By Peter Menzel — Naomi Osaka, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open on May 31, 2021, saying she needed to “take some time away from the court” after being fined for not attending a press conference following her tennis match. French Open officials threatened her with even harsher sanctions if she continued missing the mandatory press conferences after matches.

Osaka acknowledged that she struggles with both depression and anxiety. Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in the U.S., experienced by millions of Americans. Depression is not far behind in being commonly diagnosed and treated. …

Mom, thinking.

Navigating the first stages of a memory problem is never easy.

Post COVID-19 vaccination, I drove down to visit my also-vaccinated family in Delaware this past weekend. It was the first time I had made this trip in over 14 months.

Prior to the pandemic, I would visit about every other month. This is something I started doing when my dad’s health and well-being started to go downhill faster due to his long-running stalemate with Parkinson’s disease. He passed away in 2018.

Now the trips are made to spend more time not only with my brothers and their families, but most of all with my aging mom, who will turn 84…

With another holiday season approaching, many families plan on getting together again to catch-up and reconnect. Hopefully, given the raging pandemic in most states, these family get-togethers will be virtual.

With more Americans believing conspiracy theories than ever before in recent history, such gatherings can be awkward for those unbelievers. But it doesn’t have to be.

As a refresher, most conspiracy theories rely on the belief of coordinated and systematic efforts of multiple, disparate parties (sometimes hundreds) working in secret to pull off a timely, complex task that companies, organizations, or governments would have difficulty getting done in the most…

End of the Office: Empty Offices will Be the Norm

The novel coronavirus outbreak of 2020 and its resulting disease, COVID-19, lays bare one undeniable truth for office workers and their employers.

Many (most?) employees don’t need to be working in the office to begin with.

The Empty Promises of Offices

Offices are supposed to be these magical collaborative environments where we meet our co-workers each day around the coffee machine, sit down at our desk, and get down to work. They provide a clear delineation (or boundary) between when a person is “at work” and when they’re not. They provide opportunities for face-to-face time with co-workers and supervisors. …

Instacart’s swanky San Francisco offices

During times of crisis — such as the current novel coronavirus outbreak and its disease, COVID-19 — there lies an opportunity for companies properly positioned. While thousands of small businesses are suffering due to the shutdown of the U.S. economy, some investor-backed Silicon Valley darlings are thriving.

Or, at least they should be.

Take Instacart, one of the dozen or so app-based grocery delivery companies. It pairs customers with individuals who act as personal grocery shoppers at a local grocery store. The shopper then brings the groceries to the customer’s house. …

Welder — US economy will suffer due to #COVID19 coronavirus
Welder — US economy will suffer due to #COVID19 coronavirus
Welder at work at a small business

“Social distancing” is the recommended behavior for most Americans due to the COVID19 coronavirus pandemic affecting the world today. That is, most Americans should generally avoid other people, especially crowds, and only go out for basic necessities.

You don’t have to think very hard about the effects that shuttering businesses— of having people stay away from businesses due to social distancing— will have on the economy. It won’t be good.

Most companies in the United States — 99.9% according to the U.S. Small Business Administration — are considered “small businesses.” …

You can’t pop a filter bubble with more information

Image: jayk7/Getty Images

It’s been said that the solution to misinformation is simply more information. It’s the cornerstone of the argument for the type of virtually unrestricted free speech we enjoy in the U.S.

The argument is that you address misinformation by providing facts that directly speak to the misinformation (or as so many like to call it today, “fake news”). And sometimes this approach works.

The Federalist Papers were written in 1787 and 1788 not only to help sell the American people on the benefits of the newly proposed U.S. Constitution, but to also correct the voluminous misinformation campaign waged against the…

Google used to be about providing relevant search results to people looking for information on the web.

Nowadays, Google is more about providing relevant paid advertising to people looking for information on the web. Search results have become secondary. Don’t believe me?

Look at these two screenshots. The first is from the year 2000, when Google first rolled out AdWords, its first user-friendly advertising platform.

Google search for keyword ‘flowers’ in 2000

Now, here’s the same search in a private browsing window in Google in 2019, with the same sized above-the-fold screen capture:

Recently a colleague of mine who had just closed a HeroX challenge project competition worth a few thousand dollars had a question about possible voting irregularities. While I do run a consulting firm, most of our work has to do with websites and infrastructure. However, due to our work with Alexa Top 500 websites and other high-availability services, we do have some background in spotting problematic traffic behavior.

Could we apply this same expertise to examining voting behavior to a HeroX competition? Let’s find out…

The first sign that something is off about your competition is when another team brings…

The other week, a friend of mine friended me on Facebook. It happens millions of times a day, and like most people, I thought nothing of it.

Over the weekend, I thought I’d check out my friend’s new page and found that I actually had two friends of the exact same (unusual) name. One friend had been with me on Facebook for years. The other name was obviously a brand new profile with very little information on it, except the exact same profile photo.

My suspicions about the new profile grew when he started a Facebook chat with me. The…

Dr. John Grohol

Founder, Editor-in-Chief & CEO,; CoFounder, Society for Participatory Medicine; Editorial Board, Computers in Human Behavior journal

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