Share – Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này — Ngon 24h

Dưới đây là danh sách những thực phẩm hàng đầu khiến nguy cơ gây ung thư tăng cao nếu bạn nạp vào quá nhiều hoặc quá thường xuyên: Thực phẩm chế biến sẵn Đó là những loại thực phẩm đã được chế biến sẵn ở dạng khô và có thể để dành được lâu như […]

via Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này — Ngon 24h

Dưới đây là danh sách những thực phẩm hàng đầu khiến nguy cơ gây ung thư tăng cao nếu bạn nạp vào quá nhiều hoặc quá thường xuyên:

Thực phẩm chế biến sẵn

Đó là những loại thực phẩm đã được chế biến sẵn ở dạng khô và có thể để dành được lâu như bánh mì, nước ngọt, mì ăn liền, đồ ăn nhẹ mặn/ngọt… Các loại thực phẩm này có chứa nhiều đường, natri, chất béo bão hòa cũng như các thành phần hóa học khác.

Theo một nghiên cứu của các nhà nghiên cứu Pháp và Brazil, khi bạn tăng mức tiêu thụ các loại thực phẩm siêu chế biến thêm 10% thì tức là bạn cũng đang tăng nguy cơ ung thư nói chung lên 12% và nguy cơ ung thư vú tăng 11%.

Khoai tây chiên

Món ăn kèm yêu thích của nhiều người cũng chính là một trong những loại thực phẩm mang nguy cơ ung thư hàng đầu. Theo một nghiên cứu từ Cơ quan tiêu chuẩn thực phẩm của Anh (FSA), thủ phạm là do acrylamide – một hóa chất được tạo ra khi các loại thực phẩm có tinh bột được nấu ở nhiệt độ cao. Không chỉ tiềm ẩn nguy cơ ung thư, nó còn có thể ảnh hưởng đến hệ thần kinh và sinh sản.

Rượu/Chất cồn

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 1.

Đã có những số liệu rất chi tiết về tác động của rượu đối với cơ thể: Nếu mỗi ngày uống một cốc rượu là bạn tự làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư vú thêm 5%, nguy cơ ung thư vòm họng tăng 17% và nguy cơ ung thư thực quản tăng 30%. Con số này sẽ tăng gấp 5 nếu mỗi ngày bạn uống đến 4 cốc rượu.

Theo Hiệp hội Ung thư lâm sàng Hoa Kỳ (ASCO), có khoảng 5% các ca ung thư mới cũng như 6% ca tử vong do ung thư là bởi thói quen tiêu thụ rượu gây ra.

Thịt xông khói

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 2.

Những ai đã thích thịt xông khói thì sẽ vô cùng “nghiện” món ăn này. Cũng như xúc xích, giăm bông hay thịt nguội, ăn quá nhiều thịt xông khói sẽ làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư, đặc biệt là ung thư trực tràng, dạ dày (các nghiên cứu đã chỉ ra, ăn 50gr tương đương 4 dải thịt xông khói mỗi ngày sẽ làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư trực tràng lên 18%). Vì thế, hãy tập giảm thiểu lượng thực phẩm này nạp vào.

Thịt nướng

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 3.

Không ai có thể cưỡng lại sức hút của những dải thịt nướng BBQ nhưng hầu như cũng không ai biết tác động của thịt nướng với cơ thể. Theo Viện Ung thư Quốc gia, nấu thịt ở nhiệt độ cao trên ngọn lửa hoặc chảo chiên nó tạo ra hai loại hóa chất có thể làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư của bạn – các amin dị vòng (HCA) và các hydrocacbon thơm đa vòng (PAHs). Một nghiên cứu cho thấy rằng ăn thịt cháy thường xuyên làm tăng nguy cơ phát triển ung thư tuyến tụy lên 60%, trong khi một nghiên cứu khác cho thấy nó khiến tỷ lệ ung thư vú ở phụ nữ sau mãn kinh lên gấp đôi.

Thịt đỏ

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 4.

Dù bạn chế biến theo cách nào thì thịt đỏ cũng không hề có lợi cho sức khỏe. Đây là một trong những tác nhân gây ra ung thư tuyến tụy, đại trực tràng và dạ dày. Có một nghiên cứu đã chỉ ra rằng, trong phân của những người thường xuyên ăn thịt đỏ có hàm lượng N-nitroso cao (NOCs) – là những hóa chất gây ra ung thư.

Bánh mì trắng, gạo trắng

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 5.

Đây là một món ăn không thể thiếu trong bữa ăn của người Việt, nhưng các nhà khoa học thuộc Trung tâm Ung thư MD Anderson thuộc Đại học Texas đã chỉ ra nguy cơ ung thư phổi lên tới 49% với những người thường xuyên ăn các thực phẩm có chỉ số đường cao như bánh mì trắng, gạo trắng.

Thay vào những thực phẩm đó, bạn có thể chuyển sang các loại tinh bột có chỉ số đường thấp hơn như yến mạch, bánh mì đen, gạo lứt…

Cà phê nóng

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 6.

Bản thân cà phê thì không gây ra ung thư nhưng nếu pha nó ở nhiệt độ cao và nạp vào cơ thể thì có thể làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư thực quản. Không phải do nhiệt độ cao sẽ phát tán một số chất gây ung thư đâu nhé, đó là do nước nóng khiến các mô cổ họng nở ra và tăng nguy cơ phát triển khối u. Điều này cũng tương tự với việc uống trà, hút thuốc hay uống rượu quá nhiều.

Đồ ngọt

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 7.

Một nghiên cứu đã chỉ ra rằng, phụ nữ tiêu thụ nhiều đồ ngọt làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư vú lên 27%. Nguyên do là bởi khi glucose và insulin tăng lên, chúng làm tăng nồng độ estrogen và có khả năng dẫn đến ung thư vú. Đường kích thích sự tăng trưởng của các khối u bởi các tế bào ung thư đòi hỏi rất nhiều năng lượng để phát triển và tiêu thụ nhiều đường chính là một nguồn “thức ăn” để nuôi chúng.

Bỏng ngô

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 8.

Nguyên nhân chính không đến từ bỏng ngô mà ở loại túi chứa nó. Trong thành túi bóng phải chứa một loại hóa chất khiến cho bỏng không dính vào. Khi túi nóng lên, lớp phủ phân hủy, tạo ra axit perfluorooctanoic – có liên quan đến việc tăng nguy cơ mắc ung thư gan và tuyến tiền liệt.

Chất béo bão hòa

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 9.

Chế độ ăn nhiều chất béo bão hòa có thể làm tăng nguy cơ mắc nhiều bệnh ung thư, bao gồm phổi, vú và tuyến tiền liệt. Nguyên nhân là bởi mức độ cholesterol cao trong chất béo bão hòa làm tăng sự sao chép của tế bào gốc đường ruột (ISCs), từ đó thúc đẩy sự phát triển của mô ruột – và cũng thúc đẩy sự tăng trưởng của tế bào khối u, khiến chúng phát triển nhanh hơn gấp 100 lần! Và đó chính là ung thư đấy!!!

Nước ngọt đóng chai

Mầm mống ung thư trong cơ thể sẽ ngày càng lớn thêm nếu bạn vẫn duy trì thói quen tiêu thụ lượng lớn những thực phẩm này - Ảnh 10.

Theo các nhà nghiên cứu Úc, chỉ cần uống bất kỳ loại nước ngọt nào mỗi ngày đều làm tăng nguy cơ mắc ung thư gan, tuyến tiền liệt, buồng trứng và túi mật. Ngay cả các loại nước uống không đường cũng không hề an toàn như bạn nghĩ đâu nhé!

Theo Minh An – Thời đại/RD

Share – Dấu hiệu cảnh báo sớm 13 bệnh ung thư: Dù chỉ có 1 dấu hiệu cũng nên khám ngay — Ngon 24h

Nếu bệnh ung thư di truyền từ những thành viên trong gia đình và bạn muốn chủ động phòng ngừa là điều không khó. Khi biết các dấu hiệu cảnh báo sớm bệnh ung thư có thể giúp ngăn ngừa nó phát triển hoặc lan rộng ra. Điều quan trọng mà bạn cần biết là […]

via Dấu hiệu cảnh báo sớm 13 bệnh ung thư: Dù chỉ có 1 dấu hiệu cũng nên khám ngay — Ngon 24h

Nếu bệnh ung thư di truyền từ những thành viên trong gia đình và bạn muốn chủ động phòng ngừa là điều không khó. Khi biết các dấu hiệu cảnh báo sớm bệnh ung thư có thể giúp ngăn ngừa nó phát triển hoặc lan rộng ra.

Điều quan trọng mà bạn cần biết là các dấu hiệu của bệnh ung thư cũng có thể được phát hiện bằng các điều kiện, dấu hiệu bên ngoài cơ thể.

Nó là ung thư hay một căn bệnh khác?

Dưới đây là một số triệu chứng có thể là về bệnh ung thư, nhưng cũng có thể là dấu hiệu của một căn bệnh khác. Nếu bạn có bất kì dấu hiệu nào sau đây, hãy đến gặp bác sĩ của bạn ngay nhé!

Bạn càng sớm tìm ra chính xác nguyên nhân gây ra triệu chứng đó thì càng yên tâm rằng bạn đang được điều trị đúng hướng.

– Bàng quang và ung thư thận: Bạn có thể thấy máu trong nước tiểu, bị đau rát hoặc đi tiểu quá nhiều. Các tình trạng khác có thể xảy ra do các triệu chứng này đưa đến bao gồm nhiễm trùng đường tiết niệu và viêm bàng quang kẽ.

– Ung thư vú: Khối u hoặc khối u dày, ngứa, tấy đỏ hoặc đau nhức ở vùng núm vú mà không do thai nghén, cho con bú hoặc do kinh nguyệt. Tuy nhiên, không phải tất cả khối u đều là ung thư.

– Ung thư cổ tử cung, nội mạc tử cung và ung thư tử cung: Chảy máu giữa chu kỳ kinh nguyệt, dịch tiết bất thường, kinh nguyệt nhiều và không đều. Những triệu chứng này cũng có thể tạo ra do bệnh lạc nội mạc tử cung hoặc u xơ tử cung.

Dấu hiệu cảnh báo sớm 13 bệnh ung thư: Dù chỉ có 1 dấu hiệu cũng nên khám ngay - Ảnh 2.

– Ung thư đại tràng: chảy máu trực tràng, máu xuất hiện trong phân hoặc thay đổi các thói quen tiêu hóa hàng ngày như tiêu chảy dai dẳng và táo bón là những dấu hiệu cảnh báo cần được thăm khám kịp thời.

Những triệu chứng này cũng có thể là kết quả của bệnh viêm ruột (IBD).

– Ung thư thanh quản: giọng nói ho, khàn tiếng dai dẳng có thể là những dấu hiệu bạn gặp phải. Tuy nhiên, thay đổi giọng cũng có thể do polyp hoặc hypothyroidism gây ra.

– Bệnh bạch cầu: Đau nhức, mệt mỏi, sụt cân, nhiễm trùng lặp đi lặp lại, chảy máu cam, đau xương hoặc khớp, dễ bầm tím trên da là những dấu hiệu cảnh báo có thể có của bệnh bạch cầu.

– Ung thư phổi: Ho dai dẳng, đờm có máu, cảm giác nặng nề ở ngực hoặc đau ngực có thể biểu hiện của bệnh ung thư phổi. Nhưng đây cũng có thể chỉ ra bệnh viêm phổi.

– Lymphoma (một nhóm các dạng ung thư máu phát triển từ bạch huyết bào): hạch bạch huyết bị sưng, ngứa da, đổ mồ hôi ban đêm mà không có nguyên nhân, sốt và giảm cân… có thể là những dấu hiệu của bệnh Lymphona.

– Ung thư miệng và họng: nếu bạn xuất hiện các vết loét mãn tính ở miệng, lưỡi hoặc cổ họng bị xước, các mảng màu trắng trong miệng nên được bác sĩ kiểm tra. Các đốm trắng hoặc vết loét cũng có thể bị gây ra bởi hệ miễn dịch yếu, căng thẳng, chấn thương miệng hoặc IBD.

– Ung thư buồng trứng: đối với căn bệnh này, nó thường không có các triệu chứng cho đến khi bệnh phát triển ở giai đoạn sau. Các triệu chứng này có thể là sụt cân, mệt mỏi, đầy bụng và đau bụng.

– Ung thư tuyến tụy: cũng giống như ung thư buồng trứng, ung thư tuyến tuỵ chỉ có các dấu hiệu khi bệnh đã phát triển về giai đoạn sau, các triệu chứng đó là da bị vàng, hoặc đau sâu trong dạ dày, lưng.

– Ung thư da: Loại ung thư này thường biểu hiện như các nốt ruồi thay đổi màu sắc, kích thước hoặc hình dạng, các vết loét, khối u, cục u dưới da giống như mụn cóc hoặc loét không bao giờ lành lại.

– Ung thư dạ dày: Nôn mửa ra máu hoặc thường xuyên khó tiêu, đau bụng sau khi ăn, giảm cân có thể là dấu hiệu của ung thư dạ dày. Tuy nhiên, bạn cũng không cần phải lo lắng vì có thể là dấu hiệu của loét dạ dày.

Mẹo phòng chống ung thư

Nếu ung thư di truyền trong gia đình bạn hoặc bạn có thể trạng kém có thể mắc một căn bệnh ung thư nào đó, thì điều quan trọng là hãy chú ý đến các yếu tố nguy cơ.

Chủ động và lựa chọn cuộc sống lành mạnh có thể giúp bạn giảm nguy cơ phát triển ung thư. Một số cách bạn có thể thực hiện bao gồm:

– Tập thể dục thường xuyên: Tối thiểu 30 phút mỗi ngày. Các nghiên cứu đã chỉ ra rằng tập thể dục thường xuyên và vừa phải có thể làm giảm nguy cơ ung thư của bạn ít nhất 30%.

– Chế độ ăn uống cân bằng, lành mạnh: đó là một chế độ ăn ít chất xơ, ít hoặc không có thịt đỏ và nhiều trái cây, rau quả tươi. Bạn cũng có thể hấp thụ chất béo nhưng cần chắc chắn rằng đó là những loại chất béo lành mạnh.

– Bỏ thuốc lá: Khói thuốc lá có thể làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư của bạn thêm 30%.

– Hạn chế sử dụng rượu: Mức uống vừa phải là có thể chấp nhận được. Một loại đồ uống mỗi ngày đã được tìm thấy nhằm giảm thiểu một số rủi ro về sức khoẻ, bao gồm cả nguy cơ mắc bệnh tim. Tuy nhiên, uống quá nhiều rượu có thể làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư vú.

– Không hút thuốc kết hợp với uống rượu: Hút thuốc kết hợp với rượu đã được chứng minh là làm tăng đáng kể nguy cơ ung thư đối với ung thư miệng, ung thư thực quản và các bệnh ung thư khác.

– Duy trì khám phụ khoa thường xuyên: Điều này bao gồm cả các xét nghiệm Pap smears và mammograms. Pap smear là công cụ sàng lọc duy nhất cho bệnh ung thư, nhờ nó mà đã có thể giảm số ca tử vong do bất kỳ loại ung thư nào trên thế giới. Chụp X quang tuyến vú thường nên bắt đầu từ 35 đến 40 tuổi.

– Thực hiện khám vú hàng tháng: Nếu việc này được bắt đầu sớm thì có thể sẽ giảm được khả năng mắc bệnh ung thư ở giai đoạn sớm, ít nguy hiểm hơn.

– Sử dụng kem chống nắng: Sử dụng các loại kem chống nắng có độ SPF 15 hoặc cao hơn trong bất kì trường hợp nào bạn phải ra ngoài trời. Hạn chế ở ngoài trời vào giữa ngày.

– Quan hệ tình dục an toàn: Luôn luôn sử dụng bao cao su trừ khi bạn đang ở trong một mối quan hệ lâu dài, một vợ một chồng!

Dấu hiệu cảnh báo sớm 13 bệnh ung thư: Dù chỉ có 1 dấu hiệu cũng nên khám ngay - Ảnh 3.

Phụ nữ có thể giảm đáng kể nguy cơ mắc ung thư cổ tử cung bằng cách nhờ các bác sĩ phụ khoa thường xuyên xét nghiệm Pap smears và khám sức khỏe. Ung thư cổ tử cung là một trong những khối u ác tính gây chết người phổ biến nhất ở những người phụ nữ trẻ hiện nay.

