Archive for 12 de February de 2017


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by Benjamin P. Hardy

In April of 2015, I got serious about my goal to become a professional writer. I had written an eBook, Slipstream Time Hacking, and was anxious to know how to traditionally publish it. At that time, I had just barely put up my own website and had a subscriber-base of zero.

I decided literary agents would be my best source of advice. After all, they know the publishing industry back-and-forth — or so I thought. After talking to 5–10 different agents about their coaching programs, it became apparent my questions would need to be answered elsewhere.

One particular conversation sticks out.

In order to even be considered by agents and publishers, writers need to already have a substantial readership (i.e., a platform). I told one of the agents my goal was to have 5,000 blog subscribers by the end of 2015. She responded, “That would not be possible from where you currently are. These things take time. You will not be able to get a publisher for 3–5 years. That’s just the reality.”

“Reality to who?” I thought as I hung up the phone.

Never Ask Advice From…

In his book, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy said, “Never ask advice of someone with whom you wouldn’t want to trade places.”

Who you follow determines where you get in life. If your leader isn’t moving forward, you’re not moving forward, because your results are a reflection of your leader’s results.

As I pondered Darren Hardy’s words, I realized I was asking the wrong types of people for advice. I needed to turn to people who had actually walked where I wanted to walk. Anyone can provide nebulous theory. We spend our entire public education learning theory from people who have rarely “walked the walk.” As George Bernard Shaw said in Maxims for Revolutionists, “He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches.” Similarly, there is an endless supply of content being published everyday by people who rarely practice the virtues they preach.

Contrary to theory, which cannot get you very far in the end, people who have actually been “there” provide practical steps on what you need to do (e.g., here are the five things you should focus on and forget everything else).

Why You Need To Know What You Want

“This is a fundamental irony of most people’s lives. They don’t quite know what they want to do with their lives. Yet they are very active.”— Ryan Holiday

Most kids go to college without a clue why they are there. They are floating along waiting to be told what to do next. They haven’t seen or thought enough to know what their ideal life would look like. So how could they possibly know how to distinguish good advice from bad?

Conversely, people who know what they want in life see the world differently. All people selectively attend to things that interest or excite them. For example, when you buy a new car, you start to notice the same car everywhere. How does this happen? You didn’t seem to notice that everyone drove Malibus before.

Our brains are constantly filtering an unfathomable amount of sensory inputs: sounds, smells, visuals, and more. Most of this information goes consciously unrecognized. Our focused attention is on what we care about. Thus, some people only notice the bad while others see the good in everything. Some notice people wearing band shirts, while others notice anything fitness related.

So, when you decide what you want, it’s like buying a new car. You start seeing it everywhere — especially your newsfeeds!

What are you seeing everywhere? This is perhaps the clearest reflection of your conscious identity.

The Magical Things That Happen When You Begin Paying Attention

“How can you achieve your 10 year plan in the next 6 months?” — Peter Thiel

Wherever it is you want to go, there is a long and conventional path, and there are shorter, less conventional approaches. The conventional path is the outcome of not paying attention. It’s what happens when you let other people dictate your direction and speed in life.

However, once you know what you want — and it intensely arouses your attention — you will notice simpler and easier solutions to your questions. What might have taken 10 years in a traditional manner takes only a few months with the right information and relationship.

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” — Mabel Collins

When I decided I was serious about becoming a writer, the advice from the literary agents couldn’t work for me. I was ready for the wisdom of people who were where I wanted to be. My vision was bigger than the advice I was getting.

In May of 2015, I came across an online course about guest blogging. It must have popped in my newsfeeds because of my previous searching. I paid the $197, went through the course, and within two weeks was getting articles featured on multiple self-help blogs.

Around this same time, I listened to a podcast where Tim Ferriss said, “One blog post can change the entire trajectory of your career.” Such was the case for him. An article he wrote generated wild traffic, which spilled-over into book sales for his at the time recent book, The 4-Hour Workweek. This wave of traffic led to the book’s success and the rest they say, is history.

