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昨天 — 2019年3月24日首页

“认知日记”和“ABC模型”:克服消极信念的系统方法

编者按:你有没有感觉到自己时不时地被消极信念包围?在克服这些消极信念的时候,你可以用到基于认知心理学思维的“ABC模型”——即触发事件(Activating events,A)、信念(Beliefs,B)和结果(Consequences,C)。根据这一模型对自己的思维模式进行重塑和剖析,并以日记的形式记录下来,可以促进你的思考,为你提供许多备选信念,让你从中找到能够对自己有帮助的好的信念,在未来取得更大的进步。本文作者Richard Ragnarson,原文标题Cognitive Journaling: A Systematic Method to Overcome Negative Beliefs

图片:StockSnap via Pixabay

在我和我的病人的接触过程中,我亲身体会到在保持客观的同时进行自我反省并不容易。你经常在分析问题时停留在相同的思考水平。你会和自己的思想进行辩论,然后更愿意相信你告诉自己的故事。

为了解决这个问题,我从认知心理学的核心思想出发,发展了一种新的日记风格,你可以用它来增强自我意识,挑战你的假设,并尝试新的思维方式。

我的灵感来自哪里?

我是一名注册医师,即将结束自己在精神病医院的实习。我目前在抑郁症和焦虑症研究中心工作,日常工作包括开药方和帮助病人理清思路。

在过去的三年里,我也一直在接受个人认知行为治疗(cognitive behavioral therapy,CBT),这对我的思维能力、平均情绪和总体生活满意度都带来了明显的好处。CBT是一种以结果为导向的心理治疗形式,在治疗抑郁症、焦虑症和大多数心理问题方面有着丰富的科学文献支持。

我一生中的大部分时间都在进行自我实验,我一直喜欢在不同领域交叉应用学到的知识。

认知日记有什么意义?

写日记是如此受欢迎,以至于我们大多数人都认为写日记的原因是理所当然的,虽然这些原因因人而异,但是对于本文描述的实践来说,记日记有两个特别重要的特性。

  1. 为你打开更广阔的视野。当你坐下来记录自己的经历和感受时,你会选择用这段特别的时间来反思自己的生活。把你的情绪和想法写在纸上,你会在处理它们的过程中获得一些动力。由于它们不是绝对的,你也不会觉得那么不知所措了。当你深入其中时,你暗示它们并不能反映现实的全部。在某种意义上,你成为了自己思维的观察者。

  2. 你可以改变你的观点。你会对自己的想法有更多的看法,因为你强迫自己放慢了思考的速度。在观察自己的时候,你有机会重新组织你的思维,发现其中的模式,并选择用你发现的新信息来改变你的想法。

其他记日记的方式有什么缺陷?

记日记的常用方法通常是自发的,而且并不那么系统,它们基本不能帮助你克服思维偏见。

我在自己身上和与病人打交道的过程中都注意到了这一点。当你专注于一个问题时,你最终可以集思广益,为你目前的假设提供更有说服力的证据。

我们为什么要这么做?原因有两个。

第一个原因是你的大脑更倾向于保持内在的连贯性。这是一种生存机制,你凭借这一机制来理解这个世界,并根据你过去的经验和你拥有的知识来预测未来的事件。这种倾向虽然有用,但却是个人改变如此困难的主要原因之一。当你尝试采用新的思维方式或行为方式时,可能会很痛苦,因为你实际上是在和自己斗争。

于是就有可能导致如下后果:

  • 当你分析一个问题想要解决它的时候,你会把涉及的因素成倍增加,或者赋予它们更多的权重,让你感到更加不知所措。

  • 你可以从不根植于现实的事件中进行联想和推断。

  • 你可能会落入偏见的窠臼。


第二个原因是,大多数人并不掌握大脑如何运作的实用知识,而是使用了心理的普及模型。

基于此,你可能会犯两个常见的错误:

  1. 你试图强行改变和影响你的思想,就像你对待外部现实一样对待它。这个办法很少奏效,因为大脑是主观的。它在探索自己的时候也影响着自己。这也是为什么试图压抑一个想法或情绪会让它变得更强。因为压抑的过程实际上是一个强化和关注的过程。此外,当你告诉自己,“我想感觉好一点”,你其实已经在暗示你感觉不好了。

  2. 你根据任意的证据和理论从心理事件中得出结论。这就是流行心理学的兴起弊大于利的地方。如果你试图对自己进行心理分析,你最终可能会用脱离大环境的理论概念来证实你的感受。

我并不是在此贬低其他记日记的方式——事实上,它们可以成为自我反省的重要方式。与此同时,如果你曾经写过日记,你可能会意识到它能帮助你超越思维盲点。所以,为什么不尝试一种可以使这种做法更加有效的方法呢?老实说,以前从未有人以一种更系统的方式写过日记,这让我很困惑。

一个新的日记框架

我决定将我从工作和个人治疗过程中获得的见解引入到写日记的实践中去。

我把自己提出的这个框架称为认知日记,因为它背后的主要思想来自于认知心理学。

认知日记的目的是:


  • 用客观的、经验的、可证伪的方法描述你意识中出现的心理和外部事件

  • 观察并强调环境、思想/信仰和情感之间的经验联系

  • 挑战你自己的思维,让它更加强大,这样你的感觉和行为就会更好


即使在CBT中,理想的做法也是逐步将每个病人培养成为自己的治疗师。认知日记是一种更易于接近这个目标的方法。然而,你必须记住,没有任何一种自我管理的心理方法会像与治疗师一起工作一样有效。

这不仅仅是重要的免责声明,同时也是我自己学到的东西。在我的治疗过程中,我意识到自己对个人发展的兴趣使我在更大的问题上投入了更多的精力却没有得到更深入的关注,所以问题才会不断地出现。与有执照的治疗师一起工作,让我得以更有效地使用我觉得还有用的自助材料。我也建议那些想要自我提升的人也考虑一下个人治疗。

基于认知主义的大脑运作的基本模型

要用这种方法写日记,你需要基本的心理学知识。别担心——我要教给你的模型是现存的描述思维的最基本和最简单的模型之一,而它的有用性也正是源于简单性。

思维

思维之所以最为迷人,是因为下面这两个原因:

  1. 它的独特之处在于它同时拥有外部的“硬件”——大脑和内部的“软件”——心灵。你可以描述一个细胞如何工作,并确保对整个系统有一个满意的解释。相比之下,科学家们还不能仅通过描述大脑的硬件就对其功能做出全面的解释。这是因为思维本质上是主观的,不同于其他纯粹客观的现象。

  2. 由此可见,心灵(“软件”)拥有的内在规则是无法从对大脑的研究中推导出来的。这就是精神病学和心理学分别与神经学和神经科学分开的原因。因为心灵拥有内在的规则,它可以在审视自己的过程中影响自己。

认知模型

ABC认知模型是基于这样一种观点,即任何生活经验都是由一系列触发事件(Activating events,A)、信念(Beliefs,B)和结果(Consequences,C)组成的:

触发事件(A)→信念(B)→结果(C)

A:触发事件。你所感知到的任何一种刺激都会触发一系列的思想和情感,它可以是一个外部事件,也可以是一个内部事件(比如某个想法或情绪)。在本文中,出于实用性的考虑,我们只考虑外部事件和环境作为触发事件。

B:信念。这是我们对触发事件或情境的看法。这些想法可能是明确的,也可能是非常微妙的,以至于我们没有注意到它们。它们也可以是心理意象。

C:结果。这些可以是我们的情感和/或我们由触发事件到信念结果所表现的行为。

这意味着某件事发生了(A),然后你想了一些事情(B),然后你对情况产生了情绪或者采取了行动(C)。

在这个模型中,每个认知事件都按照相应的ABC顺序发生。情绪和行为总是A→B循环的结果。

例如:

  • 我听到了狗叫(A)→我想起了自己小时候养的狗(B)→我感觉到了快乐(C)

  • 我听到了狗叫(A)→我觉得自己需要一个安静的环境来工作(B)→我感到很生气然后关上了窗户(C)

相同的触发事件(狗叫)会导致不同的情绪和/或行为后果,因为存在着两种不同的信念来对最初的触发事件进行解读。

你可能觉得这是显而易见的,但当涉及到日常经验时,就不是这样了。我们通常倾向于在日常思维中暗示A→C的直接关系,而忽略了中间的信念(B)。

例如:

  • 她让我觉得怎么样怎么样(C)。

  • “情况糟糕透了!”

严格来讲,你应该这么说:

  • 她做了A,我想到了B,然后我感觉C。

  • 现在的情况是A,我觉得只有不称职的人才会遇到这种情况(B),因此我感觉情况糟糕透了(C)。

通过忽略ABC序列的机制,你会觉得自己是事件的受害者,通常归因于外部环境直接影响情绪和行为。

更复杂的是,情绪和行为(C)反过来可以成为另一个触发事件(A),创建另一级ABC循环。当你开始判断自己的情绪和想法时,这种情况就会发生。

  • 她做了A,让我想到了B,所以我很生气(C)。我很生气(A),所以我想应该如何通过冥想让自己保持平静(B),然后我发现平静不下里,就觉得冥想这玩意儿毫无用处(C)。

你就是这样一点一点开始思考的。

如何更巧妙地处理情感、事件和思想

我们大多数人往往不知道如何直观地正确地将我们的情感、思想和遇到的事件联系起来。我们倾向于相信可以像处理外部事件一样处理情绪和思想——通过直接改变它们或将它们推开。

然而,使用ABC模型,我们可以看到如何更恰当地将触发事件、信念和结果关联起来。

外部事件

我们通过对外部环境的信念与之产生联系。当我们的信念发挥作用时,我们可以采取有效的行动,并直接对事件采取行动。然而,有时候一个信念会让你很难前进。例如,“我什么都做不了”的信念会导致瘫痪和无所作为。

情绪

情绪是ABC序列的最终产物,不能被直接影响。正因为如此,正确的态度是顺其自然地感受它们的出现。如果这些情绪是令人愉快的,这样做没有什么问题。但如果这些情绪并不令人愉快,你可以质疑导致它们的信念,问问自己是否有更好的选择,让你在这种情况下采取更好的行动。

人们通常采用两种方式来处理情绪:

他们试图直接改变触发事件(外部环境),试图改变他们的情绪状态。这是可行的,因为如果你改变了外部环境,通常这种改变是如此之大,以至于你会出现一个新的信念,然后产生一个新的结果(情绪状态)。但是,如果你直接把注意力集中在引发事件上,而忽略了你的信念,可能就会回到以前的情绪中去,所以,真正的问题是你的信念。

举个例子来说:你对工作感到痛苦(C),然后你换了个工作(A)。

在这一点上,大多数人都很难理解ABC认知模型的存在。看起来确实是外部环境出现了问题。如果你不喜欢你的工作,为什么不换个工作呢?那么,如果如果回答是肯定的,那你就去换个工作吧(A)。但是你还要确保这一理念(B)不会让你永远不停地换工作。如果你的信念是“我应该得到比每天都要去工作更好的东西”,你可能会陷入一个无休止的不快乐的工作更换循环之中。

第二种让人感觉更好的方法是直接对情绪(C)开刀。只告诉自己“开心起来”是不行的,因为情绪是思想的结果。如果你仍然认为你的处境(A)很糟糕(B),你再怎么努力也改变不了你的情绪。

行为

行为,就像事件一样,是结果(C)的一部分,似乎可以被直接影响。但同样,你需要先改变你的信念。

例如,吃得好就像购买和吃新的健康食品一样容易,但是如果你抱有“吃这种不健康的食品会让我感觉比吃健康食品更好”的理念,你会发现吃得好也不是那么容易。

行为的改变有时会导致思想和情感的改变,但如果你不提升自己的信念,就有可能回到过去的行为。这就是为什么单凭意志力往往会失败的原因,因为它在不考虑信念的情况下改变了结果。

思想

另一方面,我们可以直接用思想工作——尽管与一些自我提升的方法所教导的相反,你不能通过强迫或简单地移除一个旧的信念来获得一个新的信念。

你所能做的就是质疑旧观念的有效性,接受一个新的、更合适的观念的可能性,然后慢慢地学习它是否适用于这个世界。

如果你想知道你的信念通常从何而来,那我可以告诉你它们来自你的生活经历。然而,这并不影响你使用ABC认知模型来写下自己的日记。而你信念的起源则属于另一个话题。

认知日记的实用指南

现在,我们来深入探讨把对ABC模型的理解应用于日记的实际方法。要做到这一点,你需要一些工具来挖掘和质疑你的信念以及创造新的信念。让我们先看看这些工具,然后我将解释如何在新的实践中使用它们。

三个原则

当你以这种方式记日记时,你需要记住三个原则。这三个原则会在你整个过程中极大地激发你的好奇心,同时,这三个原则也构成了精神科医生观察技巧的核心。

这三个原则分别是:

  • 可证伪性

  • 无偏见性

  • 细节性

接下来,让我们来看看这些原则。

可证伪性

你将专注于描述事实(不管是外部的还是内部的),而不是观点。要使一种经历成为事实,你必须能够通过对它提出的问题回答“是”或者“不是”来证伪。它要么发生了,你要么没有感觉到,要么你没有想过。这对于事件、想法和情感都是如此。

例如,考虑“我每天只有两个小时来做项目”和“我没有时间做项目”这两句话。第一句话是可证伪的:要么是真的,要么是假的。而第二句话不是:在接受或拒绝该语句之前,你必须确定需要的具体时间和其他细节。

现在来看一个包含想法的例子:“我认为这很成功”与“这很成功”。第一个是事实:无论这个想法的内容本身是对的还是错的,你都可以肯定你接受了这个想法。而第二个则不是事实,而是观点,因为你不能绝对确定它的真实性。

最后,考虑一下这个涉及情感的例子:“我在派对上很开心”和“派对很棒”。你可以伪造情绪(要么你感到快乐,要么你不快乐),但你不能伪造观点。

无偏见性

当你描述发生的事情,你的想法还有你的情绪的时候,把你对它们的任何判断,以及你对它们可能的原因所做的任何推断放在一边。

想想“我感到灰心丧气”和“灰心丧气是不好的”这两种说法。第一句话描述是你内心正在发生的事情,第二句话则是一种判断,剥夺了你客观看待事物的可能性。同样的道理也适用于我们的思想和行为。

现在来看看“Vanessa有自己的事业”和“Vanessa是个成功者”这两句话。第一句话只是一个事实,而第二句话可能大体上是正确的,但它也基于一个事实来评估Vanessa的整个生活。谁知道她还经历了哪些挣扎?你怎么知道她为了建立起自己的事业所付出的个人代价?通过判断,即使是正面的判断,你也会忽略其中的微妙之处。

最后,再来看看“我今天没写文章”和“我是个糟糕的作家,因为我今天没写文章”。第一句话只是描述一种行为,而第二句话则包括了演绎和判断,不仅带来了挫折感,而且没有现实依据。谁能决定一个作家做什么呢?你能仅凭一件事就得出这样的结论吗?还有可能得出其他不同的结论吗?