Các nghiên cứu dịch tế học cho thấy rằng nguy cơ ung thư cổ tử cung tăng lên khi phụ nữ hoạt động tình dục ở lứa tuổi quá sớm, có nhiều bạn tình và quan hệ tình dục không được bảo vệ thường xuyên hơn.

Cơ quan Quản lý Thực phẩm và Thuốc Hoa Kỳ (FDA) đã công nhận một loại vắc-xin chống lại virus HPV và ung thư cổ tử cung mà phụ nữ có thể nhận tiêm phòng trước khi họ quan hệ tình dục để hạn chế bệnh.

Theo verywellhealth

Theo Nguyễn Hòa – Trí Thức Trẻ

Share – 7 cách ngăn ngừa ung thư đại tràng: Đừng đợi có bệnh mới chữa, hãy áp dụng ngay! — Ngon 24h

1. Duy trì cân nặng khỏe mạnh Đàn ông và phụ nữ thừa cân hoặc béo phì có nhiều khả năng phát triển ung thư đại trực tràng hơn. Một nghiên cứu được công bố vào tháng 10 năm 2018 trên tạp chí JAMA Oncology theo dõi sức khỏe của hơn 85.000 phụ nữ trong […]

via 7 cách ngăn ngừa ung thư đại tràng: Đừng đợi có bệnh mới chữa, hãy áp dụng ngay! — Ngon 24h

1. Duy trì cân nặng khỏe mạnh

Đàn ông và phụ nữ thừa cân hoặc béo phì có nhiều khả năng phát triển ung thư đại trực tràng hơn.

Một nghiên cứu được công bố vào tháng 10 năm 2018 trên tạp chí JAMA Oncology theo dõi sức khỏe của hơn 85.000 phụ nữ trong 22 năm và thấy rằng chỉ số khối cơ thể (BMI) của người phụ nữ vượt ngưỡng khuyến khích sẽ có nguy cơ phát triển ung thư đại trực tràng.

2. Tập thể dục nhiều hơn

Tập thể dục thường xuyên với mức độ vừa phải làm tăng nhịp tim và lưu thông máu trong cơ thể cũng làm giảm nguy cơ mắc bệnh này.

Một nghiên cứu của Viện Ung thư Quốc gia tại Mỹ cho hơn 1,4 triệu người, được công bố vào tháng 6 năm 2016 trên tạp chí JAMA Internal Medicine, cho thấy mức độ hoạt động thể chất tỷ lệ nghịch với khả năng mắc ung thư đại trực tràng.

3. Xem xét lại chế độ ăn uống của bạn

Nhiều nghiên cứu đã cho thấy rằng chế độ ăn uống đóng một vai trò hết sức quan trọng.

Ăn thịt đỏ (thịt bò và thịt heo) và một số loại thịt chế biến (như xúc xích, thịt xông khói) dường như làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư đại trực tràng, do đó, nên hạn chế những thực phẩm này.

Chế độ ăn có nhiều trái cây và rau quả luôn luôn được khuyến khích và trong việc phòng chống ung thư cũng vậy. Trong đó, chất xơ là nhân tố được đánh giá cao nhất trong việc phòng ngừa loại bệnh này.

7 cách ngăn ngừa ung thư đại tràng: Đừng đợi có bệnh mới chữa, hãy áp dụng ngay! - Ảnh 1.

4. Tránh uống rượu quá mức

Sử dụng rượu với mức độ trung bình đến mức độ thường xuyên có liên quan với nguy cơ mắc ung thư đại tràng và trực tràng cao hơn.

Một vài nghiên cứu cũng cho rằng nam giới có nguy cơ cao hơn do họ uống rượu với mức độ thường xuyên và số lượng nhiều hơn nữ giới.

Hiệp hội Ung thư Hoa Kỳ đề nghị nam giới chỉ nên uống 2 ly 1 ngày và nữ giới chỉ nên uống 1 ly.

5. Hãy ngừng hút thuốc lá

Hầu hết mọi người biết rằng hút thuốc lá làm tăng nguy cơ ung thư phổi nhưng ít ai biết rằng nó cũng là nguyên nhân gây ung thư đại trực tràng.

6. Dùng Aspirin hoặc một loại thuốc chống viêm khác không chứa steroid – nhưng phải theo chỉ định của bác sĩ

Có nhiều bằng chứng tích cực cho thấy những người dùng aspirin hoặc các thuốc chống viêm không steroid, chẳng hạn như ibuprofen và naproxen giảm nguy cơ mắc bệnh này.

Tuy nhiên, phải có sự cân nhắc về lợi ích, thường thì các loại thuốc này không được khuyến khích dùng do chúng có nhiều tác dụng phụ như loét dạ dày.

Trong các trường hợp có nguy cơ mắc cao thì mới được chỉ định dùng. Vì vậy, bạn không nên tự ý dùng thuốc mà cần thiết phải có sự cho phép của bác sĩ.

7. Thường xuyên đến bệnh viện kiểm tra

Các xét nghiệm sàng lọc nhằm mục đích xác định ung thư đại trực tràng ở những người không có triệu chứng biểu hiện ra bên ngoài rõ ràng như đau bụng hay đi phân ra máu. Việc xét nghiệm có thể phát hiện ung thư ở giai đoạn đầu thông qua phân tích mẫu phân hoặc các bất thường của DNA. Tuy nhiên, phương pháp thông thường và đơn giản nhất là nội soi đại tràng.

Trong quá trình nội soi, các bác sĩ có thể xét nghiệm sinh thiết bất kỳ polyp nào họ tìm thấy, để xác định liệu có phải là ung thư, tiền ung thư hay lành tính.

Loại bỏ các polyp được phát hiện thông qua sàng lọc là một trong những lý do làm cho tỷ lệ tử vong do ung thư đại trực tràng đã giảm trong vài thập kỷ qua.

Hiệp hội ung thư tại Mỹ cho biết, độ tuổi mắc các bệnh này là vào khoảng 45 đến 50 tuổi, do vậy, nếu đang ở trong độ tuổi này bạn nên hết sức lưu ý.

Như đối với tất cả các loại bệnh khác, phòng ngừa bao giờ cũng tốt hơn là phải chữa trị. Hãy thật sự quan tâm tới cơ thể mình nhiều hơn nữa!

*Theo everydayhealth

Theo Phạm Thanh – Trí Thức Trẻ

Share – Cá chép chế biến kiểu này để đổi vị ai cũng mê, chị em ăn vào lại trẻ ra 10 tuổi, da trắng hồng — Ngon 24h

Cá chép là một trong những loài có chất lượng thịt ngon, ăn ngọt, vị thơm. Đặc biệt, với chị em phụ nữ, cá chép nấu cháo hoặc hấp ăn nóng sẽ rất bổ máu, ăn nhiều giúp sắc mặt hồng hào, tuần hoàn tốt. Người đang mang thai, ăn cá chép có tác dụng […]

via Cá chép chế biến kiểu này để đổi vị ai cũng mê, chị em ăn vào lại trẻ ra 10 tuổi, da trắng hồng — Ngon 24h

Cá chép là một trong những loài có chất lượng thịt ngon, ăn ngọt, vị thơm. Đặc biệt, với chị em phụ nữ, cá chép nấu cháo hoặc hấp ăn nóng sẽ rất bổ máu, ăn nhiều giúp sắc mặt hồng hào, tuần hoàn tốt. Người đang mang thai, ăn cá chép có tác dụng dưỡng thai bảo vệ sức khỏe.

Chỉ bạn cách làm món cá chép hấp bia 

Các nguyên liệu cần có:

Cá chép: 1 con vừa ăn cho gia đình

Bia: 1 lon

Gia vị các loại: mắm, muối, đường, hạt nêm,…

Dưa chuột, cà rốt, dứa, cải chua (các loại rau ăn kèm khác nếu muốn)

Thì là, gừng

Cách thực hiện:Cá đánh vảy, làm sạch, bỏ ruột, giữ lại phần đầu đuôi. Nếu muốn mất mùi tanh của cá nên dùng một ít giấm hoặc nước cốt chanh xoa khắp mình cá.

Dùng dao khứa lên lưng cá đảm bảo cắt được phần xương dâm. Ướp cá với gừng, dầu ăn, nước tương, hạt nêm, đường, tiêu, ớt. Nhớ nhét gừng, xả băm vào khe khứa trên thân cá. Để khoảng 30 phút cho ngấm đều gia vị.

Sau đó, để hết một lon bia vào nồi, đặt vỉ cách thủy lên trên. Đặt đĩa cá lên, đậy nấp lại và hấp khoảng 20 phút là chín. Chuẩn bị dưa chuột, cà rốt, dứa, các loại rau ra đĩa để ăn kèm. Nếu không có một cái nồi to để hấp cách thủy, bạn cũng có thể dùng chảo chống dính để thực hiện món ngon này.

Không quá khó để có được một đĩa cá hấp hảo hạng chuẩn nhà hàng ngay tại nhà các chị nhé! Món này cần được ăn khi nóng sẽ đảm bảo thơm ngon hơn.

Cách chọn cá chép ngon

Chép sông bao giờ cũng dài mình, không tròn ủng như chép ao. Lúc mua, bạn nên nhớ chọn con cái dài hơn, dày hơn, đảm bảo sẽ ngọt thơm hơn.

Đừng ham con nặng ký, bởi lẽ cá nuôi rất nhanh lớn, ruột to, nhiều mỡ nên tròn, nhưng thịt lại không ngọt do chỉ ăn nhiều thức ăn công nghiệp và thời gian sinh trưởng chưa lâu. Đối với cá cắt khúc bán sẵn, bạn nên thận trọng bởi lẽ rất dễ mua phải cá đã chết trước đó lâu rồi.

Khi lựa mua cá này, bạn có 2 cách: Một là đòi người bán cắt khúc một con cá lớn khác, đang bơi trong chậu để bán cho mình; hai là chú ý nhìn kỹ, chỉ ăn khúc của những con cá mà phần thân vẫn gắn với phần đầu và miệng cá, mang cá vẫn đang thở. Khi đó, bạn có thể đảm bảo cá mình mua là tươi sống.

Share – “Sắc tức thị Không, Không tức thị Sắc” — Triết Học Đường Phố 2.0

(1210 chữ, 5 phút đọc) Rượu đựng trong bầu, uống cho tới khi cái trống Không tràn đầy, gọi là uống rượu. Vậy là uống vì cái Không được tràn đầy hay là uống rượu đây?

via “Sắc tức thị Không, Không tức thị Sắc” — Triết Học Đường Phố 2.0

Cái khoảnh khắc chuyển giao từ cực này sang cực kia, lúc năng lượng khác đi vào để thay thế cho dòng năng lượng cũ, ngay khoảnh khắc ấy có cảm xúc. Ví như người ta đang nhịp chân ngồi trong quán cafe nhìn ra đường, thấy có người đẹp đi ngang qua, trong lòng vui làm sao. Khi người đẹp đi qua rồi, phía xa xa chủ nợ đang đi tới, trong lòng liền buồn làm sao. Khuôn mặt liền bí xị, thấy cuộc đời đen như nhọ nồi. Cảm xúc thay đổi nhanh như người yêu cũ trở mặt.

Trong con người ta đều có sẵn đủ mọi loại cảm xúc, mọi loại năng lượng. Nó ẩn bên trong, chỉ chờ đúng thời điểm, đúng đối tượng nó sẽ thoát ra. Mọi thứ, sợ hãi, can đảm, buồn, vui, khóc, cười, v.v… Thay vì kìm nén hay lảng tránh cảm xúc, ta nên để nó thoát ra một cách tự nhiên. Thay vì trách cứ, ân hận thì ta nên chấp nhận, suy nghĩ về cảm xúc của mình.

Ngày đầu tiên tôi bỏ thuốc lá không khác gì địa ngục. Những nỗi sợ hãi hiện ra, nó như thể cuộc đời tôi sắp mất mát một cái gì đó to lớn lắm. Tôi suy nghĩ rằng tôi đã hút thuốc quen rồi, bỏ đi có được không. Tôi nhung nhớ điếu thuốc cực kỳ, trong ngày đầu tiên tôi chẳng làm gì được ngoài nghĩ về việc mình đang hút thuốc. Qua ngày thứ 2, 3, tôi thôi nhung nhớ, thay vào đó tôi đang nghiện hiệu ứng cai thuốc. Tôi thích thú hiệu ứng cai thuốc cực kỳ, tôi lâng lâng bay bổng, đi như trên mây. Tôi chẳng tập trung được vào bất cứ việc gì, tôi chỉ quan tâm tới hiệu ứng lâng lâng ấy. 7 ngày sau hiệu ứng mất dần, thói quen lẫn suy nghĩ về thuốc cũng mất đi.

Bảy nhân bảy bốn mươi chín ngày! Tôi như người chưa từng hút thuốc, thậm chí trước đó lão hàng xóm nhả khói tôi hít phải còn thấy thơm phức. Bây giờ tôi thấy hôi rình. Cai được 6 tháng tôi hút lại. Vấn đề bắt đầu nảy sinh. Cái ngày tôi hút thuốc lại, cầm điếu thuốc trên tay tôi sợ hãi. Nỗi sợ không khác gì ngày đầu tiên tôi cai thuốc. Tôi suy nghĩ rằng tôi không hút thuốc quen rồi, bây giờ hút lại có được không. Hai vấn đề, một nỗi sợ. Ở đây ngay khoảnh khắc chuyển giao năng lượng, từ cực này sang cực kia, từ sự đồng nhất này sang sự đồng nhất kia đều chứa đựng cảm xúc. Sau đó tôi hút lại, chỉ sau điếu thứ nhất, tôi nhả khói lẫn gạt tàn một cách điêu luyện. Kỹ năng đó không mất, nó chỉ chờ khi tôi hút lại lập tức nó được sử dụng.

Cái vấn đề ở chỗ bảy nhân bảy bốn mươi chín ngày, con số bí mật. Đức Phật ngồi 49 ngày, thuyết pháp 49 năm. 1 tuần có 7 ngày… Đủ mọi trường hợp cho con số 7. Tương truyền vũ trụ này đứng thứ 7 hay được tạo ra theo thứ tự ở thứ 7 gì đó. Người xưa lại nói bảy ba hai mốt, thường chế nhạo những ai muốn làm một cái gì đó mang tính bộc phát. Hai mươi mốt ngày để hình thành một thói quen, bốn mươi chín ngày để lưu nó vào dòng Nghiệp. Người nào nhịn ăn đủ 49 ngày, cái đói với người đó như hình với bóng. Như sự thật hiển nhiên, 49 ngày họ bị đồng nhất bởi sự đói, họ cùng sự đói là một. Người ta sau khi chết 49 ngày mà không tái sinh, họ bị nghiện cái chết. Bây giờ với người đó cái chết là sự thật, là bản thể của họ. Cái chết chính là sự sống, họ phải sống trong cái chết. Nếu không họ sẽ chết và cái chết sẽ biến mất khỏi họ.

Thân xác này không gì ngoài cái chết của linh hồn. Thân xác này đã sống quá lâu rồi và xem đó như là sự thật hiển nhiên vậy. Bây giờ thân xác là sống, linh hồn là không có. Linh hồn chỉ có sau khi chết. Nhưng ít ai biết và nghĩ ngược lại. Rằng linh hồn sắp được sinh ra một lần nữa, và ở đây thân xác này, không gì ngoài sự chết. Chết ở đây, là sinh ra ở kia. Chết ở kia, là sinh ra ở đây. Bảy bảy bốn mươi chín ngày!

“Chẳng ra khỏi cửa, biết chuyện thiên hạ. Chẳng ngó ngoài sân, thấy được đạo Trời. Nhà to rốt cuộc cũng dụng cái Không mà ở, chén sành cũng dùng cái Không mà trở nên hữu dụng!”

— Lão Tử

Rượu đựng trong bầu, uống cho tới khi cái trống Không tràn đầy, gọi là uống rượu. Vậy là uống vì cái Không được tràn đầy hay là uống rượu đây? Uống mà rượu còn hoài, cái Không chưa đầy, thì uống làm gì?

Niềm vui đong đầy, liền phá lên cười, cười đi cho vơi cái vui. Cái vui xong rồi, còn lại trống Không. Niềm vui không còn, còn lại cái Không. Vậy há người ta chẳng cười vì cái Không đó hay sao?

Tâm mang sự buồn, ức lên mà khóc, khóc đi cho vơi nỗi buồn. Nỗi buồn qua rồi, còn lại trống Không. Nỗi buồn không còn, còn lại cái Không. Vậy há người ta chẳng khóc vì cái Không đó hay sao?