When your mind takes hold of an idea, you do everything in your power to manifest it. The idea, “One blog post can change your career,” was always in the back of mind. Subconsciously, it forced itself into my conscious reality. Around this time, I wrote an article that literally did change my career. To quote William James, the father of American psychology, “What is impressed in the subconscious is expressed.”…

more…

medium.com/the-mission/this-is-how-you-train-your-brain-to-get-what-you-really-want-4e31fd608354#.p51kpcyqz

 

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MAXIM ZMEYEV / REUTERS

by AURORA SNOW

This week, the popular porn company Brazzers was placed on Russia’s infamous “blocklist,” becoming the third porn site in the last six months to be banned by the country’s internet watchdog Roskomnadzor. The ruling came down from a Russian court, which argued that the Brazzers XXX site has a “purely negative impact on the human psyche”—a claim that sounds eerily similar to an amendment to the GOP platform last year declaring porn “a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions,” with the Republican Party further encouraging “states to continue to fight this public menace.” Soon after the block, Brazzers became one of the top trending topics on Twitter in Russia.

While some American adult industry insiders are in agreement with the Russian court’s take on Brazzers, it’s for entirely different reasons. Just a few months ago, one of porn’s biggest stars, Nikki Benz, alleged she was raped on a Brazzers set, publicly shaming the company on Twitter for failing to protect the company’s official brand ambassador. Though Brazzers directed blame towards the film’s director, there were others in the porn biz who cited issues with the company at large.

“Their business practices aren’t exactly pro-performer, but I don’t think it’s a government’s job to determine what people can and can’t view on the internet,” adult actress Addie Juniper told The Daily Beast. “I’m not a big fan of the male-centric content Brazzers puts out there, but again, it shouldn’t be the government’s right to take that away.”

It is ironic that Roskomnadzor banned Brazzers on the same day the ban was lifted on the popular tube site YouPorn, according to The Moscow Times. Both porn sites are owned by the same parent company, MindGeek. Pornhub, RedTube, Reality Kings, and Digital Playground are also in its adult online portfolio. 

When pressed for comment, Brazzers redirected inquiries to their statement posted on Twitter: “Disappointed to hear that on such cold winter nights the good citizens of Russia have been denied the warm embrace of Brazzers entertainment.”

But horny Russian citizens, take note: YouPorn has a dedicated Brazzers channel with plenty of free, streamable porn. And it’s extremely accessible. Unlike many pay-for-play sites, the tube site doesn’t even ask for age verification, unlike Brazzers.

Technological advancements have made porn even more readily accessible, and with mobile devices rapidly becoming the preferred method to view porn, navigating safe access for children may be challenging. As a parent of two, adult actress Eve Lawrence has become increasingly aware of the complexities this presents. “Russia may be concerned that they are marketing pornography to children. As pornographers, we have a responsibility to self-regulate and protect those who are underage from viewing such content. This means more content protection and filters—especially for tube sites,” she says.

Lawrence believes larger organizations should lead the fight in shielding children from pornography without enabling it. “Unfortunately, some companies favor profit over protection and over the years with the rise of parodies this stopped being a priority, and the line of ethics has blurred,” she adds. Capitalizing on the immense popularity of children’s shows, Brazzers’ parodies include Power Rack: A XXX Parody, She Wants My Dragon Ball, Ghostbusters XXX Parody, and Wonder Woman XXX. They’re not the only ones, either. The porn parody studio WoodRocket has created their own versions with Mighty Muffin Pounder Rangers, Ten Inch Mutant Ninja Turtles, Strokemon, and SpongeKnob SquareNuts. They were also the brains behind Donald Tramp – The XXX Parody, which sent up then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump…

more…

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/02/11/russia-has-declared-war-on-porn-will-the-gop-do-the-same.html

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Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Pepsi

FROM Nir Eyal

DJ Khaled, the one-man internet meme, is known for warning his tens of millions of social media followers about a group of villains he calls “they.”

They don’t want you motivated. They don’t want you inspired,” he blares on camera. “They don’t want you to win,” he warns. On Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, Khaled urged the host, “Please, Ellen, stay away from them!”

The “they” Khaled invokes are clearly a sinister force. But who are they? Khaled offered clues when he told DeGeneres, They are the people who don’t believe in you.…They is the person that told you you would never have an Ellen show.”