细节性

当你写日记的时候,要详细描述背景、事件、想法、情绪和行为,就像你在画画一样。

当你客观、详细地描述你的内心和外在生活时,不做任何推论,其内在的联系和模式就会自然而然地出现。

看看下面的这个例子:

我去了超市,偶遇见了我的老板Chris。我们谈了谈,他提到了我的工作。我想,“为什么他不能让我一个人呆着,毕竟我这不是在工作的时候。”我感到很恼火,我想,“我不喜欢这种感觉。”我感到很生气,我想,“我再也受不了了。”然后我想,“我需要换一份工作。”

但是,如果你写的是:

我出门结果碰到了Chris,他真是个混蛋。我受不了和他打交道了,我要辞掉这份工作。

那这两种是截然不同的笔法,在认知日记中,你可以看到:


  • 你所处的环境会影响你的思路(当你的老板在你空闲时间谈论工作时,你会很生气)。

  • Chris提出的话题(你的工作)和你的反应(生气)是分开的。你的想法将上述两种情况联系起来(“当我不在工作的时候,我不想被打扰”)。

  • 你可以将情绪和想法描述为可证伪的事实(你要么感到愤怒,要么没有这种感觉)。

  • 你通常的演绎推理是如此之快,以至于你能得出有偏见的结论

  • 当你客观地、详细地描述事实,而不作判断时,你就能更清楚地了解情况和你对它的感受。你对Chris的不满并不是因为工作的问题。


那么,问题出在哪里呢?如果你继续写日记,审视自己的信念,你可能会说,“Chris不尊重我,因为他在社交场合居然问我工作的事情”,或者“Chris不喜欢我做的工作”,或者甚至“我本应该多工作一会儿,现在Chris认为我是个大懒虫。”然后你可以开始质疑这些信念。“这是真的吗?还有什么可能是真的呢?”

另一方面,在另一种口吻和笔法的日记中(我出门结果碰到了Chris),你在描述经历时更为简单,只关注结果和感受,最终推断出Chris是个坏人,你的工作整体上很糟糕。这会导致痛苦的情绪和冲动。

建立完整的“ABC”模型过程

我要给你们展示一个完整的认知日记的记录过程。如果你觉得它看起来很复杂的话也不用过于担心:一旦你习惯了这样做,这些步骤就会自然地从这一步导向下一步。不过,为了帮助你更详细地学习这些步骤,我会为你提供一个详细的计划,以便在几周内集中精力完成每个步骤。因此,请继续阅读本篇文章和行动计划。

在每一个步骤中,我都会给你一些有实用性的指导,然后重点说明需要注意的地方,并提供一些例子。现在试着和我一起进行一个完整的循环。

从实际的日记或你喜欢的数字文件开始。回忆一个你想要记录下来的情节或想法。记住,这种练习对处理强烈的负面情绪很有好处,所以最好选择一个能引起你强烈反应的情境,然后我们来深入挖掘它。

在这一过程中,你应该采用“C→A→B”的顺序。首先查看结果,然后是触发事件,最后是连接两者的信念。

首先,从结果开始:情感和行为

写下你想要反思的情感或行为。采用描述的三原则:可证伪性、无偏见性和细节性。

注意事项:

  • 不要加入自己的判断,以确保你写的东西不是自己的观点。

  •  确保可以证伪(不管你感觉到与否)。


  • 一个有用的形式是“我感觉(插入特定的情感)”,避免说“我很生气、很高兴或者其他”。因为这剥夺了你对情感短暂而本质的看法。你可以这样说:“我有一种生气的感觉”,或者“我感到愉悦”,或者“我感到疲惫”。对于行为,可以使用诸如“我对着另一个司机大喊大叫”或者“我没有打招呼就从派对上离开了”之类的形式。

  • 避免混淆思想和情绪。当你说“我觉得自己很自卑”或“我觉得自己像个赢家”时,就会出现这种情况。这些不是情感,而是思想。在这一步中,你需要关注情绪和行为,而不是观点。你可以在第一种情况下说“我感到虚弱”,在第二种情况下说“我感到自信和强大”。稍后我们将深入探究导致这种情绪的信念。


我们生活的精华在于ABC模型所产生的情感和行为。当你想改变的时候,你的最终目的是改变结果。我们不要忘了初心。

其次,描述触发事件(A)

描述一下你之前所经历的结果。在这里,你应该避免判断和意见,采用细节。你应该能够对这种经历说“是”或“不是”来进行证伪。

描述触发事件的例子:

  •  “我丈母娘是个势利眼”VS“我觉得我丈母娘是个势利眼”,后者你是可以证伪的,但前者却不能。

  •  “他在闪烁其词”VS“他已经有2个小时没有给我回复消息了”,前者是一个判断,而后者是一个事实。


  • “她对我不太好”VS“她把包扔给了我,当着我的面砰地一声把门关上,什么也没说”,这两句话都包含了大量的细节。

再次,找到信念(B)


除了结果和即将发生的事件,你也要试着记住自己在反应中产生的想法。有时它会很明显,比如“这种事总是发生在我身上”,而另一些时候它会很微妙,或者深深嵌入你的世界观中,以至于你无法轻易地理解它。这就是心理学家所说的自动思维。

这个任务一开始并不容易完成,但是通过练习,你通常可以找出让你开心的信念。

以“我认为(插入信念)”的形式表达你发现的信念,并应用上述三个原则。

有些问题可以简化这个过程,给定一个触发事件:

  • 这个时间此刻对我来说意味着什么

  • 我为什么会有这样的情绪或者那样的行为?

  • 在事件发生后,是什么导致了我出现这样的情绪或行为?

  • 我当时是怎么想的?

  • 反向检验:有了我所发现的信念,我还会期望感受到那种特定的结果吗?

当你发现一些不讨人喜欢的想法时,你通常会以消极的情绪做出反应,然后开始判断这个想法本身。这些都是你根据自己的经验形成的次级基础知识、观点或判断。它们构成了你的情感和思想,而这些情感和思想本身并没有好坏之分。它们也构成了我们大部分的认知和理念。

当你写日记的时候,如果你不留心的话,你就会像在日常生活中一样,不停地在脑海中对话。试着记住这一点,然后回到你最初的问题上。

举个例子:给定结果C——生气,和触发事件A——跟我父亲谈话,考虑下面几个信念B:

  • “我想,他没怎么听我说”,这是一个陈述,而非判断,是我所经历的事实,而且可以被证伪。

  • “我觉得很生气因为我父亲对我的态度总是不怎么好(外部解释想法)”。更好的信念应该是“我觉得很生气,因为我认为我父亲对我的态度总是不怎么好”。

正如你所看到的,有些信念并非是陈述,而是判断,而判断是不可证伪的(我怎么知道我应不应该感到愤怒?),同时也缺乏细节(为什么你一般不应该感到愤怒?)。

为什么找到信念(B)很重要?

因为它是这个过程中你能施加影响的唯一因素。

情感是生命的精华,思想是你找寻意义的基础,决定你是谁,你该做什么。生活的结果是你的经历,但你所有的满足、幸福和痛苦都源于你的信念。有益的信念可以让最糟糕的触发事件变得可以忍受,而无益的信念可以让一个也许不那么差的触发事件变得如地狱一般可怕。

再次,挑战各种信念

你通过评估一个信念的有效性、质疑它,并找到一个更好的选择来挑战它。

确定了你的信念之后,你可以通过问自己以下问题并记录下来来评估它:


  • 这种信念是否足够灵活以适应所有事件?

  • 这种信念是合乎逻辑的,还是基于错误逻辑的?

  • 这种信念是与事实和经验一致的,还是不一致的?

  • 这种信念对我追求目标有用吗?它能让我对自己和自己的生活感觉良好吗?


回答这些问题并不总是那么容易,部分原因是你可能已经把自己的情感投入其中。把你正在审视的想法想象成别人的想法大有裨益,这样你就可以和他们保持更多的距离。例如,你可以问自己,如果你的孩子表达了这种信念,你会对他说什么?

通常情况下,我们扭曲的想法取决于我们希望什么是真实的,而这一点很难放弃。

当你发现那些想法似乎不合理时,是时候削弱它们了。你可以用另一组问题来质疑他们:

对于这一信念的真实性,我有什么具体的证据呢?我该怎么证明呢?

例:“人们不觉得我有趣。”有人这么告诉过我吗?我认识至少一个听我讲笑话就笑的人吗?我如何衡量自己是否有趣?它能被量化吗?我有没有问过别人是否觉得我很有趣。

这个信念能帮助我感觉良好并实现我的目标吗?

例:“我不打算成为一名企业家。”这种信念是否让我处于一种高效、积极的情绪状态?是否会让我更容易接受挑战和尝试新事物?如果我的目标是创业,这种想法是帮助我朝这个方向努力,还是助长了我的拖延?

如果一种信念会导致焦虑,那么问问自己:我对我所害怕的事情的信念是否有根据?我所害怕的事情真的那么可怕吗?可能发生的最糟糕的事情是什么?我的信念有多大可能实现?

为什么事情不应该是这样?有没有可能让世界总是按照我的意愿运行?

例:“我的这篇文章只被赞了三次,所以我一定很烂。”我对成功的期望有根据吗?我真的能预测一篇文章的效果吗?这件事真的决定了我作为一名作家的全部声誉吗?我能接受它并把它看作是我学习道路上的垫脚石吗?

最后,写下好的替代信念

问问你自己:我能想到哪种替代想法?哪一种思维方式是合乎逻辑的,基于现实的,灵活的,对我追求目标是有用的?

例如,“我今天没写文章,所以我肯定不是一个真正的作家”。其实更好的选择是“我今天没有写文章,但这并不意味着我不能通过实践成为一个多产的作家。即使是专业作家也会有不动笔的日子,我可以用这个作为反馈来了解哪些事情阻碍了我。”

你可能要考虑很多选择,但最终你会找到一个或多个合适的。所以,当你记日记的时候,尽可能多地重复这最后一步。

乍看之下,这似乎很难,但你最终会培养质疑自己想法的能力。最终你将能够自动地做到这一点,即使是在你的日常生活中。

信念本身并没有好坏之分,但它们或多或少是有用的。它们的相对快乐或不快乐源于他们可能引起的情绪。当你形成新的信念时,你应该确保它们确实具有有用的品质。

把上述步骤结合起来

总之,你的日记应该按照以下顺序进行:


  • 第一步:以“我感觉到(插入情感)”或“我做了(插入行为)”的形式写下结果

  • 第二步:以“(插入事件)发生了”和“情况是(插入情况和地点)”的形式写下触发事件


  • 第三步:通过在日记中询问和回答关于激活事件对你的意义的问题,并以“在那一刻,我认为(插入信念)”的形式来表达这种信念。

  • 第四步:挑战你的信念,问问自己有什么证据,问问这一信念是否有用

  • 第五步:形成一个替代信念。你可以写下很多种替代信念,然后检查它们是否有用、是否灵活、是否与现实相符、是否符合逻辑、是否对你有好处?


你可以使用这个过程来学习和观察事件、思想和情感是如何相互联系的。从某种意义上说,你正在学习如何逆向追溯导致当前情感的想法。

你也不太可能成为你思想和情感的牺牲品,因为当它们发生的时候你能发现它们。有时候,人们最终会产生他们无法追根溯源的情绪,比如“我就是这么想的”。事实上,你总能找到一种导致当前情绪的信念。

实践

下面是一个简单的行动计划,通过关注特定的元素,培养撰写认知日记的技能,并将其应用到你的生活当中。

如果你在开始的时候发现写日记很复杂,这个计划可以帮助你有意识地专注于每一步,直到你有信心掌握它。

要记住,心理的习惯比具体的行为更难改变,因为它们不那么明显,不那么普遍,而且背后有各种复杂的信念。虽然最终目标是改变你的思维,但是你的日记练习将会把你的思维具象化,并帮助你成为更好的观察者。你可能需要每天都保证练习,或者找一个负责任的伙伴来监督你在按照既定步骤进行着。

我在下面提出了一个完成练习的时间表,每一个步骤的练习时间大约都有一周左右,但如果你觉得自己需要更多或更少的时间来专注某个特定领域,你随时可以调整它们。

第一周:养成写日记的习惯

从小事做起。最初的习惯是把某个事件概括为基本的ABC模型,这么做的目的首先是熟练地应用最基本的ABC模型。除了使用这种格式描述所发生的事情外,不要再去尝试做任何事情。

带上你的笔记本(不管是数字笔记本还是真正的笔记本),选择一个你感兴趣的活动。用ABC模型去描述一件事,不要忘了我们上面所说的三个原则(可证伪性、无偏见性、细节性):

C:我感到了(插入情感)或者我做了(插入行为)

A:当时的情况是(插入情况介绍)

B :我认为(插入想法)

养成每天至少写一个C-A-B形式的句子的习惯,无论是作为独立练习还是作为你日记的补充。

由于所有的生活事件都可以用ABC模型来归纳,你可以尝试使用这一模型写下许多不同的经历。第一周的任务很简单,就是注意和利用ABC模型。

第二周:专注于确定信念

第二周也要继续练习,但是要花更多的精力(通常2-5分钟就足够了)来更深入地思考你的潜在信念。你可以采用头脑风暴法想出所有可能的信念,然后仔细看看哪些信念直击主题。每个人都需要问问自己:这种信念真的会让我产生我所描述的那种情绪或行为吗?我能想出另一个更具有解释力的想法吗?

同时你也要留意这个信念在其他情况下是否也会出现。把你每天在日记中出现的信念都记下来。

第三周:挑战你的信念

继续你的“CAB”日记记录方式,然后从你第1周和第2周的实践中继续挖掘和提炼信念。现在,仔细考虑一下你可以挑战这种信念的方式:

  1. 它是否是基于合理的逻辑?

  2. 它是否可证伪?

  3. 它有用吗?

  4. 它是让你更灵活,还是让你更加死板和极端?

如果你的信念是一个好的信念,你应该用“是”来回答上述每一个问题。然而,由于我们通常处理的是会导致消极后果的信念,所以在很多情况下,你的回答都是否定的——这就是我们所说的“坏信念”(“坏信念”的意思是它阻碍了你,因为它不真实,毫无帮助,或者兼而有之)。

如果你的回答是“不”的话,你还可以问自己:

  • 我该如何证明这一点?

  • 这种信念能帮助我感觉良好并实现目标吗?

  • 这种恐惧真的那么可怕吗?可能发生的最糟糕的事情是什么?

  • 我的预测可能性有多大?

