Jeremy Au HF: Pay It Forward

Hello friends! I run across intriguing thoughts everyday - which center on a better life through business, social change, and personal improvement. I hope that we will be informed, inspired and even challenged together. These posts are also not my personal opinions on any particular issue. Happy Reading!


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    The descent into Alzheimer’s disease. 

    A doctor chronicles the signatures of his patient as the disease took hold of her. Our love goes out to anyone who’s dealt with this awful disease in some way. 

    via Reddit

    (via datarep)


    A designer’s guide to improving end-of-life care.

    The world’s population is aging. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, the proportion of people 60 years or older in the world will have doubled, from 11% in 2000 to 22% (2 billion people) in 2050. This makes services for the elderly, like hospice care, which seeks to ease the pain (physical and emotional) of terminally ill patients and their families in their last days, even more important.

    The problem is, we tend to avoid talking about death and dying, and people don’t always make plans in advance for end-of-life care. And as it stands, today’s hospice care system can be can be impersonal, under-resourced and under-staffed, and plagued with communication issues between care workers, patients, and families. In some cases, the people who provide palliative care are also paid criminally low wages. In the U.S., home hospice care work only recently stopped being classified as “companionship,” meaning workers didn’t qualify for federal labor protections.


    Singapore- and Barcelona-based health care design consultancy fuelfor spent nine months researching hospice care and its issues in Singapore, where the designers found hospice to be an “invisible and avoided service.” Commissioned by the Lien Foundation, a Singapore-based philanthropy, and the ACM Foundation, a funeral service company, fuelfor came up with a handful of strategies to improve the way hospice care is run, both in Singapore and in the rest of the world.

    The Hospitable Hospice handbook (which won a 2014 International Design Excellence Award) redesigns not only the look and function of hospice care facilities, but also how hospice workers communicate with each other, how people learn about and experience the hospice process, and how people pay for care. Here are seven of their suggestions for better care:

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    11 Characteristics of Resourceful Business Leaders
    While asking for a favor might come off as weak to some, it’s how the most successful business leaders get to the top. Find out what characteristics I commonly see in the most resourceful leaders.”

    A Gene That Makes You Need Less Sleep?



    Some people cope with sleep deprivation better than others. Could this be genetic? Maria Konnikova looks at the research, and explores how it may, one day, be used to aid chronic sleep sufferers.

    Photograph by Shizuo Kambayashi/AP


    How Productivity Works - 32 Principles


    If our willpower is indeed like a muscle as some scientists say, then these tricks may help you bulk up.

    We are on a constant quest to get as much done as possible, but it’s time that we all become a little more realistic about what can and can’t be achieved through sheer willpower.

    Repeat after me: My willpower is limited.

    Columbia psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson argues that our willpower is often not up to the task of resisting temptation. She offers, instead, that we use if-then planning to reduce our reliance on our willpower.

    Rather than making a decision when the time comes, if-then planning allows you to plot out your defense ahead of time so that you’ve already made the right decision when the time comes.

    Unfortunately, though, we can’t always plan for what’s ahead, which is when our willpower really needs to kick in.

    Psychologist Roy F. Baumeister and science writer John Tierney, who wrote a book all about willpower, believe that willpower is like a muscle. It is something that we can build up through the right sustenance and exercise, and it is also something that can get worn out.

    Here are some quick tips to boost your mental strength and fortitude:

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    While global measles deaths have decreased by 78 percent worldwide in recent years – from 542,000 in 2000 to 122,000 in 2012 (according to the World Health Organization) – measles is still common in many developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. A safe and effective vaccine has existed since the 1960s but outbreaks still occur due to ineffective or insufficient immunization programs. Go to to learn more.


    Engineer 3-D Prints An Adorable Dog Wheelchair For A Two-Legged Puppy


    (via fastcompany)


    See that weird rash caused by a fitbit? That’s the only time a doctor will ever care about your fitbit. They’ll never care about the data generated from these devices, ever. Why?

    Because ignorance is bliss. Imagine if a doctor’s typical panel of 2500 patients all had fitbits and were all generating data and sharing all that daily data with doctors. That’s a lot of data for a doctor to digest on a daily basis. Of course the doctor surely wouldn’t be responsible for all of that data. The doctor would only be responsible for the data that sets off some sort of trigger. Let’s say that there’s a miracle device with a miracle algorithm that flags 1% of users as atypical and something the doctor should be analyzing. That means a doctor would then be looking at data from 25 patients a day. Doctors typically see 25 patients a day in their practice, so now they are responsible for 25 more patients, analyzing their data, and then acting on the results. Meanwhile they’re not getting paid for this kind of management. Would this be a co-pay that patients pay? Could doctors open up cases for you that would then give them the freedom to take your co-pay whenever they want?

    And what happens when they overlook a blip in someone’s data and don’t act on it? Are they negligent? Will they be sued for malpractice? Will you also be able to sue Apple or Fitbit because of a flawed algorithm that didn’t trigger alarms for life-threatening data it’s collecting about you? 

    It’s the same issue with paper records. If you have your paper records and deliver an inch-thick of paper to your new doctor, it’s in the doctor’s best interest to refuse to take them. Because if they do take them, they are assuming responsibility for them and are then expected to know the information in that stack of papers. If they don’t take them, they can always claim ignorance. And, legally, ignorance is much better than negligence.

    For doctors, it’s best to ignore these devices and this data. Too much data coming at you. And too many unknowns. With increasing data streams targeted at you and increasing risk of malpractice, it’s probably better to just keep your distance and call them “cute.”


    Don’t be the Leader who Cried Wolf

    What is the point of the story? Sure, it’s simple. Don’t pretend you’re being attacked by a wolf or eventually no one will believe you. And one day, you might just encoutner a wolf. A hungry one. So we try and teach our children at an early age to be honest. Honesty prevails.”


    After being refused treatment, Li Mengnan stabbed the first doctor he saw. Much of the Chinese public sympathized with the killer.


    A cartoon by Carolita Johnson. For more cartoons from the magazine this week:

    The haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does.

    Researchers at Norway’s Stavanger University say that you’re less likely to remember stuff reading it from a Kindle than you are a book, and the fact that you don’t have to turn the page may be part of the reason. (via fastcompany)

    Reading the comments section of this article is great - my first time watching paper and kindle fanboys pull out the knives on each other online :)

    (via fastcompany)

    Four things


    I get asked with regular frequently what I look for as an early stage investor.

    For me it’s four things.

    1. Are the founders extraordinary
    2. Do I love the product
    3. Is the vision compelling
    4. If I wasn’t a VC, would I want to work for the founders at the startup

    That’s basically it.

    These four things have served me well. The times I’ve made mistakes in this business is when I’ve wandered from it.


    You can unplug the Internet and pull the shades—or you can phone a friend.

    You’re reaching the frayed ends of over-caffeinated overtime and if your inbox pings one more time, you might throw your laptop at a wall. If you had the time to read a whole self-help book on being overwhelmed, well, you wouldn’t need it, would you?

    study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology looks at your options for bailing out of a burnout, before the meltdown starts.

    Using a psychology model of coping mechanisms called selection, optimization, and compensation, the researchers tested each method with a sample of 294 employees and their supervisors. Only one of these strategies actually worked. But first, a review of their definitions:

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