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Zoe Chou said
10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings   Like everyone, appearing smart during meetings is my top priority. Sometimes this can be difficult if you start daydreaming about your next vacation, your next nap, or bacon. When this happens, it’s good to have some fallback tricks to fall back on. Here are my ten favorite tricks for quickly appearing smart during meetings. 1. Draw a Venn diagram Getting up and drawing a Venn diagram is a great way to appear smart. It doesn't matter if your Venn diagram is wildly inaccurate, in fact, the more inaccurate the better. Even before you've put that marker down, your colleagues will begin fighting about what exactly the labels should be and how big the circles should be, etc. At this point, you can slink back to your chair and go back to playing Candy Crush on your phone. 2. Translate percentage metrics into fractions If someone says “About 25% of all users click on this button,” quickly chime in with, “So about 1 in 4,” and make a note of it. Everyone will nod their head in agreement, secretly impressed and envious of your quick math skills. 3. Encourage everyone to “take a step back” There comes a point in most meetings where everyone is chiming in, except you. Opinions and data and milestones are being thrown around and you don’t know your CTA from your OTA. This is a great point to go, “Guys, guys, guys, can we take a step back here?” Everyone will turn their heads toward you, amazed at your ability to silence the fray. Follow it up with a quick, “What problem are we really trying to solve?” and, boom! You've bought yourself another hour of looking smart. 4. Nod continuously while pretending to take notes Always bring a notepad with you. Your rejection of technology will be revered. Take notes by simply writing down one word from every sentence that you hear. Nod continuously while doing so. If someone asks you if you’re taking notes, quickly say that these are your own personal notes and that someone else should really be keeping a record of the meeting. Bravo compadre. You've saved your ass, and you've gotten out of doing any extra work. Or any work at all, if you’re truly succeeding. 5. Repeat the last thing the engineer said, but very very slowly Make a mental note of the engineer in the room. Remember his name. He’ll be quiet throughout most of the meeting, but when his moment comes everything out of his mouth will spring from a place of unknowable brilliance. After he utters these divine words, chime in with, “Let me just repeat that,” and repeat exactly what he just said, but very, very slowly. Now, his brilliance has been transferred to you. People will look back on the meeting and mistakenly attribute the intelligent statement to you. 6. Ask “Will this scale?” no matter what it is It’s important to find out if things will scale no matter what it is you’re discussing. No one even really knows what that means, but it’s a good catch-all question that generally applies and drives engineers nuts. 7. Pace around the room Whenever someone gets up from the table and walks around, don’t you immediately respect them? I know I do. It takes a lot of guts but once you do it, you immediately appear smart. Fold your arms. Walk around. Go to the corner and lean against the wall. Take a deep, contemplative sigh. Trust me, everyone will be shitting their pants wondering what you’re thinking. If only they knew (bacon). 8. Ask the presenter to go back a slide “Sorry, could you go back a slide?” They’re the seven words no presenter wants to hear. It doesn't matter where in the presentation you shout this out, it’ll immediately make you look like you’re paying closer attention than everyone else is, because clearly they missed the thing that you’re about to brilliantly point out. Don’t have anything to point out? Just say something like, “I’m not sure what these numbers mean,” and sit back. You've bought yourself almost an entire meeting of appearing smart. 9. Step out for a phone call You’re probably afraid to step out of the room because you fear people will think you aren't making the meeting a priority. Interestingly, however, if you step out of a meeting for an “important” phone call, they’ll all realize just how busy and important you are. They’ll say, “Wow, this meeting is important, so if he has something even more important than this, well, we better not bother him.” 10. Make fun of yourself If someone asks what you think, and you honestly didn't hear a single word anyone said for the last hour, just say, “I honestly didn't hear a single word anyone said for the last hour.” People love self-deprecating humor. Say things like, “Maybe we can just use the lawyers from my divorce,” or “God I wish I was dead.” They’ll laugh, value your honesty, consider contacting H.R., but most importantly, think you’re the smartest looking person in the room. 
