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Actor Kal Penn hosts this docuseries from Oscar winner Adam McKay that takes a look at the global economy. Penn, a former White House associate during the Obama administration, takes viewers around the world to meet key players behind some of the more serious and bizarre movements in today’s economy.

Each episode focuses on a central question about the global economy — such as how to launder a bag of dirty cash — as the show looks to discover surprising ways the economy interconnects and impacts the lives of people worldwide. The series features in-depth access to unique specialists, including extreme preparedness experts, and has cameos by such celebrities as Ted Danson, Zach Galifianakis, Joel McHale, Ed O’Neill, Rob Riggle and Meghan Trainor.

There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software. – Edward Tufte

I have a love-hate relationship with social media because it has some very significant advantages and also some very worrying qualities. I got very interested in the way social media is affecting the world after I read Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I had a paradigm shift after reading that book, which led me to delete Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin (not deleted but deleted all posts)

I have since read Irresistible by Adam Atler, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicolas Carr, and looking forward to reading The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by  Shoshana Zuboff, Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by  Jaron Lanier among others. The Arguments of the authors are both chilling and thought-provoking; Social Media is great but use with discretion and in moderation.

The Social Dilemma is a 2020 docudrama directed by Jeff Orlowski and written by Orlowski, Davis Coombe, and Vickie Curtis. Released via Netflix on September 9, 2020, the film explores the rise of social media and the damage it has caused to society, focusing on its exploitation of its users for financial gain through surveillance capitalism and data mining, how its design is meant to nurture an addiction, its use in politics, its impact on mental health (including the mental health of adolescents and rising teen suicide rates), and its role in spreading conspiracy theories and aiding groups such as flat-earthers and white supremacists.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. – Arthur C. Clarke.  

Here are my favourite takeaways from watching the Social Dilemma Netflix documentary:

A man’s alibi is the child of his own imagination. It is human nature.

A lot of us do not achieve our goals as we have ready-made excuses and reasons why we are not able to achieve success. As the saying goes: In life, we either have reasons or results, excuses or experiences, stories or success. As Mark Twain, once quipped: “There are a thousand excuses for failure but never a good reason.” The reasons we give for not living up to our potential are never good enough because no matter how bad you think your situation is, someone has gone through it and they succeeded hence your excuses are really not valid.

In Napoleon Hill’s classic book, Think and Grow Rich he shares the Fifty-Seven Famous Alibis by Old Man If and it is a very excellent list of famous excuses we all use for not achieving our goals and aspiration:

People who do not succeed have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons for failure, and have what they believe to be air-tight alibis to explain away their own lack of achievement. Some of these alibis are clever, and a few of them are justifiable by the facts. But alibis cannot be used for money. The world wants to know only one thing–HAVE YOU ACHIEVED SUCCESS?

A character analyst compiled a list of the most commonly used alibis. As you read the list, examine yourself carefully, and determine how many of these alibis, if any, are your own property.

IF I didn’t have a wife and family…

IF I had enough “pull”…

IF I had money…

IF I had a good education…

IF I could get a job…

IF I had good health…

IF I only had time…

Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.–Thomas Edison.

One of the most exciting tools I have come across in the past week is the five-minute journal. I got to know about the journal after watching a Tim Ferris Youtube video (Thanks Tim). I love the five-minute journal so much that I ordered 10 for the most important people in my life. I have been trying to journal in the past three months, and it has not been straightforward.

Gratitude is the feeling that embodies the phrase “Thank You”. It is the unexpected reward of a kind deed that is magically produced by your brain. It is the cute, tingly feeling in your body that makes you smile at strangers. A 2003 study by Emmons and McCullough found that keeping a daily gratitude journal leads to better sleep. reductions of physical pain, a greater sense of well-being, and a better ability to handle change.

Gratitude is the experience of counting one’s blessings.

With the gratitude journal, I have a system that makes it easier to journal every day; it has pre-formatted questions on every page with the following questions:

Every page contains the following:

A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.― Edgar Allan Poe

I subscribed for the free version of Grammarly earlier in 2020 as a way to improve my writing. After using the trial version for like two months, I had to upgrade to the premium version as the service has helped with my writing, spelling, and grammar, which are all needed for coherent content, especially online. Grammarly’s core product offering include grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection services

 Don’t obsess over perfect grammar. The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story. – Stephen King

Here are some of the reasons you should consider getting Grammarly at least the free version, If you like the service, you can then upgrade to the paid version.

I am a fan of 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) and most of his projects especially for his ABC Legal Drama For Life. The TV series is one of the few Shows I follow religiously week in week out. I really love the show, the show is executive produced by 50 cent. I find the show to be very inspiring and entertaining.

 The For Life TV Series is loosely based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., who was imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit. While incarcerated, he became a paralegal and helped to overturn the wrongful convictions of twenty of his fellow inmates, before finally proving his own innocence.

In his newly released book, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, Rapper and Actor 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) shares the story of Isaac Wright Jr.:

One of my favorite examples of someone who was able to combine hard work and focus is a gentleman named Isaac Wright Jr. In the early 1990s, Isaac was wrongly imprisoned on a life sentence in New Jersey for being an alleged drug kingpin. In fact, he was one of the first people convicted under that statute in New Jersey. The one problem with that was he was actually innocent.

Isaac refused to accept his sentence and began looking for ways to get it overturned. Even though he didn’t have any legal training, he set about learning the law in the prison’s library. He became so skilled that he began working as a paralegal on other prisoners’ cases, helping several of them get their sentences overturned.

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. There are 5 things you need to know, he told the pencil, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone’s hand.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.

Three: You will be able to correct mistakes you will make.

Four: The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.

And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.

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.”