People who read books tend to be nicer than those who don’t – [Study]

Culture | Books | Reading

By Adam Boult 8 May 2017

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Reading: pretty good, apparently Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Does reading books make you a nicer person? Or are nicer people more likely to be drawn to reading?

A recent study by researchers at Kingston University found that people who read works of fiction tend to be kinder and more empathetic.

“Exposure to fiction relates to a range of empathetic abilities,” said researchers, who addressed the British Psychological Society conference in Brighton last week. Read more…

Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule

Productivity | Live-long learning | Constant learning | Management

By Michael Simmons (Empact)

Benjamin Franklin did this 1 hour a day, 5 hours a week. Why you should do it too.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

This is a post from Michael Simmons, co-founder of Empact.

With Ian Chew

At the age of 10, Benjamin Franklin left formal schooling to become an apprentice to his father. As a teenager, he showed no particular talent or aptitude aside from his love of books.

When he died a little over half a century later, he was America’s most respected statesman, its most famous inventor, a prolific author, and a successful entrepreneur.

What happened between these two points to cause such a meteoric rise? Read more…

Underlying the answer to this question is a success strategy for life that we can all use, and increasingly must use.

The five-hour rule:
Read more…

Philosophy can teach children what Google can’t | Charlotte Blease

With jobs being automated and knowledge being devalued, humans need to rediscover flexible thinking. That starts in schools

3500 Ireland’s president Michael D Higgins: ‘The teaching of philosophy is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to empower children.’ Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

At the controls of driverless cars, on the end of the telephone when you call your bank or favourite retailer: we all know the robots are coming, and in many cases are already here. Back in 2013, economists at Oxford University’s Martin School estimated that in the next 20 years, more than half of all jobs would be substituted by intelligent technology. Like the prospect of robot-assisted living or hate it, it is foolish to deny that children in school today will enter a vastly different workplace tomorrow – and that’s if they’re lucky. Far from jobs being brought back from China, futurologists predict that white-collar jobs will be increasingly outsourced to digitisation as well as blue-collar ones.

How should educationalists prepare young people for civic and professional life in a digital age? Luddite hand-wringing won’t do. Redoubling investment in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects won’t solve the problem either: hi-tech training has its imaginative limitations.

In the near future school-leavers will need other skills. In a world where technical expertise is increasingly narrow, the skills and confidence to traverse disciplines will be at a premium. We will need people who are prepared to ask, and answer, the questions that aren’t Googleable: like what are the ethical ramifications of machine automation? What are the political consequences of mass unemployment? How should we distribute wealth in a digitised society? As a society we need to be more philosophically engaged.

Amid the political uncertainties of 2016, the Irish president Michael D Higgins provided a beacon of leadership in this area. “The teaching of philosophy,” he said in November, “is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to empower children into acting as free and responsible subjects in an ever more complex, interconnected, and uncertain world.” Philosophy in the classroom, he emphasised, offers a “path to a humanistic and vibrant democratic culture”. Read more…

Ten Ways U.S. Librarians Can Inform the American Electorate by Kathy Dempsey

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This poster is available at http://www.congress.gov, along with nine short videos that explain each of the steps.

by Kathy Dempsey (Information Today)

MLS - Marketing Library Services
Vol. 30 No. 2 — Mar/Apr 2016

It’s no secret that the American political landscape has grown more divided in recent years. The conservative right has been fracturing since the emergence of the Tea Party. The liberal left hasn’t been as internally divided, but that’s changing now since the Democratic field has officially been narrowed to just two presidential candidates.

As I write this article on Presidents Day in February, it’s impossible to escape the presidential primaries, since debates seem to be on TV every week and since they’re covered in the media daily. Misinformation is everywhere. It’s hard to know what to believe. This is where librarians come in.

I realize that many of you happily avoid bringing politics into your work. After all, you’re supposed to be unbiased, right? And you can’t afford to alienate anyone. You probably have your hands full doing your regular duties of promoting good searching and wise information usage. You’re also tasked with doing outreach, increasing library awareness and use, and even “building community.” So why would you want to get involved in politics? Because those tasks can relate directly to elections.

