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[阅读小分队] 【Native Speaker每日训练计划—92系列】【92-08】文史哲

发表于 2017-8-12 16:41:41 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 枣糕兔 于 2017-8-12 16:41 编辑

内容: Iris Wang   编辑: 枣糕兔 (Gina Wu)

Wechat ID: NativeStudy  / Weibo: http://weibo.com/u/3476904471

Part I: Speaker

How Smartphones Are Making Kids Unhappy
August 7, 2017

[Rephrase 1, 04’51]

Source: NPR

Part II: Speed

In business as in life, the devil is in the details. Here are the five microshifts all entrepreneurs must make.
Why Thinking Small Is Key to Entrepreneurial Success
KASSANDRA ROSE | August 7, 2017

[Time 2]
As an entrepreneur, you probably have a gift for big-picture thinking. You can set goals and plot a general path to achieving them; and you know how to shift course when challenges and obstacles inevitably pop up along the way. But, to be successful, you have to take a step back from big-picture thinking and cultivate the ability to think small.

Being able to make small improvements to the way you approach problems or tasks could very well make the difference between starting a successful business or, joining the 80 percent of new businesses which, as has often been reported, don’t survive past their first year of operation.

In business as in life, the devil is in the details.

I started my company using the same formula that most entrepreneurs use: In short, we identified a major pain point that wasn’t being addressed by current technology or resources. In our case, that meant the pain of modern renters, who make up much of the American population. We thought we had some smart solutions, but we also knew it would take more to create a movement. It’s taken serious hard work and daily positive microshifts to make our idea real and profitable.

You’ll need to put in the same effort and focus on incremental improvement to make your own business successful, regardless of the industry.

Put some power in the process.

Long ago, Nike gave us a tagline that might as well have become the tagline for all entrepreneurs: “Just do it.”

Since then, motivational speakers such as Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk and countless others have reminded us to focus on our goals and work hard to make them real.

The problem is that these motivational speakers are often just pitching the end result. They get us amped up and inspired to go out and “just do it,” but very quickly, we run into a huge question: How?
[317 words]

[Time 3]
The answer is pretty straightforward. Each day, we make a series of decisions, some of them quite small, that will affect our future. In fact, the decisions any of us made last year, last week and last night have all determined who we are today. Rather than focus on the end goal, we need to place a heightened focus on those smaller daily decisions -- whether to make a phone call, take a meeting, tell someone no, eat right, get more sleep, read more or separate ourselves from a toxic person.

In other words, we need to focus on the microshifts that must take place for us to get closer to reaching our end goals, whatever those may be.

Just microshift it.

As entrepreneurs, we all face many of the same daily choices, even if we work in wildly divergent industries. Here are five microshifts all entrepreneurs must make -- consistently -- to be successful:

1. Stop trying to convince others of your worth. You are looking for believers. They’re out there, and the sooner you stop wasting your precious time trying to convince others of your ability to create change, the sooner you’ll start attracting the people who already share your beliefs and want to help you win.

In your business and your life, the people you surround yourself with matter. If you’re surrounded by negative, cynical people, you'll find it harder to believe in yourself and your ideas when you need to the most. In contrast, by hanging out with people who are positive and supportive, you’ll be able to achieve greater self-confidence and higher levels of creativity. Plus, you’ll be happier. And, according to a Harvard study, happiness is contagious, so you’ll attract more of these types of people into your life and business.

[Time 4]
2. Stop making excuses. Excuses are lies we tell ourselves to avoid action. If you’re spending lots of time telling stories about why something isn’t working, you’re avoiding the truth. Netflix did this in 2015 when it blamed the introduction of the chip card versus the swipe card for its low U.S. subscriber growth.

Other companies, like Macy's and J. Crew, have made similar excuses for their poor sales; such excuses are a well-established habit. But instead of coming up with stories to explain your failure, work on being "present." Fully dive into the experience you’re having right now, no matter how boring or mundane. That's all that really matters.

3. Refocus negative energy immediately and often. A 2016 study by Georgetown University found that a consistently negative co-worker affects co-workers up to seven times more than a positive one. You don’t want to be that negative co-worker -- but you also don’t want to be the miserable person stuck with a negative coworker.

Remember: What you choose to focus on will ultimately consume you. Rather than focusing your energy on pity, retaliation or procrastination, focus on making small changes that can move you in a positive direction. Focusing on the positive often means cutting out the negative, such as toxic relationships, clients or habits. This can be hard, but it’s absolutely critical.

4. Be a relentless self-promoter. You should always be your best friend and biggest cheerleader. No one will ever promote you as well as you can promote yourself. Why? Because no one cares about what you’re doing and who you’re becoming as much as you do. So stand on a rooftop and yell, write a blog post or publish a press release. Of course, do it tastefully. Be like all those YouTube influencers: The way they make it to the top is through self-promotion, but promotion that's authentic and relatable.

