Morning Advantage: Are We Really Getting Smarter?

This just in from The Wall Street Journal: that’s not just a hat rack on your shoulders. It turns out that in so-called “advanced nations,” our collective brain power is growing — at least according to James Flynn, who’s studied IQ gains over time (a phenomenon now known as the Flynn effect). Flynn chalks increasing IQs up to the fact that we’re flexing our abstract reasoning muscles more often. In a related article at Scientific American, Tim Folger says that future generations will make us seem like dimwits in comparison. Commenters at both sites are skeptical.

NOT JUST FOR BOATING ANYMORE

How Kayak Succeeds Against Giants (CNN Money)

In the hypercompetitive travel space, Kayak has gone head to head with well-established brands like Expedia and Priceline quite successfully. In this interview, founder Paul English chalks the company’s success up to a few factors, including Kayak’s extreme focus, hiring the best talent, and having a sense of urgency. He also credits the monitors installed all over the office walls that show real-time customer data, and the fact that he and the programmers—not customer service reps—answer customer calls on the office’s infamous red phone. “When a customer calls and yells at us because we've screwed something up on the site, by the second or third time we get that criticism, the programmer is tired of answering the same question. So they stop what they're doing, they fix the code, and we don't get that question anymore.”

SUCH A LONELY WORD

The Honesty Experiment (The National Honesty Index)

This summer, Honest Tea conducted experiments in 30 cities to test people's honesty. They set up unmanned pop-up stores and asked people to pay $1 per bottle on the honor system. Data were collected and compiled into the National Honesty Index. Check out their interactive charts, dissecting honesty every which way. See who's more honest: Bostonians or New Yorkers? Blondes or brunettes (spoiler alert: brunettes)? Bikers or beachgoers? Urban dwellers or suburbanites? And the list goes on. — Gardiner Morse

BONUS BITS:

The Flap Over Apple's Map App

Tim Cook Apologizes for Mapocalypse Debacle (Wired.com)
A Close Reading of Two Apple Apologies (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Tim Cook’s Apology: The Good, Bad & Ugly (Inc.com)

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