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  • Book Review: Stumbling On Happiness - Steffan Antonas
    2007 Royal Society Prizes for Science Books is a joy to read and will change the way you look at just about well everything Stumbling on Happiness is based on a very simple but powerful concept that what makes human beings unique is our ability to think about the future Gilbert draws on the latest scientific studies from psychology cognitive neuroscience philosophy and behavioral economics to provide answers to some of the most profound mysteries of how the human mind really works In these pages you ll learn among other things the science of how our experiences of the here and now color our memories of the past and imagination of the future why our innate drive to predict and control how we will feel a day or a month or a year from now today often leaves us ill prepared when the future finally comes and most of all how happiness itself is elusive I d be lying if I told you that the lessons in this book didn t haunt me on a daily basis in both times of joy and stress Gilbert argues his points expertly Trust me you owe it to your yourself to read this book Gilbert himself admits this point No one can say how you will feel when you get to the end of this book but if your future self is not satisfied when it arrives at the last page it will at least understand why you mistakenly thought it would be Buy The Book Hardcover on Amazon Buy The Audio Book Unabridged on Amazon Published October 23 2007 Author Steffan Antonas Category Psychology Philosophy What I m reading Published by Steffan Antonas To the readers of this blog This post like all the others should be thought of as the start

    Original URL path: http://blog.steffanantonas.com/book-review-sumbling-on-happiness (2016-05-02)
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  • Speech Patterns and Intonation: Why Audio Books Read By The Author Give You A Little Something Extra - Steffan Antonas
    although informational is as irritating dry and repetitive as any set of books could possibly be his voice is nasally and he over sells his point over and over Forcing yourself to listen to and finish one of his books feels a lot like trying to wanting to get out of an endless conversation with an annoying but well informed used car salesman My advice is to steer clear of self help and finance books in audio Many of them suffer from over selling and boring authors Also books not read by the author don t offer the same range of benefits as books that are You ll rarely find a guest reader that interprets and delivers the text the way the creator would and shouldn t finding a connection to the author be the reason you pick up the audio version in the first place They re twice as expensive as the paperbacks for goodness sake which baffles me given that the CDs themselves cost cents to mass produce Final Thoughts for this post The impetus for this post was my experience of the last 10 minutes of the audio version of Howard Zinn s A People s History Of The United States which is a fascinating afterword by Howard himself not included in the printed version of the book Howard who was born in 1922 in Brooklyn New York talks openly about his motivations for writing the book as well as how his experiences being active in the Civil Rights and anti war movements in the United States over the last 60 or so years have colored his opinions and beliefs as a human being Surprisingly he apologizes too for not including the stories of Latino s as well as a host of other minorities in the book siting the fact that due to the nature of his experiences to date he was largely unaware of their plights as he was writing the book For those of you who haven t read this book it is a highly controversial dense academic read and the tone for the majority of the book is passionate negative and critical it s almost like he was trying to balance the last 100 years of history out with every word he wrote but what you re left with after finishing the last 10 minutes of the audio version is a feeling of connection to very great very compassionate and above all very humble man I would have never gotten the feeling I got finishing this audio book from text Published October 22 2007 Author Steffan Antonas Category What I m reading Tags Communication What I m reading Comments 4 Comments Published by Steffan Antonas To the readers of this blog This post like all the others should be thought of as the start of a conversation so please share your ideas by joining in the discussion If you do please adhere to the following commenting rules 1 Be Cool no flaming and no

    Original URL path: http://blog.steffanantonas.com/speech-patterns-and-intonation-why-audio-books-read-by-the-author-give-you-a-little-something-extra (2016-05-02)
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  • Book Review: The Elephant And The Dragon - The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us - Steffan Antonas
    been AWAKE at all this year you know that pollution is going to be a global fight for the next 50 100 years because you ve been exposed to the hype about global warming What you may not know is how the heck things got to be the way they are today This book in combination with Friedman s The World Is Flat is a killer combo for anyone looking to put everything that s going on politically and economically into sharp perspective In elegant journalistic style Meredith demystifies the rise of these two economic giants back on to the world stage Not only does the book lay out clear road maps for the precise timing of major policy decisions made by Chinese and Indian Governments over the last century it provides keen insights into the direct effects of those decisions for Chinese and Indian populations as well as for the rest of the world Along with series of cause and effect history lessons Meredith enlightens us on subjects such as the overall benefit to U S consumers from off shoring practices the evils of communist censorship on the internet the reasons for and effects of rising military budgets in the East and West and how global wars are fought just as much with economic sanctions as they are with soldiers and tanks Finally Meredith presents several convincing cases for the timing of and reasons behind the next major global battles to be fought by the world s 3 super powers Not surprisingly the looming energy crisis global warming and the battle for resources including the fight for dwindling supplies of drinkable water top the list of things the global community needs to focus attention on in the immediate term Overall a fantastic informative read one that will help anyone