[Time 5]
5. Celebrate your tiny wins. Take time to acknowledge even the smallest wins. You cleaned out your inbox today -- win. You made an appointment 10 minutes early -- win. You went to the gym or a yoga class for the first time in months -- win. Teresa Amabile, a Harvard Business School professor, analyzed thousands of diary entries by working professionals; she was searching for a common thread that made some more likely to succeed than others.

She found it and later reported that experiencing a sense of progress is essential to cultivating long-term creativity and productivity. Small wins can lead to a huge difference in performance over time.

Microshifts work only when you're fully aware of their power. You can work tirelessly day in, day out, plugging away at your business and never really feel successful. This perceived lack of success happens because we tend to dwell on the negative -- an angry client email or rejection from an investor -- when the reality is, we’re moving forward all the time.

By taking small steps every day to acknowledge the positive elements of our lives, we can microshift our way toward realizing this reality. It took me 20 years to become an "overnight success." Each day of those two decades was filled with challenges and failures, but through them all, I remained focused on the small steps forward. You should do the same.

Source: Entrepreneur

Getting virtual meetings to start on time

[Time 6]
When we lead classes in making virtual meetings run more efficiently, the first question we always get is: “How can we get them to start on time?” The bad news is that there’s no silver bullet that will solve the problem. The good news is, there are some simple things you can do to help your odds of starting (and finishing) on time.

The reason meetings run late fall into two main camps: People just not showing up on time, and technical issues that can slow things down. Here are simple tips for addressing both sets of challenges:

Start at quarter after the hour: The number one reason people are late to virtual meetings isn’t simple rudeness or incompetence; it’s over scheduling. Even the most dedicated team member can’t be in two places at once, and if the 11 o’clock meeting doesn’t end on time, there’s no way to be on the noon call as well. Try scheduling meetings for 12:15. This will build in some buffer time in people’s schedules.

Logging on early doesn’t mean you can’t get other things done: One best practice many teams have with webmeetings, is to encourage people to log onto the “virtual” part of the call 10 minutes early, then go back to answering email or whatever they’re doing. This allows us to deal with common webmeeting challenges like unannounced software updates that can be frustrating.

Start using the “add to calendar” feature and make it a rule: How many times has your meeting been delayed while you answer panicky last-minute requests for the log in information and phone number? Most meeting platforms have a link to automatically load information into people’s calendars (Outlook, Gmail etc) which is shared across all their devices. Make it a habit to include that link in the meeting invite and insist people make a habit of using that link religiously. When you get those panicky emails, coach your team to use that link in the future. At some point this becomes a performance issue, treat it as such.
[341 words]

[The Rest]
Start when the critical players are present, or you have “quorum”: Most meetings don’t require the presence of everyone, at least at the beginning. When you have decision makers, or enough of the team to get started, begin. There’s probably enough housekeeping that needs to be done that you have a little wiggle room.

Disable tones and announcements: One of the most frustrating things at the start of a meeting is to be constantly interrupted by a tone or recorded announcement that “so and so has entered the meeting”. Disable those tones. You can see their name on the attendee list, or people can wait til a break in the action to let you know they’re present. It’s up to latecomers to match the flow of the meeting, not bring it to a screeching halt.

Record the meeting, those who are late can go back and catch up. By using these tips, you’ll reduce the amount of time you waste getting your meetings up and running. You’ll also start to create a culture of accountability and responsibility for the success of the meetings.
[183 words]

Source: Management-Issues

Part III: Obstacle

John Maynard Keynes and Effective Macroeconomic Policy
Biagio Bossone | July 25, 2017

[Paraphrase 7]
“The ghost of John Maynard Keynes…has returned to haunt us”, commented Martin Wolf (2008) in the wake of the global financial crisis, suggesting that the lessons from the father of macroeconomics were the best way to understand the crisis and to return the world economy to health.

In fact, the severity of the crisis persuaded several scholars to re-evaluate Keynes’ teachings, which had for decades disappeared from mainstream economic theory and practice. And, if in the March 2008 annual meeting of the American Economic Association economists were still skeptical to the idea of fighting recessions with fiscal stimuli, only a few months later, at the January 2009 meeting, virtually everyone was supportive of such measures (Uchitelle 2009).

Yet, while the economics profession found renewed interest in Keynes’ demand management policy, it failed to recognize Keynes’ liquidity preference theory (LPT) as the fundamental explanation of why a capitalist economy can feature permanent involuntary unemployment, and how effective can monetary and fiscal policies be in driving the economic recovery.