Lấy đất làm nhà, nhà làm xong rồi, chẳng còn gì làm. Rốt cuộc, cũng chỉ làm vì cái Không. Cái Không chưa trọn vẹn, nhà thời vẫn làm, làm cho tới khi cái Không viên mãn. Vậy rốt cuộc là có xây nhà hay không?

Người buồn, ta buồn, có gì khác? Người vui, ta vui, có gì khác? Vui này, buồn này trong Tâm, Tâm này nơi thân, đi khắp núi non bốn bể, vui buồn như nhau. Chẳng ra khỏi cửa, biết chuyện thiên hạ!

Làm như không làm, làm rồi cũng Không, chưa làm cũng Không. Người ăn ở Không, tức đang ở Không. Người đang làm đó, bất quá cũng chỉ đang tiến về cái Không. Có cái gì trong Vũ Trụ mà chẳng đi về Không? Đạo Trời rốt cuộc cũng chỉ là Không. Bây giờ chưa thấy đạo Trời, sau thấy cũng chỉ Không. Bây giờ chưa biết đạo Trời, sau biết cũng chỉ Không. Bởi đạo Trời chẳng nằm ngoài cái Không. Vậy nay ta Không cho trọn vẹn, khỏi mất công đi tìm, tìm rồi cũng chỉ thấy mỗi cái Không. Chẳng ngó ngoài sân, thấy được đạo Trời!

Hiện tại chưa về Không, còn vương vấn đó, bởi giấu nó đi, chẳng đặng làm cho về Không. Mai này hoá Hư Không, ở đó liền muốn khóc. Nhưng chẳng có cái gì để khóc, vậy liền sinh thành em bé. Sinh ra khóc oà, khóc đặng cho về Không. Mai này lớn lên, cứ lại đè nén, vui được một phần, sầu khổ mười phần. Cười được ba khắc, khóc tận ba canh.

Share – Muốn học cách thành công thì nên xem Tam Quốc Diễn Nghĩa — Triết Học Đường Phố 2.0

(1047 chữ, 4 phút đọc) Cái tinh hoa trong từng tính cách nhân vật đúc kết một bài học riêng cho chính mình khi lần lượt nhìn thấy sự trần trụi của bản tính con người được trưng bày rõ rệt.

via Muốn học cách thành công thì nên xem Tam Quốc Diễn Nghĩa — Triết Học Đường Phố 2.0

Nếu bạn đang đánh trận chiến của bạn, cho những lý tưởng nung nấu nhưng vẫn còn quá non nớt vì tự thân không đủ khả năng. Bạn được nghe giới thiệu về những quyển sách dạy thành công, dạy làm giàu, cách đối nhân xử thế và bạn đã quyết chí lật tung mọi hiệu sách để mang vác chúng về nhà. Đọc chúng với một cái đầu rỗng tuếch bởi lời lẽ nào trong đó cũng chỉ là lý thuyết suông khó nuốt. Thì đây, có một bí mật muốn được bật mí – Bật Tam Quốc Chí lên xem.

Đừng nghĩ rằng đó chỉ là một bộ phim chính trị quân sự và sự kết giao giữa ba nước Ngụy, Thục, Ngô với những cuộc chém giết đổ máu tranh giành quyền lực giải quyết hận thù hay lòng khao khát nung nấu tâm can của các nhân vật, được xây dựng lên nhằm thỏa mãn nhu cầu giải trí cho những anh hùng thời đại yêu quý phim kiếm hiệp. Không, hãy để những cuộc đấu trí so dũng, thâm sâu hơn là chữ nghĩa được diễn giải tài tình đi vào trong tâm trí bạn và trở nên thích đáng tất cả dấu chấm hỏi.

Bạn muốn trở nên thành công sao? Bạn sẽ bắt gặp Lưu Bị từ một anh nông dân làm nghề dệt chiếu để kiếm sống qua ngày. Với tinh thần cao thượng, cương trực, trung quân ái quốc lại còn biết cách đối nhân xử thế đã xoay chuyển vận mệnh dựng xây nên cơ đồ nước Thục. Trải qua biết bao nhiêu nhục nhã và khổ cực nhưng vẫn cố giữ tâm mình kiên cố vững bền, chưa bao giờ lung lay ý chí cũng chưa bao giờ có suy nghĩ từ bỏ mơ ước của mình.

Gian xảo mưu mô hơn thì có ngay anh Tào. Tào Tháo cũng đi lên từ một gia đình bình thường. Lịch sử cũng đã ghi chép lại tên Tào bằng một sự nghiệp gian truân. Tuy không chọn làm con người đức hạnh đứng đỏm dáng bằng bộ dạng nhân nghĩa. Tào là một con người xảo quyệt nhưng không ai dám to mồm chống cãi sự tài giỏi cá tính và đầy chiến lược của Tào. Một  tay thu phục cả Trung Nguyên, gây dựng nên nước Ngụy thịnh trị từ một Hán đổ nát. Trở thành thế lực hùng mạnh nhất Tam Quốc. Nếu bạn muốn thành công nhưng lười biếng sống đức hạnh bộ tịch thì hãy về phe Tào Tháo. Tào xưa nay nổi tiếng với câu “Thà ta phụ cả thiên hạ, chứ không để thiên hạ phụ ta.”

Một con đường thành công khác học từ Tôn Quyền của nước Ngô. Không tài giỏi bằng Tào Tháo, lại không nhân nghĩa bằng Lưu Bị. Kẻ thông minh là kẻ biết nhìn ra lợi thế của chính mình. Biết cố gắng sử dụng con mắt tinh tường và tận dụng những gì mình đang nắm giữ trong tay để viết nên trang sử hào hùng.

Có hàng trăm nhân vật lởn vởn trong cả trăm tập phim mà bạn không thể nào nhớ nỗi hết. Nhưng phải xem thì mới hiểu mỗi tình tiết hay một nhân vật đều đại diện cho một sự việc hay người nào đó bạn đã gặp hoặc sẽ gặp trong cuộc sống của mình. Sẽ có anh chàng nóng tính Trương Phi khẩu xà tâm Phật. Tuy là một tướng trung dũng nhưng tính cách nóng nảy bộc trực. Xem Trương Phi là để nhận diện cái thằng đồng nghiệp ngay bên cạnh mình. Để mà bỏ qua cho tính cách thẳng thắn của gã nếu có lỡ khiến mình bực bội. Hoặc giả mình cũng đang sẵn là hiện thân của con người này, cứ nhìn đó mà đổi thay cái nết đi. Dù có oai phong lẫm liệt, võ nghệ phi phàm đến đâu mà kiêu ngạo khinh địch chủ quan thì kết cục cũng là chết thảm.

Nói đến kiêu ngạo hung hăng còn phải kể đến Quan Vũ. Tuy cũng là trung nghĩa hào kiệt, có tài, có chính nghĩa nhưng vì không thể thoát khỏi cái nhớp kiêu căng ngạo mạn nên cũng kết cục không khác Trương Phi. Cuộc đời của một Lữ Bố có tài nhưng vô đức, lại ngu ngốc để giọt nước Điêu Thuyền chắn ngang làm hỏng chuyện nên không vươn ra được biển lớn. Muốn học lỏm sự tài trí, cách ứng xử khéo léo thì phải xem để tận mắt trông thấy Gia Cát Lượng, một nhà quân sự tài ba, cùng với một Chu Du luôn song song đấu trí quyết liệt cùng Lượng để diễn dạt nổi lời truyền nhân gian “Trời sinh Du sao còn sinh Lượng.”

Kẻ làm chuyện đại sự, muốn nên nghiệp lớn còn phải là kẻ biết biết cương nhu đúng lúc để dành đại cục sau này. Không những tài giỏi, biết khôn lỏi giảo hoạt, Tư Mã Ý còn biết ẩn mình chờ thời thế. Chính gã này là người sau này đã dọn đường giúp cháu nội thống nhất Trung Nguyên, kết thúc thời kì Tam Quốc. Đây cũng là một con người thành công.

Tuy nhiên, không phải là bạn chọn sư phụ để bắt chước con đường thành công theo họ. Cái tinh hoa trong từng tính cách nhân vật đúc kết một bài học riêng cho chính mình khi lần lượt nhìn thấy sự trần trụi của bản tính con người được trưng bày rõ rệt. Có cái ưu không thể giấu giếm nổi cái nhược. Cái lõi của vũ trụ là phải đi sâu vào cội rễ bên trong. Xem để hiểu nghệ thuật đối nhân xử thế, học hỏi cái tinh anh tài giỏi, để biết cách phân biệt, nhận ra đâu là cái của mình. Phim dài lê thê nên không thể dùng vài ba chữ méo mó để diễn đạt hết những điều tôi muốn giới thiệu đến các bạn. Nhưng suy đi nghĩ lại thì chỉ một câu thôi để các bạn dễ hiểu.

Thay vì đọc Đắc Nhân Tâm thì giờ chuyển sang xem Tam Quốc Diễn Nghĩa.

Tác giả: Ni Chi

Sưu tầm – How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization

The one where we retain our sanity in a stupid world

I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, led by his own egotism. With one mishap after another, he becomes a monster. I’m talking, of course, about Friends and its tragic hero, Ross Geller.

You may see it as a comedy, but I cannot laugh with you. To me, Friends signals a harsh embrace of anti-intellectualism in America, where a gifted and intelligent man is persecuted by his idiot compatriots. And even if you see it from my point of view, it doesn’t matter. The constant barrage of laughter from the live studio audience will remind us that our own reactions are unnecessary, redundant.

The theme song itself is filled with foreboding, telling us that life is inherently deceptive, career pursuits are laughable, poverty is right around the corner, and oh yeah, your love life’s D.O.A. But you will always have the company of idiots. They will be there for you.

Don’t I feel better?

Maybe I should unpack this, for the uninitiated. If you remember the 1990s and early 2000s, and you lived near a television set, then you remember FriendsFriends was the Thursday night primetime, “must-see-TV” event that featured the most likable ensemble ever assembled by a casting agent: all young, all middle class, all white, all straight, all attractive (but approachable), all morally and politically bland, and all equipped with easily digestible personas. Joey is the goofball. Chandler is the sarcastic one. Monica is obsessive-compulsive. Phoebe is the hippie. Rachel, hell, I don’t know, Rachel likes to shop. Then there was Ross. Ross was the intellectual and the romantic.

Eventually, the Friends audience — roughly 52.5 million people — turned on Ross. But the characters of the show were pitted against him from the beginning (consider episode 1, when Joey says of Ross: “This guy says hello, I wanna kill myself.”) In fact, any time Ross would say anything — about his interests, his studies, his ideas — whenever he was mid-sentence, one of his “friends” was sure to groan and say how boring Ross was, how stupid it is to be smart, and that nobody cares. Cue the laughter of the live studio audience. This gag went on, pretty much every episode, for 10 seasons. Can you blame Ross for going crazy?

And like a Greek tragedy, our hero is caught in a prophecy that cannot be avoided. The show’s producers, akin to the immutable voice of the gods, declared that Ross must end up with Rachel, the one who shops. Honestly, I think he could’ve done better.

Why such sympathy for Ross?


The show ended in 2004. The same year that Facebook began, the year that George W. Bush was re-elected to a second term, the year that reality television became a dominant force in pop culture, with American Idolstarting an eight-year reign of terror as the No. 1 show in the U.S., the same year that Paris Hilton started her own “lifestyle brand” and released an autobiography. And Joey Tribbiani got a spin-off TV show. The year 2004 was when we completely gave up and embraced stupidity as a value. Just ask Green Day; their album American Idiot was released in 2004, and it won the Grammy for Best Rock Album. You can’t get more timely. The rejection of Ross marked the moment when much of America groaned, mid-sentence, at the voice of reason.

Yes, my theory is that Friends may have triggered the downfall of western civilization. You might think I’m crazy. But to quote Ross: “Oh, am I? Am I? Am I out of my mind? Am I losing my senses?” Did you know the song that originally accompanied the Friends pilot episode was R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” A blissful song with an apocalyptic message that goes largely ignored.

I was a teacher in 2004. I coached our school’s chess club. I saw how my students were picked on, bullied. I tried my best to defend them, but I couldn’t be everywhere. My students were smart, huge nerds, and they were in hostile, unfriendly territory. Other students would be waiting outside my room to ambush the chess club members who met in my room every day at lunch. During my tenure as a teacher, I gained the reputation of being a slayer of bullies and defender of nerds. I promise you: bullies can be mean, but they knew Mr. Hopkins was much worse.

Maybe intellectuals have always been persecuted and shoved in lockers, but something in my gut tells me we’re at a low point — where social media interaction has replaced genuine debate and political discourse, where politicians are judged by whether we’d want to have a beer with them, where scientific consensus is rejected, where scientific research is underfunded, where journalism is drowning in celebrity gossip.

I see Kim Kardashian’s ass at the top of CNN.com, and I am scared.

Maybe it’s all harmless fun. Like the good-spirited laughter of a live studio audience? Maybe. But I am sincerely worried we have not done enough to cultivate intellectual curiosity within our culture.


Fortunately, there’s a resistance forming. People with grit, who aren’t afraid to begin a sentence with “Did you know…” These are the Rosses of the world. I saw them in my chess club. And I see them in my city, hiding at the art museum, crouching at used book stores, exchanging sideways glances at the public libraries and coffee houses, and sneaking around at our schools, community colleges, and universities.

There was no hope for Ross. He went insane, and yeah, he did get annoying.

So, how do we retain our sanity in a dumb, dumb world? I wouldn’t be a good teacher if I didn’t come prepared with a few ideas.

No. 1: Read a fucking book.

Something special happens when you set aside the inane distractions of modern culture and immerse yourself in a novel. You open yourself up to new ideas, new experiences, new perspectives. It’s an experiment in patience and mindfulness. The New School for Social Research in New York proved that reading literature improves empathy. It’s true. Reading makes you less of a jerk. So, read often. Read difficult books. Read controversial books. Read a book that makes you cry. Read something fun. But read.

No. 2: Learn something.

Your brain is capable of so much. Feed it. Learn something new. The greatest threat to progress is the belief that something is too complex to fix. Poverty is permanent. Racism will always exist. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is too difficult to understand. The public education system is broken. Educate yourself, so you can be part of the conversation. Learn something scientific, something mathematic. Explore philosophy. Study paleontology. Try to learn a new language. You don’t even have to make fluency your goal, just get a few more words in your head. Listen to an educational podcast. Professors from colleges — such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford — are offering their lectures online for free. Think of what you could learn. One of my greatest challenges as a teacher was convincing students they were smart after someone had told them they were dumb.

No. 3: Stop buying so much shit.

This may seem like a non sequitur, but I’m convinced consumer culture and idiot culture are closely linked. Simplify your life. Idiocy dominates our cultural landscape because it sells more Nike tennis shoes and Big Macs. When we thoughtfully consider what we bring into our home, we are less likely to be manipulated by empty impulses.

And finally: Protect the nerds.

A computer programmer from Seattle is doing more to alleviate world poverty, hunger, and disease through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation than any other person in America right now. Nerds create vaccines. Nerds engineer bridges and roadways. Nerds become teachers and librarians. We need those obnoxiously smart people, because they make the world a better place. We can’t have them cowering before a society that rolls their eyes at every word they say. Ross needs better friends.

By 

Full link: https://medium.com/s/story/how-a-tv-sitcom-triggered-the-downfall-of-western-civilization-336e8ccf7dd0

Sưu tầm – The 3 Keys to Becoming Irresistible

What the people I adore all have in common.

There’s a routine question asked in job interviews, first dates, table games and so on: What is the most important thing you look for in other people?

There’s variations on this format (i.e. “What’s the most attractive quality you look for in a potential partner?” Or, “What’s your greatest strength?” And so on) but, in general, the answer remains the same: The character trait you hold above all. When pressed, I’ve often stumbled and resorted to something trite and probably not true: honesty, humor, confidence, charisma, etc. Those are fine answers but they’re not in my estimation the correct ones.

And so one day I sat down on my pleather couch, brewed some holy basil tea, queued up some Anderson Paak on the Spotify and really, truly tried to whittle down the essence of what makes truly admirable, special people exactly that. I analyzed people I looked up to, people I was attracted to, and people I just couldn’t dream to be without. And I found that the answer could never be just one thing, and that many of the things I think I admire are manifestations of other, deeper things I admire more. Here are the three components that, when taken together, create a spellbinding supernova of a person — one who can command a room and control their destiny, one who can be both altruistic and intelligent. And so I give them to you and make a case for each.


