Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Being Short

Another reason it sucks:
Being short isn't easy. Short people make less money, have a harder time finding a mate, and are less likely to be elected to public office, statistics show.

A new study suggests that it gets worse: The shortest short people -- men under 5 feet 5 inches and women under 5 feet -- are roughly 50 percent more likely than the tallest people to have a heart attack or die from heart disease, according to an analysis published in the European Heart Journal.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Asker or Guesser?

I think in many ways I am more of a "Guesser" than an "Asker", particularly when it comes to relationships.
This terminology comes from a brilliant web posting by Andrea Donderi that's achieved minor cult status online. We are raised, the theory runs, in one of two cultures. In Ask culture, people grow up believing they can ask for anything – a favour, a pay rise– fully realising the answer may be no. In Guess culture, by contrast, you avoid "putting a request into words unless you're pretty sure the answer will be yes… A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won't have to make the request directly; you'll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept."

Neither's "wrong", but when an Asker meets a Guesser, unpleasantness results. An Asker won't think it's rude to request two weeks in your spare room, but a Guess culture person will hear it as presumptuous and resent the agony involved in saying no. Your boss, asking for a project to be finished early, may be an overdemanding boor – or just an Asker, who's assuming you might decline. If you're a Guesser, you'll hear it as an expectation. This is a spectrum, not a dichotomy, and it explains cross-cultural awkwardnesses, too: Brits and Americans get discombobulated doing business in Japan, because it's a Guess culture, yet experience Russians as rude, because they're diehard Askers.