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Today’s coffee-shop owners don’t just place orders for beans. They backpack up the sides of volcanoes in Guatemala and Panama to find previously undiscovered farmers who will grow and process beans to their specifications. And if they’ve paid to trek to Central America, you don’t think they’ll just make you a quick cup, do you?
The current fashion is to make what should be the simplest of brewing techniques—pouring hot water over ground beans to coax out their subtle, delicate flavors—an exercise in endurance. Instead of simply opening a spigot on an urn, a barista will set a filter into a carafe and place it on an electronic scale before adding the coffee, to be sure of the exact ratio of water to grounds. Relying on a timer to ensure a prolonged pour (sometimes up to four minutes), the barista will then use a swan-neck pitcher to ever so slowly drip the right amount of temperature-controlled water into the filter, all while giving you a lecture on the new crop of Borboya Yirgacheffe. The experience seems calibrated to produce maximal annoyance.
Read more. [Image: The Food Passionates/Corbis]
Thanks to my lofty years as a barista, I can attest that a person’s desire for coffee will allow them to endure a high threshold of delay and pretention.
We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.
On the itch of writing, Lamott banters:
(via Brain Pickings, “9 Books on Reading and Writing”)
The irony, of course, is that the more data we mine, and the closer we come to determining a precise calculus of sharing, the less likely it will be for what we know to remain true. If emotion and arousal are key, then, in a social application of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, we may be changing what will become popular even as we’re studying it. “If everyone is perfectly implementing the best headline to pass on, it’s not as effective any more,” [University of Pennsylvania marketing professor Jonah] Berger says. “What used to be emotionally arousing simply isn’t any longer.”
The New Yorker looks at the science of what makes something go viral, in which University of Pennsylvania researchers found that positivity, arousal, and a sense of social currency drive people to share links. There is, of course, the obvious dark side – before we get too carried away, let’s not forget Schopenhauer’s admonition.
For a deeper look, see Berger’s book Contagious: Why Things Catch On.
Sleep is known to be one of the best creative aphrodisiacs. Ever wonder how Ben Franklin slept at night? Great graphic from brainpickings.org.
Feeling the immense pressure of all my personal deadlines. Let the games begin!
My online tutorial sharing tips for writer productivity is buzzing with new projects. Really stoked about this classroom full of creatives from all sorts of nooks across the globe.
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There are a lot of people out there spouting opinions and some of them take hold. However, if it turns out that a particular person’s version of events is not accurate, we should report on that. Don’t just keep doing the same “He said,” and “she said” reporting if it’s clear that what “he said” is wrong.
about what readers should demand from their reporters (via The Morning News)
Twenty-something women are asking for—and getting—higher wages. But there’s still a long way to go in changing the culture of the workplace, both within and outside of the white-collar world.
"The problem with Millennials is that their career expectations challenge the rest of us to acknowledge that the emperor of lifetime employment has no clothes."
The Truth About Millennials by Liz Ryan (via Human Workplace)