How Well Do You Know the Good Or Bad State Of the World?

The late Hans Rosling found fame through his TED talks on visualising facts about the world. His last book,“Factfulness”, was published this year, and is a great read.

The thrust of the book is that we lazily make assumptions about the world, which are not based on facts, and then go on to formulate big world views. To make his point, he starts his book with 13 questions on the state of the world. I was surprised by many of the answers. Here are the questions (and the answers). See if you get them right!

13 Questions About the World

1. In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school? Continue reading “How Well Do You Know the Good Or Bad State Of the World?”

Best Of the Web: Talking To Children, Belly Fat, Uber For Snitching and more…

I come across so many great articles on the web, so I thought I’d try to regularly share the best ones. Let me know if you like the selection or if you like more (or less) of certain types.

Personality and Self-Help (6)

How Emotional Intelligence Boosts Your Endurance
A new paper has found that those who were better at recognizing and regulating their emotions ran faster races. Runners who agreed with statements like “Expressing my emotions with words is not a problem for me” or “I often pause and think about my feelings.” turned out to be Continue reading “Best Of the Web: Talking To Children, Belly Fat, Uber For Snitching and more…”

7 Shows I Love on Netflix

With the sweltering heat, I’ve had more time indoors, which only means one thing: Netflix:

Stand-up comedy

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette – perhaps the most original stand-up comedy routine in years. Gadsby starts with a standard routine throwing out a joke a minute, but soon it gets meta. She starts talking about the structure of jokes and gives her earlier jokes as examples. She then gets serious Continue reading “7 Shows I Love on Netflix”

The Internet’s Transition From Nomadism To Feudalism

Sometimes you come across an insight that’s so thought-provoking you have to share it verbatim. This is from product designer Alexander Singh on the evolution of the web:

“Over the past 25 years, the web appears to have transitioned from a primarily nomadic culture to a mostly agrarian one, mirroring the Neolithic Revolution 10,000 years ago. Continue reading “The Internet’s Transition From Nomadism To Feudalism”

Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!

Private Eye

In the current climate of taking political debate over social media so seriously, it’s worth deflating our pompousness by hearing politicians over the ages mocking their profession*:

The Nature of politics

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly and applying unsuitable remedies. (Ernest Benn)

‘Politics’ is made up of two words: ‘poli’, which is Greek for ‘many’, and ‘tics’, which are bloodsucking insects. (Gore Vidal) Continue reading “Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!”

What People Initially Thought Of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings (novel)

I recently came across a review of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings books when they were first published in 1954. Of course, today the books are regarded as some of the best fiction ever written and have spawned oscar-winning movies. But this review from 1954 featured in a British magazine, The New Statesman, was scathing: Continue reading “What People Initially Thought Of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings (novel)”

The Movies To Watch This Summer 2018

Last week, I wrote about books for the summer, this week I’m talking movies. There are loadsa great movies out this summer, but below are the ones that stand out – split into popcorn or thinking movies (!):

Popcorn movies

Incredibles 2. Some say the first Incredibles is the best super-hero movie ever made. I wouldn’t go that far, but it was a great a movie. The sequel comes 14 years after, and focuses on the mother character and Jack-Jack  (the baby)! It will surely be one of the best popcorn movies of the summer. Continue reading “The Movies To Watch This Summer 2018”

My Recommended Summer Reading List

The sun is out, summer is here, it’s time to read some great books. Here are my recommendations:

Fiction and memoirs

Educated by Tara Westover. I’m in the middle of this book based on a true story. Imagine a girl raised in the mountains by deeply conservative religion parents. That means no modern medicine, no secular education, no revealing clothes and no TV or music. The mountains were not Afghanistan, but the US and the parents were Mormons. Then throw the girl, the author Tara, into modern world when she starts university.  An incredibly insightful book of how our society operates, revealed through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it before. Continue reading “My Recommended Summer Reading List”

18 Must-Read Articles From Male Unemployment To Mind-Reading Robots

Politics

What is wrong with tolerance Great essay on the flaws of tolerance from its origins of protecting the dominant religious group  of a country to its flaw around tolerating intolerance. The essayist instead argues that societies should focus on reciprocal exchange. This is the process of understanding the benefits and responsibilities of each person to each other.

‘Governments don’t want us to think that protest has power’ Great interview of one of my favourite musical artists, Saul Williams. He talks about the power of language. His love of Shakespeare and Public Enemy. And the need for hip hop artists to reclaim their rebellious spirit rather than embracing the establishment. Continue reading “18 Must-Read Articles From Male Unemployment To Mind-Reading Robots”

How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)

Raised in western culture, I think of time as an arrow. That is, I feel I’m constantly moving forward to the future leaving the past behind. Implicit within this is the notion that I’m progressing. While this has many benefits, it has many  shortcomings too. A fundamental one is that I’m never happy where I am. But there are there other ways to think about time, which can make life more fulfilling: Continue reading “How To Rethink Time To Become Fulfilled (3 min read)”