Ashoka’s ethical infrastructure is carved into India’s rocks | Aeon Essays

via Ashoka’s ethical infrastructure is carved into India’s rocks | Aeon Essays


Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, early 19th century

The scientific description of the customs of individual peoples and cultures.

Examples of Ethnography in a sentence

“The required reading touched on the ethnography of the country, not just the history.”

“You can be a tourist, but you can also immerse yourself into a culture’s ethnography.”

The Recorder – ‘Thought for Today’

‘Thought for Today’
Published: 7/2/2020 9:06:36 AM
Modified: 7/2/2020 9:06:26 AM
I’ve been sad to see that the “Today in History” feature (historical facts, birthdays) hasn’t been including the “Thought for Today” section — it comes at the end of the article, and may have gotten cut for space.

Two of my favorites (that I’ve carried around in my wallet for years): “What experience and history teach us is this: that people and governments have never learned anything from history.” — George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher (1770-1831); and my all time favorite, published on the day that Donald J. Trump was surprisingly elected president, a quote from Edward Albee, the American playwright (1928-2016): “Remember one thing about democracy. We can have anything we want and at the same time, we always end up with exactly what we deserve.”

I miss that.

Henry Leuchtman

via The Recorder – ‘Thought for Today’

Today in History – The New York Times

Today in History
By The Associated Press
July 3, 2020, 12:01 a.m. ET

Today in History

Today is Friday, July 3, the 185th day of 2020. There are 181 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 3, 1863, the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett’s Charge.

On this date:

In 1608, the city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

In 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 1944, during World War II, Soviet forces recaptured Minsk from the Germans.

In 1950, the first carrier strikes of the Korean War took place as the USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph sent fighter planes against North Korean targets.