Although Khaled’s claims may seem outlandish, he is in fact leveraging a powerful psychological hack: scapegoating. The practice of imagining a villain that’s conspiring against us, scapegoating can be an effective way to motivate ourselves and change our behaviors. Of course, as history has shown, terrible things can happen when people act on baseless conspiracy theories. But sometimes the antidote is in the venom.

Khaled isn’t the first to use the technique. In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield uses an entity he calls “Resistance” to describe the force conspiring against creative output. “Most of us have two lives,” Pressfield writes. “The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” Throughout his book Pressfield reminds readers, “Resistance is always plotting against you.”

The author and game designer Jane McGonigal described a similar conspiracy of bad guys in her book SuperBetter. McGonigal blames villains like “Mrs. Volcano” and “Snuff the Tragic Dragon” when she loses her temper with her kids or feels self-pity.

Khaled, Pressfield, and McGonigal know that “they,” “Resistance,” and the “bad guys” don’t actually exist. For Khaled, that’s the joke that powers the meme. If Khaled were to point a finger at a real group of people intent on sabotaging him, such as an ethnic group or a particular corporate entity, his scapegoating wouldn’t be funny — it would be malicious.

Correct causes

In order for productive scapegoating to work, it’s important not to assign blame to something or someone too specific; if we do so, we’ll shirk our responsibilities to change our own actions.

Instead, we need to find the underlying causes of our bad behaviors, which requires asking difficult questions — especially since our intuition is frequently wrong. Maybe we don’t binge on junk food or YouTube videos because of the pleasure in what we’re consuming, but because of deeper problems consuming us. Perhaps the true reason we allow our phones to interrupt dinner is not that we’re addicted to our phones, but that we’re addicted to work.

Once we’ve identified our own self-defeating behaviors, the next challenge is to implement a change, which can be difficult if we think what’s happening to us is beyond our control. In these situations it’s easy to feel powerless and to give up. It’s here that scapegoating can be used to our advantage. By directing our anger and anxieties at an invisible they, the forces working against us seem more tangible, so we feel like we have more power to fight them.

Powerless if you think you are

Several recent studies have observed a strong connection between the way we think about our ability to act and our follow-through. For example, to determine how in control people feel regarding their cravings for cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol, researchers administer a standard survey called the Craving Beliefs Questionnaire (CBQ). The assessment is modified for the participant’s drug of choice and presents statements like “Once the craving starts…I have no control over my behavior” and the cravings “are stronger than my willpower.” How people rate these statements tells researchers how powerful or powerless they feel in the face of temptation. Lower scores reveal that subjects believe they are more in control, while higher scores correlate with people who believe the drugs control them…

more…

http://theweek.com/articles/678630/how-achieve-goals-by-creating-enemy

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Mrs Merkel went to Stuttgart and picked up an award for her migrant crisis

GETTY Mrs Merkel went to Stuttgart and picked up an award for her migrant crisis

ANGELA Merkel may just have pushed through rapid deportation rules as well as a ban on refugees but she is not planning on closing Germany’s doors to migrants forever.

Just last week the under-fire German Chancellor placed a ban on the families of as many as three million people who arrived in Germany during the migrant crisis joining their relatives.

The ban, which also applies to women and children and elderly relatives from war torn countries, has been put in place for two years after the country revealed the crisis will cost £37bn this year.

Now just days after the Bundestag voted to speed up deportation and mandatory finger printing, it’s emerged they have outlined the country needs 300,000 people a YEAR for the next 40 years to stop population decline.

A leaked report from Mrs Merkel’s government said Germany would need to take in 12m migrants over the next four decades to keep Germany’s population size stable.

But the staggering figures unearthed by the Rheinische Post are only set to infuriate far-right voters who are already reeling after almost 2.2 million migrants flooded into the country in 2015 alone.

According to local reports a new report drafted by the Government has admitted the issue of migrant integration is a thorny subject.

The report on refugee integration states: “According to the experiences this will not be easy and will last longer than initially often hoped.

“Successes will only be visible in the medium to long term.”

