In China, universities seek to plant ‘Xi Thought’ in minds of students | Reuters


Since October, many universities across China have placed “Xi Thought” at the core of their curricula – the first time since the era of Mao Zedong that a Chinese leader has been accorded similar academic stature.

Mandatory ideology classes have been updated by the universities in response to instruction from the leadership that Xi’s ideas must enter the textbooks, classrooms and minds of students.

Xi Thought, which is literally the collection of his public statements, is an all-encompassing guide for China’s professed aims of becoming an economic and military power by 2050, under the strict control of the ruling Communist Party.

Source: In China, universities seek to plant ‘Xi Thought’ in minds of students | Reuters

This is how to turn your idea for change into a movement


“This is the place where often I find business leaders or individuals and companies falling down. Social organizers are really good at bringing vision to life through storytelling, and I think that’s something that business people can learn from,” she says.

That boils down to a series of steps, Jennifer Dulski says. To create change in your organization, consider these priorities of successful movement-starters.

  1. Create a clear and compelling vision
  2. Know the influencers—and what they care about
  3. Build a team of allies
  4. Be informative and transparent
  5. Take the temperature
  6. Get ready for the long game

Source: This is how to turn your idea for change into a movement

Leaders, Don’t Be the Cheese in the Panini | GovExec.com


When you’re in a designated leadership role, there are certain opportunities that accrue to you because you’re the incumbent in the role.

Examples of these things include goal setting, resource allocation, team selection and development, information flows and relational access.

Pretty much all of the things that give you leverage in your role are related to leadership activities. Your leverage will rarely if ever come from your subject matter expertise.

Focus on the things that only you can do as the designated leader.

Source: Leaders, Don’t Be the Cheese in the Panini – Executive Coach – Management – GovExec.com

What if Napoleon Hadn’t Lost Europe and Other Questions of Alternate History | Smithsonian


“Prior to 1960, we can identify perhaps 20 [alternate history novels] through the extent of Western literature,” writes Catherine Gallagher, a professor of English literature at Berkeley.

“Since 1960, almost 300 have been published in English alone, more than half of those appearing since 1990.”

The written record of regret for lost opportunities begins in the early 1800s, with British writer Isaac D’Israeli penning an essay titled, “Of a History of Events Which Have Not Happened.” Though not a work of fiction, D’Israeli did formally examine counterfactuals to understand how we conceive of and record history.

This examination of the discipline was part of a broader wave of secularization in the humanities. Until this period, theologians used counterfactuals only as a way to prove God’s goodness, and Divine Providence—the deity as all-powerful, all-knowing, and all goodness.

Source: What if Napoleon Hadn’t Lost Europe and Other Questions of Alternate History | History | Smithsonian

What’s Happening To The Argentine Peso?


Argentina recently agreed to borrow $50 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The currency tanked. What’s going on?

Probably, it is a dynamic common in Latin America: periodic currency collapse helps keep the poor under the thumb of the wealthy elite, who keep their money safe overseas. They find a natural ally in the IMF, which shares a similar apparent goal of keeping countries in a continual state of debt servitude. Everyone is fat and happy – everyone in the top 0.1%, that is.

The Argentine peso today is worth about one forty-seven-trillionth of what it was worth in 1940, compared to the U.S. dollar. Hyperinflation is a sad fact of life there.

Source: What’s Happening To The Argentine Peso?

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dead of suicide at 61 | Reuters


Bourdain, whose career catapulted him from cooking at New York’s top restaurants to dining in Vietnam with President Barack Obama, was found dead in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France, where he had been working on an upcoming episode of his program, CNN said in a statement.

His death comes three days after American designer Kate Spade, who built a fashion empire on her signature handbags, was found dead in her New York apartment of suicide on Tuesday.

Source: Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dead of suicide at 61 | Reuters

Suffering, not just happiness, weighs in the utilitarian calculus | Aeon Ideas


For most of our history, we’ve seen suffering as a mystery, and dealt with it by placing it in a complex symbolic framework, often where this life is conceived as a testing ground. In the 18th century, the mystery of suffering becomes the ‘problem of evil’, in which pain and misery turn into clear-cut refutations of God’s goodness to utilitarian reformers.

As J S Mil says of his father: ‘He found it impossible to believe that a world so full of evil was the work of an Author combining infinite power with perfect goodness and righteousness.’

For a utilitarian, the idea of worshiping the creator of suffering is not only absurd, it undercuts the purpose of morality.

Source: Suffering, not just happiness, weighs in the utilitarian calculus | Aeon Ideas

‘He Pretty Much Gave In to Whatever They Asked For’ | POLITICO Magazine


Trump was, and still is, they say, a confident, competitive, aggressive, impulsive, zero-sum, win-at-all-costs, transactional, unpredictable, often underinformed and ill-prepared, gut-following, ego-driven, want-it-and-want-it-now negotiator.

His self-burnished image as a tip-top deal-maker long has obscured an actual record that is far more mixed, pocked with moves and acquisitions that scratched a passing itch but created massive financial problems later.

His best work, too, was his earliest work. Trump was at his most patient, his most diligent, his most attentive and his most creative—his most effective—some 35 to 45 years ago, when he was intent on pile-driving into the cultural bedrock powerful storylines on which he would build his career as a celebrity business tycoon.

Source: ‘He Pretty Much Gave In to Whatever They Asked For’ – POLITICO Magazine

The Philippines Shows Us the Broken Promises of Human Rights | Time


The appeal of the strongman is not new and has enticed adherents throughout history. Their proposition has always been simple and strangely effective.

They pose a false choice, presenting—in a complex society of competing interests—an alternative of greater safety, security, and stability, in exchange for diminished freedoms. This false and even dystopian dichotomy has regained some currency by feeding upon growing public frustration with governments’ inability to make democracy work for all.

And that is how strongmen—perceived to be decisive, armed with populist rhetoric in a “post-truth” world, and ready to cut democratic corners—rise to power.

Source: The Philippines Shows Us the Broken Promises of Human Rights | Time

Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised at the Theranos Fraud

The problem was that Theranos’ technology was never close to ready.

In a series of devastating articles published in the Wall Street Journal starting in 2015, reporter John Carreyrou reminded us that unicorns are usually found only in fairy tales.

Theranos, he reported, was analyzing many of the blood samples it received using off-the-shelf commercial blood analyzers. Samples analyzed with Theranos’ own technology often produced inaccurate results.

Some patients were rushed to a hospital on the basis of erroneous readings, only to be sent home when their blood was properly analyzed by the hospital.

Even worse, Theranos was using brutal intimidation tactics against its own employees to stop the truth from coming out.

Source: Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised at the Theranos Fraud