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…

The Notebook: Issue 24

Welcome to the year 2020…

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:

Number9Dream” by David Mitchell

This is my second David Mitchell book. First one was “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet”. Now I have become a fan. Planning to read all his books.

 A Movie Worth Sharing:

Happy Together” by Wong Kar-wai

Wong Kar-wai reached Argentina with crew of 30 people to shoot this film. And he didn’t have a script (he works without a script) or synopsis (he had one page synopsis which he discarded) or story. He improvised the whole thing while shooting.

The film won the best director award at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.

One of my favorite Wong Kar-wai films…

(You can read my blog post “Wong Kar-wai on Literature” here…)

An Idea Worth Sharing:

Time is personal. Your year changes when your life changes” by Derek Sivers

“A new day begins when I wake up, not at midnight. Midnight means nothing to me. It’s not a turning point. Nothing changes at that moment.

A new year begins when there’s a memorable change in my life. Not January 1st. Nothing changes on January 1st.

I can understand using moments like midnight and January 1st as coordinators, so cultures and computers can agree on how to reference time. But shouldn’t our personal markers and celebrations happen at personally meaningful times?

Your year really begins when you move to a new home, start school, quit a job, have a big breakup, have a baby, quit a bad habit, start a new project, or whatever else. Those are the real memorable turning points — where one day is very different than the day before. Those are the meaningful markers of time. Those are your real new years.

This isn’t just selfish. You know your friends and family well enough to acknowledge these special days for them, too. The day that I most want to celebrate someone’s life has nothing to do with the calendar day that they were born.

The fourth Thursday in November is not when I feel most thankful. The 14th of February is not when I celebrate my romantic relationship. To force these celebrations on universal dates disconnects them from the meaning they’re supposed to celebrate. It’s thoughtless.

Celebrate personally meaningful markers. Ignore arbitrary calendar dates.”

(Source: Derek Sivers)

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive. Because what the world needs most is more people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Random Stuff: 

Karma – The Sculpture Stretches to Infinity” by Korean artist Do Ho Suh

(Source: Tim Ferriss)

Thanks for reading…

 

 

The Notebook: Issue 20

Hi

Welcome to the 2019 July issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, 

interviews, video clips and other stuff

I found interesting and feel 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:

Absolutely on Music” by Haruki Murakami

This book comprised of six conversations between the acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa and the novelist Haruki Murakami 

I don’t listen to western classical music. Yet I was completely captivated by the book. 

As one “The Guardian” review wrote…

“Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented treasure, valuable if for no other reason than that these conversations mark the first time that Ozawa has reflected at length on his 50-plus years of conducting. “Come to think of it,” he says, “I’ve never really talked about music like this before, in such a focused, organised way.” Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, it’s often said, but what joy to watch these two friends dance.” 

Read the complete review here

A Movie Worth Sharing:

Burning” by Lee Chang-dong

I love Haruki Murakami. And I love Lee Chang-dong.

When these two geniuses come together, magic happens.

Read Lee Chang-dong’s interview here

An Idea Worth Sharing:

My favorite fable: Derek Sivers:

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses following. The man and his son corralled all twenty-one horses.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“I’m quite convinced that cooking is the only alternative to film making. Maybe there’s also another alternative — that’s walking on foot.” – Werner Herzog ( via Ridgeline )

Random Stuff: 

Photographer Jun Yamamoto Captures The Magic Of Japan Streets At Night ( Via Tim Ferriss Newsletter )

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month… 

THE NOTEBOOK: ISSUE 18

Hi
Welcome to the 2019 April issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuffI found interesting and feel 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:

The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc

Since 2013 Mihaela Noroc has travelled the world with her backpack and camera taking photos of everyday women to showcase the diversity and beauty all around us. The Atlas of Beauty is a collection of her photographs that celebrates women from all corners of the world and shows that beauty is everywhere, regardless of money, race or social status, and comes in many different sizes and colours.
Take a look at some of the photographs here

Atlas of Beauty: women and girls around the world – in pictures

A Movie Worth Sharing:

Hana-bi by Takeshi Kitano

I must quote a few lines from Roger Ebert’s review

“It has been said that Western art is the art of putting in, and Eastern art is the art of leaving out.

The new Japanese film “Fireworks” is like a Charles BronsonDeath Wish” movie so drained of story, cliche, convention and plot that nothing is left, except pure form and impulse.

Not a frame, not a word, is excess.