  • 为什么事情不应该是这样?

  • 让世界总是按照我的意愿运行真的有可能吗?

你可以在日记中记录下你对自己的信念产生怀疑的想法和感受。

第四周:建立更好的信念

一旦你确定了一个“坏信念”,你就可以寻找一个替代信念了。这就是第四周的重点。

把那些没用的信念记在心里,让后想出一到三个新的信念,它们应该是灵活的、合乎逻辑的、有用的和可证伪的信念。选择其中一个,看看它是否适合在触发事件发生后能在你心中引起什么情绪。

试着把这个事件作为一个触发点来注意,养成下次遇到同样的情况时思考你的新信念的习惯。

相反,如果你在每天的日记中发现了带来好结果的“好信念”,记得不仅要把它们记在心里,也要记在日记里。

融入现实

在经历了上面描述的日记练习之后,你可能会发现自己在那一刻对那些没用的想法有了更为清晰的认知。未来的生活中,你会很自然地进行思维习惯的切换,你可以开始寻找触发事件,甚至可以停下来考虑其他的潜在信念。

无论如何,当你遇到某种情况,你的感觉和/或行为在某种程度上比较消极的时候,你会想要使用日记里的那些步骤。简单地思考和把整个思考过程记录下来是有区别的。虽然新的思维方式有所帮助,但写作给我们提供了一个通常无法独自思考时无法获得的距离和视角。因此写作比单纯的思考更有力量,就像和治疗师一起努力比独自写日记更有力量一样。

衡量进展情况

对自己的进展进行衡量是非常有用的一招,它能让你意识到是什么在起作用,让你保持高涨的动力。

我觉得我们不应该把事情弄得这么复杂。设置一个日历提醒,每周或每月花一点时间问自己下面几个问题:

自从我开始写认知日记后——

  • 我至少发现了几次那些没用的信念?

  • 我能找到那些新的、更好的信念吗?

  • 我感觉好点了吗?

  • 我的行为是否有所不同了?

  • 这样的认知记录,我乐在其中了吗?

我们不是在寻找根本的改进,而是在寻找经验反馈,以便弄清楚自己在做什么。所以,把它作为一个次要的习惯来评估你记录认知日记之余的成果。

如果任何时候,记录这种类型的日记让你感觉更糟,或者让你的生活变得更复杂而不是更有帮助,立刻停止就好。专注于自己的思想不是一件容易的事情,如果一个人有点神经质,试图自己“修复”自己,很容易受伤。

常见问题与解答

我为什么不能有效地利用ABC模型?

在做这件事的时候,一开始感觉到难以适应是很正常的。你实际上是在与你最根深蒂固的思维习惯说再见。而且ABC模型环环相扣,就使得这个过程更具挑战性。靠我们自己并不总是容易做到的。如果你发现这很难做到,你可能需要一个熟练的CBT治疗师来弄清楚你的信念是什么,它们对你的影响又是什么,以及如何你该挑战它们。

ABC模型剥去了生活有趣的外衣,我不喜欢它

ABC模型只是思维的一个模型,你也可以使用其他的模型。ABC模式的优点是能够简单而有效地实现思维上的切实转变。我们的目标是让你的思维更加灵活,对现实做出反应,这样你就能更轻松、更有成效地生活。

为什么我在使用ABC模型时会感到难过?

当你发现一些信念时,你可能会开始判断自己的想法,并形成新一轮的思维循环。你可能会因此而感到沮丧,因为你的想法似乎是消极的或不像你希望的那样正确。我们在看待某些问题时会感觉更糟,因为我们太关注它了。

只要这些情绪是情境性的、可承受的,就没有问题。然而,它们不应该让你陷入思维的陷阱中无法自拔——注意不要让这种情况发生。

总的来说,在ABC框架下写日记应该会让你的心智和思维更强大。如果没有,你可能需要心理健康专家的帮助。

这种方法不是比常规日记更为严格吗?

一开始是,因为你在练习和培养一种新的思维方式。随着你学习的不断深入,它会变得更加流畅和自然。它永远不会像自由写作那样流畅,因为它要求你抵制惯性思维。

如果你正在寻找一种具有创造性和自发性或者说释放压力的方式,那么定期的意识流日记可能更适合你。

另一方面,如果你想以一种系统的方式来处理你的思维模式,认知日记可以帮助你做到这一点。

我既不抑郁,也不焦虑,为什么还要用这个方法呢?

ABC模型背后的理论确实来自临床环境。无论如何,这个模型代表了人类思维的一般功能。你的经历是由触发事件、信念和结果组成的,即使你感觉很好也跳脱不出这个范围。因此,学习这些知识只是一个工具,让你更清楚自己的思维是如何工作的。

此外,根据我的经验,每个人的脑海里都会时不时地出现一些扭曲的、无益的想法。既然你想走得更远,那么学会清晰思考的技巧就很重要。(我还认为,许多失败,以及对更好的心态和策略的大量探索,都依赖于那些不完善的信念。)

我们经常发现自己在追求想要的东西时所面临的最大困难来自于自己的内心。自我提升会让你觉得很有挑战性,因为你全身心地投入到自己的生活中,从而产生了关于自我提升技巧的基础知识。如果没有这一点,每一种提高效率的策略和自助建议要么根本不存在,要么根本经不推敲。当然,你也可以考虑一下如何通过发现自己的局限性来提高自己。

为什么要改变自己的信念,什么时候应该改变自己的信念?

当你没有意识到思想的基本属性时,你的行为就好像思想完全在现实中的反应一样。当那些信念是有用的,并有助于良好的情绪健康和实现你的目标时,你可以把它们视为理所当然,这样你就能迅速采取有效的行动。

但是,当你陷入困境,无法取得进展时,你可能会想知道自己是否存在盲点或别的错误观点。这通常是你开始自我完善的过程。

根据认知心理学,大多数人类的痛苦是由错误的世界观、人生观和价值观造成的。这并不是说你应该总是感觉良好,并期待实现你想要的一切。但是,你在试图充分生活的过程中所面临的障碍往往是认知扭曲的结果。

我能把诸如“我很棒”之类的积极肯定作为新的信念吗?

很多时候,那些被提倡用来自我肯定的信念根本就是错的。

你可以试着用 “我将实现每一个目标,因为我很棒”之类的信念来代替“我做不到”这种消极的信念,一开始你可能会感觉很好,但从长远来看可能会失败。

为什么?因为即使是新的信念也有可能是不合逻辑的、僵化的、与现实不一致的,更不会有万全的策略来实现你所追求的目标。在这种情况下,更好的信念应该是“我可能会感到害怕,但我应该去尝试”,“如果我做不到,也许我需要把目标降低一些”,或者“我擅长这些事情,而不是那些事情。”

使用极端积极信念的问题在于,当你软弱时,它们会让你面对与拥有“消极”信念时同样的挑战。如果你把你的信念变成“我很棒”,你可能会偶尔得到来自外界的相反的反馈,每次你似乎失败的时候都会感到沮丧。如果一种信念与现实不一致,它就根本行不通,充其量只是临时的兴奋剂罢了。

如何利用你学到的新知识?

ABC模型的核心思想是“我们唯一能直接控制的就是我们的信念,我们的行为和情感会遵循我们的信念。”认知日记的全部意义就在于让你意识到自己的信念,解构那些阻碍你的信念,并选择更有用的信念。

一旦你采用ABC模型并找到更好的信念和选择,你就需要在现实生活中进行试验。这句话的字面意思是,下次当你处于同样的处境时,你应该试着用新的信念来看待这种情况。

这一要求并不那么容易达到,而且需要大量的练习,但是通过了解ABC模型并使用它来记日记是完全可行的。既然你已经剖析过自己的经历,就更有可能认识到你所处的环境中存在着一种扭曲的信念,以及它对你的行为和情绪状态的影响。

总结和期望

对ABC模型有更多的了解可以帮助你系统地改进自身思维,但是根除旧模式不仅需要时间,也需要策略。

挑战和改变一个人的信念的好处是显而易见的,因为它们会影响你的情绪,但是你需要一段时间来运用这种方法来让自己更习惯于思考。

即使在进行了认知日记实验之后,你可能仍然会犯很多相同的思维错误,并时不时地回到旧的思维模式。我们的信念是由一系列其他的假设和经历组成的网络所支撑的,这些假设和经历创造了我们的整个世界观。

不过,你无需因此而灰心丧气。希望一劳永逸地改善你的思维只是另一种会带来挫败感和消极情绪的错误信念罢了。记住:采用一种实验和好奇的心态去试探会发生什么,如果这个框架能帮助你感觉和行动得更好,不要犹豫,大胆地使用它吧。

编译组出品,编辑:郝鹏程

“高调受访”任正非、“再闯A股”吴晓波|热门人物盘点

本文来自全天候科技,阅读更多请登陆www.awtmt.com或华尔街见闻APP。

作者|刘荻青  编辑|罗丽娟

3月20日,华为心声社区刊发了公司创始人任正非此前接受BBC采访的纪要。任正非提到,华为非常多的技术远远领先西方公司,公司未来五年将会总投资超过1000亿美金的研发经费。

3月21日,腾讯发布了2018财年四季度及全年业绩。腾讯董事局主席兼CEO马化腾在随后的业绩发布会上就腾讯云、5G、产业互联网等问题发表了见解。

3月19日,小米发布了2018年四季度财报。小米公司创始人兼CEO雷军发布公开信表示,2018年是小米管理全面升级的元年,同时,未来5年,小米将在AIoT专项投入至少100亿元。

3月18日,小鹏汽车的董事长何小鹏针对“中国并没有任何一家新能源造车企业值得投资”的言论作出回应称,“做批评者容易,做建设者难。”

本周,“最会赚钱的财经作家”吴晓波再次尝试将名下公司登陆资本市场。3月17日,全通教育发布公告称,公司正筹划以发行股份方式收购吴晓波旗下杭州巴九灵文化创意股份有限公司96%的股权,并拟募集配套资金。

一起来看看本周科技热门人物具体经历了什么?

任正非:五年后华为销售收入或超2500亿美金

3月20日,华为心声社区发布了任正非于2月19日在英国接受BBC专访的采访纪要。

采访纪要显示,对于“美国指控华为多次盗窃美国的技术”一事,任正非回应称,我们非常多的技术远远领先了西方公司,不仅是5G光交换、光芯片……这些领先的数量之庞大,是非常复杂艰难的技术,同行会比较清楚。因此美国指控的这些东西只是一些边缘性的东西,不构成华为是靠偷美国的东西变成今天这么强大。现在我们很多东西美国都没有,怎么去偷呢?

同时,任正非透露了华为未来在研发上的投入及预期营收,“未来五年我们将会总投资超过1000亿美金的研发经费,使我们整个网络重构。重新打造网络架构极简、站点极简、交易模式极简、网络对内对外都极度安全,遵守欧洲GDPR的标准进行隐私保护。五年以后,我们公司的销售收入应该会超过2500亿美金。”

谈及为什么别的公司不容易成功而华为能成功时,任正非说:“华为持续几十年只做一件事,这件事就获得了成功。”除此之外,任正非表示,在未来的三十年或者更长的时间,华为的理想还是为人类提供信息化服务。

马化腾:云业务从消费转向产业互联网

3月21日,腾讯发布了2018财年四季度及全年业绩。财报显示,2018全年净利润787.2亿元人民币,低于市场预估的822.9亿元,四季度净利润更是剧减30%以上,创至少十年来最大季度净利跌幅,较市场预期低约19%。

随后,腾讯董事局主席兼CEO马化腾出席了腾讯2018年全年业绩发布会并接受了媒体提问,马化腾提及了腾讯云、5G、产业互联网等问题。

马化腾表示,自去年9月份调整组织架构以来,将原来分布在几个事业部群的、云和智慧产业相关板块聚合起来,“我们的目标并不是简单一个云收入,而是整个服务从消费转向产业互联网这个未来大的风口,为这个大浪潮而做积极准备。我们发现中国互联网已经进入下一阶段,因为人口数量这个红利已经没有太多。”

腾讯方面透露,在即将到来的第一季度业绩数据中可能会公布一个新的收入板块,外界有声音猜测,该板块或与云业务相关。

在产业互联网方面,马化腾表示,“我们其实在4年前提‘互联网+’列入政府工作报告开始发展数字经济,在今年我们可以看到产业互联网的成型越来越清晰。我们希望互联网企业已经不是单纯的互联网企业了,而是能提供给实体经济的一个助手。所以我们的定位是提供给实体经济帮助。”

雷军:2018年是小米管理全面升级的元年

3月19日,小米发布了2018年四季度财报。财报显示,公司四季度当季度营收444亿元,同比增长26.5%,不及市场预期462.4亿元;经调整利润18.5亿元,同比增长236.7%。

随后,小米创始人兼CEO雷军发布了《致小米投资人和所有关心小米朋友们的公开信》。他表示,2018年是小米管理全面升级的元年,公司启动了组织架构调整,“设立集团组织部与参谋部,让小米的‘大脑’更加强健,决策更具远见;同时,重组了一系列业务部门,加速了互联网等业务的组织效率提升和收入多元化进程,并任命提拔了一大批富有经验又充满活力的年轻管理者。”

雷军还表示,2018年,小米在AIoT上也崭露头角,“未来5年,我们将All in AIoT,专项投入至少100亿元。”

对小米来说,成功上市只是开始,“在创办小米之初,我就预计,小米模式至少需要十五年才能被大众接纳。好在时间将是小米的朋友,我们将毫不动摇、坚持长期奋斗。” 

何小鹏:做批评者容易,做建设者难

3月18日,基石资本发文《基石资本董事长张维:为什么没有任何一家造车新势力值得投资——2019年将是造车新势力的倒闭年》。张维在文中肯定了“新能源汽车和智慧驾驶是汽车领域无可争议的方向”,但却断言“在中国并没有任何一家新能源造车企业值得投资。”

 文中还提到了“小鹏汽车(以)涨价应对补贴退坡”,随后,小鹏汽车董事长何小鹏对此回应,“谢谢,也无需您投资,”并表示,“做批评者容易,做建设者难。”

何小鹏还提到,“我们的选择就是干活多痛苦指数高的,劳模是逼出来的,这是我们自己挑的。但我们的乐趣就是在99%的质疑中最后活下来并且长大的并且更多的改变世界。”

最后,何小鹏说道,“不管是否成功只要真心想干好不是忽悠的我都佩服,今天蔚来、小鹏等的困难和挑战,只是成长路上的一个坑罢了,总是要往前的。”

吴晓波:“卖身”A股公司再闯资本市场

3月17日,A股上市公司全通教育(300359.SZ)发布公告称,其将以发行股份方式收购杭州巴九灵文化创意股份有限公司(以下简称杭州巴九灵)96%的股权,并拟募集配套资金。

有消息称,杭州巴九灵原本有意于2019年实现独立上市,但因“某些指标未达到IPO门槛”,最终选择以被并购的方式入驻上市公司。

杭州巴九灵实为财经作家吴晓波的个人微信自媒体平台——“吴晓波频道”的运营主体。吴晓波及其妻邵冰冰二人及其一致行动人共同拥有公司44.83%的股权。

通过写文章、出书、买房、卖酒,吴晓波已证明一个“新时代文人”的商业成功。这不是吴晓波第一次尝试将名下公司登陆资本市场,此前,“吴晓波频道”隶属于他创办的出版公司蓝狮子传媒,2015年底,蓝狮子传媒登陆新三板市场。2018年,蓝狮子发布公告称,为降低公司经营成本,经慎重考虑,公司拟申请公司股票终止挂牌。

(更多精彩财经资讯,点击这里下载华尔街见闻App)

东莞举办投资促进交流会,现场签约27个项目投资额328亿元

近日,东莞举行“湾区都市、品质东莞”投资促进交流会。会上,27个项目签约,其中先进制造业项目24个,占近九成,涉及协议投资额达328亿元。当天签约的先进制造业项目涉及医药研、智能终端、VR等新兴产业的研发和制造。

这里是摩纳哥!

