Tidbits | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity

Interesting articles, videos and other tidbits from around the web.

Doing and Sitting  

John Pasden at Sinosplice shares this cute conversation between a bilingual kid in the US and a Chinese adult:

Adult: 你最喜欢跟家人做什么?
Child: 椅子。

In English:

Adult: What do you most like doing with your family?
Child: Chair.

John explains:

The key to understanding this exchange is knowing that 做 (zuò), the verb meaning “to do,” sounds identical to the verb 坐 (zuò), which means “to sit.” Add into this that many verbs in Chinese don’t require an additional preposition like their English counterparts (for example, we’d say “sit on” rather than just “sit”), and the child’s answer starts to make a lot of sense.

Great example of the challenges understanding spoken Chinese. Using characters this mixup could never happen.

Then enter Vietnamese, where even in the written language everything looks the same:

Chào em = Hello
Cháo em = You porridge

Decisions

James Clear in his 3-2-1 newsletter:

If a decision is reversible, the biggest risk is moving too slow.

If a decision is irreversible, the biggest risk is moving too fast.

Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV

Donald Trump bragging about his cognitive exam:

In a cartoon version:

Success Factors of B2B Marketplaces in 2020

James Currier, Managing Partner at NFX, lists 23 success factors of B2B marketplaces.

TikTok War  

Ben Thompson suggests blocking TikTok in the US:

This is, without question, a prescription I don’t come to lightly. Perhaps the most powerful argument against taking any sort of action is that we aren’t China, and isn’t blocking TikTok something that China would do? Well yes, we know that is what they would do, because the Chinese government has blocked U.S. social networks for years. Wars, though, are fought not because we lust for battle, but because we pray for peace. If China is on the offensive against liberalism not only within its borders but within ours, it is in liberalism’s interest to cut off a vector that has taken root precisely because it is so brilliantly engineered to give humans exactly what they want.

I would add a friend’s suggestion to block WeChat so the Chinese elite’s kids studying overseas can no longer communicate easily with their friends back home. Let them see how it feels.

Tokyo 1913 – 1915

Denis Shiryaev upscaled and colorized footage “from the dawn of film taken in Tokyo, Japan from 1913-1915”.

F-15

Ars Technica:

Today Ars Technica brings you inside the pilot’s seat of an F-15C Eagle fighter jet to break down every button in the cockpit. Join retired United States Air Force pilot Col. Andrea Themely as she walks you through everything at your disposal, from emergency features and communication controls to navigation features and weapons and defense. With 1100 hours of experience piloting F-15’s, Col. Themely expert eye is ready to guide you each step of the way.

Livestream Censorship

Joshua Drummer on Twitter:

Wife trying livestreaming on Douyin. Comes over to me in the middle of a stream and puts me on camera. After about a minute, notice pops up saying that foreigners are not allowed to appear on livestreams “without permission”.

Journalist Isabelle Niu replied:

This seems really alarming so I did a little digging and found that apparently ByteDance, which owns Douyin & TikTok, explained how it self-regulates livestreaming content in a detailed 2019 report. I’ll break down some of the main points of the report in this thread

Read the whole thing. Welcome to semi-automated livestream censorship.

Bottleneck

James Clear in his 3-2-1 newsletter:

Time spent working hard is often better spent identifying where the bottleneck is located.

Working hard on the wrong thing leads to frustration, not progress.

Leadership is, by definition, leading people away from where they already are.

–– Tim Urban

Vivian Vo  

Another hilarious article from VnExpress. This time they introduce “makeup queens”, one of which is Vivian Vo-Farmer:

Vivian Vo was born in the U.S. and has a Vietnamese mother and a Vietnamese-Dutch father. With 1.7 million followers on Instagram after seven years working as a makeup artist, Vo is well-known for her revealing style and long hair.

When all is said and done, much more is said than done.

–– Dave Cutler

How to Raise a Human

As part of NPR’s parenting series #HowToRaiseAHuman Michaeleen Doucleff visited a Maya village in Yucatán where even the youngest kids take great joy and pride in helping out in the house.