Humility

This trait is the root of all growth, learning and kindness. It’s the belief that you are not yet so great that your mind cannot be opened, and it’s the presence of mind to remember that we are all interconnected equals, and that injustice against one is an injustice against all. It is, flatly, an absence of entitlement. People who exhibit humility let their work speak for itself, they remain stoic in the face of their own suffering, and they remind themselves — and others — that life is fragile and therefore valuable. Humility quells ignorance and cultivates grace. I want this in the people I hold dear.


Curiosity

Without curiosity, you cannot be enthralling or even engaging, nor — most rudimentary of all — successful. It is frankly impossible. Curiosity drives an insatiable quest for knowledge, culture, novelty, experience, beauty, art and connection. It is the bedrock upon which you can build a life filled with stories, memories, accomplishments and relationships. People who exhibit curiosity can become masters, or polymaths, or auteurs — but they must first always have an open mind. They first seek to listen, to absorb, to immerse, to traverse. The world is too large and their time on it too short to ever remain fully satisfied in their pursuit of whatever new ideas pass in front of them. I want people around me to remain curious, routinely examining the world through fresh eyes, and using their eyes to find fresh corners of the world.


Empathy

This trait is the miracle drug of humanity (and elephants, and dolphins). It is the simplest, sweetest attribute one can possess, and the most worthwhile one worth cultivating for social success. Empathy brings people closer, and makes others feel understood and less alone inside. And if there is one thing we’re all looking to become a little less of, it’s alone. When I see truly empathetic people, I see people who genuinely care, but also people who remind us that sometimes it’s okay to be still with someone else and not invade their space or encroach their boundaries. This unique ability to understand the world through others’ eyes and cut to the heart of what others are feeling and experiencing. Empathy breeds compassion, connection and love. It is an important precursor for honesty.


You may have noticed the three are closely related. This is no mere accident. In fact, when you stack humility, curiosity and empathy, you can easily see how they amplify each other.

Humility is the soul. Curiosity is the mind. Empathy is the heart.

Humility is how you value yourself. Curiosity is how you value your others. Empathy is how you value the bonds between yourself and others.

Humility is the soil of knowledge. Curiosity is the water that helps it grow. Empathy is the sunlight that shows us which way to bend.

And if you take any two without the third, you’re missing a crucial component: Humble, curious, apathetic people are slothful. Humble, disaffected, empathetic people are sensitive but not very interesting. Brash, curious, empathetic people are exhausting. But when you bring them all together, you create a benevolent triad.

These three traits are the key to becoming warm, smart and memorable. They’re irrepressible and irresistible. They’re my favorite qualities in others: the most attractive, the strongest, the most admirable. And whether I’m hiring them, dating them or learning from them, these are the qualities I look for above all others.

By John Gorman

Full link: https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-3-keys-to-becoming-irresistible-d2f689ea4bf1

Sưu tầm – Accountants and AI: adapting to the digital future

Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain would “cut out the middleman” in financial services, leaving the accountants of the future to focus less on compliance and more on strengthening relationships and delivering insights to clients, the World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) heard today.

What will accountants do when compliance work is taken away? CPA Australia policy adviser, reporting, Ram Subramanian asked a WCOA 2018 panel discussion “How is the changing digital landscape impacting your business?”

Subramanian asked the panel speakers how the future would look for accountants in a world where much of their compliance work would be performed through AI, robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain and other technologies.

“As accountants we have a challenge to enhance our profession,” he says.

“So much of what we do is compliance work, so what will we do when that is taken away?”

Blockchain cuts compliance work

Panel speaker James Evangelidis, author of the “What do Clients Really Want” series of books and podcasts, agreed that while blockchain technology would eliminate a significant amount of compliance work, it would help accountants but not replace them.

“I imagine that accountants want to do less compliance, not more,” he said.

“All blockchain will do will be to eliminate some roles and create others. The message is keep calm and don’t freak out, because it will make your job easier.”

Evangelidis said that blockchain based on distributed ledgers was on the cusp of changing business to the same extent as the internet in the late 1990s.

“Smarter Contracts” in transactions such as real estate purchases had the potential to eliminate banks, lawyers and real estate agents from the process, cutting time down to less than a week and costs from an estimated $30,000 per transaction to under $900.

He quoted the example of the World Bank, which in August 2018 used blockchain technology developed by the Commonwealth Bank to issue and price a A$100 million bond at only 5 per cent of the cost of a traditional manual bookbuild process.

Reducing fraud

For accountants, Evangelidis said blockchain would have a major impact on the taxation system and help boost compliance and eliminate fraud.

“If the Australian Government announced that they were moving the tax system onto blockchain, every transaction through an account would be tracked, compliance would be a whole lot easier and tax would be more straightforward and hard to avoid,” he said.

Fellow panellist Alan FitzGerald, a technology consultant to accountants through his firm PracticeConnections, disagreed with Evangelidis on the maturity of blockchain technology, which he believed was several years away from having a significant impact.

Rather, FitzGerald focussed on RPA and AI as technologies that would impact accountants and the finance functions of organisations much sooner.

See CPA Australia’s full WCOA 2018 coverage here 

This would be increasingly enabled by 5G mobile networks which would transmit larger volumes of data at much greater speeds than current 4G and 3G networks.

“RPA is automating what can be automated, so it is a dumb technology, but when you put AI on top of that it can read the information and perform tasks such as cross referencing papers in a tax return within thirty seconds,” said FitzGerald.

“RPA is the brawn, and AI is the brains.”

Accountants as anxiety transfer experts

In this digitised environment, accountants should always remember that they would remain the “anxiety transfer experts” for clients, allaying fears and concerns and delivering insights into their business.

To promote this, accountants needed to harness the power of social media to “capture attention, develop relationships, make clients want to work with you and convert them to clients.”

Through social media, the goal was to “identify a problem only you can fix,” give people some information about the expertise of the accountancy practice and attract a fresh audience.

The message to accountants who feared the world of digitisation is that RPA and AI were not taking their jobs, but rather doing parts of the job which “no one likes anyway” such as data entry.

“The AI is clever but it won’t replace human oversight or verification,” says FitzGerald.

“Machines are tools, but do people trust them implicitly? The answer is no.”

By Lachlan Colquhoun

Full link: https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/11/05/accountants-and-ai-adapting-to-digital-future?utm_source=exacttarget&utm_medium=email&utm_term=INTHEBLACK%20Opt_in&utm_content=https%3a%2f%2fwww.intheblack.com%2farticles%2f2018%2f11%2f05%2faccountants-and-ai-adapting-to-digital-future&utm_campaign=INTHEBLACK+-+Edition+26+-+30+November+2018+-+Opt+in_29-November-2018

Sưu tầm – It’s Always Been This Way, Always Will Be

We like to think that we’re so advanced. That things have changed so radically since the ancient days of tyrants and barbarism. But have they?

Here’s a photo of Jamal Khashoggi’s son, whose father was brutally executed mere days before, being forced to shake the hand of the alleged mastermind of his father’s murder: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. There’s a television camera in the background, and each man probably has an iPhone in his pocket, but it’s a scene reminiscent of the story told by Seneca straight of the reign of Emperor Caligula; one in which Caligula kills a man’s son and forces the man to have dinner with him).

Marcus Aurelius is often criticized for some of his depressing observations about the brutality of human nature and its excesses. He seems to take almost a perverse pleasure in pointing out how evil and pathetic man has been. He reminds himself that in the age of Vespasian (a forgotten emperor) people were killing and lying and stealing just as readily as they were smiling, raising children, and writing books. The age of Trajan, which came a half century later, was the same. “Survey the record of other eras,” Marcus points out, “and see how many others gave their all and soon died and decomposed into the elements that formed them.”

Today, thousands of years later, things are inarguably better…and yet they are still in many ways inarguably the same. Injustices happen. Tyrants exist. Bad luck befalls us, evil lurks in the shadows. We are tested. We are challenged. We wish it could be otherwise, but that’s just not the way it is or will ever be.

So what do we do with this knowledge? First, we return to first principles, to humility. We are not all that different or superior to the ancestors we so casually judge. Man’s nature is deeply ingrained and, despite our best efforts, very difficult to change.

Second, we prepare ourselves for the very worst. The security and progress that surrounds us is an illusion. A couple days without food or water, or a couple years of rising unemployment, and you’ll see how uncivilized civil society can get. To think that we are past any of this merely because times are currently prosperous is profoundly misguided.

And finally, we cultivate dignity, self-respect, and endurance as the most important traits in our lives. Whether we are called to shake hands with a killer or live through the reign of a divisive, petty, and unqualified leader, all we can do is struggle onwards, doing the best we can, with what is in our power to control.

Sưu tầm – How to Create an Ebook From Start to Finish [Free Ebook Templates]

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At age 11, I dreamed of being an editor at a major magazine. I even put together my first publication, Teen Scene Magazine, using colored construction paper, yarn, and in-depth feature interviews with … my dad.

Flash forward to today. I’ve swapped my colored construction paper and yarn for PowerPoint and InDesign. I’ve replaced my dad with marketing experts and influencers (in the office, that is). And week after week, I have the satisfaction of being an ebook creator.

What Is an Ebook?

Ebook is short for “electronic book,” and uses either a computer, mobile device, or ebook reader to display long-form texts in book form. Ebooks have multiple digital “pages” that people can navigate through, and are often packaged as a PDF document so they can easily be sent from one user to another.

Click here to download our collection of customizable ebook templates.

How Is an Ebook Structured?

There’s no set rule for organizing your content into an ebook. It generally mimics the structure of a novel or textbook (depending on what it is you’re writing about). But, there are some aspects of an ebook you should be sure to adhere to.

Ebooks have some system of chapters and supporting images. Similar to a blog post, they also do well when further segmenting their text with subheaders that break down the discussion into specific sections. If you’re writing about professional sports, for example, and one of your chapters is about Major League Baseball (MLB) in the U.S., you might want to establish subchapters about the various teams belonging to the MLB.

What Can an Ebook Be About?

Anything. Well, within reason. Ebooks are simply a marketer’s way of delivering lots of critical information in a form their potential customers are most willing to read it. An environmental company might write an ebook all about water conservation. They also might focus an ebook entirely on how their water-saving product is used, or how it helped a customer solve a problem. Discover more ebook ideas at the end of this article.

No matter what subject your ebook takes on, research is a significant part of ebook creation. Unlike short-form content like articles and videos, the content of an ebook is predicated on trust and evidence. A user who obtains (or requests access to) your ebook wants the full story, not just the bullet points. That includes all the content and testing you went through to produce the ebook.

In What File Formats Can You Save an Ebook?

Ebooks can be saved in one of several formats. Depending on your end user, though, you might find a use for any of the following file types:

PDF

PDFs are likely the most well-known file type. The “PDF” extension stands for “Portable Document Format,” and is best for ebooks that are meant to be read on a computer (digital marketers, you’ll want to remember this one). We’ll talk more about how to save your ebook as a PDF later in this article.

EPUB

This file type stands for “Electronic Publication,” and is the more flexible ebook formats. By that, I mean EPUB ebooks can “reflow” their text to adapt to various mobile devices and tablets, allowing the ebook’s text to move on and off different pages based on the size of the device on which a user is reading the ebook. They’re particularly helpful for viewing on smaller screens, such as smartphones as well as the Nook from Barnes and Noble.

AZW

This is an ebook file type designed for the Kindle, an e-reader device by Amazon. However, users can also open this file format on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

ODF

ODF stands for OpenDocument Format, a file type meant primarily for OpenOffice, a series of open-source content creation programs similar to Microsoft Office.

Can You Edit an Ebook?

Nope. An ebook can’t be edited once it’s been saved in one of the file formats described above, so it’s best to ensure you have an editable version saved in a program like Microsoft Word.

But why would you want your ebook to be uneditable? Making ebooks uneditable ensures the content remains unchanged — both the format and the information — as it’s shared between multiple uses.

You can edit ebooks if they’re saved using an editable PDF, a feature that is specific to Adobe Acrobat — the founding program of the PDF file type. Learn how to edit PDFs in this blog post.

How Do You Read an Ebook?

You can read an ebook on many different devices: iPhone, Android smartphones, a Macbook, PC, and e-readers such as the Nook and Kindle. The latter two devices are typically used to read novels in digital form. Nook and Kindle owners can store thousands of books (literally) on a single Nook or Kindle.

But making an ebook can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to write the content, but you also need to design and format it into a professional-looking document that people will want to download and read. With lead generation being the top goal for content marketing, however, ebooks are an essential part of an successful inbound marketing program.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of creating an ebook by, well, creating an ebook. And if you’re worried about your lacking design skills, fret not …

Got your free ebook templates? Ready to make an ebook? Great — let’s get to it.

1. Choose a topic that Matches your audience’s needs

Remember: The goal of your ebook is to generate leads for your sales team, so pick a topic that will make it easy for a prospect to go from downloading your ebook to having a conversation with your sales team.

This means your ebook shouldn’t deviate much from the topics you cover in your other content marketing channels. Rather, it’s your opportunity to do a deep dive into a subject you’ve only lightly covered until now, but something your audience knows they need to learn more about.

For example, in listening to sales and customer calls here at HubSpot, I’ve learned ebooks for use in content marketing is a huge obstacle for our audience, who are marketers themselves. So if I can provide not only this blog post, but resources to make ebook creation easier, I’m focusing on the right topic for opening up a sales conversation.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some example ebook titles to consider. (Note: Replace “x” with an appropriate number.) You can also use our free Blog Topic Generator tool to come up with more ideas. Most blog topics can be made comprehensive enough to serve as longer form ebook topics.

  • X Best Practices for [Insert Industry/Topic]
  • An Introduction to [Insert Industry/Topic]
  • X Common Questions About [Insert Industry/Topic] Answered
  • X [Insert Industry/Topic] Statistics For Better Decision Making
  • Learn From The Best: X [Insert Industry/Topic] Experts Share Insights

For this blog post, I’m going to use the PowerPoint version of template two from our collection of five free ebook templates. Through each section of this post, I’ll provide a side-by-side of the template slide and how I customized it.

Below, you’ll see my customized cover with my sales-relevant ebook topic. For help with writing compelling titles for your ebooks, check out the tips in this blog post.

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2. Outline each chapter of your ebook.

The introduction to your ebook should both set the stage for the contents of your ebook and draw the reader in. What will you cover in your ebook? How will the reader benefit from reading it? For tips on how to write an effective introduction, check out this post.

Some ebook creators say that an ebook is simply a series of blog posts stitched together. While I agree you should treat each chapter like an individual blog post, the chapters of your ebook should also flow fluidly from one to the other.

The best way to outline your ebook is by thinking of it as a crash course on the sales-relevant topic you selected. In my example of creating an ebook, I know I need to cover how to:

  1. write effective copy
  2. design an ebook
  3. optimize ebooks for lead generation and promotion

While my example has a few chapters, keep in mind that your ebook does notneed to be lengthy. I have one golden rule for ebook length: Write what is needed to effectively educate your audience about your selected topic. If that requires five pages, great! If that requires 30 pages, so be it. Just don’t waste words thinking you need to write a long ebook.

With that, let’s move on to the actual copy you’re writing.

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3. Break down each chapter as you write.

Get writing! Here, you can approach each chapter the way you might write a long blog post — by compartmentalizing each chapter into smaller sections or bullet points, as shown in the picture below. This helps you write simply and clearly, rather than trying to use sophisticated language to convey each point. It’s the most effective way to educate readers and help them understand the new material you’re providing.

Be sure to maintain a consistent structure across each chapter, as well. This helps you establish natural transitions between each chapter so there’s a clear progression from one chapter to the next (simply stiching blog posts together can rob you of this quality).

These practices should hold true for all your other marketing efforts, such as email marketing, call-to-action creation, and landing page development. “Clarity trumps persuasion,” as Dr. Flint McGlaughlin of MECLABS often likes to say.

Want to make sure you’re keeping your ebook exciting for readers? Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Use keywords in the title that emphasize the value of your offer. Examples include adjectives like “amazing,” “awesome,” or “ultimate.”
  • Keep your format consistent so you create a mental model for readers and enhance their understanding of the material.
  • When appropriate, make use of formatting — like bulleted lists, bold text, italics, and font size changes — to draw people’s eyes to your most important content or emphasize certain points you want readers to remember.

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4. Design your ebook.

Our downloadable ebook templates are offered in both PowerPoint and InDesign. For this example, we’ll show you how to do it in PowerPoint, since more people have access to that software.