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Whom money has turned us into?  有錢讓我們更自私?  文/ Claire Peng  閱讀暖身  李奧納多主演的「華爾街之狼」,勾勒出荒淫、墮落、紙醉金迷的金錢世界,追逐財富的代價,是人性變得更自私自利。美國柏克萊大學的社會心理學家保羅‧皮福,用有趣的實驗,讓我們檢視赤裸裸的人性,你會恍然大悟:為什麼有錢人講話那麼大聲?! 進入本文前,請先想想怎麼表達以下單字:  (A) 良心 (B) 權力 (C) 加劇 ; 惡化  It’s 8:30 in the morning. You know you are going to be late for work again. You are standing in a long queue to get your coffee and breakfast, complaining to the waiter for not delivering your order promptly. After an exhausting day at work, you feel like going home immediately. You start messaging your friend after spotting a seat on the MRT without seeing a five-year-old girl standing just in front of you.  早上八點半,你知道你今天上班又要遲到了。你排在很長的隊伍裡等著買咖啡和早餐,一邊抱怨服務生動作不夠快速。待上了一整天班,你筋疲力盡,ㄧ心只想著趕快回家。一上捷運,看見有位置就立刻坐下,開始拿出你的手機傳訊息給朋友,沒有注意到一位五歲的小女孩就站在你面前。  The scenario is familiar to all of us; or we can say it happens to us or around us almost every single day. We tend to prioritize our needs above the interests of other people. When having a bad A) conscience, we would come up with a whole bunch of excuses to justify our behaviors. It makes us wonder if the hustle and bustle of life in the big city has turned us into ruthless people. How does money affect the way we behave? A famous social psychologist, Paul Piff, uses a rigged monopoly game to answer the question.  這樣的場景我們一點都不陌生,幾乎每一天都可以看見我們自己或是別人做出類似的行為。我們往往優先考慮自己的需求大過於他人的利益。當心裡出現良心不安,我們總是可以想到一大堆理由來合理化自己的行為。這讓我們不禁疑惑,生活在喧擾繁忙的大城市裡,我們是不是早已變得冷酷無情?到底金錢對於我們的行為有什麼影響?著名的社會心理學家保羅‧皮福用一場精心設計的大富翁遊戲來回答這個問題。 Paul and his research group conducted a study at the University of California, Berkeley, to look into how people behave when feeling wealthy. They brought more than 100 pairs of strangers into the lab to play the monopoly game. One of the players in each pair was assigned as the “privileged” one and the other one as the “poor” one. The privileged players collected twice the salary on passing “Go” and rolled two dice rather than one.  為了研究當人類感受到富有時的行為,保羅和他的研究團隊在加州柏克萊大學進行一個實驗。他們將100 對彼此不認識的陌生人帶到實驗室裡玩大富翁。每對玩家裡面有一位分配到優勢權,而另一位是相對弱勢。具有優勢的玩家在通過起點的時候都能領取兩倍的錢,並且每回可以骰兩顆骰子,而另一位玩家只能骰一顆骰子。  Significant differences between the privileged and the poor players were revealed as the game unfolded. The rich ones became louder, followed by display of power and dominance through nonverbal language. The privileged players even behaved in ruder ways towards the poor ones 1) as a means of showing off their material success. The experiment demonstrates that as one’s wealth goes up, one’s feelings of compassion and empathy decrease while self-focus and feelings of B) entitlement increase. 2) On top of that, some research showcases that financial inequality undermines positive things in the society, such as economic growth, social trust, and educational performance.  兩位玩家在遊戲開始之後便展現出極大的差異。有錢的那位玩家聲音變得越來越大聲,並用肢體動作展現出自己的權力和優越感。他們甚至開始對於貧窮的玩家變得無禮,並以物質上的優越作為炫耀。此實驗顯示,隨著一個人的財富增加,對他人的同情心和同理心會下降,並且自我中心和權力的意識會增強。除此之外,有研究顯示財富不均會危害社會的積極面向, 如經濟成長、社會信任和教育成效。  The Global Wealth Report in 2013 shows that the top 10% of the world population own close to 83% percent of the total wealth while half of the population possesses barely 1% of global wealth. It also suggests that economic growth has C) exacerbated this income inequality. As governments around the world try to grow their economies we should perhaps ask ourselves how much economic growth are we willing to compromise, if any, for the wellbeing of our fellow citizens?  2013 年全球財富報告指出,世界人口中10% 富豪佔了近83%的全世界總財富,但全球一半的人口僅擁有1%的全球財富。這也顯示出經濟發展加劇了財富不均的現象。當全球政府都致力於發展經濟的同時,我們不禁要反問: 為了人民的福祉,多大的經濟成長是我們可以妥協的?  口語字彙: 1) as a means of 作為…的方式 mean 當動詞用是「意味著」,means 是名詞,原意是「手段」或「方法」,結尾一定要記得 加s。有個常見的片語by no means,意思是「絕不」。 E.g., Silence is also considered a means of communication. 沉默也被視為是一種溝通方式。 E.g., By no means do I agree with this time. 我這次絕不會同意你的看法。  2) on top of… 了解狀況/除…之外 當了解狀況解釋時,可以表示掌握最新狀況, 或處理某事很成功。 E.g., You can ask Susan about the case. She is on top of it. 你可以詢問蘇珊有關情況, 她最了解。 The boss asked her to stay on top of the things. 老闆要求她要好好處理事情。 當除.. 之外時, 也可換成in addition to/ besides/ apart from + 名詞 / 動名詞 (Ving)。 Claire was good at English throughout her undergraduate studies, but on top of that, she excelled in her art subjects too. Claire 在大學的時候英文很好。除此之外,她也很擅長藝術相關科目。 參考資料:Ted Talk 
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