Locally, Mrs Merkel’s government is coming under pressure after it was deemed that 345,000 new homes have to be built each year to house those travelling to the country to live.

However the cost of living is rising in Germany with rents apparently becoming unsustainable.

Now, despite facing a tough battle with former EU president Martin Schulz ahead of September’s national election, the Chancellor is remains resolute.

Last week she travelled to Stuttgart to pick up an award for her migrant crisis which has mostly been condemned not only in her own country but in Italy, Greece and Malta.

And she said she intends to continue on her path appearing to ignore the fact that Germany has been plagued with terror since 2015.

During her award speech, Mrs Merkel said: “Europe is our best assurance to live in peace and security.

“It should be possible for us to revive Europe.

“For today’s generation, the generation would have to invest as much energy as it has invested in post-war generation to build Europe”.

But her acceptance of the award was not welcomed by everyone.

Hans-Ulrich Rülke, head of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), told newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine: “It is already a lot of ignorance to consider the course of Chancellor Merkel in 2015 as correct.

“With the uncontrolled admission of hundreds of thousands of people from safe third countries, the Federal Government ignored European law and made it difficult to resolve the refugee crisis on a European scale.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/765919/Angela-Merkel-Germany-European-Migrant-Crisis-12-million

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The European assault on freedom of speech

Both the EU and post-EU Britain are throttling the liberty to think.

Hhead of spiked’s conference in central London next Wednesday – ‘Enemies of the State: Religious Freedom and the New Repression’ – Paul Coleman asks if Britain outside of the EU will be any more respectful of freedom of thought and speech.

It has been argued that Brexit will make us freer. Not just in an economic or political sense, but also in terms of individual civil liberties. spiked’s Mick Hume wrote that ‘the referendum result is a triumph for free speech and a smack in the eye for the culture of You Can’t Say That’. And it is.

Post-Brexit Britain will no longer be bound by an EU Code of Conduct that seeks to police the online speech of over 500million citizens and ban ‘illegal online hate speech’. Or an EU law that encourages the criminalisation of ‘insult’. Or a proposed EU law that undermines fundamental freedoms by purging Europe of every last shred of supposed ‘discrimination’.

We can distinguish ourselves from our European neighbours that are intent on pursuing more and more censorship. Just over the summer it was reported that prosecutors in Spain initiated criminal proceedings against the Archbishop of Valencia for preaching a homily alleged to have been ‘sexist’ and ‘homophobic’. In the Netherlands, a man was sentenced to 30 days in prison for ‘intentionally insulting’ the king on Facebook. And in Germany a prosecution was launched against a comedian who made jokes against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

These kinds of cases have become normal on the continent. So much so that they barely generate news. And they are often willingly cheered on by the EU and other European institutions. Britain can tread a different path.

There is just one, small problem: when it comes to censorship and the quashing of civil liberties, the UK doesn’t need any encouragement from the EU, or anybody else.

Take the issue of free speech. In Britain there are countless attacks on this fundamental freedom that have little or no connection to EU law. Evangelical street preachers are routinely arrested for public preaching; peaceful campaigners have been prosecuted for holding allegedly insulting signs; and the police have started labelling wolf-whistling a ‘hate crime’. None of this was EU-mandated.

Or take the issue of conscience. Elderly guesthouse-owners have been sued for daring to operate a room policy that corresponds to their deeply held convictions on marriage. Printers have been sued for refusing to print messages that they profoundly disagree with. And of course there is Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland, sued by an arm of the state, the ironically named Equality Commission, because its owners could not in good conscience ice a cake with the slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’.

Again, all these examples stem from British legislation that is not EU-mandated, and which actually goes well beyond the censorship that exists in many other European countries.

True, these examples are all connected to existing laws. Perhaps the new post-Brexit Britain will be a bastion of freedom going into the future. But again there’s a problem, because the biggest challenge to civil liberties in Britain today comes directly from the prime minister, Theresa May, and the legislation her government is proposing…

more…

http://www.spiked-online.com/freespeechnow/fsn_article/the-european-assault-on-freedom-of-speech#.WKBIEVWLSUk

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