Keynes’ LPT

Keynes’ analysis undermined productivity and thrift as the foundations of the neoclassical theory of the rate of interest. Recognizing the centrality of uncertainty –not just measurable risk – for all economic decisions, LPT viewed the interest rate not as the reward for patience, or abstinence, as in neoclassical theory, but as the compensation for agents parting with liquidity, and thus as a measure of their unwillingness to dispossess themselves of their control over liquidity in an uncertain world. At any time the interest rates must be such that the general public’s desire to hold liquid assets rather than other assets ceases at the margin, given the amount of liquidity available in the economy (Keynes (1971-89), Vol. 7, 167).

For Keynes, the determination of the rate of interest does not derive from saving decisions, but from the degree of liquidity that agents prefer their savings to have. These preferences concern the stock of savings (wealth), not the flows of saving, and the interest rate is determined by the demand for and supply of assets into which wealth can be placed, not by the supply of and demand for (flows of) saving – as in the neoclassical loanable fund theory that today still underpins mainstream (neo-Wicksellian) macroeconomic modeling (Woodford 2003). In this regard, it is important to understand LPT in broad terms, and to not identify it exclusively with the demand for money. The LPT concerns the demand for assets of various degrees of liquidity, and the rate of interest depends on both the demand for and supplies of assets across this whole spectrum.

Accordingly, future interest rates on financial assets are determined by market valuations as influenced by mass psychology and by the extent to which this reflects back on agent liquidity preferences. For LPT, the interest rate is a conventional phenomenon, whose value is largely governed by the prevailing view as to what its value is expected to be, and which may permanently settle at levels that are chronically too high to ensure full employment.

Thus, there is not a unique (‘natural’) level of interest allowing the system to automatically adjust to the unique (‘natural’) full-employment equilibrium, but rather any level of interest that happens to satisfy the conventions held in financial markets at any time (Bibow 2005). Turning the neoclassical vision upside down, LPT showed that it is the real sphere of the economy that has to accommodate itself to whatever interest level the financial system might come up with.

LPT and monetary policy

By removing thrift and productivity as real anchors of the interest rate, LPT left the latter at the mercy of people’s conventional beliefs. Yet precisely the conventional nature of the rate of interest, as encapsulated in LPT, paved the way for recognizing the central role of expectations for economic policy making. In the presence of the fundamental indeterminacy of macroeconomic equilibrium – in the context of a multitude of possible equilibria – the active management of expectations through monetary policy (in conjunction with the use of the short-term policy rates) became the key central bank tool to influence beliefs (and interest rates) and hence to steer the economy towards its optimal (full-employment, low-inflation) equilibrium.

In Keynes’ view, policy effectiveness largely depends on the credibility of the actions undertaken and the institutions undertaking them. Today, one would add communication to the policy toolbox required for central banks to be able to guide market expectations consistently with policy objectives. Far from being neutral, money can be used to drive real activity and accumulation to their socially optimal levels.

The question is whether central banks can always succeed in such task. Keynes believed that if the authorities conduct measured policy and pursue it consistently, conveying to the markets that they know what they’re doing and that they are confident about their purposes, they can shape agent expectations as desired (Aspromourgos 2006).

Keynes also saw the possibility of extreme situations – like an obstinate persistence of a slump – where the economy features increased uncertainty, depressed financial sentiment, and heterogeneous expectations. For which cases, he advised that central banks take recourse to ‘extraordinary methods’, such as carrying out open-market operations in long-term securities. It sounds very much like ‘unconventional’ (central bank’s balance sheet) policies ante litteram (Bossone 2013a,b).

Would there be limits to such policies?

Keynes repeatedly referred to the possibility of some absolute floor impeding the full downward adjustment of interest rates (although he wasn’t sure about the concrete relevance of such possibility), due to uncertainty causing investors to move into liquidity. A limit would eventually be reached where selling pressure due to securities holders moving into liquidity fully offsets the upward price pressure due to open-market operations. At that point, the central bank loses effective control: the system is in a liquidity trap. Keynes, in fact, indicated that this condition might arise at any level of the interest rate that is considered to be ‘fairly safe’ (and not necessarily at the zero lower bound). Thus, there is correspondingly a multiplicity of liquidity traps. This problem would not arise if the authorities managed to shift the state of expectations in the desired direction, or so it was thought.

Is monetary policy, alone, sufficiently effective to ensure this result?

Experience with the global financial crisis of 2007-09 and the subsequent debt crisis in Europe has shown the severe limitations of monetary policy. After a short period, when governments in most advanced economies used the fiscal lever (in concurrence with virtually unlimited provision of central bank liquidity) as a stopgap to the risk of financial meltdown, the monetary authorities were then left with the task of helping the economy out of recession at the same time that fiscal policy turned conservative again for fears of excessive public debt creation. As monetary authorities in each country responded to circumstances, the general outcome of their actions was that it took extremely long for them to let the economy on the path to recovery as well as to actually achieve recovery.

