The Notebook: Issue 25

Welcome to the February 2020 issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuff I find interesting and worth sharing.

I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.

If you have any feedback, please drop me a line.

Here it goes…


A Book Worth Sharing:

Stillness is the Key: An Ancient Strategy for Modern Life” by Ryan Holiday

I love Ryan Holiday and read almost all his books. It’s another unputdownable book from him. And I finished it in one go…

Ryan is one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. 

You can follow him @ryanholiday.

Read an excerpt from the book here


A Movie Worth Sharing:

Confront” by Abhijit Mazumdar

This six minutes films made by my friend Abhijit Mazumdar as playback exercise in FTII.

It’s about ‘A musician grapples with his loss when his band breaks up’.

It’s beautifully edited by Shan Mohammed and features another great filmmaker and friend Amit Dutta as main protagonist.

Don’t miss this little gem of a film

Abhijit has made many films like “Plot”, “Chlorophyll”, “Vanishing Point”, “Yeti”, “Bhabaa Paagla”.

His films got selected in many International Film Festivals including Karlovy Vary Fresh Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Glasgow International Film Festival, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Durban International Film Festival, International Film Festival of India, International Documentary Short Film Festival of Kerala. 

You can watch all of Abhijit Mazumdar’s films here

An Idea Worth Sharing:

The Social Media Trap” by David Perell

Eugene Wei, the former director of video for Oculus VR at Facebook, says that posting on social media makes people feel like a public company.

“Most celebrities learn this lesson very early on, most companies put their public-facing executives through PR training, but most humans never grew up under the watchful gaze of hundreds of millions of eyes of Sauron…

Public companies are restricted in what they can say publicly. The same is true for people who take themselves public. 

The markets punish companies that stumble, and the judgment of the masses is no less harsh for individuals who do their thinking out loud on social media.”

Public companies and people on social media are always being watched. 

For public companies, the evaluation happens in the real-time movement of the stock market ticker. 

Meanwhile, people on social media are judged in likes, comments, and social status. 

Like the stock market, your social status fluctuates every time you post online. 

Post a photo of your six-pack abs on the beach in Tulum and your status will rise. 

Tell your friends that you’re leaving Goldman Sachs to join a growing and profitable company in rural Wyoming, and the backroom gossip will begin.

As Jia Tolentino writes in Trick Mirror:

“Where we had once been free to be ourselves online, we were now chained to ourselves online, and this made us self-conscious.”

24/7 access to social media has over-socialized us. 

Every action is criticized, every sentence is scrutinized, until soon, we get stuck in a prison of fear and risk-aversion. 

Plus, the Internet has a perfect memory. It only takes one tweet to end your career and permanently tarnish your Google search results. 

Like public relations professionals, we’ve become hyper-aware of how the masses will respond to everything we say and do.

By creating an audience of critics, all those eyes have changed how we act. 

Psychologists call this the Hawthorne Effect, and it states that people change their behavior when they know they’re being watched. 

It was originally discovered in 1958 when researchers tried to study the effect of bright lighting on working hours and break times. Once the study began, worker productivity improved, but it slumped again after it ended. 

Researchers concluded that people worked harder not because of changing light conditions in the factory, but because they were being watched.

Thus, surveillance is a tradeoff. 

Under the critical eye of the social media panopticon, people are more likely to follow the rules but also take fewer risks — which creates a stagnant society.

Read the complete article here


A Quote Worth Sharing:

“Be present… That’s the nice thing about present. It keeps showing up to give you a second chance.” – Ryan Holiday


Random Stuff: 

No one will admit it, but thank god for our corporate overlords” by Mark Manson

It’s not popular to applaud corporations these days. But in an age of political gridlock, bureaucratic indecision, crumbling infrastructure, and emerging authoritarian tendencies across the planet, Amazon, Apple, et al. may be the only thing holding the world together right now.

Amazon’s logistical efficiency puts every other human entity to shame. 

Apple’s global supply chain is likely one of the few things that has prevented some sort of aggression with China. 

Nobody likes oil companies, but if it weren’t for them, we’d all probably be puppet states of Saudi Arabia. 

Tech companies like Samsung, Facebook, and Google are the ones spearheading internet infrastructure throughout the third world. 

And the greatest innovations in renewable energies are coming from the private sector.

Yes, the size of these corporations and their power and outsized influence cause problems. But then again, there are associated problems with any organization wielding lots of power. 

My point is simply that it’s just as easy to overlook the benefits of these behemoths as it is to criticize their faults. 

But these companies run the planet more than any international governmental organization. And in some ways, that might be a good thing.

Read the complete blog post “10 Important Lessons We have Learned From The 2010shere


Thanks for reading…

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