    Original URL path: http://blog.steffanantonas.com/book-review-the-elephant-and-the-dragon-the-rise-of-india-and-china-and-what-it-means-for-all-of-us (2016-05-02)
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  • It’s All About Healthy Incentives - Steffan Antonas
    Here s Cowen on The Virtues Of Capitalsm and Why Fostering a Sense of Control Should be An Inherent Element in Any Economy One of the least heralded virtues of capitalism is how it blends and melds different kinds and mixes of rewards and penalties Capitalism is not just dollars dollars and more dollars It is also the best system for mobilizing intrinsic motivations toward the greater good of mankind And that includes allowing people a sense of control Capitalism is about knowing when to change incentives and about knowing when to stop thinking about money The problem with Soviet communism was not just that healthy incentives were too weak but also that bad incentives were too strong For most people in the Soviet Union the only way to have a decent life was to court the Communist Party This pressure was always present and always overbearing The choice was to be a total rebel which usually led to a very bad end or to court or at least tolerate power Virtually every social and economic decision was influenced by this calculus Of course this was an unhealthy incentive but that was not the only problem It is less commonly understood that the Soviet Union offered less scope for incentive free behavior than does capitalism A state controlled economy led to less pay most of all in the realm of creating and implementing new business ideas Play was pretty much restricted to close friendships and family relations The result was less creativity and less personal human investment in making our world a better place And that is a big reason why communism failed Tyler Cowen Published October 1 2007 Author Steffan Antonas Category What I m reading Tags Book Reviews Economics What I m reading Published by Steffan Antonas To

    Original URL path: http://blog.steffanantonas.com/its-all-about-healthy-incentives (2016-05-02)
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  • Productivity Archives - Steffan Antonas
    is you will feel spent not depleted You can t really say it better than that can you Published February 11 2010 Author Steffan Antonas Category Business Entrepreneurship Psychology Philosophy The Future Of Work Teaching Grit The Growth Mindset vs The Fixed Mindset John Lehrer author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist wrote a piece for the Globe this week titled The Truth About Grit The article highlights some important findings of studies done by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University The findings suggest that personality traits like grit rather than standardized measurements of intelligence are far more likely to predict real world achievement The studies further suggest that when teaching a growth mindset effort and persistence is emphasized in the classroom students perform far better than when when they are simply praised for their intelligence and abilities While researchers have long focused on measurements of intelligence such as the IQ test as the crucial marker of future success these scientists point out that most of the variation in individual achievement what makes one person successful while another might struggle has nothing to do with being smart Instead it largely depends on personality traits such as grit and conscientiousness It s not that intelligence isn t really important Newton was clearly a genius but that having a high IQ is not nearly enough In recent decades the American educational system has had a single minded focus on raising student test scores on everything from the IQ to the MCAS The problem with this approach researchers say is that these academic scores are often of limited real world relevance However the newfound importance of personality traits such as grit raises an obvious question Can grit be learned While Duckworth and others are quick to point

    Original URL path: http://blog.steffanantonas.com/tag/productivity (2016-05-02)
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  • Psychology Archives - Steffan Antonas
    IQ is not nearly enough In recent decades the American educational system has had a single minded focus on raising student test scores on everything from the IQ to the MCAS The problem with this approach researchers say is that these academic scores are often of limited real world relevance However the newfound importance of personality traits such as grit raises an obvious question Can grit be learned While Duckworth and others are quick to point out that there is no secret recipe for increasing grit We ve only started to study this so it s too soon to begin planning interventions she cautions there s a growing consensus on what successful interventions might look like One of the most important elements is teaching kids that talent takes time to develop and requires continuous effort Carol S Dweck a psychologist at Stanford University refers to this as a growth mindset She compares this view with the fixed mindset the belief that achievement results from abilities we are born with A child with the fixed mindset is much more likely to give up when they encounter a challenging obstacle like algebra since they assume that they re just not up to the task says Dweck In a recent paper Dweck and colleagues demonstrated that teaching at risk seventh graders about the growth mindset this included lessons about the importance of effort led to significantly improved grades for the rest of middle school Interestingly it also appears that praising children for their intelligence can make them less likely to persist in the face of challenges a crucial element of grit Published August 5 2009 Author Steffan Antonas Category Disrupting Education Psychology Philosophy Comments 6 Comments Alan Greenspan On Self Esteem Our Nature and Our Need For Connectedness It s been almost a year since I read The Age Of Turbulence but I find myself repeatedly returning to a few of Alan s thoughts on human nature and self esteem that resonated with me Despite being discussed in the context of human factors in economics the following passage in my eyes stands easily on its own and speaks volumes of truth about what drives us all and why we have a strong fundamental need for connectedness Any time I find myself in a discussion about community authenticity accountability open source or the economics and culture of free on the web I come back to this Does this speak to you As I ve traveled across the globe for nearly six decades I have found that people exhibit remarkable similarities that by no stretch of the imagination can be construed as resulting from culture history language or chance All people appear motivated by an inbred striving for self esteem that is in large part fostered by the approval of others People have an inbred need to interact with other people It is essential if we are to receive their approval which we all seek The true hermit is a rare aberration What contributes to

