Archive for the ‘Hacks’ Category

Evolutionary psychologists retool Maslow’s pyramid:

Their new formulation is intellectually stimulating, but emotionally deflating. “Self-actualization,” the noble-sounding top layer of Maslow’s hierarchy, in their model has not only been dethroned, it has been relegated to footnote status. It has been replaced at the top with a more mundane motivation Maslow didn’t even mention: “Parenting.”


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There was an article in the Boston Globe a few days ago which addressed the sad, sad fate of women who want a career and children.  It’s pretty standard fearmongering: blah blah blah women who wait until their 30s to get pregnant give birth to babies with flippers so you need to get married and start procreating now or it’s donor eggs for you missy! This part was especially baffling:

“There is plenty of evidence to show that the quality of your eggs takes a nose dive at age 35. And about 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, which means you have almost a 50 percent chance of having to go through three pregnancies to have two children. And it’s recommended that you breast feed, which decreases your ability to get pregnant, at least while you’re breast feeding. So be realistic: You can’t count on getting pregnant three times in three years.”

Wait, what? First, the rate of miscarriage is around 15% of known pregnancies.  And why do you have to have two full term pregnancies within a three year time frame, exactly? And, thirdly, breastfeeding only reliably prevents ovulation when you’re doing it a lot, i.e., when the baby is less than six months, and most people don’t want to get pregnant again that soon. Hey, what’s this woman’s background and how is she an expert on fertility, you ask?

Well, turns out the author, a Ms. Penelope Trunk, is a career columnist and ex-software executive. So, yeah.  She has a blog called “The Brazen Careerist,” where she dispenses such valuable career advice as this post titled “Try to Be Funny, Even if You’re Not.” An excerpt:

“. . .people who are funny are generally smart and creative people, because humor is about putting two unlikely things together in a clever way, according to an interview with Chris Robert, professor of management at the University of Missouri-Columbia.”

Bet you didn’t know that professors of management are all about the science of humor, now, did you?

“In the category of research to support what we already know, Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher surveyed more than one million employees to find out that people like fun offices. This news is revealed in their book, The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up. Anyway, their point is that fun people are more likable. Which is the problem with women: We are not as funny as men. That is not their point. It is my point.”

Her point, got it? And this point I am making right now? It is my point. Not hers. (more…)

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