Generation, Generation, Generation 

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

 

by Dr. Donna Roberts

Source: Generation, Generation, Generation – Donna L Roberts, PhD – Medium

In real estate it’s all about Location, Location, Location. In the quest to understand ourselves and others, we are at least partially defined by our Generation, Generation, Generation.

While we all strive to express our individuality, the truth is, in many ways we are more alike than different, especially when you pull back the focus of the microscope and consider the context of our cohort.

It’s largely because of the communal meaning we attached to some things, events, or inventions — the must-have toy of the time (a moment of silence, please, for all those injured in the Christmas quest for a Cabbage Patch Doll or Tickle Me Elmo), the where-were-you-when events like the Challenger explosion or the OJ trial, or the state-of-the-art discovery you once only dreamed of like the CD-ROM, the artificial heart, the 3D printer. Like it or not, our lives, or at least some moment in the history thereof, come to be defined by what was happening in the pop culture.

Like it or not, our lives, or at least some moment in the history thereof, come to be defined by what was happening in the pop culture.

If you say Daisywheel printer, for some it holds no meaning because they are too old school for anything associated with computers. For some it holds no meaning because their only experience with it is a display in the Smithsonian, or worse yet, in a historical piece on Wikipedia. And then there is the golden group for which daisy wheel printers bring a smile to the face. For them (ahem … us) it is a fond remembrance of being set free from the captivity of the typewriter and its associated correction fluid and into a world of easy corrections and formatting — think Bank Street Writer on the Commodore 64 (Eeek! I know, I know).

And the VCR … oh the VCR. I remember the instant popularity of the kid (name withheld to protect the innocent) on my block who had the first VCR in his family room. No longer did we have to wait for the TV version or the local cinema to re-run a movie, prisoners of their schedule. We could all pile up on his couch on Friday night and run a marathon of our choice. We could even fast forward through the boring parts and rewind for the good scenes. Wow! We were really living then!

You can’t give this level of understanding or emotional reaction to another generation. As singularly awesome as it was, no one can make me feel the awe of Woodstock experienced by that generation. To me it is another casually interesting historical fact. Culturally significant, yes, but an emotionally dead fact to me nonetheless. Like my Daisywheel is to those born into the luxury of laser printers.

I can’t make any young person really understanding how cool (despite labor intensive and wholly imperfect) it was to wait by the radio for just the right song, hoping you get the timing right and that the DJ does not interject too much, to make a cassette tape for our newest crush. The downloading, file splicing, remastering masters will just not “get it.”

We tend to think there is something singularly wholesome about that magical point in time and that despite the gains of progress, something was also lost. It is, in a sense I guess, how we process the loss. It was good. We were there. At least we have that.

Of course, not all is as benevolent as the Daisywheel and the VCR. Some cohorts can be defined by the tragedy that took hold of a community or society — a natural or manmade disaster — the war years, the famine years, the Ted Bundy years. Each teaches us collectively about the dark side of life.

Good or bad, the experiences of a cohort shape us. They are part of what we have cobbled together as the definition of this thing we call life.

Good or bad, the experiences of a cohort shape us. They are part of what we have cobbled together as the definition of this thing we call life. In some ways it reflects the uneasy randomness of life — the fact that I was impressionable at just the time that Bart Simpson (versus Eric Cartman) became an icon. Imagine — Bart’s trademark “Eat my shorts!” line was considered scandalous. Yet another example in the “does art imitate life or life imitate art” debate. What is cutting edge defines the direction we are taking, albeit with the requisite detours, of course. It defines what we will accept as norm and what we will question.

We all want to think we are more complex than a collage of the span of years in which we were coming of age, and we certainly are. Focusing the microscope again back down to the individual, we see our unique selves. But just throw up a pic of the popular band when you were in high school or the now discontinued candy that was the rage when you were 10 and see how many likes you get on Facebook from your partners in the crime of youth. I bet it strikes a nerve … and brings a sense of yearning to the heart.

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Calling BS on Facebook’s PR Ruse

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In March 2018, Facebook announced they would no longer integrate with third-party data providers that enable marketers to create targeted audiences on its platform as a response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Consequently, I wrote an article about this entitled Facebook’s Red Herring, because that is exactly what it was–a very artful distraction and attempt to deceive consumers into believing Facebook’s action was about addressing their privacy. But that is not what it was about.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal was about data leaving Facebook and being used in ways that were not authorized by participants of the survey. The decision to dissolve third-party data partnerships is about data that goes into Facebook to segment audiences for relevant targeting. However, what consumers have not seen the same publicity on is that Facebook has modified their stance on third-party partnerships so their data can still be used. The point I made in my article is that Facebook demonized third-party data providers in the press by announcing their dissolution of partnerships while avoiding the same public scrutiny around the real reason for their action.