You’ll notice we only have one “chapter page” in the template (slide three). To create additional chapter pages, or any pages really, simply right click the slide and choose Duplicate Slide. This will make a copy of your slide and allow you to drag it to its proper place in your ebook via the sidebar or Slide Sorter section of PowerPoint. You can then customize it for any subsequent chapters.

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5. Use the right colors.

Ideally, our free ebook templates would magically match your brand colors. But, they probably don’t; this is where you get to truly personalize your work. However, because ebooks offer more real estate for color than your logo or website, it’s a good idea to consider secondary colors within your brand’s color palate. Ebooks are where this color scheme can truly shine.

To learn how to add your brand’s colors to PowerPoint, check out this blog post. That way, you can customize the color scheme in our ebook templates to match your brand!

6. Incorporate visuals.

Images and graphics in ebooks are hard to get right. The key to making them fit well is to think of them as complementary to your writing. Whether you add them during or after you’ve finished writing your ebook’s copy, your visuals should serve to highlight an important point you’re making or deconstruct the meaning of a concept in an easy-to-understand, visual way.

Images shouldn’t just be there to make the ebook easy on the eyes. Rather, they should be used to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material you’re covering. If you need help gathering visuals, we have three sets of free stock photos that might help you along the way:

And if you’re compiling a data-heavy ebook, you might want to download our free data visualization ebook for tips about designing compelling charts and graphs for your content.

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7. Highlight quotes or stats.

Another way to enhance your ebook is by highlighting quotes or stats within your design. Just be sure the quote or stat you’re using genuinely adds value to the content.

Whether you’re emphasizing a quote or adding a visual, keep all your content within the same margins. If your copy is consistently 1-inch indented on your page from both the left and right side, keep your designed elements aligned using that same spacing.

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8. Place appropriate calls-to-action within your ebook.

Now that your content is written and designed, it’s time to optimize it for lead generation, reconversion, and promotion.

Think about how you got here — you clicked on a call-to-action (CTA) in an email, on a social media post, or somewhere else. A CTA is a link or visual object that entices the visitor to click and arrive on a landing page that will get them further engaged with your company. Since your ebook readers have probably converted into leads in order to get their hands on your ebook to begin with (more on this in Step 2 below), use the CTAs within your ebook to reconvert your readers and propel them further down your marketing funnel.

For instance, a CTA can lead to another offer, your annual conference’s registration page, or even a product page. Depending on what this next action is, CTAs can be an in-line rectangle or a full page teasing the next offer (see both images below).

To hyperlink the CTA in your ebook (or any image or text in your ebook) to your destination URL, simply go to Insert >> Hyperlink in PowerPoint.

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We’ve even designed 50 customizable calls-to-action in PowerPoint you can download and use in your ebooks. You can grab them here.

Now, we don’t have a dedicated CTA template slide in the PowerPoint ebook templates for you to customize … but it’s still simple! All you have to do is duplicate slide four (the Header/Subheader slide) and customize copy or add images as needed. You can also go to Insert >> New Slide and work from there.

9. Convert it into a PDF.

Once you’ve finished writing your ebook — CTAs and all — it’s time to convert it to the right file type so it’s transferrable from you to your recipient.

To convert your ebook to a PDF, click File >> Save As in the ebook template you have open. Under File Format, select PDF and select a destination on your computer for this new file.

Why can’t you just attach what you have to a landing page and be done with it? Word documents, PowerPoints, and similar templates are perfect for creating your ebook, but not for delivering it. Because these templates are editable, the contents of your ebook are too easily corrupted, distorted, or even lost when moving from your computer to the hands of your future leads. That’s where PDFs come in.

You’ve seen these letters at the end of files before. Short for Portable Document Format, the .PDF file type essentially freezes your ebook so it can be displayed clearly on any device. A popular alternative to PDFs is the .EPUB file type. See a comparison of EPUB to PDF here.

10. Create a dedicated landing page for your ebook.

Your ebook should be available for download through a landing page on your site. A landing page is a web page that promotes/describes your offer and provides a form that visitors need to fill out with their contact information in order to access your ebook. This is how you are able to convert your visitors into business leads that your sales team can ultimately follow up with.

For instance, you went through this landing page in order to access this ebook template. To learn more about how to optimize your landing pages for conversion, download this free ebook.

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11. Promote your ebook and track its success.

Once your landing page is all set, you can use that destination URL to promote your ebook across your marketing channels. Here are five ways you can do this:

  • Advertise your new ebook on your website. For example, feature a CTA or link to your offer’s landing page on your resources page or even your homepage.
  • Promote your ebook through your blog. For instance, consider publishing an excerpt of your ebook as a blog post. Or write a separate blog article on the same topic as your ebook, and link to it at the end of your post using a call-to-action to encourage readers to keep learning. (Note: This very blog post is the perfect example of how to promote an offer you created with a blog post.)
  • Send a segmented email to contacts who have indicated an interest in receiving offers from your company.
  • Leverage paid advertising and co-marketing partnerships that will help you promote your ebook to a new audience.
  • Publish posts to social media with a link to your ebook. You can also increase social shares by creating social media share buttons within your ebook, such as the ones at the bottom right of this ebook. Here’s a blog post that shows how to hyperlink them.

After your content is launched and promoted across your marketing channels, you’ll also want marketing analytics in place to measure the success of your live product.

For instance, you should have landing page analytics that give you insight into how many people downloaded your ebook and converted into leads, and closed-loop analytics that show how many of those people ultimately converted into opportunities and customers for your business. Learn more through HubSpot’s Landing Pages App.

And with that, we’ve built an ebook, folks! You can check out the packaged version of the example I built through this post here:

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After your content is launched and promoted across your marketing channels, you’ll need to have marketing analytics in place that measure the success of your ebooks. For instance, having landing page analytics that give you insight into how many people downloaded your ebook, or show how many of those downloaders converted into opportunities and customers for your business.

Ebook Ideas

So, what should you write about in your ebook? I’ll answer that question with another question: What do you want your readers to get out of this ebook? To identify an ebook idea that suits your audience, consider the type of ebook you’re trying to create. Here are a few ideas.

New Research

Conducting an experiment or business survey? This is a great way to develop proprietary knowledge and become a thought leader in your industry. But how will you share your findings with the people who care about it? Create an ebook that describes the experiment, what you intended to find out, what the results of the experiment were, and what these findings mean for your readers and the market at large.

Case Study

People love success stories, especially if these people are on the fence about purchasing something from you. If you have a client whose business you’re particularly proud to have, why not tell their story in an ebook?

Ebook case studies show your buyers that other people trust you and have benefited from your product or service. In your ebook, describe what your client’s challenge was, how you connected with them, and how you were able to help your client solve their challenge and become successful.

Product Demo

The more complex your product is, the more information your customers will need to use it correctly. If your product or service can be used in multiple ways, or it’s hard to set up alone, dedicate a brief ebook to showing people how it’s done. In the first section of your ebook, for example, explain how to launch your product or service. In the second section, break down the individual features and purposes your product is best used for.

Interview

Interested in interviewing a well-known person in your market? Perhaps you’ve already sat down with an influencer to pick their brain about the future of the industry. Package this interview into an ebook, making it easy for your customers to read and share your inside scoop.

Playbook

A “playbook” is a document people can use when taking on a new project or concept that is foreign to them. Think of it like a cheat sheet, full of tips and tricks that help your customers get better at what they do.

When done right, a playbook equips your customers with information they would need to excel when using your product. For example, a software vendor for IT professionals might create a “virus protection playbook” that makes support teams better at preventing viruses at their respective companies.

Blog Post Series

Sometimes, the best ebook for your business is already strewn across a series of blog posts. If you’ve spent the last month writing articles all on the same subject for your business, imagine how these posts would look stitched together?

Each article can begin a new chapter. Then, once this ebook is created, you can promote it on a landing page, link to this landing page from each individual blog post, and generate leads from readers who want to download the entire blog series in one convenient ebook.

Ebook Creation Resources

Do you have any other tips or resources for making ebook creation easier? Apply them to your content marketing strategy. I’d be remiss not to admit every company’s ebook will come to fruition differently. It all depends on the needs of your brand.

By Anum Hussain

Full link: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-create-an-ebook-free-templates?utm_campaign=Marketing%20Blog%20-%20Daily%20Emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=67894291

Sưu tầm – What Startups Really Mean By “Why Should We Hire You?”

…and other non-technical questions.

While whiteboard interviews may catch heat from some people for being impractical or indexing for the wrong qualities, they are not deceptive. Even with the most labyrinthian Leetcode exercise, you don’t have to guess at what the interviewer is “really” asking.

The non-technical interview, however, is more of a puzzle. Hiring managers are trying to dig into your personality, assess your fortitude, and understand your core values. Every question they ask has a subtext, and if you can’t translate it, it’s likely you’ll give a terrible answer.

To help, we’ve taken three of the most common non-technical interview questions, translated what they’re really asking, and given you a framework for answering. Just for fun, we included examples of terrible answers we’ve heard in interviews.

1. Tell Me About A Time You Failed

Translation: Can you stomach failing until we figure things out?

It’s awkward to talk about a legitimate failure during a job interview, where you’re trying to project the most competent version of yourself. Don’t think of this question as a test of your competency or resourcefulness. It’s designed to gauge whether you have the nerve to withstand the stress and uncertainty of a startup.

Answer this question by talking about the most beyond-your-control work situation you’ve been part of. If you’ve ever been a part of a company that was running out of money or worked on an initiative that was doomed from the start, now is the time to talk about how you handled the stress.

Trevor Brosnan, head of technology at Plastiq—a startup that allows users to pay their bills with credit cards—said the best answer to this question comes from candidates who have been through a startup failure.

“Going through that process builds up the muscles of resiliency to deal with very difficult challenges and obstacles,” he explained. “We need people to be comfortable with uncertainty in the particular areas they’re working in, where we may need to build something, and we don’t know exactly what the final answer is.”

Terrible-but-popular answers include: “I didn’t get along with a coworker.” “I struggled to balance work and life.” “All I do is win.”

2. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?

Translation: Are you ambitious enough for a startup?

Startups are high-risk, high-reward propositions. They take small groups of people, initially with very little money, and bet that they can solve a problem that impacts a large base of people better than any other company—including tech giants.

To really buy into this type of mission, you have to have ambition in your DNA. Ambition is not bravado or rah-rah nonsense about how hard you hustle. It’s the desire and will to do something that nearly everyone else fails at—like building a unicorn.

When asked where you see yourself in five years, be nakedly ambitious. Talk about your dream of starting your own company, of building new technologies, of helping a company exit for $1 billion. Startups need people who have enough energy and ambition to carry the company forward. Now is not the time to come off as conservative in your goals.

This advice is especially true if you’re interviewing at early-stage startups. As AngelList founder Naval Ravikant said, “When (early-stage startups) are hiring early employees, they’re really just hiring late founders.” And a founder needs ambition above anything else.

Terrible-but-popular answers include: “Managing the role I’m interviewing for.” “Somewhere where I get to work hard with people I like.” “In your job.”

3. Why Should We Hire You?

Translation: Do you really understand the problem we’re solving?

Nearly every role at a startup—especially an early-stage one—is responsible for independently solving new business problems. Keith Rabois, an executive at PayPal, Opendoor, LinkedIn, and Square, refers to these people as “barrels”—you can point them at a problem, and they can devise and implement a solution with little oversight. People who can only do work explicitly assigned to them are called “ammunition” in Rabois’ framework.

Startups need as many barrels as possible, so you’ll want to speak directly to how you can solve the company’s immediate problems.

The key here is to do your research. For example, if you’re interviewing for a front-end role, dive as deeply as you can into the company’s product. Thoroughly review any open source repositories it has, document performance issues you find, and research every interview or blog post you can find that hints at the vision and product roadmap.

Armed with that information, speak to the person interviewing you like you already work there. Tell them how you’d contribute immediately, what problems you’d fixed, and how you’d advance the company’s vision.

Do not, however, simply give yourself adjectives. Everyone is a “scrappy self-starter” in an interview.

Terrible-but-popular answers: “I’m a high-energy thinker with a growth mindset.” “I have a track record of success in similar roles.” “I have a degree from <>”

Make Your Questions As Good As Your Answers

The final question in non-technical interviews is almost always “What questions do you have for me?” This is your opportunity to judge the company’s potential, and to prove your business competency.

You should be asking questions that help you understand the business, particularly the areas you’ll be working in. You should not, however, be asking questions simply to prove how smart you are. For instance, if you’re interviewing for an operations role, asking questions about burn rates and costs is good. Asking detailed questions about the decision to use NoSQL, particularly if you’re not knowledgable about engineering, could comes off as insincere and signal that you’re more worried about proving intelligence than you are understanding the business.

Act as if you already have the role, and these are questions you’re asking in your first strategy session. What would you need to know to start solving business problems today? You’ll leave the interview with a thorough understanding of the business, and your ability to impact it. You might just leave with a job offer, too.

By AngelList

Full link: https://angel.co/blog/what-startups-really-mean-by-why-should-we-hire-you?email_uid=864250346&utm_campaign=platform-newsletter-112918&utm_content=keep-reading&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter-newsletter&utm_term=

Sưu tầm – The State of Fashion 2019: A year of awakening

The industry as a whole is embracing new opportunities—even as dangers lurk.

The year ahead will be an awakening after the reckoning of 2018—a time for fashion companies to look at opportunities and not just at surmounting challenges. The ones that will succeed will have come to terms with the fact that in the new paradigm taking shape around them, some of the old rules simply don’t work. Regardless of size and segment, players now need to be nimble, think digital-first, and achieve ever-faster speed to market. They need to take an active stance on social issues, satisfy consumer demands for radical transparency andsustainability, and, most important, have the courage to “self-disrupt” their own identity and the sources of their old success to realize these changes and win new generations of customers.

They also need to invest in enhancing their productivity and resilience, as the outlook is uncertain. External shocks to the system continue to lurk, and growth cannot be taken for granted.

These are some of the findings from our latest report on The State of Fashion, written in partnership with the Business of Fashion (BoF), which explores the industry’s fragmented, complex ecosystem. Our first two reports, last year and the year before, laid the foundation for rigorous in-depth research and analysis, focusing on the themes, issues, and opportunities affecting the sector and its performance. The State of Fashion is now the largest and most authoritative overview of the industry, surveying more than 275 global fashion executives (approximately 30 percent more than last year) and interviewing thought leaders and pioneers. We also highlight the ten trends that will define the fashion agenda in 2019 (interactive).

The report includes the third readout of our industry benchmark, the McKinsey Global Fashion Index. This database of more than 500 companies allows us to analyze and compare the performance of individual companies with their peers, by category, segment, or region.

Sunny intervals but storms ahead

For fashion players, 2019 will be a year of awakening. External shocks to the system continue to lurk around the corner, and growth cannot be taken for granted: the McKinsey Global Fashion Index forecasts growth of 3.5 to 4.5 percent, slightly below 2018 figures. By geography, the most optimistic about the coming year are executives in North America. By segment, the most positive are executives from luxury brands, reflecting their strong growth trajectory in 2018. In all other regions and segments, executives are notably pessimistic, reflecting the potential challenges ahead (Exhibit 1).

Sales growth is projected to slow slightly for the fashion industry in many regions and segments.

All this comes against a backdrop of the fashion industry having turned a corner in 2018, with increased growth justifying the optimism expressed in last year’s global fashion survey. The caution in the economic outlook is also reflected in the BoF–McKinsey State of Fashion Survey, with 42 percent of respondents expecting conditions to become worse in 2019.

The rise of the ‘superwinners’

Polarization continues to be a stark reality in fashion: fully 97 percent of economic profits for the whole industry are earned by just 20 companies, most of them in the luxury segment. Notably, the top 20 group of companies has remained stable over time. Twelve of the top 20 have been a member of the group for the last decade. Long-term leaders include, among others, Inditex, LVMH, and Nike, which have more than doubled their economic profit over the past ten years (Exhibit 2). According to our estimates, each racked up more than $2 billion in economic profit in 2017.

Twenty companies—the ‘superwinners’—dominate value creation in fashion.

Ten trends for 2019

This caution is one of our ten trends to watch in 2019. Another is that India is on the rise—its growing middle class, powerful manufacturing sector, and increasingly savvy tech have made it an essential destination for fashion companies. Our third trend is Trade 2.0: a warning that companies should make contingency plans for a potential shake-up of global value chains. The apparel trade could be reshaped by new barriers, trade tensions, and uncertainty. However, there may also be new opportunities from growing south–south trade and the renegotiation of trade agreements.

Download The State of Fashion (PDF–3MB).

