Marshmallow Test: Want to teach your kids self-control? Ask a Cameroonian farmer. Now for the first time, there’s a study reporting on what happens when psychologists give the marshmallow test to kids outside Western culture, specifically 4-year-old children from the ethnic group Nso in Cameroon. Compared to German children in the experiment, the Cameroonian kids waited, on average, twice as long for the second treat. And way more Cameroonian kids — nearly 70% — waited the full 10 minutes to snag the second marshmallow. Only about 30% of the German kids could hold out.
What to Tell Your Ultra-Rich Kids about Money: Money is the last taboo. People will tell you about their sex life before they will talk about money. Such is the dichotomy for the ultra-wealthy as they work to strike a balance. They want to live well, but they don’t want to spoil their children. They want their kids to be well-adjusted and advantaged, but they don’t want them to lack ambition. Wealthy people on both sides of the equation — the wealth creators and the heirs — often consider it gauche to even discuss money. Some are embarrassed by it.
“What I make a point to do when all my kids have just turned 18 is visit our estate attorney in Richmond who my dad and now me have done business with for 28 years.”
All three children have attended public schools, and all work at the company starting at 11 or 12. They also must work outside the company after college, so they “learn what you have to do to make $100,000 a year.”
“Each child has a small trust set up when they were born that will mature in stages when they graduate from college, turn 30 and, finally, turn 35.”
You Had Me at Hello: trustworthiness, aggressiveness, confidence, dominance and warmth. In less than a second, the time it takes to say “hello,” we make a snap judgment about someone’s personality.
The pitch of the untrustworthy voice was much lower than the male deemed most trustworthy. McAleer says this is probably because a higher pitched male voice is closer to the natural pitch of a female, making the men sound less aggressive and friendlier than the lower male voices.
All seem to perceive that one voice is the most trustworthy and another voice is the least trustworthy
Humans make split-second judgments about others based on the way they talk. (Katherine Streeter, NPR)
SLEEP CULTURE: This obsession with eight hours of continuous sleep is largely a creation of the electrified age. Back when night fell for, on average, half of each 24 hours, people slept in phases.
People fell asleep not long after dark for the “first sleep.” Then they awoke, somnolent but not asleep, often around midnight, when for a few hours they talked, read, prayed, had sex, brewed beer or burgled. Then they went back to sleep for a shorter period.
There is every reason to believe that segmented sleep, such as many wild animals exhibit, had long been the natural pattern of our slumber before the modern age, with a provenance as old as humankind.
10-minute mail: For those times you need a throwaway email address (like getting two more free weeks of Hulu Plus). The email address will enable you to get confirmation then self destruct in 10 minutes.
Camel Camel Camel: Shows you the price history of anything on Amazon and alerts you when the price drops. You can even upload your entire Amazon wish list directly. T
Account Killer: Shows you exactly how to close any social media account forever, not just disable them.
Skyscanner: Lets you search flights by date, price, and budget — even if you don’t know where you want to go.
Costs for Americans (Larry Buchanan & Alicia Parlapiano, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
MORE $$$ TO BE IN PERSON: Impact of technology on society: In a world rich in digital information, physical contact, and the personal trust and relationship that still comes by spending time with someone, has become even more valuable, since it is harder to come by. Increasingly, the most valuable things in our world involve people looking at you, touching you and understanding you.
The digital elite pay money to be in contact with one another, when they could just watch the whole thing on the web. The greatest example of this, of attracting billionaires to be near one another in somewhat cramped conditions, is the annual TED conference. It’s a bunch of talks and schmoozing. It costs $8,500 to attend, if they’ll have you. You can watch it online in real time.
Or take music. A century ago, an Enrico Caruso record retailed for about $30 in 2014 dollars; now you can listen to it free on YouTube. Currently, tickets to see Bruce Springsteen live, whose music is available for anywhere from 99 cents to nothing on the web, cost up to $1,800 on StubHub.
We’re moving towards a ‘post-automated’ world, where the valuable thing about people will be their emotional content.
OMG (1917): The first recorded appearance of this breathless acronym for “Oh, my God!” comes, surprisingly, in a letter to Winston Churchill “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis — O.M.G. (Oh! My God!) — Shower it on the Admiralty!!”
LIKE (1778): Plopped into sentences, “like” is a rest stop for the hesitant, and not just tweens. Burney Evelina II: “Father grew quite uneasy, like, for fear of his Lordship’s taking offence.”
UNFRIEND (1659): Unfriending began a tad earlier. T. Fuller: “I Hope, Sir, that we are not mutually Un-friended by this Difference which hath happened betwixt us.”
TRUST: Can you really trust yourself more than others? No. Trusting yourself actually does involve two people — it’s just that they’re both you: the present you and the future you. And while present-you may think that you can stick to this new diet, future-you may not feel the same way when the time comes. Future-you, like anyone else, cannot always be trusted.
Holding Hands in Wadi Rum, Jordan (Credits: Christine Lai)
MARRIAGE: “He pervades my life, so now it’s hard to see him. Married couples are so intertwined, so interdependent that it’s hard to maintain a sense of wonder and excitement.” – Gretchen Rubin (Happiness at Home)