Marketers can still append third-party data, which is compiled by a vendor to provide context, to a customer or prospect outside of Facebook and then ‘onboard it’ for digital marketing. Marketers simply need to sign an agreement with an onboarding provider that includes Facebook’s new terms and conditions. They can then append third-party information to customer lists and create target groups, or they obtain prospect lists of their target groups from a third-party data provider. From there advertisers onboard that data and upload it via Campaign Manager to Facebook. Some onboarders such as LiveRamp have third-party data available in their platforms so prospect audiences can be created and pushed to Facebook without the need to purchase the prospect list with personally identifiable information (PII) from the third-party data provider.

Regardless of how the marketer goes about it, once data is onboarded or audiences are created in an onboarding platform, they can be activated (used for media purchase) on Facebook. Voilá – third party data is still being used on Facebook. Facebook’s move to divorce themselves from third-party data did not mean it couldn’t be used, they are just requiring an additional step that many marketers are already proficiently executing.

If you are unfamiliar with how consumer data onboarding works, here is a short explanation: Consumer data onboarders like LiveRamp, Neustar and Oracle move offline marketing lists containing PII such as CRM data, loyalty databases, prospecting lists, etc., to the online ecosystem and match or link (via a common identifier such as email address) to cookies and device IDs in a privacy-compliant manner. The reason this matching is considered privacy compliant is because consumer PII is anonymized. Marketers never receive which specific cookies and device IDs are associated with the consumer profile.

Onboarders can connect consumer PII to cookies because they visit websites that are part of the onboarder’s network where consumers have provided permission to share their information with third parties. One example of a website that collects consumer PII and online attributes such as cookies, device IDs, etc. is Tripit. When you create an account on Tripit, you provide information that associates a cookie or device ID with your PII. If you look at Tripit’s privacy policy under “Cookies, Analytics and Tracking”, it expressly states: “…providers may also automatically collect the above information about you through the App and on other sites and services, including personally identifiable information about your online activities over time and across different websites, devices, online services, and applications when you use our App. Some third parties help us and others associate your activities across the browsers and devices you use, or that your household uses, for retargeting, cross-device advertising, analytics, and measurement purposes”. Because an onboarded list will include PII, it can be matched to a cookie/device ID if a website with these permissions are in the onboarder’s network of partner contributors.

Sorry dear consumer, Facebook’s dissolution of third-party data partnerships continues to be a red herring and does not prevent such data from being used on their platform. Furthermore, Facebook continues to collect and store first-party data (i.e., owned by them) on you that advertisers can leverage for target audience creation; and they have those rights because it is buried in the required terms and conditions you consented to when your account was created.

So, while Facebook has demonized third-party data in the press right after the Cambridge Analytica scandal (even though completely unrelated to the latter’s dubious use), they have not prevented its use. Frankly, I find Facebook’s use of first-party data and passive surveillance via their pixel on other websites resulting in those creepy retargeting advertisements much more intrusive then my being a member of a target audience based on my demographics and other modeled assumptions.

Consumer trust is the new “oil” in today’s data economy, and it requires more than lip service. Perhaps it is time for Facebook to figure that out.

People view their political opponents as being more influenced by fake news than themselves, study finds

Source: People view their political opponents as being more influenced by fake news than themselves, study finds

By          

Americans tend to think that fake news has little impact on them — but a large impact on their political rivals, according to a study recently published in Computers in Human Behavior.

“There has been a growing concern that fake news may cause confusion in the fact-checking process and eventually undermine an informed citizenry,” remarked study author S. Mo Jang of the University of South Carolina.

A Pew Research study found in 2016 that about two-thirds of Americans thought that fake news had caused confusion about basic facts. “But interestingly, I observed that individuals regarded others as more susceptible than themselves to the potential harmful effects of fake news,” Jang said.

“This expectation was in line with the self-enhancement explanation of the TPP (Third Person Perception), and we found our data supported it. American voters are more likely to think that they are smarter than others and that they are not easily influenced by false attempts at persuasion.”

According to the Third Person Perception hypothesis, individuals falsely believe that other people are more vulnerable to media effects than themselves. This false belief helps to maintain a positive self-image of oneself.

To test this hypothesis in regards to fake news, the researchers had 1,299 Americans complete a survey about the perceived influence of fake news on themselves and Democratic and Republican voters.

​”We found significant in-group/out-group (or partisan) differences​ regarding the perceived influence of fake news,” Jang explained. “Republican voters believed that the influence of fake news was greater among Democratic voters than for them or other Republican voters. Similarly, Democratic voters perceived that Republican voters were more influenced by fake news than were they or other Democratic voters.”

This effect was amplified among those who strongly identified as a Republican or Democrat.

“​Typically, those who have third-person perception (overestimation of media influence on others and underestimation of media influence on me) tend to show strong support for media regulations,” Jang said.”

