5 thoughtful ways to answer the question ‘How are you?’
how are you doing reply When somebody asks, “how are you?” you may find yourself pausing. The pandemic has created a world in which we’re not even sure of our feelings—let along what feelings to share.
If you fall back on cheery answers like “awesome” or “things are great,” you may sound insensitive or not genuine. Alternately, if you delve into the complexities of life—kids at home, incredible fatigue, or the other byproducts of the pandemic, you may feel you’re offering up too much information and excessive negativity.
The classic “I’m fine, thanks,” is good to use when you don’t necessarily want to pursue the conversation much more. For instance, if you’re in a store and a clerk at the checkout asks you how you are, you can offer this response as a courtesy. But it’s definitely a conversation stopper. It’s a polite way of saying “end of discussion.” (That’s okay sometimes. There’s no need to pressure yourself into being socially engaged in every situation.)
The following answers open the door for a deeper moment of connection and will serve you well in various situations:
1. THANKS FOR ASKING. I’M DOING WELL.
This is a good answer if you want to be gracious and share something but not get into a heavy discussion.
The “thank you for asking” up front warms up your response by showing that you appreciate the question. Saying that you are doing well indicates that you want to offer some insight into your life. This answer has an upbeat quality, but it’s not too rah-rah! And it doesn’t require that the listener responds with a personal disclosure or probing question about your life.
2. THINGS ARE GOOD. I JUST HAD MY SECOND COVID-19 SHOT.
Here’s an answer to give if you want to be forthcoming—say, to a friend, a colleague, or an acquaintance you haven’t seen for a while.
We all crave connection these days and sharing something specific strengthens your ties with the other person. It could be that you got your vaccination, or that you love the warm weather and sunshine (“things are good, I’m loving this warm weather,”) or that you’re having a particularly great day (“I’m having a great day: slept well, had a terrific workout this morning, and now you and I are together.”) Follow that up with, “and how are things with you?”
This answer works really well for people who know you, care about you, and want to engage with you. It opens a dialogue that can be meaningful for both of you.
3. I’VE HAD A WHIRLWIND OF A WEEK, BUT I’M HANGING IN THERE.
This is a great answer because it is full of the kind of sharing we need these days. Let’s face it, everyone is struggling in some way. And having an answer that tells us the other person is having a demanding week and is “hanging in there,” makes us feel that we are not alone in what we are struggling with.
I also like the “whirlwind” part of this answer. Full disclosure: This actually was the response given to me when I asked my Fast Company editor how she was doing recently, via email. She provided some specific context about what she was working on, and asked what I was up to, which gave me an opening to share. This type of exchange creates a sense of empathy by sharing some struggles, without getting too deep into the weeds.
4. IT HAS BEEN A ROUGH WEEK.
Depending on the situation, this might be a good, honest reply. But if you’re spilling all, you’ll want to make sure you’re sharing with someone who will listen and provide counsel or sensitivity.
When you say “it has been a rough week,” or “things are so busy,” or “I don’t know how long I can take it,” you are essentially reaching out for help. It’s good to do that, and there are many people today who need that support. Shared with the right friend, family member, or counsellor, it’s a good way of kicking off a genuine conversation and getting the emotional assistance you need.
If you want addition support through such conversations, check out The Mental Health Coalition and its program, Every 1 needs to talk 2 some 1. It supports people who need this kind of conversation. And if you don’t share in the context of a program like this, just make sure that the person you’re talking to is someone who can respond with sensitivity to your “rough week” answer. They should probe and lend an empathetic ear. Being honest like this also helps others to share their own struggles and anxieties.
5. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE END OF THE PANDEMIC.
This final option is an upbeat, sincere answer that focuses on the future and the return of some semblance of normality.
Focusing on the future not only is an uplifting strategy, but it avoids having to articulate some of the more complex feelings we are now experiencing. If we are languishing, as Adam Grant writes in a recent article, we may want to reach into the future and for a brief moment transcend the current reality with dreams of possibilities. There is a place for fantasy in our lives, especially these days.
Silicon Valley is fascists free
Mischaracterizing those who work in technology as secretive conservatives is both inaccurate and counterproductive.
A reporter for the New York Times decided to publish a piece revealing Scott Siskind’s real name, prompting him to delete his entire blog, Slate Star Codex, in the summer of 2020. (Siskind, who now writes at Astral Codex Ten, had long blogged under the pseudonym of Scott Alexander). Eight months later, the story has been published, and it’s just as bad as Siskind anticipated it would be. The article’s most concerning aspects, in my opinion, are the unwarranted generalisations it makes regarding Slate Star Codex readers and the ethos of the technology business. To put it frankly, I think the piece reinforces an inaccurate generalisation about the political leanings of Silicon Valley’s population. And I don’t think it’s helpful for America’s relationship with one of its signature sectors to perpetuate this misperception.
