Curio Blog / Jul 3, 2021

Rethinking motivation, and the two-sided lab leak theory and the origins of the Marmite debate

Weekend listening from Curio's Weekend Edit

Curio's here with another Weekend Edit, and today's has some particularly intriguing stories.

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From Bumble’s CEO giving the whole company a week off to the countless pieces cropping up about burnout, in the depths of working from home, have you also found your productivity waning? This week, we’ve welcomed Nir Eyal’s energetic musings to Curio. The author of the wildly successful book, Hooked, will be sharing articles to help guide and enhance your output. In his first piece, Eyal delves into the relationship between motivation and discomfort - and how we can use it to capture true inspiration and drive. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more of his science-based insights to build healthy habits, improve productivity and focus, and manage distraction in the coming weeks.

In the rest of this weekend's, you’ll find a four part story unravelling Timnit Gebru’s departure from Google and what it tells us about the future of ethics in AI. Uncover a novel approach to working from home as we meet the people who live with their boss, and ‘love it or hate it’,  discover how a genius piece of copywriting became a notorious part of British culture.

Wishing you a safe and restful weekend.

Happy listening.

P.S. We’ve been working on some really exciting new features. So, if you’re looking for  more stories by the likes of Nir Eyal or you’re in need of some morning motivation, make sure to check out what’s new in the app this week.

Our Top Story

What is motivation? You’ve probably been thinking about it all wrong

“Instead of looking for the easiest way to rid ourselves of pain, we can look within to understand what’s driving our desire to escape the way we feel.” 

Nir Eyal helps us to cultivate motivation in this guide from his newsletter Nir and Far. 

3 stories to spark your curiosity

What really happened when Google ousted Timnit Gebru

You’ve probably heard a lot about Timnit Gebru and her fallout from Google, but - in the words of our CEO - this series is fabulous. We found this incredible article from Tim Simonite in WIRED telling the tale of a ‘gifted engineer swept up in the AI revolution’, ‘a refugee who worked her way to the center of the tech industry’, and ‘a company - the world’s fifth-largest - trying to regain its equilibrium.’ We’ve also cut it down into 15 minute episodes so you can think of this as the soundtrack for your chores this weekend.

They called it a conspiracy theory. But Alina Chan tweeted life into the idea that the virus came from a lab 

In the aftermath of the official investigation into the origins of the pandemic, the postdoc who stirred up the lab-leak theory online just wants “to stay alive and not get hacked.” The MIT Technology Review explores the story of Alina Chan including her plans to change her name and disappear - but - only after a book deal. 

We’re trying to cover all angles of this story, so keep an eye out for Bloomberg Businessweek’s interview with virologist Danielle Anderson, the last – and only – foreign scientist to have worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Would you live with your boss 24/7? These people do 

Whether you are excited or despairing at the prospect of returning to the office, employees at the US startup Fiveable literally live and breathe their work. The Guardian explores the latest unconventional working arrangement as the company’s office doubles up as the whole team’s living space. 

The ones to share with friends 

Marketing Marmite: how an advertising agency started a culture war

Persuading Brits to eat the tar-like spread called for extreme measures. Arthur House explores how a moment of copywriting genius transformed the unappetising spread and embedded it into the national psyche.

The coming productivity boom 

The director of the Stanford Economy Lab reveals it all. AI and other digital technologies have been surprisingly slow to improve economic growth. But that could be about to change.

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