    Original URL path: http://blog.steffanantonas.com/tag/psychology (2016-05-02)
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  • Values Archives - Steffan Antonas
    of excitement and passion for what you really care about and points out that working hard is not inconsistent with the deferred life plan but doing so for a product that you do not have interest in is In the second video Randy points out that most entrepreneurship in the world is not mission driven but inspired by necessity and he challenges the audience with the idea that fostering a strong culture of entrepreneurship can provide a surrogate notion of empowerment and democracy that we are lacking So what do you love to do Wanna change the world What are you waiting for A Cautionary Word on the Deferred Life Plan Embracing A Value Driven Culture of Entrepreneurship Published August 27 2009 Author Steffan Antonas Category Business Entrepreneurship Design Comments 1 Comment Teaching Grit The Growth Mindset vs The Fixed Mindset John Lehrer author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist wrote a piece for the Globe this week titled The Truth About Grit The article highlights some important findings of studies done by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University The findings suggest that personality traits like grit rather than standardized measurements of intelligence are far more likely to predict real world achievement The studies further suggest that when teaching a growth mindset effort and persistence is emphasized in the classroom students perform far better than when when they are simply praised for their intelligence and abilities While researchers have long focused on measurements of intelligence such as the IQ test as the crucial marker of future success these scientists point out that most of the variation in individual achievement what makes one person successful while another might struggle has nothing to do with being smart Instead it largely depends on personality traits such as grit and conscientiousness It s not that intelligence isn t really important Newton was clearly a genius but that having a high IQ is not nearly enough In recent decades the American educational system has had a single minded focus on raising student test scores on everything from the IQ to the MCAS The problem with this approach researchers say is that these academic scores are often of limited real world relevance However the newfound importance of personality traits such as grit raises an obvious question Can grit be learned While Duckworth and others are quick to point out that there is no secret recipe for increasing grit We ve only started to study this so it s too soon to begin planning interventions she cautions there s a growing consensus on what successful interventions might look like One of the most important elements is teaching kids that talent takes time to develop and requires continuous effort Carol S Dweck a psychologist at Stanford University refers to this as a growth mindset She compares this view with the fixed mindset the belief that achievement results from abilities we are born with A child with the fixed mindset is much more

    Original URL path: http://blog.steffanantonas.com/tag/values (2016-05-02)
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  • How Different Groups Of Americans Spend Their Day - Steffan Antonas
    shown here with other leisure activities more than twice as much as other Americans African Americans Blacks spend 17 minutes a day or about two hours a week on religious activities more than twice as much as other Americans Hispanics Hispanics and whites are equally likely to be dining at noon but hispanics are 1 5 times LESS likely to be eating at 6 30 p m the peak dinner time Ages 15 24 About half of this group is enrolled in school While the young spend the most time on the telephone they spend the least time on calls to family members Ages 25 to 64 About 75 percent of this group including two thirds of women is employed Ages 65 and over At 2 p m about 1 in 15 people over age 65 is asleep Older people also spend more time eating particularly breakfast High School Grads At 3 a m more than 2 percent of people with only a high school diploma or some college are working double the rate for people with bachelor s degrees People With Bachelor s Degrees College graduates spend about two hours watching television significantly less than those with less education People With Advanced Degrees Those with advanced degrees spend the most time volunteering 14 minutes a day or more than an hour and a half a week on average People With No Children Adults living with no children tend to be older their average age is 51 compared with 38 for adults living with children People With One Child At 8 30 a m more than 20 percent of the adults living with one child are asleep compared with 15 percent of those living with two or more children People with Two or More Children Compared with people living with

    Original URL path: http://blog.steffanantonas.com/how-different-groups-of-americans-spend-their-day (2016-05-02)
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