via Today in History – The New York Times

Interesting Quartz Newsletter

The US Senate finalized China sanctions over Hong Kong. The legislation now heads to president Donald Trump to sign. Meanwhile, German chancellor Angela Merkel said her country’s existing asylum laws apply to Hong Kongers, and Australia is considering options for safe haven visas for Hong Kong residents.
The US had its biggest single day increase in Covid-19 cases. More than 50,600 new cases were reported Wednesday, and more states ordered indoor businesses closed. But a sunny jobs report for June kept markets in the green.
Moderna’s vaccine hit a snag. The pharmaceutical company has delayed the start of its 30,000-person Phase 3 study. Meanwhile, CanSino’s vaccine’s surprise frontrunner status represents a big leap forward for China’s pharmaceutical industry.
Tesla is having a good week. big beat on quarterly sales lifted its stock, which is likely to join the S&P 500 soon, just one day after its market cap surpassed Toyota’s—making Tesla the world’s most valuable car maker. Tesla also said it is making mobile molecule printers for a Covid-19 vaccine under development by Germany’s CureVac.
Lemonade had a sweet IPO. The stock price of the SoftBank-backed online insurer more than doubled on its first day of trading.
A mudslide buried a Myanmar jade mine. At least 162 and perhaps as many as 200 miners were killed in the collapse.
There are thousands of locations selling fireworks in the US. The weeks leading up to US Independence Day, on July 4, are peak sales season. This year, complaints about illegal fireworks displays are up across half a dozen major cities. Seemingly, the best you can do is get very far away from sellers.
Quartz collected over 7,000 fireworks seller locations from company websites and Yelp to determine the areas in the contiguous US that are the farthest from legal fireworks sellers: the fireworks deserts of the US.
Earlier this week, we asked you to tell us which of these four predictions for the next five years will be the most accurate. Here are the results:
34% “The way in which we travel, and think about traveling, has changed, and I’m sure this will be long-term.” —Yolanda Edwards, founder, Yolo Journal
28% “This catalytic moment offers us a unique opportunity to reimagine how students learn.” —John Goodwin, CEO, the LEGO Foundation
21% “The next five years need to be a time of drastic reengineering of our systems and structures to eliminate health disparities.” —Esther Choo, Oregon Health & Science University
17% “Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have leveled the playing field for business owners.” —Harley Finkelstein, chief operating officer, Shopify
For more expert opinions on how coronavirus will change the world in five years pay a visit to The New Normal.
While bicycle commuting is making inroads in cities across the US, its widespread acceptance is by no means a foregone conclusion. New York City is a particularly dynamic laboratory to test its adoption. Safety concerns—including an outright fear of death—are a major reason that many New Yorkers won’t ride bikes on city streets.
Chart compares the number of bicyclists injured in New York City in 2019 with its sharp decline in 2019.
✦ Read more about where these changes are happening, and why, in our field guide to the commuting revolution. That and a lot more are all yours with a Quartz membership—currently on sale for 50% off! ✦
Is your watch ticking faster or slower these days? Time feels weird in quarantine but, believe it or not, we’re already halfway through the year. To mark the occasion, we’re giving you half off of Quartz membership. So no, you don’t need a new watch battery, you just need to become a Quartz member.
Are we heading towards inflation due to central bank spending? Or deflation due to reduced demand?— Boris
We love this question. Inflation numbers are calculated based on how much the cost of a typical “basket” of goods and services, known as the consumer price index (CPI), changes over time. Covid-19 has radically changed what people are buying—more food at grocery stores, less on transportation, etc.—making the measurement of inflation even more difficult than usual. A recent study tried to arrive at new Covid-adjusted inflation figures that suggest more inflation is happening than officials report.
But if we stick to US government statistics, CPI has dropped for three straight months, meaning that a dollar bought more in May than it did in April and so on. This indicates that we’re currently experiencing some deflation. But overall, the takeaway should be that we’re in uncharted waters and inflation numbers are nearly meaningless during the pandemic.
A Japanese volcano is about to blow its top. Officials warned Mount Sakurajima’s eruption could be bigger than usual.
There’s one more plot twist to The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown’s ex-wife claims she came up with the premise for the best-selling thriller.
Researchers revealed the mysteries of tooth enamel’s structure. The findings could someday help prevent or reverse tooth decay.
A Canadian songbird has changed its tune. The variation on the white-throated sparrow’s song occurred relatively rapidly.
Empty stadiums could be affecting sporting outcomes. Data seems to show that the lack of fans creates a kind of “negative home advantage.”
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, vaccines that work, and volcano insurance policies to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Liz Webber, Dan Kopf, David Yanofsky, and Max Lockie.

Ethical Alliance Daily News

Ethical Alliance Daily News

United States: SF Supervisor Introduces Anti-Corruption Legislation In Wake Of Public Works Scandal
Jul 02, 2020 06:00 pm
In the wake of the release of a preliminary report about the recent public corruption scandal in San Francisco, Supervisor Matt Haney announced he will introduce an anti-corruption legislative package that aims to close loopholes that were used by the involved city officials. On Monday, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis
Read More  

United States: UAW, prosecutor consider a monitor for avoiding corruption
Jul 02, 2020 05:30 pm
A federal prosecutor and the United Auto Workers president are looking at using an independent monitor to make sure that a wide-ranging union corruption scandal never happens again. The monitor was one option discussed during a two-hour meeting Tuesday between UAW President Rory Gamble and Matthew Schneider, the U.S. Attorney
Read More  

India: CBI books Sanjay Bhandari, Samsung Engineering for ‘corruption’ in Dahej project
Jul 02, 2020 05:00 pm
The CBI has booked middleman Sanjay Bhandari along with South Korea-based Samsung Engineering Co. Limited (SECL), unknown officials of ONGC Petro additions Limited (OPaL) and others for entering into an “illegal” consultancy pact to bag a Gujarat-based project worth ₹6,744.32 crore. Among those named as accused are Santech International FZC
Read More  

Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan creates anti-corruption agency in bid to bolster international image
Jul 02, 2020 04:30 pm
Uzbekistan has created an agency to combat corruption harmful to the country’s economy and international image, the Uzbek Justice Ministry said Monday. The agency reports directly to the president and is accountable to the Oliy Majlis, the low and upper chambers of the parliament, the ministry added. Earlier this year,
Read More  

