I’ve definitely been called bossy.
I’m a first child, an older sister to three half-brothers, the kind of sibling who made her brother complete concocted ‘challenges’ to win badges (and my approval). Climb a tree, run around the block under a certain amount of time, etc.
I was definitely a smart-ass. And probably a little bit of a showoff.
Then, like most girls, I entered the confusing world of puberty, intra-girl competition, and the messages society sends your way growing up: Be pretty. Be thin. Get boys to like you. Don’t scare them or you won’t be popular.
But, because of a strong mother and excellent teachers, the messages were also: Get good grades. Be independent. Stay true to yourself. Stand up for what you believe in.
Which brings me to Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign, which already has celebrity support from people as inspiring as Beyoncé. And if you don’t think girls adore her, watch this video of her surprising kids at a Harlem school:
The idea is that bossy is a dog-whistle word, gendered to imply that women shouldn’t be leaders or people who speak out. That the same thing we value in men is considered irritating from a woman.
Language is vital to who we are, and how we make our way in the workplace and in the world.
But over-focus on language can obscure some of the mechanics of other aspects of prejudice or subtle discrimination. For example, what’s the best way to hire and mentor young women? How do you ask for a raise?
BanBossy.com, to its credit, has tips for employers, parents and teachers. And it’s opening a conversation about how characterizing a girl’s behavior in puberty can affect her development when she becomes part of the workforce.
But by banding together to ban words, do we run the risk of letting language have too much power?
The wealth effect is what happens when we are richer, or we feel richer.
And what happens when you feel (or are) richer: you spend more!
(Or that’s the theory.)
If you get paid more money, or you pocket a windfall, you may well go out and splurge a bit. And that money that you spend will juice the economy: the more stuff you buy from a store, the more money that store makes. Then the store owner goes out and buys more stuff from the manufacturer, or maybe buys another company, or maybe hires some more people, who then feel richer and go out and spend more, and so on.
So clearly there's a wealth effect if we are richer. But what about if we just feel richer?
This happens when asset prices rise. Assets being the stuff we own, like our stock investments or our property. Say the value of your portfolio goes up, or Redfin tells you your house is worth $200,000 more than last month. You haven't actually made any money at this point, but you are richer on paper. Which means you might feel richer. Which means you might go out for a steak dinner instead of a Chipotle burrito, or you might buy a new Mercedes, instead of a second-hand Corolla.
I say might, but this kind of thing happens all the time: the stock market goes up, or the home market booms; people look at their investments, see they're worth more and then they go out and spend a bunch of money. That is the wealth effect in action.
It's great for the economy, but it can be really bad for the spender. Why? Because asset prices move both ways, and the price of your shares or your home can fall just as far and as fast as it rose. And if you haven't realized the gain, by cashing in your stocks or refinancing or selling your home, any purchases you made when you were feeling rich were made with money that you didn't really have.
And when that sinks in, you'll be left badly needing a drink.
Problem is, you may not be able to afford it.
Walter Williams, 78, was declared dead in February. The news about how he started to move while on an embalming table in Mississippi went viral. Now, authorities say they're sure he really has died.
One of the ongoing conversations at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival involves questions and concerns around data and data collection.
How are we trying to use data to live a better life with the help of wearable devices?
How is the government is collecting data and what does that mean about our privacy?
The topic even manifested itself in real-time data from Twitter input into a machine that made custom Oreo cookies. SXSW attendees may be more savvy than the average social media-ite, but they still ask themselves the same questions of when to share data on their activities, and when it's best to keep it to themselves.
VJ Tucker, from a startup called Curious Science, thinks very carefully about what content he adds to the Facebook universe:
"I have a group of friends that can't go to SXSW Interactive and enjoy seeing the panels that I see, so I usually aggregate together all my quotes from the day and put them up... I only try to only put content out there that I feel is compelling to other people. So I don't live tweet everywhere I'm at or anything like that just because it feels like noise in the world instead of anything that's concentrated and compelling."
Southby volunteer Leslie Hales says she uses the typical social media platforms -- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter -- but she deliberately avoids tagging her location:
"I'm not really on the location grid just because I feel like it's just too much...I don't know if I want everyone knowing where I am every second of the day."
In fact, location sharing came up with visitors and locals alike, as evidenced by SXSW volunteer and Austin-ite Alan Navarro, who says he does not see the benefits of tagging where you are on social media:
"I just don't see that there's a reason for me to put out where my location is online. There's not a real insentive to do that, so I just leave it alone."
Luciana Caletti of the Brazilian startup Love Mondays does not mind adding her location to tweets, as it makes sense to her to highlight the fact that she is at SXSW. She adds, however, that attending Edward Snowden's skyped-in appearance is giving her second thoughts on where her data is going:
"All this data being collected...so far it's fine, but if it falls into the wrong hands in the future, you never know who is going to be in charge of the country. So I am starting to be a bit more concerned."
UBS, which was fined for manipulating the Libor rate in 2012, was censured by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the territory's de facto central bank.