地中海的微风拂过中世纪的城堡,鳞次栉比的小楼簇集在山坡之上,狭长的街巷荡漾着美丽的爱情传说,装饰精致的游艇在温馨港湾中入眠。

入门金融和投资,你需要这些书籍和在线课程

编者按:金融小白想要学习投资该如何入门呢?这篇文章从书籍到课程都有推荐,可以循序渐进地扩展你的眼界和思路,让你在实践中逐步提升自己,学会理财和投资。原文标题How to earn your Macroeconomics and Finance white belt (as a software developer)

我一直对经济学感兴趣。然而,直到几年前,我从未真正学习过经济学的相关知识。自从我决定改变这种状况以来,我通过阅读各种图书、学习在线课程、阅读报纸、博客文章和在线论坛,以及实践操作学会了理财。这篇文章对我推荐的学习经济和金融的路线图进行了总结和优先排序。深入了解宏观经济学对于学习金融是没有必要的,如果你只是想进行理财活动,就更不用说了。然而,我强烈建议你花些时间去了解经济运行的基本原理。

麻省理工学院的经济学家Andrew Lo说,物理学有三条定律可以解释99%的现象,而金融学有99条定律只能解释3%的现象。我们不仅没有完全理解经济是如何运行的,而且甚至对于经济应该如何运行也存在着无休止的争论。每个人都有自己的价值观和意识形态,即使他们没有告诉你,你也应该注意到。在学习经济学时,你应该记住这一点。

经济是如何运作的?

世界上最大的对冲基金创始人Ray Dalio制作了一段30分钟的视频,名为《经济是如何运作的》。在这个视频中,他分享了自己理解经济运行方式的模板。这段视频教的内容很简单,但却很重要。但你不能只是一览而过,你要花点时间研究。

Investopedia

Dalio的视频串起来了许多概念,如交易、市场、央行、货币政策、财政政策、债务、抵押品、信贷、利率、通胀、通缩、生产率、经济周期、去杠杆化、衰退和萧条。如果你不知道这些词的意思,或者你有疑问,那就赶紧自己动手查清楚。在大多数情况下,Investopedia网站上的定义比Wikipedia的更简单,更容易理解。一般来说,在每篇文章的末尾,你还可以查看有用的示例和相关的概念。

新闻

前段时间,我看到一个采访,被采访者是一位老牧师,他毕生致力于将拉丁语发扬光大。面试官问他:“你为什么拉丁文说的那么好?”牧师反问说:“如果你坐下来学拉丁语的时间和我一样长。你也会和我说的一样好的。”所以总的来说,掌握一件事情需要时间,但任何人都能做到。要想更多地了解经济学和金融学,我最大的建议是订阅《金融时报》和《经济学人》。每天阅读《金融时报》(特别是市场版和观点版),阅读《经济学人》周刊(尤其是财经版块)。这就像健身,也许短期你觉得收获不大,但过一段时间后你会发现巨大的变化。学习和阅读世界上不同国家的金融和经济形势在一开始可能很难,而且你要知道地缘政治与经济密切相关。所以我推荐下面三个视频给你——Caspian ReportVisualPolitik以及Geography Now。Geography Now几乎全是关于地理知识本身的,但是如果你对新闻里世界某一个地方不怎么了解的时候,它就能派上用场了。Caspian Report应该是三者里面最深刻的一个,试图阐释世界上所发生事情的深层结构性原因。而VisualPolitik就不如Caspian Report那么鞭辟入里了,但也很有用。

我的建议是,你要不惜一切代价避免观看CNBC这样的电视频道或任何只关注日常新闻的报纸。我们生活在一个信息爆炸的世界,网上充斥着标题党文章和后真相政治。深入、缓慢、坚持己见的分析很少很少。我更喜欢阅读任何能让我思考的东西,即使它的作者与我的想法或价值观背道而驰。

宏观经济课程和书籍(看你自己愿意与否)

为了更好地学习Ray Dalio的视频中提到的概念,你应该学习Khan学院(Khan’s Academy)的宏观经济学课程。

我不太喜欢教科书,因为我觉得它们太简练了,但如果你想在这门学科上有所进步,你还是需要花时间读一本的。曼昆的《经济学原理》或克鲁格曼的《宏观经济学》是最基本的,布兰查德的《宏观经济学》也很不错。我提供了很多选择,因为你可能会在你的图书馆找到这三本书中的一本。记住,在学习金融时,并不需要学习其中任何一本教科书。

学习基本的金融知识来管理自己的财富

我建议你做的第一件事是跟着诺贝尔奖得主Robert Shiller学习他的金融市场课程,课程包括股票、债券、股息、市场、经纪人、交易所、泡沫和基本的金融市场历史。他会以简明扼要的方式把事情解释清楚。通过这门课程,你将对金融有一个基本的了解。

下一步就应该是获得一些实际经验了。最好的办法是开立一个股票账户,用自己的钱进行投资。开户时,费用和安全性应该是主要考虑的因素。此外,你还应该考虑自己的国籍和居住地。

开户后,你应该确定好自己想投资什么。我推荐的第一本书是《投资者的心灵修炼( A Wealth of Common Sense)》。这是一本非常好的书,解释了如何创建一个简单的框架来确定如何进行长期投资。还有一本与这本有点相似,但更枯燥、更深奥的书——《漫步华尔街》(A Random Walk Down Wall Street),这本书对所谓的技术分析进行了极好的批判,它总结了各种表明人类不是理性的投资者的调查。这是一本好书,它表明对于散户投资者来说,最好的做法是将资金投入被动低价的投资工具,而不是支付给一位收费高昂、甚至无法带来市场回报的基金经理。我认为这本书最大的问题在于它过于坚持有效市场假说(Efficient Market Hypothesis,EMH)。另一位诺贝尔奖得主、EMH最重要的拥护者之一Eugene Fama表示:“不管任何时候,在有效市场中,一种证券的实际价格都将是对其内在价值的良好反映。”这意味着,总的来说市场上没有无效投资或者说获得高于平均水平的回报真的很难。这对散户和个人投资者来说尤其正确。然而,正如你将在本文的后面看到的,我会推荐对该理论持批评态度的书籍。

解释更复杂的投资策略的两本好书是《全球资产配置》(Global Asset Allocation)和《全球价值》(Global Value)。《全球资产配置》显示出,将除了债券和股票以外的投资组合多元化是多么有用。而《全球价值》则显示,以市盈率等基本面因素衡量,投资成本较低的国家从长远来看可以获得巨大回报。

有了Shiller的课程,这四本书,再加上你的资本市场账户,你应该完全能够以一种明智的方式进行投资了。

金融理论和衍生品

刚开始,学习期货、掉期、期权或衍生品可能会让你应接不暇到抓狂。在投身于更复杂的技术领域之前,我建议你读一读对冲基金的成功史和失败史,了解它们是怎么成功和失败的。在此我推荐Mallaby的《富可敌国:对冲基金与新精英的崛起》(More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite)一书,书中的有一句话是这么说的:

尽管Weymar向他的老师寻求帮助以提高自己的数学和计算机技能,但却对他们所谓的有效市场理论不怎么伤心。“我认为随机漫步理论是胡说八道,”他后来说,“认为一个人无法凭借相对于市场其他人的竞争优势赚到大钱,这种想法很奇怪。”

正如你所看到的,这本书的理念与《漫步华尔街》相反。主要参与者的成功源于发现了市场的无效率,他们不相信有效市场假说。多亏了一家名为Quantopian的对冲基金,它能够提供数据和开发平台,让你可以编写自己的投资算法,并对它们进行反向测试以发现这类小型市场的低效之处。如果你知道如何用Python编写代码,如果你对概率和统计有一定的了解,那它们那里有海量讲座资源可供你选择。它们将向你介绍期货,资本资产定价模型、回归、配对交易以及多空策略。

听完这些讲座之后,是时候继续学习了。期权之所以困难,是因为它们被杠杆化了,它们对波动性变化的反应是非线性的,时间在它们的定价中发挥着巨大的作用,它们的回报函数可以是凸的,也可以是凹的(如果你不明白这些词的意思,别担心)。你可能赌对了,但仍然赔了钱,反之亦然。衍生品都是反直觉的妖魔鬼怪。你的策略只要保证可以在99%的情况下都是赔钱的,但在1%的情况下能赚到足够的钱来挽回所有的损失(甚至更多)就行了。我曾经用两本书来理解期权这玩意儿——第一本书是John Hull的《期权、期货和其他衍生品》(Options, Futures and Other Derivatives),这本书是一本教科书,解释了涉及衍生品交易的所有活动。这本书的好处在于每一章后面都有很多练习,这样你就可以反复检查自己是否真正理解了学习到的内容。由于我很难掌握Hull书中的所有内容,所以我决定读再读一本书——《期权波动率与定价:高级交易策略与技巧》( Option Volatility & Pricing: Advanced Trading Strategies and Techniques),作者是Natenberg。这本书的语气让人感觉像是出自一位医生之手。它更容易理解,因为Hull的书似乎有点超前,我认为最好先读Natenberg的书,然后再读Hull的书。

在学习了这些理论之后,你应该在继续之前进行实践操作,参与一下真实的期权和期货交易。然后就是时候从技术层面转向学习更多关于金融理论及其批评者的知识了。Mandelbrot的《市场的(错误)行为:风险、破产与收益的分形观点》(The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence)一书总结了现代金融理论的历史,表明现代金融理论没有考虑到比理论预测的更频繁发生的市场波动。Mandelbrot在书的最后提出了金融市场建模的其他方法。我发现他的批评比提议更有趣。

Taleb的《反脆弱》(Antifragile)一书总结了自己在《随机漫步的傻瓜》(Fooled by Randomness)和《黑天鹅》(The Black Swan)中所写的许多观点。与Mandelbrot所写的类似,Taleb提出,不可预测的事件比大多数模型考虑到的要频繁得多,影响也大得多。因此,我们应该从混乱中获益,而不是试图避免混乱。

在了解了你可以使用的工具和期权交易的风险之后,是时候学习如何真正地面对波动率交易了。比如Bennett的《Trading Volatility》,Euan Sinclair的《波动率交易》(Volatility Trading),Emanuel Derman的《Volatility Smile》以及Nassim Taleb的《Dynamic Hedging》。我只学习了前两本,因为后两本实在有点复杂,我只能大概地浏览了一下。

其他技能

在某种程度上,你还需要学习一些关于财务会计的知识。Aswath Damodaran有一门关于公司估值的课程,相当棒,我建议你静下心来学习学习。

现代货币体系离不开金融市场,这在上次金融危机中表现得尤为明显。从实践的角度来理解银行和货币体系是如何运作的也很,Mehrling的课程( Mehrling’s course )对此有着极为精要的介绍。

最后,概率和统计是我们评估风险工作的绝佳工具。如果要我推荐的话,《统计思维:程序员数学之概率统计 》(Thinks Stats)和《贝叶斯方法:概率编程与贝叶斯推断》(Probabilistic Programming & Bayesian Methods for Hackers)是关于快速学习概率论和统计学的两本最好最实用的书籍,同时,我还建议你学习一下杜克大学的Statistics with R的专项课程。

编译组出品,编辑:郝鹏程

汽车以租代购,进退两难的困境

By 锌刻度

图片来源@视觉中国

文 | 锌刻度,作者 | 罗世浩

“提车低至3000元,超低月供无压力”,无论在轻轨上还是电视剧广告中,都有毛豆新车、优信二手车,弹个车等平台的广告植入,只需首付3000元既可以开新车回家,并且包含购置税,真有这样的好事吗?

3000元,真的就能轻松将新车开回家么?以租代购的汽车金融模式在国内真的行得通吗?

