Parents will know that as soon as the their child is born, they subconsciously plan their child’s path to Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge or one of the other top universities. The thinking goes that by attending a top university, a world of opportunities will open up especially in the jobs market.
How do you compare the fame of an actor today to a Greek philosopher from two thousand years ago? Well, the clever people at MIT have come up with a system called Pantheon to do just that.
It looks at the biographies of historical figures that feature in more than 25 languages in Wikipedia. This gives a sense of broad impact of the figure. Then they make adjustments for number of page views, bias towards English language bios and age of the historical character (so if a bio is still being written on someone from two thousand years ago, that means their cultural is very big).
There’s something that is more important for health than diet, exercise and social connections. Sleep. We all know it as we clearly feel the effects of inadequate sleep (bad eating, impaired thinking, constant colds) and the science is clear.
I read an excellent book on the topic, “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker,which spurred me to research the topic more deeply. I was fortunate then to meet one the world’s leading experts on sleep, Professor Adrian Williams. He’s been pioneering sleep research since the late 1970s. First at Harvard and UCLA and later here in the UK at St Thomas’ hospital and Kings College. I interviewed him for my podcast, which you can listen here. I’ve also collated all my research on sleep by topic below. Right at the end, I have the top tips to sleep well.
Many people ask me which podcasts I listen to, especially after the launch of my own podcast: Deep See With Bilal. There are so many, that I couldn’t fit them into one blog, so I thought I’d start with best macro podcasts. When I say macro, I mean not only economics and finance but also tech and politics. I’m not ranking the podcasts, but they are the best ones I’m come across. I also include a sample episode to give a taste of the podcast. I’m sure I must have missed some, so feel free to send me your recommendations!
How many times do you hear of a work initiative, company plan or government project that fails and you think it was obvious that was going to happen? Think government projects to upgrade IT systems or building new transport links or think company plans to go digital or break silos.
In my recent podcast on diet and longevity, I mentioned in passing that I take some supplements. Many people have now asked which ones and what brands! So in this blog, I’ll list each. For background I have leaned on the work of Dr Rhonda Patrick, who is very good on determining the research basis of various health approaches (she has a podcast, website and her Twitter is worth following). Also, interviews of her are very good (you can find them on the usual circuit of performance podcasters like Tim Ferris, Kevin Rose, Joe Rogan). For ideas on alternative medicine, I find The Ultimate Health Podcast useful. All the supplements I take are over-the-counter and thought to be low risk, but you should check with your doctor if you have any special health conditions. Here’s my list and I include links to the exact products I buy :
I recently wrote an op-ed for the FT on a topic that I feel is neglected by many. The FT link is here and here’s the piece:
E-trading, shrunken market-makers and retreating central banks is a triple threat
A cynic would say that investors know the price of everything and the value of nothing. But the reality could be much worse because they may not even know the price. For decades, investors, policymakers and academics have taken financial market prices as the critical gauge for the overall expectations on the economy and company performance.
Obama used his ideas on his path to the US Presidency, Hilary Clinton wrote her thesis on his work, and grass-roots movements, from both the left and now the right, treat his work as the template for action. Yet many people have never heard of the American Saul Alinsky. He is thought be the founder of modern community organising and wrote one of the most influential books on setting up grass-roots movements: the 1971 book “Rules For Radicals”. The basic philosophy was to give power to the have-nots. In his introduction he wrote:
“WHAT FOLLOWS IS for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away”
Many people ask me how I am able to produce so much content. Aside from work-related research, I maintain two websites, one is this site, where I write on topics that enhance our living and another that contains my twice weekly curated lists of the best free articles on the web. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my own podcast channel (Deep See With Bilal). Besides of all of that, I still get time to read one or two books a week, spend time with family and friends and still feel like I have free time.
So how I do it? It really comes down to having a good system and being ruthless in removing time-wasting activities from my day. But to show how it works in real life, here’s a taste of my system on a typical day:
We all know giving money to charities and helping the poor is a good thing, but the question is to what degree. At one end, you have someone like Peter Singer, the Princeton University philosopher, who once equated our lack of charity to murder: