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25 Mind-Blowingly Informative Websites That Will Expand Your Worldview

25 Mind-Blowingly Informative Websites That Will Expand Your Worldview

The web might be littered with plenty of blogs that clog and sites that compete for your time, but below you’ll find 25 of the most compelling websites that are worth more than a second glance. Whether culture, news, shopping or improving your life is your thing, this list’s got you covered:

Life-Changing Websites

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    1. Uscreen.tv

    If you fancy yourself as an independent filmmaker or one who has anything to teach others, selling your video content directly to customers through Uscreen could seriously change your life. As the instant video platform describes, people want to buy movies and educational content legally and in a quick digital format – so use that site to give them the stuff they want to see, and turn yourself into the next Steven Spielberg in the process.

    2. ChameleonJohn

    Saving money changes lives by improving disposable income. As such, ChameleonJohn helps people find the hottest deals available each day to bring practical betterment to their economic lives.

    3. I’m Remembering!

    Because we all need to laugh about the 1980s and 1990s – either because we lived through them, or weren’t born yet, or are too young to remember what others are remembering on this site.

    4. GoodGuide

    GoodGuide scientists help readers find safe products, and that’s pretty important for a good life.

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    5. TED

    If you’ve ever watched a famous TED talk, you know how much they stick with you. Start with Mellody Hobson’s one million-plus viewed “Color blind or color brave?” recollection of how she – as the wife of famed filmmaker George Lucas – was led to the kitchen during one important event because the receptionist assumed she was the help.

    Shopping and Gift-Giving

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      6. Wanelo

      So many people fall in love with this Wanelo – Want, Need, Love site that you’ll probably do the same, and soon enough find yourself adding pics of the stuff you desire, or using it to shop for the things your loved ones want, need – and yes, love.

      7. Fabletics

      If you’re a workout fiend or know a gym rat, Kate Hudson’s subscription exercise gear site called Fabletics is really boss.

      8. AliExpress

      It can be fun to find all sorts of deals on AliExpress, the kinds of discounted items that only sellers from around the globe can offer so inexpensively, like high-quality 100% virgin human hair for weaves.

      9. Por Homme

      Por Homme is something for the male homies – all about fashion and toys for boys.

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      10. This is Why I’m Broke

      Shopping is turned into a fun experience on This is Why I’m Broke, which pulls together a variety of interesting products at all price points to present to buyers.

      For News Freaks: Informative Websites

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        11. Alexa

        The “What’s Hot” list on Alexa is updated every five minutes, so there’s no excuse not to know what’s going on in the world.

        12. What’s Trending

        If you want to know what’s buzzing in the newsroom, What’s Trending will tell you.

        13. UPROXX

        UPROXX is a cool visual way of learning the buzziest happenings, like when Idris Elba took to Reddit to tell a funny Nicolas Cage story.

        14. Visual News

        Because, yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, viewing the items on Visual News gives you a quick way to reference stories without having to do a ton of reading if you lack the time and desire.

        15. NowThisNews

        Scrolling down the homepage of NowThisNews will give you a one-minute review of everything going on today and keep you well informed.

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        For a Laugh

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          16. White Whine

          White Whine tracks “First World problems,” like not being able to use your infinity pool because the weather is a little too chilly – or having problems deciding which new iPhone 6 model to purchase.

          17. Twaggies

          Twaggies is a site that makes tweets extra-funny by illustrating them.

          18. Celebrities Read Mean Tweets

          The YouTube video snippets of the Jimmy Kimmel segment called Celebrities Read Mean Tweets should make your day.

          19. Attack of the Cute

          Attack of the Cute is freaking adorable, proving there aren’t enough photos of babies and kittens and puppies on the Internet.

          20. Honest Slogan

          Companies may have their own taglines, but the Honest Slogan website tells you what consumers really think about their products.

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          Knowledge and Culture

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            21. 2leep

            Get a dose of weirdness that you might not expect on 2leep, like photos of what a cow might look like after being completely blow-dried.

            22. Shutterbean

            Shutterbean has a boatload of gorgeous photos and relevant information about food, photography and other eclectic subjects.

            23. 70 Degrees West

            There exists a plethora of bucolic and picturesque images and videos on 70 Degrees West, and viewing them just might help your blood pressure drop.

            24. maskCARA

            The amazing website of a makeup artist known simply as Cara – hence the name maskCARA – is one of those OMG sites with oversized, clear images and tips that make you want to plop your email address in the newsletter box.

            25. Greatist

            Aptly named and oddly spelled, Greatist is optimal to appear last but not least – if anything for the excellent lifestyle articles all about eating better, exercising well and dating wisely.

            Featured photo credit: Man Streaming Media With Cloud Server Informatics Business Man Streaming Digital Television And Online Media Through Cloud Server Technology With Innovative And Futuristic Informatics Stock Photo ID: 38387629 Copyright: jorgophotography via bigstockphoto.com

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            The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

            The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

            It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

            Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

            “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

            In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

            New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

            There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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            So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

            What is the productivity paradox?

            There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

            In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

            He wrote in his conclusion:

            “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

            Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

            How do we measure productivity anyway?

            And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

            In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

            But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

            In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

            But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

            Possible causes of the productivity paradox

            Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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            • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
            • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
            • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
            • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

            There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

            According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

            Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

            The paradox and the recession

            The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

            “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

            This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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            According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

            Looking forward

            A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

            “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

            Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

            “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

            On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

            Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

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