The film is an odd viewing experience. It lacks all of the narrative cushions and hand-holding that we have come to expect. It doesn’t explain, because an explanation, after all, is simply something arbitrary the story has invented.”Fireworks” is a demonstration of what a story such as this is really about, fundamentally, after you cut out the background noise.” – Roger EbertRead the complete review here

An Idea Worth Sharing:

Werner Herzog on reading and writing” (via Austin Kleon)

Here are two quotes of Werner Herzog from the article…“I’ve always been more interested in teaching myself. If I want to explore something, I never think about attending a class; I do the reading on my own or seek out experts for conversations. Everything we’re forced to learn at school we quickly forget, but the things we set out to learn ourselves — to quench a thirst — are never forgotten, and inevitably become an important part of our existence.”“Read, read, read, read, read. Those who read own the world; those who immerse themselves in the Internet or watch too much television lose it. If you don’t read, you will never be a filmmaker. Our civilization is suffering profound wounds because of the wholesale abandonment of reading by contemporary society.”

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed. He’s making sure your imagination withers. Until it’s as useful as your appendix. He’s making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it’s worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what’s in your mind. With everyone’s imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world.”— Chuck Palahniuk ( via Tim Ferris )

Random Stuff:

A photographer re-creates the snapshots in old family albums

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month…

The Notebook: Issue 16

Hi there,

Welcome to the 2019 February issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts,

interviews, video clips and other stuff

I found interesting and feel 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:

Grotesque” by Natsuo Kirino  

The book is a little difficult to get into. But once you get past that… you’ll not regret it.

Here, in her own words…

“I really enjoyed writing it, but I feel like it’s a bit difficult to get into. There’s this constant issue of the narrator’s ambiguity and the question of whether or not she’s actually reliable. It’s like Rashomon: Can the information she gives be trusted? Or is it a lie? Grotesque was a hit in Japan, but I was really surprised. I thought it was more of a self-indulgent work that would never become popular the way it did.”

Read the complete interview here

A Movie Worth Sharing:

Roma” by Alfonso Cuaron

This film is on Netflix. So anyone can watch it with Netflix subscription.

But read Austin Kleon’s comment about watching the film on a big screen…

“The picture was striking on the big screen, but I thought the sound was actually what made it worth seeing in the theater.

Much has been made over seeing Roma on the big screen — the filmmakers have even posted a guide to TV settings for getting the best picture. I’ve yet to hear anyone argue that you should go to the theater for the sound. I don’t see a guide to sound settings. That—the perfect ambient sound in a large theater like the Capitol in Gordon Square here in Cleveland—is what I doubt you could get at home from your TV, without expensive speakers.” – Austin Kleon

An Idea Worth Sharing:

Stay Alive, Get Weird

Well, just click the link above…

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words… As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are [the] meaning.”

-Alan Watts ( Via ‘Kevin Rose’ )

Random Stuff:

Coolest Things I learned in 2018

There are many gems here. My favourite two…

Old Status Symbols:

  • Luxury goods
  • Position of authority
  • Busy-ness
  • Endorsed by establishment

New Status Symbols:

  • Fitness
  • Position of influence
  • Flexible schedule
  • Creative Output
  • Self-actualization
  • Independent

How camera lenses change the shape of your face

Camera.gif

Thanks for reading.

Take care and have a nice month…

Krishnendu

The Notebook: Issue 15

Hi there,

Welcome to the 2019 January issue of ‘The Notebook’.

This is a list of books, movies, blog posts,

interviews, video clips and other stuff

I found interesting and feel 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:

Travails with the Alien: The Film That Was Never Made and Other Adventures with Science Fiction” by Satyajit Ray (Edited by Sandip Ray)

I knew that Satyajit Ray wanted to make a science fiction film at one point in time. But I never knew that he wanted to call it “Avatar”.

Take a look at the photo below. It’s the cover page of the draft treatment. He had three names in mind… ‘Avatar”(written in Bengali), ‘Martian Tales”(written in Bengali) and “The Alien”.

This is a meticulously researched book on how and why this movie never got made.

“But there’s more to this book—a collection of essays, letters, drawings, articles, short stories and interviews—than the “Alien-E.T.” controversy. Chiefly, it showcases Ray’s boundless passion for science and science fiction.” – How E.T. came home: Satyajit Ray’s science fiction

There’s also the script of the film. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Grab this book if you want to know the mind of a genius and his creative process.

A Movie Worth Sharing:

Moe No Suzaku (1997) by Naomi Kawase

One of the most beautiful and haunting Japanese films I have ever seen. “Suzaku” was Naomi Kawase’s debut feature and it won Camera d’Or ( best new film) at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.

(On October 23, 2018, it was announced that Kawase had been selected by the IOC to shoot the official film for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.)

An Idea Worth Sharing:

The Internet is Like Tokyo

“If you go to Tokyo, you’ll see there are all sorts of really, really strange shops. There’ll be a shop that, only 1970’s vinyl and like, 1980’s whisky or something. And that doesn’t make any sense if it’s a shop in a Des Moines suburb. In a Des Moines suburb, to exist, you have to be Subway, you have to hit the mass-market Immediately.

