“I’m something of a moralist. I think you just can’t vote for a thing like that, no matter what it costs you in your other areas of your agenda. I don’t want to hear about how you got more done in education: Great. But you voted to take away someone’s rights, so no support from me.”—
We really wanted to talk with Indie lyricist extraordinaire John Darnielle about his 13 albums with the Mountain Goats (we recommend All Hail West Texas). John Darnielle really wanted to talk to us about the GOP’s latest campaign against reproductive rights. Compromise: A wide-ranging interview in which he talked songwriting, abortion rights, and Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses. Check it out here. (via motherjones)
God yes. Fall to the floor, on our hands and knees.
“Want to know real convenience? Leave a message on my machine, or email me, and I’ll get back to you when I damn well feel like it. And if I desperately need to speak to someone when I’m away from home or office, I’ll either use a payphone (they do still exist, and I can tell you where every one south of 23rd Street is) or borrow someone else’s cell to make the call. Now that’s convenience.”—My Life Without A Cell Phone: An Amazing Tale Of Survival | The Awl (via switchedblog)
There are many reasons for the emphasis on merit. Creative Class people are ambitious and want to move up based on their abilities and effort. Creative people have always been motivated by the respect of their peers. The companies that employ them are often under tremendous competitive pressure and thus cannot afford much dead wood on staff: Everyone has to contribute. The pressure is more intense than ever to hire the best people regardless of race, creed, sexual preference or other factors.
But meritocracy also has its dark side. Qualities that confer merit, such as technical knowledge and mental discipline, are socially acquired and cultivated.Yet those who have these qualities may easily start thinking they were born with them, or acquired them all on their own, or that others just “don’t have it.” By papering over the causes of cultural and educational advantage, meritocracy may subtly perpetuate the very prejudices it claims to renounce. On the bright side, of course, meritocracy ties into a host of values and beliefs we’d all agree are positive—from faith that virtue will be rewarded, to valuing self-determination and mistrusting rigid caste systems. Researchers have found such values to be on the rise, not only among the Creative Class in the United States, but throughout our society and other societies.
On March 23, from noon-12:40 p.m. EST, Fast Company senior editor Nancy Cook will travel to the White House with your questions in tow to moderate the panel, “Startup America—Reducing Barriers.” It’s part of the White House’s Startup America initiative, which began with an executive order in January by President Obama, instructing federal agencies to identify and take steps to reduce old or burdensome business regulations. President Obama is also visiting eight cities and entrepreneurs and businesspeople there to get their ideas for how to further streamline the process. But if the president isn’t visiting your city (Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and Boulder are still to come), here’s your chance to take part nonetheless.
Via Twitter or the convenient box below, ask a question about any impediment you feel is getting in the way of startups. Or answer the question: “What regulations are stifling startups?” using hashtag #startupamerica. Or tweet the question at someone whose ideas you think we—and the president—should hear with the same hashtag. We’ll grab a variety of questions and discuss them March 23rd at a roundtable with Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Adminstration, Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council, and others. The whole thing will be livestreamed from the White House. (We’ll share details on watching the broadcast as the event draws near.)
Celebrate democracy and give us your questions and ideas, yes?
We view fast companies as businesses that are innovative, progressive, and creative, and that are constantly changing. These businesses have it baked into their approach who their future customers are going to be. CEOs have to think about not just their customers but their employees who have been there for one or ten years. That’s what makes running a business so hard, because that is the matrix these leaders are operating on.
I mention this because your future customers and employees are using social media. It is a critical part of the way they communicate. If you want to tap into that and understand the evolving marketplace, you have to be attuned to that. It doesn’t mean they have to be Tweeting or on Facebook everyday, but CEOs should try to be comfortable with social media and keep their eyes open to other things.
“A full-blown nuclear meltdown would be devastating for pregnant women and their fetuses, which are particularly vulnerable to the lasting effects of radiation. Should the worst-case scenario become a reality, it could lead to a generation of children born with all manner of maladies, from congenital malformation to mental retardation.”—How Japan’s earthquake will affect unborn babies (via newsweek)