毛豆车和弹个车广告无处不在

01 一成首付买新车:并非广告宣传那么划算

今年2月,车好多集团获得由软银愿景领投的15亿美元融资,毛豆新车网与瓜子二手车都是其旗下品牌,而由阿里巴巴领衔投资的弹个车,其广告语“一成首付弹个车”也出现在各大商场,公寓楼前。

3月19日,锌刻度尝试购买一辆2019款大众凌渡,其指导价为15.99万元,毛豆最低按揭年限为2年,最高为4年。首付5%为0.79万元,月供4104元,四年还清则一共需要偿还196992元,若首付10%为1.59万元,月供4798元,三年还清总额为172729元。而一年后尾款购车费用毛豆却并没有提及。

在弹个车平台上,同一款大众凌度风尚款,在其标准方案下,厂商指导价为15.99万元,最低首付一成为1.59万元,包含购置税,一年保险费用以及首次保养,分12期还完,月供3898元,一年后尾款购车113500元。

然而锌刻度发现,实际上在付完12期月供后,用车辆的厂商指导价(汽车总价)减去一年月供总费用加上首付费用,需要付清的尾款为97224元,与弹个车网页上需付清的价格相差16276元,这还不包括提车必须支付的4000元提车服务费,这也是一年时间在付清尾款后实际多支出的费用。

同样的车型,锌刻度前往大众凌度4S店,全款买车在车价上直接减少2.7万-2.8万元,加上购置税车牌费等,比弹个车总费用低2-3万元。在4S店,办理贷款三年首付三成后,并不产生手续费,但每个月产生296元利息,既3年总产生10656元的利息,总价大约14万元加上购置税等三年贷款产生的总费用比毛豆新车网三年贷款便宜两万元。

也就是说,无论是三年贷款总费用还是一年结清费用,在以租代购平台上同一款车比4S店要贵2-3万元。

面对锌刻度的数据对比,弹个车江北门店销售人员张敏(化名)承认4S门店的总购车费用比毛豆新车要便宜,面对多出来的费用,张敏表示其实这就是公司的利润,也是低价开车回家的代价。

毛豆新车与弹个车金融方案对比

02 购车之后麻烦不断

锌刻度在调查中发现,国内目前以租代购的汽车金融平台普遍存在退车难等的问题。

目前国内以租代购平台几乎都是模仿美国1+3模式,即在一年时间结束后,有两个选择,

  1. 补清所有尾款,车辆过户给你;
  2. 也可以选择分期还款3年,付清后车辆过户到你名下。

但无论选择何种模式,在尾款付清之前,车子都不属于你,以毛豆新车网为例,在驾驶证上也只是瓜子融资租赁公司。

这样也随之而来一系列问题。

锌刻度在知乎上发现有不少网友反应其在满一年后并不想购买车辆,但如果选择退车则会产生车款5%的违约金,并且此前在平台上付的保证金也会被一并扣除。毛豆新车客服人员表示,所有的费用收取都是按照正常程序收取,在签合同前,销售人员都有与之对接。但不少网友表示,此前销售并没有告知退车会被扣除如此高的违约金,面对真金白银的亏损,只有硬着头皮头皮续租或直接付清尾款。

不仅如此,在弹个车页面上,许多一年购金融方案(标准方案)明确标明,其并不支持退还车辆,如果选择1年后可退车方案,则月供将会比一年不可退方案多超过50%。

弹个车平台上车辆不可退方案

在毛豆新车线下门店,锌刻度碰到前来公司处理车辆违章的周女士。周女士刚提车不到2个月,行驶过程中压了双实线,其实是日常用车过程中的小事,但由于行驶证上名字是瓜子公司,自己并不能和其他“正常”车辆一样自行解决处理。

“处理这样一个小问题都要找毛豆新车这边出具一个违章委托书,才能去处理,”周女士表示,这也是自己第一次遇到这样的处理方式,在与销售沟通过程中发现销售与交钱之前是两幅面孔,现在基本上都不回消息,只好自己跑来门店处理,开委托书的时间也要3-5个工作日。

“一般情况下,遇到这样的问题是会有毛豆的销售人员与其对接的,”重庆毛豆新车某线下门店销售人员刘希(化名)介绍,但具体怎么操作,刘希却并没有详谈。

不仅如此,锌刻度在实际调查中发现,同样作为毛豆新车线下门店销售人员,在同一城市不同区域的销售人员对同一辆车的金融方案与政策有不同的解释,比如重庆九龙坡门店的刘希告诉锌刻度一年后支付尾款会享受8.7折优惠,而在重庆渝中门店的陈蒙(化名)告诉锌刻度一年后付清尾款只有9.6折优惠。

在咨询过程中,销售员对规则金融方案等都说得非常简单,几乎一味的夸大毛豆的平台优势,但对可能潜在的一些费用和风险,如果用户不问,就不会有明确告知。

03 变了味的购车新模式

锌刻度了解到,如今毛豆新车的购车模式其实在国外早已流行开来,被称为“以租代购”模式,消费者通过低首付将车子“租”回家,每月按时缴纳租金(月供),一定时间后,可以将车子购买下来或者一直续租直到租金(月供)付清。

“事实上,这个模式在国内目前很难盈利。”重庆某线下门店负责人林先生告诉锌刻度,这是由于大部分消费者在租用第一年后就选择“退车”。

退车就意味着车子将砸在公司手中,所以为了防止退车,大多数公司会有一系列的措施,比如提高违约金额度,用征信来限制退车,甚至“逼迫”用户转分期,将车买下来。但这样就形成了一种恶性循环。

“消费者用户体验变差,售后服务跟不上 ,矛盾就开始不断升级,”林先生透露道:“目前国内市面上以租代购模式的公司能真正能让用户退车的,极少数。”

林先生表示,国内的消费者一旦付完首付后,就很难再退车,还有一种情况是在付完首付和一年的租金后退车不仅要支付高额违约金,车辆从始至终也不是你的。

锌刻度了解到,毛豆新车网在2017年9月正式上线,与瓜子二手车同属车好多集团旗下,但早在2016年,阿里领衔融资的弹个车在国内就已上线,蚂蚁金服根据购车用户的个人信用进行评估,生成具体的购车方案,最低首付也可达10%。

弹个车的购车模式与毛豆几乎一模一样,也是打出先租后买的金融方案,用户可选择一年后一次性支付尾款把车买下来,或者继续分期支付尾款。但与毛豆新车网不同的是,弹个车在一年后会被允许过户,但一旦消费者出现逾期缴月供的行为,会被弹个车平台扣车处理,车辆甚至可以再处理转卖给其他人,因为车主和平台第一年实质上是租赁关系,车辆的所有权依然属于平台。

不仅如此,在据公开资料显示,大搜车(弹个车母公司)上一次公布融资是在2017年11月,由阿里巴巴领投共融资3.35亿美元,不到1年,大搜车公开的融资金额达9.13亿美元,去年九月,大搜车又获得晨兴资本领投,阿里巴巴融资的5.78亿美元。

除此之外,更有获得京东金融投资的花生好车,而消费金融公司趣店旗下的大白汽车,乐信集团的“乐买车”也纷纷入局。

“但毛豆新车在内的大部分以租代购模式仍处于烧钱阶段,”林先生透露道,“虽然国内在以租代购这一领域仍然处于蓝海,诞生的公司很多,但由于国内市场的特殊性,很多新入局的公司直接放弃1+3模式,而是3+0、4+0模式。”

林先生解释,新模式就是直接让用户租车,3年后,租金付清了车的价格,车就归用户所有,但相比较美国的模式,以租代购在国内已经变了味儿。

小白用车、易鑫用车、弹个车

04 以租代购正确的路子应该怎么走

美国作为以租代购模式的起源地,其历史最早可追溯到1941年,也就是说,Lease Car 模式在国外已经有了超过半个世纪的历史。在美国成熟汽车市场,美国直租产品在整个汽车消费金融领域,占据了较大的市场份额和渗透率,2016年新车直租渗透率占据31%。

也就是说,不管是认知度以及普及率上,美国人早已将以租代购模式认定为常规买车手段之一。所以,在其金融方案,税费计算,售后服务等都已形成相关的规范。

美国广告法规定其不能进行虚假夸大宣传,并且消费者享有知情权,大多数消费者在购车满合同年限后都可自由选择退车或进行留购,租赁合约到期,将会有独立第三方机构例如ALG对车辆剩余价值进行评估,评估结果是不允许被修改的,如果消费者选择不留购,车辆将会被送到二手市场进行销售。

自2008年经济大衰退以来,美国的Car Leasing Companies 主要是那些有传统车企背景的公司——福特信贷(Ford Credit),本田金融服务(Honda Financial)等。并且,租赁公司的新车更新速度与其线下门店保持一致,同一款新车型可以选择租赁或其他方案购买。

事实上,目前这个模式在国内并不成熟,估计这样的模式在中国市场还需要探索几年时间,到那时又是一轮重新洗牌。用户认知度高,深度配合的汽车厂商与之相对应的供应链形成,一切才可水到渠成。

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习近平谈建设网络强国

2018年3月,中央网络安全和信息化领导小组改为中央网络安全和信息化委员会。党的十八大以来,习近平总书记从维护网络安全、掌握核心技术、汇聚网络人才、清朗网络空间、加强国际合作等方面多次部署网络强国建设。

What is ‘Us’ about? Winston Duke is ready to tell you.

By Helena Andrews-Dyer
2019.03.21 23:00

NEW YORK — Winston Duke is giving a 40-minute TED Talk about the invisible strings of power to an audience of one. He’s inside the American Museum of Natural History’s basement cafeteria, a fluorescent-lit cavern packed with clanking silverware and crying babies. This isn’t a non sequitur. In fact, this is the direct result of asking the 32-year-old actor one seemingly simple question about his new movie, “Us”: Uhhh, what the heck did I just see?

“Give me a piece of paper for my gum,” Duke says. “Because we ’bouts to talk,” he adds, stamping a Joan Riversian emphasis on that last bit.

Gabe Wilson (Duke) and Zora Wilson (Shahadi Wright Joseph) in “Us.” (Claudette Barius/Universal Pictures)

Duke doesn’t just want to tawk. He needs to. Best known for his scene-stealing and thirst-trapping role as the “great gorilla” M’Baku in “Black Panther,” the Yale-trained actor is cerebral in a way that shouldn’t be surprising but is. He’s constantly thinking, analyzing, breaking it down, while punctuating each thought with a conspiratorial “right?” He speaks not in paragraphs but in dissertations, like a professor who really wants his kids to get it, you know.

“I relish this opportunity,” Duke says, halfway through his oral argument about what “Us” is trying to teach its audience about the world. The hotly anticipated follow-up to Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning thriller “Get Out” is expected to be quite heady. Duke doesn’t just want to be a part of the inevitable think pieces, Twitter threads and roundtables about the film, almost a modern-day take on the French Revolution but with crazy clones.

“I want to potentially lead this discussion,” he says.

And he does just that — launching into several informed treatises on American society, sins knocking at your door, sneaky power structures and privilege, always privilege. Duke’s Caribbean lilt bleeds through every time he says the word, drawing it out into three punctuated syllables — pri-vi-lege — that give the concept extra consideration.

But, seriously, what is this movie about?

On its surface, “Us” tells the tale of a well-off family on a beach vacation that goes violently wrong. The film follows the Wilsons, ostensibly led by Duke’s naive, sitcom dad, Gabe, but really by Lupita Nyong’o’s tough-mom character, Adelaide, as they battle a group of doppelgangers who have come to take over. It’s not a popcorn flick. In two hours and 60 seconds, there are Bible verses, bunnies, scary amusement park rides, brass scissors and boat shoes.

The chief concern of Duke’s character — who does most of his fighting in dad glasses, a Howard University sweatshirt and loafers — is whether his neighbors have a bigger boat and a better car. When the clones show up, it’s whether said neighbors would very much like to impale him.

“The movie is strongly about cultures of power and what they look like and how you participate in them,” he says. “It’s also a commentary on the perils of the American Dream.” That’s the very ambition Duke, who moved with his mother and sister to New York from the island of Tobago when he was 9, likes to dissect.

He first came to this museum with his sister when he was a kid. He kept coming back again and again, enthralled by the planetarium permanent exhibit, which he says changed his life at 19. He was doing a big think then, as you do, about life and death and the meaning of it all when the vastness of the cosmos put everything into perspective.

Duke is photographed at the Whitby Hotel in New York. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

“Being an outsider by default gives you a place to view things . . . because you’re not perfectly in it. So you got to look at it with fresh new eyes and wonder why it works and why it does the things that it does,” he said.

In 2016, Duke was working semiregular, one-off roles in TV when he got the call that would catapult his fame. At the time, the actor was unsure about his future.

“Am I working enough to sustain a life, to build a family, buy a home in this country? Am I doing enough?” he recalls asking himself.

“You mean achieving the American Dream?” I counter.

“Girl!” Duke emphasizes. “Girl, you feel me.”

Self-definition, another theme threaded throughout “Us,” is a big deal to Duke, who has been defined thus far by his superhero breakthrough as M’Baku. Vanity Fair dubbed him “a royal Wakandan thirst trap.” BuzzFeed recently made him read aloud several “thirst tweets” (like sexting a stranger in public), most of which are unprintable. His “Black Panther” co-star Daniel Kaluuya told E! News that Duke was a “star” in the making. “Look at him light up the screen. Look at him ascend,” praised Kaluuya, who starred in “Get Out.” In April, Duke stars in another blockbuster superhero movie, “Avengers: Endgame.”

“I didn’t plan to break out,” Duke says. “I just planned to make really bold choices and lean into whatever it is that I do. And I’ll always do that. As prominent or as nuanced as a performance is, all I can tell you is that it’s intentional.”

Winston Duke stars in “Us.” The actor is best known for his role as M’Baku in “Black Panther.” (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

In one of the most memorable lines in “Us,” the Wilsons ask their deranged doppelgangers who they are. “We’re Americans,” replies Nyong’o’s evil twin. So, basically, the film is about what happens when your chickens come home to roost, and you had no idea you had a farm.

“Us” is also about race, although it isn’t the central issue, like in “Get Out.”

“Anything that has to do with black people in a racially charged world is about race because our skin is politicized, right? And our experience is deeply defined by seeing the world through the experiences of our skin, right? So black people on vacation already is about race,” Duke says.

It’s hard to respond with anything but an “umph” and “right, right” when listening to him go full professor mode.

“My brain explodes with everything,” he says.

Duke emerges from the cafeteria. His first stop is a quaint, life-size diorama of Dutch settlers meeting Native Americans for the first time. Above the scene is a newly added dialogue box that reads, “The scene offers only stereotypical representations and ignores how complex and violent colonization was for native people.” Duke considers this for a moment before launching into a debate about Confederate statues. Do we wipe away history or just reimagine it?

The museum was closing by the time Duke, who never got to the planetarium (it was closed for a private event), steps out onto Central Park West. He takes a look at a controversial statue of Theodore Roosevelt on horseback. Standing beneath Roosevelt is a half-naked Native American man and an African man.

Duke is stunned but not surprised. It’s the 3-D representation of everything he spent the last hour or more trying to explain.

Earlier, he had described privilege as “not having to ask a question because it doesn’t occur to you as a problem.” The statue, an emblem of white supremacy that no one in Duke’s entourage noticed until, well, everyone did, has stood outside the museum since 1940. It has been the subject of a protest and was vandalized in 2017.

Duke’s photographer scrolls through details about the statue on his phone as the group heads to their car. Questions abound, and Duke, as always, is prepared to answer them.

The battle over the Mueller report begins as Trump allies claim victory

By Philip Rucker, Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker
2019.03.24 06:53

The political showdown over the Russia investigation that could reshape the remainder of President Trump’s term began in earnest Saturday even before the special counsel’s conclusions were known to the public, as Trump allies claimed vindication while Democrats demanded transparency and vowed to intensify their own probes.

Trump and his attorneys and aides were clouded by uncertainty because they did not yet know the contents of the Robert S. Mueller III’s report, which Attorney General William P. Barr and a small coterie of Justice Department officials spent Saturday privately reviewing.

Ensconced for the weekend in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump exuded optimism while playing golf, lunching at the clubhouse and chatting with friends. At the urging of his advisers, he also exhibited uncharacteristic caution, refraining from publicly crowing that the “witch hunt” was over or declaring victory prematurely. Asked mid-Saturday to evaluate the president’s mood, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said simply, “He’s good.”