But in Tokyo, where there’s 30-40 million people within a train ride of a city, then your market is 40 million. And within that 40 million, sure, there, a couple thousand people who love 1970’s music and 1980’s whisky. The Internet is Tokyo. The Internet allows you to be niche at scale.

Niche at scale is something that I think young people should aspire to.”  – Derek Thompson (via David Perell)

Read the complete article here

A Quote Worth Sharing:

“Everybody enjoys what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy, and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when they walk into the room. Everybody wants that. It’s easy to want that. A more interesting question, a question that most people never consider, is, “What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.” ― Mark Manson

Random Stuff:

Avatar Director James Cameron’s Daily Routine for Endurance and Stamina

Here is a typical day of James Cameron’s regime:

— 05:00 — pre-workout — green smoothie (spinach, apple, orange, banana — heavy on the spinach, and you can see the recipe below)

— 06:00 — 1 hour workout — usually kickboxing, yoga or light weight training with high intensity intervals

— 07:30 — breakfast — sometimes tofu “scrambled eggs” or a quesadilla made with plant-cheese, sometimes red beans and rice — always a protein shake made with fruit, nut butter, pea protein — use this to wash down supplements (hemp oil capsules, MSM for supple joints, vitamin D) — B12 is a sublingual tablet — and a cup of Oolong tea

— 11:00 — mid morning snack of fresh fruit (grapes, watermelon, berries) on set

— 13:30 — lunch — bowl of soup plus any one of the scores of great lunch dishes prepared by Brad and Sandy, our vegan chefs at the studio — mexican fiesta, Indian, thai, Italian (pasta, pizza, lasagna), burgers (Beyond or Hungry Planet) — these are comfort food dishes with a conscience

— 16:30 — mid afternoon — a green salad, on set

— 20:00 — dinner — a very light meal, sometimes a plant-based burger, sometimes just some humus and pita and a handful of olives, sometimes an avocado chopped up with salsa — plus always a glass of wine for stress reduction

He is currently in production on Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Read the complete blog post here

Thanks for reading.

Happy New Year,

Krishnendu

The Notebook: Issue 14

Swimming Pool Movie - Ludivine Sagnier
Swimming Pool Movie – Ludivine Sagnier (Image used without permission)

Hi there,
 
Welcome to the December issue of ‘The Notebook’.
 
This is a list of books, movies, blog posts,
interviews, video clips and other stuff
I found interesting and feel 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:
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami
If I have to choose one Haruki Murakami fiction, I’ll choose this one…
“Wind-Up Bird” is part detective story, part Bildungsroman (a novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education), part fairy tale, part science-fiction-meets-Lewis Carroll. Like “A Wild Sheep Chase” and “Dance Dance Dance,” it features a very ordinary man as its hero – a passive, affectless sort of guy with a lowly job and even lower expectations. Like those earlier novels, it sends its hero off on a long, strange wild goose chase that turns into a sort of Kafkaesque nightmare.”
– Michiko Kakutani
 
Read the complete review here
 
A Movie Worth Sharing:

Swimming Pool” by Francois Ozon

One of my favourite Francois Ozon films…
 
“You’ll have to take your eyes off teen temptress Ludivine Sagnier to navigate the psychological twists in Francois Ozon’s thriller. It’s almost worth it. The French director is a major tease, as proved by the way he blended song, dance and homicide in last year’s 8 Women.”
 
An Idea Worth Sharing:
 
 
“The first time I heard a mathematician use the phrase, I was sure he’d misspoken. We were on the phone, talking about the search for shapes with certain properties, and he said, “It’s like looking for hay in a haystack.”
“Don’t you mean a needle?” I almost interjected. Then he said it again.
In mathematics, it turns out, conventional modes of thought sometimes get turned on their head. The mathematician I was speaking with, Dave Jensen of the University of Kentucky, really did mean “hay in a haystack.” By it, he was expressing a strange fact about mathematical research: Sometimes the most common things are the hardest to find.”
Read the complete article here
 
A Quote Worth Sharing:
 
“The real problem with humanity is the following: We have paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology. And it is terrifically dangerous.”
— E. O. Wilson ( Via David Perell )
 
Random Stuff:
 
 
“Seth Godin recently noted the following on his always insightful blog:
“The Mona Lisa has a huge social media presence. Her picture is everywhere. But she doesn’t tweet. She’s big on social media because she’s an icon, but she’s not an icon because she’s big on social media.”
This perfectly sums up a point I often find myself trying to make when arguing that people don’t need to engage social media to advance their career.”
Read Cal Newport’s complete blog post here
 
Thanks for reading.
Take care and have a nice month…
 
Krishnendu