Author: CLAI

World traveler, explorer of cultures & societies. Wine beer food enthusiast. Lover of language, books, and art. Management consultant: turning ideas into action.

Vacation Bragging & Cheaper Flights

Curated by CLAI

VACATION BRAGGING: Had an amazing experience that no one else has had before? Better keep it to yourself. Post-event social encounters are built on commonality. People are more likely to enjoy talking about an ordinary experience they have all had rather than hearing about the fabulous one they didn’t. So sharing the details of your singular experience in a social setting can indeed backfire, leading to feelings of being excluded.

Read more: Great Vacation? Don’t Brag to Your Friends (New York Times)

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu (Credits: John Yoo)

FAKE LOCATION – CHEAPER FLIGHTS: Flights are cheaper when bought from a certain location. For example, use Google ITA to buy a flight from Bogota to Cartagena and save $75. Same with routes from Santiago to Easter Island when bought in “Santiago” instead of New York City.

Read more: Fake Location. Cheaper Tickets (Time.com)

Work Hard, Get Rich? Fewer Men Working

Curated by CLAI

WORK HARD, GET RICH? The number of people who believe you can start off poor and get rich has steadily declined.

  • In 2005, 80% said it was possible.
  • By 2011 it was at 75% and dropped to 71% in July 2012.
  • In 2014, almost 48% of all Americans said they expected life for “future generations” to be “worse than life today,” while 22% said it would be better. Another 27% said life would be about the same.

Read more: Work hard, get rich? Maybe not anymore (Washington Post)

Vanishing male worker

Vanishing male worker (NYTIMES)

VANISHING MALE WORKER: Working, in America, is in decline. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16%.

  • Deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working: the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment.
  • It has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs. Foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs in which high school graduates once could earn $40 an hour, or more.
  • The poll found that 85% of prime-age men without jobs do not have bachelor’s degrees. And 34% said they had criminal records, making it hard to find any work.

Read more: The Vanishing Male Worker: How America Fell Behind (New York Times)

Are You an Individualistic Wheat or Communal Rice Farmer? Big Cities are Greener Now

Curated by CLAI

WHEAT V. RICE PEOPLE: Americans and Europeans stand out from the rest of the world for our sense of ourselves as individuals. We like to think of ourselves as unique, autonomous, self-motivated, self-made.

  • Because rice paddies need standing water, a community of rice farmers needs to work together in tightly integrated ways.
  • Not wheat farmers – wheat needs only rainfall and requires substantially less coordination and cooperation. And historically, Europeans have been wheat farmers and Asians have grown rice.

LEAFING OF NEW YORK: over the last 50 or 75 or 100 years, the more developed parts of the nation’s densest big city have grown greener.

Green New York Then and Now

Manhattan, East Side: the Queensboro Bridge from East 59th Street. Older photo, 1912.

Are You a Trailing Spouse? Flexible High Performer?

Curated by CLAI

TRAILING SPOUSE: The tendency for men to move more often than women is completely explained by the types of jobs they enter, not that they are men or women. Is occupational segregation self-fulfilling? If you look at women who are not married, they relocate for a job less often than men do.

  • Men who enter female-dominated jobs don’t tend to move as much for work. If you look at women who enter male-dominated jobs, they tend to move a lot.
  • If everyone generally assumes families will put the husband’s career first, then maybe this compels women to choose certain types of jobs, which is disturbing.
  • Women who choose to enter into the geographically-clustered jobs dominated by men have a higher divorce rate than women in dispersed jobs.

HIGH PERFORMERS: Employees value competitive compensation and bonuses, followed by retirement, training, flexible location, and vacation time. 42% of high performers are willing to move to a different state or region, 37% to a different country, 28% to a different continent.

Left untended, your high performers will seek alternative opportunities that provide more challenges, growth, and rewards. Your competitors would love to have them. Keep your best workers by meeting their wants and needs.

Likelihood of high performers to leave their current companies (HBR)

Likelihood of high performers to leave their current companies (HBR)

Likelihood for high performance to relocate for a better job (HBR)

Likelihood for high performance to relocate for a better job (HBR)

We’re Running out of Chocolate! And Bordeaux wine!

Curated by CLAI

RUNNING OUT OF CHOCOLATE: Last year, the world ate 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. By 2020, that number could swell to 1 million metric tons, a more than 14-fold increase; by 2030, they think the deficit could reach 2 million metric tons.

  • Dry weather in West Africa (specifically in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, where more than 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced) has greatly decreased production in the region.
  • A nasty fungal disease known as frosty pod hasn’t helped either.
  • The International Cocoa Organization estimates it has wiped out between 30% and 40% of global coca production.
Chocolate

Chocolate (beerscenemag.com)

CHINA’S BORDEAUX OBSESSION: Chinese investors now own almost 100 chateaus out of the 7,400 wine estates in the Bordeaux region. Shipments of Bordeaux wines to mainland China, their largest export market by volume and value.

Wine bottles on rack

Wine (decanter.com)