I see a huge place for librarians in the American political process. Think about it: You’re the people most qualified to fight misinformation and guide the electorate to vetted research sources. One way to reach out to people who don’t normally use libraries and to build awareness of why they still matter is to become the center for the most trustworthy data. And when trying to build community, you need a topic that affects and interests everyone, something to bring them together in discussion.

In this especially contentious election year, U.S. voters desperately need to be able to separate fact from fiction in order to make well-informed choices in the primaries and in the November election. Why not prove your value by becoming the top place in your community for fact-finding and discourse? You can save people time by pointing them to good resources, by helping them understand differing viewpoints, and by offering an unbiased, safe place to learn. Here are 10 specific ways that you can do that, in any type of library, without taking sides.

1. Create a portal of voting information. You can find much of what you need by linking to local, state, and federal sites. Include information on voter registration (try www.usa.gov/register-to-vote): links that are specific to your state, application deadlines, locations and hours of polling places, etc. Be sure to offer info on absentee ballots, especially if you’re in a university library, where many young people may be living on campus, outside of their home voting districts. This is the least you can do to inform the electorate.  Read more….

How To List Online Courses On Your Resume The Right Way (Because Yes, There Is A Wrong Way)

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So you’ve been taking some online courses. You’ve learned a ton, and you’ve even been using your new skills at work or to develop a side project.

But now you’re contemplating a career move and wondering how (and even whether) to include your continuing education on your resume. You’re right to approach this task thoughtfully. Online courses are still relatively new, recruiters can be skeptical and in certain cases, listing your online education can actually make your resume worse.

I spoke to several recruiters and hiring managers to gather insight on what they think when they see online courses listed on candidates’ resumes. So, whether you aced your marketing MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), killed it in coding bootcamp, or taught yourself graphic design, here are some of their tips on how to tell that story in your application:

1. Put Them In Their Proper Place

Across the board, the hiring managers and recruiters I spoke with agreed that MOOCs and other online courses can help make the case that you can do the job. However, they also think these classes shouldn’t be the star of the show. As Anne Lewis, the Director of Sales and Recruitment for Betts Recruiting, a firm specializing in recruitment for technology companies, told me, “In general, MOOCs can help to make candidate profiles stronger, especially junior candidates who don’t have as much experience.” Read more…

20 New Year’s Resolutions for Book Nerds

by Ginni Chin

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If you’re a book nerd, you know the usual boring New Year’s resolutions just don’t work for you. The most popular resolutions every year are to lose weight, eat better, sleep better, meditate, drink less, exercise more, and save money. Sure, these resolutions are all generically “good” for you, but they’re also uninspired and uninspiring after a few months. Worst of all, they don’t involve any books!

We book nerds need goals that appeal to our literary sensibilities, and we need resolutions that address our idiosyncratic readerly ways. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions just for book nerds. If you recognize yourself in any of these, maybe it’s time to become a new and improved book nerd in 2016!

  1. I will stop losing bookmarks.
  2. I will keep my “all-nighters to read a book from cover to cover” down to once a week.
  3. I will do things other than read on weekends. Things like interact with other humans, eat things other than cereal, absorb sunlight, and appreciate trees.
  4. I will give people who don’t read a chance. Maybe.
  5. I will conquer the 100 greatest novels of all time.
  6. I will choose a literary prize and read every book that has ever won that prize.
  7. I will be faithful to one book club, instead of joining five different ones and just reading whatever I want. Read more…

The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New

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Forget overpriced schools, long days in a crowded classroom, and pitifully poor results. These websites and apps cover myriads of science, art, and technology topics. They will teach you practically anything, from making hummus to building apps in node.js, most of them for free. There is absolutely no excuse for you not to master a new skill, expand your knowledge, or eventually boost your career. You can learn interactively at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. It’s hard to imagine how much easier it can possibly be. Honestly, what are you waiting for?

→TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE

edX— Take online courses from the world’s best universities.

Coursera — Take the world’s best courses, online, for free.

Coursmos — Take a micro-course anytime you want, on any device.

Highbrow — Get bite-sized daily courses to your inbox.

Skillshare — Online classes and projects that unlock your creativity.

Curious — Grow your skills with online video lessons.

lynda.com — Learn technology, creative and business skills.

CreativeLive — Take free creative classes from the world’s top experts.

Udemy — Learn real world skills online.

Read more…