On the consumer side, we foresee the end of ownership, as concerns about sustainability grow and consumers and companies alike worry about how to alleviate their impact on the environment. Sustainability, which breaks into our respondents’ list of the most important challenges for the first time, is evolving from a tick-box exercise into a transformational feature. And “woke” consumers are also pushing for greater transparency into supply chains—and rewarding their favorite brands for taking controversial political stands. At the same time, they are demanding ever-quicker and more seamless fulfillment, from mobile shopping to drone delivery.

In response, wise companies are self-disrupting before upstarts do it for them, engaging in a digital landgrab to diversify their ecosystem, and using automation and data analytics to produce on demand to reduce waste and react rapidly to trends.

The speed of change

Overall, the industry continues to hover in a state of flux, and the fortunes of individual players can turn with frightening speed. As our ten trends indicate, new markets, new technologies, and shifting consumer needs present opportunities—but also risks. We predict that 2019 will be a year shaped by consumer shifts linked to technology, social causes, and trust issues, alongside the potential disruption from geopolitical and macroeconomic events. Only those brands that accurately reflect the Zeitgeist or have the courage to “self-disrupt” will emerge as winners.

By Imran Amed, Anita Balchandani, Marco Beltrami, Achim Berg, Saskia Hedrich, and Felix Rölkens

Full link: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/the-state-of-fashion-2019-a-year-of-awakening?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1811&hlkid=f6bc570e0c024647acb81e9856568c20&hctky=2618809&hdpid=b63100a7-3a15-4944-a5db-92f6c2577f29

Sưu tầm – Uncovering Chinese Espionage in the US

A detailed look into how, why, and where Chinese spies are active in the United States.

Uncovering Chinese Espionage in the US

Twenty years ago, I testified before a U.S. congressional committee on China’s espionage operations in the United States. I left the Members with what I thought was an ominous warning: “Do something about this now or you’ll be calling me back in 20 years screaming: ‘My God, how did this happen?’ ” Well, they never called me back, but if recent FBI arrests are any indication, the problem has gotten worse — a lot worse.

On October 30, 2018 the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of 10 Chinese intelligence officers and cyber hackers from the Ministry of State Security (MSS), China’s main civilian espionage organization. The United States charged the group with stealing airline engine technology from French and U.S. companies. The alleged scheme ran from 2010 to 2015 and targeted turbofan engine technology developed through a U.S.-French partnership. The objective of this espionage was to steal intellectual data and confidential business information about the engine. China’s defense industry is working to develop a comparable engine.

Weeks earlier, on October 10, the FBI announced the arrest of Mr. Yanjun Xu, alleged deputy division director of the Jiangsu Province Office (sixth bureau) of the Ministry of State Security, China’s main civilian spy agency. The FBI’s affidavit describes luring Xu to Belgium to illegally purchase General Electric commercial aviation technology. Belgian authorities placed him in custody on arrival and put him on a plane to the United States (most likely with an FBI escort). It is probably not a coincidence that FBI also arrested Mr. Chaoqun Ji, a PRC national in Chicago, on espionage related charges. The FBI indictment alleges Ji was tasked by his spymaster — a senior MSS officer in the Jiangsu Province MSS office.

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For the United States, the problem is not these recent cases. Nations have been spying on the United States (and us on them) since the American Revolution. The problem is that these recent indictments and arrests are only two of hundreds, if not thousands of cases. These activities support a national concerted effort to expand China’s economic and security interests. Most of China’s espionage activities are not “traditional espionage,” yet they are having a profound impact on America’s economic wellbeing, national security, and potentially our political and governance processes. U.S. intelligence, security, and law enforcement apparatus is just starting, 20 years later, to catch on.

Key Highlights

This report presents initial findings from analysis of 274 documented cases of Chinese worldwide espionage since the year 2000. High-level findings are as follows:

  1. China has expanded its espionage efforts considerably over the last 20 years.
  2. Chinese entities conducting espionage include government agencies, the military, state- owned enterprises (SOEs), private companies/individuals, and select universities.
  3. Nearly half of China’s espionage efforts target U.S. military and space technologies. Almost 25 percent of cases target commercial interests.
  4. China is unlikely to significantly curb its espionage efforts, as they provide a cost-efficient means to expand the economy, advance research and development, project military power, and meet China’s stated goal to become a world power.

Types of Chinese Espionage

One cannot simply look at a single or even several espionage cases and hope to understand if, and how, a nation state is conducting espionage. That type of understanding takes evidence based off detailed analysis of a sufficient body of data. Over the last five years, I compiled and analyzed 274 cases of Chinese espionage that have occurred since the year 2000. Detailed analysis of these cases provides ample evidence that China is conducting espionage, as well who is responsible, their information objectives, gaps in their knowledge, and operational “tradecraft” techniques.

There is a wide variance in what the media, public, and U.S. legal codes define as “espionage.” Four U.S. statutes and administrative regulations encompass those definitions:

  1. Traditional espionage (18 USC 792-799): The practice of spying or using spies to obtain information about the plans and activities of a foreign government.
  2. Economic Espionage Act of 1996: The theft of trade secrets that includes the intent to benefit a foreign entity or at least know that the offense will have that result.
  3. Illegal Exports: Export Administrative Regulations (EAR) deals with the illegal export of sensitive dual use technology and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) with the more serious act of illegally exporting Munitions List armaments/technology and Missile Technology Control Regime and technology.)
  4. Covert Action, or Foreign Agents Registration Act (18 USC 951): FARA passed in 1938 and requires that agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a “political or quasi-political capacity” must disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about their activities and finances. Covert Action is carrying out these activities without disclosure and is intended to create a political effect and conceal the identity of, or allow plausible denial by, the sponsor.

For the purposes of this study, all the aforementioned legal definitions of criminal acts are categorized as “espionage.” This espionage definition considers media and common public usage, and similarities in the acts, i.e. conducting illegal covert or clandestine acts at the direction of, or for the benefit of, a foreign government or entity. When divided into the aforementioned categories (Espionage, Economic Espionage, ITAR, EAR, Covert Action) the 274 espionage cases show the percentages of operations as follows (Figure 1.).

Chinese Espionage Entities

Espionage activities correlated to their sponsoring organization (the “customer” receiving the information or technology) showed four distinct clusters of Chinese organizations engaging in espionage. The governing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses government, quasi-government, academic, and commercial entities as mechanisms to conduct all forms f espionage abroad.

China’s preeminent civilian intelligence agency is the Guojia Anquan Bu, or Ministry of State Security (MSS). The MSS was formed in June 1983 by combining the espionage, counterintelligence, and security functions of the Ministry of Public Security and the Investigations Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee.

On the military side, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Headquarters, Second Department is responsible for collecting military information, including related foreign technology. PLA collection capabilities include military attachés conducting overt and clandestine collection and collectors under other government and commercial covers.

State-owned enterprises are also engaged in espionage. There are 150,000 SOEs in China, 50,000 of which are owned by the central government and include aerospace and defense companies, research institutes, technology transfer organizations. The central government directly manages 102 of these firms considered critical to national and economic security. The CCP’s Organization Department makes all senior personnel appointmentswithin these business organizations. CCP embedded committees manage all actions within directly managed SOEs. In 2018, CCP leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping directed all SOEs to amend their bylaws to ensure the concepts of service to the CCP as well as national and economic security are placed above profit.

In approximately 60 cases I reviewed, Chinese companies or individuals were acting unilaterally for commercial benefit only. In some of those cases (perhaps 20 percent), there was a clearly identifiable Chinese government or SOE as the ultimate customer for illegal exports or trade secrets. This was often the case in illegal export of military technology, source code, large-scale agricultural and industrial production and manufacturing techniques.

Other Chinese government elements that collect intelligence (information) include the PLA Political Department Liaison Office (targeted against Taiwan), United Front Work Department, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China-Based “Customers” Conducting Espionage Activities

The distribution of Chinese espionage cases worldwide illustrates the magnitude of CCP controlled businesses, research entities, and government organizations involved in espionage activities (see Figure 2). There is a near equal distribution of espionage activities between the four major organizational clusters. This distribution indicates a concerted effort to use all mechanisms of government and the economy to collection foreign information and technology. Beijing has stated its intention to advance industry, technology, and military capabilities to become a world leader by 2025. At a minimum, there is no indication that the CCP or Chinese government have taken any measures to impede the illegal activities (illegal in the United States) of their state corporations and citizens.

The statistics show Chinese private companies adopt an aggressive posture in conducting economic espionage activities, resulting in 60 cases prosecuted just in the United States. Similarly, SOEs are aggressive in conducting or supporting espionage (72 acts total), stealing primarily advanced military technology. Espionage activities involving the People’s Liberation Army reflect primarily illegal arms or military technology transfers where the PLA was known, or believed to be the end user – for example, the PLA was assumed the ultimate end user or “customer” if a TOW anti-tank system (tube-launched, optically tracked, wireless-guided weapon system) was being illegally shipped to China. The PLA was involved in 61 such cases.

Distribution of Chinese Espionage Activities in the U.S.

China’s main espionage activities against the United States are focused on the illegal export of military and dual use technology. Together, they make up 54 percent of cases. Economic espionage, which is mainly conducted by private companies or individuals, makes up 23.5 percent of cases. The category of “traditional espionage” can be seen at 18 percent; but is considerably lower when Taiwan is removed as a PRC intelligence target. The venues for prosecution show where the target company or organization was located (see Figure 3.) The distribution pattern shows activity concentrations occurring in high-tech sectors, manufacturing hubs, and business centers. Victims of China’s espionage efforts include major defense and aerospace companies, pharmaceutical firms, technology research companies, manufacturers, and universities.

Intelligence Information Objectives

In intelligence terminology, information objectives identify the specific information (or technology) that is tasked for collection. These can number in the thousands and reflect the organization’s knowledge gaps. Simply put, if a country is continually trying to collect information on specific components of the F-35 aircraft, it is because it lacks the required information for its planned purposes.

China’s information objectives are focused in priority sectors and technologies. The Director of National Intelligence report, Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace (2018) identifies key industries and technologies that are frequent targets of foreign espionage. The text in bold (see Figure 4) reflects multiple, concerted attempts by China to secure specific U.S. critical technologies.  Each of these technologies is identified as a priority requirement in China’s State Council 2015 strategic plan “Made in China 2025.

More than 60 percent of China’s attempts to illegally export U.S. critical technologies are targeted at military technologies or space systems.  These information objectives include systems, designs, components, radiation hardened chips, integrated circuits, software, manuals, precision optics, thermal imaging systems, production techniques, etc.

Espionage Tradecraft

The final aspects of Chinese espionage activities are their use of specific clandestine collection techniques commonly known as espionage “tradecraft.” Chinese government agencies, SOEs, companies and individuals employ varying levels of sophistication of espionage tradecraft. An analysis of operational activities reveals a wide range of tradecraft practices (see Figure 5):

  1. No tradecraft, with parties using open communications and true names;
  2. Use of false names and/or third parties to transmit information and ship materials; Public and commercial encryption, hosting meetings in China to avoid detection; Tailor made devices or techniques, use of third countries, use of in-country cutouts to transmit information.

As illustrated, the most frequently employed elements of tradecraft include using false names or documents to ship information or technology. These techniques were used approximately one-third of the time. In nearly 25 percent of cases, individuals employed encryption for communications and/or hosted meetings in China to avoid detection by U.S. law enforcement. In 54 cases, entities used no tradecraft or substantive attempts to hide the espionage activity. Individuals used true names and open communications including emails, text messages, and phone calls. Lastly, in 27 cases, roughly 9 percent of the total, case officers and/or agents displayed a more sophisticated level of tradecraft. These elements of tradecraft included specially designed smartphone software for secure covert communications (U.S. vs. Kevin Mallory); third country meetings, or use of third parties (cutouts) in the United States for communicating information between the in-country ‘handler” and recruited asset, or the in-country handler and Chinese intelligence services.

Tradecraft Islands of Excellence

The wide variance in sophistication of espionage tradecraft implies the idea of “Islands of Excellence” (see Figure 6)  — meaning China employs espionage tradecraft with varying degrees of sophistication and effectiveness. One might expect poor tradecraft from nonprofessional intelligence entities such as individuals, companies, and SOEs. However, cases attributed to the Ministry of State Security show an astounding nine cases where case officers and recruited agents demonstrated no discernible tradecraft. In these cases, persons conducted agent recruitment, tasking, communications, and data transfer openly, with no significant attempt to hide the activity. In another 22 cases, MSS operatives employed only simplistic or limited operational tradecraft. In only eight cases was there a sophisticated higher level of tradecraft employed.

This wide variance in professional tradecraft likely indicates MSS suffers from lack of standardized training, security awareness, operational oversight, and case management. In addition, the same erratic performance by recruited agents illustrates nonstandardized agent training, protocols, and practices. The poor performance in oversight and case management is possibly due to the highly politicized nature (CCP management) of Chinese intelligence. If this is in fact the case then MSS performance is not likely to improve anytime soon.

Analysis reveals several other interesting data points on the application of tradecraft. Private companies (and individuals) are most likely to employ no or minimal tradecraft. In these cases no (23 cases) or minimal tradecraft (21 cases) was employed. The minimal application of tradecraft is expected, as these cases typically do not involve professional intelligence operatives (either case officers or agents).

SOE espionage activities show a wide variance in tradecraft. The operational details revealed in individual cases implies this phenomenon is due to the following factors: no training program for handlers or recruited assets, differences in the various SOEs, and the variables of espionage targets to include military, space, dual use, or industrial technologies.

Conclusion

Several high-level conclusions can be drawn from the cases representing the last 20 years of Chinese espionage operations. Espionage operations have expanded dramatically, increasing in the number of operations, personnel, government and SOE’s, and foreign targets sets. There is also a national construct in place (however redundant) to ensure intelligence information objectives are satisfied by collecting foreign information and technology. These information objectives are also tied to national defense and economic priorities. The only notable area in which China has shown minimal advancement has been in applying sophisticated espionage tradecraft. Lastly, China’s espionage activities continue unabated despite a large number of arrests, public exposure, and most recently, U.S. trade sanctions.

By Nicholas Eftimiades

Full link: https://thediplomat.com/2018/11/uncovering-chinese-espionage-in-the-us/

Sưu tầm – THE CLIMATE APOCALYPSE IS NOW, AND IT’S HAPPENING TO YOU

WHAT PEOPLE SAY they know about climate change is a roller coaster of human ignorance—wait, everyone knows that but no one knows that? It’s striking to learn (according to Yale’s climate survey program) that 74 percent of women and 70 percent of men believe climate change will harm future generations of humans, but just 48 and 42 percent, respectively, think it’s harming them personally.

It is, of course, in lots of ways. Yet fewer than half of Americans think climate change is a right-here, right-now problem. So it’s critical that a new report on the impact of climate change is about the present as much as the future. The topline results: 157 million more people experienced a heat wave in 2016 than in 2000—12.3 million Americans. That heat and the injuries that can come from it cost the world 153 billion hours of labor—1.1 billion in the US. The geographic range of the mosquitoes that carry dengue fever, Zika, malaria, and chikungunya is spreading. So is the range of the bacterium that causes cholera. Global crop yield is going down.

You’re like, old news! But you might be thinking of last week’s apocalyptic climate-is-broken report. That was volume 2 of the fourth National Climate Assessment. Today’s red alert is the 2018 Lancet Countdown, a British medical journal’s annual accounting of how climate change affects public health.

Some confusion here would be understandable. What both reports have in common (along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s October report on a 1.5-degree planetary temperature increase) is immediacy. These reports are designed to show climate change happening now, today—and to actually spur people to do something about it. How? Show them how climate change affects them personally, and describe those effects in ways that transcend their politics. Global warming is causing “present-day changes,” the Lancet report says. On a telephone briefing for reporters, Renee Salas, an emergency medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and the lead author of the report’s US iteration,1described seeing more patients with asthma attacks and heat stress. “Viewing climate change as a public health emergency is literally second nature,” Salas said.

Still, these reports tackle immediacy with different strategies. The Lancet Countdown focuses on health. For NCA4, the approach was a little more subtle. Its hundreds of authors started by considering their audience. The 1990 Global Change Research Act says these quadrennial reports are specifically for the president and congress. Climate change affects the American southwest very differently than the northeast, so breaking regional effects into chapters makes that data more useful for people in congress, who can see specific effects on their districts. (NCA isn’t the only research that does this; you can drill down as far as county-by-county economic effects, if you’re into it.)