“But this study did not find that that those with higher third-person perception support fake news regulations. This is may be due to the fact that individuals may not want their freedom of speech to be regulated based on others’ vulnerability. If individuals perceive fake news to have effects on others, educating others is more reasonable than regulating everyone’s freedom of speech.”

“Lots of discussions about how to combat fake news are based on the ‘perceived’ influence of fake news on the public and society​, instead of ‘real’ consequences of fake news,” Jang remarked. “More efforts should be done about the real effects of fake news.”

The study, “Third person effects of fake news: Fake news regulation and media literacy interventions“, was co-authored by Joon K. Kim.

Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time to Read

An overstuffed bookcase (or e-reader) says good things about your mind.

Source: Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time to Read

    By Jessica Stillman     Contributor, Inc.com

Lifelong learning will help you be happier, earn more, and even stay healthier, experts say. Plus, plenty of the smartest names in business, from Bill Gates to Elon Musk, insist that the best way to get smarter is to read. So what do you do? You go out and buy books, lots of them.

But life is busy, and intentions are one thing, actions another. Soon you find your shelves (or e-reader) overflowing with titles you intend to read one day, or books you flipped through once but then abandoned. Is this a disaster for your project to become a smarter, wiser person?

If you never actually get around to reading any books, then yes. You might want to read up on tricks to squeeze more reading into your hectic life and why it pays to commit a few hours every week to learning. But if it’s simply that your book reading in no way keeps pace with your book buying, I have good news for you (and for me; I definitely fall into this category): Your overstuffed library isn’t a sign of failure or ignorance, it’s a badge of honor.

Why you need an “antilibrary”

That’s the argument author and statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb makes in his bestseller The Black Swan. Perpetually fascinating blog Brain Pickings dug up and highlighted the section in a particularly lovely post. Taleb kicks off his musings with an anecdote about the legendary library of Italian writer Umberto Eco, which contained a jaw-dropping 30,000 volumes.

Did Eco actually read all those books? Of course not, but that wasn’t the point of surrounding himself with so much potential but as-yet-unrealized knowledge. By providing a constant reminder of all the things he didn’t know, Eco’s library kept him intellectually hungry and perpetually curious. An ever-growing collection of books you haven’t yet read can do the same for you, Taleb writes:

A private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.

An antilibrary is a powerful reminder of your limitations — the vast quantity of things you don’t know, half-know, or will one day realize you’re wrong about. By living with that reminder daily you can nudge yourself toward the kind of intellectual humility that improves decision-making and drives learning.

“People don’t walk around with anti-résumés telling you what they have not studied or experienced (it’s the job of their competitors to do that), but it would be nice if they did,” Taleb claims.

Why? Perhaps because it is a well-known psychological fact that it’s the most incompetent who are the most confident of their abilities and the most intelligent who are full of doubt. (Really. It’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect.) It’s equally well established that the more readily you admit you don’t know things, the faster you learn.

So stop beating yourself up for buying too many books or for having a to-read list that you could never get through in three lifetimes. All those books you haven’t read are indeed a sign of your ignorance. But if you know how ignorant you are, you’re way ahead of the vast majority of other people.

Play it Again: People Find Comfort Listening to the Same Song Over and Over

A new study reports listening to your favorite song over and over may provide you with some comfort. Niche listening enables the development of a ‘meaningful relationship’ with a particular song, which allows the affection for the tune to persist across a great deal of exposure.

Source: Play it Again: People Find Comfort Listening to the Same Song Over and Over

Neuroscience NewsNEUROSCIENCE NEWS      

Source: University of Michigan.

With the frequency that some people play their favorite song, it’s a good thing vinyl records aren’t used often because they might wear out.

University of Michigan researchers have found that people enjoy replaying a favorite song many times even after the novelty and surprise are gone. In a new study, participants reported listening to their favorite song hundreds of times.

The mean among the sample was more than 300 times and this number was even larger for listeners who had a deep connection to the song—something that was particularly likely if they had mixed emotions, such as “bittersweet,” while listening.

The availability of digital music through streaming services and YouTube makes it easier than ever for people to listen to virtually any song any time.

“Niche listening may enable listeners to develop the kind of personally meaningful relationships with particular songs that allows their affection for those songs to persist across very large amounts of exposure,” said Frederick Conrad, professor of psychology and the study’s lead author.

The study’s 204 participants completed an online questionnaire in fall 2013 about their experience listening to their favorite song, including how it made them feel and the frequency with which they played the song. Although people’s favorites songs fell into 10 genre categories, they were mainly pop/rock songs.

About 86 percent of the participants reported listening to their favorite song daily or a few times weekly. Forty-three percent of those who listened to daily replayed the song at least three times a day. Sixty percent listened to the song multiple times consecutively and about 6 percent indicated they urgently wanted to hear the song before they played it.