Congressional Democrats on March 22 demanded the release of all underlying evidence in the Russia investigation while Republicans pointed to findings to vindicate President Trump. (JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

The Trump team clung to hopeful signs — such as word from the Justice Department that there would be no more indictments from Mueller’s team — that the president could end up exonerated after a nearly two-year investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

But there was also widespread recognition within the Trump orbit that the Mueller report could still contain damaging information for the president — and that his legal troubles are far from over, with separate investigations into Trump’s business, inaugural committee and conduct continuing apace in New York and on Capitol Hill.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of Trump’s personal attorneys, said he was in a “watch and wait” mode and had been urging the president to “keep your powder dry.”

“The information that has been revealed publicly, particularly no further indictments, has been helpful,” Giuliani said. But, he added, “until you read the report, you don’t know exactly what it entails. . . . My message is: We’ve all waited this long. Let’s just await the reading of what’s disclosed, and then we can have proper final reactions. There’s too much assuming going on, on the other side, and we shouldn’t fall into that trap.”

Still, the contours of the political battles ahead took form. The mood among Democrats was tense and urgent, with expectations running high that Mueller’s complete report could be explosive and spark a reckoning for Trump. Party leaders called for the report to be released in full, along with the underlying documents.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III completed his report on whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in 2016. Now the spotlight is on the attorney general. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

Americans “deserve the truth, to know the truth,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Saturday afternoon on a conference call with caucus members. “Transparency is the order of the day.”

Rank-and-file Democrats worried to House leaders that the Justice Department’s independence could be threatened, according to several aides involved in those talks, while Pelosi tried to fend off — for now, at least — calls within her party to seek Trump’s impeachment.

“I think that day will come,” Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) told MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Saturday. “I don’t think he’s legitimate. I said it back at the end of the election. I still believe that today.”

On the campaign trail, Democratic presidential candidates called for full transparency from the Justice Department.

“We really need a full accounting of what happened,” Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., told a breakfast crowd in Greenville, S.C. He added, “It may well be the case that the only appropriate response is impeachment, but to me the most decisive way to put an end to Trumpism is for it to be defeated massively at the ballot box.”

Among Republicans, meanwhile, the calls for caution from Trump’s attorneys did not seem to reach the ears of his allies, who took a victory lap on the president’s behalf.

The White House is seen before sunrise Saturday. (Cliff Owen/AP)

“This is a vindication for the president and his family that after one year, 10 months and six days the Mueller report is concluding something which we already knew, which is there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” said Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager.

Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, wrote in an email that the president would “weaponize Mueller report to bludgeon Democrats. Expect him to come ‘off the chain.’ ”

There was a defiant streak throughout conservative media. On Breitbart, headlines read “Leftists cope with Mueller report bust” and “MSNBC-onspiracy!” And on the Sirius radio program “Breitbart News Saturday,” upbeat tracks from the “Ghostbusters” and “Rocky” soundtracks played as a parade of Trump allies called in with commentary.

A feeling of relief set in among the many Trump associates who had spent hours being questioned by Mueller’s investigators, including former campaign official Michael Caputo.

“My family has lost everything and now we’re starting over, but I awoke today optimistic for us and for our nation,” Caputo said.

On Friday evening, after Mueller gave his report to Barr, Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago Club and in unusually good spirits, according to people who interacted with him. Cable news shows were abuzz with reports about the Mueller probe, but Trump was not seen watching much television. Rather, he sat at his usual table on the patio for dinner and to celebrate his son Barron’s 13th birthday with his wife, Melania, and Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Trump Jr., who had been vacationing at Mar-a-Lago all week with his children, was on a boat fishing when the Mueller news broke Friday. The president’s son, who had come under scrutiny for the 2016 meeting he arranged at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, responded by tweeting a picture of himself and his boys holding up the fish they caught and then retweeting pro-Trump reactions.

Supporters of President Trump are seen from the media van in the motorcade accompanying the president in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President Trump left the patio for about an hour Friday night to attend a Republican Party fundraising dinner in Mar-a-Lago’s ballroom, where the crowd chanted “Lock her up!” after one of the featured speakers, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), called for an investigation of “both sides” — reflecting the desire of Trump supporters to go after Clinton, the defeated 2016 Democratic nominee.

Late in the evening, the president returned to the patio and appeared loose and upbeat, nodding and smiling as club members and other friends approached him at the table. Although nobody quite knew what the Mueller report said or what might happen next, people still cheered Trump. He in turn told several guests that he was proud of his accomplishments in office but did not speculate or engage in detailed discussion about the Mueller probe, according to people who were present.

At one point, White House lawyer Emmet Flood joined for a few minutes to talk with the president, as did Graham, who said he urged Trump to “listen to your lawyers.”

“He keeps saying he didn’t do anything with the Russians, and I said, ‘Well, there’s only one person that can really clear the air here, and that’s Mueller, and he’s been able to do his job and we’ll see here in a day or two what he found,’ ” Graham said in an interview Saturday.

Typically, Trump is accompanied by only a small staff entourage, sometimes with mid-level aides, on his weekend jaunts to Florida. But on Friday, several senior White House officials, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and press secretary Sarah Sanders, flew with him to Florida — in part so Trump would be surrounded by people he knows and trusts and therefore be less likely to do something rash, according to two people close to the president who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal details.

Trump agreed with his aides to be restrained in his public comments about the Mueller report until he gets a full briefing on its findings, which could occur as early as Sunday. Reminded that the president’s inclination has been to break the shackles his aides place on him by tweeting his feelings, one senior administration official replied, “The stakes are higher.”

On Saturday, Trump spent much of the day at the Trump International Golf Club in nearby West Palm Beach. Trump golfed and spent time with the musician Kid Rock, according to an administration official and the musician’s Instagram page, where he posted a picture posing with the president.

Attorney General William P. Barr departs his home Saturday morning in McLean, Va. (Win McNamee/Getty)

And there was a celebratory mood among the Trump fans — “my bridge people,” as the president calls them — who gathered near a bridge to cheer the presidential motorcade as it traveled to and from Mar-a-Lago, despite not knowing what the report says.

“I’m relieved that it’s finally out and it vindicates our president,” Paula Magnuson said. “Hopefully the Democrats will let it go now.”

Trump has told confidants he has not known Barr for long and that he cannot predict how the attorney general, who was sworn in only last month, will handle the situation. But the president also has said he is glad Barr is in charge and not former attorney general Jeff Sessions, and he has reiterated that his attorneys have told him Barr is fair, according to advisers who have spoken with him.

With little new information emerging Saturday, officials said Trump’s attorneys impressed upon the president to take a hands-off approach and to be patient with Barr — waiting for him to share Mueller’s conclusions on his own timetable and not to contact the attorney general or press for an update.

“He’s not going to engage a lot until he gets more information,” said David Bossie, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager.

That is the plan, but as those who work for him readily acknowledge, Trump rarely sticks to plans.

Meagan Flynn and Lori Rozsa in Palm Beach, David Weigel in Greenville and Colby Itkowitz in Washington contributed to this report.

At 70, Olivia Newton-John is reclaiming her story — and selling that famed jacket

By Nora Krug
2019.03.20 23:01

Forty years ago, Olivia Newton-John launched a million dreams — and, later, feminist backlash — when she stepped onto a high-school field in a pair of skintight black pants, puffing a cigarette, her hair tarted up in curls. As Sandy in “Grease,” she became the embodiment of the good-girl-gone-bad, the one who ditched her cardigan for a leather jacket and swiveled her hips suggestively as she teased a gobsmacked John Travolta about how to keep her satisfied.

Today, at 70, she’s singing a different song. “I’m a housewife and I’m loving that,” she enthused in a phone interview from her home outside Los Angeles. She is also now an author. Her book, the memoir “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” — its title borrowed from her 1976 hit, not the Journey song or the “Glee” remake — came out March 12.

Newton-John says she took to the page in part to protect her image. When she learned that a lengthy television biopic was in the works, she worried about what it might say, so she decided to write her own version of events. (She has not seen the film, which aired on Lifetime last month.)

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in an undated photo, from “Don’t Stop Believin’.” (Irene Newton-John)

Anyone who has been through a supermarket checkout over the last few decades can probably understand why Newton-John might be concerned. Since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, the singer-actress has been a tabloid target, her health the subject of wild speculation. When cancer returned in 2013, to her sacrum, the singer-actress was able to keep it mostly under wraps. But in September, after she checked herself into the Melbourne cancer center that bears her name, rumors spread that she was near death.

In January, Newton-John took to social media, posting a video as proof of life. As she promotes her book on the morning TV circuit, she beams positivity and cheer.

Though she is grateful for the concern over her health — “I think it’s lovely that people care,” she said by phone — reading about her death wasn’t easy: “I was like ‘what, no’ I think I’m still here!”

Five months after she fractured her pelvis, Newton-John is moving much better, without the help of a walker, she says. But the incident has shifted her priorities. She talks less about singing and more about caring for herself, her family and her mini-horses, dog and cat. “Table tennis and ponies have replaced horseback riding and real tennis,” she says. She’s completed radiotherapy and is receiving hormonal and alternative treatments. Her days begin with a thick green algae drink prepared by her husband, John Easterling, who owns an herb company; she also takes medicinal cannabis.

In conversation Newton-John is animated and sharp. “That’s all in my book!” she points out when asked whether it’s true that she almost turned down the Sandy role because she thought that at 29 she was too old to play a high-school student. (John Travolta was 24.) She did equivocate on taking the part, she confirms nonetheless: “I was very nervous about pulling it off. When I look at it now I think I was nuts. But when you’re really young you’re just more fussy about that stuff. When you’re older you’re just grateful.”

Olivia Newton-John, front, in an undated photo with her family: Her father, Brin; her brother, Hugh; her mother, Irene, and her sister, Rona. (Irene Newton-John)

She admits to being equally nervous about the sexually suggestive 1981 music video “Physical.” At the time she worried “it was too raunchy and racy.” It turned out to be her biggest record, and now her only regret is that she didn’t start a leotard company then. “Jane Fonda kind of took that spot from me,” she jokes.

And what of feminists who question the plot of “Grease”? “I think people are thinking too deeply about it,” she says. To the accusation that the movie was telling girls to “sex it up to get their man,” she replies in her book: “It was about choice. Wear those pants, or a dress down to the floor. Empowerment comes from calling your own shots and being who you want to be.”

Anyway, she adds on the phone, “It’s a love story! It’s a movie for goodness sake. It’s meant to be entertaining. It was set in the ’50s. Things were different.” Newton-John tries to stop herself from saying more but adds: “People forget that he changes for her too. He ends up in a letter sweater when she wears the leather jacket. So they are trying to help please each other — and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”

As a Hollywood tell-all, Newton-John’s book is not terribly juicy. It’s more gossip-dispelling than gossip-spilling: She and John Travolta were never more than good friends, she had to be sewn into those “You’re the One That I Want” black pants every day, the red heels were her own, people still call her Sandy and she doesn’t mind (how very Sandy!).

There are nonetheless some surprises: Newton-John, we learn, is the granddaughter of Max Born, a Nobel-prize winning physicist, a Jew who left Germany with his family in 1933. Her Welsh father was an intelligence officer with MI5 during World War II. Newton-John failed music in high school. There are also unsettling tales of Newton-John’s illness — of discovering a mass following a car accident in 2013, of her lying on the floor of her Las Vegas dressing room in agonizing back pain.

Newton-John seems at peace. “Tour again? Not right now,” she writes in the book’s final pages. “I’m easing into this decade without a mic in my hands. I’m just being.” One thing she adamantly wants to do, she says by phone, is auction that black leather Sandy jacket (which still fits) along with the matching pants. The proceeds will go toward the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Institute she founded. Never mind what the critics say about the message of her famous outfit: “I hope a billionaire wants to buy it for his daughter!” she says.

Apple auditions for Hollywood: The making of a streaming service

By Reed Albergotti and Sarah Ellison
2019.03.23 05:32

Last fall, Howard Gordon, showrunner for the hit TV show “24” and co-creator of “Homeland,” was in the middle of negotiating a deal with a newcomer to Hollywood: Apple. In a meeting with film executives from the iPhone maker, which had set aside an enormous budget to develop TV shows and movies, Gordon brought up rumors that Apple wanted sanitized projects — a potential problem for his show about a pair of disillusioned military veterans who go on a killing spree.

Would Apple buy the project, an adaptation of an Israeli show called “Nevelot,” which translates directly to “Bastards,” only to strip it of any violence and adult themes? “They were fairly adamant that it would not be a problem,” Gordon said in an interview. “I said, ‘Can you say that again into the microphone?’ ” Gordon recounted. He sold the show, which stars Richard Gere, to Apple in the fall, and it is in early development.

After initially faltering, Apple plans to launch its much-anticipated streaming service Monday, which includes big-name actors such as Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. It represents a tectonic shift in Apple’s business model: Diversifying from hardware such as iPhones and MacBooks and diving headfirst into subscription businesses like cloud storage, music, movies and television. It is also expected to launch a news subscription service Monday featuring publications such as The Wall Street Journal. (The Washington Post and the New York Times turned down Apple’s offer to take part in the subscription offering, according to people briefed on the plans. The Journal, The Times and The Post declined to comment.) The New York Times first reported The Wall Street Journal’s participation.

Jennifer Aniston stars in an Apple-produced show with Reese Witherspoon. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty)

But in Hollywood, Apple must hone its identity and reputation in an entertainment market crowded with competitors, from Netflix and Hulu to HBO and Disney. It’s using its deep pockets to buy itself a name in Hollywood. Apple is paying Witherspoon and Aniston about $1.1 million an episode each, according to a Hollywood executive with knowledge of Apple’s plans. Apple has nabbed other high-priced stars, such as Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” who will headline a new Apple show about video game developers. Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster projected Apple would be spending $4.2 billion a year on original content by 2022.

And it must decide if it wants to make its content available only on its own devices — an incentive to remain in the Apple ecosystem if the content is compelling enough — or license its programming outside of its own streaming service to attract a wider audience. Apple has made its Apple Music service available on Amazon Echo devices and plans to make iTunes content available on televisions made by Samsung and others.

Apple has been trying to shed the notion that it is different because it hails from Silicon Valley. Hollywood is programmed to be skeptical of outsiders who don’t understand the intricacies of filmmaking. Following some criticism for early original programming shown on its Apple Music app, Apple hired a team of Hollywood insiders known for popular and critically acclaimed shows and movies, which helped bolster its credibility.

But in many ways, Apple’s road to success has been smoothed significantly by companies like Amazon and Netflix, which have made online streaming services a perfectly acceptable form of distribution, even for Hollywood’s most high-minded artists.

Still, Apple has no Hollywood track record, and people who have inked deals with the company described the decision as a leap of faith in Apple’s ability to execute on its plans and deliver big audiences. Film and television creators say even they don’t know whether Apple’s streaming service will be available to everyone or just those who own Apple products.