Kuwait: Kuwait govt official suspended for ‘taking bribe’ from MP Shahid
Jul 02, 2020 04:00 pm
Kuwait’s interior ministry official Major General Mazen Al-Jarrah has been suspended on suspicion that he accepted bribes and was involved in financial transactions linked to the human trafficking and money laundering case against Bangladeshi MP Shahid Islam. Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh issued a decree
Read More  

Panama: Panama ex-president Martinelli facing corruption charges
Jul 02, 2020 03:30 pm
Panama’s former president Ricardo Martinelli must face corruption charges just eight months after he was acquitted of spying on political foes, one of his lawyers said on Wednesday. “They charged him,” his lawyer Ronier Ortiz told reporters outside the public prosecutor’s office in the capital Panama City. According to local
Read More  

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From an unknown Poet via WhatsApp.


​When YOUNG,
I was WORRIED about
When I am OLD,
I am WORRIED about

When I was YOUNG,
When OLD,

I was LONGING to be ALONE.
When I am OLD,
I am WORRIED why

*When I was YOUNG,
When OLD,
there is NO ONE around to TALK or ADVISE.

When I am OLD,
I see BEAUTY in THINGS around ME.

When I was YOUNG
I felt I was ETERNAL.
When I am OLD,
I know SOMEDAY it will be MY TURN.

When I was YOUNG,
When I am OLD

When I was YOUNG,
I found it DIFFICULT to WAKE UP.
When OLD,

When I was YOUNG,
When OLD,


LIFE needs to be LIVED

A Wonderful message and a fact too

Toastmasters International -Are You Listening?

via Toastmasters International –

Are You Listening?

Active listening is not about you; it’s about the other person.

By Peggy Beach


Listening seems to be a dying art. Modern society is fast-paced and noisy, with television, podcasts, web series, and more all competing for our attention. Our society is so fast-paced that according to a Microsoft study, the average attention span of people has declined from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since the year 2000.

“We live in a society that values aggressive personal marketing. To be silent is to fall behind,” says Kate Murphy, author of You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why it Matters.

Yet active listening is a more important skill than ever. What exactly is active listening? It’s different than merely “hearing” words that are spoken—essentially a passive process. As noted in the “Active Listening” project in the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience, “Listening occurs when you take what you hear and extract meaning. Active listening is the process of understanding and repeating what you have heard.”

Active listening isn’t always easy, but the rewards are great. Murphy points out that listening plugs us into life. It gives us a richer social life, makes us less lonely and more fulfilled. Instead of getting our information or forming opinions based on tweets, posts, and texts, it’s crucial to hold a thoughtful two-way conversation to truly understand another person and their point of view.

“Listening well can help you understand other people’s attitudes and motivations, which is essential in building cooperative and productive relationships, as well as discerning which relationships you’d be better off avoiding,” Murphy wrote in a New York Times editorial this year.

Whether in a conversation or a club audience, use the touchstones of good listening. Among tips in the “Active Listening” project:

  • Give the speaker your full attention; remain relaxed and engaged
  • Respect the speaker’s point of view
  • Reserve judgment
  • Avoid interrupting
  • Give nonverbal cues to show your interest

In online settings, where a speaker isn’t physically in front of you, it can be even more challenging to listen attentively, but it’s equally important. The same qualities that apply to in-person listening apply to listening in a virtual setting.
The Connection to Speaking

Being a good listener also makes you a better speaker. That’s one reason evaluations are so central to the Toastmasters experience. To give truly helpful feedback to a speaker, you must listen carefully, absorbing all the details. Such close observation helps drive what works in a presentation and what doesn’t. You benefit from those insights each time you speak. And honing your listening skills through evaluations contributes to critical-thinking abilities that pay off in other settings too, like your home or workplace.

