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From 2014 book The Rise of Superman — Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance:
“Flow's two defining characteristics are its feel-good nature (flow is always a positive experience) and its function as a performance-enhancer. The [neuro]chemicals described herein are among the strongest . . . the body can produce.”
“A ten-year study done by McKinsey found top executives reported being up to five times more productive when in flow. Creativity and cooperation are so amplified by the state that [a] Greylock Partners venture capitalist . . . called 'flow state percentage'—defined as the amount of time employees spend in flow—the 'most important management metric for building great innovation teams.'
. . . [T]here are extraordinarily powerful social bonding neurochemicals at the heart of both flow and group flow: dopamine and norepinephrine, that underpin romantic love . . .
Flow feels like the meaning of life for good reason.”
From a December 31, 2010 article in The New York Times:
“In modern relationships, people are looking for a partnership . . . [C]lose partners 'sculpt' each other in ways that help each of them attain valued goals.”
“Caryl Rusbult, a researcher at Vrije University in Amsterdam . . . called it the 'Michelangelo effect' . . . ”
From a December 31, 2009 article on ScienceDaily.com:
A new international review of seven papers on “the Michelangelo phenomenon” shows that when close partners affirm and support each other's ideal selves, they and the relationship benefit greatly.
From 2014 book The Second Machine Age — Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, co-authored by MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson:
Call it talent-biased technical change. In many industries, the difference in payout between number one and second-best has widened into a canyon.
From 1997 book Extraordinary Minds, by Harvard education psychologist Howard Gardner:
There are striking regularities in the lives of Makers—those highly creative individuals who have invented or decisively altered domains. Based on these recurrent themes, I have created a prototypical Exemplary Maker (or E.M.) whose story I relate here.
. . . By the height of her career, E.M. has made a Faustian bargain. Work is all-important . . . The endeavor is exciting, and others may well be drawn into it . . . [C]olleagues are likely to be cherished, but when their part in the play has been enacted, they are likely to be scuttled in favor of new collaborators and playmates.
From The Second Machine Age:
[E]vidence suggests that the spread of incomes continues at high levels of income with a fractal-like quality, with each subset of superstars watching an even smaller group of super-duper-stars pulling away.
From a 2008 article in Organizational Dynamics:
Most high performers succeed by developing targeted [professional] networks that extend their abilities. Rather than simply adding more and more people to their Rolodex, rising stars . . . increase and decrease connectivity in ways that enhance productivity and performance.
From 2011 book Marriage Confidential — The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules:
Shirin . . . spent years in a high-powered corporate position. She indicts work and workplace spouses as the biggest threat to marriage, and research confirms her instinct.
From 2004 book Why We Love — The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, by Helen Fisher:
In addition to its reproductive purpose, the sex drive serves to make and keep friends.
. . . [T]he hormone of sexual desire can trigger the release of the brain's elixirs for romantic passion. . . . Although you intend to have casual sex, you might just fall in love.
. . . [M]any of us . . . have periods in our lives when these three mating drives—lust, romantic love, and attachment—do not focus on the same person. It seems to be the destiny of humankind that we are neurologically able to love more than one person at a time.
From The Rise of Superman:
The neurochemicals that underpin the [flow] state are among the most addictive drugs on earth. Equally powerful is the psychological draw. Scientists who study human motivation have lately learned that after basic survival needs have been met, the combination of autonomy (the desire to direct your own life), mastery (the desire to learn, explore and be creative), and purpose (the desire to matter, to contribute to the world) are our most powerful intrinsic drivers—the three things that motivate us most. All three are deeply woven through the fabric of flow.
. . . “No question about it,” says Flow Genome Project Executive Director Jamie Wheal, “there's a dark night of the flow. In Christian mystical traditions, once you've experienced the grace of God, the 'dark night of the soul' describes the incredible pain of its absence. The same is true for flow. . . . If you've glimpsed this state, but can't get back there—that lack can become unbearable.”
From Marriage Confidential:
The “typical” open marriage today . . . is between well-educated, middle-class or affluent professionals . . .
[T]he new open-marriage ethic . . . tends to value intimate relationships over the recreational world of swinging and casual encounters. . . . In one study almost two-thirds of open-marriage spouses experienced affairs “accompanied by deep friendship or affection for the partners.”
From a November 2010 report by The Pew Research Center:
Is Marriage Becoming Obsolete?
% who agree [respondents grouped by age range]
. . .
30-49 [years of age]: 41[%]
From 2012 book How Children Succeed — Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character:
[I]n the past decade, and especially in the past few years, a disparate congregation of economists, educators, psychologists, and neuroscientists have begun to produce evidence that . . . [w]hat matters most in a child’s development . . . is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit, and self-confidence. Economists refer to these as noncognitive skills, psychologists call them personality traits, and the rest of us sometimes think of them as character.
. . . If there is one person at the hub of this new interdisciplinary network, it is James Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago.
. . . [I]n 2000 he won the Nobel Prize in Economics for a complex statistical method he had invented in the 1970s. Among economists, Heckman is known for his skill in econometrics, a particularly arcane type of statistical analysis that is generally incomprehensible to anyone except other econometricians.