“Apple is the only company in the world that can drop a couple million dollars in entertainment and get Reese Witherspoon and M. Night Shyamalan on board without any articulation of a plan in terms of marketing or distribution,” said one well-connected Hollywood executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to upset Apple.

“Whatever it’s going to be, it’s going to be interesting and I guess it was worth the uncertainty,” said Gordon. “They’re taking a leap of faith, too. They made a strong offer without a script. There’s a certain amount of good faith or breath-holding that both of us are doing.”

So far, Apple is proving willing to produce shows that are “edgy” and that include content that might not be suitable for children. “If anything, we’ve left the world of that network mandate of ‘oh, you have to be careful about the constituencies out there,’” said one person involved in an Apple show. The person said Apple’s executives in its hometown of Cupertino, Calif., have stayed out of the creative process. “There is not a scenario in which we’ve taken notes from them. Never,’” the person said.

But the Hollywood executive said that Apple CEO Tim Cook has passed notes to writers on Apple shows through the company’s Hollywood executives. “Tim is paranoid about anything that affects his brand,” the Hollywood executive said.

Now that Apple is becoming its own film studio, it’s in direct competition with other services. And the question is if Apple’s own content will be enough to convince viewers to add on another entertainment subscription. According to data from Reelgood, a streaming app that acts as a guide for finding content, U.S. households on average use 4.2 streaming services. For people who have more than three, Netflix is one of them 96 percent of the time. If a user has only one service, 83 percent of the time it’s Netflix.

“Netflix is kind of the base for streaming viewers,” says David Burhenne-Sanderson, founder of Reelgood. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said earlier this week that Netflix content would not be part of Apple’s new streaming product, meaning people will need to watch Netflix shows by opening up the Netflix app itself.

Apple so far has inked about 30 deals for content, according to industry-tracking databases, and will be dwarfed by its competitors. Some of its shows are still in early development.

But having a small selection might not be so bad, according to one network media executive involved in streaming television. That’s because customers spend a lot of time browsing while searching for something they want to watch. Reelgood, for instance, says the average U.S. consumer spends 36 minutes flipping across four streaming services every night.

Apple’s content offering is looking more akin to HBO’s than Netflix’s. HBO, which has transitioned from an offering exclusively available on cable to a stand-alone streaming service, is known for producing fewer projects but creating critically acclaimed content and mega hits like “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City” and “Game of Thrones.”

Apple’s streaming plans, which began in the summer of 2017 with shows available to subscribers of the Apple Music app, got off to a rocky start. Its first show, “Planet of the Apps,” a reality TV show that featured Silicon Valley founders and investors, was panned by critics. Its show “Carpool Karaoke” struck a chord with viewers and earned an Emmy, but it was no “House of Cards,” the 2013 sensation that put Netflix’s original content on the map.

The first drama Apple planned to release starred Dr. Dre and was loosely based on his life. The show, titled “Vital Signs,” featured stars like Ian McShane, but the cast also included some of Dr. Dre’s relatives who played fictional versions of themselves. Dr. Dre has ties to Apple through his music streaming and headphone company Beats, which he sold to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion.

The Dr. Dre show was produced before Apple hired a team of seasoned Hollywood executives to spearhead its film industry efforts. Apple decided to shelve the Dr. Dre show, according to Hollywood executives with knowledge of the show. Apple could still release the show later, these people said, when it would be mixed in with other content and not held up as its flagship production. Apple has never confirmed publicly that it planned to release the Dr. Dre show, and an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

After the Apple Music experiment, Apple considered offering free shows if its hardware customers paid the extra fee for AppleCare, which protects them against things like cracked iPhone screens, according to the well-placed Hollywood executive. Then they discussed an offering through Apple TV, the company’s streaming device that connects to televisions. “Whatever they try to sell on Monday, it’s not what they started with and they are trying to figure out what kind of engine to put in while the plane is in the air,” the executive said.

Apple’s Hollywood division, which still has no official public title, is now run by Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who came from Sony and are known for backing hit shows like “Breaking Bad.”

Other than its high security offices in Culver City, Calif., and the focus on secrecy, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is viewed as just another studio, according to producers, agents and consultants who have worked on projects.

But Apple also has the power of a distributor of entertainment, setting it apart from studios.

Where Apple’s new shows will and won’t appear is one question show creators said they asked Apple during discussions. They said they were met with obfuscation and ambiguous responses, in part because Apple itself may not have made up its mind yet about exactly what its streaming service will look like. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on Apple’s plans. It’s unclear how long after Monday’s anticipated announcement of the streaming service it will actually launch.

One streaming executive cautioned that Apple would be wise to launch the service not only on its own devices. That’s in part because Apple TV devices represent only a small fraction of streaming devices connected to televisions. In fact, services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video are available directly through smart TVs without streaming devices made by companies like Roku and Chromecast.

According to one person briefed on the matter, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, Apple has even considered distributing its original content outside of its own platform, a sign that the hardware maker is considering a plethora of options as it grows into new businesses.

All this has led to some uncertainty among people creating shows for Apple, who said they’d be watching Monday’s event with interest to find out more details about how their productions would reach audiences. “We don’t know what they are going to do, but they are paying a ton of money,” said the Hollywood executive knowledgeable of Apple’s plans. And while most people in Hollywood are hopeful apple will come up with a strategy that works, there is some resignation to the idea that Apple will have a steep learning curve when it comes to creating compelling content. And maybe that’s ok. “As long as they are paying us, we will take their money,” the executive said.

This anxiety-inducing fitness test purports to tell you how long you’ll live

By Erin Strout
2019.03.19 20:25

It seems a simple enough challenge: Sit down on the floor and get back up without the help of your hands or knees. Try it, though, and you might discover it’s not as easy as it sounds.

This “sitting-rising” exercise was designed to predict mortality in middle-aged and older people. The test was devised by a team led by Claudio Gil Araújo, a Brazilian physician and researcher in exercise and sports medicine, and published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention in 2012. It resurfaces periodically in media outlets or online, causing widespread alarm regarding mortality among the many people (of all ages) who can’t seem to get themselves off the ground. We decided to find out whether that worry is warranted.

The sitting-rising test might measure some important factors for longevity — but it's not easy for everyone. Watch as Post employees put their fitness to the test. (Allie Caren/The Washington Post)

How to do it

The test requires you to lower yourself to the floor, crisscross style, without bracing yourself with your hands, knees, arms, or sides of your legs. If you can stand back up, again without the aid of those body parts, you’ve scored a perfect 10 (five points for sitting, five points for standing). You lose a point every time you support yourself with a forbidden joint or appendage.

The researchers tested 2,002 adults 51 to 80 years old, and then followed them until a participant died or until the study concluded, which was a median of 6.3 years. In that time, 159 people died — only two of whom had scored a perfect 10. Those who had the lowest score of zero to three points had a risk of death that was five to six times higher than those who scored eight to 10 points.

“It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities, but have a favorable influence on life expectancy,” Araújo said in a 2012 news release.

Sure, the test is a good measure of leg and core strength, as well as balance. Older adults who have such muscular strength and flexibility are less likely to fall. And falls are the leading cause of unintentional-injury-related deaths for people ages 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But what if you can’t do it? Are you doomed? Should you plan for an early demise? If so, a test of about a dozen 35 to 40-something friends at a recent dinner party revealed that more than half of us should probably get our affairs in order, pronto.

Luckily, a few more variables apply to our health (and our longevity) than those this particular test focuses on. It’s important to remember that the study results are most relevant to those the same age as the subjects in the testing group, who were ages 51 and up — a point often lost in discussion. Most of the people who scored the lowest on the test were in the 76-to-80 age range, a group that generally experiences decreased mobility and coordination. The research also didn’t reveal the causes of the 159 deaths during the follow-up period. Should we assume they all died of complications from falling, instead of cardiovascular disease or cancer? We don’t know.

It’s not completely bogus

The exercise serves as one method of screening an individual’s loss of muscle in the aging process, known as sarcopenia, said Greg Hartley, president of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy and assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. That decline leads to other mobility problems, which decreases quality of life, he said.

“Frailty, strength, muscle mass, physical performance — those things are all correlated to mortality, but I would caution everybody that correlation doesn’t mean causation,” Hartley said. “For example, if somebody had a really bad knee and there’s no way they could do the test, just because that person has a really bad knee doesn’t mean they’re going to die soon.”

Barbara Resnick, professor and chair of gerontology at the University of Maryland, said the ability to get off the floor is valuable but “it’s really pretty hard for anybody” if you’re not using your hands. Failure may be because of something as simple as where you carry your weight, she said. If you have a thicker midsection, getting off the floor might be challenging. But unless body composition is a sign of other health problems, such as obesity, you’re probably not going to die of it.

“[A high score] is a sign that at that point in time, you’re in pretty good physical condition in terms of muscle strength, but I do not believe it’s a predictor of longevity,” Resnick said. “There’s a genetic component. Some people are just stronger physiologically and more coordinated than others.”

If you’re sitting on the floor worried because you can’t get up, the good news is that barring complications such as arthritis or vestibular (inner ear) problems, you can work on it, and you’ll likely improve over time.

“You can practice every day — teaching to the test, in other words,” Resnick said. “Resilience is also part of it. Are you going to keep trying or are you going to just going say, ‘The heck with it’?”

Other tests reveal more

Physicians have many other screening tools at their disposal to measure health and longevity, Hartley said.

For example, a study published in the February 2019 Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open, measured the health data and push-up capacity of 1,104 middle-aged, active male firefighters over the span of 10 years. The men who could complete 40 push-ups during the 10 years had a 96 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who could do fewer than 10 push-ups.

Walking speed also has been shown to provide insight to life span. One 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that people ages 65 and older who could walk one meter per second or faster lived longer than those who couldn’t. Another study that appeared in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that walking at a faster than average pace reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 53 percent for all people 60 and older.

“If you can walk at your natural pace at two miles per hour or faster, you’re a lot less likely to die in the next 10 years,” Hartley said. “Walking speed is highly correlated to mortality.”

Doctors also sometimes use a hand dynamometer to assess grip strength and can learn a lot about our death risk from it. One study showed that each 11-pound decrease in grip strength is linked to a 16 percent higher risk of dying from any cause, including heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

“It’s how hard you can squeeze the dynamometer,” Hartley said. “It’s another marker of frailty. The biggest impact on grip strength has to do with how fit you were in young adult and middle-adult life. So, there’s a preventive aspect to this.”

Bottom line? Get moving.

Once you’ve peeled yourself off the ground following the sit-rise test, use your newfound sense of defeat to get stronger and improve your fitness. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released new guidelines for physical activity, suggesting that adults 65 and older break their 150 to 300 minutes of exercise each week into short bouts of activities that focus on balance, aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening.

The key is to find forms of exercise you enjoy — or find purpose in doing what you may not like to do.

“If I tell a patient to exercise because it’s going to improve cardiovascular health, it doesn’t motivate them,” Hartley said. “What motivates them is the ability to go to a grandchild’s kindergarten graduation. What do you really care about? What do you want to be able to do?”

It’s also never too early or too late in life to start or increase physical activity — it’s beneficial and increases life expectancy no matter when you do it. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, Resnick advises.

“I always say my patients walk to heaven — that’s my goal,” she said.

Welcome to Babcock Ranch, Florida’s first solar-powered town

By Janine Zeitlin
2019.03.21 18:30

BABCOCK RANCH, Fla. — The autonomous shuttle was parked for the night, but the town square was otherwise hopping. Kids in tie-dyed shirts cartwheeled on a lawn that has a pair of solar trees — free solar charging stations curved into massive green stems. Parents slipped off their shoes and admired the peach-hued southwest Florida sunset over the 300-acre lake. A singer strummed beneath an oak tree at the farm-to-table restaurant.

The Friday scene at this community, billed as the nation’s first solar-powered town, unfolded like a director’s take on an eco-utopia.

“It really is like a TV show, like Andy Griffith,” said Kara Fales, 36, in an #boymom shirt, as she and her sons, ages 5, 2, and 1, ate near the square. She and her husband, who manages restaurants, moved here in December, joining families drawn by nature, the promise of sustainable living and the A-rated charter school.

Niesha Ruttenberg works on her space in the community garden. The development's features include a restaurant, parks, the town square and a school. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

Climate change has been linked to Florida’s most recent environmental disasters. In the summer, the strongest red tide in more than a decade drove away tourists and killed hundreds of sea turtles, manatees and dolphins on the Gulf Coast. Millions of pounds of fish and wildlife piled up on world-renowned beaches. Algae choked waterways. Hurricanes, which grow stronger with warm water, remain a constant threat.

In a state whose government is known for lax pollution controls and an aversion to even mentioning climate change, Babcock Ranch is a groundbreaking concept that residents say they hope will catch on in other parts of Florida.

Developers and residents say they think inland communities like Babcock Ranch will be the wave of the future, as hurricanes and rising sea levels drive more people away from Florida’s coastal areas.

Fina Marcone looks over produce for sale outside of Slater’s Goods & Provisions. The produce was grown in the community. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

Babcock Ranch, an 18,000-acre community rising from cattle land and wildlife habitat, welcomed its first residents in January 2018. The population has since swelled to nearly 400, including the first baby born at Babcock — a home birth. Eight builders signed on to construct houses with prices ranging from the $200,000s to more than $1 million. Houses must receive at least a bronze rating from the Florida Green Building Coalition.

At build-out, projected to be in about 20 years, the town could surpass 50,000.

The Fales family plays on the shores of Lake Babcock. Half of the community's 18,000 acres are reserved for lakes and green space, including 50 miles of public trails. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

Fales and her family relocated from suburban Fort Myers, the closest metropolitan area, about 15 miles west. They chose a five-bedroom, roughly $420,000 house.

Neighbors offer to babysit and leave “mommy cocktails” on the porch. Homes are designed to create community. “It’s even better than we could have imagined,” Fales said. “My friends joke that it is the Babcock cult.”

Atypical development

Babcock Ranch sits amid open fields off a two-lane country road, across from a horse rescue and not far from a feed store. The entrance lacks the gate, palm tree cavalry and exotic flowers typical to Florida communities.

Native grasses, pine trees, lakes and marshes border the road leading to Founder’s Square, where developer Kitson & Partners crafted an idealized town with an ice cream shop, an outdoors outfitter, a high-end market complete with an olive oil bar, and a co-working space. A wellness center with a family clinic opened last spring.

Babcock visionary Syd Kitson said the entry sequence was designed to tell Babcock’s story of sustainability. Land preservation was an early chapter.

Cattle graze in an open field on the same road as Babcock Ranch. The community sits across from a horse rescue and not far from a feed store. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

In 2006, Kitson & Partners bought the 91,000-acre ranch from the Babcock family. The company then resold 73,000 acres for $350 million to state and local governments, in what’s considered among the single-largest land conservation deals in state history. The preserve provides habitat to imperiled species such as the endangered Florida panther.