Many times people aren’t looking for solutions, rather they simply want someone to acknowledge their situation.

In fact, the strong relationship between public speaking and listening has long been studied by researchers. The late Dr. Ralph G. Nichols, known as the “father of listening,” noticed the relationship while teaching debate at the University of Minnesota. His best debate students, he noted, were the ones who listened to their opponents. “The most basic of human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them,” said Nichols, who founded the International Listening Association in 1979. In the early years of Toastmasters, the motto was “For Better Listening, Thinking, Speaking,” with listening being the first skill in the list.

Listening is such an important skill to cultivate that District officers received training in active listening at the 2020 Mid-year Training sessions. They focused on the four common areas of difficulty in listening:

  1. Thinking three to four times faster than people speak
  2. Listening with the intent to respond rather than to understand
  3. Wanting to give advice
  4. Understanding cultural barriers

Pipat Puengmongkolchaikij, DTM, District 97 (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam) Director, finds the second area of difficulty to be especially hard. He admits he often wants to respond quickly when listening. “My biggest obstacle is that I tend to think of the answer very quickly even when I am listening,” he says. “It distracts me. Sometimes I lose my focus because of this habit. I need to stop jumping to conclusions too quickly and allow myself to fully understand the speakers more.”
Ways to Become a Better Listener

Fortunately, listening is a skill that can be developed. By focusing your attention on the person who is speaking and understanding the subtext in what is/isn’t being said, you can train your ears and become a better communicator.
1 Minimize distractions.

To truly listen, cultivate the right environment. When someone is talking, whether at a meeting or in conversation, always set aside the cellphone, laptop, tablet, and other devices.

Tiffany Shlain, author of 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, advocates regular electronic downtime. She encourages people to establish guidelines for when and where screens can be used (like no phones on the table during meals) and to consider using a paper scheduler instead of a phone. She also recommends using a feature on your smartphone that sets limits on screen time or social media use.

Putting down your devices and spending time offline allows you to focus more carefully on friends and family—and gives you more time to listen to their stories.
2 Don’t interrupt, but do ask questions—open-ended questions.

Ana Isabel Lage Ferreira, Past District 107 (Spain and Portugal) Director, believes that good listeners are curious about people. A key to listening, she says, is to not interrupt the other person. “You need to be quiet and pay full attention to the other person,” she says. “When others are talking, and especially if the conversation is interesting, it is too tempting to interrupt and start mentioning your own experience, ideas, or episodes.” She adds, “You will become a much better listener and a better communicator if you can resist that temptation.”

Woman with hands clasped listening to man speak

Rather than waiting for someone to finish and then jumping in to share your story, try asking open-ended questions before giving advice. Questions like “And what happened after that?” or “What did it feel like when that happened?” encourage the speaker to give more information and tell more of their story.

Wanting to help others is a common human trait. And while often this is a good thing, it’s also important to simply listen to what the other person is saying. Many times people aren’t looking for solutions, rather they simply want someone to acknowledge their situation.

Listening is not about you. It is about the other person.
3 Don’t be afraid of silence and be aware of cultural differences.

Often when there is silence, it’s tempting to jump in and say something. Resist that temptation. Develop a tolerance for silence. This is hard in many countries, particularly in Western cultures, where people may interpret silence as disapproval. Many Asian cultures are more comfortable with silences, and Western businesspeople are often at a disadvantage in countries where silent contemplation is more valued.

Puengmongkolchaikij, a native of Thailand, said that Thai people don’t interrupt speakers because of the “Kreng Jai” culture. “In Thailand, it is the culture to spare people’s feelings,” he says. “Thai people are good listeners because we don’t listen for things to interrupt or to argue. We just listen quietly. A lot of times I asked the person I talked with to tell me when he or she had to leave, because they wouldn’t dare to interrupt even if they were going to be late for a meeting already.”

Often when there is silence, you want to jump in and say something. Resist that temptation. Develop a tolerance for silence.

