• Sci-Fi fans have often been categorized as geeks, who are disconnected from reality.
  • The fantasy world they encapsulate their minds in requires creating story worlds that increase their emotional quotient, mental resilience and problem solving skills.
  • Good science fiction writing engages the reader in real human dilemmas, helping young readers make sense of the world.
  • Stories like Hunger Games or Beggars In Spain help many young people understand complex social, economical and political issues.
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The first book to be banned in the United States was The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn back in 1885, as it had references to smoking, swearing and running away from home. This highlighted the fact that books, no matter what genre, have the power to educate and influence.

A good, powerful book may also be dangerous, as it has the capability to change minds.

The Benefits Of Reading Science Fiction
  • Books and novels leave their impact on young minds.
  • All kinds of fiction helps young minds develop emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills
  • There is a common misconception that reading junk novels and wild sci-fi stories is a waste of time.

New research suggests that reading science fiction and fantasy helps young people cope with the stress and anxiety of thier complicated existence.

Professionally Ghosted

To be ghosted by your professional contacts, like a Linkedin connection, your prospective client, or your office colleague can feel confusing, with a sense of rejection that can shatter your confidence.

We try to retrace our steps and figure out what went wrong, and also try to follow up for the sake of closure.

We all hate it when someone ghosts us, both professionally and personally because of the Zeigarnik Effect. This is a phenomenon that makes our brain linger on to something that is unresolved, unfinished or demands closure.

There is a cognitive tension inside our minds that makes us want to seek out a satisfactory resolution instead of being stuck in limbo.

Ghosting can happen anywhere:

  • During a job interview when someone the prospective candidate ghosts the recruiter after a series of interviews.
  • During hiring when the recruiter ghosts the candidate even after all the application process and the hiring has been completed, with only the employment contract formalities remaining.
  • Many newly hired candidates don’t show up on Day one, wasting the HR resources of the employer.
  1. People don’t like to say no, and suddenly not responding seems an easier and lazier option than a nuanced, thoughtful response that will take time and energy.
  2. People avoid conflict and don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.
  3. They are waiting for an update or a decision from someone else and don’t have the authority to respond.
  4. They are stuck in bureaucratic discussions and internal office problems, which is also a red flag.
  5. They may be too busy or sick.
  1. Consider Your Approach: If you are asking for favours without any strong ties, the entire interaction can feel like begging, a transaction with no roots. Shortcut strategies and hustling without context can backfire. People may be ghosting you because you deserve that.
  2. Embrace The Awkward: Instead of feeling rejected or haunted by the sudden loss of conversation, one can send a brief, lighthearted message to help the other person reconnect if they wish to. They will let you know the reason for their not replying, and if they still don’t reply, simply move on.

Many employees suddenly quit a bad job, never showing up the next day. This can also be due to their getting a better offer with immediate joining.

Professional networking is prone to ghosting, with Linkedin messages suddenly not being responded to, or a client that is being pitched for a prospective sale suddenly losing interest and blocking contact.

Successful pitchers tend to be categorised by catchers as one of three types.

  • The showrunner comes off as a professional who combines creative inspiration with production know-how.
  • The artist appears to be unpolished and prefer the world of ideas to happen daily.
  • The neophyte seems young, inexperienced, and naive.

The showrunner involves the audience in the creative process by deliberately levelling the power differential, the artist inverts the differential, and the neophytes exploit it. They all get the catchers to view themselves as creative collaborators.

They display passion and enthusiasm about their ideas but are less conformist in their dress and mannerisms and tend to be socially awkward. The artist appears to have little or no knowledge or interest in the details of implementation.

They completely command the catcher's imagination by drawing the audience into imaginary worlds. "Picture what happens when..." They lead catchers through exciting, detailed narratives.

Why selling ideas is hard

Generating creative ideas is easy. Selling them to strangers is hard. The ability to sell an idea has as much to do with the seller's traits as the idea's inherent quality.

Judgments about the pitcher's ability to come up with workable ideas can interfere with the perception of the idea's worth. That means that when you're preparing to pitch your idea to strangers, your audience will put you in a box. And in less than 150 milliseconds.

A study showed that people on the receiving end of pitches have no objective way to assess creativity - not even the expert ones.

  • Their criteria are subjective and often inaccurate, and from early on, they are set.
  • If they detect subtle cues indicating that the pitcher isn't creative, they won't look favorably at your proposal.
  • However, if they are made to feel that they are participating in an idea's development, they respond well.
  • In a meeting with a showrunner, the catcher can test the pitcher's expertise and question how the pitcher would react to various changes to the idea.
  • For artists and neophytes, their ability can be judged by asking them to deliver a finished product. In Holywood, competent catchers will ask them for finished scripts before hiring them. A prototype can allow the catcher to judge quality.
  • To safeguard against hasty judgements, enlist another judge or two to help weigh the pitcher and the idea.

Showrunners combine creative thinking and passion with technical know-how to convince catchers that the ideas can be developed successfully.

They engage the catcher by getting the catcher to respond to a memory they are both familiar with. Then they build on the catcher's knowledge and interest, eventually guiding the catcher to the core idea.

There is nothing more dangerous than a good pitcher with no real talent. Catchers too often let themselves be wooed by positive stereotypes, especially that of the showrunner, rather than by the quality of the ideas.

Real creativity is more difficult to classify. Those who buy ideas need to be aware that relying too much on stereotypes can cause them to overlook creative individuals with great ideas.

We believe that creative people possess certain traits. For example, unconventionality, intuitiveness, sensitivity, narcissism, passion, and youth. When a stranger pitches an idea, the catcher subconsciously uses these traits to sort through the pitchers as creative or not. Only 1% of ideas will make it past the initial pitch.

To avoid fast elimination, successful pitchers emit passion for their ideas and find ways to let the catchers shine.

Neophytes plead ignorance. They score points for daring to do the impossible, which is seen as refreshing. They present themselves as eager learners and confidently ask for help.

Catchers are naturally flattered and enjoy sharing their knowledge. They become mentors who want to see the neophytes win. Entrepreneurs are generally natural neophytes. They achieve success by sheer force of personality.

The Art Of Giving
  • One needs to create value to claim value, and successful negotiators do not declare victory until they can help everyone win.
  • A win-win situation for all is the new age negotiation, which is more about giving and less about taking.
  • Most of us believe that the results are fixed, and we also expect the worst in others, which eventually brings out the worst in others.
  • Trying to understand the needs of our opponent and working from that angle results in better negotiation and better results for everyone involved.
Using clichés

Clichés are a quick way to express familiar concepts. Because your brain heard the phrase many times, it knows the meaning without thinking about the writer's intention.

But the danger is that one cliché makes the rest of the writing seem lazy or low-quality and cause you to skim through the words. Nothing stands out because there is no way to differentiate the time you read the cliché from all the other times you've read it.

For example:

Matt took the first sip, volunteering to be our guinea pig.

Matt took the first sip, volunteering to be our laboratory mouse.

In the first sentence, we don't visualise the guinea pig. It is only in the second sentence that we 'see' the scientist, the white coat, and the mouse. This is because we associate animal testing with rats and mice, not guinea pigs.

With so much content on the internet, few get noticed. When you do get noticed, it's another accomplishment to have your words read. But you only really build a career as a writer when your audience remembers you.

Clichés seldom create memorable writing. One cliché won't ruin your writing but ensure you are using them sparingly and with intention.

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