Why Your Job is Becoming Impossible to Do: The Tragedy of Well-Intentioned Organizational Overload

Bob Sutton has penned a new exclusive piece for LinkedIn.

As the old saying goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Consider the onslaught of cognitive overload that so many of us contend with in our jobs. Here is an example from where I work. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a faculty meeting led by an enthusiastic Stanford colleague who is charged with revamping the teaching evaluation system that students use to assess our classes. The new system does seem to have improved features — in particular, it allows faculty to identify learning goals and to select and write questions customized to each class. I appreciate the work the committee has done on the evaluations, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell whether the new system would be better or worse than the old system (and beyond his enthusiasm, he didn’t present any arguments that I found convincing). But there was one thing that I am 100% sure will happen: This new system will require several more hours of work every year from every faculty member than the old system. [LinkedIn.com]

Read Shadi Hamid’s latest pieces for The Atlantic

Shadi Hamid has written several pieces for The Atlantic, including “The Muslim Brotherhood and the Question of Terrorism,” “Why the Battle for Leadership of the Democratic Party Mattered,” “The American ‘Deep State,’ as a Trump Voter Might See It,” and “How to Stop a Populist,”:

To the relief of most everyone (except his supporters), the far-right politician Geert Wilders lost in the Dutch elections. Or at least he didn’t win, which, by the world’s increasingly low standards for celebration, was seemingly good enough. Wilders’s Party for Freedom, which had made anti-Muslim bigotry its defining message, won around 13 percent of the seats, making it the second-largest party in parliament. The populists may be losing steam, but the bigger, and rather unsexy, lesson is that one of the most effective bulwarks against ethno-nationalists holding power is having the right kind of electoral system. [TheAtlantic.com]

Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?

New Liza Mundy cover story for the The Atlantic.

The dozens of women I interviewed for this article love working in tech. They love the problem-solving, the camaraderie, the opportunity for swift advancement and high salaries, the fun of working with the technology itself. They appreciate their many male colleagues who are considerate and supportive. Yet all of them had stories about incidents that, no matter how quick or glancing, chipped away at their sense of belonging and expertise. Indeed, a recent survey called “Elephant in the Valley” found that nearly all of the 200-plus senior women in tech who responded had experienced sexist interactions. (And just as the print version of this article went to press, a former Uber engineer added to the evidence of Silicon Valley’s gender problem when she wrote a blog post detailing what she said was a pattern of sexist behavior at the company.) [TheAtlantic.com]

Paul Zak to speak at Conscious Capitalism in April

Paul Zak’s two decades of research have taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms to the rain forest of Papua New Guinea. All this in a quest to understand the neuroscience of human connection, human happiness, and effective teamwork. His academic lab and companies he has started develop and deploy neuroscience technologies to solve real problems faced by real people. His latest book, Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies, uses neuroscience to measure and manage organizational cultures to inspire teamwork and accelerate business outcomes. His 2012 book, The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity, recounted his unlikely discovery of the neurochemical oxytocin as the key driver of trust, love, and morality that distinguish our humanity. [ConsciousCapitalism.org]

Srinivas Rao at ASAE’s #Ideas17

“At ASAE’s 2017 Great Ideas Conference, opening keynote speaker Srini Rao encouraged association professionals to embrace risk and crazy ideas to avoid becoming part of “a sea of sameness.” Innovative, creative, great ideas come from taking risks and refusing to play it safe. That’s what Srini Rao, chief creative instigator at Unmistakable Media, shared during his keynote at ASAE’s 2017 Great Ideas Conference in Orlando, Florida.” [AssociationsNow.com]

Full list of screenings for Roger Sherman’s new film

Roger’s latest In Search of Israelis Cusine is opening at theaters this spring. See below for a current list and check this page for updates.


Opens FRIDAY, March 24

New York City – Lincoln Plaza Cinema
New York City – Angelik Film Center

Opens FRIDAY, March 31
Los Angeles – Laemmle’s Royal
Encino – Laemmle’s Town Center 5
Irvine, CA – Edwards Westpark 8
San Francisco – Opera Plaza Cinema
Berkeley – Shattuck Cinemas
Philadelphia – Landmark Ritz Five

Opens FRIDAY, April 7
Highland Park, IL Renaissance Place
Minneapolis – Edina Cinema
St. Louis, MO – Plaza Frontenac Cinema

Opens FRIDAY, APRIL 21
San Diego – Ken Cinema
Washington, DC – Bethesda Row Cinema
Cambridge – Kendall Square Cinema
Boston – West Newton Cinema
Atlanta – Midtown Cinema

Opens FRIDAY, APRIL 23
Jenkinton, PA – Hiway Theater

Opens FRIDAY, May 12
Denver – Landmark Theatres

More great press for Meredith Wadman’s The Vaccine Race

Meredith Wadman, author of The Vaccine Race, has been featured on NPR and at The Guardian.

Meredith Wadman is clear about the source of Hayflick’s woes. He was working under duress, reined back by “obdurate, ultra-conservative, self-protective vaccine regulators” who were preventing him from using his cells for vaccine work. Hence his decision to sell them on the quiet to pharmaceuticals companies. [TheGuardian.com]

A new website from Tim David

Tim David presents a new resource for those who strive to be influential in our fast-paced digital world. Tim writes,

“I launched a new website this week called www.MoreInfluential.com and its ENTIRE purpose is to put resources into your hands that will make you (you guessed it) more influential. Nothing to buy there…just some of my highest-value freebies.” [MoreInfluential.com]

David Gelernter interview in The Atlantic & WSJ

David Gelernter was interviewed recently at The Atlantic.

Last month, David Gelernter, the pioneering Yale University computer scientist, met with Donald Trump to discuss the possibility of joining the White House staff. An article about the meeting in The Washington Post was headlined, “David Gelernter, fiercely anti-intellectual computer scientist, is being eyed for Trump’s science adviser.” It is hard to imagine a more misleading treatment. By one common definition, anti-intellectualism is “hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science, as impractical and contemptible.” [TheAtlantic.com]