Communication barriers can happen even between people from the same country who speak the same language but are in different life situations, such as people who have a job and people who don’t work, people with children and people without. A common language challenge often happens between people working in different professions. For instance, people working in medical, technical, and financial fields frequently use terms and acronyms that people outside their field don’t recognize. Whether you’re listening to someone from a different culture, a different generation, or a different industry, don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions and encourage others to expand upon their experiences.

Cultural differences actually open up opportunities for listening. Ferreira once led a team of Toastmasters from diverse backgrounds. “My team had people from The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, England, and Greece,” she says. “Teams are naturally diverse, and this cultural diversity also taught me that the more you listen, the more you learn and the better your decisions ultimately will be.”
Toastmasters Can Help with Listening

The Toastmasters experience is designed to help members become better listeners. “The need to give useful feedback to the speakers helped me develop this ability to follow a speech to the end and not to wander in my own thoughts when others are speaking,” says Ferreira.

Use the experience of being an evaluator to cultivate your listening skills. Evaluators must focus intensely, organize their thoughts, and then articulate their response. When you’re having a conversation, pay attention to how you are responding. Are you giving the other person your full attention, paying attention to what they’re saying and not just preparing your response? Being an effective listener is an important part of being a strong communicator. As Dr. Ralph C. Smedley said, “Real communication is impossible without listening.”

Editor’s Note: “Active Listening” is a Level 3 elective project in eight paths in the Pathways learning experience.

James Clear Newsletter

3-2-1 Thursday
Note: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my weekly 3-2-1 newsletter. Every Thursday, I share 3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question for you to ponder. Occasionally, I also send out long-form articles on habits and self-improvement.

3 ideas, 2 quotes, 1 question (July 2, 2020)

“Working to deliver the most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”

Read this on

Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

I hope this issue finds you well. Here are 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question for the week.



“Stop worrying about how long it will take and get started. Time will pass either way.”

(Share this on Twitter)


“What is the real goal?

The real goal is not to “beat the market.” The goal is to build wealth.

The real goal is not to read more books. The goal is to understand what you read.

Don’t let a proxy become the target. Don’t optimize for the wrong outcome.”

(Share this on Twitter)


“Without hard work, a great strategy remains a dream.

Without a great strategy, hard work becomes a nightmare.”

(Share this on Twitter)



Inventor and engineer Alexander Graham Bell on focus:

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

Source: How They Succeeded: Life Stories of Successful Men Told By Themselves


Author Min Jin Lee on perseverance:

“‘History has failed us, but no matter’ serves as my thesis statement. I believe history has failed almost everybody who is ordinary in the world … I am also arguing that the discipline of history has failed. It is not that historians aren’t doing their jobs but rather that the memory of history has been reconstructed by the elite, because the overwhelming majority of ordinary people rarely leave sufficient primary documents; they do not have others recording their lives in real time.

The phrase ‘but no matter’ is a statement of defiance. It doesn’t matter that history has failed us because ordinary people have persisted anyway. This idea gives me an enormous amount of strength and hope as a writer because I am an ordinary person. Those of us who may be women of color, immigrants, or working class aren’t often meant to be people who write novels about ideas, but no matter.”

Source: Min Jin Lee: ‘History has failed almost everybody who is ordinary’


Am I being good to myself?

If you enjoyed that, please share with others.

Share this newsletter on TwitterFacebookLinkedInWhatsApp, or via email.

Or, copy and paste the link below:
Until next week,

James Clear
Author of the million-copy bestseller, Atomic Habits
Creator of the Habit Journal

P.S. A baby squirrel speaks.

via Seth. Godin Newsletter

Our top story

When you talk about your last job, your last vacation, the things that happened when you were 12…

What do you lead with?

Do you lead with, “I broke my ankle that summer and rarely got out” or is it, “I stuck with my reading regimen and read all of Shakespeare.”

Because both are true.

The top story is the one that informs our narrative, and our narrative changes our future.

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Press Information Bureau
Government of India
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Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Requested Ministry-wise PIB releases.


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