Not every environmentalist was elated, but Kitson won over key groups. Other developers proposed a sprawl of individually owned “ranchettes,” Kitson said.

The town was planned on 18,000 acres already affected by pastures, rock mining and farming, according to the developer. Half is reserved for lakes and green space, including 50 miles of public trails.

Sustainable development has not been South Florida’s forte: for example, the early 20th-century attempts to drain the Everglades. But the need for resilient development feels urgent with the onslaught of environmental disasters, perhaps intensified by climate change.

Eight builders signed on to construct houses with prices ranging from the $200,000s to more than $1 million. Houses must receive at least a bronze rating from the Florida Green Building Coalition. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

This past summer, southwest Florida residents blamed runoff pollution from development as a factor fueling red tide and toxic algae that rendered beaches and waterways unusable for weeks. Millions of pounds of dead sea life piled up on Gulf of Mexico beaches about 30 miles west from Babcock. (Waters have since cleared.)

Florida might be in the nascent stages of better managing such disasters. In his first week in office, the state’s new Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, announced a $2.5 billion plan for water and Everglades protections, pledging stronger environmental enforcement and to establish a resiliency office.

Bethany Hunt and her husband, Jerry, tested their new boat in June during the summer water crisis. They left from a dock near Babcock on the Caloosahatchee River, which leads to the gulf. By then, the Fort Myers residents had signed for a three-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot house in Babcock and were eager to send their children, 9 and 6, to the environmentally focused school.

Newly planted palm trees. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

They steered the boat into thick green algal slime. “It was horrible,” said Bethany Hunt, 31. “That is what made us feel like we absolutely made the right decision and to be a part of the right decisions being made.”

Hurricane resiliency is another selling point. “We do have people moving off the coast and coming to Babcock,” Kitson said.

Babcock building requirements dictate storm shutters or impact glass and construction that withstands at least 145 mile-per-hour winds, higher than state codes for the area. Babcock sits beyond the storm surge at about 30 feet above sea level, Kitson said. “In Florida, that’s a virtual mountain.”

Richard and Robin Kinley, the first residents of Babcock Ranch, outside their $523,000, two-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot house. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

Richard Kinley checked hurricane tracks for the past century and projected sea level rise before moving to bucolic Babcock from traffic-snarled Atlanta. He reviewed flood insurance maps. “Where we live is a .2 percent annual chance of flooding,” he said.

In 2017, Hurricane Irma churned over Babcock as a Category 2, as Kinley’s $523,000, two-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot house was being built. There was no damage, he said. Babcock reported a few downed trees and two solar panels needing repairs.

Kinley and his wife, Robin, both 61, were the first Babcock residents. She is a professional quilter; he is semi-retired from a medical device company.

Since their arrival, the Babcock vision has sharpened into focus. Kitson has sold more than 2,000 lots to builders. More than 150 homes are occupied, with about the same number under contract. About 80 percent of buyers are from Florida, Kitson said.

In the fall, Babcock earned platinum, the highest, designation from the Florida Green Building Coalition, for development strategies around solar energy, tree preservation, water efficiency, and native plant and sustainable material usage.

“Our whole thesis is that when Florida continues to grow, we need to do it in a sustainable way,” Kitson said. “Babcock is proving people want it and that it’s really desirable.”

Native grasses, pine trees, lakes and marshes border the road leading to Founder’s Square. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

A reduced footprint

Babcock Ranch is not the sole green-certified development in Florida. The Florida Green Building Coalition has certified 14, including Babcock, since 2003.

Each year, more Florida communities are responding to climate-related concerns by updating building standards and sustainability or disaster mitigation plans, said C.J. Davila, executive director of the Florida Green Building Coalition.

Babcock has the potential to sway developers toward preservation as they look inland to accommodate the 100,000-plus new residents migrating to Florida each year.

“Developers are trying to find land at all costs,” Davila said, and some are asking, “How can we buy a piece of land and work with preservation while we also build a community?”

What makes Babcock Ranch unique, Davila said, is the amount of land preserved and its solar commitment. Town buildings have solar panels; homeowners can choose to add them. (One homeowner said his 21 panels cost about $16,000.)

The real engine is the solar field north of the town center, down a road sometimes blocked by foraging wood storks and herons. There, poised to capture enough energy to power about 15,000 homes, tilt 340,000 low-to-the-ground solar panels.

(Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)
The Babcock Ranch FPL Solar Energy Center. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

Kitson donated the land, 440 acres, to Florida Power & Light (FPL), and the solar center opened in 2016.

“When the sun is shining, folks are getting emissions-free energy,” said Alys Daly, FPL spokeswoman. “We can’t say exactly where electrons go, but they’re going to Babcock Ranch and beyond.”

The energy flows into the grid and goes toward reducing costs for FPL’s millions of customers. There is no direct utility bill reduction to Babcock residents because of it. Residents are billed at the same rates as other FPL customers.

The band Jaggard plays for visitors and residents at the Table & Tap farm-to-table restaurant. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

Essentially, the benefit for Babcock residents is ideological rather than financial. The solar produced at the center exceeds the town’s energy footprint.

Since opening the Babcock site, Florida Power & Light has constructed about a dozen large solar centers elsewhere, Daly said. “That really was the beginning of this solar energy expansion across the state.”

Not a walkable town

A slice of moon rose one early February evening. Telescopes pointed to the Orion Nebula. On the Babcock calendar: a booked-out night sky viewing and electric boat cruise.

“Where do you live?” an employee asked Richard Kinley.

“Babcock,” Kinley said. “I already drank the Kool-Aid.”

A Sierra Club bumper sticker seen in Babcock Ranch. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

Last year at that time, Babcock Ranch was the Kinleys and another couple. Kinley could joke with his wife that a quarter of the town was hungry. The months brought friends. “We’ve entertained here and been entertained more than 20 years in Atlanta,” he said.

Complaints about Babcock don’t come easily. When pressed, a few residents offer mild grousing about drives to stores, a high school, appointments and outside culture. A Zip code or post office would be nice. Some non-Babcock residents worry about traffic on the road leading to it. A state study to widen portions is in the works.

Babcock has drawn some social media shade with an announced 18-hole golf course community. The course must meet green building standards, Kitson said. “The fact that we have a golf course is not contrary to who we are,” he said.

Kathy Charron walks her dog,Toby, through the community's Sunset Park. (Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post)

Richard Kinley said he feels indifferent about the golf. Driving beyond Babcock isn’t a bother.

“If I had to choose between having a lot of stores nearby and nature, I’d much rather choose the nature,” he said. “I wanted to move somewhere where I’d be happy the rest of my life, and I thought this was the place, and so far it’s turned out to be true.”



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海南:将展示博鳌智能网联汽车及5G应用试点项目

博鳌亚洲论坛2019年年会期间,海南省将向外界首次展示“博鳌智能网联汽车及5G应用试点项目”,海南省工业和信息化厅相关负责人昨日指出,该项目实现了一系列智能网联汽车典型应用场景,如前方急弯提醒、道路施工提醒、红绿灯车速引导、紧急车辆避让,以及5G应用展示,如远程诊疗及急救演示、16路4K高清同传及沉浸式VR实景直播、基于5G的全息通信。

广西涠洲岛载有770名游客客船搁浅,无人员伤亡

今早7:50,南海救202成功将北游25拖出搁浅海域。

开启法中关系新阶段——法国各界热议习近平主席署名文章

在对法兰西共和国进行国事访问前夕,国家主席习近平23日在法国《费加罗报》发表题为《在共同发展的道路上继续并肩前行》的署名文章,在法国各界引发热烈反响。

拆解云集招股书:会员费贡献13.6%的收入,模式仍是潜在风险

By 谢康玉

云集创始人兼CEO肖尚略

云集创始人兼CEO肖尚略

继拼多多之后,又一家依托于微信生态平地而起的电商平台赴美上市。会员电商平台云集日前正式向美国SEC提交了上市招股书,代码为YJ,计划募集资金2亿美元。

GMV突破百亿元、杀入电商第一梯队,云集只用了三年时间。招股书显示,云集在2016年、2017年、2018年的GMV分别为18亿元、96亿元和227亿元。2018年相比2017年增长134.4%;总收入分别是12.84亿元、64.44亿元、130.15亿元,2018年相比上一年增长102%。

快速成长的背后是依托社交网络之下的快速流量裂变,截止2018年底,云集的会员数已达740万,他们为云集贡献了66.4%的GMV,2018年一年贡献会员费15.52亿元,占到云集收入大盘的13.6%。

招股书显示,目前公司的第一大股东是创始人兼CEO肖尚略,持股46.4%;第二大股东是云集的天使、A轮投资方钟鼎创投,持股13.7%;第三大股东是CPYD新加坡有限公司,持股10.5%。

云集如何向海外投资者介绍自己?

基于三级分销拓展用户的方式确实让云集在过去几年收获了快进式的成长,但这种模式也一直在业内饱受诟病,并一度被质疑为传销,云集也因此在2017年收到了来自监管部门的一张958万罚单。紧接着在同年8月,腾讯也开始向三级分销平台们伸出手,接连宣布永久封杀环球捕手和云集微店。

按照云集此前的说法,这张958万的罚单其实早在2015年就已开出,直到两年后才正式下发,所以云集从2016年2月就开始着手对地推中有争议的部分进行了整改。

整改后拉人头、发展层级的模式依然保留,只是层级上有所减少,同时利益分配机制上,由云集向品牌商收取佣金后,统一发放给售出商品的店主们,以此来规避风险。

店主邀请新店主满100人即可成为“主管”;团队人数达到1000名,培养主管30位,则可申请成为更高级别的“经理”。每新发展一名店主,主管能从398元的平台服务费中获得150元,主管的上线经理则能获得60元。

在拉新提成之外,主管还可获取团队销售利润的15%,经理则获取团队销售利润的5%。主管及经理会与云集微店签约兼职劳动合同,由云集微店统一发放培训费和服务费。

云集的崛起再次向外界贡献了一点经验,在中国创业最大的红利期,可能是在无法可依的时候。当监管部门和微信注意到社交电商这块法外之地时,此时的云集已完成了早期的用户积累,随即在去年十月,云集将自己的定位从社交电商转向会员电商。

在招股书中,云集也反复强调了会员电商这个定位以及该模式下的价值。在致投资者信中,关于“云集是什么”,创始人兼CEO肖尚略用了三个定义来解释:

第一,云集是一个以会员为基础的平台,通过自己的一套集体价值主张将会员们聚集在一起;第二, 云集实施有针对性的战略,重点关注质量和价格,为用户提供符合他们需求和偏好的产品;第三,云集非常关注用户的信任,因为用户的信任是平台成长和成功的关键,云集通过赋能会员,让他们在社交网络中分享他们的购物体验、推广产品,让平台获得更多忠实用户的同时扩大影响力。
致投资者信

致投资者信

根据招股书披露,云集平台上的买家已从 2016年的约 250万增加到 2018年的约 2320万。于此同时,平台的 GMV 也从 2016年的18亿元增加了到了 2018年的 227亿元。在 2018年,平台 GMV 的 66.4% 来自成员购买。截止12月31日,云集已积累了 740万会员。

2018年收入130.15亿元,会员费贡献13.6%

从招股书中的收入构成来看,云集的主要收入来源是商品销售,其次是会员收入。

从2016年到2018年,云集的总收入为分别为12.84亿元、64.44亿元、130.15亿元。其中,商品销售收入分别为11.29亿元、59.12亿元、113.88亿元;会员收入为1.55亿元、5.11亿元,15.52亿元。2018年,会员收入占到总体收入的13.6%。

云集的收入构成

与此相对的,云集的订单数也从 2016年的 1350万大幅增至 2018年的 1.534亿。GMV在2016年、2017年、2018年分别为18亿元、96亿元和227亿元。

不得不说的是,云集的增长与收入规模都是颇为可观的,对比拼多多就能得知(二者从模式上不具有可比性,只是想让大家在数据上有更直观的感知)。云集不管从用户规模、订单量还是GMV上与拼多多都完全不在一个量级,但营收规模却比拼多多多出了一亿元,拼多多在2018年的营收为131.2亿元,而云集为113.88亿元。

当然,这与二者模式上的差异有很大关系,拼多多为平台模式,走的是阿里的路线,而云集为自营,走京东模式,拼多多赚的是广告和交易佣金,而云集赚的是商品销售差价。
平台亏损情况

平台亏损情况

而同处于扩张期的云集目前也出于亏损状态,从2016年到2018年,云集分别录得净亏损2466.8万元、10572.4万元、5632.6万元。在招股书中云集提到,未来在履约基础设施和技术上的投入可能还将招致短期内难以盈利。
合并资产负债表

合并资产负债表

虽然云集仍处于亏损状态,但公司经营活动产生的现金流净额为正,为8.83亿元,同时也有充足的现金及现金等价物,也就是说目前云集仍有足够的弹药来支撑之后的发展,截止2018年底,公司的账面上有15.19亿元的现金及现金等价物。

模式依然是潜在风险

在招股书中,云集还对投资风险进行了罗列,其中有一条,“如果我们的商业模式被发现违反了适用的法律法规,我们的业务、财务状况和运营结果将受到重大不利的影响。”

上文有提到,云集在2017年曾被杭州高新技术产业开发区(滨江)市场监督管理局下发过行政处罚决定书,监管部门认为,云集微店平台在经营活动过程中在“入门费”、“拉人头”和“团队计酬”等行为涉嫌违反《禁止传销条例》第七条的规定,因而向云集开出一张958万的罚单。

在罚单下发后的回应中,肖尚略称,“云集自创立以来一直按照补贴市场、亏损经营的模式在运作,2015年亏损3200万元,直到2016年下半年才实现月度盈利。无论是创建初衷、还是社会效益,云集微店与传销均有本质不同。”

并称在2016年初,云集微店已在有关部门和法学人士的帮助下,针对app推广中有争议的形式进行了整改,并得到了政府监管部门、法律界人士的认同。

而从招股书中就此问题的描述来看,有关部门并未明确认可云集的模式,“杭州有关监管部门口头确认目前的经营活动是合法的。”

云集认为目前的商业模式并不违反相关法律法规, 包括禁止传销的规定,但同时也在招股书中也坦言,目前与监管部门的沟通也不能确保改变他们的意见。

“新的法律、法规或政策也可能在未来颁布,但并不能保证我们目前的商业模式将完全符合新的法律、法规或政策。如果我们的商业模式在未来被发现违反,我们将不得不做出调整我们的商业模式或停止我们的某些商业活动,有关政府当局可以没收任何非法收益并处以罚款,这将对我们的业务产生重大不利的影响。”(本文首发钛媒体,作者/谢康玉)

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