. . . [S]cience . . . says that the character strengths that matter so much to young people's success are not innate; they don't appear in us magically, as a result of good luck or good genes. And they are not simply a choice. They are rooted in brain chemistry, and they are molded, in measurable and predictable ways, by the environment in which children grow up. . . . We now know a great deal about what kind of interventions will help children develop those strengths and skills, starting at birth and going all the way through college. Parents are an excellent vehicle for those interventions, but they are not the only vehicle. Transformative help also comes regularly from social workers, teachers, clergy members, pediatricians, and neighbors.
From an April 18, 2010 article in The New York Times:
Virtual simulations, labs and tutorials allow for continuous feedback that helps the student along. The student's progress is tracked step by step [by the software], and that information is then used to make improvements to the course [i.e., the software adapts to each user]. Several studies have shown that students learn a full semester's worth of material in half the time when the online coursework is added. More students stick with the class, too. “We now have the technology that enables us to go back to what we all know is the best educational experience: personalized, interactive engagement,” . . . says [Joel Smith, vice provost and chief information officer of Carnegie Mellon University].
From Marriage Confidential:
[A] surprising, and consistent, finding across several studies from the mid-1970s onward is that wives, not husbands, often drive the open marriage decision or first broach the topic. According to most studies, they also initiate outside relationships first, more often, and more intensively than husbands.
From 2013 book What Do Women Want? — Adventures in the Science of Female Desire:
[R]ecent science and women's voices left me with pointed lessons:
That women's desire—its inherent range and innate power—is an underestimated and constrained force, even in our times . . .
[T]his force is not, for the most part, sparked or sustained by emotional intimacy and safety . . .
[O]ne of our most comforting assumptions, . . . that female eros is much better made for monogamy than the male libido, is scarcely more than a fairy tale.
From a July 12, 2013 article in The New York Times titled “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too”:
Until recently, those who studied the rise of hookup culture had generally assumed that it was driven by men, and that women were reluctant participants, more interested in romance than in casual sexual encounters. But there is an increasing realization that young women are propelling it, too.
. . . “We [i.e., a group of friends who are undergraduate women at The University of Pennsylvania] are very aware of cost-benefit issues and trading up and trading down, so no one wants to be too tied to someone that, you know, may not be the person they want to be with in a couple of months,” she said.
From What Do Women Want?:
Terri Fisher, a psychologist at Ohio State University . . . asked two hundred female and male undergraduates to complete a questionnaire dealing with masturbation and the use of porn. The subjects were split into groups and wrote their answers under three different conditions: either they were instructed to hand the finished questionnaire to a fellow college student, who waited just beyond an open door and was able to watch the subjects work; or they were given explicit assurances that their answers would be kept anonymous; or they were hooked up to a fake polygraph machine, with bogus electrodes taped to their hands, forearms, and necks.
The male replies were about the same under each of the three conditions, but for the females the circumstances were crucial. Many of the women in the first group—the ones who could well have worried that another student would see their answers—said they'd never masturbated, never checked out anything X-rated. The women who were told they would have strict confidentiality answered yes a lot more. And the women who thought they were wired to a lie detector replied almost identically to the men.
. . . When Fisher employed the same three conditions and asked women how many sexual partners they'd had, subjects in the first group gave answers 70 percent lower than women wearing the phony electrodes. Diligently, she ran this part of the experiment a second time, with three hundred new participants. The women who thought they were being polygraphed not only reported more partners than the rest of the female subjects, they also . . . gave numbers a good deal higher than the men.
From the July 12, 2013 article in The New York Times:
Nationally, women now outnumber men in college enrollment by 4 to 3 and outperform them in graduation rates and advanced degrees.
From the report by The Pew Research Center:
Is Marriage Becoming Obsolete?
% who agree
18-29 [years of age]: 44[%]
From Marriage Confidential:
Ethical nonmonogamy . . . [is] mostly a problem to figure out and a set of rules to establish.
From 2012 book The End of Men (and the Rise of Women):
Steven and Sarah . . . are consummate “marriage planners,” the current reigning model among the professional class.
. . . [T]hey've planned everything: the exact timing of each pregnancy, how long Sarah will work at what job, how much money she will make. They haggle over the minute details and individual demands like two executives at a negotiation. They actually possess a piece of paper called the “Master Plan,” in which each partner lays out his and her duties and responsibilities, year to year.
. . . When [their son] Xavier's cloth diaper got dirty, Steven sprayed it and left it in the sink. (In the contract his duties here stop at “smearage containment,” but Sarah, who insisted on cloth diapers, has to launder them.)
From 2014 book The Intelligent Web — Search, Smart Algorithms, and Big Data:
[T]here have been significant advances in the ability to automatically extract facts and rules from large volumes of data and text.
From Marriage Confidential:
In the 21st century, nonmonogamy's formidable collaborators . . . are . . . less macramé than Google, less Age of Aquarius than Age of the Engineer.
From 2013 book Who Owns the Future?, by Jaron Lanier:
[A] future industry of “decision reduction” . . . would . . . create bundles of decisions you could accept or reject [e.g., rules for a flowmance's Master Plan] . . .
[D]elegation to a huge decision-reduction cloud service worth hundreds of billions of dollars might be the best choice . . .
From The Intelligent Web:
The time is possibly ripe for large-scale automated reasoning systems to . . . resurface . . . in the guise of Siri-like avatars . . .
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