The Maya achieve this by letting the kids help whenever they want and however small the contribution is. In the beginning this takes longer than if the parents would do the task on their own.

Doucleeff writes:

The moms see it as an investment, Mejia-Arauz says: Encourage the messy, incompetent toddler who really wants to do the dishes now, and over time, he’ll turn into the competent 7-year-old who still wants to help.

Research supports this hypothesis, says the University of New Hampshire’s Andrew Coppens. “Early opportunities to collaborate with parents likely sets off a developmental trajectory that leads to children voluntarily helping and pitching in at home,” he says.

Or another way to look at it is: If you tell a child enough times, “No, you’re not involved in this chore,” eventually they will believe you.

Back in San Francisco Doucleeff tried it with her then two-year-old daughter:

So how did I turn a tantrum-fueled toddler into a chore-loving cherub (as if). To be honest, I needed to revamp the way I parent. I changed the way I interact with Rosy and the way I view her position in the family.

She made the chores the fun activity of the day, took her time doing them and included her daughter whenever possible.

For another article Doucleeff and colleague Jane Greenhalgh went to Iqaluit, Canada to learn how Inuit parents raise their kids to be calm adults that don’t get angry.

One part is not to yell:

“Shouting, ‘Think about what you just did. Go to your room!’ " Jaw says. “I disagree with that. That’s not how we teach our children. Instead you are just teaching children to run away.”

And you are teaching them to be angry, says clinical psychologist and author Laura Markham. “When we yell at a child — or even threaten with something like ‘I’m starting to get angry,’ we’re training the child to yell,” says Markham. “We’re training them to yell when they get upset and that yelling solves problems.”

Another one is storytelling:

For example, how do you teach kids to stay away from the ocean, where they could easily drown? Instead of yelling, “Don’t go near the water!” Jaw says Inuit parents take a pre-emptive approach and tell kids a special story about what’s inside the water. “It’s the sea monster,” Jaw says, with a giant pouch on its back just for little kids.

And one is role play:

When a child in the camp acted in anger — hit someone or had a tantrum — there was no punishment. Instead, the parents waited for the child to calm down and then, in a peaceful moment, did something that Shakespeare would understand all too well: They put on a drama. (As the Bard once wrote, “the play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.")

“The idea is to give the child experiences that will lead the child to develop rational thinking,” Briggs told the CBC in 2011.

In a nutshell, the parent would act out what happened when the child misbehaved, including the real-life consequences of that behavior.

All three articles are highly recommended.

Hire Less  

Basecamp in Getting Real:

Don’t hire people. Look for another way. Is the work that’s burdening you really necessary? What if you just don’t do it? Can you solve the problem with a slice of software or a change of practice instead?

Whenever Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, used to fire someone, he didn’t immediately hire a replacement. He wanted to see how long he could get along without that person and that position.

I genuinely believe that with the right processes and the right people most companies need only half their headcount.

Nurses, Doctors and a Pilot  

In case you’re not following Vietnam’s Coronavirus success story you might not be aware of “Patient 91”, a British Vietnam Airlines pilot that was the most severe Corona patient in the country.

He caused one of the largest clusters of infections in Southern Vietnam and was comatose for over two months. During this time the news media reported on all the details of his health. From blood levels to treatment plans.

Now the pilot is awake and the media shares pictures, videos and a conversation between patient and doctor.

Today, VnExpress’s Anh Thu wrote an article about the nurses and it’s pure gold. Some of my favorite parts:

The patient is over 1.8 m tall and weighs 88 kg, while the average female nurse only weighs around 40 kg.

And:

After the patient exited a two-month coma, one of the biggest challenges proved to be his Scottish accent, which the nurses found hard to understand, fueling his bad moods and the frequent scolding of nurses.

And:

He is quite sensitive and has a low pain tolerance. Nurses must inform and explain in detail any procedures prior to commencement, according to gentle and resilient Tham.

The patient’s eating regime and taste also proved a major obstacle. When he started eating again, Vietnamese cuisine simply did not appeal, forcing the hospital kitchen to dish up anything from spaghetti to western-style lamb chops.

And:

“He is very sensitive and cries easily,” Thi said.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing 😆.