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Move the World.

Welcome back to This Week in Ideas, where we share the most popular stories from Freethink’s Slack channel. Last week, we talked about failure’s role in entrepreneurship. This week we’re talking about a little bit of everything, starting with some fun findings from the world of behavioral psychology (helpful if you’ve got New Year’s resolutions to keep!).

How to create good habits in three steps: “ According to psychologist B.J. Fogg, doing something you don’t enjoy and subsequently failing to make it habitual is actually more detrimental to a mission for change than doing nothing at all. To create a real lifelong habit, the focus should be on training your brain to succeed at a small adjustments, then gaining confidence from that success.”

The case against empathy: “Empathy, however well-intentioned, is a poor guide for moral reasoning. Worse, to the extent that individuals and societies make ethical judgments on the basis of empathy, they become less sensitive to the suffering of greater and greater numbers of people.”

15 Years of Moneyball:  In 2003, Michael Lewis' seminal work Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game was published.  It told the story of the 2002 Oakland A's, a team which didn't have the revenue streams of many of its competitors. Led by General Manager Billy Beane, The A’s instead developed an analytical methodology which attempted to find overlooked players and which would allow them to compete with their wealthier competitors. The impact of ‘Moneyball’ is now a given. However the question remains, almost 15 years later, as to who really has been playing Moneyball.”

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Mystery fungus sparks NIH crisis: “The National Institutes of Health reported last month that a new cell therapy had completely reversed metastatic colon cancer in a patient and could help tens of thousands more — the kind of dramatic breakthrough that has made NIH the crown jewel of government-run medical research. Behind the scenes, the discovery of fungus growing in two medicine vials in an NIH hospital pharmacy 19 months ago has ballooned into a management crisis, stalling medical trials for prostate cancer, melanoma, and gastrointestinal and chest tumors.”

You’ve probably never heard of this creepy genealogy site. But it knows a lot about you: “Profiles on FamilyTreeNow include the age, birth month, family members, addresses and phone numbers for individuals in their system, if they have them,” reports WaPo. “It also guesses at their “possible associates,” all on a publicly accessible, permalink-able page. It’s possible to opt out, but it’s not clear whether doing so actually removes you from their records or (more likely) simply hides your record so it’s no longer accessible to the public.”

Up Next

Future of Food
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Future of Food
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Clean meat is becoming a more widely known, and much loved food category. But do you expect to see it on your gourmet plate any time soon? These chefs think yes.

Clean meat is becoming a more widely known, and much loved food category. But do you expect to see it on your gourmet plate any time soon? These chefs think yes.

This Former Wall Street Felon is Helping Ex-Cons Find Jobs
This Former Wall Street Felon is Helping Ex-Cons Find Jobs
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This Former Wall Street Felon is Helping Ex-Cons Find Jobs
Doing prison time changed this Wall Street trader’s life. Now he’s helping others get jobs after prison - and stay out for good.
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Richard Bronson’s story could inspire a movie—and that’s not far from what happened. He worked for the firm depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street before getting charged with financial crimes and spending 2 years in prison. While incarcerated, his eyes were opened to the inequities prisoners faced and how daunting re-entry to society was. He decided to do something about it. He started the website 70 Million Jobs, with the aim...

Pratham
How To Teach Kids to Read in as Little as 50 Days
How To Teach Kids to Read in as Little as 50 Days
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Pratham
How To Teach Kids to Read in as Little as 50 Days
1 in 10 people in the world today are illiterate. This program teaches people to read in as little as 50 days.
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1 in 10 people in the world today can’t read. Pratham’s innovative approach is helping kids in developing countries learn to read in as little as 50 days. Pratham’s methodology centers around teaching children based on their level rather than their age or grade. It began in India, where most kids are in school - but many aren’t able to read at grade level. The success of the core approach - teaching kids at their level and...

Crossing the Divide
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
Crossing the Divide
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
After studying a team of canvassers, two researchers found that a single conversation can have a significant and...
By Michael O'Shea

After studying a team of canvassers, two researchers found that a single conversation can have a significant and lasting impact on a person's opinion.

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
Breakthrough could mean the end of test animals, violent crime nearly cut in half, and drones that pollinate flowers.
By Michael O'Shea

Breakthrough could mean the end of test animals, violent crime nearly cut in half, and drones that pollinate flowers.

Culture
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
Despite 2016 being widely panned, there were also truly good things that happened over the past year. Here are some...
By Mike Riggs

Despite 2016 being widely panned, there were also truly good things that happened over the past year. Here are some of the big ones.

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using VR to Educate, Amazon...
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using VR to Educate, Amazon Prime Gets Primer
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using VR to Educate, Amazon...
An arm implant to treat opioid addiction, teaching hair stylists with VR, and a potential Amazon Prime game changer.
By Mike Riggs

An arm implant to treat opioid addiction, teaching hair stylists with VR, and a potential Amazon Prime game changer.

Culture
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
Culture
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
Dr. Giovanni Borromeo dreamed up a brilliant scheme that saved dozens of Jewish families in Rome from Nazi...
By Mike Riggs

Dr. Giovanni Borromeo dreamed up a brilliant scheme that saved dozens of Jewish families in Rome from Nazi persecution.