Breaking out climate impacts by region and by sector gives the report a potentially wider impact. “The idea is that risks are most salient if they apply to you,” says Robert Lempert, a principal researcher at RAND and an author of the report. “We very much intended it to speak to, call them decision-makers, on many levels—not just the federal government.” Lempert says they were thinking of water management agencies, land managers: the people who write the guidances.

Over the 20 years of the NCA’s life, science has gotten better. So has the thinking about how to tell people about that science in ways they can understand it. Talking about tens of thousands of deaths and tens of billions of dollars can help with that. “Over the last 20 years of doing this, we’ve gotten better at thinking about the economic costs,” says John Furlow, a development and aid expert at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and an author of NCA4. “And we have more examples.”

Pretty much everyone (even oil companies, but not the president) now understands that burning fossil fuels sends gases into the atmosphere and increases global temperatures. In recent years, climate science has gotten better at attribution, at figuring out more precisely how much of a hurricane, wildfire, or drought was caused by that warming and those gases. “We can see impacts on things that people care about, and that’s leading us to shorter timescales and more concrete examples,” Furlow says. “The science enables us to attribute some things more or less to climate than just to ongoing trends, and to parse the way those things interact.”

The Lancet report attempts much the same kind of grounding in individual experience. Carbon dioxide counts in parts-per-million and error margins on global circulation models aren’t the most intuitive ways to talk about the end of the world. Abstract numbers and distant-future scenarios don’t cut it. “Today’s babies, by adulthood, will live on a planet without an Arctic. Prevalence of heatstroke and extreme weather will have redefined global labour and production beyond recognition,” as an editorial accompanying the report puts it. “Multiple cities will be uninhabitable and migration patterns will be far beyond those levels already creating pressure worldwide.” Cats and dogs living together; mass hysteria. Your planet’s on fire, kids.

But how all this immediacy and personalization will actually work might depend on how immediate the issue is, and who the person is. “Most of the mitigation decisions are taken at the federal and state level. Or in principle they are; maybe not at the moment at the federal level,” says Robert Kopp, director of the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Scientists at Rutgers University and another author of the National Climate Assessment. “But the adaptation decisions are taken at all levels, perhaps more at the local level than anywhere else.”

The Lancet report is full of straightforward policy recommendations, like “cut carbon emissions, dummies.” By law, the NCA can’t do that. “We were perhaps a little more conscientious about that this time, because we didn’t want there to be anything in there that would cause the administration to try to kill the report,” Furlow says. “Given the administration’s history on climate—calling it a hoax and everything—I think there was concern we might have trouble getting it out the way it was written.” (That doesn’t seem to have been the case; all the authors I’ve talked to say that the executive branch didn’t interfere with its contents.)

But the NCA can (and does) tailor its analyses to the people who might best put them into effect. Lempert’s chapter on adaptation, for example, leverages the basic assumptions of a civil engineer. “In some sense the structure of the chapter is to try and get them to do things,” he says. Past climate no longer predicts the present or the future—that idea is what scientists call stationarity, and it’s pretty much dead. The planet’s past performance is no longer a predictor of future results. So if engineers have been making infrastructure assumptions (sea wall height, 100-year flood levels, days of the year above a certain temperature), well, they should probably not do that. How they feel about climate change as a political issue doesn’t matter. “Even in the red parts of Florida, people will vote for bond issues to raise the water treatment plants, and let’s not talk about why,” Lempert says.

Engineers won’t be these reports’ only users. Consider lawyers. The NCA is, after all, a government report acknowledging the damage caused by climate change. So it might be evidence in lawsuits against climate emitters. “We used the last assessment for that purpose and this is even stronger,” says Steve Berman, managing partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a firm involved in a few of those lawsuits. “It also takes away a lot of the oil industry argument that this science is still nascent, and that no one is really certain there will be all of these impacts.”

Those lawsuits happened because cities, states, and environmental groups didn’t feel like they were getting results from the executive or legislative branches. So far, the executive seems to be disregarding NCA4. But in January the Democrats take over the House of Representatives, and some of them have been agitating for climate action. “This is a powerful piece of artillery for any legislator who is interested in advocating for action,” says Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. The report might also make it harder for the Trump Administration to weaken EPA rules on carbon dioxide. The EPA under President Obama determined that carbon dioxide was a harmful pollutant that should be regulated under the Clean Air Act, and the NCA reaffirms that conclusion.

None of those things necessarily change any minds. They might not move the needles on the Yale climate survey. But maybe they don’t have to. As the New Yorker writer Osita Nwanevu argued recently on Twitter, denialism isn’t a commonly held position. The real problem is an absence of climate policy. Ideally, the constructions of the IPCC reports, the National Climate Assessment, and the LancetCountdown won’t just make a policy more obvious, but help clear a path to a policy going into effect. The clock’s ticking.

Full link: https://www.wired.com/story/the-climate-apocalypse-is-now-and-its-happening-to-you/

Sưu tầm – TO DEAL, OR NOT TO DEAL?

Image

It was a slow day for corporate news and U.S. markets were unable to hold their intraday gains and ended in the red, snapping a three day rally. Wednesday’s mega-rally had no legs, which has been the pattern for U.S. markets since September.  As of the close today, the DJIA and the S&P 500 are essentially flat for the year, while the Nasdaq is up about 3 percent. Funny…it doesn’t feel like that lately.

It’s not just lately, and it’s not just you. Betterment ran a survey earlier this fall wherein 48 percent of the participants thought the stock market had not gone up at all in the past 10 years. 18 percent thought it actually went down. They shouldn’t feel too bad, though. They only missed a 200 percent increase in that time period. Too often we forget that so many people are either not invested at all, or invested, but mostly unaware of what is happening with their money.

In other news, all eyes are on Buenos Aires and the G20 meetings coming up this weekend. President Trump and China’s President Xi are expected to dine together and hopefully resolve the escalating trade war that is rattling companies and investors all over the world.

Why it Matters: If there is no progress, Trump is prepared to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports to 25 percent from current levels of 10 percent, and could add tariffs on another $267 billion worth of imports, according to Larry Kudlow, a senior adviser to the President. China has proven that it won’t take these increases sitting down, so expect retaliation in kind if dinner doesn’t go well between the two.

If you’re interested in the actual products subject to higher tariffs, take a browse through the Tariff List from the U.S. Trade Representative of the 5,745 items subject to increases. It’s everything from granulated steel slag to sardines.

Remember, the G-20 was established in the throes of the 2008 financial crisis to douse the flames of a global financial bonfire. It was a summit intended to foster cooperation among the world’s biggest economies, and it was that way for a few years. But, at last year’s summit in Germany, a newly elected President Trump refused to endorse the Paris Climate Accord, and later pulled the U.S. out of it.

Argentina, the host country, wants to focus on The Future of Work, Infrastructure Development and Food Security. Those are all worthy topics, but I doubt they’ll make headlines given the Trump-Xi tango.

Even the Fed is worried about the escalation of a tariff war. The FOMC released the minutes from its October meeting today (kind of like a transcript and notes from the two day meeting). While tariffs have come up in past meetings, this was the first time Fed governors tied them to the global economic slowdown.

From the Minutes:
“Participants observed that growth in business fixed investment slowed in the third quarter following several quarters of rapid growth. Some participants pointed to anecdotal evidence regarding higher tariffs and uncertainty about trade policy, slowing global demand, rising input costs, or higher interest rates as possible factors contributing to the slowdown.”

What’s Next: Investors may see a silver lining in all this, which is that concerns about a tariff war may be yet another reason the Fed will keep hitting the brakes on future rate hikes, which is good for stocks. A 0.25 percent hike in December is very likely, but future hikes in 2019 are anything but, as I mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter.

Beyond the G20 this weekend, here are a few other key dates that could move the markets and set the tone for 2019:

  • December 7th: November Jobs Report
  • December 8th: Deadline for a government spending bill to avert a shutdown (Read more on what to expect leading up to December 8th)
  • December 11th: House of Commons (UK) Vote on Brexit
  • December 18-19: Next FOMC meeting on interest rates

Sưu tầm – Trade war hits Southeast Asian profits for first drop in 9 quarters

Sliding currencies and rising oil prices hammer July-September results

SINGAPORE — Profits at Southeast Asia’s largest companies fell for the first time in nine quarters hit by the U.S.-China trade war and falling regional currencies.

Calculations by the Nikkei Asian Review show that profits for 95 companies in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam fell by 1.5% for the July-to-September period. The combined results of the these Nikkei Asia300 companies fell to $14.4 billion from the same period a year ago, based on average exchange rates in the corresponding periods, according to data from QUICK-FactSet.

That compares with the figure for the April-to-June quarter of $14.8 billion, which represented a 14% rise from the same quarter in 2017.

The weakness in corporate earnings is in line with a slowdown in regional economies. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand all reported slower economic growth in the July-to-September quarter from a year ago.

One of the main reasons for the slowdown is the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. Export-oriented companies were hit when the world’s two biggest countries imposed tariffs on each other’s imports in July that were ramped up over the quarter.

Thai building materials conglomerate Siam Cement saw a 20% year-on-year net profit decline in the July-to-September quarter in local currency terms.

“The persistent trade war has started biting our exports in the third quarter of this year,” said President and CEO Roongrote Rangsiyopash during a news conference announcing the results. “The U.S.-China spat raises uncertainty of our trade partners’ importing policies and that cut our exports.”

ASEAN

Weaker currencies in emerging markets affected businesses that operate in multiple countries. Southeast Asia’s biggest mobile carrier Singapore Telecommunications, which has affiliates in emerging economies including Indonesia and India, was one of those affected.

Its net profit dropped 77% in local currency terms in the quarter from a year ago. The Indonesian rupiah and Indian rupee were among those that weakened considerably against the dollar during the period.

Asia’s largest hospital chain IHH Healthcare, a Malaysia-based company whose results announced on Tuesday were not included in the survey, tumbled into the red with a net loss of 104 million ringgit ($24 million). IHH owns a hospital chain in Turkey, where the local currency, the lira, fell against the dollar. The company attributed its poor performance in part to “higher forex losses on the subsidiary’s non-lira loans.”

Rising crude oil prices during the quarter hit airlines’ margins. Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia saw profit declines of 81% and 95%, respectively, while Philippine budget carrier Cebu Air fell into the red. Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President for Finance Stephen Barnes said at a results briefing that “the impact of higher fuel costs [was] really coming through.”

 Singapore Airlines said the impact of rising crude oil prices was “really coming through” after it reported a profit plunge of 81% in the July-to-September quarter from a year ago.   © Reuters

There will be little respite for Southeast Asian companies in the months ahead as U.S.-China trade tensions drag on and the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to hike interest rates.

Most Southeast Asian economies rely on trade and are heavily integrated in the supply chains of Chinese and U.S. makers.Moreover, emerging markets could see investors pull out amid higher U.S. rates.

Central banks in the region face having to prop up currencies with tighter policy. Combined with the delayed effects of high oil prices, this threatens to dampen domestic consumption. Under the circumstances, companies will need to brace for headwinds in the coming months.

The International Monetary Fund in October downgraded next year’s growth estimate for the ASEAN-5, comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, by 0.1 percentage point to 5.2%. It revised down China’s by 0.2 percentage point to 6.2%.

Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry this month said it expects economic growth in 2019 to come in between 1.5% and 3.5%, revising down from an earlier estimate of 3.0% to 3.5%, citing risks in the global economy.

“This weakness in corporate earnings is still expected to continue for the next quarter, geared by the rate hikes in the U.S.,” said Tomohiro Okawa at P.S. Oskar Group. “But [Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome] Powell’s recent speech suggests a pause of hikes next year and this would ease [pressure on] Southeast Asian companies,” he added.

By KENTARO IWAMOTO

Full link: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/Trade-war-hits-Southeast-Asian-profits-for-first-drop-in-9-quarters?utm_campaign=RN%20Free%20newsletter&utm_medium=daily%20newsletter%20free&utm_source=NAR%20Newsletter&utm_content=article%20link

Sưu tầm – Enforcement undermines Xi’s monopoly on policy

President Xi Jinping has brought significant institutional changes to policymaking processes in China since he came to power in 2013. Since the 1980s, the Politburo and its standing committee (the PBSC) were the peak decision-making bodies under China’s party-state dual-governance structure. The State Council was the highest administrative agency managing economic and other affairs on a daily basis, while a few leading groups coordinated between the party and the state on financial, economic and foreign affairs. But since 2013, Xi has notably strengthened the role of leading groups at the expense of both the PBSC and the State Council.

By establishing, reshaping and upgrading leading groups in key sectors to the status of commissions, Xi has amassed a concentration of power unseen since Mao. He currently supervises nine newly-established or revised leading groups, committees and commissions, which accordingly cover nine of the most important governance sectors: nationwide reform, financial and economic affairs, state security, foreign affairs, Taiwan affairs, the military, cybersecurity, legislative issues, and auditing.

These commissions are under the direct control of Xi, which puts the State Council and the PBSC on the back burner. The leadership of party central commissions in determining national political and economic agendas stands as the most distinct feature of Xi’s governance.

Among these commissions, the establishment of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform in 2013 was a game changer. Xi upgraded the group in March 2018 to the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reform Commission (CCDRC), along with three other commissions in the areas of finance and the economy, foreign affairs and cyberspace affairs. By August 2018, he had established another two commissions on legislative issues and auditing. Equipped with permanent staff and offices, these commissions are developing into institutionalised agencies that are taking control of policymaking in their respective areas.

The extremely high-level members of these commissions signal their great leverage over policymaking. For example, the CCDRC is composed of Xi as the director and three other members of the PBSC as the deputy directors. The commission also includes three vice-premiers and 10 ministers from the State Council, as well as senior leaders in the Party’s central departments, the military, people’s congress and judiciary system. When it comes to the promotion of nation-wide reform, the senior status of personnel in the CCDRC and the frequency of its meetings demonstrate that it has taken over the decision-making and governance roles previously played by the PBSC and the State Council. Other commissions, with similarly high-level membership, have also taken charge in their respective areas.

Governance by leading groups can be traced back to the 1950s when Mao established seven leading groups within the Party to regain control over a state bureaucratic system dominated by other senior leaders. Ruling through leading groups can be understood as a vertical management system (gui kou guan li) to enhance efficiency in the policymaking process. For example, the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs is responsible for coordinating all issues in the financial and economic sector, while the Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs oversees and coordinates foreign policy.

Instead of increasing transparency and public involvement, Xi has embraced the old path of ruling via the vertical management system and greatly strengthened central control over policymaking when facing the remaining and most difficult issues in reform. Governing by leading groups and commissions reflects Xi’s belief that top-level design can optimise and facilitate policymaking between party organs and government agencies, while also tightening control over the policymaking process.

Meanwhile, Xi has turned to stricter party discipline and a national campaign of constant inspections and supervision by superiors to guarantee policy implementation. Policy implementation has remained the most difficult aspect of governance in China. Previous leaders such as Jiang Zemin and Zhu Rongji lamented the difficulty of enforcing policies through China’s huge bureaucratic system. Likewise, Xi’s ruling commissions lack the necessary administrative resources to implement policies, and continue to depend on an inefficient, multi-levelled state bureaucracy.

Policy implementation under Xi has not showed encouraging signs. In some priority areas such as deleveraging in the financial sector, policy execution was quite impressive in 2017. But in general, reforms to policy enforcement lagged. Intense pressure from Xi to improve policy implementation, combined with his persistent, unmerciful anti-corruption campaign, caused widespread soft resistance in the bureaucratic system. Huge risks of being reported, accused of wrongdoings or of corruption when promoting reform and implementing policy explain the extensive passivity and slow-moving practices of officials in China’s huge bureaucracy.

Together with many problems that have accumulated for years at the grassroots level, China’s unwieldy bureaucracy has substantially obstructed reforms to policy implementation. Until processes of policy enforcement are reinvigorated, Xi’s model of ruing by commissions will continue to face great challenges.

Author: Alex He

Full link: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/11/30/enforcement-undermines-xis-monopoly-on-policy/

Sưu tầm – Tackling Asia’s new middle-income challenge

Decades of sustained economic growth have left the Asia Pacific with few lower-income countries. Absolute poverty levels are and will continue to keep falling. This is cause for celebration. But it also requires a new partnership between countries and development institutions to tackle the challenges that arise as Asia becomes an upper middle-income continent.

Cars are seen stuck in traffic in Bangkok, Thailand, 12 September 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

The scale of change in Asia is immense. In 1990, more than 80 per cent of the world’s population living below the extreme poverty line (estimated at US$1.90 per day, measured at purchasing power parity) were either in East Asia and the Pacific, or South Asia. Today that number is far smaller and getting smaller still. By 2030, just 0.1 per cent of the population of East Asia is expected to live below the extreme poverty line. In South Asia the figure will be only 2 per cent.

