“Editing is just like writing, except hateful, and in reverse. Instead of birthing words and ideas out of nothing, you’re murdering them in cold blood, culling them like sickly sheep weakening the flock. And since you’re the one that brought them into the world in the first place, you feel a certain attachment to every single thing you mercilessly cut. . . .

After a while, it does get easier though. But only because you will rediscover, with every single sentence, what an incredibly talentless asshole you really are. Every stilted phrase, obvious typo or terrible analogy will have you grimacing and swearing tiny vendettas at the horrible hack who wrote all this garbage you now have to fix. Learning to edit is, quite simply, learning to hate yourself word by word.” [source]

Sex, food and work

1 orgasm == 2 cheeseburgers (if you’re a rat)

Similarly if you put a rat, a male rate in a box and you give him access to a receptive female, and you allow them to have sex, at the point where they experience orgasm you get a huge release of dopamine. You see an increase of about 200 units. This rush is what feels good and what is experienced is pleasure. And this slide of course illustrates the principle that one orgasm equals two cheeseburgers. [cite, via]

What’s more likely to land you a job: a referral or just being good-looking?

The findings of the paper clearly confirm that it is the physical attractiveness which matters the most when an organization (hiring manager) goes for hiring on any hierarchical level. [cite]


Want to live an ethical life? Slow down.

Mr Gunia and his three co-authors demonstrated, in a series of experiments, that slowing down makes us more ethical. When confronted with a clear choice between right and wrong, people are five times more likely to do the right thing if they have time to think about it than if they are forced to make a snap decision. Organisations with a “fast pulse” (such as banks) are more likely to suffer from ethical problems than those that move more slowly. (The current LIBOR scandal engulfing Barclays in Britain supports this idea.) The authors suggest that companies should make greater use of “cooling-off periods” or introduce several levels of approval for important decisions. [cite]

A paean to losers

[Still grumpy, 20 years later]


A pole-vaulter who, just before a jump, realises that perhaps he has chosen the wrong sport. A judoka who learned the sport through a correspondence course, a high jumper who only eats light food, has light thoughts and reads light literature, because high jump is all about levity.

Among others, I also have a race-walker whose mind moves steadily towards the finishing line but her legs don’t keep up, a ping pong player who is suddenly aware of the eerie silence of the indoor stadium and tries to remember how one spells “eerie”. Some stories are dark like a javelin thrower who accidentally hits a long jumper thus disqualifying himself and destroying the medal chances of the latter. A hockey player who faces a wall of bureaucrats sitting before the goal, basically all kinds of people who are psychologically hard-wired to lose. [cite]