When I’m not working for hire or writing my blog, I spend a certain amount of time perusing the “interwebs,” as my daughter would (sarcastically) say. If you don’t follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn, you may not know that I’ve been on a mission over the past few months to dig up and post links to “good content by smart people” on the same kinds of topics this blog addresses. Of course, there’s an awful lot of crap cluttering up the cable waves. So when I find something I think is interesting or thought-provoking or just presents research I think someone might be able to use, I like to share it.
For this post, I thought I’d share a few of the most interesting articles/posts I’ve read over the past few months. It’s something I hope to do from time to time from now on, because another thing that drives me crazy about the internet, besides the amount of junk masquerading as information, is how ephemeral even the good stuff is. Yes, I know, I know, in actual concrete fact it’s the opposite of ephemeral. Be careful what you post because nothing ever disappears from the web, etc, etc. But the reality is that most of us read (or skim, or glance at) a gazillion things every day, and then promptly forget about them. Or worse, continue thinking about them but have no idea who wrote them or how to find them again. But enough blather. Here are a few of the more interesting pieces I read over the last few months:
- I guess we Americans should be grateful that English, unlike Japanese, doesn’t seem to need a word that means, “death from overwork.” On the other hand, neither do we have use for a word like arbejdsglæde—Danish for “happiness at work.” Unlike Americans, the Danish think workplace happiness is serious business. In fact, according to this article, they are (statistically speaking) the happiest employees in the world. The author, a Dane himself, explains some of the reasons.
- Meanwhile, here in New York, a law requiring employers to offer paid sick leave went into effect last month. (On April Fool’s Day, of all things.) According to this article, the sky didn’t fall. Which should be no surprise, says Claudia Calderon Machicado, of the Center for American Progress: experience has shown paid sick leave is not just not bad for business, it’s sometimes quite good.
- Speaking of leaves, this article in the Atlantic may win my own personal “most fascinating analysis of the year award” for its look at maternity vs. paternity leaves and the law of unintended consequences.
- And while we’re on the topic of men vs. women, as a proudly unrepentant feminist that’s not ashamed to use the word, I’ve always been a bit disappointed in the way “Take Our Daughters to Work Day” morphed into “Take Our Kids to Work Day.” But it turns out the original goal of the day was even more ambitious than I thought.
- Finally, speaking of women and work, the recent renewed chatter about the gender pay gap led to this thoughtful piece in The Nation, reminding us that the gap is even bigger than we think, if we stop “controlling” for stuff that really matters—like race.
So–what have you read lately that made you stop and think?
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