Who were the people who read Slate Star Codex?
Cade Metz, the writer of the Times piece, had this to say about the people who read Slate Star Codex:
The Rationalists, who called [Slate Star Codex] home, were an intellectual movement that sought to reevaluate the world using reason and logic. White nationalists and neofascists were among those who spoke up. According to [economic David] Friedman, “social justice warriors” are the only ones who have to fight to be heard. The minds of Silicon Valley were revealed in Slate Star Codex. It’s important to try to get into their heads since the choices made by tech businesses and their executives have far-reaching consequences. Mr. Alexander, who had previously written under his given name, Scott Siskind, and his blog became required reading due to the attractiveness of the concepts within Silicon Valley.
According to [Sam Altman], it was required reading for “the people inventing the future” in the IT field. Paul Graham, creator of Y Combinator, lent his name to the Slate Star Codex as an advocate. Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, a start-up that went on to raise a billion dollars, read it. Investors like Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz were among the blog’s Twitter followers. This makes for an interesting story: the technologists who are creating our future have been indoctrinated with right-wing ideologies after reading a popular blog. The problem is that I don’t think the article provides enough evidence to back up the claims it makes.
If we take Silicon Valley as an example, is it true that the Slate Star Codex was formerly considered “required reading”? According to Google, there are around 387,000 tech professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. A Reddit user in 2016 estimated that the site had 3,400 regular readers, whereas Siskind’s survey of his subscribers in 2020 received around 8,000 responses. The Times received about 7,500 signatures on a petition asking them to keep Siskind’s identity secret.
This means that even if Slate Star Codex’s regular readership was four times as great as the largest of these percentages, it still would have meant that no more than 8.3 percent of Silicon Valley, or an even smaller percentage of the broader national tech industry, could have consistently read the site. Not all of Siskind’s readers were necessarily tech-savvy, by the way. Actually, the opposite is true. Around 40% of Siskind’s 2020 survey respondents worked in the computer industry: This suggests that a disproportionate number of Slate Star Codex’s readers actually work in the tech industry. However try to avoid generalisations (or as, a Rationalist would call it, base rate neglect, or the Representativeness Heuristic). The fact that 40% of Slate Star Codex readers identified as “techies” does NOT imply that the same percentage of “techies” also read the Slate Star Codex.
That is to say, Slate Star Codex was probably just a small part of the overall technology business. Was this subset disproportionately influential, rich, or well-off? Sam Altman and Paul Graham, two heavy hitters at the YCombinator accelerator, were undoubtedly huge fans. It was likely just one of Patrick Collison’s many, many sources of intriguing occasional information; he once dubbed me “more logical than the Rationalists” (thanks, Patrick!!). I’ve also met a fair amount of VCs, and to my knowledge, none of them have ever used any of the lingo from the Slate Star Codex. So while it’s possible that many prominent figures in technology were influenced by Slate Star Codex, I think we need a lot more proof before drawing any firm conclusions.
How political is Silicon Valley?
The idea that Nazis are abundant in Silicon Valley is a persistent source of annoyance for me, and I believe that Metz’s Times report contributes to this idea. The truth is that the tech industry is dominated by leftists. Crowd Pac conducted a poll of political donors in 2014, and their responses were organized by sector. After academics and the entertainment business, the “online computer services” sector (Silicon Valley) was the third most liberal. It was far more open-minded than traditional print media. On the right, there appears to be a solitary mass of conservatives. Among them are few more well-known conservatives like Peter Thiel. Nonetheless, they stand out as radicals in a traditionally liberal field. This sample is likely to be skewed towards the wealthy because these are donors, not voters.
This is supported by data from elsewhere. OpenSecrets.org reports that in 2020, 92% of internet industry donations went to Democrats. This is supported by surveys of IT startup founders. Silicon Valley founders are overwhelmingly Democrats, despite being more skeptical of regulation and unions than the average Democrat (which is to be expected, given their occupations). They are even more progressive on social issues (gay marriage, abortion, gun control, etc.) than the typical college-educated Democrat. Despite the fact that it seems to go against their class interests, they are nevertheless big supporters of government redistribution. They also rank lower on measures of authoritarianism and racial hostility than the typical Democratic voter base. To sum up, tech startup founders are your typical liberal nerds.
Everyone who has any kind of regular contact with those working in the tech industry is already well aware of this. Black Lives Matter protests had widespread support from the tech industry and its top executives. After the failed coup attempt on January 6th, they also effectively blocked former President Trump and many of his core supporters from using the internet. In addition, employees in the computer industry are continually pressuring their managers to become even more liberal than they already are. No fascists will feel comfortable here. As a technology correspondent, Metz should be well-versed on this information. Thus, he should understand that a decade after the publication of Slate Star Codex, technology has not become fascist. Hence, the narrative appeal of a solitary Rationalist site quietly spreading right-wing beliefs among Silicon Valley’s princes has not yet been borne out by the evidence
If Silicon Valley as a whole isn’t right-wing, then what about the Rationalists?