LPT explains this outcome by pointing that even though unconventional policies may succeed in cutting rates, liquidity preference driven by pessimistic expectations can be so strong and persistent as to make rate cuts insufficient, or ineffective, to induce agent preferences to shift from liquidity to consumption and investment. In fact, given the importance of people’s conventional beliefs, even if additional interest rate reductions were possible, they might signal further economic weakening and fuel even more depressed market sentiments, rather than encourage demand.

What central banks can achieve through the continuing expansion of their balance sheet, and the adoption of forward guidance policies, is to slowly change pessimistic expectations by signaling an obstinate determination to backstop recession and fight deflation (Bossone 2017). People eventually learn; however, this is a very indirect and time-consuming policy strategy since the money injected into the economy through open-market operations does not reach those who can most readily spend it. On the other hand, experience shows that where negative policy interest rates were adopted to stimulate aggregate demand, the transmission channels did not work as expected, as high liquidity preference actually froze them out, and results were overall unsatisfactory (Jobst and Lin 2016).

Monetary and fiscal policy

Liquidity traps are where fiscal policy can achieve the largest bang for the buck, especially if coordinated with monetary policy. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, several mainstream economists (most notably Krugman 2016, and Delong and Summers 2012) emphasized the use of fiscal policy as the best way out of liquidity traps. A few others broke the taboo and recommended such measures as the monetary financing of fiscal deficits (Bernanke 2002, 2017; Caballero 2010; Turner 2013, 2015) or the public distribution of central bank money (Blyth and Lonergan 2014, Muellbauer 2014).

Here, Friedman (1969) and his ‘helicopter money’ concept are a more pertinent reference than Keynes. Yet Keynes’ LPT and income multiplier analysis provide a powerful rationale for using monetary and fiscal policy jointly, with a view to maximizing their impact on aggregate demand by minimizing the effect of pessimistic expectations on liquidity preference (Bossone 2017). By implication, the central bank and treasury should coordinate their action so as to:
         enable government to finance new spending, tax reduction or social welfare programs specifically tailored to activate the highest income multipliers possible, without issuing new debt (which is especially useful for countries with a highly constrained fiscal space), or
          distribute money directly to the people, without having to rely on bank credit channels when neither banks nor the public wish to lend and borrow, respectively.

Such joint uses of monetary and fiscal policy amount to a “free lunch” (Bossone (2016) and always work (Buiter 2014), but they have never been attempted, probably for failing to understand that strong and persistent liquidity preference:
         freezes the normal operation of a monetary production economy – the object of Keynes’ theory – and
         requires monetary and fiscal policy coordination as the only strategy to intervene on aggregate demand directly (and with no debt implications) and to change expectations rapidly by showing visible output and employment gains.


The crisis events that have plagued the advanced economies over the last decade have brought to a resurgence of the macroeconomics of John Maynard Keynes. Other than possibly being short-lived, such resurgence has in fact been less intellectually engaging than any serious process of reevaluation should appropriately demand. A less than careful re-reading of Keynes’ thought revolution has caused many of those who have recently sympathized with it to miss the critical role of his liquidity preference theory to explain why capitalist economies can be trapped into underemployment equilibria and to point to how monetary and fiscal policies can be used to restore their health.
[1779 words]

Source: Economonitor


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20170812 92-08

Part 1 Speaker
By a bunch of different studies, spending lots of time on smart phones has a close connection with psychological health issues in iGenes. More worryingly, it seems that most teens and their parents don’t realize the negative side of smart phones and the adverse effect on kids’ lives. Jean Twenge, a famous psychological professor, suggests that parents should pay more attention to the overuse of smart phones and try to make some restrictions on this issue.

Part 2 Speed
1.The bad news is that there’s no silver bullet(灵丹妙药) that will solve the problem.
2.The reason meetings run late fall into two main camps
3.This will build in some buffer time(缓冲时间) in people’s schedules.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need not only to focus on big-picture thinking with constant sweat, but also to be scrupulous of details. There are several microshifts which most entrepreneurs must take:  Stop trying to convince others of your worth. Stop making excuses. Refocus negative energy immediately and often. Be a relentless self-promoter. Celebrate your tiny wins.
Making virtual meetings run more efficiently and frequently, while many people get stuck in an inevitable problem-how to get virtual meetings to start on time. In this article, the author provide some practical methods, including starting at quarter after the hour, starting using the “add to calendar” feature and make it a rule and starting when the critical players are present, or you have “quorum”.

Part 3 Obstacle
The severity of the financial crisis persuades many scholars to re-evaluate Keynes’ teachings and his political advice. Now his core economical theory, which is demand management theory, has regained the interests of the experts. Among the ample knowledge of his thoughts, LPT should be perceived as the fundamental explanation of why a capitalist economy can feature permanent involuntary unemployment and how effective can monetary and fiscal policies be in driving the economic recovery.

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