“Clearly, these listeners were very engaged with these songs,” said Conrad, who directs the Michigan Program in Survey Methodology at the Institute for Social Research.

Jason Corey, associate professor of music and a co-author of the study, said certain features of the song were particularly important reasons why respondents listened many times. The most important features were the song’s “melody,” “beat/rhythm” and “lyrics.” For songs that made listeners happy, beat/rhythm was especially important for relistening.

Finally, the more times people listened to their favorite song, the more the listeners could hear it internally, the researchers said.

“Listeners…should be able to ‘hear’ large amounts of the song in their heads, potentially including all the instrumental and vocal sounds,” Conrad said.

In fact, the more times they listened to the song, the more of it they could hear in their heads.

ABOUT THIS NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH ARTICLE

Funding: The study’s other authors are Samantha Goldstein (Eastern Michigan University), Joseph Ostrow (Massachusetts General Hospital) and Michael Sadowsky (Civis Analytics)

Source: Jared Wadley – University of Michigan
Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com.
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract in Psychology of Music.
doi:10.1177/0305735617751050

 

Abstract

Extreme re-listening: Songs people love . . . and continue to love

Despite the lack of surprise each time they listen to their favorite song, people re-listen to these songs many times. We explored “extreme re-listening” by conducting a survey about the song to which participants were “listening most often these days.” We questioned participants about their listening experience, e.g., the deepness of their connection to the song, which aspects of the song draw them back, how much of the song they were able to hear in their heads, and how (in their own words) the song made them feel, which we classified as “happy,” “calm,” and “bittersweet.” More participants whose favorite song made them feel happy reported being drawn back because of its beat/rhythm. Participants whose favorite song made them feel bittersweet reported having a deeper connection to the song than those whose favorite song evoked other feelings. These patterns held irrespective of musical training. Finally, we found that the more times they listened to their favorite song, the more of the song listeners could hear internally. People’s affection for songs to which they voluntarily listen at high rates appears not to wane as it does for songs to which their exposure is ambient as is the case with the hit parade.

If information overload is stressing you out, go on a silence diet

Info-bingeing makes us cranky and less effective. Refresh with the sound of silence.

Source: If information overload is stressing you out, go on a silence diet

WRITTEN BY  Ephrat Livni

 

In the beginning, there was the word. Now, there’s a deluge of language. On average, Americans consume 34 gigabytes of content and encounter 100,000 written words from various sources in a single day (pdf).

For context, Leo Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace is 460,000 words, read entirely by only the most devoted Russian literature fans (and it’s a wordy genre generally). That means we’re encountering more than we can take in, according to literati and cognitive-load theory. We may need a language break.

Writers like Cormac McCarthy and William S. Burroughs have long claimed that language is a parasite or an infectious virus. Too much can leave you feeling feverish and tired, drained, and weak. Their view is supported by numerous studies on cognitive-load theory and information overload in various fields, including psychology, education, and business.

Cognitive-load theory posits that brains have only so much bandwidth, so to best take in information, you must also limit it. Choosiness improves information intake. Since most of the information we encounter is in the form of words, limiting language helps.

 Think of your focus as a precious resource; protect it like a national forest. 

Limits decrease stress. Info overload makes us cranky, distracted, and ineffective, intellectually and emotionally bloated. Hence the coinage “infobesity.” Info-bingeing causes this information obesity and it’s much-discussed among entrepreneurial types obsessed with efficiency.

 

Infobesity, a widespread problem, can be managed by balancing your diet. Try just reading an article without checking text messages or listening to music. Don’t multitask and don’t play a podcast while working. Think of your focus as a precious resource; protect it like a national forest.

Need an extreme language detox? Go silent. Stop talking or take a break from technology, or both. Retreating from the word, even briefly, refreshes and provides perspective. It also improves communication, says Phil Sanderson, a partner at IDG Ventures in San Francisco who talks for a living.

He took a week off speaking in February, though his job is talking to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors. Chatting is his thing—the venture capitalist even ended his seven-day silence break with a talk.

Yet, Sanderson needed to reset and he didn’t want to retreat from the world, just the word. So he communicated in short notes on a whiteboard. “Not talking was frustrating for me,” he told Quartz. “But communication became efficient and I listened.”

Despite the difficulties, not talking felt good and changed Sanderson’s relationship to language. He wasn’t stressed, His senses were heightened. Plus, he spoke, wrote, read, and listened mindfully once he was chatting again. That improved his business negotiations and relationships.

Some become so taken with the language break that they don’t speak for years. Environmental activist John Francis stopped speaking spontaneously one day in 1973, realizing debating didn’t advance his causes. He listened and learned instead, earning three degrees in environmental studies.

In 1990, Francis spoke again and started a global project, inspiring walks for the planet. He explained, “After 17 years of not speaking, I felt I had something to say.”