My evidence here is entirely anecdotal. In general, I get the impression that they are on the periphery of the technology sector. Siskind practices psychiatry as a profession. Only big Rationalist I directly know, Julia Galef, is a podcaster. I was able to identify a quant trader, a lawyer, a Wall Street analyst, the founder of a nonprofit, a social worker, a language interpreter, and several people whose only apparent job is working in the Effective Altruism movement, in addition to the philosopher Will MacAskill, who is one of the movement’s leaders. In fact, Eliezer Yudkowsky, who is sort of an A.I. researcher, is the only big Rationalist figure I could locate who is actually in tech.
The Rationalists appear to be on the fence about certain key political issues. The proponents of Effective Altruism seem to be liberals (Update: Matt Yglesias has a great post that goes into some of what they want). Both Yudkowsky and Galef, at heart, are uninvolved, moderate types. And Siskind, though he’d probably be angry with me for saying this, seems to be a conservative, or whatever passes for a conservative in this odd new period of politics. His criticism of Black Lives Matter and (particularly) the feminist movement places him on the political right in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Update: and as others have noted, he is not coy about holding some right-wing beliefs in private.) IQ, school vouchers, and the employment of women are just a few of the topics on which we’ve disagreed in the past. The Rationalists don’t strike me as particularly political, though. Instead, they appear preoccupied with their own brand of arcane lore. Some Rationalists are upset with me because I sometimes find this esoterica to be quite silly. Such is life. My impression of Rationalism is not that it is a fascist or secretly fascist movement, despite what I would call Siskind’s conservatism.
In regards to the Nazis who frequent Scott’s comment section, I believe he should have banned them a long time ago. However, I haven’t seen any proof that Nazi ideas have taken hold among the Rationalists, and I haven’t seen any proof that Rationalist ideas have had more than a very small influence on the technological world either.
To sum up, the story of a conspiracy to infiltrate the minds of the future’s most influential people with fascist ideas spread through Rationalist blogs is enticing, but it’s not well supported by the facts. Tech entrepreneurs are your typical liberal nerds, and Rationalism is just a small subculture that obsesses over Bayes’ Rule, utilitarianism, and robots. While I agree that the tech industry could improve in some areas, I do not believe this to be one of them.
covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia
covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has had a significant impact on the world’s economy and businesses. One major organization that has been affected is STMicroelectronics (ST). This article will discuss the changes that ST has made in Malaysia due to the pandemic. It will look at how the company has reacted to the crisis, what strategies they have implemented in response, and how it affects employees of their Malaysian branch. covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies across the world, and Malaysia is no exception. As a result, many companies have had to make difficult decisions to help protect their employees and finances. This article takes an in-depth look at how the semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics Malaysia has been affected by COVID-19 and the measures they are taking to mitigate its impact. covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia
The Covid-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to the global economy, with many companies struggling to remain afloat. One of those companies is STMicroelectronics Malaysia, a semiconductor company that is headquartered in Europe. With its commitment to digital transformation and innovation, the company has been able to navigate through the crisis, even as other firms have had to shut down or layoff employees. covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia
microsoftled retracts disputed quantumcomputing paper
microsoftled team disputed quantumcomputing In a surprising turn of events, Microsoftled has retracted the paper it recently published on quantum computing. The research paper had been widely discussed in the scientific community due to its groundbreaking claims and potential implications for the future of quantum computing. However, subsequent investigations into the paper revealed discrepancies that led Microsoftled to retract their work, meaning that all results must be disregarded. This news has left many in the scientific world feeling confused and frustrated about this unexpected development. microsoftled retracts disputed quantumcomputing paper
In a surprising turn of events, Microsoftled researchers have announced the retraction of their recently published paper on quantum computing. The retraction comes after months of dispute and criticism over numerous elements of the paper, raising questions about the validity of the research. Microsoftled published the paper in December 2019 to great fanfare and excitement, touting the potential advances it could bring to quantum computing. However, several other researchers quickly called into question its scientific accuracy and validity. microsoftled retracts disputed quantumcomputing paper
Microsoftled has recently come under fire for a paper they published regarding a breakthrough in quantum computing. The paper, which claimed to have made immense strides towards high-performance quantum computing, has now been retracted due to criticisms from the research community. This article will explain why Microsoftled retracted their paper and what this means for the future of quantum computing. Many researchers were concerned with the validity of Microsoftled’s claims and questioned how it could have achieved such successful results without proper testing or verification methods.
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