The COVID-19 pandemic has presented cities, countries, and the world, with a series of difficult trade-offs: Should they prevent more infection or reduce unemployment? Limit contagion to lessen mortality or cease social isolation ? Re-open schools, and if so, under what conditions, and at what cost to the worsening of a second wave of the pandemic? These are difficult decisions. They arguably involve incommensurable goods: life, health, social connection, knowledge/ education , and the economy. Moreover, the trade-offs between these goods are likely to differ in different regions. Calculus of Lives in COVID-19 Decisions A JAMA article just published by the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard proposes an approach to navigating these decisions that takes well-being into account while prioritizing life itself. It can feel harsh, unreasonable, or even immoral to value economic consequences or personal happiness against the number of lives lost. Our approach avoids … [Read more...] about Well-Being and the Calculus of Lives Under COVID-19
Like the residents of Amity Island who have been terrorized by a Great White shark, we want to go back into the water. But when will it be safe? It seemed we had COVID-19 under control, but not anymore. The virus, like the shark in Jaws , will do what nature designed it to do. It’s not personal. It’s not political. It takes no prisoners. You have to flatten the curve. Deal with it now, or it will feed on you later. The parallels to the Steven Spielberg’s classic summer blockbuster movie -- so deftly made, so marvelously acted -- are uncanny and disturbing . Is there a movie that has aged better than this one, now at 45? After the first shark attack, the mayor of Amity, Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), dismisses the threat and attributes the attack to a boat propeller. Like many of our leaders today, top to bottom, Vaughn is in a tough position. The tourist season is summer dollars; the beaches must open. Yet Vaughn knows he must also preserve public safety. In … [Read more...] about Just When We Thought It Was Safe to Go Back into the Water
The Covid-19 pandemic has altered daily life in countless ways, with potentially dire implications for well-being. From struggles with finding childcare or learning to work from home, to the toll taken on one’s health by social isolation , or on one’s finances by unemployment, the effects have been profound, and their combinations across individuals and institutions seemingly endless. At the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard, we have been trying to study and understand, empirically and quantitatively, how various domains of flourishing have changed during the pandemic. The results of this research are available in a newly published study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine . The Pandemic and Well-Being in the Nation This study used our flourishing measure across six domains of human life: happiness and life satisfaction, physical and mental health, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, close social relationships, and financial and material … [Read more...] about National Well-Being Before and During the Pandemic
Home Fashion Trends Fashion Trends Devika Tripathi By Devika Tripathi | on October 22, 2020 Lakmé Fashion Week 2020 was actually surprising for fashion was offered to the audience with a refreshing perspective. So, be it Karishma Shahani-Khan's 'Ramta' collection which was about bold patterns with striped and circular accents or the use of handloom mundu fabric and showing cultural narrative by the label Malai, the first day of LFW wasn't tired and monotonous at all. The first day of the fashion week had a balanced mix of contemporary and traditional with some designers reimagining and appreciating past. Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg and Gaurang Shah were the designers, who beckoned us to pause and think about the indigenous weavers, the fabric heritage, and craftsmanship of the country. Adding to that, the designers made the past heritage so relevant. Raw Mango One look at the Instagram feed of Raw Mango and … [Read more...] about Lakme Fashion Week 2020: Making Past Crafts Legacy Relevant Ft. Raw Mango And Gaurang Shah
Empathetic AI? Source: Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash with Meg Price I recently heard that coaches and helping professions like social workers are considered the last refuge against the ‘fact’ AI. But now AI is learning so fast it can theoretically learn and replace any human task. Even being empathetic ! Research from Harvard University recently suggested coaching can soon be automated. AI comes in many forms, from those little chatbots on websites to Alexa and many other automations that are proactive like the programs in Tesla that the driver talks to. But advances in conversational AI means we can now have conversations with technology that makes us ‘feel’ we are talking to a human that really listens and responds ‘intelligently’. So what? People still want to connect to people! The work of a coach or health care professional requires extensive professional, empathic, psychological, and other skills like human intuition . How could these … [Read more...] about Will AI Replace Coaches and Psychologists?