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Interesting Stuffs – 7

Exciting things I learned and read during the week (1 Jan – 3 Jan) beside my current hard workload of reading papers for PhD:

1/ How drinking alcohol makes us drunk?

A video from Ted-Ed. In sum, ethanol in alcohol travels through the body, from stomach to liver and brain. When staying at the brain, ethanol will make neuron to be less communicative and make us to feel relaxed with moderate amount, feel sleepy with higher amount, and even stop our brain activity with too much amount. Alcohol also stimulates a group of neurons that are important for motivation, so that is why alcohol makes us feel pleasure. Alcohol also synthesizes some neurons together and makes them release endorphin, which is associated to relaxation. Individual differences, like genetic and previous experiences decide how much a person can consume alcohol and how are their behaviors after consuming it.

2/ Let them Lead

The article sums up the experiences about student-led platforms for improving skills which means having career service at university but lead by students rather than top down approach from career service centers.

3/ The 10 most exciting world-changing ideas of 2020 In this, fast company list 10 most exciting world-changing ideas of 2020. You can click on the link to read through the lists. Some of the ideas that I find intriguing and exciting to implement:

– Use 3D printing for good

This 3d printing startup helps to make the resuscitation devices when a small hospital run out of Chiari. This is how to use 3D printing in medical and health stuff.

– Use Drones to plant trees

This is also a brilliant idea in how to speed up the process of planting trees to fight climate change. These drones can plant 10,000 to 20,000 seed pods a day, and are expected to plant 100,000 a day.

– Change how we hire

This is a simple idea, but the way it impacts may be worth our attention. I also think that this could be an interesting idea for doing research. The Body Shop has implemented a hiring process with no more background checks, no more interviews, instead they’ll hire the first people who apply for any jobs, in which they only ask 3 questions, if they are eligible then they will be hired, including: “Are you authorized to work in the U.S? Can you stand for up to eight hours? And can you lift over 50 pounds? They find that people who are given the opportunity more committed because these people were struggling to find a job and this is an only opportunity they have so they do not want to blow off this opportunity, their retention rate increases. This may be a demonstration for how these companies are turning into more inclusive employers.

4/ Policy vs academic jobs in economics

In this, Rachel Glennester describe the difference in the policy vs academic jobs in economics. There is a table in her post that summing up all the details, but I will copy it all here.

Academic means long deadlines that you have a paper that last for long (there is a paper I read that last for 7 years to be published), but for policy, that is short deadlines.

Academic means you need to be self motivated because most of the time, you will do the jobs alone. However, for policy, you need to work in teams.

Academic prefers the results that are different and unexpected. While for policy, being right is more desired, because the policy may impact millions of people.

Academic cares more about direction of effect, while for policy, people care more about magnitude of effect.

The goal of academic is to convince economists, while for policy is to convince non-economists.

Academic is to find a question you can answer well (so true, because in many cases even the questions are interesting, there are no available data and it is impossible to answer these questions). However, for policy, it will be to answer the question as well as you can.

Academic is to become an expert on one issue, but for policy it is to apply your tools to many issues.

Academic is to find the optimal, while for policy it is to optimize within constraints.

An interesting for me, and for anyone in economics are considering which path to pursue.

5/ The feeling wheel

The Gottman Institute develops this feeling wheel, which describes 6 main types of human feelings, including Mad, Scared, Joyful, Powerful, Peaceful, and Sad. In each of the 6 main human feelings, there are 12 adjectives more that relates to the same theme, but also have a bit different in meaning. I am not quite sure the difference between the medium wheel and the big wheel yet.

6/ Top behavior science from ideas42 in 2020

I am interested in using behavioral science, psychology and nudge to affect human behavior and to create social impact. This article sums up the efforts from ideas42 in using behavioral science in 2020. Some of notable things for me include:

– Drive diversity in tech entrepreneurship

– Map out the steps cash transfer recipients must take

– Help more people find meaningful work

7/ What is the Geometry of the Universe?

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