Τρεις Ωραίες Ιστορίες Για Διάβασμα

03 Νοεμβρίου 2011 | 1 σχόλιο

Ετούτες τις δύσκολες στιγμές, είναι ωραίο να χαζεύεις από τα ζόρια διαβάζοντας ωραία και καλογραμμένα πράγματα από τα παγκόσμια ίντερνετς. Να τρία:

1. Η Ιστορία Του Groupon (από το Business Insider)

Η εταιρία που γέννησε ένα σωρό κλώνους (μπόλικες ντουζίνες και στη χώρα μας) είναι μια πολύ αλλόκοτη εταιρία, που δε μοιάζει με κανένα άλλο startup παρόμοιου μεγέθους. Και, απ' ό,τι φαίνεται, δεν είναι καν κερδοφόρα.

Groupon actually lost $413 million in 2010.

Diving into the S-1, it turned out that Groupon only considered itself profitable because it used a peculiar accounting metric of its own creation — adjusted consolidated segment operating income, or ACSOI. Basically, Groupon was taking the money it was spending on advertising to acquire new subscribers to its email and not counting that money as a quarterly, recurring expense — but as a one-time, capital expense, the way Google might account for the cost of building a new server farm. Groupon was saying that ACSOI helped it figure out the ratio between the amount of money it needed to spend on marketing to acquire a subscriber and how much that subscriber would be worth to the company over the long haul. But marketing expenses are not typically accounted for this way, and people looked at Groupon as though it were trying to pull a fast one.

2. Τί Σκέφτονται Τα Χταπόδια (από το Orion)

Πολύ πολύ ενδιαφέρον: Το άρθρο παρουσιάζει έρευνες και μελέτες που δείχνουν ότι τα χταπόδια είναι πολύ πιο πολύπλοκα ζώα από ό,τι πιστεύαμε, και ότι έχουν ανεπτυγμένη ευφυία σε βαθμό αδιανόητο.

researchers who study octopuses are convinced that these boneless, alien animals—creatures whose ancestors diverged from the lineage that would lead to ours roughly 500 to 700 million years ago—have developed intelligence, emotions, and individual personalities. Their findings are challenging our understanding of consciousness itself.

3. Η Ιστορία Της Ανύπαντρης Γυναίκας, 2011 (από το Atlantic)

Σ' αυτό το γιγάντιο cover story του Atlantic, μια 39χρονη δεσποινίς γράφει για το τί σημαίνει να είσαι ανύπαντρη σε μια δυτική χώρα την εποχή ετούτη, πώς άντρες "δεν υπάρχουν", την κρίση που περνά ο θεσμός του γάμου και ένα σωρό άλλα ενδιαφέροντα πράγματα, με πρώτο πρόσωπο αλλά και πολλή έρευνα.

Αs women have climbed ever higher, men have been falling behind. We’ve arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.

(...)

Siberia today is suffering such an acute “man shortage” (due in part to massive rates of alcoholism) that both men and women have lobbied the Russian parliament to legalize polygamy. In 2009, The Guardian cited Russian politicians’ claims that polygamy would provide husbands for “10 million lonely women.”

(...)

The matrilineal Mosuo are worth pausing on, as a reminder of how complex family systems can be, and how rigid ours are—and also as an example of women’s innate libidinousness, which is routinely squelched by patriarchal systems, as Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá point out in their own analysis of the Mosuo in their 2010 book, Sex at Dawn. For centuries, the Mosuo have lived in households that revolve around the women: the mothers preside over their children and grandchildren, and brothers take paternal responsibility for their sisters’ offspring.

Sexual relations are kept separate from family. At night, a Mosuo woman invites her lover to visit her babahuago (flower room); the assignation is called sese (walking). If she’d prefer he not sleep over, he’ll retire to an outer building (never home to his sisters). She can take another lover that night, or a different one the next, or sleep every single night with the same man for the rest of her life—there are no expectations or rules. As Cai Hua, a Chinese anthropologist, explains, these relationships, which are known as açia, are founded on each individual’s autonomy, and last only as long as each person is in the other’s company. Every goodbye is taken to be the end of the açia relationship, even if it resumes the following night. “There is no concept of açia that applies to the future,” Hua says.

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