the answer on an old audio cassette in the California state archives.

The sound was hissy and faint. What I heard, though, was clear enough. It was a recording of Smelser’s presentation to Vasco’s task force at that meeting in El Rancho Inn, and it was nowhere near as upbeat as the task force had claimed. I listened as he announced the professors’ work to be complete but worryingly mixed.

He talked through a few areas, such as academic achievement, and said: “These correlational findings are really pretty positive, pretty compelling.” This, then, was the quote the task force used. They’d sexed it up a little for the public. But they had completely omitted what he said next: “In other areas, the correlations don’t seem to be so great, and we’re not quite sure why. And we’re not sure, when we have correlations, what the causes might be.”

Making Friends

Source: Fast Company, May 2017

Research by Nicholas Christakis at Yale found that relationships are the number one promoter of happiness in life.” A bigger network leads to bigger happiness, according to the Yale study.



Taking the time to create work relationships has an added bonus: The best predictor of work team success is how the team members feel about each other, writes Shawn Acor in his book The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuels Success and Performance at Work.


Similarity bonds people, connecting them across the widest range of things. The key to being liked is finding shared connections, and there’s a mountain of research to back it up, says Barker.

When you have conversations with new people, leverage this fact by highlighting similarities. “You don’t want to be sneaky and create similarities, but when you’re talking to someone, get to know them and highlight connections in a way that’s genuine and authentic,” says Barker.

Simply being a good listener is a great way to bond. Your brain gets more pleasure from talking about yourself than it does from food or money, according to Princeton University neuroscientist Diana Tamir. Asking someone questions about themselves also creates a sense of intimacy, according to SUNY psychology professor Arthur Aron.


If you want to remain friends with someone, check in at least once every two weeks, according to research from Notre Dame. It helps to put a reminder on your calendar.

Joel Mokyr – Culture of Growth

Source: Princeton University Press, 2016

During the late eighteenth century, innovations in Europe triggered the Industrial Revolution and the sustained economic progress that spread across the globe. While much has been made of the details of the Industrial Revolution, what remains a mystery is why it took place at all. Why did this revolution begin in the West and not elsewhere, and why did it continue, leading to today’s unprecedented prosperity? In this groundbreaking book, celebrated economic historian Joel Mokyr argues that a culture of growth specific to early modern Europe and the European Enlightenment laid the foundations for the scientific advances and pioneering inventions that would instigate explosive technological and economic development. Bringing together economics, the history of science and technology, and models of cultural evolution, Mokyr demonstrates that culture—the beliefs, values, and preferences in society that are capable of changing behavior—was a deciding factor in societal transformations.

Mokyr looks at the period 1500–1700 to show that a politically fragmented Europe fostered a competitive “market for ideas” and a willingness to investigate the secrets of nature. At the same time, a transnational community of brilliant thinkers known as the “Republic of Letters” freely circulated and distributed ideas and writings. This political fragmentation and the supportive intellectual environment explain how the Industrial Revolution happened in Europe but not China, despite similar levels of technology and intellectual activity. In Europe, heterodox and creative thinkers could find sanctuary in other countries and spread their thinking across borders. In contrast, China’s version of the Enlightenment remained controlled by the ruling elite.

Combining ideas from economics and cultural evolution, A Culture of Growth provides startling reasons for why the foundations of our modern economy were laid in the mere two centuries between Columbus and Newton.

Related Resource: Princeton University Press, 2016

My book examines culture: what did people believe, value, and how did they learn to understand natural phenomena and regularities they could harness to their material improvement.

Europe in this age enjoyed an unusual structure that allowed new and fresh ideas to flourish as never before. On the one hand, it was politically and religiously fragmented into units that fiercely competed with one another. This created a competitive market both for and among intellectuals that stimulated intellectual innovation.

It was a market for ideas that worked well and in it the Baconian Program was an idea that succeeded, in part because it was attractive to many actors, but also because it was marketed effectively by cultural entrepreneurs. At the same time, political fragmentation coexisted with a unified and transnational institution (known at the time as the Republic of Letters) that connected European intellectuals through networks of correspondence and publications and created a pan-European competitive market in which new ideas circulated all over the Continent. In this sense, early modern Europe had the “best of all possible worlds” in having all the advantages of diversity and fragmentation and yet have a unified intellectual community.

The book deals at length with the intellectual development of China. In many ways, China’s economy in 1500 was as advanced and sophisticated as Europe. But in China the kind of competitive pluralism and diversity that were the hallmark of Europe were absent, and even though we see attempts to introduce more progressive thinking in China, it never succeeded to overthrow the conservative vested interests that controlled the world of intellectuals, above all the Mandarine bureaucracy. Instead of explosive growth as in Europe, Chinese science and technology stagnated.

First and foremost, innovation requires the correct incentives. Intellectuals on the whole do not require vast riches, but they will struggle for some measure of economic security and the opportunity to do their research in an environment of intellectual freedom in which successful innovation is respected and rewarded.

Second, the freedom to innovate thrives in environments that are internationally competitive: just as much of innovation in earlier times emerged from the rivalry between England, France, Spain and the United Provinces, in the modern era the global competition between the United States, the EU, China, and so on will ensure continuous innovation. International competition and mobility ensure the intellectual freedom needed to propose new ideas.

Finally, global institutions that share and distribute knowledge, as well as coordinate and govern intellectual communities of scientists and innovators across national boundaries and cultural divides, are critical for continued technological progress.