India celebrated its 74th Independence Day on 15th August. And this week’s set of articles reflect this important day, and other topics such as Yuval Noah Harari on the consequences of Coronavirus and Accelerated Learning:
Yuval Noah Harari: “Every crisis is also an opportunity” – In this interview, ‘Israeli historian and author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, analyses what the consequences of the current coronavirus health crisis are likely to be, and underlines the need for greater international scientific co-operation and information-sharing between countries.‘
Can Travel Cure Bias? – Let’s face it, we all have some biases, whether conscious or sub-conscious. This article argues that “In a perfect world, travel can indeed cure bias… We can better navigate the cultural zeitgeist of a place and its people when we roll our sleeves up, dive in and throw out the book we think we already read.”
Freedom from the Curry Tag – One of my pet peeves, after living abroad for many years, is how there is an overwhelming tendency to club all Indian food under the generic ‘Curry’ tag. I wish and hope that non-Indians will appreciate that Indian food is far more diverse (and tastier) than what passes for Indian food (curries) in most Indian restaurants outside of India. This article explores ‘How Indian-origin chefs liberated Indian food from the anglicised spicy gravy narrative‘.
In this week, we look at articles on the perils of working too hard, and other topics that I found interesting. Hope you like them!
When productivity becomes an addiction – Working ‘hard’ as always been looked upon favourably. This article explores what happens when “getting things done is taken to an extreme”. One suggestion by neuroscientist, Dr. Sandra Chapman, “Take five minutes at least five times a day to completely stop. Turn off your technology and go outside.”
Work Less – More on the same theme. “If you could work fewer but more focused hours, you’d free up time for true rest. For play, connection, self-care. And perhaps, more than doing the tasks themselves, this would be the true victory.”
The Great Distancing – An article focused on the United States of America, but well written and worth a read.
The Computer Scientist Who Can’t Stop Telling Stories – The last article for this week is the fascinating story of Donald Knuth, a computer scientist who began writing his magnum opus, a book series on “The Art of Computer Programming” in 1962 and has yet to complete.
This week’s reading cuts across many different topics from music to melancholy… Read on and let me know what you think!
Five things a 400-year-old self-help book has taught us – This article analyses how Robert Burton’s 1621 text, The Anatomy of Melancholy, holds up four centuries later. It is interesting to see that some actions that we now consider as beneficial for mental well-being were first memntioned four hundred years ago.
Dawg on the Wall – A key event in the world of tech last week was the Antitrust Congressional hearings where the CEOs of four of the largest tech companies were called to testify. In this article, Profession Galloway comments on this event in his usual acerbic manner. Worth a read.
The Four Quadrants of Conformism – I must admit that I had not come across this theory of conformism before. I found it extremely interesting and made me think about where I fall in this quadrant. Passively independent-minded sounds most like me!
This week, we continue reading about impacts of the pandemic, both short-term and long-term.
Covid 19, globotics, and development – This article argues that, “as we adjust to remote working, a new era of telemigration may drive demand for globalisation in services. This may be good news for many emerging economies, because they can exploit their comparative advantage in labour without having to manufacture goods.”
Growth is falling and it has a lot to do with the youth – A very interesting take on why global growth has been declining since 2008. If this in indeed the main driver, then it will have significant implications on how markets can seek to continue driving economic growth in the future.
Appearances vs Experiences: What Really Makes Us Happy – Most of us would agree that experiences are more likely to make us happier than appearances (buying stuff). There are some very interesting examples of this in the article, including one on the impact of (long) commutes on happiness.
With Bangalore and many others parts of the World going back into lock-down, this week’s articles continue to be influenced by Covid-19.
The Covid-19 changes that could last long-term – Now that it’s been over 3 months into the changed lifestyles that many of us are experiencing post lock-down, it’s a good time to take stock and consider what of the changes might we end up living with for longer. This article looks at the impact on our personal lives, work lives and the climate.
The Implications of Working Without An Office – Results from a detailed survey (US only) on the impact of working from home. Some very interesting insights here, especially on the key downside of Work from Home – ‘the loss of unplanned interactions that lead to important outcomes.’
The Boeing-747: The Plane That Shrank The World – Continuing on the Covid-19 related topics, British Airways, currently the largest operator of the Boeing 747, announced that it would retire its entire fleet of the iconic aircraft earlier than expected. It’s hard to imagine that this iconic aeroplane made its debut half a century ago. I have a personal connection with this aircraft as I made my first international journey on one. It will be a sad day indeed when this plane will no longer grace the skies.
Tradition is Smarter Than You Are– Ending with a relatively long read, this article discussed the point that rational thinking might not be the key to our success as a species. We must consider that ‘cultural evolution is often much smarter than we are‘. A very interesting read.
Digital marketer, travel / culture / heritage enthusiast