Put another way, half of the world’s population in 2025 will likely live in Asian middle-income countries. Today, almost all of the region’s nations already enjoy middle-income status. And more are moving beyond US$4000 per capita income, signifying a shift from lower middle-income to upper middle-income status. By 2025, only Afghanistan and Nepal are expected to remain officially poor.

This progress is positive. Millions have been lifted out of extreme poverty over the past decade alone, with just as many now benefitting from improved education and health. But it also requires a rethink of the policy obstacles that Asian countries must now overcome, and the way in which they interact with bilateral and multilateral development institutions.

Middle-income status does not mean development gets suddenly easier. While Asia’s growth still outpaces global growth, it has slowed since the global financial crisis. This has led some to argue that Asia is facing a middle-income trap, where growth slows after reaching middle-income levels and the transition to high-income levels seems a distant prospect. Malaysia and Indonesia are often mentioned as examples.

Equally worrying is that several middle-income Asian economies suffer from persistent pockets of poverty, while their people remain vulnerable to sudden changes in income. Some countries continue to confront fragile situations associated with long-term and often subnational conflict. Afghanistan has seen three decades of armed conflict between the government and the Taliban, while Myanmar is engulfed in a crisis involving the Rohingya people.

Ageing populations are another challenge, particularly in China, South Korea and East Asia. This will translate into rising dependency ratios, increasing elderly care costs and probably higher taxation.

Moving nations out of extreme poverty also tells us little about the extent to which their people are vulnerable to falling backwards. This vulnerable group of people — those who hover precariously above the poverty line but do not advance quickly towards middle-class status — is expanding in Asia. In countries from India to Indonesia to the Philippines and Bangladesh, this category now covers hundreds of millions of citizens.

Although growth has lifted millions above the breadline, the quality of that growth has not always been pro-poor. Recent decades of growth have often exacerbated income inequality levels across Asia. Gini coefficients (a common measure of income equality) have declined in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea.

Tackling these challenges requires different policies by governments in Asia, both to continue to push growth but also to make it more equitable. Improving innovation, tertiary and vocational education, financial access for small businesses, elderly care and pensions systems, infrastructure and institutions can help put Asia on the path to developed, high-income status. These policies should be tailored to individual national circumstances. The days of a one-size fits all development model are over.

Asia’s new middle-income era also poses questions for development institutions. Improved income status means Asia’s development finance landscape is quickly changing. As countries become wealthier the sources of finance and financial instruments available to them will change, as will the volumes of aid they receive and the conditions attached to it. Borrowing from international capital markets will become crucial, with rating agencies influencing the terms on which they can do so.

Middle-income status is often considered a signal for a successful development trajectory — hence the rationale for development institutions to play a progressively smaller role. But development institutions should not move from an aid relationship with Asia to simply no relationship at all.

Instead, they need to create a new and different kind of relationship, based at first on a mixture of aid and trade, and eventually trade and private investment alone — in the process finding new ways to help transform Asian nations whose development journeys are only at most mid-way complete.

Author: Ganeshan Wignaraja

Full link: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/11/29/tackling-asias-new-middle-income-challenge/

Note – Bloomberg: Money Stuff: Watch Out for Fake Newsletters

Who will scam the scammers?

I don’t exactly know what is going on in this Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action but it is kind of wonderful. For one thing, it is about email newsletters, a topic close to my heart. Eric Landis, the defendant, ran newsletters with names like The Street Alert, The Penny Reporter and The Stock Beacon. You can see an archived version of The Street Alert’s website from 2016 here; it’s basically what you’d expect. “It’s Time for You to Beat the Stock Market,” it says; “Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter and Profit with the Best!” That sort of thing.

The word to pay attention to there is “free”: If Landis wasn’t charging readers for his newsletters, how was he getting paid? Well, obviously:

Landis purported to be a stock promoter who was paid by others to generate interest in the stock of various small companies, whose securities are commonly referred to as microcap securities or microcap stock. Landis represented to the parties who paid him for stock promotion activities that he would send emails to prospective investors through email lists purportedly comprised of tens of thousands subscribers.

Landis would advertise to readers that he’d send them profitable stock tips, and then he’d advertise to promoters that he’d get buyers for their stocks, and then the promoters would pay him tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and he’d tout their stocks to his readers. I do not know if his emails contained clear prominent disclaimers describing this business model; quite possibly they did. (The archived website does not appear to.) I do know that Landis was previously in trouble with the SEC in 2006 (and pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice) for his involvement with a pump-and-dump scheme involving shell companies and fake press releases. It all strikes me as unseemly, but who am I to judge? The correct model of penny stock promotion might well be that everyone is in on the joke; if Landis’s readers thought not “this guy will alert me to the next Tesla so I can buy it as a long-term investment,” but “this guy will tell me what stocks are being pumped today so I can buy them at the beginning of the pump,” then, you know, they got what they paid for, from his free newsletter.

But none of this is the point of the SEC’s case; really, as far as I can tell the SEC is fine with everything I just described. Instead the SEC objects to two things. First, allegedly, “Landis’s lists were a sham”:

Landis falsely represented to his client at this time that The Street Alert and The Stock Beacon had approximately 72,000 subscribers each. In fact, The Street Alert never had more than 3,000 subscribers, and The Stock Beacon never had more than 600 subscribers.

The problem is not that penny-stock promoters were paying a convicted pump-and-dump scammer to tout their stocks; the problem is that he was lying to them about his ability to do it.

But second, Landis did try to provide the service—pumping up trading volume in penny stocks—that he advertised to his promoter clients. It’s just that he didn’t do it through email lists with tens of thousands of subscribers. He did it, allegedly, by buying and selling the stocks himself:

To generate trading volume and create the false impression that he was drumming up investor interest, the SEC alleges that Landis traded thousands of microcap shares himself using brokerage accounts in his own name, in the name of an entity he controlled, Ridgeview Capital Partners LLC, and in the names of several third parties. Altogether, the SEC alleges that Landis placed thousands of manipulative trades over three years, including approximately 1,300 “matched trades,” which involved simultaneously selling and buying stocks in the microcap companies he was paid to promote.

That sounds … sort of bizarrely exhausting? Surely he’d have preferred to do this honestly. Writing an email newsletter is hard work, absolutely, but it’s much easier than taking on all the work and risk of buying and selling stocks yourself after writing the newsletter anyway. The moral of the story is that investing time and effort in email newsletter audience development is better than investing it in fraud.

Also weird is that there’s no allegation that Landis actually pumped the price of any of these stocks. He bought and sold lots of stock, but in apparently equal amounts and not generally at increasing prices; the charts of the stocks he allegedly manipulated sort of look like he had some temporary positive effect on the prices, but it is not consistent and the SEC doesn’t mention it. (Nor, as far as I can tell, was he hired or paid to pump the prices.) Instead it just claims that he artificially increased their volume, by trading with himself. That is definitely illegal—the SEC complaint cites the law making it illegal “to effect any transaction in a security which involves no change in the beneficial ownership of the security and to enter substantially similar orders for the purchase and sale of any security for the purpose of creating a false or misleading appearance of active trading in the security”—and in the general case you can see why. Volume might also induce people to buy stocks that they shouldn’t; the SEC says here that his “conduct created apparent trading activity in the stock of those companies for the purpose of inducing the purchase and sale of the stock of those companies by others.” But here it is hard to shake the idea that Landis’s only real victims were the penny-stock sponsors who paid him to promote their stocks, and who didn’t get what they paid for. I hope they’re the ones who complained to the SEC about it.

It would be funny if all penny-stock pumping schemes turned out to be like this. What if nobody reads or acts on any of the newsletters, and the only people trading are the newsletter writers trying to convince promoters that their newsletters work, and the SEC and FBI investigators trying to catch the scammers? What if it is just a closed system?

Anyway, um, subscribe to my newsletter? I have a feeling that this edition is going to end up in your spam folder though.

Indexing

wrote the other day that “the rise of index funds has led to a demand for indexes that are intended to represent things other than the market as a whole,” and that “now basically any decision process that can create a list of stocks counts as an index.” If you took this extremely literally, you might imagine an investing world with two types of mutual fund (or exchange-traded fund):

  1. Index funds, which would track widely used indexes meant to represent “the market” (or some geographical or industry subset of the market), and
  2. “Index” funds, each of which would track an index of the stocks that it owns. Like, the Matt Equity Index Fund would track the Matt Equity Index, an index that I maintain and that consists of the stocks that I want to buy, weighted by how much of them I want to buy, and re-balanced each time I want to buy or sell a stock. Most of these funds would presumably be more systematic than that—they’d have some reasonably simple formal algorithm to choose what stocks to include and when to re-weight the index; they wouldn’t just be picking whatever they felt like—but there is nothing in the current usage of the word “index” that requires that. An index of stocks that make me feel happy is, in the broadest possible sense of the term, an index.

Here is a delightful paper from Adriana Robertson of the University of Toronto titled “Passive in Name Only: Delegated Management and ‘Index’ Investing.”

This paper provides the first detailed empirical analysis of the landscape of US stock market indices. These indices are used both as benchmarks for US mutual funds and in the creation of “passive” index funds. I collect novel data that allows me to explore both of these functions. First, I hand collect detailed information about the universe of indices used as benchmarks for US mutual funds. I document substantial diversity across indices and find that the overwhelming majority of indices in my sample are used as a primary benchmark for only a single fund. I then turn to ETFs, a subset of the mutual fund industry, and hand collect detailed information about the index that each US ETF seeks to track. I find that a substantial fraction of these funds track indices that they, or their affiliates, create. Even controlling for other factors, I find that these funds have, on average, higher expense ratios.

One finding here is that there seem to be a lot of, in my terms, “index” funds. For instance: “The median index – and even the 75th percentile index – is being used by only a single fund, and even the 90th percentile is only being used by 3 funds.” The typical index fund, weighted by assets under management, tracks some big well-known general-market index. But the typical index, weighted just by number of indexes, is the benchmark for a single fund.

Robertson also does a taxonomy of index styles that ends with this miscellaneous category:

Finally, there are what I term the “bespoke” or “specialized” indices. In this category, I also include indices that rely on proprietary  methodologies, since there is no way of determining how they are constructed. These are generally used by only one or two funds and tend to have far less AUM benchmarked against them. However, while the values tend to be small on average, they add up. In total, the 171 indices I coded as “specialized,” act as benchmarks for $130 billion in AUM. Unsurprisingly, there is an enormous amount of variety across these indices. Some of these are clearly designed to appeal to the values of certain groups of investors, such as the “S&P 500 Catholic Values Index,” the “Barclays Women in Leadership Index,” or the “SSGA Gender Diversity Index.” Others are included because they focus on a particular niche, such as the “Solactive Guru Index,” the “iBillionaire Index,” or the “WeatherStorm Forensic Account Long-Short Index.” Still others are aimed at “responsible” investing. A final group is here primarily because they are constructed using proprietary methodologies, making them virtually impenetrable to outsiders.

The Matt Equity Index is not exactly the norm, but it does fit right in. “Stocks I want to buy” is, after all, a proprietary methodology.

And there is this, about exchange-traded funds:

Out of the 571 funds in my final sample, 81 were following an index that was created by an affiliate of the fund. Despite this fact, all 81 of these funds described themselves as passive in their prospectuses.

Weirdly, “expense ratios are higher among affiliated index-linked funds” than among ETFs with unaffiliated indexes, but “management fees and turnover ratios are indistinguishable between the two groups,” which suggests to Robertson “that investors are attracted to ETFs and are sensitive to management fees, but do not necessarily notice the other costs that are associated with affiliated index-linked ETFs.”

One possible cost: “Managers may be able to take advantage of this by increasing their total compensation through other means, perhaps by charging the fund a high licensing fee for the privilege of using its index.” If you write your own index, and then manage a fund that tracks that index, you can charge investors less for managing the fund and more for writing the index. That … almost … makes sense? Like your cost of managing the fund really is low, comparable to the cost that other index fund managers have in managing a fund to match external indexes. Your cost of picking the index might be higher, higher than a typical index licensing fee, more comparable to the cost that active mutual fund managers have in picking stocks. It’s just that you do your stock picking in your index, not in your fund.

Real-estate front-running

We have talked a few times recently about the question: If you knew that Amazon.com Inc. was about to announce a giant new office in Long Island City, and you used that information to buy real estate in Long Island City hoping to profit when the Amazon office was announced, would that be illegal? I do not want to rehash the arguments here, but I do want to point you to this story about the rapid expansion (and subsequent bankruptcy) of Mattress Firm Inc., which is now suing two former employees and a broker for (allegedly) more systematic real-estate front-running:

According to the suit, Bruce Levy, the former head of real estate, and Ryan Vinson, a former vice president, let the broker, Alexander Deitch, oversee deals in a half-dozen states and “front-run” some of them, tipping him off to the next outlet’s location so he could secretly buy it himself while reaping millions in fees.

In return, Mattress Firm claims, Levy and Vinson got diamonds, a Roger Dubuis watch, European vacations and stakes in other real estate deals. One Florida property allegedly came complete with a yacht.

They deny it. “Buying dinner for friends should not count as a kickback or a bribe,” says Deitch. Also there is a photograph of the alleged yacht (it is captioned “The alleged yacht”), which does not look particularly yacht-like. (“It’s the only yacht I know that sits on a trailer,” says Levy.)

It is a good story about the disputed gray areas of corporate bribery. If you are a broker who sells real estate to a corporation, your job is to earn the trust of the couple of individual humans at that corporation who make the real-estate decisions. You earn that trust by taking them out to dinner (fine?), and pretending to befriend them, and then perhaps actually befriending them. And if you actually befriend them, and you want to give one of them a $5,000 watch for his birthday, with no strings attached, well … what? Where does the friendship end and the business relationship begin? If he takes the watch and continues to send you business, that doesn’t look great, but I guess friends do sometimes buy each other fancy watches for their birthdays? Not my friends, per se, but I suppose it is possible.

By the way, it is also a hilarious story of corporate over-expansion:

Mattress Firm has three stores in Austin, Texas, within half a mile of one another. In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, it has two stores with identical hours at about the same distance. Schererville, Indiana (population 28,701), once had five shops less than a block apart.

And:

Levy said Chief Executive Steve Stagner demanded that his executives “weaponize real estate,” surrounding competitors with Mattress Firm outlets to put them out of business or “put the company on its knees so we could buy ’em for less.” He said the mandate was to push deals through at any cost, even if there was an identical store on the other side of the street.

Yeah if I were the real-estate broker for a company that was buying multiple mattress stores per street “at any cost,” I would probably buy them some watches too.

Raids

My general impression of the relationship between big global banks and their home-country bank regulators is that the regulators mostly expect the banks to be pretty open books. Like if the regulators have questions about something the bank is up to, they don’t generally go to court to get a search warrant and then barge in and knock down all the walls to search for contraband. They just, you know, stand up from their desk which in many cases is already located inside the bank’s offices, walk over to their minders/compliance people at the bank, and say “hey tell me about this thing,” and the bankers try to be as responsive as possible. Obviously if the thing that the bank is up to is enormous crime, they will try to conceal that from the regulators, and arguably recent history shows that they are fairly successful at that. But if the regulators already suspect the bank is doing crime in its XYZ transaction, and want to examine all the documents related to the XYZ transaction, they can mostly just ask for them and get them. As a regulatory regime this is a lot more efficient than knocking down all the walls, though of course it relies on some level of trust that the bank will be honest and responsive. This is not how you’d go about regulating, like, the Mafia.

Anyway though sometimes you want a little show of force:

German authorities descended on Deutsche Bank AG, including its downtown Frankfurt headquarters, in a coordinated raid related to a money-laundering investigation.

More than six police vehicles, their blue lights flashing, pulled up to Deutsche Bank’s main office shortly before 9 a.m., in an operation involving about 170 officers. They targeted as suspects two bank employees who were not identified beyond their ages — 50 and 46. The bank said it was cooperating.

If I were the kind of bank regulator who had a desk inside the bank, I’d keep a flashing blue light in my desk and turn it on and carry it around whenever I walked the floor to ask someone for documents. On the other hand if I were a junior banker and police cars with flashing lights suddenly converged on my bank’s headquarters, the temptation to stand up and start yelling “shred everything!” would be incredibly powerful. Like you definitely, definitely want to be standing over a shredder feeding it takeout menus when the cops arrived on your floor. I suppose it is for the best that I am no longer in banking.

By Matt Levine

BloombergOpinion

Money Stuff